My question is of un-importance to the eternal realm of things, but I just wanted to get your opinion on it. I know that an angel retrieved the plates from Joseph Smith, but I haven’t been able to find anything about the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, and the Liahona. It is natural for me to assume that the church still has these available. There’s also the matter of the many plates that were in the cave that Oliver and Joseph went into. Do you think all these artifacts from the past may be kept by the Mormon Church for a future time…Possibly when we use what we have now? Maybe they aren’t around anymore at all.
Paul, from Ogden, Utah
My opinion is that all these artifacts that you mention were returned by Joseph Smith to the Hill Cumorah. The following account indicates that when Joseph and Oliver Cowdery returned the plates to the Hill Cumorah the sword of Laban was already there. So undoubtedly all those sacred artifacts were returned to the angel, and are in the Lord’s custody, rather than being held in secret somewhere by the Mormon Church. Here is the statement of President Brigham Young on the subject—
“The symbolism associated with the sword of Laban reaches to our day. The three witnesses of the Book of Mormon were promised that they would see the sword of Laban, as well as the gold plates, the breastplate, and the Urim and Thummim (D&C 17:1). An incident recounted by Brigham Young affirms that the protective hand of the Lord remains extended in behalf of his people and over his sacred records. President Young tells us that Oliver Cowdery accompanied Joseph Smith when the latter returned the plates to the Hill Cumorah. “They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room [within the hill]. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed and on it was written these words: ‘This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ.” (Brigham Young, JD 19:38)