According to an article in MormonTimes, BYU Professor Daniel C. Peterson last week explained that Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon from golden plates but by looking at a stone in a hat placed over his face. Said the good doctor, “It was a translation by revelation.” Asked why God would even bother with the plates, “Peterson said he didn’t know, except perhaps as a reassurance and an evidence to him that they existed.”
To this my good friend Lincoln replied:
So God had a line of prophets pass the plates down from generation to generation for over 1000 years, painstakingly inscribing only the most precious spiritual parts of the gospel on them, so that the final prophet “Mormon” could spend his life making a summary of the most holy important parts on golden plates. Then the plates were buried by Mormon’s son Moroni, who watched over the plates for over 1400 years during the dark ages, while the world slumbered spiritually, so that a young farm boy named Joseph Smith who was predestined to be the one and only prophet of the dispensation of the fullness of times, could be led to the hallowed spot by the angel and prepared for four years time to eventually receive the plates. Then, under angelic direction Joseph took the plates and protected them from the evil men who were waiting that very day to take them away, and hid them in a tree trunk. And later young Joseph hid them under the floorboards under the woodstove and also in a grain container that was completely ransacked but yet the mobs could still never find them due to God’s miraculous power. All of these things were done over millenia leading up to the moment when Joseph looked at a rock in his hat and didn’t even use the plates in the translation. Nice.