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Book of Mormon Origins

"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."
— Joseph Smith (

Joseph is visited by the angel Moroni who informs him of a buried book written on gold plates
Joseph obtains the gold plates to translate them
The first 116 pages of the translation are lost.
Joseph's translation is published as the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith claimed that three years after he received the First Vision, he had another visitation, this time by an angel named Moroni. Joseph explains what the angel told him:
Joseph Smith He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants.
Joseph Smith—History 1:64
  • The angel Moroni allegedly visited Joseph once a year for five years until 1827, when Joseph was allowed to obtain the gold plates to translation them.
  • With the help of scribes he began translating the plates.
  • The language on the plates is called reformed Egyptian: which remains unknown today.
  • Joseph Smith gave Martin Harris (a friend interested in financing the translation) a paper of characters allegedly copied from the gold plates, so that Harris could get an independent opinion of them. Harris then visited Dr. Charles Anthon.
  • Martin Harris took home the first 116 pages of Joseph's translation to show to his wife, as she was skeptical of the project and concerned that Harris was being financially gullible. The manuscript came up missing.
  • Unfortunately we are unable to view the gold plates today, as according to Joseph, the angel Moroni took them back after Joseph had completed his translation. Joseph enlisted witnesses to provide testimony that they saw the gold plates.