Conclusion: Witnesses Never Recanted Testimonies
CES Letter Core Question
Do the testimonies of the witnesses not matter because there are testimonies of all sorts of false things like UFOs, big foot, etc?
“THE WITNESSES NEVER RECANTED OR DENIED THEIR TESTIMONIES”
Neither did James Strang’s witnesses; even after they were excommunicated from the church and estranged from Strang. Neither did dozens of Joseph Smith’s neighbors and peers who swore and signed affidavits on Joseph’s and his family’s characters. Neither did many of the Shaker witnesses who signed affidavits that they saw an angel on the roof top holding the Sacred Roll and Book written by founder Ann Lee. Same goes for the numerous people over the centuries who claimed their entire lives to have seen the Virgin Mary and pointing to their experience as evidence that Catholicism is true.
There are also numerous witnesses who have never recanted their sincere testimonies of seeing UFOs, Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, Abominable Snowman, Aliens, and so on.
It simply doesn’t mean anything. People believe in false things their entire lives and never recant. Just because they never denied or recanted their testimonies does not follow that their experience and claims are authentic or that reality matches to what their perceived experience was.
CES Letter, Page 101
The CES Letter reflects the idea that all signed statements are created equal.
At least two of Strang’s witnesses recanted their testimonies with one saying he helped fabricate the plates he testified about.
The author of The CES Letter doesn’t seem to realize that the Three and Eleven Witnesses bore testimony because they believed God commanded them to do so.
The Book of Mormon Witnesses reported they were complying with God’s declaration: “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (D&C 6:28; see also Deut. 19:15, Matt. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1, 1 Tim. 5:19, Heb. 10:28, D&C 128:3).
None of the Three or Eight Witnesses ever recanted their testimonies.
Several Book of Mormon Witnesses left adamant testimonies that they never denied their testimonies.
None of the alleged parallel witnesses—Smith’s neighbors, Shaker witnesses, or thousands who report seeing the Virgin Marry, UFOs, Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, Abominable Snowman, Aliens, and so on—reported a commission from God to bear witness to the world.
The parallel testimonies were not associated with both a divine vision and a starkly physical experience.
The parallel testimonies were not accompanied by later declarations that they never had denied their testimonies.
Faith and Reason 7: Book of Mormon Witnesses, Michael R. Ash, 0:15:32
Mormon FAIR-Cast 150: The Apostasy of the Witnesses, Martin Tanner, 0:19:20