Joseph obeyed at once, and went back and told all he had seen and heard. His father believed all he said, and told Joseph to obey the angel, as the teachings and commandments were surely from the Lord.
Topics.—1. Beginning of persecution. 2. Visit of the angel Moroni. 3. What Moroni told Joseph.
Questions and Review.—1. What did people say of Joseph’s first vision? 2. Why did people persecute a young boy like Joseph? 3. Name the date of Moroni’s visit. 4. What is an angel? (See Doc. and Cov. Sec. 129, also Key to Theology, Chap. 12.) 5. Describe the Angel Moroni. 6. Why did the angel repeat so often his instructions to Joseph? 7. How old was Joseph at this time?
The sacred plates.
About two miles south of Joseph’s home, in Manchester, is a large hill, the highest in that part of the country. To this place Joseph went on the morning after the angel’s visit, as this was the spot he had seen in his vision. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, Joseph found a large, rounded stone, nearly covered with earth. Prying this up, he found it to be the lid of a stone box which was buried in the earth. Raising the lid, he looked in, and there indeed were the sacred treasures about which the angel had told him. As he stood looking at them in wonder, the angel Moroni came to his side, and Joseph was taught many things about the future. He was shown in a vision the glory of the good and the darkness of the evil.
[Illustration: The hill Cumorah.]
Joseph was about to take the plates from the box, when the angel forbade him, telling him the time had not yet arrived, but that he should come to the hill in one year from that date when the angel would meet him. This he must do for four years, at the end of which time, if Joseph was faithful, the plates would be given to him to translate and publish to the world.
True to the angel’s instructions, Joseph went to the hill Cumorah on the 22nd day of September of each year, at which time Moroni appeared to him and gave him many teachings about the word of God.
During all this time Joseph had to labor hard on the farm, sometimes hiring out to work for others. In October, 1825, he worked for a man by the name of Josiah Stoal, who took Joseph to the State of Pennsylvania, and set him with other men, digging for a silver mine which he thought he could find. After working at it for some time, Joseph persuaded his employer to give it up. It was from this incident that Joseph’s enemies sometimes called him a “money digger.”
While working for Mr. Stoal, Joseph boarded for some time with the family of Isaac Hale. Here he met Emma Hale who became his wife, they being married in the year 1827.
The four years were now passed. On the 22nd of September, 1827, Joseph went on his fifth visit to the sacred hill, and on that day the angel Moroni delivered to him the plates and the Urim and Thummim. He was told to take good care of them as evil men would try to take them from him; but if he, Joseph, would do all he could to preserve them, the Lord would come to his assistance when it would be needed.