Section 12: To David Whitmer



Date Given: June 1829

Location Given: Fayette, New York – Whitmer Farm

Date Canonized: August 17, 1835

Background: Rumors had been circulating for years about Joseph Smith Jr.’s supposed gathering of the Golden Plates and now the dictation and transcription process. One of Oliver Cowdery’s chief purposes of going to Harmony, Pennsylvania was to determine if the stories were true. Cowdery was acquainted with David Whitmer and his family, and told them that he would send them letters about what he learned and sent them at least 3 from Harmony. 

The Whitmer family was very excited about The Book of Mormon and wanted to help in any way they could. In June 1829 the Whitmers invited Smith and Cowdery to live on their farm in Fayette, New York with free room and board so they could complete the dictation and transcription of The Book of Mormon. They accepted the invitation and moved to Fayette.

On the way to Fayette, David Whitmer later in his life recounted that he, Cowdery, and Smith, encountered an old man and had an odd and short conversation along the road. David offered him a ride, but the man politely declined and said that he was going to Cumorah and then disappeared. Smith identified as a heavenly messenger who had taken the plates from his just before they departed for Fayette.

The residents of Fayette were very interested in the dictation and transcription process and wanted to see it be done. They also wanted an opportunity to meet Joseph Smith Jr. This put an even heavier burden on the Whitmers, particularly Mary and Elizabeth Ann, to tend to the visitors.

During this time Joseph Smith Jr. came close to the whole family, especially John, David, and Christian. David and Christian even offered to serve as transcribers to give Cowdery a break. David would go on to be one of the Three Witnesses to The Book of Mormon, and would also claim successorship after the Successionist Crisis.

This revelation was given to David Whitmer through Joseph Smith Jr.’s seer stone after David asked how he could best help. A similar revelations were given to Joseph Smith Sr. (D&C 4), Oliver Cowdery (D&C 6), Hyrum Smith (D&C 10), and Joseph Knight Sr. (D&C 11).


A. A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.

B. Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow;

C. therefore, give heed unto my word.


A. Behold, the field is white already to harvest, therefore, whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God;

B. yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God; therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive, if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.


A. Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion.

B. Keep my commandments in all things; and if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life; which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.


A. And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see;

B. and also, that you may declare repentance unto this generation.


A. Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth; a light which cannot be hid in darkness;

B. wherefore, I must bring forth the fullness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel.

C. And, behold, thou art David, and thou art called to assist; which thing if thou doest, and art faithful, thou shalt be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be thy reward. Amen.