Who was David Whitmer?

“Who was David Whitmer?” Liahona, February 2021

Come, Follow Me

Who was David Whitmer?

Doctrine and Covenants 14–17

February 15–21

Liahona Magazine, 2021/02 Feb

The Lord chose Three Witnesses who would see the Book of Mormon gold plates so they could “testify to the truth of the book and the things therein” (2 Nephi 27:12). One of these witnesses was David Whitmer.

A Helping Hand

David heard about the gold plates while visiting Oliver Cowdery, who was acting as scribe as Joseph Smith translated. Oliver later wrote to David, asking if he and Joseph could stay with him and finish the translation.

David traveled 100 miles (160 km) to Pennsylvania to bring Joseph and Oliver to his parents’ home in New York. David’s interest grew as he watched Joseph translate the Book of Mormon.

Always a Witness

Along with Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, David was shown the plates by an angel and heard the voice of God command them to testify of what they had seen.

Unfortunately, David left the Church a few years later and never returned, but he never denied his testimony. Near the end of his life, David wrote: “I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof, which has so long since been published with [the Book of Mormon], as one of the three witnesses. Those who know me best, well know that I have always adhered to that testimony. And that no man may be misled or doubt my present views in regard to the same, I do again affirm the truth of all of my statements, as then made and published” (An Address to All Believers in Christ [1887], 8–9).