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Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon

TitleOriginal Manuscript of the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1900
Secondary AuthorsSmith, Joseph F., and Edward H. Anderson
MagazineImprovement Era
Issue Number5
Date PublishedMarch 1900
KeywordsOriginal Manuscript of the Book of Mormon; Whitmer, David

This article gives an account about the possibility that David Whitmer or the Whitmer family possessed the original manuscripts of the Book of Mormon.

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Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon.

As confirming the statement made by President Joseph F. Smith in the November, 1899, number of the ERA, that the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon was deposited in the southeast corner of the Nauvoo House by the Prophet Joseph, on October 2, 1841, and was never at any time in the possession of David Whitmer, the following evidence will be of interest: J. S. Black, of Hinckley, Millard County, writes to the editor of the ERA:

"With elders Andrew Jenson and Edward Stevenson, I made a trip to the Eastern States, in 1889. We called at Richmond, Missouri, and were shown the manuscript of the Book of Mormon in the possession of the Whitmers. We then went to the State of New York, and called on Mr. Gilbert, at Palmyra, the printer of the first copies of the Book of Mormon. From certain marks which he described, familiar to Brother Jenson, we were satisfied that what we had seen at the Whitmers was the printer's copy. Before leaving Salt Lake City, Apostle F. D. Richards showed us a part of what he said was the original manuscript which had been deposited in the Nauvoo House. Upon our arrival in Nauvoo Mr. L. C. Bidaman, the husband of Emma Smith, gave us the remainder of the manuscript in his possession, of which I have quite a roll. When I returned home, I exhibited my manuscript, so obtained, to Lewis Barney, my brother-in-law, and one of the pioneers, who said: 'I stood near the Prophet Joseph, in Nauvoo, and saw him deposit the manuscript and other articles, and heard him say that it was the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon.' "