The story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was published in the Time and Seasons in 1842. It is a continuation of the writeup that included the First Vision (Joseph Smith’s First Vision). I have transcribed the text of the original Times and Seasons publication and I have attempted to retain all grammar, punctuation, and misspellings of the original document.
This article goes beyond what is recorded in the preface to the Book of Mormon. This information is all also found in History of the Church – Joseph Smith.
History of the Church Continued
During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision, and the year eighteen hundred and twenty three, (having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends, and to have treated me kindly and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper affectionate manner to have reclaimed me, I was left to all kinds of temptations, and mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors and displayed the weakness of youth and the corruption of human nature, which I am sorry to say led me into divers temptations, to the gratification of many appetites offensive in the sight of God. In consequence of these things I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when on the evening of the above mentioned twenty first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him: for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation as I had previously had one.
While I was thus in the act of calling upon God I discovered a light appearing in the room which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noon-day, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside standing in the air for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond any thing earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant, his hands were naked and his arms also a little above the wrist. So also were his feet naked, as were his legs a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was
Nephi (Moroni). That God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil, among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Saviour to the ancient inhabitants. Also that there were two stones in silver bows, and these stones fastened to a breastplate constituted what is what is called the Urim and Thummim, deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book. After telling me these things he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament, he first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as reads in our books he quoted it thus, “For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud yea all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble, for they that cometh shall burn them saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch,” and again he quoted the fifth verse thus, “Behold I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” He also quoted the next verse differently, “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers, if it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” In addition to these he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah saying that it was about to be fulfilled.  He quoted also the twenty third chapter of Acts, twenty second and twenty third verses precisely as they stand in our New Testament.  He said that the prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.
He also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the twenty eight to the last verse. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled but was soon to be. And he further stated the fulness of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. Again he told me that when I got those plates of which he had spoken (for the time that they should be obtained was not yet fulfilled) I should not show them to any person, neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them, if I did I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it….
After this communication I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark except just around him, when instantly I saw as it were a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended up till he entirely disappeared and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance.
I lay musing on the singularity of the scene and marvelling greatly at what had ben told me by this extraordinary messenger, when in the midst of my meditation I suddenly discovered that my room was again beginning to get lighted, and in an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger was again by my bed side. He commenced and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit without the least variation, which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence, and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. Having related these things he again ascended as he had done before.
By this time so deep were the impressions made on my mind that sleep had fled from my eyes and I lay overwhelmed in astonishment at what I had both seen and heard; but what was my surprise when again I beheld the same messenger at my bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again to me the same things as before and added a caution to me, telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in consequence of the indigent circumstances of my father’s family) to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbid me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive but that of building his kingdom, otherwise I could not get them. After this third visit he again ascended up into heaven as before and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crew, and I found that day was approaching so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that night. I shortly arose [from my bed, and, as usual, went to the] necessary labors of the day,
but in attempting to labor as at other times, I found my strength so exhausted as rendered me entirely unable. My father who was laboring along with me discovered something to be wrong with me and told me to go home. I started with the intention of going to the house, but in attempting to cross the fence out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me and I fell helpless on the ground and for a time was quite unconscious of any thing. The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me calling me by name. I looked up and beheld the same messenger standing over my head surrounded by light as before. He then again related to me all that he had related to me the previous night, and commanded me to go to my father and tell him of the vision and commandment which I had received.
I obeyed, I returned back to my father in the field and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me, that it was of God, and to go and do as commanded by the messenger. I left the field and went to the place where the messenger had told me the plates were deposited; and owing to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there. Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario co. New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood; on the west side of this hill not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates deposited in a stone box: this stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all round was covered with earth. Having removed the earth and obtained a lever which I got fixed under the edge of the stone and with a little exertion raised it up, I looked in and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement; in the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and other things with them. I made an attempt to take them out but was forbidden by the messenger and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would until four years from that time, but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates. Accordingly as I had been commanded I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews respecting what the Lord was going to do and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days. As my father’s worldly circumstances were very limited, we were under the necessity of laboring with our hands, hiring by days works and otherwise as we could get opportunity, sometimes we were at home and sometimes abroad and by continued labor were enabled to get a comfortable maintainance.
In the year eighteen hundred and twenty-four my father’s family met with a great affliction by the death of my eldest brother Alvin. In the month of October eighteen hundred and twenty-five I hired with an old gentleman, by the name of Josiah Stoal who lived in Chenango county State of New York. He had heard something of a silver mine having been opened by the Spaniards in Harmony Susquehannah county State of Pennsylvania, and had previous to my hiring with him been digging in order if possible to discover the mine. After I went to live with him he took me among the rest of his hands to dig for the silver mine, at which I continued to work for nearly a month without success in our undertaking, and finally I prevailed with the old gentleman to cease digging after it. Hence arose the very prevalent story of my having been a money digger.
During the time that I was thus employed I was put to board with a Mr. Isaac Hale of that place; it was there that I first saw my wife (his daughter) Emma Hale. On the eighteenth of January eighteen hundred and twenty-seven we were married while yet I was employed in the service of Mr. Stoal.
Owing to my still continuing to assert that I had seen a vision persecution still followed me, and my wife’s father’s family were very much opposed to our being married. I was therefore under the necessity of taking her elsewhere so we went and were married at the house of Squire Tarbill, in South Bainbridge Chenango county, New York. Immediately after my marriage I left Mr. Stoal’s and went to my father’s and farmed with him that season.
At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate; on the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having went as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me, with this charge that I should be responsible for them: that if I should let them go carelessly or through any neglect of mine I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he the messenger should call for them, they should be protected.
I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them; for no sooner was it known that I had them than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me; every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose; the persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible; but by the wisdom of God they remained safe in my hands until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand, when according to arrangements the messenger called for them, I delivered them to him and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.
 Original Times and Seasons article said it was Nephi who visited Joseph, not Moroni. Historians today generally believe that it was Moroni. Jonathan Neville has written on this discrepancy here. Editors Journal in the Times and Seasons identifies the angel as Moroni and the link to this reference is found here.
Jonathan Neville also wrote on the topic and his resources were used by the author of this article.
My personal belief is that the original account stated Moroni. Afterwards, John Whitmer was called to be the first church historian. He reviewed the document and changed the name of Moroni to Nephi. He did this intending to ask Joseph for clarification but never followed up. His change eventually got published in the Times and Seasons a few years later. The reason why John Whitmer was confused and changed the name from Moroni to Nephi was based on his earliest knowledge of the story, but his knowledge was in error. When John Whitmer first met Joseph Smith, Joseph had just received the Small Plates of Nephi and it was most likely Nephi (not Moroni) that delivered those plates to him (see articles in this website on the Eight Witnesses, Mary Whitmer and the article on the interview of David Whitmer). Therefore, when John Whitmer read Joseph Smith’s earliest written account he thought that is was an error. I have passed this opinion onto Jonathan Neville who states that what really happened to cause the Times and Seasons record to state that it was Nephi is anyones guess. He further states that it shows the weakness in the editing that took place in the Times and Seasons.
 Isaiah 11.
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the dearth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
15 And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over ryshod.
16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
 Acts 3:22-23. The text in the times and seasons states Acts 23:22-23 which when reading is unrelated to the context. In the book The History of Joseph Smith by his Mother on page 81, the verse listed is Acts 3:22-23 which is relevant. I am assuming the verse listed in the Times and Seasons is a typo.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
 Joel 2:28-32
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.