Defending the Faith: The collective witness of Joseph Smith's family

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

“We all had the most implicit confidence in what (Joseph) said,” recalled his brother William late in his life. “He was a truthful boy. Father and mother believed him, why should not the children? I suppose if he had told crooked stories about other things we might have doubted his word about the plates, but Joseph was a truthful boy. That father and mother believed his report and suffered persecution for that belief shows that he was truthful. No, we never doubted his word for one minute.”

Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, directs, chairs, blogs daily at, and speaks only for himself.

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