Clark Braden, a Church of Christ (Disciples) minister, engaged in a debate with an RLDS missionary, Edmund L. Kelly in February to March of 1884. 

  • Clark Braden’s reputation as a fierce debater was well known, but he was also known to be fast and free with his accusations and facts.
  • Braden actively sought debates and spent a great deal of his life debating what he believed to be error. Braden said he had debated people on “baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit, human creeds, justification by faith only, church organization, soul-sleeping, kingdom-come-ism, Seventh-day-ism, . . . Universalism,” and Mormonism."
  • During the debate Braden demonstrated a greater devotion to winning than historical accuracy. Multiple statements, independent of his claims regarding Martin Harris, can be shown to be in error.
  • This debate occurred nine years after Martin Harris’ death in 1875 so no response to his.
  • In his debate with E. L. Kelley, Braden provided no supportive evidence. The CES Letter reproduces the allegation without any additional documentation to support it accuracy.
  • The CES Letter is technically correct when it tells us that “it has been reported that Martin Harris ‘declared repeatedly that he had as much evidence for a Shaker book he had as for the Book of Mormon.’” However, the dubious nature of the report is not disclosed.

Additional Resources:

Martin Harris had five religions after Mormonism—Some claim that Martin Harris was unstable or flighty because he had five religions after he was excommunicated in 1838

Martin Harris and the Shakers—Some claim that Martin Harris’ testimony is unreliable because he associated with the Shakers after his excommunication in 1838

Tangible Restoration: The Eye Witnesses of The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon Witnesses: Evidence for The Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Witnesses, Part 1: Motives (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Witnesses, Part 2: Oliver Cowdery (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Witnesses, Part 3: Martin Harris (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Witnesses, Part 4: David Whitmer (PFD) by Michael Ash

Explaining Away the Book of Mormon Witnesses (2004 FAIR Conference) by Richard L. Anderson

Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced (PDF) (2006 FAIR Conference) by Daniel C. Peterson

The Cowdery Controversies (PDF) (2007 FAIR Conference) by Larry Morris

The Testimony of Eight by Scott Gordon

Faith and Reason 39: Hidden Records, Michael R. Ash

Faith and Reason 7: Book of Mormon Witnesses, Michael R. Ash

Mormon FAIR-Cast 150: The Apostasy of the Witnesses, Martin Tanner

Mormon FAIR-Cast 150: The Apostasy of the Witnesses,

The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project and Mary Whitmer Witness to the Gold Plates by Royal Skousen

pt 1 Book of Mormon Witnesses and the Restoration

pt 2 Book of Mormon Witnesses and the Restoration

pt 1, Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced 2006 FAIR Conference address

pt 2, Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced 2006 FAIR Conference address

pt 3, Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced 2006 FAIR Conference address

pt 4, Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced 2006 FAIR Conference address

pt 5, Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced 2006 FAIR Conference address