Scripture Stories
Chapter 2: Joseph Smith’s First Vision: 1820

“Chapter 2: Joseph Smith’s First Vision: 1820,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 9–12

“Chapter 2,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 9–12

Chapter 2

Joseph Smith’s First Vision


young Joseph kneeling
Joseph Smith Sr.

Joseph Smith and his family believed in God. They read the Bible together. Joseph’s parents taught their children to be good.

Joseph attending church

There were many churches where Joseph lived. All the people disagreed on which church was right. Joseph didn’t know which church to join. He wanted to know which was the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Joseph reading the Bible

One day when Joseph was 14 years old, he read in the Bible that we should ask God when we want to know something. Joseph decided to pray and ask God which church to join.

Joseph kneeling

On a beautiful spring day, Joseph went to the woods near his home. He knelt down and prayed out loud. He had faith that Heavenly Father would answer his prayer.

Joseph holding his head

Satan did not want Joseph to pray. He tried to stop Joseph and made it dark all around him. Joseph was afraid and could not talk.

Joseph kneeling in prayer

But Joseph did not stop praying. Satan could not make him stop.

Heavenly Father and Jesus

Then Joseph had a vision. He saw a beautiful, bright light all around him. He saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ standing above him in the air. Heavenly Father pointed to Jesus and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”


Joseph asked Jesus which church he should join. Jesus told Joseph not to join any of the churches because they were all wrong. None of them was His Church. He told Joseph many other things. Then the vision ended.

Joseph and his mother

When Joseph went home, his mother asked if he was all right. Joseph said he was. Then he told his mother he had seen a vision. He told her what he learned in his vision.

minister chastising Joseph

Joseph also told some people in the town about his vision. The people did not believe him. They said he was telling a lie, and they became angry and were mean to him.

Joseph being taunted

Joseph always told the truth about his vision. He knew he had seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He knew that none of the churches on earth was true.