LDS Question 5: How many witnesses were there to the angel Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith?
If you are sincerely interested in the truth, then have a prayer before you read any of my writings in answers to these questions . . . ask your Heavenly Father to let you know if what you are reading is true; because only God knows all truth. And, should you feel that it is . . . then, welcome, and contact your local missionaries and they will answer all your questions; or, go to lds.org and look for "find a meetinghouse."
Can you imagine what it would be like if YOU, yourself, were at the age of 14 years and saw a very unexpected glorious vision of God the Father and God the Son appear before "you" through a simple prayer you offered in a grove of trees? Who, in all the world, would believe you?!! You'd be criticized and ridiculed and persecuted as mad, yes? People would be quick to find fault with you and your character, and you'd feel very, VERY ALONE, indeed?
You can imagine . . . here this young lad comes out of that grove of trees having seen a vision that would prove every other Christian religion on earth wrong that believes in the Trinity, i.e., that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are all in one essence . . . and are a Spirit, not flesh and bones. So, Joseph was---understandably---dumbfounded and dazed as to the majesty of it all.
The experience had totally taken his strength away and it was a while before he could even stand and leave the grove; but, eventually, he gained his strength and walked to his home. He as mentioned in the last question answered eventually would tell his family (his father, mother and 10 other brothers and sisters) and was accepted and believed by them. But for another 3 1/2 years or so, he would have no other evidence to what he had seen other than his own word. He soon made the mistake of telling a leader of one of the other religious sects that were having the revivals and was surprised at the reaction Joseph received; as the leader told him abruptly that "It was of the devil . . . ", etc., etc.
The word spread quickly, and many people began to make fun of him and persecute him. But, as mentioned in the last question answered (repeated below), Joseph was shown by an angel named Moroni were golden plates and some other important items had been buried centuries before in a concrete box . . . to come forth in these the last days to restore the ancient church that Jesus Christ, himself, founded when He was upon the earth.
To make a long story short . . . to get to the answer of the above question (you can read [or hear read to you] Joseph's own words if you wish by going to the links provided below) . . . Joseph eventually after four years of instruction from the Angel Moroni who had been the very same person who buried the same plates about 421 A.D. was given the golden plates and was commanded to translate 1/3rd of them into English.
11 OTHER WITNESSES:
Joseph took only three months using the ancient interpreters called the "Urim and Thummim" (also buried in the box) to translate the ancient American record into English. That same record, today, is what is called the "Book of Mormon." During the translation process, Joseph was permitted to invite and show three other men to not only be in the presence of the angel, but to also handle the plates page by page; their names were David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris. Though they were prominent, knowledgeable and respected men, for the rest of their lives, none of them ever denied the fact that they had, truly, seen an angel as well as handled the golden plates with their own hands. ALSO, Joseph Smith was permitted to allow 8 other men to see and handle the golden plates themselves . . . and permitted to turn their pages and testify that they were real.
As one of the major purposes of our birth on this earth, we humans are placed here to prove ourselves by faith. To see if we will do as God has commanded and follow him and be faithful to the end of our lives. Hence, when the plates were translated and the witnesses were permitted to behold them; the same plates they handled with the Urim and Thummim (the device used to translate them) were given back to the Angel Moroni to be kept until the Lord comes again.
So, this is the answer of the question . . . there were 11 other people who were permitted to become witnesses of the visitation of the Angel Moroni. 12 all total . . . counting Joseph himself. But, when the Mormon missionaries and/or the members tell of this story, we don't tell it to have anyone believe US . . . but rather ask them to read the Book of Mormon and ask God the Eternal Father if these things are true or not. Because when God answers your prayers . . . you KNOW of a surety, that, indeed, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the truthfulness of the Gospel is again restored to the earth in this dispensation. It is the greatest news of all.
The very same Angel Moroni who is mentioned above was the last prophet to make record in the golden plates Joseph received. In his last chapter written by his hand in the Book of Mormon, Moroni wrote this inspirational verse;
2. And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.
3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
(Moroni: 10:2 5)
So, that's what I did. You know? . . . I really love the Lord . . . and wish to serve Him; so, I took the challenge given to me by the missionaries and I read and prayed about the Book of Mormon . . . figuring, "What harm could it be to read in the Book of Mormon to see if it is, indeed, true?" What could I possibly lose? What could I gain? So, I did . . . and I learned . . . and I have a testimony that I know that it IS true. So, I am now a Mormon . . . for the last 43 years . . . =0).
And, what's more, is that you don't even have to read the whole book before you know . . . just pick it up and, first, pray to ask Heavenly Father and say something like, "Please, Heavenly Father, as I read this book, help me to know if it is truth." You will then see for yourself.
The site links below will provide you the opportunity to either read/listen to Joseph's own story, or read from the pages of the Book of Mormon.
FREE copies are available, just ask me and I will gladly give you one . . . or have one delivered right to your door by the missionaries; then you can ask them any question you may have. Or, you can go to the the following links for free;
To read for yourself the Joseph Smith's story in his own words;
type in the address of lds.org
at the center top of the page, CLICK SCRIPTURES
then CLICK PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
then CLICK JOSEPH SMITH HISTORYIF you wish to listen to it AND read it . . .
. . . then CLICK LISTEN to the right.
To read the Book of Mormon . . .
type in the address lds.org
at the center top of the page, CLICK SCRIPTURES
then, CLICK BOOK OF MORMON
and then CLICK LISTEN if you wish to
hear as well as read, or just sit back and listen.
The story begins 600 B.C. in Jerusalem