FairMormon Answers Wiki Table of Contents
: It is claimed that Joseph Smith, Jr. manufactured some metal plates out of tin, copper, or some other metal in order to trick witnesses into thinking he had gold plates. Gold plates of the dimensions described by the witnesses would be too heavy (on the order of 200 lbs) to be realistically lifted and carried as Joseph and others described. This assumption, however, assumes a solid block of gold in the dimensions described, and does not account for the fact that pure gold would have been too fragile to form the thin leaves necessary for engraving.
: It is claimed that Joseph Smith said that the penalty for viewing the gold plates was death, and that this was just a way for Joseph to hide the fact that the plates didn't actually exist.