Testimony of the Gold Plates and Other Experiences in Brazil
I was invited by Bob Moore and Joseph Smith to go to Brazil with them, along
with Brad Gault, Gary Metzger, Tyler Crowell, David Gilmore, and Sam Gould. We
arrived in Brazil on March 3, 2018, and were met by five of the saints, including Joni
Batista and Wagner Zeppenfeld, two of the three Brazilian witnesses. They took us to
lunch and as we conversed, I found them to be welcoming and excited for us to be
there. We were then taken to Mauricio Berger’s home where we all stayed for the
weekend. He was not at home when we arrived, but we met his wife who was also very
welcoming and excited to have us, as well as two of his daughters who were a bit more
shy. We also met Valdeci Machado, the other Brazilian witness, as well as Nelson
Victoria, who helped interpret with Gary Metzger.
I was speaking with David on the balcony of the apartment when I saw that
Mauricio had arrived. He was excited to see us, and came around to each one, greeting
us by name and giving us a hug. He immediately invited us to sit, and shared his
testimony. After finishing, he opened it up to questions. We asked him many questions,
and talked into the evening. He answered all of our questions without hesitation and
often used the scriptures in his response. When asked about the interpreters, he pulled
them out of a case and passed them around.
I saw the stone that had been previously broken, which was fused back together
by Moroni. I also saw the other stone which was new. They both had characters etched
into them, and were close in size and shape, but not exact copies. The new one was
clear and had little streaks of copper embedded within. They both had a ridge to be
fastened to a frame. From what I understood, the older stone works in Mauricio’s mind,
while the new one literally reflects and refracts the light of the word. He showed us with a flashlight in a dark room. The stone refracts the light at six different points, three on each side. The characters on the plates translate into English and Portuguese for
Mauricio. He reads the Portuguese while Joni writes it down, then copies down what he
sees in English.
While we were talking that evening, Mauricio mentioned that he knew Tyler and I
would be coming as witnesses because he saw us in seperate dreams. He did not tell
us the dreams at that time because we were told that we were going to meet the rest of
the congregation for introductions and supper. We were taken to a seperate building
and met in a classroom where they have church. We sat in a large circle and each
person there introduced themselves. Gary and Nelson traded out as interpreters. When
I stood to speak, I shared with them that I am a sinner and I felt inadequate to be invited
on this trip. I could think of several other men that I considered more righteous than
myself that would be better qualified for this work. However, I was happy to be there
and thankful for the warm welcome that we had received. After we returned to
Mauricio’s home, I learned that my feelings of inadequacy had already been revealed to
Maurico in his dream of me.
While the other men prepared for bed, I grabbed Gary and we met with Mauricio
in the living room where he told me his dream. He mentioned that he had this dream
after the first visit from Joseph and Bob, but before he knew anything about me. The
following is Mauricio’s dream concerning me:
Mauricio is driving down a long road. He is unaware of where it goes. As he is
driving, he sees me hitchhiking on the side of the road. Mauricio pulls over and asks
where I am going. I tell him that I don’t know. He invites me into the car anyway, and
asks what my name is. I tell him that my name is Kelvin Henson. He is listening to
christian music, and I ask him to change it to rock and roll. We continue down the road,
without knowing where we are going. I eventually realize that wherever we are going is
for people who are righteous. I speak up and tell him that I cannot go there because I
am not righteous and I have a lot of things holding me back. I tell him to pull over and I’ll
get out here. Mauricio pulls over, then invites me to come and see. I decide to stay in
the car and we go off down the road.
When Mauricio woke up he typed in my name on Facebook, having remembered
told us that the Holy Spirit was at Mauricio’s house when he picked us up and it
encouraged him to let this meeting be open to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Wagner and Joni were invited up to share with us their testimonies. This was
followed by Mauricio who came up and gave a short, but very good message. Joseph
Smith stood up and spoke under the influence of the spirit, declaring that Wagner would be ordained to an elder that day to assist in the work with Mauricio. Sam Gould then stood and confirmed that the message was from the Holy Spirit. The congregation voted and the Lord’s message given through Joseph came to pass. Cassiane, who is new to the group, also had an experience of feeling the Holy Spirit “The Spirit of God Like a
Fire is Burning.” Bob Moore testified that he saw the Holy Spirit move upon her.
After the service we went back to Mauricio’s apartment. The eight witnesses
went with Wagner, Valdeci, and Mauricio to his home while the rest of the congregation
went to eat lunch downstairs. After we gathered into the living room, they told us that
Joni was bringing the plates, and that it would be about half an hour. I made the request
that we have a time of worship in preparation, so we each said a prayer and began to
sing various campfire songs. One song we sang was “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.”
Mauricio was moved by that song, and asked us to sing it three more times that day so
others could hear.
Joni arrived with a small suitcase, and we sang “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord”
again for him to hear. As we sang, Joni lifted his hands and began to pray. Mauricio
also began to pray. After we sang, Joseph said a final prayer. Joni came into the middle
of the circle, lifted the plates out of the suitcase, and set them down on a small table.
There was a moment of stillness before Gary stepped forward to lift them. He set
them back down and slowly, six of the eight witnesses moved forward to examine them.
Joseph and I stayed seated. I had decided before that the only way I would know if
these were the true plates of the Book of Mormon was if the Holy Spirit was present. So
I stayed put for several minutes in order that I might be still and listen for the spirit of
God. It was not long before I felt a burning in my bosom, the same feeling that came to
me after Joseph Smith’s sermon on October 29. I saw out of the corner of my eye that
Joseph was watching me, so I turned to look back at him. He was smiling. He reached
out his hand, and I shook it. I finally took my turn in holding the plates after everyone else. The plates were thin and had the appearance of gold. I picked up the plates and was surprised at how heavy they were, about fifty pounds. I examined the three rings that have a silver color and are also magnetic. I turned the plates and felt the engravings that were marked across the front and back of each plate.
Mauricio announced that he was going to open the sealed portion for the first
time. He had told us the day before that they were just recently loosed by the power of
God about a week earlier while he had them out, but he waited for us to be there to
open it. Using pliers, he pulled off the head of the pins holding down the sealed portion,
and turned the first page. I watched as an expression of excitement and awe came to
The plates of the sealed portion were a little different from the other plates. The
plates of the first section were flat with shallow engravings on them. The plates of the
sealed portion had the same engravings, but they had deeper indentions in them where
the writings were. These plates also appeared more lustrous. Mauricio began to turn the plates of the sealed portion to see how many he would be translating before the section that is reserved for Christ. He turned about 40 pages when I saw Joni, who was helping him, become excited. I looked and saw a corner of a plate coming up that looked
different than the rest. I could see that it had some sort of picture etched into it, rather
than lines of characters.
Mauricio turned over the next plate, revealing this special one. The Holy Spirit
immediately filled the room and I heard several gasps from the other witnesses. We
marveled at the beautiful workmanship of the picture before us. It did not take long to
see that it depicted the holy city of Zion descending upon the earth. The picture was
horizontal, so the plates have to be turned to view it correctly. We could tell that it had
been engraven from the other side because it was raised on the front. At the top was a
figure in the middle with outstretched wings. Within the wings was a city. At the bottom was a man with little rays of light around him, standing in a dome. There were longer lines beginning at the top central figure expanding downwards. Halfway down on the right was another man with dots behind and below him. On the left side opposite were three characters in a horizontal line. Next to the dome on the bottom right were three little men, a fire pit, and a sort of dwelling, like a tent, all alongside each other. Above the dwelling were three lines coming down at an angle from the right.. On the edge of the plate was a small circle. Next to the dome on the bottom left is a little city. Above it on the left edge is a larger circle with little rays around it.
The magnificence of this picture was astounding. We continued to marvel at the
picture on this plate, which was the top plate of the second part of the sealed portion.
There were little blockers at this point that prevented the plates from being turned
further. Mauricio told us that Moroni said there were two parts to the sealed portion, but we were all there to actually see for the first time that this was true.
We gathered around the plates and knelt down in prayer. Mauricio offered a
prayer, opening in the name of Jesus and closing with the name of Jesus. Others
prayed afterward, and I began to form a prayer of Thanksgiving in my mind. As I began
to pray, it rested upon my heart that I needed to commit my life to the Lord and His
work. I did just that and was overcome with the Holy Spirit again. After our time of
prayer, we began discussing the experience while Mauricio put the plates in the back
room. There was a unity among us in that we all knew this was real. I met Mauricio
when he came back out and he spoke to me in Portuguese. Having an intermediate
knowledge of Spanish, which is similar, I was able to make out what he said. He told me
that he understood every word of my prayer, which was given in English. I was happy
that the Lord had allowed him to understand my prayer of dedication. After about two
hours with the plates, we left the apartment and met with the rest of the congregation for lunch. While standing in line, I turned around and saw Mauricio. He smiled and said to me, “Now you are driving the car.”
After lunch we were discussing the picture in the gold plates and began to
speculate about what it all meant. Mauricio quietly stood and got the interpreters out of his bag. He went into the back room where the plates were and locked the door. We
realized that he was going to translate the plate, so we gathered together and David
offered a prayer. As he prayed we heard the rustling of the plates being turned in the
other room. After a short time, Mauricio invited us into the room where the gold plates
were open to the picture. He explained to us what each part represents. Bob
immediately typed up everything that was given to us, which is as follows:
“The image across the entire top with buildings across the bottom, which is curved downward in an arc, represents the celestial Zion. The descending rays represent the seven spirits of the seven churches (mentioned in John’s Revelation). The image under the center (4th) ray is a shepherd holding a staff. It represents Jesus Christ. There are eight light rays emanating from him. Eight is the number of Christ. Underneath Jesus’ feet is a line extending across the bottom of the page. Near the end of the line on the left is a small image for a city. It is under the rays of the sun, which is above and to the left of the small city. The left city represents Jerusalem in the last day. Above it are symbols for three times and two prophets. Mauricio also said there are two religions, although he does not know what they are.
The small image near the end and above the line to the right is an image for another city. It represents the land surrounding Zion. To the right and above there is an image of the moon. There are three figures to the left of the city, which represent 3 prophets for that day. Lines to the left of the city represents destruction that comes on this part of the world. Above the city on the left of it, but right of center is a larger figure. It represents
Moroni, who is facing the center where the rays are coming down. An image of the plates appear to his left but near him about the height of his mouth. There are three dots to the right of Moroni and with an equal distance to make them reach his height. Underneath his feet are seven dots. They represent the seven dispensations. Between the two cities is a semicircle centered on the feet of Jesus and with the line as its base. It symbolizes a dome of protection over Zion, showing that the destruction that is represented as bringing war to the city on the right does not penetrate the protective dome over Zion.
The entire engraving shows the heavenly Zion coming down to Jesus who is standing in Zion underneath the spirits of the seven churches. Jesus is directing the fulfillment of John’s Revelation, perhaps as it unfolds on the world at the same time that Jesus is reading the second part of the seal portion, which sealed book is bound under this engraving.”
There are a few points that I remember Mauricio sharing that are not included in
Bob’s writeup. The line across the entire bottom of the plate represents the body of
water that separates the two cities. He also mentioned that everyone inside of the dome will be protected from the destruction, while all those outside who are righteous will be protected by the three prophets. Finally, the three dots behind Moroni represent three time periods of the Book of Mormon.
There were more blessings from the Lord concerning our trip to Brazil, including
other dreams and interpretation of tongues, but these are the ones that directly involve
me. I testify to all the people of the Earth that the gold plates, which I saw in Mauricio
Berger’s home on March 4, 2018, are the same plates of the Book of Mormon given to
Joseph Smith Jr. I know this is true as it was confirmed to me by the Spirit of the Lord. I
also testify that the sealed portion was opened for the first time by Mauricio Berger,
assisted by Joni Batista, in the presence of all the witnesses. I look forward to the day
when we get to read what is written on those plates, as it will help us in our endeavor to
live righteously. I employ all those who read this account to inquire of the Lord, that you
will know it is true. May God’s blessings be upon Mauricio as he translates these
precious plates. May God’s blessings be upon His own people, that they will be lifted up
in His holy Kingdom. Amen. Kelvin Henson