Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Receiving

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A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates
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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

Receiving the plates

From the Wikipedia article:
The next annual visit on September 22, 1827 would be, Smith told associates, his last chance to receive the plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Knight (1833) , p. 3.

FAIR's analysis:

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

    According to Joseph Knight, Joseph told him that he might obtain the plates on the next annual visit and that if not "he never would have them." The wiki editor has reworded this as "Smith told associates."
  • From the cited source,

He [Joseph Smith] had talked with me and told me the Conversation he had with the personage which told him if he would Do right according to the will of God he mite obtain [the plates] the 22nt Day of Septemer Next and if not he never would have them.


From the Wikipedia article:
According to Brigham Young, as the scheduled final date to obtain the plates approached, several Palmyra residents expressed concern "that they were going to lose that treasure" and sent for a skilled necromancer from 60 miles (96 km) away, encouraging him to make three separate trips to Palmyra to find the plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Young (1855) , p. 180.

FAIR's analysis:

I well knew a man who, to get the plates, rode over sixty miles three times the same season they were obtained by Joseph Smith. About the time of their being delivered to Joseph by the angel, the friends of this man sent for him, and informed him that they were going to lose that treasure, though they did not know what it was. The man I refer to was a fortune-teller, a necromancer, an astrologer, a soothsayer, and possessed as much talent as any man that walked on the American soil, and was one of the wickedest men I ever saw. The last time he went to obtain the treasure he knew where it was, and told where it was, but did not know its value. Allow me to tell you that a Baptist deacon and others of Joseph's neighbors were the very men who sent for this necromancer the last time he went for the treasure. I never heard a man who could swear like that astrologer; he swore scientifically, by rule, by note. To those who love swearing, it was musical to hear him, but not so to me, for I would leave his presence. He would call Joseph everything that was bad, and say, "I believe he will get the treasure after all." He did get it, and the war commenced directly.


From the Wikipedia article:
During one of these trips, the unnamed necromancer is said to have discovered the location, but was unable to determine the value of the plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Young (1855) , pp. 180–81.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
A few days prior to the September 22, 1827 visit to the hill, Smith's loyal treasure-hunting friends Josiah Stowell and Joseph Knight, Sr. traveled to Palmyra, in part, to be there during Smith's scheduled visit to the hill.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Knight (1833) , p. 3 (Saying Knight went to Rochester on business, and then passed back through Palmyra so that he could be there on September 22); Smith (1853) , p. 99 (Smith's mother, stating Knight and Stowell arrived there September 20, 1827 to inquire on business matters, but stayed at the Smith home until September 22).

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

    The cited sources do not refer to Knight and Stowell as Joseph's "loyal treasure-hunting friends." Per Wikipedia guidelines, a statement such as this could only be used if it were an opinion expressed by a secondary source, and if it were clearly identified as an author's opinion. None of that has occurred in this case.
  •  Violates Wikipedia: No Original Research off-site— Do not use unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position.

    This addition by the wiki editor is original research designed to re-emphasize treasure seeking in conjunction with the retrieval of the plates.
  • For a detailed response, see: Joseph Smith/Money digging


From the Wikipedia article:
Another of Smith's former treasure-hunting associates, Samuel T. Lawrence, was also apparently aware of the approaching date to obtain the plates, and Smith was concerned he might cause trouble.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Knight (1833) , p. 3 (saying Lawrence was a seer, had been to the hill, and knew what was there).

FAIR's analysis:

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

    The cited source says nothing about Samuel Lawrence being "[a]nother of Smith's former treasure-hunting associates." According to Joseph Knight's account, this is everything that he has to say about Samuel Lawrence:

I will say there [was] a man near By the name Samuel Lawrance. He was a Seear [Seer] and he had Bin to the hill and knew about the things in the hill and he was trying to obtain them. He [Joseph Smith] had talked with me and told me the Conversation he had with the personage which told him if he would Do right according to the will of God he mite obtain [the plate] the 22nt Day of September Next and if not he never would have them. Now Joseph was some affraid of him [Samuel Lawrence] that he mite be a trouble to him. He therefore sint his father up to Sams as he Called him near night to see if there was any signs of his going away that night. He told his father to stay till near Dark and if he saw any signs of his going you till if I find him there I will thrash the stumps with him. So the old man came a way and saw no thing like it. This is to shoe [show] the troubles he had from time to time to obtain the plates.


From the Wikipedia article:
Therefore, on the eve of September 22, 1827, the scheduled date for retrieving the plates, Smith dispatched his father to spy on Lawrence's house until dark. If Lawrence attempted to leave, the elder Joseph was to tell him that his son would "thrash the stumps with him" if he found him at the hill.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Knight (1833) , p. 3

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Late at night, Smith took a horse and carriage to the hill Cumorah with his wife Emma.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 100; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15 (Emma "didn't see the records, but she went with him").

FAIR's analysis:

  • It should be noted that the hill was not named "Cumorah" until much later.


From the Wikipedia article:
While Emma stayed behind kneeling in prayer,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Harris (1853) , p. 164.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • From the source,

Joseph took the horse and wagon of old Mr. Stowel, and taking his wife, he went to the place where the plates were concealed, and while he was obtaining them, she kneeled down and prayed.


From the Wikipedia article:
Joseph walked to what he said was the site of the Golden Plates. Some time in the early morning hours, he said he retrieved the plates and hid them in a hollow log on or near Cumorah.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Chase (1833) , p. 246; Smith (1850) , p. 104 (Smith had cut away the bark of a decaying log, placed the plates inside, then covered the log with debris); Harris (1859) , p. 165; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15 (saying Smith "brought them part way home and hid them in a hollow log").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • It should be noted that the hill was not named Cumorah at this point in time.


From the Wikipedia article:
At the same time, Joseph said he received a pair of large spectacles he called the "Urim and Thummim" or "Interpreters", with lenses consisting of two seer stones, which he showed his mother when he returned in the morning.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 101. Smith's friend Joseph Knight said Smith was even more fascinated by the Interpreters than the plates Knight (1833) , p. 3.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
    Note that, at least in this instance, Knight is not referred to as Joseph's "loyal treasure seeking" friend.
  • For a detailed response, see: Joseph Smith/Seer stones


From the Wikipedia article:
Over the next few days, Smith took a well-digging job in nearby Macedon to earn enough money to buy a solid lockable chest in which to put the plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 101.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
By then, however, some of Smith's treasure-seeking company had heard that Smith said he had been successful in obtaining the plates, and they wanted what they believed was their share of the profits from what they viewed as part of a joint venture in treasure hunting.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Harris (1859) , p. 167.

FAIR's analysis:

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

    The cited source does not state that these men comprised Smith's "treasure-seeking company." Martin Harris was skeptical of the money diggers' claims,

"The money-diggers claimed that they had as much right to the plates as Joseph had, as they were in company together. They claimed that Joseph had been traitor, and had appropriated to himself that which belonged to them. For this reason Joseph was afraid of them, and continued concealing the plates....These things had all occurred before I talked with Joseph respecting the plates. But I had the account of it from Joseph, his wife, brothers, sisters, his father and mother. I talked with them separately, that I might get the truth of the matter.


From the Wikipedia article:
Spying once again on the house of Samuel Lawrence, Smith, Sr. determined that a group of ten to twelve of these men, including Lawrence and Willard Chase, had enlisted the talents of a renowned and supposedly talented seer from 60 miles (96 km) away, in an effort to locate where the plates were hidden by means of divination.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 102; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15 (saying that Smith's father "heard that they had got a conjurer, who they said would come and find the plates".

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
When Emma heard of this, she rode a stray horse to Macedon and informed Smith, Jr.,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 103; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15.

FAIR's analysis:

  • It sounds odd to say that Emma "rode a stray horse." Upon looking up the reference, we find that Joseph Smith, Sr. brought a horse that had strayed onto his farm to Emma to ride, since his own team of horses was not available.
  • From Lucy Mack Smith's 1853 manuscript,

"Well," said Emma, "if I had a horse I would go and see him." Mr. Smith then said, "you shall have one in fifteen minutes, for although my team is gone, there is a stray on the place, and I will send William to bring him immediately." In a few minutes William brought up the horse with a large hickory withe round his neck...


From the Wikipedia article:
who reportedly determined through his Urim and Thummim that the plates were safe. He nevertheless hurriedly rode home with Emma.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 103–104.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • The term "Urim and Thummim" was not applied to Joseph's seer stone until years later. Joseph used his seer stone to determine that the plates were safe.
  • From Lucy Mack Smiths 1853 manuscript,

Just before Emma rode up to Mrs. Wells, Joseph, from an impression that he had had, came up out of the well in which he was labouring, and met her not far from the house. Emma immediately informed him of what had transpired, whereupon he looked in the Urim and Thummim, and saw that the Record was as yet safe; nevertheless, he concluded to return with his wife, as something might take place that would render it necessary for him to be at home where he could take care of it.


From the Wikipedia article:
Once home in Manchester, he said he walked to Cumorah, removed the plates from their hiding place, and walked home through the woods and away from the road with the plates wrapped in a linen frock under his arm.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 104–06.

FAIR's analysis:

  • Again, the hill was not called "Cumorah" at this point in time.


From the Wikipedia article:
On the way, he said a man had sprung up from behind a log and struck him a "heavy blow with a gun." "Knocking the man down with a single punch, Joseph ran as fast as he could for about a half mile before he was attacked by a second man trying to get the plates. After similarly overpowering the man, Joseph continued to run, but before he reached the house, a third man hit him with a gun. In striking the last man, Joseph said, he injured his thumb."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Vogel (2004) , p. 99Salisbury (1895) , p. 15; Howe (1834) , p. 246; Smith (1853) , pp. 104–06; Harris (1859) , p. 166.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
He returned home with a dislocated thumb and other minor injuries.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 104–06 (mentioning the dislocated thumb); Harris (1859) , p. 166 (mentioning an injury to his side); Salisbury (1895) , p. 15 (mentioning the dislocated thumb and an injury to his arm).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith sent his father, Joseph Knight, and Josiah Stowell to search for the pursuers, but they found no one.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 105–06; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith is said to have put the plates in a locked chest and hid them in his parents' home in Manchester.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 106; Salisbury (1895) , p. 15.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
He refused to allow anyone, including his family, to view the plates or the other artifacts he said he had in his possession, although some people were allowed to heft them or feel what were said to be the artifacts through a cloth.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Howe (1834) , p. 264; Harris (1859) ; Smith (1884) .

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
A few days after retrieving the plates, Smith brought home what he said was an ancient breastplate, which he said had been hidden in the box at Cumorah with the plates. After letting his mother feel through a thin cloth what she said was the breastplate, he placed it in the locked chest.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 107 (saying she saw the glistening metal, and estimating the breastplate's value at over 500 dollars).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • From Lucy Mack Smith's 1853 manuscript,

It was wrapped in a thin muslin handkerchief, so thin that I could see the glistening metal, and ascertain its proportions without any difficulty.

It was concave on one side, and convex on the other, and extended from the neck downward, as far as the centre of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material, for the purpose of fastening it to the breast, two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips. They were just the width of two of my fingers, (for I measured them,) and they had holes in the end of them to be convenient in fastening.

The whole plate was worth at least five hundred dollars: after I had examined it, Joseph placed it in the chest with the Urim and Thummim.


From the Wikipedia article:
The Smith home was approached "nearly every night" by villagers hoping to find the chest where Smith said the plates were kept.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Salisbury (1895) , p. 15.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
After hearing that a group of them would attempt to enter the house by force, Smith buried the chest under the hearth,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 108; Harris (1859) , pp. 166–67.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • According to Lucy Mack Smith's 1853 manuscript,

Joseph came to the house in great haste, and inquired, if there had been a company of men about. I told him, not a single individual had come to the house since he left. He then said, that a mob would be there that night, if they did not come before that time, to search for the Record, and that it must be removed immediately. .... it was determined that a portion of the hearth should be taken up, and that the REcord and breast-plate should be buried under the same, and then the hearth be relaid, to prevent suspicion.


From the Wikipedia article:
and the family was able to scare away the intended intruders.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 108.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • According to Lucy Mack Smith's 1853 manuscript,

...but the hearth was scarcely relaid when a large company of men well armed came rushing up tot he house. Joseph threw open the doors, and taking a hint from the stratagem of his grandfather Mack, hallooed as if he had a legion at hand, in the meanwhile, giving the word of command with great emphasis; while all the male portion of the family, from the father down to little Carlos, ran out of the house with such fury upon the mob, that it struck them with terror and dismay, and they fled for the little Spartan band into the woods, where they dispersed themselves to their several homes.


From the Wikipedia article:
Fearing the chest might still be discovered, Smith hid it under the floor boards of his parents' old log home nearby, then being used as a cooper shop.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Harris (1859) , p. 167

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Later, Smith told his mother he had taken the plates out of the chest, left the empty chest under the floor boards of the cooper shop, and hid the plates in a barrel of flax. Shortly thereafter the empty box was discovered and the place ransacked by Smith's former treasure-seeking associates,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 107–09; Harris (1859) , p. 167.

FAIR's analysis:

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

    The cited source does not call the mob "Smith's former treasure-seeking associates." This is inferred by the fact that Willard Chase's sister Sally attempted to locate the plates in the Cooper shop using a green stone.
  • From Lucy Smith's 1853 manuscript,

In a short time Joseph received another intimation of the approach of a mob, also of the necessity of removing the Record and breast-plate from the place wherein they were secreted, consequently he took them out of the box in which they were placed, and wrapping them in clothes, carried them across the road to a cooper's shop, and laid then [them] in a quantity of flax which was stowed in the shop loft. After which he nailed up the box again, then tore up the floor of the shop, and put it under the same. ... The next morning we found the floor of the cooper's shop torn up, and the box which was laid under it shivered in pieces.


From the Wikipedia article:
who had enlisted one of the men's sisters to find the hiding place by looking in her seer stone.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 109 The seer was the sister of Willard Chase who said she had "found a green glass, through which she could see many very wonderful things".

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

Articles on this subject

FairMormon's Wikipedia Article Reviews


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