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 Mary Elsa <I>Musselman</I> Whitmer

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Mary Elsa Musselman Whitmer

  • Birth 27 Aug 1778 Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death Jan 1856 Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA
  • Burial Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA
  • Memorial ID 10749856

Mormon Folklore Figure. Matriarch of the Whitmer family, influential members of the early Mormon Church. She is the only woman reported to have seen the golden plates associated with the Book of Mormons. Joseph and Emma Smith had been invited to board at the family farm while the translation of the plates was completed. Overwhelmed with the responsibilities of hosting the Smith's and company, she told of a visit by Brother Nephi who explained the nature of the work involved. "He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description subsequently given by the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. This strange person turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them; after which he told her to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end. The personage then suddenly vanished with the plates." Mary and her family would follow the Smith's from New York into Ohio and Missouri; leaving the church in 1838 when two of her sons were excommunicated.

Bio by: Beth Painter


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Carl W. McBrayer
  • Added: 10 Apr 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10749856
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Elsa Musselman Whitmer (27 Aug 1778–Jan 1856), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10749856, citing Pioneer Cemetery, Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .