Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Returning the plates

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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

Returning the plates

From the Wikipedia article:
After translation was complete, Smith said he returned the plates to the angel, although he did not elaborate about this experience.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Van Horn (1881) ; Smith (1853) , p. 141.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
According to accounts by several early Mormons, a group of Mormon leaders including Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and possibly others

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Young (1877) , p. 38 (mentioning only Smith and Cowdery); Packer (2004) , pp. 52, 55 (including David Whitmer in the list and describing Whitmer's account of the event, and citing William Horne Dame Diary, 14 January 1855, stating that Hyrum Smith was also in the group).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
accompanied Smith and returned the plates to a cave inside the Hill Cumorah.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Packer (2004) , p. 52.

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 definitively that the plates were returned to a cave inside the Hill Cumorah as the article implies.
  • Packer states:

Was this a real cave that Joseph and others actually walked into, or was it a visionary, or "virtual," experience? The wording of the accounts leaves the issue open.


From the Wikipedia article:
There, Smith is said to have placed the plates on a table near "many wagon loads" of other ancient records, and the Sword of Laban hanging on the cave wall.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Young (1877) , p. 38 (Young said he heard this from Oliver Cowdery).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
According to Brigham Young's understanding, which he said he gained from Cowdery, on a later visit to the cave, the Sword of Laban was said to be unsheathed and placed over the plates, and inscribed with the words "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Young (1877) , p. 38.

FAIR's analysis:

When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ."


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith taught that part of the golden plates were "sealed".

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1842) , p. 707.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
This "sealed" portion is said to contain "a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof".

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 27:7.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Many Latter Day Saints believe that the plates will be kept hidden until a future time when the sealed part will be translated

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Packer (2004) , p. 55.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and, according to one early Mormon leader, transferred from the hill to one of the Mormon temples.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Packer (2004) , p. 55 (quoting a statement by Orson Pratt).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Orson Pratt, The Contributor, September 1882,

But the grand repository of all the numerous records of the ancient nations of the western continent, was located in another department of the hill, and its contents put under the charge of holy angels, until the day should come for them to be transferred to the sacred temple of Zion.


From the Wikipedia article:
David Whitmer is quoted as stating that he saw just the untranslated portion of the plates sitting on the table with the sword (and also a breastplate).

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Packer (2004) , p. 55 (citing reporter Edward Stevenson's 1877 interview with Whitmer).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Apparently, Whitmer was aware of expeditions at Cumorah to locate the sealed portion of the plates through "science and mineral rods," which he said "testify that they are there".

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Packer (2004) , p. 55. At least one Mormon scholar doubts the existence of a Cumorah cave and instead argues that early Mormons saw a vision of a cave in another location.Tvedtnes (1990)

FAIR's analysis:

  • Whitmer's statement,

It was likewise stated to me by David Whitmer in the year 1877 that Oliver Cowdery told him that the Prophet Joseph and himself had seen this room and that it was filled with treasure, and on a table therein were the breastplate and the sword of Laban, as well as the portion of gold plates not yet translated, and that these plates were bound by three small gold rings, and would also be translated, as was the first portion in the days of Joseph. When they are translated much useful information will be brought to light. But till that day arrives, no Rochester adventurers shall ever see them or the treasures, although science and mineral rods testify that they are there.


References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

Articles on this subject

FairMormon's Wikipedia Article Reviews


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