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Gold Plates

by Grant R. Hardy

On September 21, 1823, the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and instructed him about a record engraved on thin goldlike sheets. The record, written by Moroni 2, his father Mormon, and other ancient inhabitants of the Americas, was buried in a stone box in a hill not far from the Smith residence. Moroni eventually delivered these plates to Joseph, who translated and published them as the Book of Mormon and returned them to Moroni. While the plates were in Joseph's keeping, others saw them, including eleven witnesses whose testimonies appear in all editions of the book. Various descriptions provided by eyewitnesses suggest that the plates may have been made of a gold alloy, measured about 6 inches by 8 inches (15.2 cm by 20.3 cm), were 6 inches (15.2 cm) thick, and weighed about 50 pounds (22.7 kg).

After Joseph Smith translated the plates, they were returned into the keeping of the Angel Moroni and presumably taken into Heaven.

[See also Why Don't You Have the Plates?; Book of Mormon Plates and Records; Book of Mormon Translation by Joseph Smith; Book of Mormon Witnesses; Plates, Metal.; Basic Beliefs home page; The Gospel of Jesus Christ home page; The Restoration of the Gospel home page)

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, Gold Plates

Copyright 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company

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