Friday, November 2, 2012

Angel Moroni Comes and Joseph Recieves the Plates

For those following my Church History Series, these are posts about a North Eastern Church History Tour my husband and I went on this past summer.  It was a dream vacation for me that was testimony building to say the least and life changing in many ways. 

I am sharing with all of you my pictures, some thoughts, and information from many of these sites.  This is mainly for my mother.  We share this love for the gospel  and scriptural insights.  It would have been so much fun to take her along with us.  She would have loved every second of it.

I am constantly updating my Church History posts with pictures and information. So keep checking back to see the changes.  This gospel is so true!!

Previous Posts from this Series:

At the age of 14, Joseph Smith had what is called the First Vision. For the next 3 years he did not have any visitations, and life continued on, although everything from normal. 
JS-H 1:22 I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great apersecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an bobscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.

On the evening of September 21, 1823 Joseph went to bed with his brothers in these upstairs bedrooms.
The staircase right off the kitchen leading the the Smith children's bedrooms
The front bedroom is the boys room, the back bedroom is the girls

Joseph shared a bed with his brother as well as a whole room with the other boys
Sometimes I think we have this visual in our mind, due to pictures from artists, that Joseph had his own room when Angel Moroni visited.  To me, it makes the story even that more amazing to know that no one else saw, heard, or even knew about Joseph's all-nighter with Angel Moroni.

As Joseph knelt down to say his prayers, no doubt the others were asleep in their beds, he felt weighed down with  his weaknesses sins of "levity" and asked for forgiveness and his standing before God. He says, he had  "full confidence in recieving a divine manifestation as he had previously done"

Distraction: I have an older brother who for years,  was actually scared an angel would appear in his bedroom.  His brothers used to love [and still do]to tease him about that. 

In answer to Joseph's prayer, Angel Moroni appeared in his bedroom with a very important message
see Joseph Smith -History 1:27-54 and my previous post [towards the end]
On September 22, 1823, after telling his father about the message and visit of Angel Moroni, Joseph went to a hill near his home, that came to be known as Hill Cumorah.  Here an ancient record of the inhabitants of the American continent was saved, preserved, and hidden in the hill . This record, written in reformed Egyptian, contained the fullness of the gospel and Joseph would translate it through sacred instruments provided him.  The time for that translation would be in the future.   Joseph saw the place in his vision, and recognized it immediately when he came to it.
He did not receive the record immediately, although he handled it and saw it.  He was told to come to the exact spot every year for four years on the exact same day.  During these early visits, Joseph was taught immensely about these people.  He would go home, and the family would all gather around as Joseph would tell of his experiences.  His mother shares that Joseph spoke with such ease of these ancient people: their dress, mode of travel, buildings, animals they rode upon, etc. as if he had spent his  entire life among them.
Receiving the plates was emotionally agonizing for Joseph and his entire family.  They knew the importance of it, and wanted more than anything for Joseph to be worthy and seen as worthy to the Lord to receive them. They had moments when they were very worried if Joseph would be able to pull  it off.
On one of Joseph's early visits, the plates were in a box and he set them down behind him. When he turned around the box and plates were completely gone.  He panicked, not knowing where the plates were. He prayed and asked the Lord what happened to the plates.  Angel Moroni came and reminded him of the early instruction to not let the plates out of his sight for even a second.  It was a hard lesson and Joseph went home "weeping"  His father, fully expecting Joseph to bring the plates home, and not understanding the whole situation, told Joseph, "If I were you, I would have just taken them"  Joseph said, "Father you don't know what you speak of, the angel wouldn't let me have them."
Another time, he reached in to take the plates, and was thrown "violently onto his back"  Receiving the plates was a heart-wrenching experience, that Joseph was very inexperienced in what was expected of him. But  he was taught every step along the way, and many times with very hard lessons.
September 22, 1827 the night that Joseph received the plates from Angel Moroni, Heber C. Kimball in another part of the country-Mendon, Ohio, saw a great vision.  There is no coincidence of timing involved here. 
"Sept. 22, 1827, while living in the town of Mendon, I having retired to bed, John P. Greene, a traveling reformed Methodist preacher, waked me up calling upon me to behold the scenery in the heavens.
I called my wife and sister Fanny Young (sister of Brigham Young) who was living with me; it was so clear that you could see to pick up a pin, we looked to the eastern horizon and beheld a white smoke arise towards the heavens, and as it ascended it formed itself into a belt and made a noise like the rustling of a mighty wind, and continued southwest, forming a regular bow dipping in the western horizon.
After the bow had formed it began to widen out and grow clear and transparent of a bluish cast, it grew wide enough to contain twelve men abreast.
In this bow an army moved, commencing from the east and marching to the west. They moved in platoons, and walked so close, the rear ranks trod in the steps of their file leaders, until the whole bow was literally crowded with soldiers.
We could see distinctly the muskets, bayonets, and knapsacks of the men, who wore caps and feathers like those used by the American soldiers in the last war with Britain; also their officers with their swords and equipage, and heard the clashing and jingling of their instruments of war and could discover the form and features of the men. The most profound order existed throughout the entire army, when the foremost man stepped, every man stepped at the same time: I could hear the step.
When the front rank reached the Western horizon a battle ensued, as we could distinctly hear the report of the arms and the rush.
No man could judge of my feelings when I beheld that army of men, as plainly as I ever saw armies of men in the flesh it seemed as though every hair of my head was alive. This scenery was gazed upon for hours, until it began to disappear.
Subsequently I learned this took place the same evening that Joseph Smith received the records of the Book of Mormon from the Angel Moroni."
Joseph received the plates and during the years of translation,  Joseph had to go to GREAT lengths to keep the record safe.  During this time, he and Emma were living in the frame home in Palmyra with Joseph's parents and family.  This large barn is directly across the road from the frame home.

In the barn loft

Between Lucy and Katherine asleep in bed

In the box

In a barrel of beans, Joseph's father was a wet cooper and made barrels.
This photo is actually inside the Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland

Underneath the hearth bricks

Of coarse, Joseph was able to keep the record safe until he finished translating.  After which, Angel Moroni came and took them. 

If this post wasn't long enough for you, and you want to read more, see my post The Bible and the Book of Mormon are Both Good Fruits

I can't explain to you how incredible it was to walk where Joseph walked, and to see first hand the very places where sacred events happened in our Church History.  I know now more than ever before it is true.  Joseph was a Prophet of God.  Jesus Christ lives and directs this work. This is His Church on the earth.