THE FIRST VISION: A JOSEPH SMITH PAPERS PODCAST – Episode 1

Last Sunday. We got to church. We parked. We found a bench long enough for our family, Bry’s parents, Mimi, and my mom.

And then Elder Bednar walked into the chapel, and we got to spend the last 15 minutes of the Sacrament Meeting listening to him bare testimony of the Lord’s work.

I went home and wrote in my journal about the experience:

Elder Bednar reiterated the importance of the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, and reminded us that the Gospel is STILL being restored. 

He said, in his very calm way, that we have no idea how excited he is for all that will happen in the next ten years. He said, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” And he told us that he was in no way joking. So none of us dared to laugh. 
He quoted a hymn, “Oh awake and arise, ye slumbering saints!” It is not possible to overestimate the sacred privilege it is to live in this day. Those who have gone before us “yearned to see what we see, and they yearned to know what we know”. 

I felt so much gratitude for my privileges. The Spirit was incredible. I could not write down the last part of his testimony because I was so taken by it – all I could do was sit and try to absorb. 

I left Sacrament Meeting wanting to know Brother Joseph better. I left more grateful than maybe ever before for the privilege of being where I am, and when I am.

“Have you ever looked at the event (of the Restoration) through the eyes of historians?”

This podcast does just that. Absolutely fascinating! I am not going to spend my post today sharing those fascinating facts, though. You can go to the podcast itself for that information. Rather I want to look at the reason why this information is a blessing to me and to my family, and to all who live in this time.

The events leading up to the First Vision, when God, the Father, and Jesus Christ appeared to the 14-year old Joseph Smith Jr in a grove of trees in Palmyra, NY, were orchestrated by the hand of the Lord. And so are the events in my life leading up to who I am today, and where I will be tomorrow.

He will prepare me, as He did Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith.

He will lead me, as he did the 800,000 New Englanders that moved west to find a fresh start.

He will hear me, when I turn to Him.

He will comfort me, when I fall.

He will inspire me, He will drive me towards certain learnings, He will bless me with certain relationships, He will prepare me with different opportunities. He will make me a mother of angels, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

He will also try me, as He did the Smith family, who’s crop failed in Vermont and who’s own precious son died.

“Your life is carefully watched over…the Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know.  He is kind and He is all-knowing.  So you can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn in preparation for the service you will give.  You will not recognize those opportunities at first…but you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder.  You will recognize later that your power to serve was increased, and you will be grateful.” 

Elder Henry B Eying