The air tingled with religious excitement. Preachers of different churches each claimed to have the true religion. Some preached one doctrine and some another. This caused confusion and bad feelings among the people. Everyone living near Manchester, New York seemed affected by it.

Joseph Smith, a fourteen-year-old boy, had recently moved into that area with his family. He was confused about the different religious denominations and could not decide which church to join.

With all the commotion and clamor, he found it extremely difficult to come to any conclusion as to who was right and who was wrong. Joseph was a boy with deep feelings, and he wanted to find the true church.

One day, while he was reading the Bible, he came to a verse in the epistle of James which stated, “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 to Joseph. He reflected on it again and again, feeling that if any person needed wisdom from God, he did.

After much pondering, Joseph came to the conclusion that either he must remain in darkness and confusion, or he must do as James directed, ask God. He felt he should pray to his Father in Heaven.

On a beautiful spring morning, Joseph walked to a secluded spot in the woods near his home. Looking around to make certain he was alone, he knelt down and began to pray.

(To be continued.)

Illustrated by Ed C. Enriquez