200 years ago today - Sep 21, 1823

Joseph Smith Senior tells Willard Chase (a neighbor and friend to the Smiths) that a spirit appeared to Joseph Smith on 21 September, 1823 and told him of gold plates to be retrieved on 22 September. The spirit instructed him to dress in black clothes, ride a black horse with a switch tail, demand the book in a certain name and, after getting it, take it away without laying it down. Joseph complied and found the box, opened the cover, removed the plates, but laid them down to put the cover back on the box. The plates disappeared and returned to the box. Smith tried to re-take the plates, but he saw something like a toad which soon assumed the appearance of a man and struck him [Smith] on the side of his head. It struck him again when he tried to take the plates again. The spirit told Smith he could not have them, as he had not obeyed the orders, and was instructed to return in one year with his oldest brother (Alvin)

[Willard Chase Testimony; Palmyra Magic Timeline, http://www.exploringmormonism.com/palmyra-magic-timeline/]

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