Almost 200 years ago, a boy went into a grove of trees to ask God which church was right. He thought the confusion and contention between the different denominations didn't reflect the order he saw in the universe, and the order he felt from God.
He retired to a grove of trees, and before he could start his prayer, he was seized upon by a power that bound his tongue, and immobilized him. Just as he was about to sink into despair, the following happened;
"just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
Following this, Christ's true gospel was restored to the earth, with all of the blessings of his original church that had been lost through the apostasy. The young boy, Joseph Smith, became the first prophet of a new dispensation, a time foretold by numerous biblical writers.
Joseph was hated and persecuted for saying it yet he said that he had seen a vision, and that he knew it and he knew that God knew it, and he could not deny it.
He and those early saints went through trials we cannot comprehend, and went through the refiners fire. Do we take for granted the blessings they fought so hard to gain?
May we ever be grateful for the blessings of the Restoration that began with one boy's humble prayer.
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picture is The First Vision by Brent Borup