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18-Year Old Sarah Heller Conrad


In 1829 18-year old Sarah Heller Conrad who may have been a cousin of the Whitmers was at the Whitmer home during the translation of the Book of Mormon.  She was an unmarried housekeeper in the Whitmer home during the time Joseph Smith and others were translating the Book of Mormon. Oliver B. Huntington met her at an old folks outing in 1897 and recorded her story in his diary:

"I conversed with one old lady 88 years old who lived with David Whitmer when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon in upper room of the house, and she, only a girl, saw them come down from the translating room several times, when they looked so exceedingly white and strange that she inquired of Mrs. Whitmer the cause of their unusual appearance, but Mr. Whitmer was unwilling to tell the hired girl, the true cause as it was a sacred holy event connected with a holly sacred work which was opposed and persecuted by nearly every one who heard of it.  The girl felt so strange and unusual [about] the appearance, she finally told Mrs. Whitmer that she would not stay with her until she knew the cause of the strange looks of these men.  Sister Whitmer then told her what the men were doing in the room above and that the power of God was so great in the room that they could hardly endure it; at times angels were in the room in their glory which nearly consumed them.  This satisfied the girl and opened the way to embrace the gospel"  (The Translation of the Book of Mormon: Basic Historical Information, by John W. Welch and Tim Rathbone, FARMS)

 Sarah Conrad Bunnell told the same story to her granddaughter, Pearl Bunnell Newell, who at 86 vividly remembers her grandmother's description:
"And she said they would go up into the attic, and they would stay all day. When they came down, they looked more like heavenly beings than they did just ordinary men."
(The Era, April 1970) page 21

Note: Exodus 34:29-35


Conrad's Witness of the Book of Mormon (Book of Mormon Central)