How Joseph Smith Preserved the Plates

Joseph Smith didn’t write much about how he protected the gold plates, but some people close to him left records of what really happened.  Many people are familiar with the account of the appearance of the angel Moroni in Joseph Smith’s bedroom  on the evening of September 21, 1823. It… Continue reading

Contest Winner: Of Ducks and Destinies

an orange duck standing on grass

Although we might prefer our lives be as neat and cozy as a duck pond in a manicured garden, we must navigate the wilderness of uncertainty guided by the Spirit if we are to discover our personal promised lands. While hurrying home one October day, I was struck by the… Continue reading

Understanding the Book of Mormon’s Translation

Though translating with a seer stone may seem odd, what matters most is that the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. Never-before-seen pictures of Joseph Smith’s first seer stone are found in “Joseph the Seer” in the October 2015 Ensign and Liahona. Assistant Church Historian Richard… Continue reading

Martin Harris: An Example of Repentance

Martin Harris home

Although Martin Harris was not a perfect man, his example shows us that when we approach our mistakes with humility, we can partake of God’s gift of repentance. Martin Harris (1783–1875) was a decorated war hero, a civic leader, a successful farmer, and an excellent father. He became a central… Continue reading

The Unprinted Pages in the Original Book of Commandments

pages on a printing press

Scholars at the Joseph Smith Papers propose what might have been included in the Book of Commandments if the printing office had not been destroyed by a mob. In July 1833, vigilantes razed William Phelps’s home where he was printing copies of Joseph Smith’s revelations that were then known as… Continue reading

The Enemy of Your Soul

man staring out the window

The natural man is an enemy to God, but society would tell us otherwise. Only through Jesus Christ can we control the part of ourselves that separates us from God. Society teaches us to indulge and enjoy, to live out the mantra “YOLO” (you only live once). We are encouraged… Continue reading

What Did Reformed Egyptian Characters in the Book of Mormon Look Like?

Want to see copies of original characters from the gold plates up close? Thanks to The Joseph Smith Papers, you can. From the moment Joseph Smith received the gold plates in 1827, he constantly had to protect them. The angel Moroni gave him specific instructions to keep them safe—not only from… Continue reading

War, Politics, and Power of the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon includes details and principles of war that would have been impossible for young Joseph Smith to make up. Although the Book of Mormon was published by Joseph Smith, a young man with little education and no war experience, it is remarkably accurate in its portrayal of… Continue reading

The Creation Account and the Seed in Alma’s Sermon

yellow flowers in a valley

If you don’t think of Genesis 1–2 when you read Alma 32, you’re missing powerful Creation imagery that emphasizes fundamental Christian teachings. The sermon on faith in Alma 32 is among the most iconic passages found in the Book of Mormon. In it we read that God’s word is a seed… Continue reading

The Book of Mormon: Worth More than Gold

Oliver Cowdery explains in a letter the true worth of the gold plates that were translated into the Book of Mormon. In 1827, Joseph Smith learned from an angel named Moroni that a record of ancient inhabitants of the Americans was hidden in a hill in Manchester, New York. He… Continue reading