My name is Elder Kyle Rasmussen. I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The message of the Church is one of joy and happiness. This message has given me this great joy and happiness in my life and now I want to share that same joy with everyone else. I know it can bless everyone's life and that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Cradle of the Restoration Part 5 - The Peter Whitmer Farm (3 Witnesses to The Book of Mormon)

Peter Whitmer Log Home

Peter Whitmer Sr. and his wife Mary moved to Fayette, New York in 1827 with them and their eight children.  David Whitmer, one of their sons, became seriously interested in the events surrounding Joseph Smith Jr. and the restoration of the gospel.  He became converted and gained a certain knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel  and the works being done in it's restoration.  He wanted to assist Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in anyway he could.  At this time in 1829, Joseph and Oliver were in Harmony, Pennsylvania, working on the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Chapel and Visitor's Center at Peter Whitmer Farm
Miracle at the Farm

In May of 1829, Oliver Cowdery wrote to David Whitmer about the work of the translation and about the continuing persecution they were experiencing which was delaying the work.  They discussed the possibility of them coming to live with the Whitmer's in Fayette and Peter Whitmer Sr. invited Joseph and Oliver to stay at their farm as long as was necessary to complete the translation.  Joseph and Oliver accepted the offer and made preparations for the 3 day trip from Harmony, Pennsylvania to Fayette, New York.  However May was an important time for farmers.

During this time, farmers plowed and prepared their fields for planting and an Autumn harvest and David's help on the family farm was essential.  Peter Whitmer Sr. told David that he could proceed with his journey to pick up Joseph and Oliver as soon as the fields were plowed and ready for planting.  So David went to work with determined zeal to accomplish this task as soon as possible so he could help Joseph and Oliver.  At the end of this first day, David discovered that he had accomplished the amount of work the usually would take two days to accomplish.  Peter Whitmer Sr. was much impressed with this and said in his own words "There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you would better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown." 

Plaster of paris is something farms laid in their fields to reduce the acidity soil.  But next morning, David went out to fulfill this task when he discovered that the entire field had been spread already and the job was finished.  David asked his sister who had done the work already and she said she watched three strangers the day before spread the plaster with remarkable skill and assumed they were hired workers.  David thanked the Lord for this divine help and set off immediately to fetch Joseph and Oliver.  The three arrived at the Whitmer farm the first of June.

3 Witnesses to the Book of Mormon
The Three Witnesses to The Book of Mormon

Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, each requested of Joseph Smith to inquire of the Lord if they could be witnesses of the gold plates and the translation.  The Bible teaches us that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" 2nd Corinthians 13:1  The Lord gave them a revelation which is recorded as D&C 17 that through faith they would receive a testimony of these things and they would be witnesses to the world of their divine nature.  In our own historical records, 

Thereafter the four men retired to the woods and sought for the promised fulfillment of the revelation. After two unsuccessful attempts, however, Martin Harris felt that his presence was the reason for their failure to receive an answer. He withdrew a distance and offered his private prayers. The other three had no sooner resumed their prayers when Moroni appeared in glory holding the plates in his hands. Joseph recorded, “He turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly. … 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.’

“I now left David and Oliver, and went in pursuit of Martin Harris, whom I found at a considerable distance, fervently engaged in prayer. He soon told me, however, that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord, and earnestly requested me to join him in prayer, that he might also realize the same blessings which we had just received. We accordingly joined in prayer, and ultimately obtained our desires, for before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view, at least it was again opened to me, and I once more beheld and heard the same things; whilst at the same moment, Martin Harris cried out, apparently in an ecstasy of joy, ‘’Tis enough; ’tis enough; mine eyes have beheld; mine eyes have beheld.’”

Map of Waterloo and Fayette, New York and the Peter Whitmer Farm
The testimony of the three witnesses is recorded at the beginning of every copy of the Book of Mormon. Each of these three men, though all for a time fell from the Church, never denied their testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. And in the woods nearby the Peter Whitmer Farm, is where this marvelous manifestation took place. It was here the Book of Mormon was finished, it was here that the Lord allowed three ordinary men to become some of the greatest witnesses of the Restoration.

Information gathered at

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