|East side of Hill Cumorah in Manchester, New York|
About 3 miles south of the Smith Family farm lies a a small hill. On September 22nd, 1823 in the Log Home on the Smith Farm, Joseph Smith was visited by an angel whose name was Moroni. That night, Joseph Smith Jr. went to bed pondering upon the vision he had witnessed 3 years previous. Wondering about what the Lord expected of him next, he offered up a prayer to God. In Joseph Smith's own words, he says "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor."
|Hill Cumorah in early 1900's|
By the time Moroni had delivered his message for a third time and left, morning had come. Joseph then proceed to go about his morning chores and duties on his father's farm. He said his strength was utterly gone and his father noticed his son was not well and told Joseph to return to the house. As he climbed over the fence from the field, he lost all energy and collapsed on the ground. As he awoke, he saw the same personage, Moroni, standing above him. He then again for a fourth time received the same message he had been given by Moroni the night before. As he finished, he was commanded to go and tell his father about what he had seen and heard. In obedience to that direction, Joseph did and told his father all the events of that night. His father listened and said that the vision was of God and that he should go to the place the angel directed him.
|Joseph with Moroni at Hill Cumorah|
So, back to Joseph Smith's account. "On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth."
"Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates,....."
|Statue of Angel Moroni on Hill Cumorah|