Edward Stevenson recalls hearing the Three Witnesses bear testimony of the BOM.

Edward Stevenson
2nd Hand

Edward Stevenson, Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet, and the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, UT: The Author, 1893), 4–5, 29–30

Edward Stevenson
Edward Stevenson, Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery
Reading Public

I first saw him [Joseph Smith] in 1834 at Pontiac and the impression made upon my mind by him at that time causes me now much pleasure in presenting the picture to his many friends. … In that same year, 1834, in the midst of many large congregations, the Prophet testified with great power concerning the visit of the Father and the Son, and the conversation he had with them. … Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris were also heard by the writer to testify that they, in open day, stood in the presence of the God who ministered unto the Prophet. And indeed there was a power accompanying these testimonies which was irresistible, and which made deep and lasting impressions.

I was personally favored with many conversations with the three witnesses who God raised up, one of whom was Martin Harris, a near neighbor of Joseph Smith. In 1871, while I was emigrating Martin Harris from Kirtland, Ohio, during our journey of over 2,000 miles, he related many little incidents which occurred in those early times.

One of these incidents that interested me most was when, on a certain occasion, Martin’s neighbors prevailed upon him to drink some wine with them with evident intention of getting him to deny his testimony to the Book of Mormon. Martin drank but little, while his neighbor’s partook more freely. When they were in high glee they asked him if he really believed that he saw the angel of which he had testified.

“No,” said Martin, “I do not believe it.”

“Now,” said they, “we know you are an honest man.”

“Stop a moment,” said Martin, “and properly understand me. My reason for not believing it is that knowledge surpasses belief. Gentlemen, it was in open day when I saw the angel and I testify to you that I know my testimony is true. I do not believe it is true; I know it is.”

The reader can imagine the chagrin that his neighbors felt at this unexpected outcome of their efforts to entrap him.

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