Witnesses Doubted Experience?
Why did Brigham Young say that the 3 witnesses doubted and disbelieved in their experience? “Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel.” (Journal of Discourses 7:164).
Brigham Young was not speaking of the three witnesses, but of one of the Twelve who had evidently later seen the angel and the plates. The full quote is: “Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel. One of the Quorum of twelve-a young man full of faith and good works, prayed, and the vision of his mind was opened, and the angel of God came and laid the plates before him, and he saw and handled them, and saw the angel, and conversed with him as he would with one of his friends; but after all this, he was left to doubt, and plunged into apostacy [sic], and has continue to contend against this work.” I don’t know who this person was, but if it was a “vision of his mind” and not a real appearance, I can see how he might have come to doubt. I know of no evidence that the three witnesses ever expressed doubt about seeing the angel, and it is disingenuous to use Brigham Young’s words to suggest this.