Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Location

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A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates
A work by a collaboration of authors (Link to Wikipedia article here)
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An analysis of the Wikipedia article "Golden plates"  Updated 9/21/2011

Reviews of previous revisions of this section

Section review

Reputed location of the plates during translation

From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 113; Harris (1859) , p. 170.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hale (1834) , p. 264; Knight (1833) , p. 3.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  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.


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

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hale (1834) , p. 264; Knight (1833) , p. 3; Smith (1853) , p. 115.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1879) .

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


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

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 124.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


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

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Stevenson (1882) ; Hale (1834) , pp. 264–65; Van Horn (1881) ; Whitmer (1875) ("The plates were not before Joseph while he translated, but seem to have been removed by the custodian angel."). Isaac Hale said that while Joseph was translating, the plates were "hid in the woods" Hale (1834) , p. 264. Joseph Smith, Sr. said they were "hid in the mountains" Palmer (2002) , pp. 2–5.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 115–116. Lucy may have caused the "loss" of the 116 manuscript pages, which Smith had lent her husband.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  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.


From the Wikipedia article:
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."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • 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).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 126.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  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?


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hale (1834) , pp. 264–265.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  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.


From the Wikipedia article:
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.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 137; Salisbury (1895) , p. 16.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

Articles on this subject

FairMormon's Wikipedia Article Reviews


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