45 years ago today - Jan 14, 1976
Church president Spencer W. Kimball and other officials learn of the discovery of a 150-pound set of brass plates, bound by rings, that a man in England claims were brought from South America by his grandfather. The man, Bert Fuchs, also claims to have some parchments from ancient Hawaii (which had no written language), a sword with a jeweled handle, and an odd pair of spectacles. The artifacts are given to the Church. Fuchs and his family are baptized, later move to the United States, meet with President Kimball and are sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Paul Cheesman, a BYU religion professor interested in Book of Mormon artifacts, goes to England to collect the relics for investigation and brings them to Salt Lake City. The investigation of the relics is kept secret even from the Church Historian's Department and their existence is never announced publicly. After it is found that the supposed relics are fraudulent, modern creations, Fuchs is excommunicated.