A Proclamation by David Whitmer
Unto all Nations, Kindred Tongues and People, unto whom these presents shall come:
It having been represented by one John Murphy, of Polo, Caldwell County, Mo., that I, in a conversation with him last summer, denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the BOOK OF MORMON.
To the end, therefore, that he may understand me now, if he did not then; and that the world may know the truth, I wish now, standing as it were, in the very sunset of life, and in the fear of God, once for all to make this public statement:
That I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof, which has so long since been published with that Book, as one of the three witnesses.
Those who know me best, well know that I have always adhered to that testimony.
And that no man may be misled or doubt my present views in regard to the same, I do again affirm the truth of all of my statements, as then made and published.
He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear; it was no delusion!
What was written is written, and he that readeth let him understand.
And that no one may be deceived or misled by this statement, I wish here to state:
That I do not endorse polygamy or spiritual wifeism. It is a great evil, shocking to the moral sense, and the more so, because practiced in the name of religion. It is of man and not God, and is especially forbidden in the Book of Mormon itself.
I do not endorse the change of the name of the church, for as the wife takes the name of her husband so should the Church of the Lamb of God, take the name of its head, even Christ himself. It is the Church of Christ.
As to the High Priesthood, Jesus Christ himself is the last Great High Priest, this too after the order of Melchisedec, as I understand the Holy Scriptures.
Finally, I do not endorse any of the teachings of the so-called Mormons, of Latter Day Saints, which are in conflict with the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon; for the same gospel is plainly taught in both of these books as I understand the word of God.
And if any man doubt should he not carefully and honestly read and understand the same, before presuming to sit in judgment and condemning the light, which shineth in darkness, and showeth the way of eternal life as pointed out by the unerring hand of God.
In the spirit of Christ who hath said: "Follow thou me, for I am the life, the light and the way." I submit this statement to the world.
God in whom I trust being my judge as to the sincerity of my motives and the faith and hope that is in me of eternal life. My sincere desire is that the world may be benefited by this plain and simple statement of the truth.
And all the honor be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
Richmond, Mo., March 19, 1881
We, the undersigned citizens of Richmond, Ray County, Mo., where David Whitmer has resided since the year A.D. 1838, certify that we have been long and intimately been acquainted with him and know him to be a man of the highest integrity, and of undoubted truth and veracity.
- Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan.
- Hon. Geo. W. Dunn, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.
- Thos. D. Woodson, President of Ray Co. Savings Bank.
- J. T. Child, editor of Conservator.
- H.C. Garner, Cashier of Ray Co. Savings Bank.
- W. A. Holman, County Treasurer.
- J.S. Hughes, Banker, Richmond.
- James Hughes, Banker, Richmond.
- D. P. Whitmer, Attorney-at-Law.
- Hon. Jas. W. Black, Attorney-at-Law.
- L. C. Cantwell, Postmaster, Richmond.
- Geo. I. Wasson, Mayor.
- Jas. A. Davis, County Collector.
- C. J. Hughes, Probate Judge and Presiding Justice of Ray County Court
- Geo. W. Trigg, County Clerk.
- W. W. Mosby, M.D.
- Thos. McGinnis, ex-Sheriff Ray County.
- J. P. Quesenberry, Merchant.
- W. R. Holman, Furniture Merchant.
- Lewis Slaughter, Recorder of Deeds.
- Geo. W. Buchanan, M. D. A.K. Reyburn."
Given at Richmond, Mo., this March 19, A.D. 1881.
Elsewhere [A Proclamation] we publish a letter from David Whitmer, an old and well-known citizen of Ray, as well as an endorsement of his standing as a man, signed by a number of the leading citizens of this community, in reply to some unwarranted aspersions made upon him.
There is no doubt that Mr. Whitmer, who was one of the three witnesses of the authenticity of the gold plates, from which he asserts that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (a facsimile of the characters he now has in his possession with the original records), is firmly convinced of its divine origin, and while he makes no effort to obtrude his views or beliefs, he simply wants the world to know that so far as he is concerned there is no "variableness or shadow of turning."
Having resided here for near a half of a century, it is with no little pride that he points to his past record with the consciousness that he has done nothing derogatory to his character as a citizen and believer in the son of Mary, to warrant such an attack on him, come from what source it may, and now with the lilies of seventy-five winters crowning him like an aureole, and his pilgrimage on earth well nigh ended, he reiterates his former statements, and will leave futurity to solve the problem that he was but a passing witness to its fulfillment.
His attacks on the vileness that has sprung up with the Utah Church, must have a salutary effect upon those bigamists who have made adultery the cornerstone in the edifice of their belief.
[Richmond] Conservator - March 24, 1881
[Was first published as a leaflet, then in the Richmond Conservator newspaper, and finally in his Address to All Believers in Christ.]