Joseph Smith, Jr., as was Abraham, was prepared from before the foundations of the earth to be the prophet of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of him it was said,

“Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3).

mormon-firstvision

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)

He’d watched as his mother and sisters went to one church, his father refused to acknowledge any as the truth church of Jesus Christ, his brothers wavered in another direction, and for himself, he wanted to know which of all the sects was true.

In a grove, which became sacred by nature of the very events which occurred there, Joseph learned for himself the answer to that question. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy they had chosen to restore the gospel. He was told none of the churches on the earth at that time were true. Joseph said of that earth shattering occasion:

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History 1:19)

This auspicious and sacred occasion in the history of the world became known as The First Vision.

Joseph returned home from the grove, and leaning weakly against the mantle of the fireplace told his mother that he’d learned for himself that none of the churches were true. Later that night the family listened as Joseph relayed his experience in the now sacred grove. One might wonder at the easy and complete acceptance of Joseph’s vision, if we didn’t know of a series of dreams his father had earlier on (the time period of which we are unsure) . . . one in particular is of great import at this moment.

Joseph’s father, Joseph Smith, Sr., had called the family together to relate yet another dream he’d had. When he was done, Joseph asked him, “Father, what is the meaning of this strange dream you have told us about?”

His father answered:

“My son, there is no true Church of Christ or kingdom of God upon the earth. There is no fruit of Christ’s Church for men to partake. But the Lord will set up His kingdom and church upon the earth and this family will have a conspicuous part to play in its establishment. We will partake of the fruit of the tree and invite others to partake, but will be persecuted by the ungodly for doing so. And Joseph, you will be our leader. You will be called to a high and holy calling.” (Young Joseph, Ivan J. Barrett, Granite Publishing and Distributing, 1981, 45-46)

The Lord has never sent His servants into any calling or situation without preparing them first. Joseph was blessed with a loving and supportive family because the Lord prepared them long before the First Vision ever took place.

Later, when Joseph was translating the plates he was astonished to find that Lehi’s Dream was very similar to the one his father had told them of years before.

Joseph made the mistake of speaking to the minister of his mother’s church about this vision. He was instantly condemned and was angrily told that God no longer spoke to man (how dismal that viewpoint must be.) Joseph was ridiculed and serious, concentrated persecution began against the boy who’d see God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, until it would finally take his life in a brutal and vicious fashion.

And so began the tumultuous and incredible life of the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith.

Other posts written about Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Jr.: Praise to the Man
Preparing of a Prophet
Joseph Smith: The First Vision

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