Come Follow Me – D&C 2 – “Moroni Returns” – powered by Happy Scribe
The race is reaching its last lap, and it’s time for the final passing of the baton. The golden plates have been passed through many generations, from Nephi to Jacob to Mormon to Moroni. Talk about your dream team. Now, the baton will finally pass to Joseph Smith, who will bring it forth to the modern world. And all the prophets were cheering from the stands, excited for the finish line. It’s 1823, and our story today takes place in Palmyra, New York, Joseph Smith had received his magnificent vision of God, the father and Jesus Christ in 1820.
He was now 17 and was really wondering what he was supposed to be doing. It had been three years, which we all know at 17 feels like forever.
Now, Joseph was super friendly, strong and competitive and liked to joke around, wrestle and have competitions with his brothers and others.
He was a really hard worker and also liked to have fun. But while he had these great qualities, Joseph also felt like he had tons of weaknesses and imperfections and had been making lots of mistakes. In other words, a good but normal kid.
On top of that, Joseph was bullied a lot by those who had heard his story of a vision. It seemed like the whole town was making fun of him. Sound familiar?
I keep making mistakes. I can’t do anything right. Why don’t I have more friends? Look, we’re too often hard on ourselves trying to be Pinterest perfect while comparing our weaknesses to other strengths. And perhaps we see ourselves as worthless failures, which were not, by the way.
But if we could see ourselves through the lens of God’s love, we’d see that we’re amazing and loved.
When we humbly come to the Lord in prayer, he can show us our strengths and help us feel capable and empowered.
The Lord will always answer sincere prayers and sincere pleas for forgiveness. Joseph also needed to learn this important concept.
Now back to the story, Joseph and his family lived on a farm in a small cabin, and he shared an upstairs room with many of his brothers and sisters at bedtime. On the evening of September 21st, 1823, Joseph said a super long prayer, asking for forgiveness and guidance as he was praying.
He felt then saw an intense light in his room and someone standing in that light. It was Moroni.
No, not Captain Moroni with his title of Liberty. This is the son of Mormon, the last writer of the Book of Mormon, the one immortalized on temples with a golden trumpet Moroni.
At first Joseph was scared because who wouldn’t be by a surprise angel visit? But that feeling didn’t last. Incredibly, none of his siblings woke up at Moroni told Joseph that God had some really important things for him to do.
He told Joseph about some ancient writings on golden plates that would tell about Christ true gospel. Then he told him that Joseph would be the one to get these gold plates and translate them. How was he supposed to do that? He wasn’t a scholar and didn’t know any other languages.
But luckily the angel said that there was something buried with the plates that would help him to translate them.
Cool Moroni then shared lots of prophecies that were in the Bible that Joseph would help fulfill. Then Moroni and the light faded away. Wow, that was spectacular. Joseph sat there, overwhelmed with tons of thoughts, racing through his mind. He was a kid with very little book learning. How was he supposed to do all of that stuff, let alone remember it all? While he was kind of freaking out about it, Moroni appeared again to Joseph three more times and repeated the things he had said the first time, word for word, plus added a little more.
Each time during Moroni visits, he’d shown Joseph in his mind exactly where the golden plates were buried and Joseph was able to go there and find them.
But when he went to touch the plates, Moroni appeared again and said he couldn’t have them yet. This was the plan.
Joseph was supposed to come back to the same place on the same date for the next four years to learn more from Moroni.
Then if he stayed worthy at the end of the four years, he could take the plates home and start translating them, Moroni told Joseph.
You must have no other object in view and getting the plates but to glorify God.
And oh yeah, he was told he couldn’t show the plates to anyone, really.
Besides being superheavy and containing a precious message, these plates were also made of precious metal.
So they were worth a lot tempting.
Since Joseph’s family was so poor, Moroni said Satan would try to tempt him to use the plates to get the money his family needed. But if Joseph gave in to that temptation, he couldn’t have them.
As mentioned, Moroni shared lots of prophecies from different Old Testament prophets, including Malachi, Isaiah, Joel and Elijah. Now, Elijah was an epic dude.
He was the awesome prophet who call down fire from heaven and torch the offerings of the wicked priests of Vale. And he was the prophet that promised the widow oil and flour if she first made him a meal. Yep, he’s that guy. In fact, he was so amazing that he never died, but was carried off to heaven in a chariot of fire. Oh, yeah. And Elijah was also the last prophet to hold the ceiling power of the monkeys at a priesthood.
And it appeared to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration and gave this power to them.
Prophecy said that Elijah would return to the Earth and plant in the hearts of the children. The promises made to the fathers and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
The prophecy about Elijah restoring this power is so important that it appears in all four books of scripture.
Yeah, but what does it mean? He wants to plant something in my heart. I supposed to always be turning and facing my father.
Actually, it’s much simpler than that. It’s the power to seal in heaven what sealed on earth, meaning our families can be sealed eternally together so that we’re like one long interconnected chain back to all of our fathers and forward to all of our children.
So now when we go to the temple, the sealers have those keys to seal families together on earth and also in heaven.
And not just until death do we part. In fact, we have a covenant responsibility to love, serve and help our ancestors. OK, that desire you felt to learn more about your ancestors, do family history or learn more from your grandparents? Yeah, that’s the spirit of Elijah, because our hearts have been turned to our fathers.
So Moroni had now passed on the responsibility of the golden plates to Joseph while teaching him a lot about Jesus Christ’s gospel. It was the next step to restoring Christ’s church.
But could Joseph translate the plates? How hard could it be? Find out in the next video.
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