We do not have the Book of Mormon metal plates available to us. We cannot heft them, examine the engravings, or handle the leaves of that ancient record as did the Three Witnesses, the Eight Witnesses, and the many other witnesses to both the existence and nature of the plates. In such a situation, what more can we learn about the physical nature of the plates without their being present for our inspection? Building on available knowledge, this article estimates the total surface area of the plates using two independent approaches and finds that the likely surface area was probably between 30 and 86 square feet, or roughly 15% of the surface area of the paper on which the English version of the Book of Mormon is now printed.
About the Author
Bruce E. Dale is University Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, where he explores the relationships between energy, agriculture, prosperity, and sustainability. He is Editor in Chief and Founding Editor of the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. He won the Charles D. Scott Award (1996) and the Sterling Hendricks Award (2007), was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2011), received the Award of Excellence of the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (2011) and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (2015). He has published over 280 archival journal papers and has 53 US and international patents. He and his wife, Regina Ruesch Dale, are the parents of five children and grandparents to twenty-one grandchildren. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age sixteen and has been passionately in love with the Book of Mormon ever since the missionaries introduced him to that “book of books.”