Sep 03, 2021 · Encounters with material objects lie at the heart of Mormonism's origin story. The story goes like this: Late one night in September 1823, an angel visited the bedside of a young Joseph Smith to tell him of one of these objects—a sacred book written on plates of gold, buried on a hillside not far from the Smith family's farm in upstate New York.. This 2001 "Ensign" cover shows Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon by poring over the plates — which is how many faithful Latter-day Saints have been instructed to imagine the. "/>Joseph smith plates