[Earliest account of First Vision, obtaining plates, etc.]
History A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr. an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Ch[r]ist ...
I was born in the town of Charon [Sharon] in the [[State]] of Vermont North America ... At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with regard to the all importent concerns of for the wellfare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught ... thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart ... I become convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that mand [[mankind]] did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins ... therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in [[the]] attitude of calling upon the Lord [[in the 16th year of my age]] a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the [[Lord]] opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph [[my son]] thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy [[way]] walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life [[behold]] the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not [[my]] commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to thir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which [[hath]] been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud [[clothed]] in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time my mother and but after many days I fell into transgressions and sinned in many things which brought a wound upon my soul and there were many things which transpired that cannot be writen and my Fathers family have suffered many persicutions and afflictions and it came to pass when I was seventeen years of age I called again upon the Lord and he shewed unto me a heavenly vision for behold an angel of the Lord came and stood before me and it was by night and he called me by name and he said the Lord had forgiven me my sins and he revealed unto me that in the Town of Manchester Ontario County N.Y. there was plates of gold upon which there was engravings which was engraven by Maroni & his fathers the servants of the living God in ancient days and deposited by th[e] commandments of God and kept by the power thereof and that I should go and get them and he revealed unto me many things concerning the inhabitents of of the earth which since have been revealed in commandments & revelations and it was on the 22d day of Sept. AD 1â—Š82 1822 and thus he appeared unto me three times in one night and once on the next day and then I immediately went to the place and found where the plates was deposited as the angel of the Lord had commanded me and straightway made three attempts to get them and then being excedingly frightened I supposed it had been a dreem of Vision but when I considred I knew that it was not therefore I cried unto the Lord in the agony of my soul why can I not obtain them behold the angel appeared unto me again and said unto me you have not kept the commandments of the Lord which I gave unto you therefore you cannot now obtain them for the time is not yet fulfilled therefore thou wast left unto temptation that thou mightest be made accquainted of with the power of the advisary therefore repent and call on the Lord thou shalt be forgiven and in his own due time thou shalt obtain them for now I had been tempted of the advisary and saught the Plates to obtain riches and kept not the commandme[n]t that I should have an eye single to the Glory of God therefore I was chastened and saught diligently to obtain the plates and obtained them not untill I was twenty one years of age and in this year I was married to Emma Hale Daughtr of Isaach [Isaac] Hale who lived in Harmony Susquehan[n]a County Pensylvania on the 18th January AD, 1827, on the 22d day of Sept of this same year I obtained the plat[e]sâ"and the in December following we mooved to Susquehana by the assistence of a man by the name of Martin Har[r]is who became convinced of th[e] vision and gave me fifty Dollars to bare my expences and because of his faith and this rightheous deed the Lord appeared unto him in a vision and shewed unto him his marvilous work which he was about to do and [[h[e]]] imediately came to Suquehannah and said the Lord had shown him that he must go to new York City [[with]] some of the characters so we proceeded to coppy some of them and he took his Journy to the Eastern Cittys and to the Learned [[saying]] read this I pray thee and the learned said I cannot but if he would bring the blates [plates] they would read it but the Lord had forbid it and he returned to me and gave them to [[me]] [[to]] translate and I said I said cannot for I am not learned but the Lord had prepared spectticke spectacles for to read the Book therefore I commenced translating the characters and thus the Propicy [prophecy] of Isiaah was fulfilled which is writen in the 29 chaptr concerning the book and it came to pass that after we had translated 116 pages that he desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spake unto him (Martin) the word of the Lord and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Palmire [Palmyra] Wayne County & State of N York and he brake the covenent which he made before the Lord and the Lord suffered the writings to fall into the hands of wicked men and Martin was Chastened for his transgression and I also was chastened also for my transgression for asking the Lord the third time wherefore the Plates was taken from me by the power of God and I was not able to obtain them for a season and it came to pass afte[r] much humility and affliction of Soul I obtained them again when Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowd[e]ry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy Servant therefore he was desiorous to come and write for me and to translate now my wife had writen some for me to translate and also my Brothr Samuel H Smith but we had become reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doores I & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me [4 lines blank] [p. ]
["Letter Book A," JS Letterbook 1, ca. 27 Nov. 1832â"ca. 4 Aug. 1835]