The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

“Harry Potter” series author J.K. Rowling tweeted Thursday about Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the “golden plates,” saying that “nobody else was allowed to look at them” besides Smith.

The claim that Smith didn’t allow anyone else to see the plates, from which he translated the Book of Mormon, is not a new one. Rowling later amended her statement to say that 11 people saw the plates after she went “to look it up.”

“The Book of Mormon” musical made this erroneous claim as well.

In the song “All-American Prophet,” the angel Moroni sings, “But don’t let anybody see these plates except for you.” Later in the musical, the dying Smith says, “Oh God, why are you letting me die without having me show people the plates? They’ll have no proof I was telling the truth or not.”

This claim, however, is not historically accurate.

According to former Joseph Smith Papers editor and Oxford published author Larry E. Morris, “seventeen people reportedly saw or handled the plates (or both).”

Here is an overview of what the 17 people had to say about what American literary scholar Terryl Givens called “the pure physicality of the plates.” Morris references two other accounts of the plates, which he describes as “religious accounts,” including Mary Whitmer and Lyman E. Johnson.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE