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Dear Gramps,

What happened to the stone box that the gold plates, liahona, sword of Laban were found in?


Dear Christine,

When the Prophet Joseph Smith went to the Hill Cumorah the first time he describes the setting for the gold plates, the Urim and Thummin and the breastplate.  This is found in Joseph Smith–History verse 52 “Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.”

When Joseph finished the translation and at other times, one being when Martin Harris lost the 116 pages,  the angel Moroni took the plates along with the Urim and Thummim.  David Whitmer describes seeing the plates and other items in The Sabbath Herald, 1 March 1882, page 68:   “We went out into the woods, near by, and sat down on a log and talked awhile. We then kneeled down and prayed. Joseph prayed. We then got up and sat on the log and were talking, when all at once a light came down from above us and encircled us for quite a little distance around; and the angel stood before us.” This angel was Moroni. David said that he “was dressed in white, and spoke and called me by name and said ‘Blessed is he that keepeth His commandments.’ A table was set before us and on it the records were placed. The Records of the Nephites, from which the Book of Mormon was translated, the brass plates, the Ball or Directors, the sword of Laban and other plates.”  While the men were viewing these things, they heard a voice that said: “These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.”

As to what happened with the stone box, we have not been told.  I am sure many have tried to find it without success.  Mormon tells us that he hid all the plates entrusted to him in the Hill Cumorah, where the sword of Laban, and the Liahona would also have been placed, though they were not in the box shown to Joseph.


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