In 1823 Joseph Smith was seventeen years old. While he was praying one night, the angel Moroni appeared and told him many things, including the fact that gold plates were buried in a nearby hill. The plates were inscribed with the fullness of the gospel as given by the Savior to the people who anciently had lived in the land. With the plates were the Urim and Thummim—“seer” stones fastened to a breastplate—to help Joseph translate the inscriptions into what is now the Book of Mormon.

The angel came twice more that night, telling Joseph exactly the same thing and adding more each time. As Moroni left the third time, morning came. Joseph went to work in the fields with his father, but he was so weak that his father sent him home.

On the way home Joseph passed out. When he came to, Moroni was there calling his name. The angel repeated what he’d told Joseph the night before; he also told Joseph to do something then. What did Moroni tell Joseph to do? Do you know?

A. Joseph was to tell his father everything that Moroni had told him.

B. Joseph was to go home to bed until he felt strong enough to work with his father again.

C. Joseph was to go immediately to where the gold plates were hidden and dig them up.

D. Joseph was to get his five brothers to help him get the gold plates and translate them.

Answer:

[illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann

The angel told Joseph to tell his father everything that he, Moroni, had told Joseph (answer A). When Joseph did so, his father counseled him to go and do all that Moroni had commanded. Like Lehi—about whom Joseph was to learn when he later translated the gold plates—Joseph’s father was a man who feared God and who recognized the divinity of his son’s calling and sustained his son in serving the Lord.

(From JS—H 1:27–50)