Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God

April 2010 - Talk #2
Three years after Joseph Smith saw Heavenly and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove, Joseph wondered what God wanted him to do. Joseph was 17 years old. One night Joseph prayed about this. He had faith that God would tell him what to do.

Joseph saw a bright light in his room. An angel was standing in the light. The angel’s face was very bright. He wore a beautiful white robe. The angel said his name was Moroni. God had sent him to talk to Joseph. Moroni said God had a work for Joseph to do.

The angel said his name was Moroni. God had sent him to talk to Joseph. Moroni said God had a work for Joseph to do. Moroni said the book was written on gold pages called plates. It was written in a language that is unknown to us today. God wanted Joseph to translate the book into English.

The angel Moroni said the gold plates were buried in a hill near Joseph’s home. While Moroni was talking, Joseph saw a vision that showed him where the plates were buried. The angel Moroni went away, then came back two more times that night. He told Joseph many things each time, then left when it was morning. Joseph got up and went to work with his father on the farm.

Joseph was too tired to work, so his father sent him home. As he started home, he fell to the ground. Moroni then appeared again and repeated what he had said during the night. When Moroni left, Joseph told his father the things Moroni had taught him. Joseph’s father believed him. He knew that God had sent Moroni, and he told Joseph to obey him.

Joseph went to the hill where the gold plates were buried. He found the plates in a stone box that was underneath a big rock. While Joseph was at the hill, the angel Moroni came to him. Moroni would not let Joseph take the gold plates yet. He told Joseph to come to the hill on the same day each year for four years.

Joseph went back to the hill every year for four years. On the fourth year, the angel Moroni said that Joseph could take the plates. He told Joseph to take good care of them.

With the help of Heavenly Father, Joseph translated the words that were written on the plates from the language that was used when they were written long ago to English. This translation is called the Book of Mormon.

Because Joseph followed the instructions from Heavenly Father and translated the writings of ancient prophets, each of us can be blessed by reading the stories found in the Book of Mormon. I know that if we will read and pray about the Book of Mormon, we can know that it is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.


In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Talk adapted from "Doctrine and Covenants Stories"