A Remarkable Story – But is it Exaggerated?

A reprint from Mormon Matters.

While reading History of the Church I came across an incredible story as told by Elder Theodore Turley which I wish to share.

On April 5th, 1839, not long after the Mormons had been forcibly removed from Missouri on the authority of Govern Bogg’s extermination order, Theodore Turley, a faithful Mormon, returned Far West with Elder Kimball on a mission to visit the governor and to visit the prisoners in Liberty jail.

As Elder Turley tells the tale, he was at Far West when eight men presented him with the revelation of Joseph Smith given on July 8, 1838 (D&C 118) that stated that the Twelve would “take their leave of the Saints Far West on the building site of the Lord’s House on the 26th of April” (p. 306, vol 3).

This group’s purpose was to assure Elder Turley that there was no possibility that this “prophecy” would come true because if the Twelve returned to fulfill it they’d be killed. (p. 307) Of course Turley defended the prophecy and told the men it would be fulfilled nonetheless. [1]

Amongst this mini-mob was a former member of the Church named John Whitmer. Indeed, he was one of the eight witnesses. The mob then told Elder Turley he should deny the faith even as a former member, John Corrill, was now doing by writing a book against the Church.

According to History of the Church Elder Turley, recognizing John Whitmer’s presence with the group, then tells the following tale: [2]

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