Joseph's 1838/39 history describing the experience of the Three Witnesses.

Jun 1839 - Oct 1839
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Scribed Verbatim

Joseph Smith, History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1], [3]–[6], The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed February 13, 2023

James Mulholland
Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery

In the course of the work of translation, <​we​> became we ascertained that this <​three​> <​work​> especial witness[es] were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant, that they should have a see the plates from which this work, (The Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witness[es] should bear testimony of the same publickly to record of the same as will be found recorded Book of Mormon Page [blank] second Edition and Page [blank] first edition——

almost So soon as we had made this discovery, it <​almost immediately​> occurred to, Oliver Cowdery David Whitmer and the aforementioned Martin Harris who had came to see us, and make enquiry how we got along with our work— <​of translation;​> that they would have me enquire of the Lord, to know if they might not obtain of him to be allowed to be these three witnesses and at length <​finally​> they became so very solicitous, and teazed me so much almost without intermission for some time, that I at length complied, and through the Urim and Thummim I obtained <​of the Lord​> for them the folowing

Revelation to Oliver Cowder &c, Book Covenants Page 171

Not many days after the above revelation was given, we four, viz; Martin Harris, <​David Whitmer​> Oliver Cowdery and myself, agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by faithful, and fervent and humble prayer, the fulfillment of the promises given in the this revelation (that they should have a view of the plates &c,) we accordingly made choice of a retired piece of woods convenient, to Fat[her] Mr Whitmer’s <​house​> to which we retired and, having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God, to bestow upon us a realization of those promises. It was deci had been arranged by us pre according to previous arrangement, I commenced by vocal prayer to our Heavenly Father, and in succ and was followed by each of the other three <​rest​> in succession, we however did not yet receive any answer or manifestation of the divine favour in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on and praying fervently to God in regular rotation. but with the same <​unbeneficial​> result as before. Upon our again failing, Martin Harris proposed that he should withdraw himself from us believing, as he expressed himself, that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining the object of our desires at that time. He accordingly withdrew from us, and we k[n]elt 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 to God to <​for these those to​> have a view of. he turned over the plates one by one so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly, He addressed himself to David Whitmer, and said unto him “David, blessed is God <​The Lord​>, and all those who <​he that​> keep<​s​> his commandments”. 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 to you to bear record of the truth thereof, <​what you now see & hear​> Immediately afterwards I <​now​> left these two, 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 of me, to join him in prayer, to the intention that he also might realize the same blessings, which we had just received. we now joined in prayer, and obtained our desires, for before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view at least it was, again to me, and I once more beheld <​and heard​> the same things. Whilst at the same moment, Martin Harris cried out apparently in an extasy of Joy, “’tis enough. ’tis enough mine eyes have beheld, mine eyes have beheld”, and jumping up he shouted Hosanna, and blessed God, and otherwise rejoiced excceedingly.

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