I Had Beheld a Vision
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “I Had Beheld a Vision,” Liahona, February 2020

    The Last Word

    I Had Beheld a Vision

    In the spring of 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith wondered which church he should join. He turned to the scriptures for answers. In James 1:5 he read that if we lack wisdom we may ask of God.

    At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. …

    So, in accordance with this … I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. …

    After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, … Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

    But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction … 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! …

    … I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; … I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.