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What is the First Vision?

Official Answer

As a boy, Joseph Smith was surrounded by various churches which, though they disagreed with one another, each claimed to teach the truth. This caused him much serious reflection. He wanted to know which church was right. One day he read a passage in the Bible which says, “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” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to accept the invitation to ask God.

In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. Joseph wrote: “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time as the priesthood authority and Church as Jesus Christ had organized it when He was on the earth had been lost over the centuries.

Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. Joseph’s written account of this event is a powerful testimony of what he saw and experienced. (Joseph Smith’s History chapter 1 verses 8-17.)

  • The First Vision is the experience that Joseph Smith had in the Sacred Grove. He prayed vocally for the first time and ask God which church he should join. This question had been on his mind constantly. God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that the true gospel was not on the earth at the time. He had received an answer to his prayer. Just like we can. Show more

  • This is when Joseph Smith, Jr. went out into a grove of trees in Upstate New York to pray to learn which of all the Churches in his area he should join. Similar to my experience, at age 14, for the first time in his life, he knelt down to pray out loud to God. In his experience, God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, appeared to him and spoke to him as one man speaks to another. The Father introduced the Son and told Joseph to “hear him.” Jesus spoke to Joseph and told him to join none of those Churches but to wait for the time when He would “restore” His Church back to the earth. Joseph learned many things in the First Vision, mainly that God loved him and that mankind was created in God’s image. He also learned that God was not through giving men revelations and direction. Show more

  • The first vision is when God and Jesus Christ visited a young boy named Joseph smith who was only 14 yrs old. and called him to be a prophet. I know that he saw them there is NO doubt in my mind.   Show more

  • The "First Vision" is when the prophet Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a vision at the age of 14. Show more

  • When Joseph Smith was a young man Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came and told him which church to join. Show more

  • Joseph Smith, in the year 1820, lived in a place of much religious excitement: this meant that there were many churches where he lived, all of them claiming to be true but all teaching somewhat different doctrine. Being concerned with how he was to know the truth, and how he could be Saved like the scriptures described, he read James 1:5 in the Bible and learned that if he needed an answer, he should pray. So that's just what he did. One morning he went off by himself to a grove of trees by his house, knelt down, and prayed. At this time, after having prepared the world's conditions to be just right, our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ appeared in person to Joseph. They told him that none of the churches on the earth at that time were true, and that through Joseph the true, pure church would once again be restored to the earth. Not everybody gets a chance to see something this amazing and profound in their lives, but anyone can pray and know the truth of this marvelous event for themselves. Show more

  • The first vision I believe is the second greatest event that has happen on the face of the earth. About 200 years ago, there was a boy named Joseph Smith. He saw the confusion & contention between all the different religions. He knew that there was "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism." (Ephesian 4:5). As he desired to know truth, he was reading in the Bible and read "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...." (James 1:5). He knew that if he wanted to know truth, not to ask man, but to ask God who knows ALL things. The next morning he went into a grove of trees behind his house and offered up a prayer, desiring to know which church was true. In a answer to his prayer, God the Father & His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him. They told him that none of the churches on the earth were true, but that he would be called as a prophet to "restore" the true church back on the earth. I can testify that God & Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. That the gospel was once lost, but has been brought back because of the love of our Father in Heaven. The same gospel that was here when Christ walked the earth is on the earth today, all because of this sacred experience. Show more

  • The First Vision is the moment in LDS history when Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God. As a young boy, only about 14 at the time, he was very confused about which church was true, seeing that many different churches were being founded, all teaching very different things. He was curious about the TRUE church. So in his studies of the Bible, he found a verse in the book of James, Chapter 1 Verse 5, which says "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." Joseph took that scripture to heart, and went into a small grove of trees in the Spring of 1820, and prayed. In his own words, he describes the even as such. "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me..." "...When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, who's brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them, spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, 'This is my beloved Son, hear him!'" At that point, the Father and the Son testified to Joseph Smith, and prepared him to be the modern prophet, and to restore the Gospel to the Earth in this time. Show more

  • In the early 1800s in Palmyra, NY there was a time of religious excitement. Many churches proclaimed that they held the truth. Joseph Smith, a young boy at this time, wanted to know what church was right. One day, he was reading in the Epistle of James, Chapter 1 Verse 5 which says, "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". Joseph knew that he needed to ask God to get his answer. One spring morning in the year 1820, when Joseph was 14 years old, he went out to the grove of trees behind his home to find a quiet, peaceful place to pray to know what church was right. He described the experience: "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, whose brightnes and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing me to the other, 'This is my Beloved Son -- Hear Him!" Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith and was told to join none of the churches at that time because the priesthood authority and the Church of Jesus Christ as Christ had organized it had been lost over the centuries. Joseph Smith's First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ's Church to the Earth. Show more

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