From the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Adapted from Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, ed. Preston Nibley (1979), 34–36, 48–50; see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), xviii, 37.
Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi
Joseph Smith was prepared to be a prophet by righteous parents.
When his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, was a young mother, she became very ill. The doctor said she would die.
Heavenly Father, I’m not ready to die. I don’t yet know what I need to do to go to heaven. If Thou wilt let me live, I will always try to serve Thee.
She started to recover right away. She tried to keep her promise by being baptized.
You want me to baptize you, even though you won’t join my church?
That’s right. I don’t feel that the true Church is on the earth right now, but the Bible says I must be baptized. I want to be obedient.
Joseph’s father was also religious. Several years before his son’s vision, Joseph Smith Sr. had visions preparing him to receive the truth. He saw a vision like Lehi and Nephi saw.
Last night I dreamed about a tree with wonderful fruit.
People inside a spacious building were making fun of us for eating the fruit.
I was told that the fruit represents the love of God.
Young Joseph learned from his parents that praying and studying the scriptures were important. Because his parents taught him well, he knew how to find the answers to his questions.
Come, children, it is time for Bible study and family prayer.
After Joseph’s First Vision, his family believed him and supported him in his mighty calling.
They served in important callings themselves—Joseph’s father was the Church’s first latter-day patriarch.