I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long! I’m taking a minor break from the Book of Mormon sketches to include some artwork I did of some of the most sacred places in New York. This is a true story I wrote about the only woman to have seen the golden plates (that were translated to the Book of Mormon). It happened in Fayette, New York. If you have any questions about the story or about the golden plates, please leave a comment and I will get back to you, or email me!
Sweet Mary Whitmer knew that taking care of a farming household with many children was hard. However, she soon found that taking care of a farming household with many children plus the Prophet Joseph himself, his friends, and his family was almost unbearable. She felt the weight of this responsibility and almost hit the breaking point one summer. In just a few short months her world changed.
It began early one spring when her son David became enamored with this Joseph Smith character. Through letters to a friend named Oliver, David was convinced Joseph needed to come stay with them on the Whitmer farm to finish some alleged “holy work.” Mary didn’t much like that idea. A stranger coupled with so many odd rumors coming to stay with her family didn’t sound very appealing, that was until the miracles began to occur.
When work on the farm was being completed by three mysterious figures Mary could no longer deny that God was involved somehow. David found himself with enough free time to go retrieve Joseph during the busiest planting season of the year, and after he came, many others soon followed. Mary now knew she had the one living prophet to make comfortable in her home as he completed the translation of a set of golden plates. She sacrificed many of her personal affairs to tend to everyone and never complained. Instead of attending choir she did laundry. Instead of visiting friends and neighbors, she cooked and cleaned. Instead of attending her old church, she made sure the prophet Joseph had privacy. And the worst part of it all was Mary couldn’t even see the process upstairs in her own home that would validate her sacrifice.
Anxiety continued to build. Tears threatened to fall. Mary was relying completely on faith as she labored to allow the smooth translation of these records she wasn’t allowed to see. She may not have persevered if God didn’t show her mercy at the last moment.
One day Mary was on her way out to milk the cow when a gentleman met her at the fence. If some of her guests saw him they would have identified him with the name “Moroni.”
“You have been faithful and diligent in your labors, but you are tired because of the increase of your toil; it is proper therefore that you should witness that your faith may be strengthened,” he told Mary.
Then at that instant the thing she was blindly working for everyday was shown unto her. Mary Whitmer became the one and only woman to see the golden plates. It changed not only her but the whole family as well. The extra strength she gained helped prepare all seven children to become either one of the witnesses of the plates or the wife to one. After the trial of her faith Mary received a witness, divine approval for her efforts, and so much more. The chores didn’t seem quite so hard after that.