John Whitmer said that he handled the plates and they were shown to him by a supernatural power.

Apr 26, 1839
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Scribed Summary

History, 1838-1856, Volume C-1 [2 November 1838 - July 1842], 913, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed August 11, 2021

Thomas Bullock
Theodore Turley, Thomas Bullock, Joseph Smith, Jr., John Whitmer, John Corrill
General Public

[Theodore] Turley said, “Gentlemen, I presume there are men here who have heard [John] Corrill say, that ‘Mormonism’ was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and inspired of God. I now call upon you, John Whitmer: you say Corrill is a moral and a good man; do you believe him when he says the Book of Mormon is true, or when he says it is not true? There are many things published that they say are true, and again turn around and say they are false?” Whitmer asked, “Do you hint at me?” Turley replied, “If the cap fits you, wear it; all I know is that you have published to the world that an angel did present those plates to Joseph Smith.” Whitmer replied: “I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;” and he described how they were hung, and “they were shown to me by a supernatural power;” he acknowledged all. Turley asked him, “Why is not the translation now true?” He said, “I could not read it [in the original] and I do not know whether it [i.e., the translation] is true or not.” Whitmer testified all this in the presence of eight men.

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