135 years ago today - Jan 23, 1888

David Whitmer [who died two days later] ... He is not and never has been a believer in polygamy. He left the Mormon Church in 1838 on account of their departure from the faith as he believes. ... Smith, who was at that time [1829] living with his father on a farm near Manchester, was indisposed at first to exhibit his treasure [plates], but was finally persuaded to do so. The treasure consisted of a number of golden plates about eight inches long, seven inches wide, and of the thickness of ordinary sheet tin. They were bound together in the shape of a book by three gold rings. A large portion of the leaves were so securely bound together that it was impossible to separate them, but upon the loose leaves were engraved hieroglyphics which were unintelligible to any person who had seen them. With the tablets was an immense pair of spectacles set in a silver bow. Smith announced that he had been commanded to translate the characters upon the plates as soon as possible, and stated further that the work must be done in the presence of three witnesses. Smith, his wife, Cowdery, and Whitmer then proceeded to the house of Whitmer's father, where the work of translation was carried out, Smith reading the characters by means of the magic spectacles, Cowdery, Christian Whitmer, a brother of David, and Smith's wife acting as amanuenses. The work of translation occupied nearly eight months. Smith careles[s]ly tattled to the neighbors of the secrets which they were working out, and as a consequence the plates were taken from him by the angel of the Lord who in place of them gave him a Urim and Thummin of a different shape which he was to place in his hat and on covering his face with the hat he received straightway a direct revelation. ...

["An Old Mormon's Closing Hours," Chicago Tribune, 24 January 1888., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: David Whitmer Interview With Chicago Tribune]

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