Joseph vs. The Gold: Help me script it!


Ever since seeing this not so good version on youtube, I’ve been wondering what a good recreation of the Joseph Smith run with the plates might look like.  It’s all based on Lucy Smith’s account:

“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. He was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of running” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Smith, pp.107-108).

So, if you wanted to recreate this incident, what would be the ideal script?

  • How big/tall would the person playing Joseph have to be?
  • How heavy would the plates have to be?  Does the size/shape matter?
  • How far would the Joseph character have to run?
  • What about the people chasing him: How big/tall would they need to be?
  • How about the logs he hurdles?  How big would they have to be?

I’m thinking about trying to recreate this, though I wouldn’t be offended if someone else did it first.  I just thought I’d get some input on how to recreate this such that it would satisfy the apologists.

(Also, if there are any readers in Florida who want to help, make a note in the comments and maybe we can work out a date/time for our recreation.  I have a decent camera and tripod that would work.)


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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6 Responses

  1. A.J. says:

    The Joseph character would also have a limp as he walked with a limp due to his leg surgery as a child. Running with a limp while carrying 60 pound weight and fighting off attackers. I can’t wait to see the video.

  2. chanson says:

    I think this story is essentially why they say “the golden plates” rather than “the gold plates.” Given the dimensions he described, there’s no way he could have been running with them, so people proposed that the plates must have been merely gold-colored, but of a lighter alloy of gold.

  3. profxm says:

    chanson… Precisely.

    So, my question is: If I wanted to re-enact this story, how heavy would the “plates” have to be in order for the apologists to accept this as an “authentic” re-enactment? Or, is it not going to matter to the apologists?

  4. Suzanne Neilsen says:

    You guys need to get up to date, those sacred records, were to any reasonable person, clearly made of tumbaga.
    And this proves what a tough hombre Joseph Smith was.

  5. profxm says:

    So, how much would a stack of plates made of tumbaga weigh?

  6. Suzanne Neilsen says:

    That would depend on whether they were lunch or dinner plates.
    According to the experts, the tumbaga plates weighed at minimum 53 pounds ( or 24 kilograms in God’s true measurements).
    How many debens is that in reformed egyptian?

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