6. The Hill Cumorah
Photo from hillcumorah.org
In 421 A.D., Moroni, the last survivor of the Nephite civilization that had inhabited the Americas since about 600 B.C., buried in the Hill Cumorah a set of gold plates upon which were written the history of his people, known today as the Book of Mormon.
On September 21-22, 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni. Moroni prophesied of coming events and told Joseph of the Book of Mormon record. The angel allowed Joseph to see the gold plates, which were buried in the nearby Hill Cumorah, about three miles southeast of the Smith family farm.
"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,"wrote Joseph. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:27-53.)
Exactly four years later, on September 22, 1827, Joseph Smith received the gold plates from Moroni at the Hill Cumorah after having met with Moroni on September 22 of each of the previous four years. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:53, 59.)
Joseph Smith translated them and published them as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Photo by Torleif S. Khaphus
The Church acquired the Hill Cumorah in 1928. A granite monument topped by a nine-foot statue of Moroni was erected at the highest point of the hill in 1935. Today, the Church operates a modern visitors' center at the base of the hill.
Photo from LDS Living
Every summer, an elaborate pageant featuring events from the Book of Mormon is held at the Hill Cumorah.