“On the Morning of a Beautiful, Clear Day”


“On the Morning of a Beautiful, Clear Day”

In the spring of 1820, young Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his parents’ log home in Manchester township, just south of Palmyra, New York, to seek help from God on a burning question. During that prayer, God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, visited and instructed Joseph. This great event, known as Joseph Smith’s First Vision, marks for us the opening of the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Since then, the First Vision has been the subject of art, music, prose, and poetry by countless Latter-day Saints. On this and the following page are four paintings of this sacred event.

“It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. …

“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. …

“But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy … 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 … than I asked the Personages who stood above me. …

“I was answered that I must join none of them. …

“… and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time” (JS—H 1:14–20).

[illustrations] Above: Joseph Smith’s First Vision; and right: Sacred Grove, both by Greg K. Olsen.

[illustration] The First Vision, by Lowell Bruce Bennett.

[illustration] The First Vision, by Ted Henninger.