Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events
God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. They are separate, distinct, glorified beings with bodies of flesh and bones (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17; see also Acts 7:55–56; D&C 76:20–23; 130:22).
God and Satan both know who we are and the roles we can play in the establishment of the kingdom of God. Satan uses whatever means he can to try to thwart us from attaining our divine destiny (see Joseph Smith—History 1:20; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3–10; Moses 7:26).
Suggestions for Teaching
Joseph Smith—History 1:10–16. Joseph Smith’s First Vocal Prayer
Invite students to mark Joseph Smith’s questions in Joseph Smith—History 1:10. Ask: What did Joseph do in verses 11–16 to get answers to his questions? Ask students how they could apply in their own lives what Joseph Smith did.
Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17. An “Actual Being from the Unseen World”
Have students make two lists from Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17: (1) ways the Lord helped Joseph receive answers to his questions, and (2) things Satan did to try to hinder Joseph. Ask students to explain how the power of Satan was overcome. Share this quotation from President Wilford Woodruff: “There are two powers on the earth and in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth—the power of God and the power of the devil. … Whenever the Lord set His hand to perform any work, those powers [of the devil] labored to overthrow it” (in Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses Delivered by President Wilford Woodruff, His Two Counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and Others,5 vols. [1987–92], 5:198). Ask: Why is the combination of our righteous choices and the power of God always greater than the power of Satan? (see D&C 3:1; 10:43; 29:36–38; Moses 1:12–22). Testify of the truth of the appearance of the Father and the Son to the boy Joseph.
Joseph Smith—History 1:14–20. The Significance of the First Vision
Ask students to list the truths we learn from Joseph Smith—History 1:14–20(see also James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 92–93; or
Joseph Smith—History 1:18–20. Joseph Listened to the Lord
Read or sing “The Morning Breaks” (Hymns,no. 1), and then invite students to ponder how their lives have been influenced by this singular event.
Joseph Smith—History 1:20. “I Was Destined”
Write God, Satan,and Joseph Smithon the board. Read to students the last part of Joseph Smith—History 1:20, which begins “It seems as though …” and ask who of these three people knew who Joseph Smith really was and why he was here on earth. How did Joseph Smith know that Satan knew his destiny? Replace Joseph Smithwith Youon the board, and discuss the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “There is great protection when you know who you are, why you are here, and where you are going. Let your unique identity shape each decision you make on the path toward your eternal destiny” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 97; or Ensign,Nov. 1990, 75).