The First Vision
This Is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
On a spring day in 1820 14-year-old Joseph Smith sought solitude in a grove of trees and prayed to know which church was true. God the Father and Jesus Christ, “two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,” appeared and spoke with him.1
Wondering which of the many churches to join, Joseph had followed the counsel in the Bible’s book of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” The Lord told Joseph “that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines” and that he was to await further instructions from on high.2 “In a state of calmness and peace indescribable,” Joseph left that sacred grove knowing the reality of our Father in Heaven and His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ.3
Joseph Smith’s first vision stands today as the greatest event in world history since the birth, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After centuries of darkness, the Lord opened the heavens to reveal His word and restore His Church through His chosen prophet.
1. Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17.
2. Orson Pratt, An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of The Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (pamphlet, 1840), 5.
3. An Interesting Account, 5.
A visual revelation of some event, person, or thing through the power of the Holy Ghost (Guide to the Scriptures, Vision).
A person who has been called by and speaks for God. As a messenger of God, a prophet receives commandments, prophecies, and revelations from God. His responsibility is to make known God’s will and true character to mankind and to show the meaning of His dealings with them. His primary responsibility is to bear witness of Christ. (The Guide to the Scriptures, “Prophet,” 201–202).