HOW DID JOSEPH SMITH FIND THE GOLDEN PLATES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON? 

The Mormon story says that Joseph Smith got Golden Plates with the help of an angel of the Lord which he miraculously translated as the Book of Mormon.
 
Smith claimed that the angel Moroni led him to find the plates in a hill near his home.

Howe collated witness testimonies that Smith was a fraud.
 
The earliest story was that Smith found the Plates and the translator stones by looking in a stone found at Mason Chase. Smith was an occultist and a money-digger and Mormonism believes that occultism is consorting with the Devil. Mormonism argues: “The statements collected by Howe can all be fitted together to corroborate the basic story of a Golden Bible found by Joseph Smith and when different witnesses agree on the main details that is all we need.” One thing is for sure, you cannot accept what Howe wrote about the plates as authenticating Mormonism unless you accept the version the Howe book gave of the finding of the plates which undermines the Mormon version and that the Smiths schemed to make money out of the plates story and even that Joseph denied they could be translated. And Howe’s affidavits gave no evidence whatsoever that there really were plates.

Howe's work never denies the existence of the plates which is an indication of honesty though Mormons put no trust in it except where it suits them. But it only says without expressing approval or disapproval regarding the report that Joseph Smith’s father sometimes denied that the plates existed and that the Smiths were often falsely claiming to have found buried treasure. The affidavits cannot be used to verify the existence of the plates.

When the stone box on the hill that Smith said he found the plates in was never found why should we believe anything else Smith said about the plates?