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Joseph Smith Seeks the Truth!

Updated on February 7, 2013

Brief Explanation

The First Vision is the name given to an experience Joseph Smith Jr. had when he was fourteen years old. This experience involved young Joseph saying a prayer to learn truth and God, with his son Jesus Christ, came down from heaven to teach the truth to him.

Religious Background

It started when Joseph was a little kid. He grew up in a most religious family. However, not all people in his family believed in the same religion. At that time, and in that are of the world, there was a big push by all religions to gain as many followers as they can. Part of this push, known as the Second Great Awakening, were the religions: Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists. The little Smith had a desire to join a religion, but he did not know which religion was the one he should join.

Because he grew up in a religious family, and he had a spiritual desire, he did read the Holy Bible. On one particular evening, as he was reading the Bible he read a passage in the book of James (James 1:5-6). This passage had the simple answer - when you are unsure of what to do then you need to pray.

Saying the Prayer

Joseph chose the place now called the Sacred Grove to pray. He grew up in a large family and a small house. He shared his bedroom with all of his siblings. This may be one of the reasons he chose to say his prayer away from the house. If he were to pray in his house then someone would surely overhear him. In Joseph Smith History, the prophet explains that this prayer was also his first prayer that he had spoken out loud. It is likely he wanted to be as far away from all people as he could so he could say his first spoken prayer with no form of distraction.

As the fourteen year old boy knelt down to pray he found he could not speak. An unforeseen force had bound him down and kept him from speaking. This unforeseen force is undoubtedly Lucifer, the devil of the earth. Lucifer is an enemy of God and does everything in his power to stop God's work from progressing on earth. Satan knew just as well as God that Joseph Smith was to be a a great man in the hands of the Lord and sought to destroy him before that could happen.

In this moment of fright and despair, as it must have been for such a young boy, a light came upon him and the dark force had released it's grip upon him. As the bright light, described as brighter than the noonday sun, descended, the boy realized there were two people in the light. The one that first spoke was God, the Eternal Father, and he introduced the second as Jesus, the Christ. These two heavenly beings told many things to Joseph Smith, but among these they answered the question Joseph came for - Which church do I join? They replied that he should not join any of the churches because none of them contained the true gospel any longer.

The Work Continues

Through the guidance of these to heavenly beings, along with the instructions of the angelic Moroni, Joseph Smith worked to bring about the church that did contain the full gospel of God. This church was founded on April 6th, 1830. It is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in honor and respect to the divine being of which the church is centered around. Jesus Christ.

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