Mosiah 11:8-11 describes King Noah’s extravagant lifestyle:
And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;
And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.
And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.
And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.
Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale comment:
Joseph Smith was an unsophisticated young man who had lived his life as a member of the working poor. How would he know about such extravagance? How would he know how to describe such ornate things without going overboard? Where would he have seen such things?– Joseph Smith: The World’s Greatest Guesser (A Bayesian Statistical Analysis of Positive and Negative Correspondences between the Book of Mormon and The Maya) Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale
It would have been easy for Joseph, who was unfamiliar with extravagant lifestyles, to get this kind of description wrong, however it corresponds with what we know about ancient Mesoamerican Indian cultures. How did Joseph manage to get this just right?