John D. Lee recounts conversation with Luke Johnson, claims Johnsons was a "witness" of the BOM and signed a statement saying he say an angel and the plates.

John D. Lee
Scribed Paraphrase
2nd Hand

John D. Lee, Mormonism Unveiled; or the Life and Confessions of the Late Mormon Bishop, John D. Lee (St. Louis, MO: Bryan, Brand & Co., 1877), 184–185

Bryan, Brand & Company
Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, William Smith, Luke Johnson, John D. Lee
Reading Public

My outfit for the intended journey consisted of a snug light wagon, a span of good mules, a spy-glass and such traps as a man needs on the plains. I also took Dr. Willard’s dog with me to watch while I was asleep. I was ordered to keep my business secret from every one, for fear of being robbed on my return home. I was not allowed to even tell my wives where I was going, or how long I would be gone. I went to St. Joseph, Mo., and put up at John Gheen’s, and stayed there while fitting out for the trip. While there I met Luke Johnson, one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. I had a curiosity to talk with him concerning the same. We took a walk down on the river bank. I asked him if the statement he signed about seeing the angel and the plates, was true. If he did see the plates from which the Book of Mormon was printed or translated. He said it was true. I then said, “How is it that you have left the Church? If the angel appeared to you, and you saw the plates, how can you now live out of the Church? I understand you were one of the twelve apostles at the first organization of the Church?"

“I was one of the twelve,” said he, “ I have not denied the truth of the Book of Mormon. But myself and several others were overtaken in a fault at Kirkland, Ohio—Wm. Smith, Oliver Cowdrey, one or two others, and myself. We were brought up for the offence before the Church authorities. Sidney Rigdon and Wm. Smith were excused, and the matter hushed up. But Cowdrey and myself were proceeded against and our choice given us to make a public confession, or be dropped from the Cfiurch. I refused to make the public confession unless Rigdon and Smith did the same. The authorities said that would not do, for Rigdon was counselor to the Prophet, and Wm. Smith was the brother of the Prophet, and also one of the twelve; but that if Cowdrey and I would confess, it would be a cloak for the other two. I considered this unjust and unfair. So I left the Church for that reason. But I have refiected over the matter much since that time, and I have come to the conclusion that each man is accountable for his own sins, also that the course I have been pursuing injures me alone, and I intend to visit the Saints and again ask to be admitted into the Church. Rigdon has gone to destruction, and Wm. Smith is not much better off to-day than I am.”

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