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Alva Beman

Alva Beman was born on May 22, 1775, in Berkshire, Massachusetts. He married in August of 1796, and had eight children. In 1799, the Bemans moved to Levonia, New York. There he became a very successful farmer, and also raised sheep and cattle. His children were all well educated, some even becoming teachers. Around 1827, he met Joseph Smith Sr., and they became lifelong friends. In 1828, he moved again to Avon, New York, in Livingston County.

Alva had been visiting the Smiths during one of the incidents when mobs came to steal the plates. To help protect them, Alva brought Joseph and the plates to his home. There they cached the plates in a box under his hearth where they wouldn’t be found. He wasn’t allowed to see the plates, however he was allowed to feel them under the cloth they were wrapped in. He also reported that when the plates were placed into the box under the hearth they made a metallic "chinking" sound.

Alva would go on to join the church, and travelled with the body of the church to Kirtland, Ohio. There he assisted in the construction of the temple, and would be ordained as the very first Elder’s Quorum president in January 1836. He died in Kirtland, in November 1837, while still holding that calling.

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“Alva Beman was well acquainted with Joseph Smith before the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and on one occasion he assisted the young Prophet in hiding the plated from a mob, who were trying to get them in their possession.  Mr. Beman was permitted to handled the plates wrapped in a thin cloth covering, but did not see them.

Source of Information:
1889 Historical Record
Vol. 5-8 Church Encyclopedia, 
Book 1 Edited & Published by Andrew Jenson,
Salt Lake City, Utah

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References:
Journal of Joseph B. Noble, Autobiographical Sketch, 1810–1836
Backman & Cook eds. Kirtland Elders' Quorum Record (1985), p.34
Mary (Beman) Noble Autobiography, BYU-S, p.15 - p.16
Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 110
Information from & by permission of:
Kelly Bingham
Website: "Moroni's Latter-Day Saint Page"
Edited by Phil Michel