Emma Smith (Wife of Joseph Smith)
The plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen tablecloth, which I had given him to fold them in. I once felt of the plates, as they thus lay on the table, tracing their outline and shape. They seemed to be pliable like thick paper, and would rustle with a metallic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb, as one does sometimes thumb the edges of a book….
I did not attempt to handle the plates, other than I have told you, nor uncover them to look at them. I was satisfied that it was the work of God, and therefore did not feel it to be necessary to do so…. I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work. 1
Concerning her belief about the divinity of the Book of Mormon, Emma stated the following
Joseph Smith could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, and was present during the translation of the plates, and had cognizance of things as they transpired, it is marvelous to me, “a marvel and a wonder,” as much so as to anyone else….
My belief is that the Book of Mormon is of divine authenticity–I have not the slightest doubt of it. I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he could at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible. 2
- The Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, p. 290. See also: Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses, p.290.
- Emma Smith interview], The Saints’ Herald, vol. 26, pp. 289, 290 [1 Oct 1879]; cited in Joseph Smith, Heman Conoman Smith, and F. Henry Edwards, The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Independence, Mo: Herald House, 1967), 3:353–358. See also: Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses, p.290.