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Review of Witnesses movie Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2021 9:48 pm

Review of Witnesses movie Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 22, 2021 9:48 pm

This week Bill and Eric go to the movies, taking a look at a Mormon-produced film titled Witnesses. Some things the film gets right, but other things leave the wrong impression. See whether or not the two from MRM give their thumbs up or down.


When sharing your faith with the Latter Day Saints helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics.

For this reason Gorman's research ministry has provided its crash course Mormonism crash course, Mormonism includes concise articles highlighting what LDS leaders and church manuals have taught on issues that will probably come up in a typical conversation. You can find these informative articles. A crash course that's crash course .1 Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are looking at the film called witnesses it was released on June 4, 2021, and of course it is supposed to be a faith promoting film that is been put out by the interpreter foundation, whose president is Dr. Daniel C. Peterson, a BYU professor who strongly believes that the testimony of the three witnesses carries a lot of weight when it comes to the actual existence of the gold plates that Joseph Smith claimed the angel Moron I gave him in 1827 and were eventually translated into what is known today as the book of Mormon.

Getting back to the actual sequence of the film. It kind of jumps back and forth. It opens with a scene of David Witmer being pulled from his house and there's an angry mob there, wanting him to recant and then the scene changes and you have an older David Witmer the date says 1881 in the Supposedly Takes Pl. in Richmond, MO where David Witmer lived at the time, is approached by a man whose character is given the name of I believe it's Ed Wynn Kelly whether that person really exists. I have no idea it's not important, but he supposedly represents the Richmond Democrat newspaper.

He has with him a newspaper and he reads from that newspaper and interview that David Witmer gave to a man by the name of John Murphy Witmer feels that Murphy has misrepresented some of the things that he said in that interview, and so this reporter is wanting quote unquote the truth by citing the Murphy interview. Some of these things get brought up and were hoping that David Witmer is going to clarify them, but there was one thing that was interesting and this is what I found kind of fascinating in this film I have for years had some pretty serious disagreements with this story, the weight of the plates, the metal of the plates and how Mormon apologists have respond to them. I think their arguments are horrible. I think the rebuttals are horrible, but I've noticed that many times in talking about the gold plates. Many of my rebuttals are discussed by Mormon apologists. This film seems to include some of my arguments. They're just not unique with me. Others have seen the same things that I have seen, but one of them is brought out by this reporter wary in this account he talks about. So Joseph Smith and I'm paraphrasing he's holding these plates with one arm and he's fighting off three attackers.

I've actually use those exact words and presentations that I've given in churches and I find it to be quite miraculous if you will that Joseph Smith could do that but that's what were supposed to believe now I know some Mormons think that there was a miracle involved that enable Joseph Smith to do just that. To hold onto these heavy gold plates while fighting off three attackers at three separate times and yet he's able to knock them down with such force that is allowed to run away from these attackers with the plates and foiling their attempts to steal the plates from him. That's interesting. The film doesn't bring out that Joseph Smith had a limp, and he had that limp for much of his life after he had surgery on his leg.

It does mention, though, that the plates were 50 pounds.

It says that specifically in the film that I personally ice.

I scoff at that because the only way you can get these gold plates down to 50 pounds is by one changing the metal from gold to another alloy and I know Dr. Peterson believes and that that they weren't made of pure gold. But if the plates were made of an alloy you have to ask yourself why does the angel refer to them as gold plates and they were referred to as gold plates throughout the film, although, as we mentioned there was a couple of places where it talked about golden plates seen of him being interviewed by this reporter and when he brings up the subject of gold plates.

What does the character David Witmer say in response to that, he says, gold or brass for 10 it makes no difference what you see folks. It does make a difference it makes a difference because the angel said they were gold plates. If the angel existed all in this story. We cannot discount what the angel actually said and how Joseph Smith recorded him the angel says the plates were made of gold. They could not have been made of tin tin would not survive being buried in the ground for that long. So if you don't want to believe it's gold you have to come up with some kind of metal that is going to endure being buried in the ground in the climate that Palmyra, New York, because we should go right straight to Joseph Smith's own words. This is Joseph Smith history chapter 1 verse 34.

This is found in the standard works in the Pearl of great price.

It says Joseph Smith is writing and he stopped referring to the angel.

He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent so according to the angel as you mentioned, according to LDS scripture gold is the material that was used only understand that in the making of this film.

Naturally they had a couple of props. They had a lighter set of gold plates and the heavier set of gold plates.

In looking at pictures that are on the Internet. These scenes that I've seen on the Internet were not in the film so I'm taking it that these pictures were just done on the Sabbath didn't make their way into the film, but you can clearly see the prop representing the goal plates. It's interesting because they don't look like they're all metal. It looks very similar to that phony set a goal plates that the church history Museum pulls out and lets people lift telling people that there 50 pounds even though you can clearly see that what you're lifting is not something that's made entirely of metal plates. Most of it looks like I shrunk the plaster probably wrapped around brick of some sort. I don't really even know what the material is, but only a portion of that display are made of actual metal plates. This film has something very similar to it. When you look at the picture, not hard to see in the movie because everything is happening so fast, but the photographs that you can find on the web clearly show with these plates. This prop looks like it doesn't look like it's all metal plates, at least not the size that Joseph Smith described being 6" x 8" x 6" deep. Why does it make a difference. The weight of the plates while a big reason is Joseph Smith is seen carrying these plates in the movie as if they really are no weight at all. And as you have documented so many times gold ways 1200 pounds per cubic foot and 6 x 8 x 6 as you mention is the six of a cubic foot. That would make it 200 pounds. So what you have to do. Somehow you have to make it 40 or 50 pounds which still would be a very difficult weight, but the way that the movie portrays it. If I'm somebody who doesn't know very much at all.

You just say okay was just caring is plates. It's not a problem. He puts them under his arm. He fights off these attackers, but he could not do that, even with 50 pounds but with 200 pounds.

The illustration that you do on the streets.

Bill is perfect because you're using Sheetmetal the same size can be about 80 pounds and that's an incredible amount just by itself to have it be 200 pounds, you can't have that.

But you wouldn't know about this controversy. Watching this movie. But as the film says that the plates weigh about 50 pounds will I happen to have a set of plates that are 50 pounds, 53, I think exactly because that's the number that a Mormon metallurgist by the name of Reed Putnam came up with. I think he said 53 pounds and that's where I got that when you pick up my 53 pounds worth of plates and there only about 4 inches thick. There 6" x 8 x 4" deep. Their heavy their extremely happy and when I have people pick up my 50 pound plates. I don't have them on a wooden stand where they can easily stick their fingers underneath that they have to pick them up as they lie in them. They're very awkward and I'll tell you, some having carried my own plates around that are 53 pounds and I'm watching that actor in the film, they're not the same whenever he's carrion is not 50 pounds. If you want to get a good idea of how much this is going away. Go to the Utah lighthouse bookstore. That's in Salt Lake City across the street from the ballpark. Sandra Tanner has led plates of the same size and those way 118 pounds.

I had some people in there recently and they were trying to pick them up and they said they said to her, these nail down. It is screwed into the the table. Now they're not. I think this is important for people to understand that the movie very clearly says that there gold, in fact, there's one scene where the question is asked why not just show them that everyone Joseph and he says there gold people would try to steal them when he says that in the film, you can't help but chuckle, at least in your breath. Wait a minute you just showed a scene of men trying to steal them.

And he didn't put them on display but somehow the word got out, and who knows where that came from come from Martin Harris could've been Joseph Smith who leaked the story but apparently evil man knew that he had some kind of gold plates and they wanted to steal them even though they had not seen such plates. So I don't know if that argument really helps the case here, but we heard something very similar at the conference center across from Temple Square. We asked the lady about that very thing. Why would it be a problem to put the plates on display well. Can you imagine what you would have to do to protect those goal plates that would be worth quite a bit of money. But then there's a lot of valuable material on Temple Square in the Museum. There are several museums throughout the world that have very valuable artifacts on display in somehow they're able to protect those artifacts so I don't know if that's a really good argument to say will why don't we have the plates and they needed to be taken back by the angel, it just seems to make Joseph Smith story seem less credible. There's no example of any of these kind of artifacts available for us today to examine.

We have to go purely on the word of Joseph Smith and as a Christian examining Joseph Smith's life, teachings and character.

I would say that's a pretty dangerous thing to do is to trust in someone like Joseph Smith as I feel it's dangerous to trust in men like Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdrey and David Witmer. Why would I want to place my trust in them just because they seem to verify this walk that in and of itself is problematic has teachings in there that as a Christian I find highly offensive and doctrine that is not only bad news. It certainly is not the gospel. It has requirements in the book of Mormon that I've not found any latter-day St. to be living up to. Why would you want to have this book be something from God because if the book of Mormon is true and we are going to be judged by the words in that book, then how is anyone going to be saved. I just don't see why a person would want to do that. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter is research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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