The 8 Witnesses Monument is a fairly recent monument, dedicated in November 19, 2011. The monument is on the old farm of Missourian Micheal Arthur, a "Jack Mormon"(someone who was supportive of the Latter-Day Saints, but not a member).
The monument stands at the grave of two of the eight witnesses of The Book of Mormon, Christian Whitmer and Peter Whitmer Jr.. Like the Three Witnesses, all Eight Witnesses never denied their testimonies of what they saw, although some did leave the Church. The granite of the 8 Witnesses Monument is from the same granite quarry as the 3 Witnesses, that was made 100 years before.
For many years the location of the bodies Christian and Peter Whitmer Jr. was unknown, it was written in the Whitmer family documents that Peter "was buried beside to his brother Christian."
Andrew Jenson, assistant church historian suggested that the site of the grave saying "died on a farm about two miles from Liberty. . . and was buried by the side of his brother Christian." This could have been at the site at the Phelps Settlement on or near the Micheal Arthur land on Little Shoal Creek.
Background of 8 Witnesses Monument
Michael Arthur purchased the 160-acre property in 1827, just a few years before the arrival of the Mormons. When the Latter-Day Saints were expelled from Jackson County in November 1833, they came north to toward Liberty in Clay County and sought work in the area. Mr. Arthur was one of those who opened their hearts, homes and property to the Saints.
Micheal Arthur employed a number of Latter-Day Saints to work on his farm making bricks. Micheal Arthurs property also appears to be the place where the Latter-Day Saints leaders came to hold council meetings and conferences. Kind of like a Church Headquarters in Missouri. Joseph Smith officially discharged Zions Camp from that location. Joseph Smith also organized the Missouri presidency on Arthurs property, with David Whitmer as president, W.W. Phelps and John Whitmer as counselors.
Christian Whitmer died at age 37 on November 27, 1835. Christian had been sick in bed and was a cripple when a mob in November 1833 a mob drove him from Jackson County, and passed away. Peter Whitmer Jr. was also faithful witness to The Book of Mormon and served as a missionary. Peter died on September 22, 1836, five days before his 25th birthday of Tuberculosis.
Know before you Go, 8 Witnesses Monument
The Witnesses Monument was in the most surprising location. It was just off a highway, on a little dirt road, with lots of foliage all over. There is one spot for parking and a fence around a small plot of grass, and that is where the monument is located. Knowing a little history of the location make the little plot of land special. When we were there we did not know why the Monument was there, and it is hard to see any other markers in the area. Knowing it is a new monument in a small pioneer cemetery, make is all make more sense.
The 8 Witnesses Monument is on private property, open to the public. You are welcome to go and see the monument but please treat the area with respect.