John Whitmer 6 May 1877 Book of Mormon manuscript letter testimony found on page 39 of Joseph R. Lambert “Scrap-book” journal.

John Whitmer 6 May 1877 testimony alongside excerpted quotes taken from it in pictured brief excerpt used for fair use review purposes of work authored by Mormon historian Richard Lloyd Anderson in his 2005 BYU article, along with bibliography source citation.

John Whitmer 6 May 1877 testimony on page 39 adjacent to un-transcribed “Early Pitman shorthand” text found on page 38 of Lambert Journal.

“Early Pitman shorthand” transcriber Dorothy Roberts in 2006 at the time of her transcription of the “Early Pitman” code found in the Joseph R. Lambert Mormon “Scrap-Book” journal.

Joseph R. Lambert “Scrap-book” journal next to 1870s Whitmer news article clip and seen over Whitmer 6 May 1877 letter testimony.

Book of Mormon signature page to hidden Gold Plates transcription destroyed by 1800’s river flooding causes new document discovery to be only Gold Plates link

We are to gather up all learning and treasure it.”

— Brigham Young

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, July 21, 2023/ — The important 1877 testimony to the Book of Mormon written by the top co-founder of the Mormon Church is now up for sale on eBay under item number: 134644812800.

The asking price is one million dollars.

ARTSANDSCIENCES, the eBay seller, is offering the 6 May 1877 handwritten testimony by Mormon and first Church historian John Whitmer that he had sent to Joseph R. Lambert of the RLDS Church in Missouri at that time. The iconic historic manuscript letter was found pasted into a scrapbook journal over 20 years ago at the Renningers antiques market at Mt. Dora, Florida.


The document has actually been known to the Mormon Church for almost 150 years yet ‘lost’ for almost the same period of time! The scrapbook found was filled with 1870’s Mormon newspaper clippings and pages of odd text written in an unknown form that was first thought to be Mormon hieroglyphics.

For about 6 years after the scrapbook’s discovery by international IEEE historian and Beatles author Richard Warren Lipack, nothing much was understood about it outside of the fact that John Whitmer was identified as one of the Book of Mormon’s Eight Witnesses and that this scrapbook contained a hand written testimony by him sent to Joseph R. Lambert in 1877.

Then the breakthroughs finally came!

At one point, looking through an old book on Pitman shorthand from the late 1800’s at an antiques show, Lipack noticed a certain character he remembered seeing in his Mormon journal. It was the word “God.” After buying the little book on Pitman, Lipack started to contact Pitman shorthand organizations in both the US and Canada, and sent samples of the journal’s text to members to try deciphering the strange code. But to no avail could any of them do it!

It was finally in the year 2006 that on a online Canadian Pitman site historian Lipack was checking that a little two line ‘ad’ for a Dorothy Webb Roberts popped-up. Roberts claimed to be able to transcribe “Early Pitman” shorthand. Dorothy Roberts was originally from England and had worked for the Queen’s Service in South Africa as a shorthand practitioner and secretary. She had perfected the transcription of “Early Pitman” shorthand in 1995 after transcribing three old Civil War diaries – and shortly thereafter was given a Library of Congress citation for being first in the world able to transcribe the lost “Early Pitman” shorthand in these modern times.

Further documentation regarding this important Book of Mormon manuscript testimony can be found at the following links:


As time rolled on, another amazing event occurred, which would suddenly attribute further authentication and provide provenance to the John Whitmer 6 May 1877 Book of Mormon testimony. In 2010, just a few years later after historian Lipack found Dorothy Roberts to do the Journal transcription, he stumbled upon an article by Mormon historian Richard Lloyd Anderson in a Jan. 30, 2005 BYU publication citing a letter dated Jan. 29, 1884, written by none other than Joseph R. Lambert – the same person who received the 1877 testimony found in Lambert’s Journal.

The letter from Joseph R. Lambert was sent to Reorganized Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS) elder E. L. Kelley attesting to a letter dated 6 May, 1877 received from John Whitmer. This was the very letter that historian Lipack had found in the Journal 9 years before! In the 1884 Lambert letter written to E. L. Kelley, Joseph R. Lambert cited some of the very same lines of text that Whitmer had written in his testimony found in the Mormon “Scrap – Book” journal that historian Lipack had found. Serving as a means of authentication, that letter resided in the archives of the Community of Christ Church in Independence, MO.; a church formerly known as the RLDS.

The date of 6 April 1830 has held great significance among Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on that day in the Fayette, New York log cabin of Peter Whitmer, Sr. Witnesses to the gathering included John Whitmer and his brothers David, Peter Jr. and Jacob Whitmer. The Church was formed with the formal signing of its charter on 6 April 1830.

John Whitmer was essentially a co-founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John Whitmer had also served as a scribe during the translation of the sacred Gold plates that Angel Moroni had provided to Church founder Joseph Smith and which were translated to the various scribes, which included John Whitmer – who wrote down the translations.

Many other important events took place in the Whitmer home, back in Fayette, NY. What is interesting is that the Gold plates had been found and received by Joseph Smith near the Whitmer homestead.

Following the LDS Church organization of April 1830, John Whitmer continued to contribute significantly in many vital ways. When Prophet Joseph Smith first heard of the growing number of converts in Kirtland, Ohio, John Whitmer was who he sent out to Kirtland to provide much needed leadership to that area’s Sainthood. After Joseph Smith became settled in Kirtland himself and others began to gather there, in March 1831, commanded by God through the hands of Joseph Smith, John Whitmer was anointed to “write and keep a regular history” as well as to assist Joseph “in transcribing all things which shall be given you” (Documents & Covenants 47:1).

John Whitmer was initially reluctant to act as a historian for the Church, but once confirmation was made for it to be of the will of the Lord, John Whitmer diligently sought to fulfill his task. But then John Whitmer came to be the first Mormon to be excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1837. It was for John Whitmer’s reporting on the truths of indiscretions made by Joseph Smith.

It was at this time in 1837, where John Whitmer had traveled to Far West, Missouri while acting further in his capacity of missionary in drawing more people into the LDS Church there.

Because of financial instability sustained by the Church at the time, in part due to increasing debt needed to pay bank loans to keep a Mormon militia ready against anti-Mormon factions, Joseph Smith had come out to Far West to solicit for Church parishioner’s property. It was in the form of cattle and chickens and such to resell, that Prophet Smith had sought. But the Prophet took these properties carte blanche in the form of a outright theft and Church historian Whitmer printed notice of this in the Church newsletter.

Joseph Smith did not approve of this action of Church historian John Whitmer, as it was embarrassing to him. Thus, in 1837 John Whitmer became the first Mormon to be excommunicated from the LDS. And John Whitmer never returned to the LDS Church, but would always keep and support his 1830 Bible testimony, even to the day he would meet God his maker.

John Whitmer would die on July 11, 1878, approximately 14 months after he executed this most significant testimony to the Book of Mormon for Joseph R. Lambert. The question arises as to if a man so close to death while meeting his maker would tell a lie in the face of the Lord when asserting his testimony involving the Lord?

One would think not.

John Whitmer’s final interview was conducted by P. Wilhelm Poulson in 1878 and published on July 31, 1878, just 20 days after John Whitmer’s July 11, 1878 death.

Regarding handling the Gold plates, Poulson said of John Whitmer; “He handed them uncovered into our hands, and we turned the leaves sufficient to satisfy us.” (1)

There are many contradictions found between historical accounts documenting the Church, but the fact remains by virtue of the authentic John Whitmer testimonial document on eBay that the document being offered represents the most formidable Book of Mormon hand written testimony extant and the only one that will ever be made available for sale publicly.

In fact, in Dan Vogel’s five-volume masterwork: “Early Mormon Documents” published between the years 1996 and 2003, not a single mention of the May 6, 1877 Whitmer testimony is made! Dan Vogel had access to the same RLDS Church archives just as LDS BYU historian Richard Lloyd Anderson would have a few years later. It was however Richard Lloyd Anderson who, in 2005, would publish notice of John Whitmer’s 6 May 1877 testimony just a few years following Dan Vogel’s earlier effort.

Looking through numerous histories, records and even Dan Vogel’s Early Mormon Documents masterwork, one will, after much study will see that just one or two other actual handwritten letters of testimony exist between all of the 3 Witnesses and the 8 Witnesses, and these scant few handwritten testimonies are not as formidable as what is being offered on eBay.

Not long before Joseph Smith was murdered at the Carthage, Ill. jailhouse while awaiting trial in 1844, he had hid the original Harmony PA. executed original Gold plates transcription manuscript behind a cornerstone at the Illinois based Nauvoo House. The thick hand executed manuscript document for the 1830 Book of Mormon contained the signature page attesting as true testimony asserting the authenticity of the statements made in the Book of Mormon as being truthful. Each of the 3 and 8 Witnesses found in the Book of Mormon signed their respective signatures in their own separate hand.

This original Book of Mormon manuscript page in essence was a true affidavit, while the second or better known “Printer’s copy” executed by Oliver Cowdery had all signatures represented executed in Cowdery’s hand – thus making the document a mere non-legal facsimile. Both the original Harmony transcription, now a distressed mostly incomplete remnant and Oliver Cowdery’s executed facsimile “Printer’s Copy,” has remained in possession of what has become the Community of Christ (former RLDS), until recently acquired by what has now become called the Church of Jesus Christ beginning in mid-2018.

Some years after the 1844 murder of Joseph Smith the Mississippi River crested it banks in the area of Nauvoo, and the original Harmony, PA. executed Book of Mormon manuscript became severely soaked. When the manuscript was removed from behind the Nauvoo House cornerstone in 1881 by Louis Bidemon, the second husband of Prophet Smith’s widow Emma, the horrific damage was discovered.

Some 28% of the document remained intact and 72% was destroyed. Most importantly, the signature page was completely destroyed! It no longer existed! The only true viable closest link to the Gold plates was severed forever! This has caused the John Whitmer 6 May 1877 testimony the only true viable direct link left to the Gold Plates of Nephi.

Supportive of this notion is found in Richard Lloyd Anderson’s BYU talks that he gave and also found in his 2005 BYU published work entitled: Attempts to Redefine the Experience of the Eight Witnesses. Here historian Anderson codified that the Book of Mormon is supported by the written and printed testimony of these Witnesses, and that these testimonies serve as legal affidavits.(2)

The very hands that touched and “hefted” the Book of Mormon gold plates are the very hands that wrote the letter of testimony that is now up on eBay for sale.

Emanating from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, new reports began to surface worldwide on August 16, 2018 stating that the Church was going to undergo a name change. This announcement curiously came about not too long after the John Whitmer May 6, 1877 testimony discovery made its way online.

Elder and President Russell M. Nelson stated he had received a “revelation” from the Lord that the LDS Church name should be reduced to merely “Church of Jesus Christ” and that the Church should drop the “of Latter-day Saints” and dump the word “Mormon” from its official nomenclature and website titles.

One statement that soon came forward cited: “Over time, many church communication channels in English will become part of Church of In coming months, Church websites and social media accounts in other languages will be adjusted following a similar pattern, according to the letter.”

To be more specific, the following understandings came forward;

1.) will become
2.) will become
3.) will become
4.) Church social media accounts will now emphasize the name of the Savior’s Church.

The above is just a small list of many changes still to come. Essentially the LDS Church is systematically being converted into a wholly Christ based church. It is clearly following with the same but more dramatic changes that occurred within the Independence, MO based Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1990’s when it became the Community of Christ Church – i.e. a Christ based church. This church actually had drawn-up a new charter and incorporated under the new name.

This change within the RLDS was brought about after the majority of parishioners began to loose faith in the original Mormon doctrine that the RLDS Church had maintained since its inception in the 1860’s at the time Elder Joseph R. Lambert had actually become instrumental in becoming a guiding force behind it. The original RLDS church that Elder Lambert was member of adhered to doctrine based on the original precepts of the 1830 Book of Mormon. The RLDS did not condone blood atonement and polygamy; practices which the LDS began to embrace formally once settling in Utah and then claimed abandonment of same after public and federal government pressure.

The Whitmer 6 May 1877 testimony appears to remain as the foremost surviving core document of the original LDS Church based on the original precepts in the 1830 Book of Mormon bible. The esoteric power and energy emboldened within the Whitmer testimony harbors a potential that can provide Mormon adherents that want to remain true to the original Mormon doctrine, a pivotal accession point where the document’s possession can become a primary catalyst in starting a new LDS Church out of the ashes of the old; because it emboldens pure truth transferred by a primary principal and co-founding of a major religion. The owner believes that this holy relic in the form of a document can actually serve in the form of a powerful sacred talisman if so channeled.


(1) Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:247–249., original in Deseret Evening News, 6 August 1878; citing a letter from P. Wilhelm Poulson to Editors (31 July 1878) from Ovid City, Idaho.

(2) Richard Lloyd Anderson, Attempts to Redefine the Experience of the Eight Witnesses (Salt Lake City, Brigham Young University, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 31, 2005.




Richard Lipack
Barrister Publishers, Inc,
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[email protected]
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Discussion of John Whitmer 6 May 1877 Book of Mormon Testimony

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