James H. Moyle recalls his experience interviewing David Whitmer in 1885.

James H. Moyle

"Elder James H. Moyle," in Testimonies of the Divinity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comp. Joseph E. Cardon and Samuel O. Bennion (Independence, MO: Zion's Printing and Publishing Company, 1930), 302–305

Zion's Printing and Publishing Company
David Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Jr., James H. Moyle
Reading Public


President of the Eastern States Mission from November 24, 1928, to the present time.

As the shades of life commence to appear more distinctly, my knowledge of the divinity of the Gospel, the assurance of immortality, becomes more than ever the most highly cherished achievement of life. I am certain that so-called "Mormonism" has made me a better citizen, husband and father, than I otherwise would have been. That it has contributed to a better physical development, has instilled into my very soul higher and more unselfish aspirations, a greater desire to be of service to fellow-men, greater respect for family ties, love of country and kindred, virtue and sense of responsibility to Deity. Such I am sure are the fruits of living the life of a Latter-day Saint. Every fiber of my being, all my sensİbilities create in me the knowledge of its divinity, the priceless assurance that it is of God. To this is added the experiences of my entire life, now far spent, the lives and testimonies of those I most respect, including my good parents, who were reared in the Church, my mother born in it; her parents were intimate with the Prophet Joseph Smith and those most intimately associated with him; their devotion and love for him and the Gospel, witlh the sacrifices they made, in giving up a good home, family and kindred to cast their lot in Kirtland, with a hated, despised and persecuted people; again giving up their Kirtland home to live on the borders of civilization, with the uncivilized on one side and bloodthirsty mobs on the other. They had scarcely landed in Missouri when they led for their lives, driven by those who were worse than the savage Indian, and in the midst of extremities scarcely paralleled in history. Throughout they exhibited a faith never surpassed. They again acquired a good home and farm in Illinois, concerning which my grandfather in his family record, left for his posterity to read, says, "We gave it all for teams and provisions to last us a year on our way to a place of which we knew nothing, except that it was an Indian country far beyond the limits of so-called civilization." Their memorable, unparalleled treck over desert and mountains, for a haven of rest, with all its trials and suffering, was peaceful compared with their past experiences. My Grandfather Moyle drew a handcart 1000 miles with his earthly possessions to find Zion. They were not fanatics. There never were greater lovers of truth and liberty or more devoted saints of God. What parents could bear an earthly testimony more impressive than that which they sacredly confided to their children, of the knowledge which they had of the restoration of the Gospel of their Redeemer, for which they would make any sacrifice. Their lives and works spoke louder than anything they could say.

To their testimony is added that of many choice men and women of similar lives and experience, with whom it has also been my privilege to be acquainted, and hear them relate their experiences and declare their testimony that they were well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph, and that his mission was divine. It was my privilege to hear from the lips of David Whitmer himself in 1885 the solemn and unqualified declaration that he did see the Angel of God, when he presented to the Three Witnesses the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and heard him say that they had been translated correctly. In his testimony to me about three years before his death, he also said in all solemnity that though he was alienated from him, because he had fallen, nevertheless Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and did receive revelations from heaven. He was an old man, respected by his neighbors, well preserved, and intelligent. I a boy, leaving college, just entering upon life's activities, reverently and pathetically appealing for the truth, as he, in his eighties, with hair perfectly white, was contemplating the end of his earthly career. To have been insincere seems impossible, would have made him a hideous, soulless mental deformity.

But more enduring than all else is the testimony which comes from the whispering of the Holy Spirit, of the certainty that God lives, and that we are engaged in His great work of human redemption.

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