Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Composition and weight

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An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Described composition and weight

A FairMormon Analysis of: Wikipedia article "Golden plates", a work by author: Various

An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Described composition and weight


 Updated 9/21/2011

Section review

Described composition and weight

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

The plates were first described as "gold", and beginning about 1827, the plates were widely called the "gold bible".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

When the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, the Eight Witnesses described the plates as having "the appearance of gold".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

The Book of Mormon describes the plates as being made of "ore".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people.

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

In 1831, a Palmyra newspaper quoted David Whitmer, one of the Three Witnesses, as having said that the plates were a "whitish yellow color", with "three small rings of the same metal".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith, Jr.'s first published description of the plates said that the plates "had the appearance of gold"

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

But Smith said that Moroni had referred to the plates as "gold." Late in life, Martin Harris stated that the rings holding the plates together were made of silver,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

and he said the plates themselves, based on their heft of "forty or fifty pounds" (18–23 kg),

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

"were lead or gold".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Citing sources off-site— There is either no citation to support the statement or the citation given is incorrect.
    Violated by COgden —Diff: off-site

    The wiki editor leads the reader to believe the Martin Harris concluded that the plates were either "lead or gold." Harris goes on, however, to state that he knew that Joseph didn't have the means to purchase lead. This is left out of the wiki article, thus altering the meaning of the source being cited. The plates were covered when Martin lifted them, so he could not comment on their appearance at that time—only their weight.
  • The cited source states:

While at Mr. Smith's I hefted the plates, and I knew from the heft that they were lead or gold, and I knew that Joseph had not credit enough to buy so much lead.

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Joseph's brother William Smith, who said he felt the plates inside a pillow case in 1827, said in 1884 that he understood the plates to be "a mixture of gold and copper...much heavier than stone, and very much heavier than wood".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • From the cited source:

One could easily tell that they were not a stone, hewn out to deceive, or even a block of wood. Being a mixture of gold and copper, they were much heavier than stone, and very much heavier than wood.

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Different people estimated the weight of the plates differently. According to Smith's one-time-friend Willard Chase, Smith told him in 1827 that the plates weighed between 40 and 60 pounds (18–27 kg), most likely the latter.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Smith's father Joseph Smith, Sr., who was one of the Eight Witnesses, reportedly weighed them and said in 1830 that they "weighed thirty pounds" (14 kg).

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith's brother, William, said that he lifted them in a pillowcase and thought they "weighed about sixty pounds [27 kg] according to the best of my judgment".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Others who lifted the plates while they were wrapped in cloth or enclosed in a box thought that they weighed about 60 pounds [27 kg]. Martin Harris said that he had "hefted the plates many times, and should think they weighed forty or fifty pounds [18–23 kg]".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith's wife Emma never estimated the weight of the plates but said they were light enough for her to "move them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Citing sources off-site— There is either no citation to support the statement or the citation given is incorrect.
    Violated by COgden —Diff: off-site

    The wiki editor states that Emma "said they were light enough" immediately after stating that she never estimated the weight. The cited source supports the first phrase, but not the second. Emma never said that the plates were "light" at all—she simply stated that she moved them.
  • From the cited source:

I moved them from place to place on the table, as it was necessary in doing my work.

}}

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

None of the witnesses specified the exact size of the plates or the number of leaves contained in them, but one scholar speculates that, had the plates been made of 24-karat gold (which Smith never claimed), they would have weighed about 140 pounds (64 kg).

Author's sources:
  1. Vogel (2004) .

FairMormon Response

References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

Articles on this subject

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