Hello, I’m Sister Horn. And I’m Sister Olson. We’re missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

and we were standing close to the Sacred Grove in Palmyra in Manchester, New York, USA,

about 500 kilometers or 300 miles northwest of New York City.

This log home is a replica of a home where Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith Smith lived with their large family. It stands in the same location as the original home.

Let's go inside.

For the Smith family, this was a place of love, faith, learning, and hard work.

This room was the primary gathering place for the Smith family. Here,

they ate, sang, prayed, and read the Bible together.

This other room served as a parlor for guests during the day and as a bedroom for Joseph Senior and Lucy at night. Many of the children slept upstairs.

Let's go take a look.

The Smith family lived at this location in the spring of 1820,

when Joseph Smith received his first vision, a personal visit from God, the Father, and Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ told Joseph not to join any churches then in existence, but to continue as he was until he received further direction.

Some of that further direction was given right here.

We invite you to imagine the space in 1823, when nine children lived in this home.

In addition to sharing the space, they probably also shared beds.

We don't know exactly what the space looked like, but it's possible that one or more of the three daughters slept in a small room and that the six sons slept in a larger room, probably in three beds.

One night, 17-year-old Joseph Jr. did not sleep at all.

It was the night of September 21, 1823, in the early morning hours of the next day. That night, he was troubled by his weaknesses and imperfections.

He said that he wasn't guilty of serious sins, but that he felt he didn't conduct himself as one who had been called of God. So he offered a humble prayer.

He asked for forgiveness of his sins, and he asked to know his standing before God.

He prayed with full expectation that he would receive an answer,

and he did receive an answer.

While he prayed right here in this very space, he discovered a light appearing in the room.

The light increased until the room was lighter than at noonday,

and then Joseph saw an angel standing in the air next to his bed.

The angel wore a loose white robe, and the room was most bright immediately around him.

Although Joseph was afraid when he first saw him, he said “the fear soon left me.”

The angel called Joseph by name and introduced himself as Moroni,

a messenger sent from the presence of God. His first message was that God had a work for Joseph to do.

He told him of a book, written on gold plates, buried in a nearby hill.

It contained an account of people who had lived in the ancient Americas, and it taught the fullness of the gospel as Jesus Christ had given it to those people. Buried with the plates were two stones in a silver bow fastened to a breastplate.

God had prepared the stones, which are sometimes called the Urim and Thummim and sometimes called interpreters to help with the translation of the book.

Joseph would translate the record by the gift and power of God from an ancient language to English.

After Moroni told Joseph about the plates,

he quoted prophecies in the Bible about many subjects, including the Lord raising up a prophet in the last days, the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,

God’s covenant with His children, the gathering of Israel,

Elijah coming to plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers and to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers,

priesthood power and authority, spiritual gifts, Jesus Christ’s second coming and millennial reign.

Moroni said that Joseph would someday be able to obtain the gold plates but that he must never show them or the other items to anyone unless God commanded it.

While Moroni talked about the plates, Joseph saw a vision of the exact place where they were buried.

After the angel finished his message, the light in the room gathered around him and the rest of the room went dark again.

Then Joseph saw a conduit open up into heaven,

and the angel went up through that conduit until he was gone.

Joseph lay in bed thinking about what had just happened, and then the angel returned just as he had come before. Moroni shared the same message and added warnings about adversity that would come to the world. And then he ascended to heaven again.

By this time, sleep had fled from Joseph's eyes, and he was overwhelmed in astonishment.

And then the angel returned a third time.

He shared the same message and added a personal warning:

satan would try to get Joseph to use the plates to get rich.

This would be especially tempting because the Smith family was very poor.

Joseph would not be allowed to obtain the plates until his only reason for obtaining them was to glorify God and to build up His kingdom.

Just after the angel ascended the third time, Joseph heard the rooster crow outside.

He realized that his interviews with Moroni had lasted all night.

Now it was time to begin the day’s work.

So he got out of bed, got dressed, went downstairs, and started his everyday activities on the farm.

Let’s go outside where we’ll talk about what happened later that morning.

As we walk along this road, we are on the northern portion of the Smith’s farm of 40 hectares or 100 acres. The land all around us was once covered with trees when they first arrived here.

They eventually cleared the land of 60 percent of the trees.

The Palmyra temple now stands on land that was part of the Smith’s farm.

Back to the story. Joseph was understandably exhausted after staying up all night conversing with an angel.

He tried to work in the field with his father and brothers, but he had no strength. His father noticed that something was wrong and told him to go home. But on the way home, Joseph tried to cross the fence and he fell on the ground unconscious under an apple tree. The first thing he remembered was someone calling him by name. He looked up and saw the angel Moroni again surrounded by light standing over his head.

The angel shared the same message he had shared the night before,

and then he told Joseph to go and tell his father about his vision and the commandments he had received.

Joseph obeyed. He went back to the field and talked with his father. After hearing this story, Joseph Senior said that it was of God and told his son to go and do as the angel had commanded him to do.

So, Joseph walked about five kilometers or three miles to the place where the plates were buried. Because the Lord had given him such a clear vision, Joseph recognized it as soon as he got there.

You can learn more about this part of the story on a virtual tour of the Hill Cumorah. For now, it's enough to know that Joseph saw the plates buried in a stone box in the ground. He was not allowed to get them that day.

Moroni told him to return to the same place exactly a year later. This yearly meeting would continue until Joseph was ready to receive the plates.

This was the beginning of a relationship between two servants of God—one,

a young man born in 1805;

the other, a resurrected angel who had lived on the earth about 1,400 years earlier.

The angel and the young man shared a sacred stewardship,

a calling from God to bring forth the Book of Mormon with its testimony of Jesus Christ.

I love being here and thinking about Moroni visiting Joseph Smith.

This story reminds me that God truly answers all of our prayers—

not always in the way we expect Him to, but that He will answer them.

And I’m grateful that the angel Moroni helped Joseph Smith prepare to bring the Book of Mormon forth for all the world.

As I study the Book of Mormon, I learn more and more about how if we have faith in Jesus Christ, and we apply His infinite Atonement in our lives,

we can feel the love He has for us, and we can overcome any trial that we have been given.

Thank you for joining us today in two places where a significant part of Joseph Smith’s mission began: a crowded bedroom and an apple orchard.

Sacred Grove Historic Site, Part 2: The Angel Moroni and Joseph Smith

Missionaries take you to places where the angel Moroni taught young Joseph Smith about his sacred mission: the upstairs bedroom of a log home and an apple orchard.

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