Here are examples
of evidence, with references:
Harris, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon:
"Consequently long before the idea of a Golden Bible entered
their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which
I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might
conceal from others the knowledge of the place, where they
struck their treasures, Jo used to be usually their guide,
putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which
he looked to decide where they should begin to dig."
was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while
he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel
of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor."
Reference: Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses,
John Clark, Gleanings (1842), p.226 "Martin Harris Interview"
of Testimony, 26 Nov. 1830, Parley P. Pratt:
"This new gospel was found in Ontario Co., N.Y. and was
discovered by an Angel of Light, appearing in a dream
to a man by the name of Smith"
Reference: Letter from Amherst, Ohio, 26 Nov. 1830,
"BEWARE OF IMPOSTERS," The Telegraph. Reprinted in The Reflector
(Palmyra NY), 14 Feb. 1831. Also see Early Mormonism: Correspondence
and a New History by Dale Morgan (Signature Books, 1986)
September 5, 1829, the Rochester Gem reported on the origins
of Mormonism and quoted Book of Mormon Special Witness Martin
Harris: "he states that after a third visit from the same
spirit in a dream he (Smith) proceeded to the spot."
Reference: A GOLDEN BIBLE, Gem, (Rochester, NY), 5 Sept.
1829. Source of reference: A New Witness for Christ in America,
(Zion's printing and Publishing, 1951)
from the Palmyra Freeman in August 1829:
"In the autumn of 1827, a person by the name of Joseph Smith,
of Manchester, Ontario Co., reported that he had been visited
in a dream by a spirit from the Almighty and.. After
having been thrice visited, as he states, he proceeded to
Reference: A New Witness for Christ in America, (Zion's
printing and Publishing, 1951)
Smith Sr, the father of Joseph Smith:
During his 1830 interview with Fayette Lapham, Joseph Smith
Sr. referred to the Moroni visit as "a very singular
dream" about "a valuable treasure, buried many years
Reference: Early Mormon Documents, Volume 1, Page 458,
reprint from Fayette Lapham's original work from 1830, Interview
with the Father of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet
living with Smith:
A cousin of Emma, who stayed with Emma and Joseph Smith
during the dictation of the Book of Mormon reported "the
statement that the prophet Joseph Smith made in our hearing,
at the commencement of his translating his book, in Harmony
(in 1828-1829), as to the manner of his finding the plates,
was as follows... He said that by a dream he was informed
by a ghost."
Reference: Photocopy of letter, Photocopy in fd 8, box
149, H. Michael Marquardt Papers, Manuscripts Division,
J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Also see
Mormon History, A New Chapter, by Joseph Lewis and Hiel
Lewis and Early Mormon Documents, Volume 2.
Star, reporting on preaching by Oliver Cowdery and Peter
Whitmer in December 1830:
"In the fall of 1827, a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester,
Ontario Co., NY, reported that he had three times been visited
in a dream, by the spirit of the Almighty..."
Reference: THE GOLDEN BIBLE, Ohio Star, (Ravenna, OH),
9 Dec. 1830, Madeline R. McQuown Papers, Marriott Library
UofU, in fd 4, box 46. Also see History of the Church, Volume
1, page 118-119.