“[The plates] were filled with . . . Egyptian characters. . . . 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.” — Orson Pratt (Journal of Discourses, 7:31, 2 January 1859.)
“Upon each side of the leaves of these plates there were fine engravings, which were stained with a black, hard stain, so as to make the letters more legible and easier to be read.”— Orson Pratt (Journal of Discourses, 7:31, 2 January 1859)
Kyler Rasmussen estimated that it would have taken around 450 hours engraving the characters. This takes the total time needed to nearly 1,000 hours for Joseph to create the plates. No doubt he could not have spent a four-week period working full-time on them, so the entire process would have taken a very long time to complete.
How likely is this to have happened? What motivation would Joseph have for taking so much time and physical effort in creating a fraud?
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