This pertains to a quote that was in the previous CES Letter
Previous Version of the CES Letter
This is from "Theodore Turley's Memorandums," Church Archives, handwriting of Thomas Bullock. The CES Letter excerpt is in red:
“[Theodore] Turley said, ‘Gentlemen, I presume there are men here who have heard [John] Corrill say, that Mormonism was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and inspired of God. I now call upon you, John Whitmer: you say Corrill is a moral and a good man; do you believe him when he says the Book of Mormon is true, or when he says it is not true? There are many things published that they say are true, and again turn around and say they are false.’
Whitmer asked, ‘Do you hint at me?’
Turley replied, ‘If the cap fits you, wear it; all I know is that you have published to the world that an angel did present those plates to Joseph Smith.’
Whitmer replied: ‘I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. I handled them;’ and he described how they were hung [on rings], and [said] ‘they were shown to me by a supernatural power;’ he acknowledged all.”
In this interview Whitmer states plaining that he “handled” the plates. Such misrepresentations are unfortunate because the only effect they could have when presented this way is to deceive the reader.
The CES Letter once again employs another “proof-text” by excising a few words from a quotation in order to change their meaning.
68 separate references to the testimonies of the Three witnesses have been accumulated. There are no denials but there are six denials that they ever denied their testimonies. Click here.
This is an example of one of the more egregious misrepresentations in The CES Letter. It quotes a few statements from 9 of the 68 accounts and ignores the rest. Virtually all of them affirm that the Three Witnesses did see and angel and the plates. Click here.
John Whitmer states that the plates were "shown to me by a supernatural power"—
Brief Summary: Some critics of the Restoration have focused on a single statement reportedly made by John Whitmer in 1839 to make it appear as though the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon did not have a physical encounter with the golden plates (as they so testified on the pages of the book itself), but rather a spiritual or visionary experience only. (Click here for full article)
Brief Summary: Some have tried to argue that the Eight witnesses only claimed a 'spiritual' or 'visionary' view of the plates, not a literal, physical one. The witnesses left concrete statements regarding the physical nature of the plates. There were others besides the eleven who saw and felt the plates, and testified that they were real. (Click here for full article)
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