Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Book of Mormon studies, Mormon criticism, golden plates, Hebrew Bible, Joseph Smith, Hugh Nibley


In the past, critics of the Book of Mormon have attacked the alleged absurdity of the Book of Mormon having been written on golden plates and its claim of the existence of an early sixth century B.C. version of the Hebrew Bible written on brass plates. Today, however, critics almost universally admit that there are numerous examples of ancient writing on metal plates. Ironically, some critics now claim instead that knowledge of such plates was readily available in Joseph Smith's day. Hugh Nibley's 1952 observation seems quite prescient: "it will not be long before men forget that in Joseph Smith's day the prophet was mocked and derided for his description of the plates more than anything else."