Martin Harris (May 18, 1783–July 10, 1875) underwrote the first printing of The Book of Mormon and also served as one of Three Witnesses who testified that they had seen the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon had been transcribed.
- BE IT KNOWN unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen. OLIVER COWDERY DAVID WHITMER MARTIN HARRIS
- Book of Mormon, 1830 Edition, p. 585 (1830)
- I received your favor. In reply I will say concerning the plates, I do say that the angel did show to me the plates containing the Book of Mormon. Further, the translation that I carried to Prof. Anthon was copied from these same plates; also, that the professor did testify to it being a correct translation. I do firmly believe and do know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, for without I know, he could not [have] had that gift, neither could he have translated the same. I can give, if you require it, one hundred witnesses to the proof of the Book of Mormon. I defy any man to show to me any passage of scripture that I am not posted on or familiar with. I will answer any questions you feel like asking to the best of my knowledge, if you can rely on my testimony of the same. In conclusion, I can say that I arrived at Utah safe, in good health and spirits, considering the long journey. I am quite well at present and have been, generally speaking, since I arrived. With many respects, I remain your humble friend.
- The True Latter Day Saints’ Herald 22:630, 1875.
- Letter written by Harris to the early Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints newspaper after his arrival in Utah . The letter was addressed to “Mr. Emerson, Sir,” and is dated Smithfield, Utah, Nov. 23rd, 1870. (1870)
Quotes about Martin Harris
- How to reconcile the act of Harris in signing his name to such a statement, in view of the character of honesty which had always been conceded to him, could never be easily explained.
- Pomeroy Tucker, referring to Harris signing the Testimony of the Three Witnesses, Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism, pp. 69-71. (1867)
- Harris was the only man of property or credit known in all Mormondom; and, as will appear, he happened to be exactly the appropriate subject for the prophet's designs; for without his timely aid and pecuniary sacrifice the Golden Bible would probably have remained forever an unpublished romance.
- Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1867), 49–50.