William Pilkington writes letter explaining how he heard Martin Harris bear testimony of the BOM.

William Pilkington
2nd Hand

William Pilkington, Letter, circa 1935, MS 26623, Church History Library

William Pilkington
Hyrum Smith, Martin Harris, William Pilkington, David Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery

14th day of June Martin said he had written One Hundred and Sixteen pages foolscap of the translation. He never acted as a scribe for the Prophet any more, as a circumstance secured which caused him to fall in disfavor with the Lord.

P.S. I have not time to go into details in this letter pertaining to his fall, but if any one wanted to know, if they will write a letter I will tell them.

When Joseph Smith was instructed that three witnesses should be blessed of God with a revelation of the truth of the Book and should be permitted to examine the Plates Martin begged for the previlidge of being one of those witnesses, as also did Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer. Martin Harris humbled himself in prayer to God and solicited the Entreaties of Joseph in his behalf. Joseph joined with him in prayer to Heaven that his humility and contrition might be accepted and that he might find favor with the Lord. The Lord answered Joseph that if Martin continued faithful and humble and refused to be led away again by evil counsels or the vanity of the world, his sins would be forgiven, and that he would be accepted as one of the Witnesses along with Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer.

When the oppertune time came they all went into the woods, and prayed unto the Lord, and at length came an answer, he told me a holy personage decendid in dazzling brightness, which enclothed them, and exhibited to them the Golden Plates and also the other treasures as had been promised. he said that so great was the glory of the vision that he fell upon his face crying. It is enough; it is enough; Mine eyes have beheld the glory of God" and later they give the world the testimony which has since gone forth with the Book of Mormon, declaring to all Nations, Kindreds, Tongues, and people that through the grace of God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ they had seen the Plates containing the holy record; that an Angel of God came down from Heaven and laid before their eyes the Golden Plates, that they beheld the engravings thereon' and that the voice of God declared unto them for a surety that the holy record was true and had been faithfully translated;

Martin Harris was Baptized on the 6th day of April 1830 he came up with the Church all through their mobbings and drivings up to Nauvoo, a few years prior to the murder of the Prophet Joseph Smith all three of the Witnesses fell into disfavor with the Prophet.

After Joseph and Hyrum were Martyred, Martin Harris went back to Kirtland, Ohio, and their he stayed until the latter part of August 1870. When he came to Utah, he said that some said that he had apostized, but not so, nor was he severed from the Church, he was like a sheep outside the fold. But he was never excommunicated, he could never rid himself of the Testimony he had gained. Nor did he ever try.

I lived in the Harris Family for one year and a half, nearly one year prior to his death, and he never tired of telling me about the beauties of the Gospel, and he would ways wind up by saying,

Now Willie, you won't forget to tell the people what I have told you after I am dead and gone, "Will you," and I would invariably tell him "No grandpa I won't. I held up his right arm while he bore what I thought would be his last testimony as he was dying then, but his last testimony came the following day, which was the 10th day of July 1875, when he died. He died at Clarkston, Cache County, Utah, 92 years of age.

Signed, William Pilkington

Smithfield, Utah.

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