The First Vision/ Restoration of the Church

The First Vision/ Restoration of the Church

In 1820, as He had done throughout history, Father in Heaven again chose a prophet to restore the gospel and the priesthood to the earth. He called a young man named Joseph Smith, and through him, the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth.
Joseph Smith lived in the United States, which was perhaps the only country to enjoy religious freedom at the time. It was at a time of great religious excitement in the eastern United States, and Joseph Smith’s family members were deeply religious and constantly sought for truth. The Holy Bible taught that there was “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” ( Ephesians 4:5), but many ministers claimed to have the true gospel. Joseph attended different churches, but he was confused about which church he should join and desired “to know which of all the sects was right” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:18). He later wrote:
“So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was . . . to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. . . . In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” ( Joseph Smith—History 1:8, 10).

As Joseph sought truth among the different faiths, he turned to the Bible for guidance. He read, “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). Because of this passage, Joseph decided to ask God what he should do. In the spring of 1820 he went to a nearby grove of trees and knelt in prayer. He described his 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 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 Smith—History 1:16–17). In this vision God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith. The Savior told Joseph not to join any of the churches, for they “were all wrong.” The Savior stated, “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).
Although many good people believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, they did not have the fulness of truth or the priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances at that time. They had inherited a state of apostasy, as each generation was influenced by what the previous one passed on, including changes in the doctrines and in ordinances, such as baptism.
Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. In subsequent years, Christ restored His priesthood and reorganized His Church. He has continued to reveal truths to His prophets and to restore the blessings that were taken from the earth for a time.
The Apostle Peter prophesied of the “restitution of all things” before Christ’s Second Coming ( Acts 3:19–21). The Restoration of Christ’s Church on the earth has made available the opportunity for all to once again receive all of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is the reason why I get up each and every morning with the purpose of spreading forth Thy restored Gospel as a full time missionary!! I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove in 1820. This Church is true, Heavenly Father has restored the fullness of the gospel to us in this last dispensation. Nothing in this life has brought me as great comfort and happiness to know that I am a member of His restored gospel, that I hold His Holy Priesthood, that I try my hardest to follow each and every one of His commandments, and that HE Loves Me!!! I say these things in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

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