Comments about ‘About Utah: Book of Mormon witness Martin Harris, 'The Man Who Knew,' died who knows where’

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Published: Sunday, July 29 2012 9:34 p.m. MDT

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Joe Moe
Logan, UT

Awesome story, thanks!

Joe Moe
Logan, UT

Red Corvette, not sure where you got the "spiritual eyes" thing, but even if one witness phrased it that way, there were eleven plus witnesses who saw the gold plates, and some of them held the plates. So you'll have to expand your skepticism.

Also, in the face of skeptics like yourself, and having apostatized from the church as some of them did, would it not have been easier for such to say they were wrong, or lied under pressure, or some such excuse? Yet even those witnesses who were estranged from the church never recanted their testimony of the plates, or the angel that presented the plates to some of them.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Joe Moe
"would it not have been easier for such to say they were wrong, or lied under pressure, or some such excuse? "

Hypothetically, if it were all made up and you're one of the main people in it, you have thousands of followers who sacrificed a lot to join the church... are you sure you really want to tell them it's all made up? I'm pretty sure that runs a high risk of ending violently.

scojos
Draper, UT

John H. Gilbert, the typesetter for most of the book, said that he had asked Harris, "Martin, did you see those plates with your naked eyes?" According to Gilbert, Harris "looked down for an instant, raised his eyes up, and said, 'No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.'"[28] Two other Palmyra residents said that Harris told them that he had seen the plates with "the eye of faith" or "spiritual eyes."[29][30] In 1838, Harris is said to have told an Ohio congregation that "he never saw the plates with his natural eyes, only in vision or imagination."[31] A neighbor of Harris in Kirtland, Ohio, said that Harris "never claimed to have seen [the plates] with his natural eyes, only spiritual vision."[32] NEED MORE ??

scojos
Draper, UT

This is "The man who knew"

"Until 1831, Harris lived in Palmyra, New York, where he was a prosperous farmer. Harris's neighbors considered him both an honest and superstitious man.[3] A biographer wrote that Harris's "imagination was excitable and fecund." For example, Harris once imagined that a sputtering candle was the work of the devil.[4] An acquaintance said that Harris claimed to have seen Jesus in the shape of a deer and walked and talked with him for two or three miles.[5][6] The local Presbyterian minister called him "a visionary fanatic."[7] A friend, who praised Harris as being "universally esteemed as an honest man," also declared that Harris's mind "was overbalanced by 'marvellousness'" and that his belief in earthly visitations of angels and ghosts gave him the local reputation of being crazy.[8] "

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Ok, so the premise is that Mr Harris did not recant his story on his deathbed. And that adds credence to the truthfulness.

Hypothetical question.

If he had recanted and say he made it all up, wouldn't the faithful discredit his deathbed confession?

just saying.

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

@Joe Moe-

#1

On 11 August 1838, Seventy Warren Parrish wrote in a letter, “Martin Harris, one of
the subscribing witnesses, has come out at last, and says he never saw the plates, from
which the book purports to have been translated, except in a vision, and he further says that
any man who has says he has seen them in any other way is a liar, Joseph [Smith] not
excepted.” (Warren Parrish to E. Holmes, 11 Aug. 1838, The Evangelist) (Palmer, p. 205)
“Harris testified to Anthony Metcalf of Elk Horn Idaho, that ‘I never saw the golden plates,
only in a visionary or entranced state… While praying, I passed into a state of
entrancement, and in that state, I saw the angel and the plates.’” (Martin Harris interview by
Anthony Metcalf). (Palmer, p 198)

Joe Moe
Logan, UT

JoeBlow, you are arguing with hypotheticals, not facts. Might as well say, "What if he also said 'I saw a pink monkey reading the Bible'!" Testimony shared over decades, until death especially, is historically given more credence than a random statement, or one that is later rescinded, for logical reasons.

Also (attn: scojos) remember that there were 12 people who signed their names to their statements, and never changed their statements, so focusing on one witness is a red herring, anyway. Believe MH or not, but what about the rest? They said they saw or held the plates themselves. It would a be a strange court of law that would take affidavits from twelve adults saying they saw/held something, with no evidence to the contrary, and not accept it as legal fact.

After all, besides skepticism (which is not all bad, may I say, if it is used wisely), what evidence does ANYONE have that they did NOT see/hold the plates?

Believe what you may about the contents or use of the plates, why would anyone work so hard to debunk their existence, in the face of strong supporting evidence and no contradictory evidence? This perplexes me. My3commentsAreUp:(

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Joe Moe,

My point is this.

This goes to religion in general, but lets use the LDS.

They KNOW that the BOM is true. Therefore, any contradictory information has to have an explanation. Staunch believers leave absolutely no room for the possibility that it is not true.

In searching for the truth, one must leave all possibilities on the table.

Me? I dont know. I think the LDS may have the correct religious flavor. But, I also leave open the possibility that the Buddhists or Muslims may also be the correct one.

And, then there is the real possibility that there is no higher being.

I don't know. And that does not bother me.

Show me a religion that does not have a power, control and money as key elements and you may pique my interest. Until then, they all look to be contrived by man for gain.

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

The tangible evidence of the Book of Mormon is all the evidence given by Divine design with intent to test the faith and eligibility for exaltation of individuals to inherit the Celestial Kingdom. That is what mortality (this life) is all about.

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

@ iron&clay-

"The tangible evidence of the Book of Mormon is all the evidence given by Divine design with intent to test the faith and eligibility for exaltation of individuals to inherit the Celestial Kingdom."

And you know this how? Where is that said in scripture? Which Prophet said this?

It makes far more sense to me that the BoM is not what it claims to be than to think that a God who want's His children to know his plan of happiness would purposely make His truth appear illogical and man made as a test. One can almost hear God saying "I gave you this brain to think with but will now use it against you as a test. I'll trick you by hiding my truth under this mountain of evidence that points directly to fraud. Best of luck."

Or is the Book of Mormon not ancient and a product of 19th century as it appears to be?

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

@lds revelations

The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are, first FAITH in Jesus Christ, second Repentance, third baptism by immersion for remission of sins etc.

Joseph Smith

If you read the tangible evidence of the Book of Mormon it plainly teaches about Jesus Christ atoning for the sins of the world and man's opportunity for exaltation.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

@LDS Revelations

You simply are not aware of all the evidence in favor of the Book of Mormon. Volumes and volumes have been written about the witnesses, the ancient literary patterns in the book that Joseph Smith did not know about, etc. What is illogical, are the numerous theories by critics of how the Book of Mormon came to be - critics cannot even agree on which loose theory they support. Not to mention the contrived explanations by critics about the witnesses - the "spiritual eyes" theory nonsense, etc.

Having a sincere and humble heart, and asking God confirms its truth. Its too bad that it makes so many people angry, because the Book of Mormon's truthfulness is such a wonderful thing.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@Red Corvette

You said - "And it is further unlikely that any of the witnesses would ever recant their stories because that would be an admission of fraud in the first place."

I know this is the newest argument by LDS critics as a means of getting around the fact no Book of Mormon witness ever recanted seeing the plates. I know for awhile the critics argued the witnesses were all mentally ill, but since they couldn't back up this claim, they had to find a new strategy.

@JoeBlow

You said - "If he had recanted and say he made it all up, wouldn't the faithful discredit his deathbed confession?"

One could argue the same hypothetical about anything. If I were to say, "I'm sure if several Book of Mormon cities were discovered tomorrow, the critics would just dismiss those who found them as immoral loonie," would that really win anyone to my side?

This kind of argument holds about as much water as a cup holder.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@scojos

Copy and paste? I'm sure your sources have credibility, but please present them a little better.

@LDS Revelations

You said - "It makes far more sense to me that the BoM is not what it claims to be than to think that a God who want's His children to know his plan of happiness would purposely make His truth appear illogical and man made as a test."

One could make the same argument about the Bible. After all, if Noah really built an arc and had two of every animal on it, why then are some animals in the world only specific to certain continents? Did Noah have tons of snakes on the arc? And what the fish?

Where's the evidence to explain how the Red Sea was divided in two?

You said - "One can almost hear God saying "I gave you this brain to think with but will now use it against you as a test. I'll trick you by hiding my truth under this mountain of evidence that points directly to fraud. Best of luck."

There are people who use their brain so much, they refuse to listen to any argument except their own.

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