Church Releases New “Ask of God” Video Depicting First Vision

Contributed By Lauren Hanson, news.lds.org staff writer

  • 7 March 2017

A screenshot of the Church’s latest depiction of the events in the Sacred Grove, titled Ask of God—Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which is now available to watch, share, or download on history.lds.org/first-vision.

“We hope that this film will become the reference portrayal of the First Vision in classrooms, homes, and personal study.” —John Heath, Church History Department

A stunning new depiction of the events in the Sacred Grove—titled Ask of God—Joseph Smith’s First Vision—premiered online March 4 preceding the live Face to Face broadcast with President Henry B. Erying and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in historic Palmyra, New York.

While most movies portraying the 14-year-old Joseph Smith’s 1820 experience use the 1838 Pearl of Great Price account, this new film draws from all nine existing accounts of the First Vision recorded during Joseph Smith’s lifetime to provide a rich and moving perspective on the event that opened this dispensation.

Elder Holland described the movie as “a moving account of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of the Father and the Son” that allows viewers to experience what it might have been like to be in the Sacred Grove that day.

“Great effort has been taken to portray things as accurately as our knowledge of history permits,” said John Heath, manager of communications strategy in the Church History Department. “We hope that this [movie] will become the reference portrayal of the First Vision in classrooms, homes, and personal study.”

The scenes were shot on location in Palmyra, New York, using several cameras and helicopters to give viewers the sensation of being lifted above the treetops of the grove and to give an aerial perspective of the surrounding valley, including the Smith family farmhouse.

The film was originally released in the Church History Museum in October 2015, where it is shown in a 240-degree surround format for an immersive experience.

Now remastered to fit traditional screens, Ask of God is available to watch, share, or download in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin on history.lds.org/first-vision.