The year 2020 will be one of the most exciting in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It marks 200 years since the First Vision. Last month, President Russell M. Nelson invited us to prepare for the April conference that will commemorate the bicentennial of the First Vision. This article contains links to resources that may be helpful as you prepare by learning more about the First Vision.
Key Resources About the First Vision
- Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price.
- Come, Follow Me—Book of Mormon manual for 2020
- Book of Mormon Video Library (Learn more about this new video series.)
- “First Vision” and “First Vision Accounts” in Gospel Topics
- “Ask of God,” (6:35) a stunning portrayal of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. This film draws from all nine existing accounts recorded during Joseph Smith’s lifetime.
- “The First Vision,” Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chapter 1
- Saints, Volume 1; chapter 2, a narration of the first vision in the first volume of Saints.
“The greatest event and the most important accomplishment in the course of all human history is the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and the eternal triumph that provided over physical and spiritual death for everyone who has lived, now lives, or ever will live upon the earth.
“The greatest event since that divine sacrifice and the next greatest accomplishment in making that Atonement fully efficacious in the great plan of salvation was the appearance of the Father and the Son to the boy prophet Joseph Smith in the New York springtime of 1820. Had we never had what we have come to call “the Restoration,” the great plan of salvation would have been forever thwarted, and the full blessings of the Atonement would not have reached most of God’s children, past, present, and future.” (“Testify of the Restoration,” Jeffrey R. Holland)
- “Joseph Smith’s First Vision” (4:15)
- “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration,” full-length movie about the life of Joseph Smith
- “The Restoration” (19:12) shortened version of the full-length movie “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration,” the first 17 minutes is the First Vision
- Video: “Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Appeared to Joseph Smith (5:45),” Elder D. Todd Christofferson testifies that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith
- Face to Face event with President Eyring and Elder Holland from the Smith farm, March 2017
- “The Fruits of the First Vision,” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, general conference, “I count Joseph Smith among those whose testimony of Christ helped me to develop my own testimony of the Savior.”
- “Restoration of the Priesthood,” “Joseph Smith,” in Gospel Topics
- Saints topic on Joseph Smith
- Joseph Smith video gallery in Prophets of the Restoration
- JosephSmith.net website
- Interactive Map of Smith family farm and Sacred Grove
Resources for Youth
- “The First Vision: Doctrinal Mastery,” infographic with a basic outline of events and doctrine of the First Vision
- “James 1:5-6,” Line Upon Line section of the New Era, analysis of the verses that led Joseph Smith to pray in the Sacred Grove
- “Blessings of the Restoration,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, how Joseph Smith can help us develop our own testimonies of Christ, excerpt from his talk “The Fruits of the First Vision” from general conference April 2005
Resources for Children
- “How Can You Know What’s True,” President Russell M. Nelson, actions a child can take to know truth as Joseph did in First Vision
- “Praying to Our Father,” President Henry B. Eyring, what we can learn about prayer from the example of Joseph Smith
- “The First Vision,” adaptation of Joseph Smith-History tells the story of the First Vision in a very simplified way
- Joseph Smith Finger Scenes
- The First Vision Shoe-box Panorama
- “First Vision” list of stories, activities, and media
- The First Vision illustrated story for children
- Children’s coloring pages: First Vision, Joseph Smith
Home Evening Ideas
- “The Miraculous Mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Dallin H. Oaks, bulleted list of what the restoration taught us
- “This Is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” text from sharing time and activity ideas
- “Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration,” text from sharing time and activity ideas
- “Highlights in the Prophet’s Life,” time line of events in Joseph’s life
- “The Magnificent Vision Near Palmyra,” James E. Faust, details 8 things we learn from the First Vision
- Simple explanation of the First Vision for small children
- Media Library: Joseph Smith, Sacred Grove, Praying in the Grove, by John Scott, https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/joseph-smith-first-vision-scott-1910061?lang=eng
- Museum Online Exhibit: “Artistic Interpretations of the First Vision”
- “The Voice of the Lord,” Neil L. Andersen, this general conference talk references artwork “First Vision from Afar”
- “The Sacred Grove,” black-and-white landscape view, color portrait view
- “The First Vision: Searching for the Truth“
Resources Created by Others
The First Vision: Bicentennial Celebration 2020 Calendar
This stunning Bicentennial Calendar (available in limited quantities) from Meridian Magazine celebrates The First Vision with gorgeous photographs each month. It features quotes from Joseph Smith that will fill your heart with wonder.
Joseph said: “I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.”
The calendar is a constant reminder all year of one of the most significant events in all of history—an event in the early spring of 1820 that would change the history of the entire world. This visit of Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ to the boy Joseph Smith was the opening of the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.
Purchase from Meridian Magazine. (Sponsored link)
Witness of the Light: A Photographic Journey in the Footsteps of the American Prophet Joseph Smith
Witness Of The Light is a beautiful photographic book that relives the history of the Restoration through the most accurate, illuminating photographs yet taken of Church history sites. This magnificent volume takes you through New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois in the footsteps of Joseph Smith. Through evocative photos and prose, it presents a clear and moving look at the remarkable life of an American prophet.
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