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Visit From an Angel


   In the month of June, 1827, Joseph Smith, Sen., related to me the following story: That some years ago, a spirit had appeared to Joseph his son, in a vision, and informed him that in a certain place there was a record on plates of gold, and that he was the person that must obtain them, and this he must do in the following manner:  On the 22d of September, he must repair to the place where was deposited this manuscript, dressed in black clothes, and riding a black horse with a switch tail, and demand the book in a certain name, and after obtaining it, he must go directly away, and neither lay it down nor look behind him.
Full Source
External Link
Mormonism Unvailed, E.D. Howe, pg 242
Willard Chase account
Willard Chase, witnessed by Fred'k Smith
11 Dec 1833
   In the month of June, 1827, Joseph Smith, Sen., related to me the following story: "That some years ago, a spirit had appeared to Joseph his son, in a vision, and informed him that in a certain place there was a record on plates of gold, and that he was the person that must obtain them, and this he must do in the following manner: On the 22d of September, he must repair to the place where was deposited this manuscript, dressed in black clothes, and riding a black horse with a switch tail, and demand the book in a certain name, and after obtaining it, he must go directly away, and neither lay it down nor look behind him.

   It was early in the autumn of 1827 that Martin Harris called at my house in Palmyra, one morning about sunrise...<br>
   Before I proceed to Martin's narrative, however, I would remark in passing, that Jo Smith, who has since been the chief prophet for the Mormons, and was one of the most prominent ostensible actors in the first scenes of this drama, belonged to a very shiftless family near Palmyra.  They lived a sort of vagrant life, and were principally known as money-diggers.  Jo from a boy appeared dull and utterly destitute of genius; but his father claimed for him a sort of second sight, a power to look into the depths of the earth, and discover where its precious treasures were hid.  Consequently long before the idea of a golden Bible entered their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place where they struck upon treasures, Jo used to be usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they should begin to dig.<br>
   According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream.  An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor.  This divine messenger assured him, that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove of unspeakable benefit to the world.  He then disclosed to him the existence of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited - but at the same time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven.  This book, which was contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into, under three years.  He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania - and there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman, belonging to a highly respectable and pious family, whom he was to take for his wife.  As a proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and though he was a stranger to her, as she was far above him in the walks of life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends of the earth.  After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and remain quietly there until the birth of his first child.  When this child had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish the truths it contained to the world.
Full Source
External Link
Gleanings by the way, pgs 222, 225-226
John Clark Account
John A. Clark
24 Aug, 1840
   It was early in the autumn of 1827 that Martin Harris called at my house in Palmyra, one morning about sunrise...
   Before I proceed to Martin's narrative, however, I would remark in passing, that Jo Smith, who has since been the chief prophet for the Mormons, and was one of the most prominent ostensible actors in the first scenes of this drama, belonged to a very shiftless family near Palmyra. They lived a sort of vagrant life, and were principally known as money-diggers. Jo from a boy appeared dull and utterly destitute of genius; but his father claimed for him a sort of second sight, a power to look into the depths of the earth, and discover where its precious treasures were hid. Consequently long before the idea of a golden Bible entered their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place where they struck upon treasures, Jo used to be usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they should begin to dig.
   According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor. This divine messenger assured him, that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove of unspeakable benefit to the world. He then disclosed to him the existence of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited - but at the same time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven. This book, which was contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into, under three years. He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania - and there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman, belonging to a highly respectable and pious family, whom he was to take for his wife. As a proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and though he was a stranger to her, as she was far above him in the walks of life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends of the earth. After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and remain quietly there until the birth of his first child. When this child had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish the truths it contained to the world.

   In the fall of 1827, a person by the name of Joseph Smith, of Manchester, Ontario county, reported that he had been visited in a dream by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was deposited this Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin.
External Link
Palmyra Freeman, August 11, 1829
Palmyra newspaper article
Palmyra Freeman
11 Aug, 1829
   In the fall of 1827, a person by the name of Joseph Smith, of Manchester, Ontario county, reported that he had been visited in a dream by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was deposited this Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin.
(Note:  No images of the original are available online. This article was reprinted in the August 27, 1829 issue of the Niagara Courier and the August 31, 1829 issue of the Rochester Daily Advertiser and Telegraph, which can be read here.)

   A man by the name of Martin Harris was in this village a few days since endeavouring to make a contract for printing a large quantity of a work called the Golden Bible. He gave something like the following account of it.<br>
   “In the autumn of 1827 a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, in Ontario County, said that he had been visited by the spirit of the Almighty in a dream, and informed that in a certain hill in that town was deposited a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of divine origin. He states that after the third visit from the same spirit in a dream he proceeded to the spot, removed earth, and there found the bible, together with a large pair of spectacles. He had also been directed to let no mortal see them under the penalty of immediate death, which injunction he steadfastly adheres to...<br>
External Link
“Golden Bible.” The Gem: A Semi-Monthly Literary and Miscellaneous Journal (Rochester, New York), 5 September 1829: 70
Martin Harris Newspaper Account
Martin Harris
5 Sep, 1829
   A man by the name of Martin Harris was in this village a few days since endeavouring to make a contract for printing a large quantity of a work called the Golden Bible. He gave something like the following account of it.
   “In the autumn of 1827 a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, in Ontario County, said that he had been visited by the spirit of the Almighty in a dream, and informed that in a certain hill in that town was deposited a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of divine origin. He states that after the third visit from the same spirit in a dream he proceeded to the spot, removed earth, and there found the bible, together with a large pair of spectacles. He had also been directed to let no mortal see them under the penalty of immediate death, which injunction he steadfastly adheres to..."

   ...at the house of Peter Whitmer, in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, state of New York, in October, 1830... I improved near four and twenty hours in close application with Smith and his followers: he could give me no christian experience, but told me that an angel told him he must go to a certain place in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, where was a secret treasure concealed, which he must reveal to the human family.
Full Source
External Link
Peter Bauder, The Kingdom and Gospel of Jesus Christ, pg 36
Peter Bauder Interview
Peter Bauder
1834
   ...at the house of Peter Whitmer, in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, state of New York, in October, 1830... I improved near four and twenty hours in close application with Smith and his followers: he could give me no christian experience, but told me that an angel told him he must go to a certain place in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, where was a secret treasure concealed, which he must reveal to the human family.

   The new Gospel they say was found in Ontario co., N.Y. and was discovered by an Angel of light, appearing in a dream to a man by the name of Smith, who, as directed, went to a certain place and dug from the earth a stone box, containing plates of gold, on which this gospel was engraved in characters unknown.
External Link
The Telegraph, Painesville, Vol II, No. 26, December 14, 1830
Letter from Amherst
Amherst
26 Nov, 1830
   The new Gospel they say was found in Ontario co., N.Y. and was discovered by an Angel of light, appearing in a dream to a man by the name of Smith, who, as directed, went to a certain place and dug from the earth a stone box, containing plates of gold, on which this gospel was engraved in characters unknown.

   In the Fall of 1827, a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, Ontario county, N.Y. reported that he had three times been visited in a dream, by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin.<br>
External Link
“The Golden Bible.” Republican Advocate (Wooster, Ohio), 4 December 1830, pg 2
Ohio Star Report
Ohio Star
9 Dec, 1830
   In the Fall of 1827, a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, Ontario county, N.Y. reported that he had three times been visited in a dream, by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin.

   and it came to pass when I was seventeen years of age I called again upon the Lord and he shewed unto me a heavenly vision for behold an angel of the Lord came and stood before me and it was by night and he called me by name and he said the Lord had forgiven me my sins and he revealed unto me that in the Town of Manchester Ontario County N.Y. there was plates of gold upon which there was engravings which was engraven by Maroni & his fathers the servants of the living God in ancient days and deposited by the commandments of God and kept by the power thereof and that I should go and get them and he revealed unto me many things concerning the inhabitants of of the earth which since have been revealed in commandments & revelations and it was on the 22d day of Sept. AD 1822 and thus he appeared unto me three times in one night and once on the next day
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa Summer 1832, pg 4
Joseph's 1832 account
Joseph Smith Jr.
1832
   and it came to pass when I was seventeen years of age I called again upon the Lord and he shewed unto me a heavenly vision for behold an angel of the Lord came and stood before me and it was by night and he called me by name and he said the Lord had forgiven me my sins and he revealed unto me that in the Town of Manchester Ontario County N.Y. there was plates of gold upon which there was engravings which was engraven by Maroni & his fathers the servants of the living God in ancient days and deposited by the commandments of God and kept by the power thereof and that I should go and get them and he revealed unto me many things concerning the inhabitants of of the earth which since have been revealed in commandments & revelations and it was on the 22d day of Sept. AD 1822 and thus he appeared unto me three times in one night and once on the next day

   On the evening of the 21st of September, 1823, previous to retiring to rest, our brother's mind was unusually wrought up on the subject which had so long agitated his mind-his heart was drawn out in fervent prayer, and his whole soul was so lost to every thing of a temporal nature, that earth, to him, had lost its claims, and all he desired was to be prepared in heart to commune with some kind messenger who could communicate to him the desired information of his acceptance with God.<br>
   At length the family retired, and he, as usual, bent his way, though in silence, where others might have rested their weary frames locked fast in sleep's embrace; but repose had fled, and accustomed slumber had spread her refreshing hand over others beside him- he continued still to pray-his heart, though once hard and obdurate, was softened, and that mind which had often fitted, like the wild bird of passage, had settled upon a determined basis not to be decoyed or driven from its purpose.<br>
   In this situation hours passed unnumbered-how many or how few I know not, neither is he able to inform me; but supposes it must have been eleven or twelve, and perhaps later, as the noise and bustle of the family, in retiring, had long since ceased.-While continuing in prayer for a manifestation in some way that his sins were forgiven; endeavoring to exercise faith in the scriptures, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room.-Indeed, to use his own description, the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming and unquenchable fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occasioned a shock or sensation, visible to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind, and an overwhelming rapture of joy that surpassed nnderstanding [understanding], and in a moment a personage stood before him.<br>
   Notwithstanding the room was previously filled with light above the brightness of the sun, as I have before described, yet there seemed to be an additional glory surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an increased degree of briliancy [brilliancy], of which he was in the midst; and though his countenanc [countenance] was as lightening, yet it was of a pleasing, innocent and glorious appearance, so much so, that every fear was banished from the heart, and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul.<br>
   It is no easy task to describe the appearance of a messenger from the skies- indeed, I doubt there being an individual clothed with perishable clay, who is capable to do this work. To be sure, the Lord appeared to his apostles after his resurrection, and we do not learn as they were in the least difficultied to look upon him; but from John's description upon Patmos, we learn that he is there represented as most glorious in appearance; and from other items in the sacred scriptures we have the fact recorded where angels appeared and conversed with men, and there was no difficulty on the part of the individuals, to endure their presence; and others where their glory was so conspicuous that they could not endure. The last description or appearance is the one to which I refer, when I say that it is no easy task to describe their glory.<br>
   But it may be well to relate the particulars as far as given-The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in this age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam.<br>
   Though fear was banished form his heart, yet his surprise was no less when he heard him declare himself to be a messenger sent by commandment of the Lord, to deliver a special message, and to witness to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and that the scriptures might be fulfilled, which say -God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things wich [which] are despised, has God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things which are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. Therefore, says the Lord, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; the wisdom, of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid; for according to his covenant which he made with his ancient saints, his people, the house of Israel, must come to a knowledge of the gospel, and own that Messiah whom their fathers rejected, and with them the fulness of the Gentiles be gathered in, to rejoice in one fold under one Shepherd.<br>
   This cannot be brought about until first certain preparatory things are accomplished, for so has the Lord purposed in his own mind. He has therefore chosen you as an instrument in his hand to bring to light that which shall; perform his act, his strange act, and bring to pass a marvelous work and a wonder. Wherever the sound shall go it shall cause the ears of men to tingle, and wherever it shall be proclaimed, the pure in heart shall rejoice, while those who draw near to God with their mouths, and honor him with their lips, while their hearts are far from him, will seek its overthrow, and the destruction of those by whose hands it is carried. Therefore, marvel not if your name is made a derision, and had as a by-word among such, if you are the instrument in bringing it, by the gift of God, to the knowledge of the people.<br>
   He then proceeded and gave a general account of the promises made to the fathers, and also gave a history of the aborigines of this country, and said they were literal descendants of Abraham. He represented them as once being an enlightened and intelligent people, possessing a cerrect [correct] knowledge of the gospel, and the plan of restoration and redemption. He said this history was written and deposited not far from that place, and that it was our brother's privilege, if obedient to the commandments of the Lord, to obtain, and translate the same by the means of the Urim and Thummim, which were deposited for that purpose with the record.<br>
   Yet, said he, the scripture must be fulfilled before it is translated, which says that the words of a book, which were sealed, were presented to the learned; for thus has God determined to leave men without excuse, and show to the meek that his arm is not shortened that it cannot save.<br>
   A part of the book was sealed, and was not to be opened yet. The sealed part, said he, contains the same revelation which was given to John upon the isle of Patmos, and when the people of the Lord are prepared, and found worthy, then it will be unfolded unto them.<br>
   On the subject of bringing to light the unsealed part of this record, it may be proper to say, that our brother was expressly informed, that it must be done with an eye single to the glory of God; if this consideration did not wholly characterize all his proceedings in relation to it, the adversary of truth would overcome him, or at least prevent his making that proficiency in this glorious work which he otherwise would.<br>
   While describing the place where the record was deposited, he gave a minute relation of it, and the vision of his mind being opened at the same time, he was permitted to view it critically; and previously being acquainted with the place, he was able to follow the direction of the vision, afterward, according to the voice of the angel, and obtain the book.
Full Source
External Link
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate Volume 1, February 1835, pgs 78-80
Oliver Cowdery account in the Messenger & Advocate
Oliver Cowdery
Feb, 1835
   On the evening of the 21st of September, 1823, previous to retiring to rest, our brother's mind was unusually wrought up on the subject which had so long agitated his mind-his heart was drawn out in fervent prayer, and his whole soul was so lost to every thing of a temporal nature, that earth, to him, had lost its claims, and all he desired was to be prepared in heart to commune with some kind messenger who could communicate to him the desired information of his acceptance with God.
   At length the family retired, and he, as usual, bent his way, though in silence, where others might have rested their weary frames "locked fast in sleep's embrace;" but repose had fled, and accustomed slumber had spread her refreshing hand over others beside him- he continued still to pray-his heart, though once hard and obdurate, was softened, and that mind which had often fitted, like the "wild bird of passage," had settled upon a determined basis not to be decoyed or driven from its purpose.
   In this situation hours passed unnumbered-how many or how few I know not, neither is he able to inform me; but supposes it must have been eleven or twelve, and perhaps later, as the noise and bustle of the family, in retiring, had long since ceased.-While continuing in prayer for a manifestation in some way that his sins were forgiven; endeavoring to exercise faith in the scriptures, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room.-Indeed, to use his own description, the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming and unquenchable fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occasioned a shock or sensation, visible to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind, and an overwhelming rapture of joy that surpassed nnderstanding [understanding], and in a moment a personage stood before him.
   Notwithstanding the room was previously filled with light above the brightness of the sun, as I have before described, yet there seemed to be an additional glory surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an increased degree of briliancy [brilliancy], of which he was in the midst; and though his countenanc [countenance] was as lightening, yet it was of a pleasing, innocent and glorious appearance, so much so, that every fear was banished from the heart, and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul.
   It is no easy task to describe the appearance of a messenger from the skies- indeed, I doubt there being an individual clothed with perishable clay, who is capable to do this work. To be sure, the Lord appeared to his apostles after his resurrection, and we do not learn as they were in the least difficultied to look upon him; but from John's description upon Patmos, we learn that he is there represented as most glorious in appearance; and from other items in the sacred scriptures we have the fact recorded where angels appeared and conversed with men, and there was no difficulty on the part of the individuals, to endure their presence; and others where their glory was so conspicuous that they could not endure. The last description or appearance is the one to which I refer, when I say that it is no easy task to describe their glory.
   But it may be well to relate the particulars as far as given-The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in this age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam.
   Though fear was banished form his heart, yet his surprise was no less when he heard him declare himself to be a messenger sent by commandment of the Lord, to deliver a special message, and to witness to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his prayers were heard; and that the scriptures might be fulfilled, which say -"God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things wich [which] are despised, has God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things which are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. Therefore, says the Lord, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; the wisdom, of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid; for according to his covenant which he made with his ancient saints, his people, the house of Israel, must come to a knowledge of the gospel, and own that Messiah whom their fathers rejected, and with them the fulness of the Gentiles be gathered in, to rejoice in one fold under one Shepherd."
   "This cannot be brought about until first certain preparatory things are accomplished, for so has the Lord purposed in his own mind. He has therefore chosen you as an instrument in his hand to bring to light that which shall; perform his act, his strange act, and bring to pass a marvelous work and a wonder. Wherever the sound shall go it shall cause the ears of men to tingle, and wherever it shall be proclaimed, the pure in heart shall rejoice, while those who draw near to God with their mouths, and honor him with their lips, while their hearts are far from him, will seek its overthrow, and the destruction of those by whose hands it is carried. Therefore, marvel not if your name is made a derision, and had as a by-word among such, if you are the instrument in bringing it, by the gift of God, to the knowledge of the people."
   He then proceeded and gave a general account of the promises made to the fathers, and also gave a history of the aborigines of this country, and said they were literal descendants of Abraham. He represented them as once being an enlightened and intelligent people, possessing a cerrect [correct] knowledge of the gospel, and the plan of restoration and redemption. He said this history was written and deposited not far from that place, and that it was our brother's privilege, if obedient to the commandments of the Lord, to obtain, and translate the same by the means of the Urim and Thummim, which were deposited for that purpose with the record.
   "Yet," said he, "the scripture must be fulfilled before it is translated, which says that the words of a book, which were sealed, were presented to the learned; for thus has God determined to leave men without excuse, and show to the meek that his arm is not shortened that it cannot save."
   A part of the book was sealed, and was not to be opened yet. The sealed part, said he, contains the same revelation which was given to John upon the isle of Patmos, and when the people of the Lord are prepared, and found worthy, then it will be unfolded unto them.
   On the subject of bringing to light the unsealed part of this record, it may be proper to say, that our brother was expressly informed, that it must be done with an eye single to the glory of God; if this consideration did not wholly characterize all his proceedings in relation to it, the adversary of truth would overcome him, or at least prevent his making that proficiency in this glorious work which he otherwise would.
   While describing the place where the record was deposited, he gave a minute relation of it, and the vision of his mind being opened at the same time, he was permitted to view it critically; and previously being acquainted with the place, he was able to follow the direction of the vision, afterward, according to the voice of the angel, and obtain the book.

   When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels in the night season after I had retired to bed I had not been a sleep, but was meditating upon my past life and experience, I was verry concious that I had not kept the commandments, and I repented hartily for all my sins and transgression, and humbled myself before Him whose eyes are over all things, all at once the room was iluminated above the brightness of the sun an angel appeared before me, his hands and feet were naked pure and white, and he stood between the floors of the room, clothed with purity inexpressible, he said unto me I am a messenger sent from God, be faithful and keep his commandments in all things, he told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold, I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited, he said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham he explained many of the prophesies to me, one I will mention which is in Malachi 4 chapt. behold the day of the Lord cometh &c. also that the Urim and Thumim, was hid up with the record, and that God would give me powre to translate it, with the assistance of this instrument he then gradually vanished out of my sight, or the vision closed, while meditating on what I had seen, the angel appeard to me again and related the same things and much more, also the third time bearing the same tidings, and departed; during the time I was in this vision I did not realize any thing around me except what was shown me in this communication: after the vision had all passed, I found that it was nearly day-light, the family soon arose, I got up also:
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Journal, 1835–1836, pgs 25-26
Joseph Smith 1835 diary account
Joseph Smith Jr.
9 Nov, 1835
   When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels in the night season after I had retired to bed I had not been a sleep, but was meditating upon my past life and experience, I was verry concious that I had not kept the commandments, and I repented hartily for all my sins and transgression, and humbled myself before Him whose eyes are over all things, all at once the room was iluminated above the brightness of the sun an angel appeared before me, his hands and feet were naked pure and white, and he stood between the floors of the room, clothed with purity inexpressible, he said unto me I am a messenger sent from God, be faithful and keep his commandments in all things, he told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold, I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited, he said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham he explained many of the prophesies to me, one I will mention which is in Malachi 4 chapt. behold the day of the Lord cometh &c. also that the Urim and Thumim, was hid up with the record, and that God would give me powre to translate it, with the assistance of this instrument he then gradually vanished out of my sight, or the vision closed, while meditating on what I had seen, the angel appeard to me again and related the same things and much more, also the third time bearing the same tidings, and departed; during the time I was in this vision I did not realize any thing around me except what was shown me in this communication: after the vision had all passed, I found that it was nearly day-light, the family soon arose, I got up also:

   He relates that when he was 17 years of age, while seeking after the Lord he had a nocturnal vision, and a wonderful display of celestial glory.  An angel descended and warned him that God was about to make an astonishing  revelation to the world, and then directed him to go to such a place, and after prying up a stone he should find a number of plates of the color of gold inscribed with hieroglyphics, and under them a breastplate, and under that a transparent stone or stones which was the Urim and Thummin mentioned by Moses.  The vision and the command were repeated four times that night and once on the following day.
External Link
Truman Coe to Mr. Editor, Ohio Observer (Hudson, Ohio), 11 August 1836
Truman Coe Account
Truman Coe
11 Aug, 1836
   He relates that when he was 17 years of age, while seeking after the Lord he had a nocturnal vision, and a wonderful display of celestial glory. An angel descended and warned him that God was about to make an astonishing revelation to the world, and then directed him to go to such a place, and after prying up a stone he should find a number of plates of the color of gold inscribed with hieroglyphics, and under them a breastplate, and under that a transparent stone or stones which was the Urim and Thummin mentioned by Moses. The vision and the command were repeated four times that night and once on the following day.
(Note:  No image of the original is available online. Please contact me if you have any information regarding it. This article was reprinted on August 25, 1836 in the Cincinnati Journal and Western Luminary, shown here.)

   Question 4th.  How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?<br>
   Answer.  Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County New York, being dead; and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were; and gave me directions how to obtain them.
External Link
Elders' Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, pgs 42-43
Account in the 1838 Elder's Journal
Elder's Journal
Jul, 1838
   Question 4th. How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?
   Answer. Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County New York, being dead; and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were; and gave me directions how to obtain them.

   on the evening of the above mentioned twenty first of september, after I had retired to my bed for the night I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me that I might know of my state and standing  before him. For I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation as I had previously had one.  While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond any thing earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant, his hands were naked and his arms also a little above the wrist. So also were his feet naked, as were his legs a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi. That God has a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Saviour [Savior] to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. After telling me these things he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament, he first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as reads in our books he quoted thus, For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud yea and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble, for they that cometh shall burn them saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch, and again he quoted the fifth verse thus, Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He also quoted the next verse differently, And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers, if it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. In addition to these he quoted also the eleventh chapter of Isaiah saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty second and twenty third verses precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people, but soon would come.<br>
   He also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the twenty eighth to the last verse. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled but was soon to be. And he further stated the fulness [fullness] of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. Again he told me that when I got those plates of which he had spoken (for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled) I should not show them to any person, neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them, if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited and that so clearly and distinctly that I know the place again when I visited it.  After this communication I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark except just around him, when instantly I saw as it were a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely disappeared and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.<br>
   I lay musing on the singularity of the scene and marvelling [marveling] greatly at what had been told me by this extraordinary messenger, when in the midst of my meditation I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again at my bed side. He commenced and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit without the least variation, which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence, and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things he again ascended as he had done before.<br>
   By this time so deep were the impressions made on my mind that sleep had fled from my eyes and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard; but what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before and added a caution to me, 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 forbid 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 but that of building his kingdom, otherwise I could not get them. After this third visit he again ascended up into heaven as before and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crew, and I found that day was approaching so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], pgs 5-7
Original verson of 1838 canonized account
Joseph Smith Jr.
1838
   on the evening of the above mentioned twenty first of september, after I had retired to my bed for the night I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me that I might know of my state and standing before him. For I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation as I had previously had one. While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond any thing earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant, his hands were naked and his arms also a little above the wrist. So also were his feet naked, as were his legs a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi. That God has a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Saviour [Savior] to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. After telling me these things he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament, he first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as reads in our books he quoted thus, "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud yea and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble, for they that cometh shall burn them saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch," and again he quoted the fifth verse thus, "Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." He also quoted the next verse differently, "And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers, if it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming." In addition to these he quoted also the eleventh chapter of Isaiah saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty second and twenty third verses precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when "they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people," but soon would come.
   He also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the twenty eighth to the last verse. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled but was soon to be. And he further stated the fulness [fullness] of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. Again he told me that when I got those plates of which he had spoken (for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled) I should not show them to any person, neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them, if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited and that so clearly and distinctly that I know the place again when I visited it. After this communication I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark except just around him, when instantly I saw as it were a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely disappeared and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
   I lay musing on the singularity of the scene and marvelling [marveling] greatly at what had been told me by this extraordinary messenger, when in the midst of my meditation I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again at my bed side. He commenced and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit without the least variation, which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence, and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things he again ascended as he had done before.
   By this time so deep were the impressions made on my mind that sleep had fled from my eyes and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard; but what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before and added a caution to me, 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 forbid 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 but that of building his kingdom, otherwise I could not get them. After this third visit he again ascended up into heaven as before and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crew, and I found that day was approaching so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.

   He called me by name and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni.
Full Source
External Link
The Pearl of Great Price, being a choice selection from the revelations, translations, and narrations of Joseph Smith, first prophet, seer, and revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, pg 49
Name change to Moroni
Orson Pratt
1878
   "He called me by name and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni."

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External Link
Peoria Register and North-Western Gazetteer, Vol 5, No 23, Sep 3, 1841
William Smith Interview in 1841
James Murdock
19 Jun, 1841
   The others were joining, some one church, and some another, in that vicinity, but Joseph hesitated between the different denominations. While his mind was perplexed with this subject he prayed for divine direction, and afterwards was awaked one night by an extraordinary vision. The glory of the Lord filled the chamber with a dazzling light, and a glorious angel appeared to him and told him that he was a chosen vessel of the Lord to make known true religion.

   On the evening of the 21st of September, A. D. 1823, while I was praying unto God, and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of scripture on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance, and brightness burst into the room, indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire; the appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel, in all its fulness [fullness] to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the millennial reign.<br>
   I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of his purposes in this glorious dispensation.<br>
   I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people was made known unto me: I was also told where there was deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgement [abridgment] of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, “Church History,” 1 March 1842, pg 2
Wentworth Letter account
Joseph Smith Jr.
1 Mar, 1842
   On the evening of the 21st of September, A. D. 1823, while I was praying unto God, and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of scripture on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance, and brightness burst into the room, indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire; the appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel, in all its fulness [fullness] to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the millennial reign.
   I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of his purposes in this glorious dispensation.
   I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people was made known unto me: I was also told where there was deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgement [abridgment] of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things.

   One evening we were sitting till quite late conversing upon the subject of the diversity of churches that had risen up in the world and the many thousand opinions in existence as to the truths contained in scripture.  Joseph never said many words upon any subject but always seemed to reflect more deeply that common persons of his age upon everything of a religious nature.<br>
   After we ceased conversation he went to bed and was pondering in his mind which of the churches were the true one but he had not laid there long till he saw a bright light enter the room where he lay he looked up and saw an angel of the Lord standing by him The angel spoke I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is the true church there is not a true church on Earth No not one and has not been since Peter took the Keys of the Melchesidec priesthood after the order of God into the Kingdom of Heaven The churches that are now upon the Earth are all man made churches There is a record for you and Joseph but you cannot get it untill you learn to keep the commandments of God For it is not to get gain But it is to bring forth that light and intelligence which has been long lost in the Earth Now Joseph beware or when you go to get the plates your mind will be filld with darkness and all maner of evil will rush into your mind To prevent you from keeping the commandments of God that you may not succed in doing his work and you must tell your father of this for he will believe every word you say the record is on a side hill on the Hill of Cumorah 3 miles from this place remove the Grass and moss and you will find a large flat stone pry that up and you will find the record under it laying on 4 pillars - of cement then the angel left him
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 40-41
Lucy's handwritten account
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   One evening we were sitting till quite late conversing upon the subject of the diversity of churches that had risen up in the world and the many thousand opinions in existence as to the truths contained in scripture. Joseph never said many words upon any subject but always seemed to reflect more deeply that common persons of his age upon everything of a religious nature.
   After we ceased conversation he went to bed and was pondering in his mind which of the churches were the true one but he had not laid there long till he saw a bright light enter the room where he lay he looked up and saw an angel of the Lord standing by him The angel spoke I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is the true church there is not a true church on Earth No not one and has not been since Peter took the Keys of the Melchesidec priesthood after the order of God into the Kingdom of Heaven The churches that are now upon the Earth are all man made churches There is a record for you and Joseph but you cannot get it untill you learn to keep the commandments of God For it is not to get gain But it is to bring forth that light and intelligence which has been long lost in the Earth Now Joseph beware or when you go to get the plates your mind will be filld with darkness and all maner of evil will rush into your mind To prevent you from keeping the commandments of God that you may not succed in doing his work and you must tell your father of this for he will believe every word you say the record is on a side hill on the Hill of Cumorah 3 miles from this place remove the Grass and moss and you will find a large flat stone pry that up and you will find the record under it laying on 4 pillars - of cement then the angel left him

   one night while being on his bed, praying to God for some kind Messinger to inform him of the right and true way; Suddenly a light above the brightness of day burst into him room, and immediately he was wrapt in a Heavenly vision; He saw a personage about the ordinary size of man in the middle of the room before him.  He was dressed in a white flowing robe, made fast at the wrists and ancles, and appeared to be without seam, He declared himself to be an Angel of God, sent forth to inform him that the time had nearly arrived, fore the Gospel to be preached in power in all the World, as a witness of the coming of Christ, which was near at hand; also that this continent had been inhabited by two distinct races of people.  The first was called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel.  The second was called Nephites the descendants of Joseph, who came to this land in the day of Zedekiah King of Judah, about six hundred years Before Christ!  That they brought with them the Scriptures of the old Testament, engraved upon Brass Plates down to the days of Jeremiah: that they prospered in Arts and Agriculture, had their Prophets among them who kept a history of their proceedings engraved on plates, that Christ after his crucifixun visited them, chose twelve Apostles, ordained them and gave unto them his law, and that the Church of Christ was established here with Prophets and Apostles, the spiritual gifts &c: that in the fourth century after Christ they were nearly all destroyed on account of their Wickedness, and what remained fell into idolatry: the last Prophets Moroni was commanded by the Lord to make an abridgement of all their records; which he did: on Gold Plates, and sealed it up by the prayer of faith, with a promise from the Lord, that it should be preserved, and in the last days be brought fourth and go to the remnant of their seed: the Indians said he of whom are a remnant; and that this Record was deposited in a hill called by the Nephites Cumorah: not far from this place; That the Record was wrote in the Reformed Egyptian, and that it could not be translated by the wisdom of this generation, but if he was faithful he should be the honoured instrument in bringing it forth, and translating the same, by the Urim and Thummim that was deposited with the Records; That this Record, contained the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity; that the knowledge it contained should go to every nation, kindred, tongues and people, and that the Indian and the Jew should be brought to a knowledge of Christ by believing and obeying the same, and when it comes forth, persecution will rage: your life will be sought after &c. After which the Messenger left him.
External Link
Autobiography and Journal of William I. Appleby, 1848, Church History Library, pgs 31-32
William Appleby Recollection
William I. Appleby
1848
   one night while being on his bed, praying to God for some kind Messinger to inform him of the right and true way; Suddenly a light above the brightness of day burst into him room, and immediately he was wrapt in a Heavenly vision; He saw a personage about the ordinary size of man in the middle of the room before him. He was dressed in a white flowing robe, made fast at the wrists and ancles, and appeared to be without seam, He declared himself to be an Angel of God, sent forth to inform him that the time had nearly arrived, fore the Gospel to be preached in power in all the World, as a witness of the coming of Christ, which was near at hand; also that this continent had been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first was called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second was called Nephites the descendants of Joseph, who came to this land in the day of Zedekiah King of Judah, about six hundred years Before Christ! That they brought with them the Scriptures of the old Testament, engraved upon Brass Plates down to the days of Jeremiah: that they prospered in Arts and Agriculture, had their Prophets among them who kept a history of their proceedings engraved on plates, that Christ after his crucifixun visited them, chose twelve Apostles, ordained them and gave unto them his law, and that the Church of Christ was established here with Prophets and Apostles, the spiritual gifts &c: that in the fourth century after Christ they were nearly all destroyed on account of their Wickedness, and what remained fell into idolatry: the last Prophets Moroni was commanded by the Lord to make an abridgement of all their records; which he did: on Gold Plates, and sealed it up by the prayer of faith, with a promise from the Lord, that it should be preserved, and in the last days be brought fourth and go to the remnant of their seed: the Indians said he of whom are a remnant; and that this Record was deposited in a hill called by the Nephites Cumorah: not far from this place; That the Record was wrote in the Reformed Egyptian, and that it could not be translated by the wisdom of this generation, but if he was faithful he should be the honoured instrument in bringing it forth, and translating the same, by the "Urim and Thummim" that was deposited with the Records; That this Record, contained the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity; that the knowledge it contained should go to every nation, kindred, tongues and people, and that the Indian and the Jew should be brought to a knowledge of Christ by believing and obeying the same, and when it comes forth, persecution will rage: your life will be sought after" &c. After which the Messenger left him.
(Note:  This quote comes from William Appleby's "Autobiography and Journal," in which he reminisced on hearing Orson Pratt speak about Joseph Smith in 1839, prior to Appleby being baptized in 1840.)

   After this, Joseph spent about two years looking into this stone, telling fortunes, where to find lost things, and where to dig for money and other hidden treasure. About this time he became concerned as to his future state of existence, and was baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church. Soon after joining the Church, he had a very singular dream; but he did not tell his father of his dream, until about a year afterwards. He then told his father that, in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it. He then said to him, that he would have to get a certain coverlid, which he described, and an old-fashioned suit of clothes, of the same color, and a napkin to put the treasure in; and go to a certain tree, not far distant, and when there, he would see other objects that he would take or keep in range and follow, until he was directed to stop, and there he would find the treasure that he was in pursuit of; and when he had obtained it, he must not lay it down until he placed it in the napkin.
Full Source
External Link
Historical Magazine (second series),Vol 7, Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, pg 306
Interview with Joseph Smith Sr.
Fayette Lapham
May, 1870
   After this, Joseph spent about two years looking into this stone, telling fortunes, where to find lost things, and where to dig for money and other hidden treasure. About this time he became concerned as to his future state of existence, and was baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church. Soon after joining the Church, he had a very singular dream; but he did not tell his father of his dream, until about a year afterwards. He then told his father that, in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it. He then said to him, that he would have to get a certain coverlid, which he described, and an old-fashioned suit of clothes, of the same color, and a napkin to put the treasure in; and go to a certain tree, not far distant, and when there, he would see other objects that he would take or keep in range and follow, until he was directed to stop, and there he would find the treasure that he was in pursuit of; and when he had obtained it, he must not lay it down until he placed it in the napkin.

   The statement that the prophet Joseph Smith made in our hearing at the commencement of his translating his book in Harmony, as to the manner of his finding the plates, was as follows: He said that by a dream he was informed that at such a place in a certain hill, in an iron box, were some gold plates with curious engravings, which he must get and translate, and write a book; that the plates were to be kept concealed from every human being for a certain time, some two or three years;
Full Source
External Link
Joseph Smith the Prophet His Family and His Friends, pg 79
Hiel and Joseph Lewis account
Hiel and Joseph Lewis
23 Apr, 1879
   The statement that the prophet Joseph Smith made in our hearing at the commencement of his translating his book in Harmony, as to the manner of his finding the plates, was as follows: He said that by a dream he was informed that at such a place in a certain hill, in an iron box, were some gold plates with curious engravings, which he must get and translate, and write a book; that the plates were to be kept concealed from every human being for a certain time, some two or three years;

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