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From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith

By Michael R. Ash

According to Joseph Smith,  the Book of Mormon was “engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long and not quite so thick as common tin… The volume was something near six inches in thickness”. In 1984, Heather Lechtman, writing for Scientific America, addressed the recent discovery of several large metal objects in South America. Most of these objects were made out of hammered sheet copper. When these copper sheets were first unearthed, they were covered with a green corrosion. Once the corrosion was removed, however, they discovered that the copper had originally been covered with a thin layer of silver or gold so that these sheets “appeared to be made entirely out of those precious metals”. Lechtman explains that the most important alloy discovered at these South American sites was a mixture of copper and gold knows as “Tumbaga”. When copper and gold (the only two colored metals known to man) are melted together, they mix and stay mixed after they cool and solidify. This alloy was known not only in South America but in Mesoamerica as well.

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt.  He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton  has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.



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