From William A. Morton, From Plowboy to Prophet: Being a Short History of Joseph Smith, for Children. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1912.
The Gold Plates Are Shown to Three Witnesses
At this time two of Joseph’s brothers, Samuel H. and Hyrum, came to visit him. He was very glad to see them. He talked with them a long time. he told them about the visit of John the Baptist. This heavenly messenger had given him and Oliver Cowdery authority to baptize people for the remission of their sins. He and Oliver had been baptized.
Joseph told his brothers to pray to the Lord about this matter. They did so. The Lord gave them a testimony that what Joseph had told them was true. Then Joseph’s brothers were baptized.
Joseph was very poor at that time. He had no money to buy food for his family. He was thinking about going out to work. Just then help was sent him. A kind-hearted man named Joseph Knight, who lived in New York, had heard of the Prophet. He came to see him, and brought him a supply of food.
Soon after that, Joseph was visited by a young man named David Whitmer. He came with a message from his father, Peter Whitmer. Mr. Whitmer lived in Fayette, Seneca county, New York. he also had heard of the Prophet, and the wonderful book he was translating. He invited Joseph and Oliver to come to his home and do the work there. He would keep them, free of charge, and would see that no harm came to them.
Joseph felt thankful for this kind offer. He said he would go. He and Oliver got ready to move to Fayette. But Joseph was troubled about the gold plates. He might be robbed of them on the way. Just then the Angel Moroni appeared and told Joseph that he would take charge of the plates.
After Joseph had been at Mr. Whitmer’s home a short time he went out into the garden. He there met the Angel Moroni and received from him the sacred record.
The Whitmer family were very kind to Joseph and Oliver. They told some of their neighbors about the Prophet, and invited them to come and see him. Joseph told them about the great things which the Lord had done. Some of them believed his words and were baptized.
One day the Lord made known to Joseph that three witnesses were to see the gold plates. These men were Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and martin Harris. They felt very happy when they heard the news.
Joseph went to the woods with these three brethren. They all prayed to the Lord. But their prayer was not answered. They prayed again. Still no answer came. Then Martin Harris said he was the cause of their prayers not being answered. The Lord was not well pleased with him, because he had broken his promise to Joseph.
Martin Harris left the brethren. He felt very sorry. He went off by himself, to ask the Lord to forgive him. After he had gone, Joseph, Oliver and David began to pray. While they were doing so a bright light shone down upon them. then the Angel Moroni appeared before them. He had with him the gold plates, also the Urim and Thummim.
The heavenly messenger turned over, one by one, the leaves of the part that was not sealed. the brethren saw the characters which were upon them. While they were looking upon the plates they heard a voice from heaven. It was the voice of the Lord. He said the record was true, and that it had been translated correctly. they were told to bear testimony to the world of the things they had seen and heard.
Then Joseph went to Martin Harris and they prayed together. Their prayers were answered. The angel came and showed the plates to Martin. he also heard the voice from heaven. He fell on his face, crying, “It is enough! Mine eyes have beheld! Mine eyes have beheld!”
The three witnesses then returned with the Prophet to the home of Peter Whitmer. You can find their testimony, also the testimony of eight other witnesses, in the front of the Book of Mormon.