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Why is the First Vision important?

In the spring of 1820, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This vision, which marked the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel, is the most important event since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith’s humble prayer led to the restoration of gospel truths, priesthood authority, and saving ordinances. “That one revelation answers all the [questions] regarding God and his divine personality. ... His interest in humanity through authority delegated to man is apparent. The future of the work is assured. These and other glorious truths are clarified by that glorious first vision” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 93).

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources and others that you choose. What do you feel will be most meaningful to the young men you teach?

Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19, 24–25

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Fruits of the First Vision,Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 36–38

Video: “The Restoration”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Give each quorum member a chance to name one thing he remembers from last week’s lesson.
  • As a quorum, sing the hymn " Joseph Smith's First Prayer"(Hymns, no. 26). Invite the young men to share their feelings about Joseph Smith and his experience seeing and speaking to God the Father and Jesus Christ.
     

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members learn about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best with your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to write down some of the blessings they have received because of the First Vision. Ask them to look for other blessings of the First Vision as they read the last 10 paragraphs of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “The Fruits of the First Vision.” Invite them to share what they find and their feelings about the importance of the First Vision.
  • As a quorum, read about Joseph Smith’s First Vision in Joseph Smith—History 1:7–20. Invite the young men to look for truths we can learn from Joseph’s experience (for example, the Father and the Son are real, separate beings; Satan and his power are real, but God’s power is greater; God hears and answers prayers; revelation has not ceased). Invite a young man to write the truths on the board. How are these truths different from what other religions believe? How would our lives be different if we did not know these things?
  • Invite the young men to silently read and ponder Joseph Smith’s First Vision and his testimony in Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19, 24–25 (or watch the video “The Restoration”). Ask them to think about why the First Vision is significant in the history of the world. Why is it important to us as individuals? Share your testimony about the importance of the First Vision, and invite the young men to share their thoughts and testimonies.
  • Invite the young men to review scriptural accounts of God the Father and Jesus Christ manifesting Themselves to people on earth (such as Matthew 3:13–17; Acts 7:54–60; 3 Nephi 11:3–10). You could also show pictures of these events (see Gospel Art Book, 35, 63, and 82). Ask them to summarize each account. Then invite them to read Joseph Smith History 1:17 (see Gospel Art Book, 90). How was Joseph Smith’s First Vision similar to these other manifestations? How was it unique? Invite the young men to share why the First Vision is important to them.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand Joseph Smith’s First Vision better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about the importance of the First Vision.
  • Invite quorum members to share what they learned today with a friend or family member.