Joseph Smith’s Gold Plates

Audiobook Details


Richard Lyman Bushman

Narrated By:

Kirby Heyborne


8 hrs and 57 mins

File Type:


Release Date:


File Size:

256.19 MB

Audiobook Summary

According to Joseph Smith, in September of 1823, an angel appeared to him and directed him to a hill near his home. Buried there, Smith found a box containing a stack of thin metal sheets, gold in color and covered with what appeared to be ancient engravings. Exactly four years later, the angel instructed Smith to translate the plates into English. When the text was published, a new religion was born.

The plates have had a long and active life, and the question of their reality has hovered over them from the beginning. Months before the Book of Mormon was published, newspapers began reporting on the discovery of a Golden Bible. Within a few years, over a hundred articles had appeared. Critics denounced Smith as a charlatan for claiming to have a wondrous object that he refused to show while believers countered by pointing to witnesses who said they saw the plates. Two hundred years later, the mystery of the gold plates remains.

In this book, renowned historian of Mormonism Richard Lyman Bushman offers a cultural history of the gold plates. Bushman examines how the plates have been imagined by both believers and critics—and by treasure-seekers, novelists, artists, scholars, and others—from Smith’s first encounter with them to the present. Why have they been remembered, and how have they been used? And why do they remain objects of fascination to this day? By examining these questions, Bushman sheds new light on Mormon history and the role of enchantment in the modern world.

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