A Young Folks' History of the Church
In April, 1838, Oliver Cowdery was cut off from the Church for a number of things that a
Latter-day Saint should not do. He became a lawyer, and went to Michigan. For ten years
he remained away from the Church; but during all that time he never once denied his
testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. Often men tried to have him deny it, but he
stood firm to that truth.
At a meeting held in Kanesville, Iowa, October 21, 1848, Oliver Cowdery spoke and bore
a strong testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the work of God. Shortly after
he asked to be baptized into the Church again. He did not ask for position or honor, he
wanted simply to be a member of the Church. His wish was granted and he was baptized.
While on his way to Utah, Oliver stopped at Richmond, Missouri, to visit his friends, the
Whitmers. While here he died. David Whitmer said of the event:
"Oliver died the happiest man I ever saw. After shaking hands with the family, and
kissing his wife and daughter, he said, 'Now I lay me down for the last time; I am going
to my Savior;' and he died immediately with a smile on his face."
Martin Harris also left the Church. He was rejected at Kirtland, in 1837, and remained
away from the Church for over thirty years; but all this time he testified to the truth of the
Book of Mormon. In 1870, through the labors of Elder Edward Stevenson, Martin Harris
came to Utah and was again baptized into the Church of Christ. For five years he
continued to tell of the truth of the work of God in the meetings of the Saints in Utah. He
died July 10th, 1875, at Clarkston, Cache county, Utah. On the afternoon of his death, he
sat propped up in his bed with a Book of Mormon in his hand bearing his testimony to its
truth to those around him.
David Whitmer, after being with the Saints until 1838, apostatized in Missouri. He
moved to Richmond, Ray county, and lived there to the day of his death, January 25,
1888. He never rejoined the Church; but he always bore a strong testimony that the Book
of Mormon is true. On his death bed he said to those around him:
"I want to say to you all that the Bible and the record of the Nephites (Book of Mormon)
are true, so that you can say that you heard me bear my testimony on my death-bed. God
bless you all. My trust is in Christ forever, worlds without end. Amen."
The world can not deny these three men's testimony. Though they left the Church and in
their darkness they opposed the prophet of the Lord, yet never did they deny what the
angel had shown them. On the same page that the testimony of the three witnesses is
recorded, you will also find the names of eight others who testify to having seen the
plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
Topics.—1. The testimony of the three witnesses. 2. Martin Harris. 3. Oliver Cowdery. 4.
David Whitmer. 5. The eight witnesses.
Questions and Review.—1. Where is the testimony of the three witnesses found? 2.
What does that testimony say? 3. What other testimony is found in the Book of Mormon?
4. How did the three get their testimony? 5. Tell of Martin Harris. 6. Of Oliver Cowdery.
7. Of David Whitmer. 8. Name some things that make their testimony strong. 9. Name
the eight witnesses.