The Angel Moroni and the Gold Plates


Adapted from Doctrine and Covenants Stories, PBIC037A

1 Three years had passed since Joseph’s first vision. He was seventeen years old, and he wondered what God wanted him to do. Having faith that God would tell him what to do, Joseph prayed. (See JS—H 1:27, 29.)

2 A bright light filled Joseph’s room, and immediately an angel appeared, standing in the air by Joseph’s bed. The angel’s face was very bright, and he was wearing a beautiful white robe. He said that his name was Moroni and that God had sent him to talk to Joseph. Moroni said that God had a work for Joseph to do. (See JS—H 1:30–33.)

3 The angel Moroni told Joseph about a book concerning the people who lived in America long ago. Jesus Christ had visited those people and had taught them His gospel. (See JS—H 1:34.)

4 Moroni said that God wanted Joseph to translate the book, which was written on plates of gold in a language we do not now understand. (See JS—H 1:34–35.)

5 The angel Moroni said that the plates were buried in a hill near Joseph’s home. He also said that two stones, called the Urim and Thummim, were buried with the gold plates. The unusual stones would help Joseph translate the plates. (See JS—H 1:34–35, 42, 51.)

6 Moroni told Joseph about the great Prophet Elijah, who lived long ago and who would come to inspire people to learn and care about their ancestors. Moroni told Joseph about the priesthood and explained that it would allow righteous families to be sealed so that they could live together forever. Elijah would bring to the earth the authority to use priesthood power in this way. (See JS—H 1:36–40; D&C 128:17–18.)

7 Moroni came back two more times that night to instruct Joseph. The next morning when Joseph went to work on the farm, he was so tired that his father sent him home. On his way Joseph fell down. Moroni came to Joseph and repeated his message, adding that Joseph should tell his father what Moroni had taught him. Joseph’s father believed that God had sent Moroni, and he told Joseph to obey Moroni’s word. (See JS—H 1:44–50.)

8 Joseph went to the Hill Cumorah near his home. The gold plates were buried there in a stone box under a large rock. The Urim and Thummim were also in the box. (See JS—H 1:51–52.)

9 Moroni again came to Joseph. The angel did not allow Joseph to take the gold plates out of the box. He told Joseph to come to the hill on the same day each year for four years. Joseph obeyed Moroni, and each year Moroni instructed him. He told Joseph about the Church of Jesus Christ and that Jesus would restore it to the earth again. (See JS—H 1:53–54.)

10 In 1827 Moroni gave the gold plates to Joseph and told him how important it was that he take good care of them. (See JS—H 1:59.)

11 Joseph removed the gold plates, and wicked men tried to steal them. God helped Joseph keep them safely hidden until they were given back to the angel Moroni. (See JS—H 1:60.)