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As early as 1823, several years before he received the golden plates or knew anything about the specific contents, Joseph displayed his creative imagination. His mother explained:

“In the course of our evening conversations Joseph would give us some of the most ammusing recitals which could be immagined. He would de[s]cribe the ancient inhabitants of this continent their dress and thier manner of traveling the animals which they rode The cities that were built by them the structure of their buildings with every particular of their mode of warfare their religious worship as particularly as though he had Spent his life with them.”

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844-1845 (Liverpool. England: Orson Pratt, 1853), bk. 4, 1-2