Doctrine and Covenants 2021
January 10. Why Is the First Vision Important? Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants; Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26

“January 10. Why Is the First Vision Important? Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants; Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26,” Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes: Doctrinal Topics 2021 (2020)

“January 10. Why Is the First Vision Important?” Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Classes: Doctrinal Topics 2021

Joseph Smith praying

I Saw a Light, by Jon McNaughton

January 10

Why Is the First Vision Important?

Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants; Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26

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Counsel Together

Led by a member of the quorum or class presidency; approximately 10–20 minutes

At the beginning of the meeting, repeat together the Young Women Theme or the Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Theme. Then lead a discussion about the work of salvation and exaltation using one or more of the questions below or questions of your own (see General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10.2, 11.2, Plan ways to act on what you discuss.

  • Live the gospel. What did we discuss last time, and what invitations or assignments were made? What have we done to act on those invitations or assignments?

  • Care for those in need. What can we do or say to reach out to those who might feel alone or distant from Heavenly Father?

  • Invite all to receive the gospel. What are some ways we can help others feel the love of Jesus Christ?

  • Unite families for eternity. What ideas can we share with each other to help strengthen our families?

At the end of the lesson, as appropriate, do the following:

  • Testify of the principles taught.

  • Remind quorum or class members about the plans and invitations made during the meeting.

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Teach the Doctrine

Led by an adult leader or youth; approximately 25–35 minutes

Prepare Yourself Spiritually

Although it has been over 200 years since Joseph Smith first knelt to pray in the Sacred Grove, the answer he received profoundly affects our lives today. Ponder the blessings that have come into your life because the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph. Why is it important for those you teach to gain their own witness of the First Vision from the Holy Ghost? How will you help them do this? It may be helpful for you to review the messages from the April 2020 general conference, which commemorated the 200th anniversary of this glorious vision.

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Each young person can receive a personal testimony of the First Vision.

Learn Together

Because Joseph Smith was in his youth at the time of the First Vision, those you teach may be able to relate to his search for truth. Give quorum and class members a few moments to share their thoughts and impressions about Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26. The activities below can help them strengthen their testimonies that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.

  • What gospel truths do we learn from Joseph Smith’s experience in the Sacred Grove? Quorum or class members could read Joseph’s account in Joseph Smith—History 1:7–20 and share truths they find. (For example, God hears and answers prayers; Satan and his power are real, but God’s power is greater; revelation has not ceased.) How have these truths blessed our lives?

  • You could also ask quorum or class members to review messages about the First Vision from the April 2020 general conference (see Ensign or Liahona, May 2020). For example, they could review President Russell M. Nelson’s message “Hear Him” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 88–92). Invite them to share what they find and their feelings about the First Vision.

  • Each of the Presidents of the Church testified of the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Quorum or class members might benefit from reading their testimonies in one of the Teachings of Presidents of the Church manuals. (Most of these manuals contain a chapter about the Prophet Joseph Smith. For a list of these chapters, see Gospel Topics, “First Vision,” A few days before class, you could invite members of your quorum or class to choose one of these Presidents and share a statement he made that they could use to teach someone about the First Vision.

  • Consider inviting quorum or class members to study “The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith” in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel ([2019], 36–38) and to practice teaching each other about the First Vision. You might challenge them to share Joseph Smith’s experience using some of his own words, found in Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17.

  • Are those you teach aware that there are several accounts of the First Vision? Each of these accounts provides unique details that give a more complete understanding of what happened in the Sacred Grove. You might summarize the “Overview” section of the Gospel Topics essay “First Vision Accounts” ( Then you might ask those you teach to review the summaries of the four accounts found under “Accounts of the First Vision.” They could also read some of the actual accounts by using the links provided. What did they find that strengthens their testimony of the First Vision? You could watch the video “Ask of God: Joseph Smith’s First Vision” (, which portrays the First Vision by using details from these accounts. Why is it good to have several accounts of the First Vision? How do these accounts help us better understand Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

Act in Faith

Encourage quorum or class members to ponder and record what they will do to act on the impressions they received today. How does today’s lesson relate to personal goals they have made? If they would like, quorum or class members could share their ideas.

Supporting Resources

  • Matthew 3:13–17; Acts 7:54–60; 3 Nephi 11:3–10 (God the Father and Jesus Christ manifest Themselves to people on earth)

  • “What Do We Learn about the Nature of God from the First Vision?” from “Face to Face with President Eyring and Elder Holland” (worldwide youth broadcast, Mar. 4, 2017),

Teaching in the Savior’s Way

The Savior invited His followers to testify of the truthfulness of His teachings. As they did, the Spirit touched their hearts. How can you encourage those you teach to bear their testimonies? (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way [2016], 11.)

See also “Prepare to Teach” (video,