Mary Musselman Whitmer's experience was incredible. It's importance, both to her personally and to the work of translation, should not be understated
Mary was the only known woman to have actually seen the plates. Beyond this, Mother Whitmer’s witness of the golden plates’ reality came before the Three and Eight Witnesses had received theirs
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery began the translation of the Book of Mormon in April 1829, but persecution intensified quickly. Eventually, for safety, and so the work could continue uninterrupted, Joseph, Emma, and Oliver relocated to the home of the Whitmer family in Fayette, NY.
Though miracles attended their decision to help the young prophet and his family, the decision to take in and support three more adults was not an easy one. Peter and Mary Whitmer had a large family, and the burden would fall especially hard on Mary.
One day though, in the course of her chores, she went to the barn and met a stranger carrying something like a knapsack. Although she was frightened of the man at first, “…[H]e spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone, and began to explain to her the nature of the work which was going on in her house, and she was filled with inexpressible joy and satisfaction.” The man—an angelic messenger—opened the knapsack, showed Mary a bundle of plates, and “turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them.” He told her “to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer” and made the promise that if Mary did, “she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end.” “From that moment,” related her grandson decades later. “…[M]y grandmother was enabled to perform her household duties with comparative ease, and she felt no more inclination to murmur because her lot was hard.” As he did for Mary Whitmer and countless men and women throughout the scriptures, the Lord will speak to each of us at our times of need. We can each receive our own witness of the truthfulness of the work.
All of the above are Article Excerpts: BCM team, knowhy 455
What are your thoughts on Mary and the responsibility she held?