Joseph Smith and the Rational God, Part 5 – Asking some questions of Moroni

He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the 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.

And I replied, “Destroyed?! Why would you kill me for showing plates to people?”

And Moroni replied, “Sorry, there I go, doing that fear thing again. It’s really a bad motivator. If you show them to people, the odds that the person you show a giant golden book to will kill you and take the book are really too high. It’s not rational to show a golden book to people.”

And I said, “But the breastplate?”

and he replied, “It has jewels on it.”

And I said, “The Urim and Thummim?”

He replied, “You know it’s interesting that I said Urim and Thummim, because you’re not going to use that phrase for the next fifteen years. You’re going to call them ‘nephite interpreters.’ I just realized that. That’s neither here, nor there. The point is they are stones set into silver that let people see amazing things. They’ll try to steal them, too.”

And I said, “Okay, but my family, right, I could show them? And maybe my wife when I get married? They wouldn’t kill me.”

And he replied, “Yes, that makes sense. They could see them, and bare testimony.”

While he was conversing with me about the plates, and notice we were having a conversation, that’s what “conversing” means, 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 knew 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 till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.

And I was very impressed that I woke up my family. My father first, and explained to him what had happened. And I explained to him the things the angel said. While we were conversing about the plates we suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again in the house.

He introduced himself to my Father, so that there would be no question about my tiredness the next day and commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit, without the least variation. I assume this is so that I could memorize the scriptures, and my father would have the same instruction. Simply repeating the instructions when I had a clear vision of the place would seem, almost silly. Especially since he could appear anywhere at any time, as demonstrated by him appearing in my bedroom.

I then asked him a further question, “Why do you appear via a gradual light, but when leaving, you ascend through a conduit into heaven?”

Moroni then replied, “It is an illusion to the mortal mind. The whiteness you see is the opening of the conduit. When we angels travel, we must traverse faster than even light; which according to the laws of the universe, means that we, having resurrected bodies, must have our mass altered. To effect this change on our mass, allowing travel, the white conduits are required.”

Although shocked, I found my tongue and inquired, “But this effect upon one’s mass, it allows one to pass through the roof, despite having a physical body, without impacting the roof?”

Moroni replied, “As you have seen demonstrated, yes, the effect upon the mass does alter the relative space allowing one to pass through any object.”

Then, although I have memorized so many of his words and scriptures to exactness, knowing the few words he used differently; I decided to start writing in vague terms about what the angel said. 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. Indeed, he did mention a war between the states, that would be fought over the question of slavery starting in North Carolina that would be most terrible. He mentioned a potato famine in Ireland that would come around the same time as this Civil War, driving many from their homes. He also mentioned how smallpox would severely impact his people in this generation; and how they would be driven out of their homes from the sea west to the sea east.

By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind, that sleep had fled from my eyes, and my father and I fetched Alvin, and woke him. And he did begin to write this tale on my behalf. But what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger in our home, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before; so that Alvin could clearly and correctly make a record of the exact words and conversations, for we see that God cares about accurate history and will not suffer his people to doubt by failing to have words written. Does it not speak to his longsuffering and willingness to keep a good history that He had His servant, Moroni, repeat the tale to my Father and again to my Brother?

He also 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. I assume also he mentioned this due to the contract I had signed with treasure seekers previous to this, but I was not a treasure seeker, and simply had signed a contract which was foolish of me. Moroni, was clearly aware that those treasure seekers would try to collect on that contract, seeing as I had found a golden object in the ground. 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 than that of building his kingdom; otherwise I could not get them. This is why I will never try to sell the copyright on any work that comes from this golden book. For such would illustrate that I had a motive other than building His kingdom.

Almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me for the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night.

My Father, understanding that this work, due to him having me, God, and Moroni, and receiving instruction as well as myself, was far more important than menial farm chores, sent me to recover the book.

As I headed to the location of the book, while crossing a fence, out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of anything.

When I came to, I headed directly to the spot, as my father had already commanded me, he having spoken with Moroni already, and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.

Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.

Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate, as stated by the messenger, As well as a largish sword with a golden hilt, and rusted steel blade. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them.

I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger who in no way resembled a toad, or a frog, or a salamander, nor did he have his throat slit from ear to ear. He was just the same as I described him earlier. I was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived because after all, the messenger had told me this three times already, and I kinda felt dumb for immediately forgetting that he said that. And he said the time would not arrive until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

And I did say to him, “Moroni, what about this sword?”

And Moroni said, “What? Hmm, oh that, I’d forgotten all about that.”

And I did say, “This sword, with a pure gold hilt, is it required for the translation of God’s work?”

And Moroni did say, “No, it is not part of the translation.”

And I did reply, “Then let me sell this sword to a museum, that I may fund any printing costs of translating the book, and leave a testimony in a museum to the truthfulness of this work.”

And Moroni was amazed.

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Last edited by EmmaHS on January 26, 2013 at 5:13 am

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