The Book of Mormon is a translation of ancient Gold Plates, which is not easily understood by our young kids.

“Plates…the kind we eat from?”

My husband wants to get some sheets of ore to help the kids understand this ancient way of writing. The metal would have to be soft enough to use a stylus so they can understand the difficult process of writing. We did one project with aluminum which worked well for showing the method. But they weren’t golden in color.

I have used some simple materials for kids to make their own “Golden Plates.” We made these quite a few years ago and I recently got them out. I turned over one of the “plates” done by my son when he was young (he is 30 now) and I read in his own handwriting a short little entry that made me laugh (all written in English). It’s a saver — like a journal entry.

The Maxwell Institute has some good descriptions of the plates from witnesses here. Share these with your kids. This is a good project for celebration of the Feast of Trumpets, when Joseph got the Gold Plates from Moroni.

How to make the golden plates with kids:

Materials:

  • Gold contact paper (I got mine at a craft store, but Amazon has some too.) and Cardboard or you can buy Gold Card Stock Paper (but this may not be sturdy enough)
  • Black Sharpie pen permanent marker
  • Copy of the Reformed Egyptian letters (Anthon Transcript)
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Gold clasp rings — often called Loose Leaf rings or Book rings

Directions:

Cut the cardboard into the desired size. Joseph Smith said the plates were about 6 inches by 8 inches, Martin Harris said about 7 inches by 8 inches. Cut the contact paper to match and apply to both sides of the cardboard. If you are using Gold Card Stock paper, then you will not need to use cardboard and gold contact paper. But the gold contact paper looks more like metal. Of course the actual Golden plates were golden in color, not real gold.

Next, Show the kids how to copy the Reformed Egyptian characters using a Sharpie pen. Punch holes and use the rings to join the plates. The following are my Amazon links but you may find them at craft stores:

gold paper
Gold Metallic Contact Paper

gold stock paper

Gold Heavy Stock Paper

rings

Loose Leaf Rings

Sharpie pens

how to make the golden plates with kids

Book of Mormon character

goldenplatesfacsimile

A facsimile of the Golden Plates, showing the sealed portion as well.

 

wooden box belonging to JS

This is the wooden box the Prophet hid the plates in. The inside measurement of the box is 14” x 16”. The depth is 6 1/4” sloping to 4”. The wood is 3/4” thick. The lid and bottom are walnut, and the sides are made from boxwood. The box was used as a lap desk, which explains the sloped top. The box is in the possession of Patriarch Eldred G. Smith.

 

woodenbox

This is the box that Alvin gave Joseph to keep the Gold Plates

**Another activity showing how to make the golden plates with kids where you use a stylus to make the marks in foil can be found here. They look like this:

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some of these links go to Amazon and I may receive compensation.