Primary Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity The Lord can provide timely and generous assistance in the midst of our afflictions (see Joseph Smith—History 1:61–62, 66–67, 75; see also Psalm 46:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Nephi 1:20; 17:3, 13–14; D&C 84:87–88; 112:19). Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 21:1 and find what the Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded to do. Divide the class into five groups and assign each group to study and report what one of the following scripture blocks from the Bible teaches: Isaiah 11:1–16; Joel 2:28–32; Malachi 3:1–6; 4:1–6; Acts 3:19–21. The fundamental messages of Joseph Smith—History are that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have appeared again to mankind; that there was an Apostasy of the true Church; that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19, 25, 33–34, 72–73; see also D&C 20:1–11; 128:19–21). The First Vision. tells of the Prophet’s experiences from his early years through May 1829. Let your unique identity shape each decision you make on the path toward your eternal destiny” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 97; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 75). Before reading Joseph Smith—History 1:5–20, have students list the events that they can remember from the story of the First Vision, in the order the events occurred. Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Faith in the hearts of millions that this cause is true, that God is our Eternal Father, and that Jesus is the Christ, must ever be the great motivating force in our lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 6–7; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, 7). Joseph Smith’s official testimony and history of the Church is found in History of the Church, volumes 1–6 (see the Introductory Note of the Pearl of Great Price). If we are a people called to prepare the world for the second coming of Christ, this is the way. The First Vision. Remind students that all those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood also have authority to function in the Aaronic Priesthood.). Discuss guidelines students should follow in sharing their spiritual experiences with others. (The death of his brother, Alvin; his job doing manual labor; the experience of digging for a silver mine; and his marriage to Emma Hale.) You could invite a class member to summarize it, or class members could tell the story to each other in pairs or small groups. 53–54). (Ether 12:27),” KnoWhy 350 (August 9, 2017). Because his family could not afford the luxury of public education, Joseph received only three years of formal schooling. He wrote or assigned scribes to write four different accounts of the vision. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:42, 46 and share this quotation from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “When the young prophet first went to Cumorah, in 1823, the angel refused to give him the plates containing the Book of Mormon, saying it was not yet time (Joseph Smith—History 1:53). Joseph Smith—History 1:50–53 and Joseph Smith—History 1:54, Introductory Note of the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—History 1:17–19, 25, 33–34, 72–73. Then have students read the warnings that Moroni gave Joseph in Joseph Smith—History 1:42, 59. Make sure students understand the importance of asking in faith and of accepting the will of the Lord when asking for any kind of inspiration or divine manifestation. The visitations of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith are an example of how the Lord instructs those He calls to serve Him. 1990, 80–81; or Ensign, May 1990,63–64). But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6). They are to be guarded with care and shared only when the Spirit itself prompts you to use them to the blessing of others” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53; see also Matthew 7:6; D&C 6:12; 10:37; 41:6). Elder Marvin J. Ashton said: “Joseph Smith placed commitment ahead of life itself. Discuss other times that Satan used these tools to persecute the righteous and deceive the people (see Matthew 9:32–34; 26:57–68; 28:9–15; Acts 16:16–24; 1 Nephi 17:17–22; Alma 1:16–20; 12:1–6; Helaman 16:13–23; 3 Nephi 6:10–15; D&C 71 section heading). Some of the events surrounding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon were prophesied by Isaiah and fulfilled by Martin Harris and others (see Joseph Smith—History 1:62–65; see also Isaiah 29:4–24; 2 Nephi 26:14–19; 27:4–35). This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. Discuss how Joseph received, preserved, and began to translate the plates in the midst of persecution and harassment. (Answers might include that they are all prophecies of the last days, soon to be fulfilled; they all predict the Restoration of the gospel; and they all speak of Christ.). We are all weak and imperfect, so we all need to constantly strive to improve (see Joseph Smith—History 1:28–29; see also1 John 1:8–9; 2 Nephi 4:17–19; Alma 7:15–16; Helaman 12:1; Ether 12:27; D&C 62:1). Now imagine that a witness steps forward and establishes the truthfulness of your description of the accident. Discuss how we can recognize and overcome these negative influences today. The Holy Ghost enables prophets to prophesy of things to come and can help us understand the meaning and intention of the scriptures (see Joseph Smith—History 1:73–74; see also Genesis 40:8; Numbers 11:25; Daniel 2:28; Luke 1:67; 2 Peter 1:20–21; 1 Nephi 22:2; D&C 107:56). Why did the Lord not reveal all those truths to Joseph during the First Vision? How did Joseph Smith know that Satan knew his destiny? You may want to have students study other examples of people who asked for and received manifestations from the Lord (see Judges 6:11–24; 2 Kings 20:8–11; Mark 9:20–27; Helaman 11:1–5; Ether 3:6–16). Have students identify the four events. Book of Mormon Central, “How Does Grace Help Us Overcome Weakness? Invite each student to imagine the following: You have just been in a traffic accident. Seeking God’s Truth. He worked on the family farm in Vermont and later in western New York. 0:53 Episode 3 available NOW! Join us for Episode 3: “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers” Our guest is Dr. Michael MacKay. BYU Professor, Historian, and Editor, Dr. Steven Harper, takes us on a deep-dive into Joseph Smith History. Discuss the following statement by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Neither the Apostle Paul nor Joseph Smith wavered, though they faced severe trials. He never wrote about his 7-year-old … According to these verses, what did these people do to Joseph? His complete candor in admitting human frailties and in declaring the loving discipline of God offers powerful proof of his honesty and probity [uprightness]. What promise did Moroni give Joseph? Ask if any of them have ever had such experiences or feelings. Would your class benefit from reviewing the story in Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65? …. Review with students the material under “What Is Joseph Smith—History?” and “Who Wrote Joseph Smith—History?” in the student manual (pp. The prophet Moroni, the last writer in the Book of Mormon, appeared as a glorified, resurrected being to Joseph Smith. Satan circulates false reports through “evil-disposed and designing” people to distort the true nature of the Church and its inspired leaders (Joseph Smith—History 1:1–2; see also Helaman 16:22; 3 Nephi 1:22; D&C 10:22–27, 28; Moses 4:4). “Eventually [Joseph] confided his theophany [vision of God] to other family members.”. (If any who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood do not raise their hands, ask them why they did not; and if any Melchizedek Priesthood holders do raise their hands, ask them why. Joseph Smith History Part I. You may want to review with students some of the stories about Joseph Smith’s family and his early life under “Joseph Smith—History 1:3. The gold plates were protected from the enemies of God by the efforts of Joseph Smith and the wisdom of the Lord. Ask: What are some important aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ that Joseph would learn about later? From Joseph's humble beginnings to facing overwhelming odds, we see Joseph Smith as the hero of a great story, one that includes each one of us. Satan is a real being with power. Have students use Doctrine and Covenants 63:8–12 to explain why Joseph received his manifestation, while others, such as the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 12, did not. Testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and invite students to share their testimonies of it. Have students share their lists, and then quickly review Joseph Smith—History 1:5–20 to see how well the students knew this important story. Joseph Smith—History 1:1-26: “I Saw a Pillar of Light” (January 4-10) In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith prayed to know which church he should join. Any person who sincerely studies, ponders, and prays about the truthfulness of the accounts given by the Prophet Joseph Smith may know by the power of the Holy Ghost that they are true (see 2 Nephi 32:3–5; Alma 5:45–47; Moroni 10:3–5). Read Joseph Smith—History 1:53 and apply these principles of timing to Joseph’s circumstances. How did Joseph Smith feel about these years? He is an Associate Professor at Brigham Young University in the Department of Church … A series of remarkable spiritual experiences prepared him for his prophetic calling. Joseph Smith had to borrow money to buy a quill and a little bottle of ink during the translation of the Book of Mormon. Read the following statement by Elder James E. Faust, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “While Joseph sought perfection, he did not claim perfection. Discuss why the timing of things is so important. Introduction “Awakenings and Revivals,” Church History Topics. The Lord teaches His people “line upon line.” We should remain faithful to the direction we receive from the Lord until He gives us further instructions (see Joseph Smith—History 1:26–27; see also 2 Nephi 28:30; D&C 42:61). Joseph Smith 1805-1844 Born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. grew up on a series of tenant farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. Discuss ways students can help “disabuse the public mind” and “put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts” (v. 1). Write God, Satan, and Joseph Smith on the board. Ask students who have lived with family members who belong to other religious faiths to tell what it is like. Have students search for and share information from Oliver’s account that is not contained in Joseph Smith—History. Have students read Joseph Smith—History 1:8–10. Read or sing “The Morning Breaks” (Hymns, no. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:27–29 and discuss the habits Joseph Smith said he “fell into” during these years. Have students read Genesis 39:9; Revelation 2:14–15, 20–23; and Doctrine and Covenants 59:21 looking for what offends God. Joseph Smith—History 1:33–35. The account called Joseph Smith-History, as it appears in the Pearl of Great Price, tells of the Prophet's experiences from his early years through May 1829. It is gathering Israel on both sides of the veil. In 1832 he looked back on this period and wrote: “‘I had been tempted of the advisary and saught the Plates to obtain riches and kept not the commandment that I should have an eye single to the glory of God therefore I was chastened and saught diligently to obtain the plates and obtained them not until I was twenty one years of age’ (D. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 7). Doing things according to the Lord’s timetable is an important part of accomplishing His work (see Joseph Smith—History 1:53–54; see also Ecclesiastes 3:1; D&C 88:73). So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. Reading the official canonized version of Joseph Smith’s history, the narrative describing the events that led up to and include his very first vision of God and Jesus first vision end at verse 26. Ask students to list the truths we learn from Joseph Smith—History 1:14–20 (see also James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. Discuss how each event may have prepared Joseph to receive the plates and complete his life’s mission. Trials and Persecutions. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng Had they received the gift of the Holy Ghost? Joseph returned the plates to the angel Moroni when his work with them was completed (see Joseph Smith—History 1:59–61; see also Jacob 1:3; Enos 1:15–16; Alma 37:4, 14; Mormon 5:12; 8:14–16; D&C 42:56). Invite students to tell how sharing experiences with their parents has helped them in their lives. Texts. 1), and then invite students to ponder how their lives have been influenced by this singular event. Tell students that in Joseph Smith—History 1:55–58 Joseph tells us about four major events in his life. Tell students that Joseph naively believed that the minister would welcome his great news from heaven. His brother William affirmed, ‘We all had the most implicit confidence in what he said. Share with students an experience from your life when you were blessed by following the Lord’s timing instead of your own. Point out what a great blessing it is to be able to describe one’s life in this way. Ask: How did Joseph Smith demonstrate these traits in his life? President Russell M. Nelson said, “The Lord is gathering those who are willing … Joseph Smith’s Family” in the student manual (pp. Ask students why they think it was important for Joseph’s father to know about this experience. Ask students why the information in Joseph Smith—History 1:3–4 is important and helpful to know. The Prophet was commanded to translate the small plates to replace the 116 lost pages (see D&C 10:43–45)” (in Church History in the Fulness of Times, 59). Satan uses whatever means he can to try to thwart us from attaining our divine destiny (see Joseph Smith—History 1:20; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3–10; Moses 7:26). He told Joseph about a book buried in a hill near the Smith farm, written on gold plates and containing the fulness of the gospel (see Joseph Smith—History 1:30–35; see also Revelation 14:6; Mormon 8:1, 4, 12–14; Moroni 1:1–4; 10:34; D&C 20:6–10; 27:5; 128:20). Scot. We should be cautious about how and with whom we share the stories of our spiritual experiences (see Joseph Smith—History 1:21–23; see also Matthew 7:6; D&C 6:12; 10:37; 41:6). Born into a poor farming family, he was the fifth child of 11 — nine of whom survived childhood. Invite students to report in their own words what the Lord and others did to help Joseph accomplish his work, according to Joseph Smith—History 1:62, 66–67. It was clearly not your fault, but the driver of the other car is blaming you. Invite students to mark the phrase “no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins” (Joseph Smith—History 1:28). Discuss how Oliver felt about these experiences. What blessings can we receive by doing things in the Lord’s proper time and way, rather than our own? Discuss how our motives can help us resist Satan’s temptations. Ask students how they think Joseph felt when he received the warning in verse 59. 54–55). Regular, repeated, inspired instruction and interviews regarding how to fulfill our callings are an important part of conducting the affairs of the kingdom of God. He had just begun the book of Mosiah when Oliver Cowdery was sent to him in early April of 1829. Joseph Smith - History 1:1-26 read aloud from Pearl of Great Price. Have students make two lists from Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17: (1) ways the Lord helped Joseph receive answers to his questions, and (2) things Satan did to try to hinder Joseph. Read the paragraph about Joseph Smith—History in the Introductory Note of the Pearl of Great Price. Then have students read Joseph Smith—History 1:68, 72 and list what they learn about this “messenger.” To learn more about John the Baptist and to help students understand why he was chosen to restore the Aaronic Priesthood, briefly review Luke 1:5–25, 57–66; 3:1–20 and Doctrine and Covenants 84:26–28(see also Bible Dictionary, “John the Baptist”). Moroni showed Joseph in vision where he could find the plates, buried in the ground in a hill near his home. From the time of his first vision until his martyrdom, he was a victim of bitter persecution, reviling, and ridicule, but never did he falter” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 62). “Who is the Servant of Isaiah 49/1 Nephi 21? Joseph Smith–History (abbreviated JS–H) is a book in the Pearl of Great Price that contains an excerpt of the autobiographical record of some of the early events in Joseph Smith's life. There was an apostasy of the true Church. The First Vision: Chiasmus in “Joseph Smith—History” | Latter-day … Those who act with the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood do so under the direction of those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood (see Joseph Smith—History 1:72; see also D&C 107:13–20). “Religious Beliefs in Joseph Smith’s Day,” Church History Topics. Foreordained of God. God Answers Joseph’s Prayer. List and discuss what Moroni taught Joseph Smith regarding the Book of Mormon and its translation in Joseph Smith—History 1:34–35. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:49–50 and tell students that the history written by Lucy Mack Smith (Joseph’s mother) states: “The messenger whom he had seen the night before came to him again and said, ‘Why did you not tell your father what I told you?’ Joseph said he was afraid his father would not believe him. (Answers might include the keys that belong to the Aaronic Priesthood, the power that does not belong to the Aaronic Priesthood, the direction the Aaronic Priesthood functions under, and so forth.) Invite students to imagine that they have been assigned to teach someone to do a task that is difficult and complex, such as building a house or performing surgery. Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65 Joseph Smith—History 1:28. Not until arriving at the Whitmer residence in Fayette did Joseph translate the small plates of Nephi, which contain 1 Nephi through the Words of Mormon. Ask students if they would have liked being in Joseph Smith’s family, and why. Have students review Joseph Smith—History 1:5–7 and 1 Nephi 13:23–29 and tell how the subject of Nephi’s prophecy contributed to the religious climate described by Joseph Smith. For almost all of us instructions come through authorized servants rather than from divine manifestations, but it is the same as divine messengers speaking to us (see Joseph Smith—History 1:33–54; see also D&C 1:38; 33:16; 38:23; 88:78; 107:85–89). Discuss the character traits required to remain faithful to God in the face of opposition. “Joseph Smith–History,” The Pearl of Great Price: Teacher Manual (2000), 54–64. Joseph Smith’s Journal, Church History Library. Joseph Smith History (1832) ... Joseph Smith recorded that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a grove of trees near his parents’ home in western New York State when he was about 14 years old. 26). Compare what certain scribes and Pharisees asked of the Lord in Matthew 12:38–39 to what Joseph Smith asked for in Joseph Smith—History 1:29. Joseph Smith—History contains excerpts from Joseph Smith’s official testimony and history of the Church. Invite students to tell about times they have told the story of the First Vision to people who are not members of the Church. God answers the sincere prayers of those who ask in faith (see Joseph Smith—History 1:11–13; see also Matthew 7:7–11; James 1:5–6; 1 Nephi 15:8–11; 3 Nephi 18:19–20; D&C 42:68). Listen and follow along as I read the D&C aloud one section at a time. (see Joseph Smith—History 1:20). Invite students to read Joseph Smith—History 1:49–54 and tell how they think Moroni helped Joseph examine and refine his motives for obtaining the gold plates (see also the commentaries for Joseph Smith—History 1:50–53 and Joseph Smith—History 1:54 in the student manual,pp. (see D&C 3:1; 10:43; 29:36–38; Moses 1:12–22). After the loss of the 116 pages of manuscript, Joseph apparently started with the book of Mosiah, also found on the large plates. Have students search Joseph Smith—History 1:22–23, 27 for who else eventually heard about Joseph’s vision, and how. A Christian Heritage. Read to students the story in the commentary for Joseph Smith—History 1:59–60 in the student manual (p. 62). With half truths and slander, they are endeavoring to lead members of the Church of Jesus Christ into apostasy” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1983,63). In the preface of the first edition of the Pearl … Ask students if Joseph and Oliver were members of the Church yet. How can the policeman learn the truth? You may want to review with students Mormon 8:1–7; Moroni 1:1–4; 9:20–22, 25–26; 10:1–2; Doctrine and Covenants 27:5; and Joseph Smith—History 1:33, discussing what we learn about Moroni from these verses. “Christian Churches in Joseph Smith’s Day,” Church History Topics. Why do people sometimes give in to temptation? Born December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont, Joseph Smith Jr. was the fifth of 11 children of Joseph Smith and Lucy Mack. Have students read Joseph Smith—History 1:25–26 and list the truths that Joseph Smith said he learned from his experience. You could also read with students the material under “Joseph Smith—History 1:1. Born of Goodly Parents. Tell students that the angel Moroni had such an assignment with young Joseph Smith. (They were not, because the Church was not yet organized.) I Was Ordained to This Very Calling. The First Vision is the very foundation of this Church, and it is my conviction that each member of this Church performs his duty in direct ratio to his personal testimony and faith in the First Vision” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, 102; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, 87). We should share our spiritual experiences with righteous parents, who can help and encourage us to do what is right (see Joseph Smith—History 1:49–50). Bear your testimony of the truth of the events described in Joseph Smith—History, and invite students to share their thoughts and feelings. Like many of Smith's publications, it was dictated to a scribe. He was a truthful boy. Book of Mormon Video presentation 1, “For Our Day” (11:38), can be used to teach the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the influence this sacred book has had in the lives of Latter-day Saint youth around the world (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions). Discuss ways that Joseph’s personality and character were influenced by his family and his circumstances. Joseph and Emma. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. He prepared it in 1838, and it was published in the Church publication Times and Seasons in Nauvoo, Illinois. During the four years he had to wait before receiving the plates, young Joseph struggled with his motives. The Choice of My Heart. Share this quotation from President Wilford Woodruff: “There are two powers on the earth and in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth—the power of God and the power of the devil. While the 1832 account emphasizes the more personal story of Joseph as a young man seeking forgiveness, the Pearl of Great Price account focuses on the vision as the beginning of … His statements stand on more solid footing because they were declarations against human nature and admissions against self-interest” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 107; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, 77). Joseph Smith—History 1:25. by LDS Scripture of the Day | posted in: Pearl of Great Price | 0 . All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. Joseph Smith published two accounts of the First Vision during his lifetime. His … Tell students that Joseph’s struggles are similar to the struggles many of us go through (see 1 Nephi 1:4–6; 2:16; Enos 1:2–4; Alma 22:15–18). Ask: How would you respond to those who say that all churches are about the same, or that all churches are true and can lead us to heaven? 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