Lost "Wagonloads of Plates": The Disappearance and Deliteralization of Sealed Records
Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought
Since 1997, the Mormon Scholars Foundation has sponsored a series of Summer Seminars, granting fellowships to young scholars to conduct original research under the direction of senior scholars like Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, and Matthew Grow, on the
When Joseph Smith's unearthing of the "gold plates" with the mysteriously bound portion first stirred intense controversy in the regions of New York, notions of "sealed books" had already been causing upheavals in other parts of the globe. At the time tremors were still being felt in England from efforts to uncover the controversial "sealed prophecies" of the mystic and prophetess Joanna Southcott, Russell Huntley was establishing a sizeable trust fund for the publication of the forthcoming sealed portion of the Book of Mormon. Huntley's confidence that the Reorganized LDS Church would soon have the remainder of the record in its possession seemed to have waned by the 1880s, at which point he requested the money be returned. Here, Givens elaborates on the desire of some groups to restore the sealed prophecies.