September 22nd, 1823 – The Birth of the Mormons

Today-In-History

On September 22nd, 1823Joseph Smith states he found the Golden plates on this date after being directed by God through the Angel Moroni to the place where they were buried.

Joseph Smith Golden plates

According to Latter Day Saint belief, the golden plates (also called the gold plates or in some 19th-century literature, the golden bible) are the source from which Joseph Smith said he translated the Book of Mormon, a sacred text of the faith. Some witnesses described the plates as weighing from 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg), being golden in color, and being composed of thin metallic pages engraved on both sides and bound with three D-shaped rings.

Smith said he found the plates at a hill near his home in Manchester, New York, after the angel Moroni directed him to a buried stone box. Smith said the angel at first prevented him from taking the plates, but instructed him to return to the same location in a year. In September 1827, on his fourth annual attempt to retrieve the plates, Smith returned home with a heavy object wrapped in a frock, which he then put in a box.

Joseph SmithThough he allowed others to heft the box, he said that the angel had forbidden him to show the plates to anyone until they had been translated from their original “reformed Egyptian” language. Smith dictated the text of the Book of Mormon over the next several years, claiming that it was a translation of the plates. He did this by using a seer stone, which he placed in the bottom of a hat and then placed the hat over his face to view the words written within the stone. Smith published the translation in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.

Smith eventually obtained testimonies from eleven men, known as the Book of Mormon witnesses, who said they had seen the plates. After the translation was complete, Smith said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni. Therefore the plates cannot now be examined. Latter Day Saints believe the account of the golden plates as a matter of faith, while critics often assert that either Smith manufactured the plates himself or that the Book of Mormon witnesses based their testimony on visions rather than physical experience.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


 

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar