“Chapter 1: How We Got the Book of Mormon,” Book of Mormon Stories (1997), 2–4
When Joseph Smith was 14 years old, many churches were claiming to be true, and he did not know which one to join.
Joseph Smith—History 1:5–10
One day Joseph read James 1:5 in the Bible: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Joseph needed to know which church was right, so he decided to ask God.
Joseph Smith—History 1:11–13
On a spring morning Joseph went into the woods near his home to pray.
Joseph Smith—History 1:14
As he knelt down and started to pray, Satan tried to stop him. Joseph prayed harder, asking Heavenly Father for help.
Joseph Smith—History 1:15–16
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to Joseph in a pillar of light. Heavenly Father pointed to Jesus and said: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17
Joseph asked which church he should join. Jesus told him not to join any of them because they were all wrong.
Joseph Smith—History 1:18–19
When Joseph told some people what he had seen and heard, they laughed at him. The leaders of many local churches persecuted him.
Joseph Smith—History 1:21–22
Three years went by. One night Joseph was praying to be forgiven of his sins and to know what he should do.
Joseph Smith—History 1:29
An angel named Moroni appeared and told Joseph about a book that was written on gold plates. Joseph was to translate these plates into English.
Joseph Smith—History 1:33–35
After Moroni left, Joseph thought about what Moroni had told him. Moroni came back two more times that night.
Joseph Smith—History 1:44–47
The next day Joseph went to the top of the Hill Cumorah, which he had seen in a vision. There he found a big rock. He pried the rock up with a stick.
Joseph Smith—History 1:50–52
Beneath the rock was a stone box. As Joseph looked into the box, he saw the gold plates.
Joseph Smith—History 1:51–52
Moroni appeared and told Joseph not to take the plates but to come back on the same day each year for four years. Each time Joseph went, Moroni taught him.
Joseph Smith—History 1:53–54
After four years Joseph was finally allowed to take the gold plates. He used the Urim and Thummim to translate some of them.
Joseph Smith—History 1:59, 62
Scribes helped Joseph by writing the words as he translated them from the gold plates.
Joseph Smith—History 1:67
Joseph took the translated words to a printer and had them made into a book.
History of the Church 1:71
The book is called the Book of Mormon. It tells about people who lived in America many years ago. It also tells about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Introduction to the Book of Mormon