And I Joseph, did pray much, and read much in the Bible, and did prepare myself for further contact with God; for I had no doubt in my mind that I had some import, being contacted and taught by the Lord.
And I did not engage in any employ involving any magic, scrying, or anything else that might impact the world’s view upon this important thing that I might do, and for fear of the Lord, lest he rebuke me for turning to questionable employ, I did labor hard with mine own hand. Yea, even our entire family did cease to be idle, cease our loud laughter and our light speeches from our lustful desires and our pride and light mindedness.
And I did fall into some foibles of human nature (which will not be edited out by Willard Richards at a much later date), which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, but I did repent of these things and cease them in preparation of meeting again with God.
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 previously had one.
While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my 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 anything earthly I had ever seen Except the whiteness of the Lord and His Father, which I had seen in 1820, four years previous to this event. Yea, they were at least equally as white if not whiter, because I really did see them four years prior; 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 And an undergarment which was interesting to me for I never before thought that angels might wear undergarments, and so I make a note, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom and see the undergarment, and it did appear around his neck like a large smile, and I did wonder if the undergarment was magic.
Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning, or like the noon day sun, the same as my previous vision. The room was 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, for I recognized him as that Indian, Moroni, that The Lord introduced me to at my first vision, and did say that I would meet again. And yea, the words of the Lord were fulfilled.
He called me by name, and gave me the tokens and symbols I was instructed to know a true messenger by; therefore, I had confidence that this messenger came from God.
He said God had 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.
And I said, “Moroni, why should the world know my name and why begin by making me afraid?”
And Moroni said, “I’m sorry, that was rude. This work is very key. It will be wonderful, but it will make many people upset as so your name will be had for good, by people who appreciate it, and bad by those who hate it. It’s not really you, it’s the work. But I wanted you to know what you were getting into.”
And he further continued, “Now that I think about it, it would probably have been better for me to come in through the front door, introduce myself to your family and then make your hearts within you burn like Christ did in the New Testament. It wouldn’t have made you afraid at all, and instead would have brought your entire family in to help support you.”
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 was actually very specific about this citing that they were, in fact, not simply among other individuals, but the source of everyone on the continent. As in, all of them called “indians.” I wrote this down in my journal, “I was informed also 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.”
you can read it here: (Joseph Smith, Latter Day Saints, p.404-405).
I want to be clear, these are the Native Americans in THIS COUNTRY. I’d hate for a later version of myself to alter the location when facts were presented so I wrote this down to be very clear.
He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the 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 were what constituted “seers” in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.
I want to make a note of this now, because if I never wrote about the Urim and Thummim, and someone else were to mention it for the first time, like Samuel Lawerence, that old sooth sayer on the hill, it would be an embarrassment and basically contradict my whole story .
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 it reads in our books, he quoted it 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 come 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.
Which verses had the following effect on me. I was first very afraid that we were at the end times and everyone was going to die, but then I was excited to know that first Elijah would come, and something called “priesthood” would be given. I had only known priesthood to be a group of men leading a church up until this point, so I inquired about the priesthood.
He replied that the Priesthood is the keys and authority for men to reveal the power of God on the earth, and without this priesthood, the power of god was not manifest.
And I, Joseph, inquired who had this priesthood, and Moroni replied that it had been lost with the early apostles except for a few who were not allowed to intervene at this point, but that I should meet them later.
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 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 which thing amazed me since he was an indian quoting greek. 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.
To which I replied, truly I fear for all of mankind. It sounds great and dreadful.
And Moroni replied, “Sorry, I don’t mean to scare you. It would be terrible to have people serve god purely out of fear. Instead I was hoping to create a sense of urgency; that’s why we didn’t tell your family about this book for four years. I mean, we didn’t, but we should have, because this is very urgent, I assure you.”