John Whitmer was one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon. In the year 1831 Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, gave a revelation commanding John Whitmer to keep a history of the Mormon church. Even though Whitmer was supposed to have been commanded by God to keep this history, in April of 1838 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon wrote a letter to John Whitmer stating that he was a poor historian and his history would not be published unless "corrections" were made in it. Regardless, John Whitmer retained his original manuscript, and years later it passed into the hands of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Reorganized Church published this history (except for the last three chapters) in 1908 in its Journal History. The last three chapters (preserved in this transcript) are very important as they tell of polygamy and secret bands in Joseph Smith's church.