Just at that moment Joseph saw a great light coming down from above, and then the evil power left him. The light was brighter than the sun, and as it came down and touched the tops of the trees, Joseph wondered why it did not burn them. Then it shone all around him, and in the light, standing in the air above him, he saw two persons who looked like men, only they were shining with a glory that can not be described. One of them, pointing to the other, said to the boy:
“Joseph, this is my Beloved Son; hear him.”
Joseph then asked which of all the religions was right, and great was his surprise when he was told that none was right; that they all had gone astray from the truth; and that he must join none of them. Joseph was told many other things, among which was that some day the true gospel would be made known to him. Then they left him alone in the woods.
What a wonderful thing! God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ had actually come to Joseph. He had seen them and they had spoken to him. That same Jesus of whom he had read in his Bible had come from heaven and his Father had come with him to introduce him to the boy praying in the woods!
This was the first vision and the beginning of the gospel in our day; and by thinking carefully about this vision, we may see that it teaches us many things. First, that God has a body like unto man’s. Second, that the Father and the Son are two persons, not one, as many in the world believe. Third, that the many religions which man has made are not accepted by God. Fourth, that God has not ceased to give revelations to men on the earth.
Topics.—1. Joseph’s Boyhood. 2. The Vision. 3. What may be learned from the vision.
Questions and Review.—1. When and where was Joseph Smith born? 2. To what places did Joseph move? 3. What led Joseph to ask God for wisdom? 4. Repeat James I:5. 5. Why can not all the sects in the world be right? 6. Did the Father and the Son come to Joseph solely because of this prayer? 7. Why did the evil one try to destroy Joseph? 8. What may we learn from this vision?
The angel Moroni.
When Joseph told of his vision to some of his friends he was surprised to find that they did not believe him, but made fun of what he said. The strangest thing to the boy was that the preachers of religion, instead of being glad at such glorious news, told him it was from the devil, and that God did not give any more revelations from heaven. All such things had ceased with the apostles of old, they said. Another strange thing was that these preachers began to tell untruths about him, and seemed to hate him for what he told. Still Joseph would not deny his story. “I have actually seen a vision,” he said again and again. “I know it, and I know that God knows it, and I dare not deny it.”