When Joseph Smith was just 14 years old, he had a vision in which He saw and spoke with God and Jesus Christ. It was 1820 when that happened, and some believed Joseph, but many did not. Almost 200 years later, some people are still wondering if the First Vision was real—and if it was, does actually matter?
Recently, Elder Richard J. Maynes, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and his wife, Nancy, spoke to young adults across the world about how Joseph Smith’s First Vision changed their lives.
Reagan Gabbitas was in the audience that night. Later, we asked for her thoughts on Joseph Smith’s story and why she thinks it is worth believing.
What makes Joseph Smith’s experience meaningful to you, even many years after it took place?
It shows that God still speaks to anyone. Joseph Smith was just a 14-year-old boy. It seems so great that the all-powerful God would talk to a small boy. So if He would talk to Joseph Smith, then why can’t He talk to us in modern days? It’s a really important thing to realize that if Joseph could experience these things, then anyone can [find answers] and can learn about the gospel as well.
What would you say to someone who isn’t sure about Joseph Smith or the First Vision?
I think rather than focus on the things that we’re struggling with about those times, we need to hold fast to what we do know. Then understanding of other things will come along as we pray and work on it.
If someone is wondering how they can find the truth, what is your advice?
Follow Joseph Smith’s example. [Before he prayed,] he read James 1:5, and it says, “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.”
So just like Joseph went and knelt in prayer to find answers to the questions that he had on his mind, we can also pray to find out for ourselves if these things are true, and we will have some type of confirmation. It will be different for everyone because we’re all individuals, but somehow the Lord will answer our prayers in ways that will help us specifically.
Hear Reagan answer more questions in this Mormon Channel Daily interview.
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