What Joseph Taught

God the Eternal Father

From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 39–40.

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Through revelation, Joseph Smith learned the true character of God and our relationship to Him.

In the spring of 1820, Joseph Smith’s First Vision ushered in the Restoration of the gospel. Though many other revelations followed, that first event restored some remarkable yet simple truths about our Heavenly Father. President Gordon B. Hinckley has said, “In the short time of that remarkable vision Joseph learned more concerning Deity than all of the scholars and clerics of the past” (“The Great Things Which God Has Revealed,” Ensign, May 2005, 81). In the years that followed, Joseph’s understanding only grew. Here are some of the things he taught about God the Eternal Father.

God’s Character

“If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves. …

“… If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,—I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man.”

Our Relationship to God

“While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring.”

The First Vision, by Minerva K. Teichert, courtesy of Ray M. and LaFond Pope Hall; do not copy