On Sept. 21, 1823, a 17-year-old Joseph Smith sought forgiveness from Heavenly Father. As he prayed, a heavenly being appeared in his room — the angel Moroni.

Moroni revealed to Joseph Smith the location of the golden plates, now known as the Book of Mormon and told the young prophet of his destiny.

“He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger from the presence of God, and that his name was Moroni,” Joseph Smith wrote. “… God had a work for me to do.”

Two hundred years after the event, Elder Kyle S. McKay, a General Authority Seventy, and Keith Erekson, the director of research and outreach in the Church History Department, reflected on the effects of Moroni’s visit and the gold plates.

Church News spoke with Elder McKay and Erekson about the four visits Moroni had with Joseph Smith. They talked about the effects the visits had on Joseph Smith’s family and shared their personal insights on the events of Sept. 21, 1823.

“In all of these moments, he does not know he is supposed to organize the Church yet,” Erekson said, according to Church News. “We just see him humbly taking that one prompting, that one instruction, from the Lord and doing it.”

Last week, BYU-Idaho students were encouraged by President Alvin F. Meredith to familiarize themselves with the scriptures to receive personal revelation. This story and the 200th anniversary — Sept. 21 — is a day to reflect on Joseph Smith’s example of seeking revelation.