Friday, June 26, 2009

The Golden Plates

golden plates coloring page
I started today conducting a search for "Golden Plate Coloring Pages". I was surprised to not find but one crude attempt among the top ten listing and only the first 4 or so having anything to do with the Golden Plates.

Before going any further, it is fair to pause and explain what these "golden plates" are and why a coloring page for them. For the faithful of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Golden Plates represent the source material for an book of scripture that was derived from a group of ancient American-based Christians. The title is named after one of the last prophets in the record who was responsible for assembling nearly 1000 years of history found within the book. His name was Mormon, and the book of scripture is called the Book of Mormon. Latter-day Saints use the Book of Mormon extensively in their teachings about Jesus Christ in part because it contains additional account of visits from the Lord to various prophets and groups of people in the Americas anciently. It is not used as a replacement to the Bible, but functions more effectively as a companion set of scriptures, supporting and validating the Bible.

So that's the background. As I started clicking on the links for "golden plates coloring pages", I came to one article that I found to be particularly informative in describing what the Golden Plates may have looked like. There is even a photograph of a suggested model for the plates. I've based my drawing loosely off of this photograph and some the details that I read about the plates. Here are a few things that I hadn't know before today:
  • The weight of each individual plate was flimsy enough that collectively the pages could "rustle with a metalic sound when the edges were moved by the thumb" according to Emma Smith.
  • The writings on the plates were quite small and filled the bulk of the each plate.
  • The writing on the plates were two sided, that is, there were writings on both the front and back of the plates.
  • The sealed portion of the book is said to contain the vision that was shown to the brother of Jared as recording in the Book of Ether (found within the Book of Mormon).
  • The sealed portion comprises half to two-thirds of the entire set of plates.
  • The sealed portion was sealed in such a way as be completely bound.
  • The plates are probably made of a combination of gold and some other metal ore. This allowed to to 1) withstand corrosion while 2) being strong enough to be engraved on both sides.
To read the full article and see a picture of a suggested replica of the plates, visit here. Of course, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not currently have the Golden Plates in its possession, so we don't know exactly what they looked like. The plates were delivered to the young prophet Joseph Smith by an angel, and were subsequently taken back at the end of the translation process by that same angel.

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