Imagine if Joseph Smith had removed the middle ring on the gold plates. He could have sold that to help his parents with financial matters. Perhaps the last leaf of the gold plates was blank, without any text. If so, Joseph could have removed it without harming the sacred record. These are the sorts of thoughts that Satan might have used to tempt the young prophet. Moroni had to warn Joseph, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father’s family), to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive (JS-Hist 1:46).
“…when Joseph Smith went to the hill to obtain the plates, he was beset by conflicting emotions. The adversary sorely tempted him to desire the plates to relieve his family’s poor financial situation. When the Prophet attempted to get the plates, he was forbidden to do so because, as Moroni stated, ’You have not kept the commandments of the Lord.’ (As cited in Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, p. 49) This lesson had a lasting impression on Joseph Smith as he more clearly saw how Satan was determined to stop the coming forth of this sacred record.” (Book of Mormon Student Manual, 1981, p. 471)