Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there except the second year when I brought Samuel Lawrence, a man of magic to the hill, and the messenger did not appear, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.
For example, He explained His gospel to me, and that Baptism was required. He informed me at this time, and I have written it down so that I would not forget, or rather, I caused it to be written, that John the Baptist would appear to me when the time came for baptism, and that I should know him by the tokens and signs given to me to know a true messenger.
Further, he told me other visitors would come, including Peter, James and John, that I should expect them, but that they should come later, and John the Baptist would be first.
He also instructed me that his Kingdom would contain twelve apostles, as it did of old, and a prophet at the head with two counselors. There would be a quorum of seventy who were sent to preach to all corners of the earth.
Now at this time I was shocked that we would ever have seventy members in an organization, not withstanding the idea of seventy merely to preach.
And I did inquire of the messenger, “How shall this be seeing that I am a boy and I don’t even have the book?”
And Moroni, the messenger, said, “With God nothing is impossible, especially organizing bureaucracy.” and I was amazed.
As my father’s worldly circumstances were very limited, we were under the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring out by day’s work and otherwise, as we could get opportunity. Sometimes we were at home, and sometimes abroad, and by continuous labor were enabled to get a comfortable maintenance.
It is the year 1823 and my father’s family met with a great affliction by the death of my eldest brother, Alvin. And Hyrum, my brother, did begin to write for me.
In the month of October, 1825, I hired with an old gentleman by the name of Josiah Stoal, who lived in Chenango county, State of New York. He had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony, Susquehanna county, State of Pennsylvania; and had, previous to my hiring to him, been digging, in order, if possible, to discover the mine, or hidden treasure of silver that might magically move while digging for it.
After I went to live with him, he took me, with the rest of his hands, to dig for the silver mine, and I picked up a shovel and dug along with everyone else, not being a treasure seeker or seer stone gazer at all. And when I saw the manner in which they dug, which was to have a person stare at a rock, and then decide to dig, yea, even at midnight, I said, “Nuts to this,” and quit.
During this time of employment, I was put to board with a Mr. Isaac Hale, of that place. His daughter is comely, and easy upon one’s eyes. I inquired after the health of her family and she actually spoke with me. It was magical, and the feeling in my bosom could only be compared to the love of God I felt when I first saw him in the grove.
I think there is a chance we might dance one day. And Hyrum did slap me in the head as I was saying this and asked me to focus on the story and not express any romantic feelings for this goddess among men. She stands over six foot tall which seems to turn other gentlemen away, and I for my height figure I have a chance with her, and Hyrum did write, Good luck with that, and I did see it and slapped him on the head.
The 18th of January, 1827, Joseph Smith was married to Emma, I, Hyrum was wrong, and I write a few words, because Joseph is on his honeymoon. And the wedding was faire, and all the family was invited, and no elopement was required, for Mr. Hale was proud of Joseph for turning away from the money diggers. So proud that he did give Emma a sizable dowery and it should set Joseph and Emma up well in whatever part of the country he should desire.
At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate and the sword, which the angel agreed could be sold to a museum to finance the printing of the Book of Mormon. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: You shall be responsible for these plates. We put a lot of work into keeping them from angry lamanites who really wanted to destroy them, so you really must be careful. Also the 34th page of the book of Alma bends a little funny, don’t screw up the words there. And if you should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect, you should be cut off.
And I said, “Cut off?! Like dead, or like, unable to translate for a season?”
And Moroni said, “Sorry, that’s me scaring you again… Just be careful with them, okay? They’re really important and I died for them! Look if you use all your endeavors to preserve them, until I call for them, they’ll be protected.
And I was comforted, because no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. I sent my father to spy on Samuel Lawrence, the man I took the second year to the hill, and he had been hired by William Chase to form a treasure-hunting party, which I did not sign a contract with, to try and get them from me. Despite my father watching them all night, somehow they jumped me as I was carrying these 60 lbs plates home. Given that I could never defend them so early on, and the plates being so heavy, and the walk home exerting me, I saw at once, a host of warriors, clad as it were, Native Americans; and they did stand around me and guard me home. And my attackers did fear greatly, and did retreat, which is lucky because otherwise I might have dislocated my thumb hitting one.
But by the wisdom and assistance of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. and I did not lose them for a time by handing over a portion of them to a man who said he walked and talked with Jesus in the form of a deer, because Martin Harris was a crazy wealthy man who wanted to be included on this, but due to the profits of the solid-gold hilted sword, I needed no financial assistance in publishing the book when the work was translated. And, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.