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
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
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
2. Orson Pratt, An
Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions,
and of The Late Discovery of Ancient American
Records (pamphlet, 1840), 5.
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).
Learn more about Joseph's family and his religious heritage.
Learn more about the Sacred Grove.
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