Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Location

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An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Reputed location of the plates during translation

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

An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Reputed location of the plates during translation


 Updated 9/21/2011

Section review

Reputed location of the plates during translation

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

When Joseph and Emma moved to Pennsylvania in October 1827, they transported a wooden box, which Smith said contained the plates, hidden in a barrel of beans.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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

For a time the couple stayed in the home of Emma's father Isaac Hale; but when Smith refused to show Hale the plates, Hale banished the concealed objects from his house.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • From Mormonism Unvailed:

I was informed they had brought a wonderful book of Plates down with them. I was shown a box in which it is said they were contained, which had to all appearances, been used as a glass box of the common window glass. I was allowed to feel the weight of the box, and they gave me to understand, that the book of plates was then in the box -- into which, however, I was not allowed to look.

I inquired of Joseph Smith Jr., who was to be the first who would be allowed to see the Book of Plates? He said it was a young child. After this, I became dissatisfied, and informed him that if there was any thing in my house of that description, which I could not be allowed to see, he must take it away; if he did not, I was determined to see it. After that, the Plates were said to be hid in the woods.

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

Afterward, Smith told several of his associates that the plates were hidden in the nearby woods.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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

Emma said that she remembered the plates being on a table in the house, wrapped in a linen tablecloth, which she moved from time to time when it got in the way of her chores.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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

According to Smith's mother, the plates were also stored in a trunk on Emma's bureau.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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

However, Smith did not require the physical presence of the plates in order to translate them.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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

In April 1828, Martin Harris' wife, Lucy, visited Harmony with her husband and demanded to see the plates. When Smith refused to show them to her, she searched the house, grounds, and woods. According to Smith's mother, during the search Lucy was frightened by a large black snake and thus prevented from digging up the plates.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • We are not sure why the word "loss" needs to be included in scare quotes—nobody disputes that the manuscript existed, and that it was indeed lost.

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

As a result of Martin Harris' loss of the 116 pages of manuscript, Smith said that between July and September 1828, the angel Moroni took back both the plates and the Urim and Thummim as a penalty for his having delivered "the manuscript into the hands of a wicked man."

Author's sources:
  1. Smith (1853) , p. 125 (stating that the angel took back the Urim and Thummim, but referring to the revelation that stated the plates were taken too); Smith (1832) , p. 5 (referring only to the plates); Phelps (1833) (a revelation referring only to the plates and to Smith's "gift" to translate).

FairMormon Response

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

According to Smith's mother, the angel returned the objects to Smith on September 22, 1828, the autumn equinox and the anniversary of the day he first received them.

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

    Lucy does not mention the "autumn equinox."
  •  Violates Wikipedia: Neutral Point-of-View off-site— All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.

    In fact, the autumn equinox has been mentioned previously—why is it being mentioned again here? Is it necessary to mention the equinox every time the date September 22 is mentioned?

}}

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

In March 1829, Martin Harris visited Harmony and asked to see the plates. Smith told him that he "would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his tracks in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself." Harris followed these directions but could not find the plates.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • According to Isaac Hale as quoted in Mormonism Unvailed:

Martin Harris informed me that he must have a greater witness, and said that he had talked with Joseph about it -- Joseph informed him that he could not, or durst not show him the plates, but that he (Joseph) would go into the woods where the Book of Plates was, and that after he came back, Harris should follow his track in the snow, and find the Book, and examine it for himself. Harris informed me afterwards, that he followed Smith's directions, and could not find the Plates, and was still dissatisfied.

}}

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

In early June 1829, the unwanted attentions of locals around Harmony necessitated Smith's move to the home of David Whitmer and his parents in Fayette, New York. Smith said that during this move the plates were transported by the angel Moroni, who put them in the garden of the Whitmer house where Smith could recover them. The translation was completed at the Whitmer home.

Author's sources:
  1. Smith (1853) , p. 137; Salisbury (1895) , p. 16.

FairMormon Response

References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

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