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Emma And William As Witnesses Of The Plates?


Chris Smith

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I seem to recall somebody saying on this board that William and Emma Smith saw and hefted the plates uncovered. But I'm reading a recent Dialogue article right now that appears to contradict that. Does anybody know if I'm recalling correctly? Can anybody provde a reference for either Emma or William seeing the plates without the cloth? Thanks,

-CK

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I seem to recall somebody saying on this board that William and Emma Smith saw and hefted the plates uncovered. But I'm reading a recent Dialogue article right now that appears to contradict that. Does anybody know if I'm recalling correctly? Can anybody provde a reference for either Emma or William seeing the plates without the cloth? Thanks,

-CK

Not unless they saw them with "the eyes of faith" in some sort of vision.

UD

web-host

William Smith Home Page

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Actually, Uncle Dale's site had some problems in my computer. I could not open many of the links. Uncle Dale, what is going on?? :P

SidneyRigdon.com is on a small server that goes down for periodic maintainance -- OliverCowdery.com

and SolomonSpalding.com should be up and running most of the time.

Which domain were you having trouble accessing?

UD

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SidneyRigdon.com is on a small server that goes down for periodic maintainance -- OliverCowdery.com

and SolomonSpalding.com should be up and running most of the time.

Which domain were you having trouble accessing?

UD

William Smith...I could not read some of his writings. He sounds like an interesting guy but he never denied the book of mormon. That is also interesting. He even mentioned the Rigdon/Spaulding theory. Interesting guy.

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Emma said the following-

"The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth, which I had given him to fold in. I once felt the plates as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book." She said she did not remove the covering but said, "I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work."

William said he saw the tow frock the plates were wrapped in and was allowed to feel them. He said-

"We handled them and could tell what they were. They were not quite as large as a Bible. Could tell whether they were round or square. Could raise the leaves this way (raising a few leaves of the Bible before him). One could easily tell they were not a stone, hewn out to deceive, or even a block of wood. Being a mixture of gold and copper, they were much heavier than stone, and very much heavier than wood."

"I was permitted to lift them as they laid in a pillowcase, but not to see them, as it was contrary to the commands he had received. They weighed about 60 lbs. according to the best of my judgement."

He also was quoted as saying, "I could tell they were plates of some kind and that they were fastened together by rings running through the back."

Richard Lloyd Anderson , Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses p.23-24;29

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William Smith...I could not read some of his writings. He sounds like an interesting guy but he never denied the book of mormon. That is also interesting. He even mentioned the Rigdon/Spaulding theory. Interesting guy.

You are right -- the "lavazone" server went down recently and has never come back on line. That blasted

many of my links all the way to perdition and it removed the internet "redirect" over to the replacement

web-pages I've been trying to construct at SidneyRigdon.com.

Unfortunately my progressive neuropathy is preventing me from doing much more than just answering

e-mail and dictating the Rigdon book into a "speak-and-type" program these days. Some people have

volunteered to help update the old web-pages and links, but so far they have produced nothing useful for me.

Why me?

Uncle "ooops! that phase is already spoken for, I see!" Dale

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You are right -- the "lavazone" server went down recently and has never come back on line. That blasted

many of my links all the way to perdition and it removed the internet "redirect" over to the replacement

web-pages I've been trying to construct at SidneyRigdon.com.

Unfortunately my progressive neuropathy is preventing me from doing much more than just answering

e-mail and dictating the Rigdon book into a "speak-and-type" program these days. Some people have

volunteered to help update the old web-pages and links, but so far they have produced nothing useful for me.

Why me?

Uncle "ooops! that phase is already spoken for, I see!" Dale

Ahhh...uncle dale...it is the forces of good that our trying to frustrate your work. You can't fight against the angels and the saints....ummm....I wonder if I sound like a catholic now. <_<

Get well uncle dale...and relax on the beach...and suck on some pineapples. :P

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In past threads dealing with the witnesses and having physically touched and "hefted" the plates, I know that Dr. Peterson has before mentioned that Emma at some point physically saw them and partially touched them. He may be able to provide a source if he has a moment.

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William Smith wasn't a credible person and wouldn't have been an appropriate witness. Emma Smith, however, I think would have made an excellent witness.

Boy, (I mean girl) ! how many times I've heard THAT, among the RLDS, when we were told that the

"Elect Lady's" testimony about our being the one true church, the evil deeds of the Nauvoo Twelve,

and the absence of Smith family secret polygamy was all fully reliable.

Unfortunately a church of many hundreds of thousands of members was built upon the testimony of this

"excellent witness," and we believed any word that fell from her lips, as though it were God's Holy Truth.

Even excellent witnesses will tell bad lies, if they believe it can result in good ends.

I think it is too late now to ever go back and undo all the harm that has been wrought among the RLDS --

thus my citation to charity in another thread of the elderly Reorganite lady here in Hawaii who has claimed

angelic visitations confirming that CoC is the one true church. She has truly been an "excellent witness,"

and her testimony has been repeated from CoC pulpits and used to lure new members out of the Mormon fold.

What a problem!

Your Uncle Dale

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Unfortunately a church of many hundreds of thousands of members was built upon the testimony of this

"excellent witness," and we believed any word that fell from her lips, as though it were God's Holy Truth.

Even excellent witnesses will tell bad lies, if they believe it can result in good ends.

Your Uncle Dale

Emma as time went on, especially after her disagreement with Brigham, became a somewhat different person based on her own experiences when her husband died. However, the early emma, the emma of JS is more believeable. This is just my gut feeling about her. When the early work was progressing she seemed right on board. She was not one to hold her tongue and I am sure that after the persecution began, she would have reddened JS's ears if this was all a fraud, especially after she lost two of her children.

Emma was full of voice, and certainly not the silent type. I wouldn't want to step on her toes.... :P

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Emma as time went on, especially after her disagreement with Brigham, became a somewhat different person based on her own experiences when her husband died. However, the early emma, the emma of JS is more believeable. This is just my gut feeling about her. When the early work was progressing she seemed right on board. She was not one to hold her tongue and I am sure that after the persecution began, she would have reddened JS's ears if this was all a fraud, especially after she lost two of her children.

Emma was full of voice, and certainly not the silent type. I wouldn't want to step on her toes.... :P

If she would have simply told the unvarnished truth, all through the 1860s and 1870s, we might have been

spared the spectacle of the building of the RLDS Church.

But I am not casting stones at the Reorganites -- nearly all of them are good people. Had their ancestors

migrated to The Valley, those passivist, conservative, independent-minded Saints might have served as

a balance against the excesses of the 1850s Mormon Reformation and the run-up to the 1857-58 Utah War.

Then again, my opinion and $3.75 will get you a cup of coffee at the Hilo Starbucks.

Uncle "not that I drink much coffee -- or frequently have 4 bucks to spend -- but opinions? !!!!!!!!!!" Dale

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If she would have simply told the unvarnished truth, all through the 1860s and 1870s, we might have been

spared the spectacle of the building of the RLDS Church.

The only lies that I'm aware of Emma telling were to protect her children. Right or wrong, she was a devoted mother. I doubt she had any idea that she would have so much influence on a religion.

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Well if you're speaking to me now (apparently you are), you've piqued my interest with this. Can you give me a link?

The best place to go for an introduction to this topic is to a paper written by Val Avery and Linda K. Newell

and published in Utah Historical Quarterly #48 (Winter 1980), pp. 81-97, entitled "The Lion and the

Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith." The two historians touch briefly upon this same subject in their

later Mormon Enigma, but without the extensive end-notes and citations of old sources.

Emma's oral testimonials were only recorded on a hit and miss basis, so we have to look to the journals and

correspondence of those RLDS who were close to her, or who attended church services with her, to begin to

get a full picture of what her allegations against the Twelve were. In those days women were expecetd to

"keep quiet in church" unless their participation was actively solicited.

I have yet to compile a folder of all of the statements and actions attributed to Emma after the death of

her husband, but you can begin to get a start on that by going to my old newspapers web-site and doing

searches there -- that will bring out several of her published statements. As for her correspondence and

quotes from her testimony, etc., see the journals and letters of many old-time Saints in the CoC Archives.

Also, just about any issue of the Saints' Herald, published in the 1860s and 1870s will reflect the

beliefs that either came into the RLDS Church with Emma, or which she condoned and supported.

Not having any of that material immediately at hand, I'll have to settle for quoting Emma's sister-in-law,

Catherine Smith Salisbury at a later date. Catherine's words echo what Emma used to say. When I can

locate the appropriate Emma quotes, we can forget about her RLDS sister-in-law -- but for now here's that:

"I was in Nauvoo a few days before my brothers were brought to Carthage, where they met their death. I shall never forget that Saturday, June 23, 1844, when I last saw my brothers alive. Joseph had preached a sermon to the largest crowd I have ever seen. It was his last sermon. I might say that it was more in the nature of a prophecy than a sermon, for he said, turning on the platform where he stood and facing some of the high priests and Elders sitting there: 'There are those among you who will betray me soon; in fact, you have plotted to deliver me up to the enemy to be slain.' The truth of this prophecy is of history. He was betrayed, and by his own alleged best friends. These same fellows attempted to assume the reigns of the church at his death. They not only attempted this, but they attempted to introduce obnoxious teachings into the church. My nephew, the present Joseph Smith, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Lamoni, Ia., is the true and only successor of Joseph Smith, the martyr...."

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/UT/tribune3.htm#062494

See also the many statements made over the years by William Smith, and particularly those he made

against the Twelve after his re-joining the Saints in the RLDS Church. Most of these can also be searched

for at my newspapers site.

My first introduction to this sort of stuff was in Vida E. Smith's 1914 Young People's History...

1914Smth.jpg

I've begun to post that book to the web and will eventually place the rest of its pages on-line.

Your Uncle Dale

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If she would have simply told the unvarnished truth, all through the 1860s and 1870s, we might have been

spared the spectacle of the building of the RLDS Church.

Uncle "not that I drink much coffee -- or frequently have 4 bucks to spend -- but opinions? !!!!!!!!!!" Dale

Emma, I am almost sure, wanted a rival church to the Utah saints. She was a disappointed woman when she lost her husband. She saw much death in the building of the lds church. But Emma being Emma, she just couldn't leave it alone after JS died.

We can also get a glimpse of Emma in the D&C, her mouth in full swing focused on JS. But she also became a hard-nosed woman, molded in steeled over time and when her husband died. She wanted her son to succeed as head of that church and nothing was going to stop her.

Seeing death up close can do this to a person. She was just a tad bitter toward Brigham...that is for sure.

And yet, she stuck with that blasted book the book of mormon. :P

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Not having any of that material immediately at hand, I'll have to settle for quoting Emma's sister-in-law,

Catherine Smith Salisbury at a later date. Catherine's words echo what Emma used to say. When I can

locate the appropriate Emma quotes, we can forget about her RLDS sister-in-law -- but for now here's that:

See also the many statements made over the years by William Smith, and particularly those he made

against the Twelve after his re-joining the Saints in the RLDS Church. Most of these can also be searched

for at my newspapers site.

With all due respect Unk, I'm really not interesting in what William Smith had to say (not even a teeny weeny bit.) I am interested in what Emma did though, so I'll await the quotes.

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I am interested in what Emma did though, so I'll await the quotes.

Here are a few newspaper articles, I recall from off the top of my head:

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NE/miscne02.htm#110244

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYC2.htm#120945

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYC2.htm#121945

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYC2.htm#012646

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/OH/sain1860.htm#120163

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/IL/sain1872.htm#060179

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/IL/sain1872.htm#100179

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYS3.htm#102784

Some of Emma's words and activities can also be found by the search engine here:

http://www.centerplace.org/library/

As for unpublished Emma material, I order photocopies from the CoC Archives

on an infrequent basis and can try to get some of that next time around.

The mods will probably kill me for this copyright infringement, but it is the quickest way I

can begin to respond (being smack in the middle of some earthquake clean-up today).

The Lion and the Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith

By Valeen Tippetts Avery and Linda King Newell*

... [EDITED TO AVOID COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT]

When the exodus west began, everyone was forced to sell fine homes and beautiful farms for a pittance in order to outfit a wagon. It was easy for those crossing the river to look back at the expansive Mansion House, the Homestead, the red brick store, and the foundations of the Nauvoo House, which Emma was not abandoning, and make their private judgments about her generosity. Brigham anxiously looked at her holdings in terms of the cash equity the church so desperately needed.

Emma was in for an equally great disappointment. When Joseph was alive there had been a great deal of entertaining; Emma herself commented that he never liked to eat alone. There were military parades in spectacular uniforms, and only ten months before Joseph's death the Smith family had seen completion of their new home and hostelry. [p.96] Where, then, was all the money? Emma was to learn that the legacy of debt she had inherited would plague her for a long time and that Nauvoo city lots were of little cash value. She was land rich and money poor, and the only explanation she could find for the situation was that somehow Brigham Young must have swindled her out of what should rightfully have been hers.

Traditional postcard photo, RLDS church, Independence, Missouri.

In reality, neither Brigham nor Emma fully understood where the riches had gone, for, in fact, there were no riches. Nauvoo had been built in a speculative economy, and when the Mormons left, the remaining inhabitants of the desolated city could not generate the thriving, bustling economy that had characterized the building up of Zion.

Five months before Joseph Smith's death, Jacob Scott in Nauvoo had written to his daughter in Canada,

Many hundreds come in to Nauvoo, from different parts of the union, and a great number from Europe, & the brick laying continued, plastering & chimney building, until a few days ago—Nauvoo is now a splendid spectacle to view from any point in sight, hundreds of elegant brick buildings, after the mode of different countries and the taste of the owners— and the Saints of other climes, in their respective costumes, is to me a novel & interesting sight.... We confidently expect before long to witness the arrival of Saints from every country in Europe. And the time is not far distant when the Arabians will arrive with their tents & their camels & dromedaries, 'And Etheopia will soon stretch out her hands to God.'38

Emma could not bring herself to leave the dream; Brigham confidently believed he could take it with him. They both erred in assuming that Nauvoo could finance it.

Brigham Young was right—Emma was smart and ingenious— but he underestimated her. She was smart enough to know that he did not always appreciate those qualities in her. He did not understand the relationship Emma had with Joseph. An independent woman, she would have scorned the offer of a "cradle" to carry her across the plains. The Relief Society she had presided over had been dissolved, leaving her without a base of influence. If she went west she probably could have gone as a plural wife of one of the Twelve. She did not choose that future. "I have no friend but God," she said, "and no place to go but home."39

With the passage of time both Brigham and Emma may have seen that their struggle was not entirely of their own making, but their opposition to each other polarized the uncomfortable emotions that many [p.97] of the early Mormons felt as they embraced an unorthodox religion. The "moderate Mormons"40 who remained in Illinois shed such encumbering practices as temple activities and plural marriage, and they blamed Brigham Young for whatever embarrassment they felt about being Latter Day Saints. Among Brigham Young's followers a gradual sentiment developed that there was something sinister about Emma Smith. It became an undercurrent of anticipation: what would be learned about Emma could the depths of hell be probed for an interview?41 Whether or not Emma raised her sons on falsehoods, or Brigham ineptly handled his beloved friend's wife, the most unfortunate result of their conflict was the institutionalized rancor that developed between two churches that claimed the same founder.

Brigham Young and Emma Smith centered their lives around the charismatic Joseph. Brigham loved him and did his bidding; Emma loved him and challenged him. Both died calling his name.42

Uncle Dale

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Wow! Thanks Unk! Now, go help clean up and don't worry about us! (glad you are safe by the way!)

Katherine -- can you copy that Avery/Newell article to your computer or print it out?

I'm feeling guilty about placing the whole thing on the MB, and think I'd better

go back and edit it down to "fair use" proportions.

Let me know when you have all the stuff there you need.

I'll try locate some more later.

Dale

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