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Joseph Smith/Início da história da família Smith/Sem testemunhas positivas
Question: Are there no contemporary pro-Mormon statements from reliable and informed sources who knew the Smith family and Joseph intimately?
There are contemporary legal documents and later remembrances of those who knew the Smiths, and regarded them as trustworthy and hard-working
It is claimed that there are "no contemporary pro-Mormon statements from reliable and informed sources who knew the Smith family and Joseph intimately." There are certainly no "contemporary" documents from the anti-Mormon side. All the negativity comes after Joseph's announcement about his vision and the plates. Most of the negative reports (such as the Hurlbut-Howe affidavits) came well after the Church's organization.
But, the claim is false, as will be shown below—there are contemporary legal documents and later remembrances of those who knew the Smiths, and regarded them as trustworthy and hard-working.
Many affidavits claim that the Smiths were lazy, Yet, contemporary documents and tax records tell a very different story
Many affidavits claim that the Smiths were lazy. Yet, contemporary documents and tax records (which are surely reliable, surely informed, and cannot be the victims of bias like neighbors' testimony can be) tell a very different story.
For a detailed response, see: Lazy Smiths?
Joseph's use as a witness in 1819 indicates that the trial judge and jury found him both trustworthy and competent to give evidence
A year prior to the First Vision, Joseph Smith was thirteen years old. His family sued a neighboring farmer over a dispute regarding some horses they had purchased. One author explained that Joseph's use as a witness indicates that the trial judge and jury found him both trustworthy and competent to give evidence:
<onlyinclude> Under New York law, being just thirteen, Joseph's testimony about the work he had performed was admissible only after the court found him competent. His testimony proved credible and the court record indicates that ever item that he testified about was included in the damages awarded to the Smiths. Although Hurlbut [the farmer they were suing] appealed the case, no records have survived noting the final disposition of that case; perhaps it was settled out of court. The significance of this case is not limited to the fact that a New York judge found the young Joseph, just a year prior to his First Vision, to be competent and credible as a witness....
The trial was held on February 6, 1819. Twelve jurors were impaneled, all men and property owners. The Smiths called five witnesses, Hurlbut seven. Both Joseph Jr. and Hyrum were called to testify. This appears to be young Joseph's first direct interaction with the judicial process. He had turned thirteen years old a month and a half previously. New York law and local practice permitted the use of child testimony, subject to the court's discretion to determine the witness' competency. The test for competency required a determination that the witness was of 'sound mind and memory.' A New York 1803 summary of the law for justices of the peace notes that 'all persons of sound mind and memory, and who have arrived at years of discretion, except such as are legally interested, or have been rendered infamous, may be improved as witnesses.' This determination of competency rested within the discretion of the judge....
From the record it appears that Judge Spear found Joseph Jr. competent, and he indeed did testify during the trial. This is evident in a review of the List of Services that was part of the court file. Joseph Jr.'s testimony would have been required to admit those services he personally performed. His testimony was certainly combined with Hyrum's. Hyrum was born February 11, 1800, and was therefore nineteen years old at the time this case was tried.
- Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults (Revised) (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1997), 190. ( Index of claims )
- Predefinição:Periodical:Walker:Joseph Smith's Introduction to the Law