In my personal experience with Mormonism, I elevated these men, making them superior to myself, and believed they were impeachable because of their supposed status.
Truth: their status and power isn’t all that impressive. All someone has to do is open up a Book of Mormon to discover the many lies they espoused just in their testimony alone.
Today we’re taking away the mystery of who they were so we can make an intellectually honest determination of what the truth is when it comes to these guys.
“Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi…” [emp. mine]
Their statement they ‘have seen the plates’ is a lie. According to their written testimonies in Comprehensive History of the Church 1:137-138, not one of them laid physical eyes on those plates.
You can read more about this in our article Book of Mormon Witnesses.
“And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.” [emp. mine]
This too, is a lie. It’s also known as circular reasoning; i.e. you make a claim about something, add an idea, and close your statement by repeating the first thing you said.
These men can’t prove they heard God’s voice, and their claim of such an event is sullied with the lie they already told about seeing the plates.
Furthermore, they haven’t provided proof of the plate’s authenticity by stating they heard a voice. This isn’t proof, rather, this is nothing but a theory of what they think they heard.
“And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man.”
Again, we see another lie. They knew they hadn’t seen the plates, yet they continued on with the charade.
“And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes.” [emp. mine]
If you’re sharing an experience you had with someone, how many times do you repeat yourself about the key event?
Did they do this to convince themselves, or was it because they thought if they kept repeating it, they’d sound more believable?
“Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things.” [emp. mine]
This entire narrative is so confusing! In the Church’s history, they’ve stated this event was a vision, but in this part of the story, they’re claiming they heard another voice which was from God.
If four guys are having visions out in the woods, what are the chances they’d all hear voices speaking the same thing, to all of them, at the same time? Incredibly, this is the testimony of the three witnesses and Joseph Smith!
“A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1:137-138; “THE VISION OF THE THREE WITNESSES … …we knelt down again, and had not been many minutes engaged in prayer, when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness; and, behold, an angel stood before us; in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of. He turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them and discover the engravings thereon distinctly. … …When immediately afterwards, we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying: ‘These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.’” [emp. mine]
“And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens.”
How does one rid their garments of the blood of all men?
Why are their garments tainted with the blood of all men?
How did their garments become tainted with the blood of all men?
Being faithful in Christ entails one major detail; believing in the Christ of the Bible. They don’t believe in the Jesus of the Bible, so how could they be faithful to Him?
“And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen…” [emp. mine]
As noted in other posts, Mormons don’t ascribe to the idea of the Trinity, thus making this statement a lie as well. You can’t honor the God of the Bible when you don’t believe in Him!
In summary, there’s nothing in their testimonies that’s truthful. Nothing.
I don’t say these things lightly, or flippantly! This is heartbreaking. It makes me sad that so many people believe this stuff, and even sadder the majority of my family does as well.
I’ve always been the type of person that takes everyone at face value. Up and until you prove yourself otherwise, I usually believe everything you tell me and I think the majority of people are that way.
For me, this is why the testimonies of these men are a valuable tool when it comes to witnessing. I would share with the Mormon how people are typically trusting of others, thus making testimonies a powerful tool to build trust with others, or worse yet, to dupe them as we’ve seen here.
After looking at all aspects of the BoM witness testimonies, do you feel confident God would condone what they had to say?