My dear brothers and sisters, I am grateful to be with you tonight. I feel a great love for you. Whenever I am with the young adults of this Church, I feel love and I feel joy!
I invite you to come with me tonight on what I hope will be a journey of discovery, faith, and inspiration. I want to take you back to the early days of the Restoration, when Joseph Smith was a young adult. I am inviting you to come on a journey I have made myself. I have spent most of my life studying and teaching about leaders and the organizations they lead. I have been blessed to know many great leaders and to be inside many of the finest organizations people have created all across the earth. But this journey back into Joseph’s early experiences in the Restoration has reinforced my conviction that you and I are part of the most remarkable organization on the face of the earth, the Lord’s true and living Church.
I want to take you back to a time in Joseph’s life when he faced uncertainty and difficulty. It was a time when he was learning who he is, and who the Lord is, and how the Lord would work with him.
There would come a time when Joseph would be the great prophet of the Restoration, when he would rebuke the armed guards in Richmond Jail with such power that the guards would quake, when he would establish the Church, work mighty miracles, preach the gospel with marvelous insight, build cities and temples, and lay the foundation for the gathering of Israel and the work of salvation on both sides of the veil. But I want to take you back to a time before that, when Joseph wasn’t yet what he would become. I want to go back to those days because those days were for Joseph like your days are now for you. I believe there are important lessons for you to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ and His doctrine and about His prophet, Joseph Smith, from the days when Joseph was a young adult. I know that as you listen tonight with the Spirit of the Lord, your love for the Lord and your faith in Him and in Heavenly Father will increase and your witness of the Restoration and of the Prophet Joseph Smith will be stronger.
I begin the story with the golden plates. Joseph Smith, age 21, received the plates from the angel Moroni in September of 1827, along with two stones in silver bows, which the Nephites called interpreters, or the Urim and Thummim.1 Later that fall, Joseph and his wife, Emma, moved to Harmony, Pennsylvania, Emma’s hometown, because of intense persecution in Palmyra, New York.2
In Harmony, Joseph copied characters from the plates and studied them. He asked his friend Martin Harris to find someone to translate the plates, but Martin was not successful.3
By February of 1828 it had become clear to Joseph that he would have to translate the record himself with the aid of the interpreters.4 In time, Joseph learned to translate the record “by the gift and power of God.”5
Emma, who was pregnant with their first child, was Joseph’s first scribe. She and Joseph worked on the record until April of 1828, when Martin Harris arrived in Harmony to write for Joseph.
By June, Joseph had completed the translation of the first part of the record, including what he called the book of Lehi. Martin Harris desperately wanted to take the manuscript to New York to show his wife and family. Twice Joseph sought the Lord’s permission, but each time the answer was no. Martin persisted, and Joseph asked the Lord a third time. This time the Lord gave permission on the condition that Martin Harris covenant to show the manuscript only to his wife and a few others. Elated, Martin left immediately for Palmyra with the manuscript.
Joseph, however, was worried. During this time Joseph received a visit from Moroni and was reprimanded for his repeated requests to allow Martin to take the manuscript. Joseph had to give the interpreters and the plates back to Moroni.6
If that was not enough worry, Emma gave birth to a little boy, but the baby did not live. Emma almost died herself, and Joseph spent two weeks constantly by her side. Once she began to feel better, Emma urged Joseph to go find out what had happened to Martin and the manuscript.
The day Joseph arrived back in Palmyra, Martin Harris confirmed Joseph’s worst fears—the manuscript was gone. Joseph’s mother described the scene:
“Joseph … sprang from the table, exclaiming, ‘Martin, have you lost that manuscript? …’
“‘Yes, it is gone,’ replied Martin, ‘and I know not where.’
“‘Oh … !’ said Joseph, clinching his hands. ‘All is lost! all is lost! What shall I do? I have sinned. … I should have been satisfied with the first answer which I received from the Lord. …’ He wept and groaned, and walked the floor continually. …
“‘… Of what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the Most High?’
“… What could I say to comfort him, when he saw all the family in the same situation of mind as himself; for sobs and groans, and the most bitter lamentations filled the house. … And he continued, pacing back and forth, meantime weeping and grieving, until about sunset, when, by persuasion, he took a little nourishment.
“The next morning [he] set out for home. We parted with heavy hearts, for it now appeared that all which we had so fondly anticipated … had in a moment fled, and fled for ever.”7
The four-day journey back to Harmony must have been hard for Joseph. He worried about Emma, and he was still grief stricken over the loss of their first child. He had lost the manuscript and no longer had the plates or the interpreters. It was a long ride home.
Joseph made a decision to turn to the Lord.8 He described what happened after his return to Harmony in these words:
“Soon after my arrival, I commenced humbling myself in mighty prayer before the Lord, and … I [poured] out my soul in supplication to God, that if possible I might obtain mercy at his hands, and be forgiven of all that I had done contrary to his will.”9
“I was walking out a little distance, when … the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummim [the interpreters] again. … I enquired of the Lord through them and obtained the following revelation.”10
The revelation Joseph received is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 3. It is a stinging rebuke and a call to further repentance with a promise. First the rebuke:
“And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.
“For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words—
“Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.”11
Joseph was motivated by the persuasions and fear of men when he repeatedly asked the Lord for permission to give the manuscript to Martin Harris. Joseph had begun to repent, but the Lord taught him there was more to be done:
“Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.
“But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work.”12
Moroni required Joseph to give back the interpreters and the plates but promised him, “If you are very humble and penitent, it may be you will receive them again.”13 Joseph continued to repent and not long after received the plates and the interpreters from Moroni.14
Later, worried about the slow pace of translation during the winter of 1829, Joseph asked the Lord to send him a scribe.15 In April, the Lord sent Oliver Cowdery to Harmony to serve as Joseph’s scribe following Oliver’s miraculous conversion.16
With Oliver’s arrival, the translation process moved forward at a remarkable pace.
The translation of the Book of Mormon was full of miracles and blessings for Joseph.
However, the question about what to do about the book of Lehi surely troubled him. Without Lehi’s record, there would be no account of Lehi’s family, the journey to the promised land, or the origin of the Nephites and Lamanites.
In May of 1829 the Lord revealed to Joseph a plan, centuries in the making, to replace the book of Lehi with what we now know as the small plates of Nephi. These plates contained a summary of the book of Lehi and the prophecies and teachings of Nephi and other prophets. These writings, contained in the Book of Mormon from 1 Nephi to the Words of Mormon, were inspired by the Lord, preserved for hundreds of years, and added to the record by Mormon under the Lord’s direction.17
Joseph and Oliver did not retranslate the book of Lehi. The Lord warned Joseph that evil men had changed the original manuscript and were lying in wait to disrupt the Lord’s work. Joseph translated the small plates of Nephi and placed the translation at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.
The translation of the Book of Mormon brought forth marvelous experiences. The priesthood was restored, and Joseph and Oliver were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.18 Eleven witnesses saw the plates and bore testimony of their reality.
The Book of Mormon, with the testimony of the witnesses, was published in 1830. Martin Harris, who was one of the witnesses, mortgaged his farm to pay for the printing.
I have here with me two treasures from the historical collections of the Church that I want to show you. The first is a page of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. This page contains the English translation of 1 Nephi 3:7:
“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
The second treasure is a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon.
What Joseph received by revelation was printed in Palmyra and is right here in the Book of Mormon. The story I have told you about Joseph as a young adult, about Emma, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, Moroni, and the Book of Mormon, is true.
What This Story Means for You
I invite you, my dear brothers and sisters, to see your own experience in the light of this story. The Lord prepares you and teaches you, just as He did Joseph when he was a young adult. There are important lessons for you in Joseph’s experience. Tonight I want to focus on three: faith and trust in Jesus Christ, repentance, and the spiritual power of the Book of Mormon.
Lesson 1: Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ
I begin with lesson 1: Faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
I want you to think for a moment about Joseph’s situation when Martin Harris asked Joseph to make a third request of the Lord. The Lord had already said no twice. Martin’s third request created a dilemma for Joseph. It was a trial of his faith.
Think about it. On the one hand, Joseph had faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and was blessed with many remarkable spiritual experiences. He had seen and talked with the Father and the Son. He had interviews with Moroni and other prophets. He had just experienced the miraculous translation of the Book of Lehi using the interpreters and his seer stone.19
On the other hand, Joseph was 22 years old and worried. He had a wonderful wife, who was pregnant with their first child. He had no money, no education, and no means to provide for his family. He was surrounded by skeptics and persecutors and had few friends. There were no consultants to call upon, no board of directors, and no bankers to give him funds and counsel. He knew he was supposed to get the record published, but he had no idea how to pay for the printing if Martin Harris abandoned him. His life was full of uncertainty.
Despite his rich endowment of spiritual experiences, Joseph “feared man more than God”20 and chose to make a third request, thus incurring the displeasure of the Lord and setting in motion the loss of the manuscript. Yet the Lord was merciful to Joseph. He helped Joseph to repent by drawing on the faith Joseph already had, and He prepared the means to overcome the loss of the manuscript.
In many ways your situation is like Joseph’s. You are a young adult with worries and uncertainties about marriage and family, about education and work, and about finding your place in the world and in the Lord’s kingdom. There may be other challenges and problems in your life.
Like Joseph, you already have spiritual resources and experiences. You have felt the Spirit of the Lord in prayer, in the scriptures, in service to other people. You have experienced the love, grace, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance, in the sacrament, and in the holy temple.
When you face trials, as you surely will, don’t take counsel from your fears or rely on the persuasions of men. Instead, I invite you to do the things the Lord helped Joseph do. I promise you they will bring spiritual power into your life.
First, draw on the spiritual experiences and resources you already have to find increased faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Rely on the spiritual blessings you have felt and experienced for strength to move forward with faith in the Savior. He is the most important blessing of all. His love never fails. He will be with you in every time of trouble.
Second, look forward with the eye of faith to see the Savior working in your life. Remember how the Lord prepared Oliver Cowdery to be Joseph’s scribe and helped Joseph overcome the loss of the 116 pages with the small plates of Nephi.21 The Lord worked in Joseph’s life, and he works in your life too. You have an eternal identity and purpose and a divine destiny. The Lord is working in your life right now. He is out in front of you, working to open doors, prepare other people to help you, and open the way before you.
Lesson 2: Repentance
I turn now to lesson 2: Repentance.
Let’s go back to the moment when Joseph finds out the manuscript was gone. Joseph knew he had sinned against the Lord and transgressed His commandments. He was overcome with guilt and grief. But Joseph turned to the Lord and found the miracle of forgiveness and the joy of redemption.
The Lord held Joseph to a very high standard, with no excuses. He treated Joseph like the great prophet He wanted Joseph to become. Joseph feared man more than God. He trusted in his own understanding and not in God. For Joseph, repentance was much more than simply saying, “I made a mistake. I am sorry I lost the manuscript.” Joseph needed to overcome the attitudes, fears, and dispositions in his life that were at the root of his sins. And he needed to grow and learn and change all through his life.
Joseph needed a change of heart that is only possible through the mercy, love, and power of Jesus Christ. That is exactly what Joseph received. The Lord knew the potential of Joseph’s noble character. When He said to Joseph, “Thou art Joseph. … Repent … , and thou art still chosen,”22 you can hear in those words the Savior reaching to Joseph with His love and mercy, yearning for Joseph to change.
You can also hear the Lord teaching Joseph who he really is. He may have grown up as a poor, uneducated farm boy, but that is not his true identity. He is Joseph the Prophet, a choice seer through whom Jesus Christ would restore the fulness of His gospel to the earth.
When the Lord called Joseph to repentance, it was a call for Joseph to make the changes necessary to rise up and become his true identity through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Savior already had suffered everything Joseph went through, which was real and hard and very troubling. Jesus Christ offered Joseph the way to forgiveness and redemption. Over many days and weeks and months, Joseph sought the Lord’s forgiveness and His redeeming power, and he received them.
Brothers and sisters, the Lord sets very high standards for you too, with no excuses. He treats you like the valiant, compassionate disciple He wants you to be. But He also loves you too, as he loved Joseph. We all fall short from time to time, and each of us needs the blessings of repentance.
As you can see in Joseph’s experience, repentance is much more than telling the Lord and your bishop you did something wrong. To sin is to turn away from the Lord. To repent is to re-turn to Him. Repentance requires a change of heart and mind, a change of life tailored to your personal situation.
Moreover, repentance blesses you continually. It is the way the Lord helps us do better and be better all through our lives. It is the way that you rise up and become your eternal identity as sons and daughters of God and true followers of Jesus Christ.
The promises are true, brothers and sisters. Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, and keep His commandments. He possesses infinite mercy,23 and as Joseph later taught, “Our heavenly Father is more … boundless in his mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive.”24 Jesus Christ chose to suffer for your sins and all your pains and sorrows so that He could forgive, heal, change, strengthen, and bless you with joy. He truly is the Savior and Redeemer.
Lesson 3: The Spiritual Power of the Book of Mormon
I now turn to lesson 3: The spiritual power of the Book of Mormon.
Once Joseph had been forgiven of his sins, he rejoiced to receive the plates and the interpreters again.25 His experience with the lost manuscript had burned into his soul the importance of the Book of Mormon in the Lord’s work. The central message of the Book of Mormon prophets is their witness of Jesus Christ and His doctrine. There is spiritual power in that book.
We can see that power in Joseph’s translation experience. The translation was not mechanical. It was a spiritual experience, and it taught Joseph the workings of the Lord and the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon was a revelatory experience for Joseph from beginning to end. The Book of Mormon taught Joseph the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and the Lord called him to live it—to act with faith in Jesus Christ, to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost.26
The Lord blessed Joseph with increased spiritual power in these experiences. After he was baptized, for example, he said that he was “filled with the Holy Ghost,” and “the true meaning and intention of [the scriptures]” was “laid open to [his understanding].”27
The Lord used the coming forth of the Book of Mormon to raise up Joseph and bring Joseph closer to Him. The Lord tutored Joseph and strengthened him in bringing forth that book by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Book of Mormon can be a revelatory experience for you, just like it was for Joseph.
The prophets who wrote the Book of Mormon saw our day. They wrote to us. Their words speak to our times, our needs, and our purposes. If your heart is open as you read and pray about the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost28 will “manifest the truth of it unto you.”29 You will know that the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer and that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration.
Whether you are not yet a member of the Church or have been a member for a long or a short time, I invite you to do what Joseph did—read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and act with faith in Jesus Christ to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost. Then move forward to receive and keep all the ordinances and covenants of salvation, including the sealing ordinance in the temple.
I know the power of the Book of Mormon from many, many personal experiences. I want to share one of them with you tonight that happened when I was a young adult. I had been on my mission in Germany for two months. It had been a difficult two months, and I was discouraged. One morning I knelt in prayer and told Heavenly Father of my troubles. I said to Him, “Heavenly Father, please help me.” As I prayed, I heard a voice as distinct and clear as though someone were standing right next to me. The voice said: “Believe in God.”
I sat on the bed and opened the Book of Mormon to Mosiah, chapter 4, verses 9 and 10, and read the words of King Benjamin:
“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; …
“… Believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; … and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.”30
As I read those words I felt as though King Benjamin was speaking to me. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost in my heart. I knew this was the answer to my prayer. I needed to trust the Lord, repent, and go to work. From that day to this, the Book of Mormon has been a source of spiritual power in my life.
My dear brothers and sisters, I know the Book of Mormon will lead you to Jesus Christ and His doctrine. Read the Book of Mormon, study it, pray about it, treasure it up in your minds and in your hearts every single day, as President Monson has counseled us to do. In every time in your life, our Lord and Savior will speak peace to your soul, lift you and strengthen you, and draw you closer and closer to Him, in that book, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
These three lessons from Joseph’s years as a young adult testify of the power of Jesus Christ and His doctrine. I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of the living God. There is a Redeemer. He lives!
I hope and pray that you will learn from Joseph’s life. Though he struggled in his young adult years, he trusted in the Lord, and the Lord blessed him to become the great prophet of the Restoration. Joseph did God’s holy work. The Restoration is true! Remember this: Jesus is the Christ, and Joseph is His prophet. There is an unbroken chain of priesthood keys, authority, and power that links Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today. It is all true.
And so, my beloved brothers and sisters all across the earth, I say to you tonight, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew Joseph’s name; he knows your name. He loves you, and He works in your life. Through His mercy, grace, and love, you can rise up and, like the Prophet Joseph, overcome every trial and become what you are destined to be: valiant, faithful Latter-day Saints, leaders in your eternal families and in His true and living Church, true disciples of Jesus Christ, full of His light and His love, prepared to receive the Savior when He comes again. I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. English approval: 3/17. Translation approval: 3/17. Translation of “Thou Art Joseph.” Language. PD60003848 xxx
1. Moroni had counseled, tutored, and mentored Joseph for four years. Joseph had gone to the Hill Cumorah on the same September day every year since 1823. Every year he went with great hope that he would receive the plates, only to be told by Moroni that he (Joseph) was not ready. By September of 1827 he was ready. Regarding the interpreters, see Alma 37:21–24. Joseph Smith said that the two stones constituted what was called anciently the Urim and Thummim. See Joseph Smith—History 1:35; see also Richard E. Turley Jr., Robin S. Jensen, and Mark Ashurst-McGee, “Joseph the Seer,” Ensign, Oct. 2015, 49–55.
2. Isaac Hale, Emma’s father, offered Emma and Joseph a farm, a house, a barn, and other improvements if they would move back to Harmony, Pennsylvania (see The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 1: July 1828–June 1831, ed. Michael Hubbard MacKay and others , 29; Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon (2015), 32–33). Martin Harris, a friend and prosperous local farmer, gave Joseph and Emma Smith $50 to help clear debts and fund the move to Pennsylvania (see The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories, Volume 1, Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, ed. Karen Lynn Davidson and others , 15).
3. For a discussion of the transcription of the Book of Mormon characters and Martin Harris’s travels, see Richard E. Bennett, “Martin Harris’s 1828 Visit to Luther Bradish, Charles Anthon, and Samuel Mitchill,” in The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, ed. Dennis L. Largey and others (2015), 103–15.
4. Several narratives support the notion that Martin Harris took the sample of characters to at least three individuals “to explore the possibilities for obtaining a translation and that [Joseph Smith] began translating only after Harris returned without finding a translator” (in The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories, Volume 1, Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, 241). In his earliest history, Joseph Smith recorded that Martin Harris “said the Lord had shown him that he must go to New York City with some of the characters, so we proceeded to copy some of them and he took his journey to the Eastern cities and to the learned, saying, ‘Read this, I pray thee,’ and the learned said, ‘I cannot,’ but if he would bring the … plates they would read it, but the Lord had forbid it, and [Martin Harris] returned to me and gave them to me to translate, and I said, ‘[I] cannot, for I am not learned,’ but the Lord had prepared spectacles for to read the book, therefore, I commenced translating the characters” (in The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories, Volume 1, Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, 15; capitalization, punctuation, and spelling standardized for clarity).
5. Joseph Smith, preface to the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. For an overview of the translation of the Book of Mormon, see the Gospel Topics essay “Book of Mormon Translation,” topics.lds.org.
6. See Manuscript History of the Church, vol. A-1, p. 10, josephsmithpapers.org.
7. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations (1853), 121–22.
8. It was a blessing that Joseph was in New York in the midst of his family when this terrible news arrived. Before he left to return to Harmony, Pennsylvania, his mother counseled him that “perhaps the Lord would forgive him, after a short season of humiliation and repentance” (Smith, Biographical Sketches, 121.
9. Smith, Biographical Sketches, 125.
10. Joseph Smith, in Manuscript History of the Church, vol. A-1, p. 10, josephsmithpapers.org.
13. See Smith, Biographical Sketches, 125.
14. There are conflicting accounts concerning the time the Book of Mormon plates were returned. Joseph’s history says that it was within a few days, whereas Lucy Mack Smith’s history claims it was September (see Manuscript History of the Church, vol. A-1, p. 11, josephsmithpapers.org; Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches, 126).
15. During that fall and winter, Joseph did some translation with Emma as his scribe, but most of the time she and Joseph had to work the farm and take care of their home (see Smith, Biographical Sketches, 131).
16. Oliver Cowdery had boarded with the Smiths in Manchester, New York, while teaching school. He heard the stories of the golden plates and the Book of Mormon, and “one night after he had retired to bed, he called upon the Lord to know if these things were so, and that the Lord had manifested to him that they were true” (Joseph Smith, in Manuscript History of the Church, vol. A-1, p. 15, josephsmithpapers.org). With that knowledge he felt a compelling desire to write for Joseph.
17. See Doctrine and Covenants 10:38–42. Nephi was inspired to create the small plates (see 1 Nephi 9:3–6), and this is how Mormon described the inspiration he received to include them in the record: “Behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me. … And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me” (Words of Mormon 1:6–7).
18. As Joseph finished translating the record, he and Oliver were prompted to go into the woods and pray about baptism for the remission of sins, mentioned in the translation of 3 Nephi (see 3 Nephi 11:21–28; 19:9–13; 27:16–20). Their prayers were answered. Joseph and Oliver received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist and baptized one another (see Joseph Smith—History 1:68–73). Later, they received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John, which gave them authority to bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:12–13).
19. See The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Volume 3, Part 1: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 1–Alma 35, ed. Royal Skousen and Robin Scott Jensen , xvii–xix; MacKay and Dirkmaat, From Darkness unto Light, 67–69.
21. When Joseph learned that Martin Harris had lost the manuscript, he did not know that the Lord had inspired Mormon to include the small plates of Nephi in the record. He did not know that the Lord would inspire Martin Harris to repent, be a witness of the Book of Mormon, and pay for its printing. Joseph knew none of that. The Lord was out in front of Joseph, preparing the way before him.
23. See Mosiah 28:4.
24. Joseph Smith, in Manuscript History of the Church, vol. D-1, addenda, p. 4, josephsmithpapers.org.
25. The contrast with the darkness he experienced in the months without the ability to translate was sharp. The Lord had given Joseph the power to “translate by the means of the [interpreters],” but Joseph had “lost [that] gift … and [his] mind became darkened” (Doctrine and Covenants 10:1–2). Joseph’s mind had been enlightened by the power of the Holy Ghost, and he had experienced spiritual darkness in his mind with the loss of that light. That loss made the spirit of revelation and the guidance of the Spirit sweet to Joseph.
26. It was the translation of the account of baptism and receipt of the Holy Ghost at the time of the Savior’s visit to the people at the temple in Bountiful that prompted Joseph and Oliver to seek revelation about the authority to baptize and administer the gift of the Holy Ghost (see The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories, Volume 1: Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, 42; see also Oliver Cowdery, letter to W. W. Phelps, dated Sept. 7, 1834, in Latter Day Saints’s Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 15–16).
28. People baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. People not yet baptized may receive the power of the Holy Ghost to witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon, but the Holy Ghost will not stay with them.
29. Moroni 10:4.
30. Mosiah 4:9–10.