"During the three years following his First Vision, Joseph felt very humble. Often, he said, 'I . . . felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections' (Joseph Smith—History 1:29). But he did not lose faith or forget the power of prayer."On September 21, 1823, at the age of 17, he knelt to ask 'for forgiveness of [his] sins and follies, and [to receive] a manifestation . . . of [his] state and standing before [God]' (Joseph Smith—History 1:29). As he prayed, a light once again appeared, increasing 'until the room was lighter than at noonday' (Joseph Smith—History 1:30). In that light there stood a personage dressed in a robe of 'exquisite whiteness' (Joseph Smith—History 1:31). He called Joseph by name and introduced himself as Moroni. He said 'that God had a work for [Joseph] to do' (Joseph Smith—History 1:33) and told him of an ancient record written on gold plates, which, when translated, became the Book of Mormon. The book contained a record of the fulness of the gospel, as taught to Moroni's ancestors by Jesus Christ. Joseph was directed to obtain that record, buried near his family's home in a nearby hill, which is now called Cumorah."
Robert D. Hales, "Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign, Nov. 2003, 29
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