Golden Plates

According to Latter Day Saint belief, the golden plates (also called the gold plates or in some 19th-century literature, the golden Bible) are the source from which Joseph Smith, Jr. said he translated the Book of Mormon, a sacred text of the faith. Some witnesses described the plates as weighing from 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg), being golden in color, and being composed of thin metallic pages engraved on both sides and bound with three D-shaped rings.

Smith said he found the plates on September 22, 1823 at a hill near his home in Manchester, New York after an angel directed him to a buried stone box. Smith said the angel at first prevented him from taking the plates, but instructed him to return to the same location in a year. In September, 1827, on his fourth annual attempt to retrieve the plates, Smith returned home with a heavy object wrapped in a frock, which he then put in a box. Though he allowed others to heft the box, he said that the angel had forbidden him to show the plates to anyone until they had been translated from their original "reformed Egyptian" language. Smith dictated the text of the over the next several years, claiming that it was a translation of the plates. He did this by using a seer stone which he placed in the bottom of a hat and then placed the hat over his face to view the words written within the stone. Smith published the translation in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.

Smith eventually obtained testimonies from eleven men, known as the Book of Mormon witnesses, who said they had seen the plates. After the translation was complete, Smith said he returned the plates to their angelic guardian. Therefore, if the plates existed, they cannot now be examined. Latter Day Saints believe the account of the golden plates as a matter of faith, while critics often assert that either Smith manufactured the plates himself or that the Book of Mormon witnesses based their testimony on visions rather than physical experience.

Read more about Golden PlatesOrigin and Historicity, Story of The Golden Plates, Descriptions of The Plates, Significance in The Latter Day Saint Tradition

Other articles related to "golden plates, plates":

Martin Harris (Latter Day Saints) - Book of Mormon Witness
... a record of ancient inhabitants of the Americas engraved on golden plates and that he had been directed by the angel Moroni to translate this work ... a seer stone, Smith saw a translation of the writing on the plates and dictated the words to Harris ... Smith transcribed characters from the plates to a piece of paper, perhaps the one now known as the Anthon transcript ...
Life Of Joseph Smith From 1827 To 1830
... article begins in late 1827, after Smith announced he had obtained a book of Golden Plates buried in a hill, guarded by an angel, near his home in Manchester, New York (near Palmyra village) ... who believed they owned a share of the Golden Plates, Smith was preparing to leave the Palmyra area for his wife's hometown of Harmony, Pennsylvania (now Oakland) ... to the end of 1830, Smith would translate the Golden Plates, publish the Book of Mormon, and establish his Church of Christ ...
Joseph Smith - Life - Founding A Church (1827–30)
... Part of a series on The Book of Mormon Origin Angel Moroni Golden plates Joseph Smith Oliver Cowdery Book of Mormon witnesses Reformed Egyptian Historical authenticity ... some of the characters (what he called "reformed Egyptian") engraved on the plates and then dictated a translation to his wife ... then recanted upon hearing that Smith had received the plates from an angel ...
Lucy Harris - Life
... Smith could replicate what he previously "read" off the golden plates ... a revelation wherein he was instructed not to retranslate the portion of the Golden Plates the 116 pages were taken from ... In part due to their continued disagreement over the legitimacy of Joseph Smith and the golden plates, and because of the loss of his farm, which he had mortgaged to publish the Book of ...
Golden Plates - Significance in The Latter Day Saint Tradition
... The golden plates are significant within the Latter Day Saint movement because they are the reputed source for the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith, Jr ... of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion." However, the golden plates are just one of many known and reputed metal plates with significance in the ... to a long tradition of writing historical records on plates, of which the golden plates are a culmination ...

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