Last Testimony of Martin Harris
One of the Witnesses of the Book of Mormon
While at Clarkston a short time before he died, Martin Harris bore strong testimonies as a witness of the Book of Mormon. Ola A. Jenson, ward clerk of Clarkston at the time gives a signed statement of the following testimony of Martin Harris.
It was in Clarkston, Utah, July 1875. Early in the morning a, thought come to my mind that I would go and see how Brother Martin Harris was feeling. It was only three blocks from my home. I heard he was not feeling well. People came from other towns to see Brother Harris and hear him bear his testimony on the Book of Mormon. When I arrived there were two men present. Brother Harris lay on his bed leaning on his elbow. I said, “How are you?” Brother Harris answered slowly, “Pretty well.” “We came to hear your testimony on the Book of Mormon.” “Yes,” he said in a loud voice as he sat up in bed, “I wish that I could speak loud enough that the whole world could hear my testimony. Brother stand over so I can see you.” Then he stretched out his hand and said, “Brother I believe there is an Angel to hear what I shall tell you, and you shall never forget what I shall say. The Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and myself went into a little grove to pray to obtain a promise that we should behold it with our own eyes. That we could testify of it to the world. We prayed two or three times and a length the angel stood before Oliver and David and showed them the plates. But behold I had gone by myself to pray and in my desperation I asked the Prophet to kneel down with me and pray for me that I may also see the plates. And we did so and immediately the Angel stood before me and said, “Look” and when I glanced at him I fell but I stood on my feet and saw the Angel turn the golden leaves over and I said, “It is enough my Lord and my God.” Then I heard the voice of God say the Book is true and translate correctly!”
Martin Harris then turned himself as though he had no more to say and we made ready to go but he spoke again and said, “I will tell you a wonderful thing that happened after Joseph had found the plates. Three of us took some tools to go to the hill and hunt for some more boxes of gold or something, and indeed we found a stone box. We got quite excited about it and dug quite carefully around it and we were ready to take it up, but behold by some unseen power the box slipped back into the hill. We stood there and looked at it and one of us took a crowbar and tried to drive it through the lid and hold it but the bar glanced off and broke off one corner of the box. Sometime that box will be found and you will see the corner broken off and then you will know I have told the truth again.”
“Brother as sure as you are standing here and see me, just so sure did I see the golden plates in His hand and He showed them to me. I have promised that I will bear witness of this truth both here and hereafter.” His lips trembled and tears came into his eyes. I should liked to have asked one more question but I failed to do so. But I refreshed myself and shook hands and thanked him and left.
When I think of the day I stood before Martin Harris and saw him stretch forth his hand and raise his voice and hear his testimony, the feeling that thrilled my whole being, I can never forget. Nor can I express the joy that filled my soul. This is a true statement.”
Witness to the above were John Godfrey and James Keep.