Fact remains there was no revival in 1820 where JS lived. So, his testimony is false.
The Plates Described
In a letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, Joseph Smith described the plates in some detail:
“These records were 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. They were filled with engraving, in Egyptian characters and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art of engraving.” (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 707, March 1, 1842; Comp. with History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 537)
Joseph Saves the Plates from Three Assailants
After removing the plates from the stone box, Joseph hid them in a birch log until preparations could be made at home for the plates. then he went to retrieve them.
“The plates were secreted about three miles from home.…Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and wrapping them in his linen frock, **placed them under his arm **and started for home.”
After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and **ran on again; **and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house." (Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, in Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, 1853, pp. 104-105; Comp. reprinted edition by Bookcraft Publishers in 1956 under the title History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, pp. 107- 108) Emphasis added.
The Weight of the Plates
The weight of the plates makes the story incredible. The heavenly messenger told Joseph Smith that plates were of gold. Joseph described the plates as being 6 inches wide, 8 inches long, and something near 6 inches in thickness. Gold has certain interesting properties. It is a very heavy metal, its specific gravity being 19.3. It is very soft and malleable. Plates made of gold would therefore pack down very tightly when stacked. A little figuring will reveal to the reader that the plates weighed 200.81 pounds or thereabouts!
The base of the monument on the hill in New York where Joseph Smith allegedly found the golden plates depicts him kneeling and receiving the 200 pound plates from the heavenly messenger with outstretched arms. Quite a physical feat!
Imagine Joseph Smith wrapping his linen shirt around this 200 pound block of gold plates, tucking it casually under his arm and strolling off towards home, some three miles distance! Imagine him further, running at the top of his speed through the woods, jumping over logs, and knocking down not one or two, but three assailants in the process, all the while with the 200 pounds of gold plates safely under his arm! If anyone would care to experiment, lead is the nearest common metal to gold in weight, its specific gravity being 11.35. Try tucking a 200 pound block of lead under your arm, and running and leaping through the woods with it for three miles! Then ask yourself: Can I believe Joseph Smith’s Story?
Joseph Smith made the ludicrous mistake because he was dealing with imaginary gold. While real gold is very heavy, imaginary gold weighs nothing at all. And that is what Joseph Smith’s golden plates were – imaginary.