09292_000_042“Joseph Smith … has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3).
“We’ll be having a special guest tonight at family home evening,” Dad announced at breakfast.
Daniel looked up in surprise. “Who’s coming over?” he asked.
“Someone you know a lot about,” Mom said. “A person you’ll be excited to meet!”
All day Daniel wondered who was coming to family home evening. Christmas was only a few days away. Maybe the special guest had something to do with Christmas.
Finally, the family gathered in the evening. Dad said, “Tonight Joseph Smith is going to be our special guest. His birthday is on December 23. As a family we’re going to role-play the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision.”
Everyone collected props and costumes for their assigned roles. Daniel rehearsed his part with Dad while the others practiced with Mom. Soon they were ready.
Little Matthew was excited to play the role of Joseph Smith. Daniel and Elizabeth played Joseph’s family. Mom and Dad pretended to be preachers from different churches.
“Join our church and be saved!”
“No, come with us! We’re right!”
“The Bible says this!”
“But that’s not what it means!”
“Now, how do you think Joseph Smith felt?” Dad asked. “Do you think he might have wondered why the preachers all said different things and who was right?”
Daniel, Matthew, and Elizabeth all agreed that Joseph must have wondered about that.
Then Dad lit a candle. Daniel felt as if he were right there with Joseph Smith as Dad read from James 1:5 by candlelight, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Then Dad started reading the story of the First Vision.
As Joseph Smith did, Matthew knelt down like he was praying. Suddenly the light of a flashlight shone brightly on him, and Daniel reverently recited the lines Dad had helped him to memorize: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:17).
Dad explained how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and told him that he should not join any of the churches then on the earth.
“The Lord chose Joseph Smith to be His prophet to restore the true Church of Jesus Christ to the earth,” Dad said. “Joseph faithfully carried out that mission.”
A few days later Daniel’s neighbor Andy came over to play. Daniel was still thinking about family home evening with Joseph Smith.
He turned to Andy and said, “I know a prophet who lived a long time ago—Joseph Smith. Do you know who he is?”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Precious Fruits of the First Vision,” Liahona, Feb. 2009, 5; Ensign, Feb. 2009, 7.
Illustrations by Jennifer Tolman