Brothers and sisters, I love hearing my wife Nancy’s conversion story and how much Joseph Smith’s First Vision and the Book of Mormon influenced her initial testimony and conversion. I have always been grateful for the opportunity I had to play a missionary role in introducing the gospel of Jesus Christ to her several years after returning from my full-time mission. As you might imagine, I am thrilled with how things worked out for both of us. Our church and family life mean everything to us.
I sincerely appreciate this assignment from the First Presidency to address you this evening. I feel it is important for you to know that I have felt the influence and prompting of the Holy Ghost during the preparation of this message and hope what is shared will be of spiritual benefit to you.
The Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days has been foreseen and predicted by prophets throughout history. Due to that fact, the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ should not come as a surprise to those who study the scriptures. There exist dozens and dozens of prophetic statements throughout the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon that clearly predict and point toward the Restoration of the gospel. Examples from the Old Testament are found in Deuteronomy,1 Isaiah,2 Jeremiah,3 Ezekiel,4 Daniel,5 Amos6, and Malachi.7 Examples from the New Testament are found in the books of Matthew,8 Mark,9 Acts,10 Romans,11 Ephesians,12 2 Thessalonians,13 and Revelation.14 Many other prophecies pointing toward the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ are found throughout the Book of Mormon. Examples are found in 1 Nephi,15 2 Nephi,16 Jacob,17 and 3 Nephi.18
One of my favorite examples of these prophecies regarding the Restoration comes from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged and conquered Jerusalem in approximately 586 B.C. After conquering Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar instructed one of his masters to gather some of the children of Israel to serve in his palace as advisers. The king mentioned that this select group should be “skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace.”19
Among this select group were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. You may remember that while in captivity these young men were given new Babylonian names of Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as part of an intensive indoctrination into Babylonian culture.
King Nebuchadnezzar found occasion to consult with these four young Judeans. The scriptures inform us that “in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”20
One night while the king slept, he dreamed a dream. He was troubled by the dream and wanted to know the interpretation. He decided to test his advisers by making a very unusual request. He called his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers together and commanded them to first tell him his dream and then interpret it. He was quite serious about his request. King Nebuchadnezzar told them, “If ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces.”21
When the king’s wise men could not make the dream known unto him and, therefore, obviously could not interpret the dream, he became extremely angry and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed, including Daniel and his companions. Daniel, however, was able to organize an audience with the king and convinced him to give him some time and he would interpret his dream.
Daniel returned home and shared the news with his companions. They petitioned the Lord to reveal the secret of the king’s vision so they and the rest of the wise men of Babylon would not perish. The scriptures share the result of that petition: “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”22
After praising and thanking God, Daniel sought out Arioch, captain of the king’s guard, and said to him, “Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.”23
Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.”24
When Daniel was presented to the king, the king asked Daniel this question: “Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?”25
Daniel answered, saying:
“The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
“But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.”26
Daniel then revealed the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar. He stated:
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
“His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”27
After relating the content of the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel then proceeded to share the interpretation of the dream with the king. Daniel stated:
“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
“And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thy hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”28
Daniel continued to explain to the king the various kingdoms that would follow his kingdom, which were represented by the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet part of iron and part of clay.
Now comes the prophecy regarding the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the kingdom of God in the last days. Daniel stated:
“And in the days of these kings [referring to the last days] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
“Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”29
Brothers and sisters, the Restoration and subsequent growth of the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ in these the last days is the beginning of the fulfillment of this detailed prophecy shared by the ancient prophet Daniel.
Now let’s fast forward some 2,400 years after the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar to the time immediately preceding the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me share with you some historical context leading up to Joseph Smith’s First Vision.
Joseph Smith’s grandfather Asael Smith was enlisted as a soldier in the American army during the Revolutionary War and witnessed firsthand the birth of the new nation.
Joseph Smith’s parents, Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack, were still children when the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified in 1788, including the First Amendment in 1791, which guaranteed that the government would not control the church and the church would not control the government.
Religion in the United States, therefore, was de-monopolized, and without state-sponsored religion American men and women were free to choose any church or no church at all.
Asael Smith later rejoiced over the free exercise of religion in the new nation. He stated, “[God] has conducted us through a glorious revolution and has brought us into the promised land of peace and liberty.”30
In the aftermath of the American Revolution, changes in transportation, communication, and industry helped create a culture of a republic in the new nation. Banks were established to finance new enterprise in the free, open market economy.
Along with the changes in American society and culture, a decades-long series of religious revivals began in the late 1790s, known by historians as the Second Great Awakening. These revivals were defined by open-air camp meetings, enthusiastic and emotional preaching, and conversions of large numbers of people. The biggest beneficiaries of the Second Great Awakening were Baptists and Methodists, who rejected the popular Calvinist doctrine of predestination as taught in Congregational churches at the time. Calvinists imagined God as an arbitrary sovereign who mysteriously predestined men and women to salvation. To Calvinists, men and women, as a result of the Fall, were totally depraved sinners and powerless to choose salvation through Christ.
During the Second Great Awakening, however, Baptists and Methodists preached a more benevolent God and emphasized salvation as an individual choice. This view of personal salvation stemmed to a great degree from Arminian theology, or the doctrines of Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius. Arminius, and later religious leaders in America, believed God’s grace endowed individuals with the ability to choose Christ and that He was mighty to save all who chose to be saved.31
It was through these competing notions of salvation that Joseph Smith’s family navigated their religious commitment. Joseph Smith’s grandfather and father, Asael and Joseph Sr., came to agree with the Arminian view of a benevolent and loving God. Asael Smith later wrote, “Jesus Christ can as well save all, as any.”32 Asael and Joseph Sr. identified themselves as Universalists and believed God would redeem all mankind without exceptions—essentially the opposite of the more selective Calvinist views of salvation.
Lucy Mack’s religious background is unknown until 1802, when she was struck with a severe illness and promised God that she would do her best to serve Him if her life were spared. After she recovered from the illness, Lucy Mack later wrote, “I said but little upon the subject of religion although it occupied my mind entirely.”33 Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack would ultimately move from town to town looking for both temporal and spiritual salvation.
During this unsettling time of moving from town to town, Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Sharon, Vermont, on December 23, 1805. Eventually the Smith family settled in Palmyra, New York, then in nearby Manchester. The Smith family found a bustling religious scene near their new home. Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists all experienced significant growth in the area between 1816 and 1821, resulting in the formation of a new Presbyterian congregation, the construction of a new Methodist meetinghouse, and the conversion of hundreds of men and women.
Lucy Mack tried Presbyterianism, but in her words, “all was emptiness.” She then tried Methodism, but Joseph Sr. discouraged her from continuing, as he and his father, Asael, had little faith in the doctrines they taught. While the Smiths remained unchurched, they tried to teach their children Christian principles in the home, including Bible reading and personal prayer.34
Joseph Smith Jr. attended several religious revival meetings with his family as a young child. He was greatly influenced by the teachings and discussions of his father, who searched for and could not find among the revivalist sects any that were organized like the ancient order of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Joseph would listen and ponder at family Bible study. By the age of 12, he began to worry about his sins and the welfare of his immortal soul, which led him to search the scriptures for himself.
When Joseph Jr. was 14, he records:
“I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
“Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did.”35
Joseph finally decided to ask of God.
Joseph wrote or dictated four known accounts of his First Vision. Additionally, his contemporaries recorded their memories of what they heard Joseph say about the vision; five such accounts are known. It is a blessing to have these records. They make Joseph’s First Vision the best-documented vision in history. I encourage you to visit history.lds.org to learn more about the accounts and see how they work together to paint a more complete picture.
The Gospel Topics essay “First Vision Accounts” states: “The various accounts of the First Vision tell a consistent story, though naturally they differ in emphasis and detail. Historians expect that when an individual retells an experience in multiple settings to different audiences over many years, each account will emphasize various aspects of the experience and contain unique details. Indeed, differences similar to those in the First Vision accounts exist in the multiple scriptural accounts of Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus and the Apostles’ experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. Yet despite the differences, a basic consistency remains across all the accounts of the First Vision. Some have mistakenly argued that any variation in the retelling of the story is evidence of fabrication. To the contrary, the rich historical record enables us to learn more about this remarkable event than we could if it were less well documented.”36
I would like to briefly review with you the four accounts that were written or dictated by Joseph Smith.
First, the 1832 account is the earliest written account of the First Vision. It is part of a six-page autobiography, most of which is in Joseph’s hand. This document has been in the Church’s possession since it was written. After the trek West, it remained packed in a trunk for several years and then was generally unknown until it was published in a master’s thesis in 1965. It has since been published repeatedly, including on LDS.org and in the Joseph Smith Papers. In this document Joseph relates distress at not knowing where to find the Savior’s forgiveness. He testified, “The Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord,”37 which some have interpreted to mean that he referred to the appearance of only one divine being, though, when read in light of the other documents, this phrase can be understood to mean that God the Father opened the heavens and revealed His Son, Jesus Christ, to Joseph.
This account beautifully emphasizes the Savior’s Atonement and the personal redemption He offered to Joseph. It says in part: “The Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying, ‘Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. … I was crucified for the world that all those who believe on my name may have eternal life.’” Joseph testified that he experienced joy and love but could find no one who believed. “My soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice with great joy and the Lord was with me, but could find none that would believe the heavenly vision. Nevertheless, I pondered these things in my heart.”38
Next, the 1835 account is Joseph’s description of his vision to Robert Matthews, a visitor to Kirtland in 1835. It was recorded in Joseph’s journal by his scribe. It was not included in early editions of Joseph’s history and was first published in BYU Studies in the 1960s. In this account, Joseph testifies that God appeared to him first and then he saw the Savior as well: “I called on the Lord in mighty prayer. A pillar of fire appeared above my head; it presently rested down upon me and filled me with joy unspeakable. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed. Another personage soon appeared like unto the first. He said unto me, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee.’” In this account, Joseph also noted, “I saw many angels in this vision.”39
Next, the 1838 account is the best-known account and comes from Joseph’s Manuscript History. The first draft was written after Joseph fled Kirtland early in 1838, and the second draft shortly after his escape from Missouri in 1839. So it was written in the context of great opposition. It was first published in 1842 in the Times and Seasons. It was also included in the Pearl of Great Price in 1851, which was originally a pamphlet for British Saints, then later canonized as scripture for all Saints in 1880.
Multiple drafts of this account have been published in the Joseph Smith Papers. Like the 1835 account, the central question of this account is which church is right. As a history of the Church, and not just of Joseph, this account “focuses on the vision as the beginning of the ‘rise and progress of the Church.’”40 Therefore, it doesn’t include the information about the personal forgiveness mentioned in the previous two accounts.
And finally, the 1842 account is in response to a request for information from John Wentworth, the editor of the Chicago Democrat. Joseph wrote him a letter that included not only the Articles of Faith but also a description of his First Vision. The letter was published in the Times and Seasons in 1842. With Joseph’s permission, it was published again in 1843 by historian Israel Daniel Rupp in his book about Christian denominations in the United States. This account was intended for an audience unfamiliar with Mormon beliefs. It was written during a welcome lull in the opposition the Prophet faced.
As with other accounts, Joseph noted the confusion he experienced and the appearance of two personages in answer to his prayer: “I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in features, and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon-day. They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom. And I was expressly commanded to ‘go not after them,’ at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.”41
It is a blessing to have these accounts of Joseph’s First Vision. Like the individual New Testament Gospels that together more completely describe Christ’s life and ministry, each one of the accounts describing Joseph’s First Vision adds unique detail and perspective to the total experience. They together tell Joseph’s consistent, harmonious story. They all emphasize that there was confusion and strife among Christian churches, that Joseph desired to know which (if any) was right, that he searched the scriptures and prayed, that a light descended from heaven, and that divine beings appeared and answered his prayer.
Let’s now go back and review in detail the canonized 1838 version of Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision. It is the most powerful learning experience anyone on earth could have. This experience changed Joseph’s life, it has changed my life, and I know it has or will change your life as you go to the Lord for confirmation of its reality.
“At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to ‘ask of God,’ concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
“So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
“After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
“But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong.”42
As stated in the document “First Vision Accounts” found on LDS.org, “Joseph Smith testified repeatedly that he experienced a remarkable vision of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Neither the truth of the First Vision nor the arguments against it can be proven by historical research alone. Knowing the truth of Joseph Smith’s testimony requires each earnest seeker of truth to study the record and then exercise sufficient faith in Christ to ask God in sincere, humble prayer whether the record is true. If the seeker asks with the real intent to act upon the answer revealed by the Holy Ghost, the truthfulness of Joseph Smith’s vision will be manifest. In this way, every person can know that Joseph Smith spoke honestly when he declared, ‘I had seen a vision, I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it’ [Joseph Smith—History 1:25].”43
According to President Joseph F. Smith, “The greatest event that has ever occurred in the world, since the resurrection of the Son of God from the tomb and his ascension on high, was the coming of the Father and of the Son to that boy Joseph Smith.”44
Brothers and sisters, it is an amazing as well as an enlightening experience to analyze what we actually learn from this sacred, awe-inspiring experience of Joseph Smith. I would like to share with you a sampling of truths that we learn from Joseph Smith’s First Vision regarding the eternal nature of our Heavenly Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; the reality of Satan; and the struggle between good and evil, as well as other important aspects of the great plan of salvation.
We learn the scriptures are true and can be taken literally and applied in our lives.
We learn that pondering the scriptures brings power and insight.
We learn that knowledge alone isn’t enough; acting on what we know results in God’s blessings.
We learn to put our trust in God and look to Him for answers to life’s most important questions and not to put our trust in man.
We learn that prayers are answered according to our unwavering faith and according to Heavenly Father’s will.
We learn the reality of Satan’s existence and that he has actual power to influence the physical world, including us.
We learn that Satan’s power is limited and superseded by God’s power.
We learn that Satan will stop at nothing to destroy the work of God and that Satan must have known the importance of Joseph Smith in his role as Prophet of the Restoration.
We learn that we can overcome Satan by calling upon God and putting our complete faith and trust in the Lord.
We learn that where there is light, darkness must depart.
We learn that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate and distinct individual beings, resembling each other in features and likeness.
We learn that we are created in God’s image.
We learn that Christ is risen.
We learn that God knows us personally and is aware of our needs and concerns. He called Joseph by name.
We learn of the relationship that exists between God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus defers to His Father, and the Father communicates with mortals here upon the earth through His Son, Jesus Christ.
We learn that Jesus Christ is beloved by His Father by designating Jesus as His Beloved Son.
We learn that the true Church of Jesus Christ as He originally organized it was not found upon the earth at the time of Joseph Smith, confirming the reality of the Great Apostasy foretold by Paul the Apostle.
We learn that when we care enough to desire God’s input in our life, He will reveal a refining course for us. At Joseph’s time all the denominations and sects were wrong.
We learn that every dispensation of time receives the visions, blessings, and glories of God.
We learn insight into how God chooses His prophets.
We learn that God chooses the pure in heart who are righteous and have righteous desires to do His work, confirming the teaching from the Bible that God looks upon the heart and does not choose based on outward appearance or social status or standing.
Brothers and sisters, the First Vision is the key to unlocking many truths that have been hidden for centuries. Let’s not forget or take for granted the many precious truths we have learned from Joseph Smith’s First Vision.
The appearance of God the Father and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to Joseph Smith ushered in the dispensation of the fulness of times. We should share this sacred event and the things we have learned from it with all those we love and care about.
Here are two questions you might consider, answer, and share on social media using #LDSdevo.
What truths have you learned from Joseph Smith’s First Vision?
How has the Lord answered you as you have sought for truth and answers to questions you have had?
I am excited to read what you have to share regarding this significant topic and these important questions.
Let me conclude by sharing with you another truth I learned as a result of focusing on Joseph Smith’s First Vision while teaching full-time missionaries.
Several years ago I had the privilege of serving in the Philippines Area Presidency. The members of the Area Presidency took turns speaking at devotionals held at the Missionary Training Center in Manila. Newly called full-time missionaries came to Manila from approximately 14 different countries throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim countries.
As our assignment to the Philippines was coming to an end, we enjoyed one last opportunity to speak to the missionaries at the MTC devotional. I will never forget sitting on the stand looking out over the congregation at these wonderful full-time missionaries. I was praying for inspiration to be able to share with them something that would help them understand the great importance of the work in which they were about to be engaged. As I contemplated what I might say, my eye was drawn to a painting on the wall of the auditorium. It was a painting you have probably seen hanging in your meetinghouse. It was the well-known painting by Del Parson of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. It depicts the 14-year-old Joseph Smith kneeling in the Sacred Grove, receiving instructions from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I began my message to the missionaries by pointing to the First Vision painting by Del Parson and explaining to them that Joseph Smith, at that moment in time, kneeling in the Sacred Grove, praying for direction in his life, represents all truth-seeking investigators, past, present, and future. Why? Because he had the same question that all honest and sincere investigators have had. When inquiring of the Lord which of all the sects was right, he was in fact searching for truth. He was searching for his purpose in life. He was searching for Heavenly Father’s great plan of salvation.
Were there any authorized missionaries on earth at the time of Joseph’s heartfelt prayer to answer his question? No, there weren’t. Therefore, in that sacred moment, Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared and responded to the boy Joseph’s request, and the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ commenced.
Like Joseph Smith, the investigators that are most likely to make and keep their commitments and ultimately progress toward baptism are those actively seeking for truth and their purpose here on earth. This is not only an important lesson for full-time missionaries but also for us to learn as we share the gospel. It is also important to note that many of those searching for direction and purpose in life are represented by the age group participating in this devotional. They are your friends and your associates. My wife, Nancy, was one of those in your age bracket who was searching for truth and her purpose in life.
My young friends, what an incredible blessing we all share to be born in a day when the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to earth in its fulness. I bear you my witness and my testimony that Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on that beautiful spring day in 1820. I bear witness that the sacred information They shared and that Joseph humbly received was all in fulfillment of prophetic statements uttered by holy prophets throughout the history of the earth. I also witness that the religious freedoms provided by the creation and founding of the United States of America helped prepare the way for the Restoration. I further testify of the truthfulness of the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley referring to the First Vision when he stated, “Joseph Smith learned in those minutes, however long or brief, more about the nature of God than all of the learned divines of all time had ever learned.”45 What an incredible opportunity it is for all of us to share our testimonies of the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days.
Brothers and sisters, the truth has been restored, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© 2016 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. English approval: 3/16. “The Truth Restored.” English. PD60001510 000
1. See Deuteronomy 4:27–31.
2. See Isaiah 60–62.
3. See Jeremiah 30–33.
4. See Ezekiel 37:15–28.
5. See Daniel 2:44.
6. See Amos 9:11.
7. See Malachi 3:1.
8. See Matthew 17:11.
9. See Mark 9:12.
10. See Acts 3:19–21.
11. See Romans 11:25–27.
12. See Ephesians 1:9–10.
13. See 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3.
14. See Revelation 14:6.
15. See 1 Nephi 13:34–42.
16. See 2 Nephi 26:14–17.
17. See Jacob 6:1–4.
18. See 3 Nephi 21.
19. Daniel 1:4.
20. Daniel 1:20.
21. Daniel 2:5.
22. Daniel 2:19.
23. Daniel 2:24.
24. Daniel 2:25.
25. Daniel 2:26.
26. Daniel 2:27–28.
27. Daniel 2:31–35.
28. Daniel 2:37–38.
29. Daniel 2:44–45.
30. Asael Smith, in Steven C. Harper, Joseph Smith’s First Vision: A Guide to the Historical Accounts (2012), 13–14.
31. See Harper, Joseph Smith’s First Vision, 15–16; Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (2005), 197.
32. See Harper, Joseph Smith’s First Vision, 16–22; Bushman, Joseph Smith, 14–29.
33. Lucy Mack Smith, “Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845,” book 2, page 4; josephsmithpapers.org.
34. See Harper, Joseph Smith’s First Vision, 16–22; Bushman, Joseph Smith, 14–29.
36. “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
37. Joseph Smith, in Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds., Histories, Volume 1: Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, vol. 1 of the Histories series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2012), 12–13; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized; see also Dean C. Jessee, “The Earliest Documented Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” in John W. Welch and Erick B. Carlson, eds., Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820–1844 (2005), 1–33; “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
38. Joseph Smith, in Histories, Volume 1: Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, 12–13; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized; see also “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
39. Joseph Smith, in Dean C. Jessee, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds., Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, vol. 1 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2008), 88; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized; see also “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
40. “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
41. Joseph Smith, in Histories, Volume 1: Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844, 494; see also “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
43. “First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
44. Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 14.
45. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 3.