E. C. Briggs 1884

An Interview with David Whitmer

By E. C. Briggs, April 1884

Source: E. C. Briggs, Interview, cited by Ebbie Richardson, “David Whitmer,” p. 200.

[The following excerpt of an interview with Mr. Whitmer is taken from the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Lamoni: Iowa: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1908) 4:446-47.]

On April 25 [1884], Elder Whitmer was visited by Elders E. C. Briggs and Rudolph Etzenhouser. The following account from the pen of Elder Briggs is interesting both for testimony and historic incidents]

[David Whitmer speaking] “Would you like to see them [the manuscripts]? . . . I was present when Joseph Smith, [Jr.], gave these manuscripts to Oliver [Cowdery]. O it was [page 447] such a solemn charge. He (Joseph) said, `I feel it in my bones that there will be a division in the Church, like it was with the Nephites and Lamanites, and if these manuscripts are not preserved, I fear that the Church may be injured, and when you deliver them up to others, be sure they are left in good hands.’ I now see why they should be preserved. A delegation once waited on me from Utah, Orson Pratt headed it, to secure them. And he said:

“Set your own price on them. There is millions in the treasury and we are authorized to draw any amount from them, so you may not be particular, ask any price.”

I replied, “they are not for sale.” He said:

Why not?”

I answered, “I know that is enough. There is not enough gold in the world to purchase them.” Pratt urged the matter saying:

“You are not very well off, and it will do your children good.”

I then told him, “You have not got enough money in Utah to purchase them.”