“I Had Seen a Vision”

Joseph Smith—History 1:25

25 So it was with me. 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; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

President Russell M. Nelson said:

“Joseph Smith encountered intense persecution after this experience [the First Vision] had become public knowledge. He wrote:

“‘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; and while [abusers] were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation’ [Joseph Smith—History 1:25].

“We regard that theophany—which we designate as the First Vision—and subsequent communications of heavenly beings with the Prophet Joseph Smith to be as real as my conversation with you now. These and other visitations relating to the promised restitution of the Church are well documented.

“For his singular service as the prophet called to inaugurate this dispensation, Joseph Smith gave his life as a martyr at the young age of thirty-eight years. As we honor prophets of former days, so we honor the Prophet Joseph Smith.”

(“Combatting Spiritual Drift—Our Global Pandemic,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 104–5.)

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