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Come Follow Me 2021: Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26
Scripture Block

Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26

January 4–10. “I Saw a Pillar of Light”

New from BMC

Watch videos from Gospel scholars and teachers to learn more about these sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. Book of Mormon Central produces weekly videos from Tyler Griffin, Taylor Halverson, John Hilton III, Anthony Sweat, Casey Griffiths, Stephanie Dibb Sorensen, and Marianna Richardson. Read commentaries and other resources from KnoWhys, Steven C. Harper, Casey Griffiths, and Susan Easton Black.

Overview

Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26

Daily Reading Plan

Structure your personal scripture study by following a 15-minute, day-by-day plan. Each day's assignment includes the required scripture passages from the Come, Follow Me curriculum, as well as suggestions for additional resources to bring context and understanding to your study.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Scripture: JS—H 1:11–13
  • Commentary: While the 1838 account moves immediately to Joseph reading James 1:5, the Prophet’s 1832 history records a more intensive search through the scriptures and several realizations before Joseph came to the conclusion to ask God. Joseph wrote, “I became exceedingly distressed, for I became convicted of my sins.” He added, “I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world.” He came to the conclusion “by searching the scriptures . . . that mankind did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatized from the true and living faith, and there was no society or denomination that was built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament” (Joseph Smith History, circa Summer 1832, 2, in Joseph Smith Papers, H1:12).
    At the same time, Joseph’s study of the Bible led him to record, “I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday, today, and forever, that he was no respecter of persons, for he was God.” He reflected on the beauty and wonder of God’s creations surrounding him, writing, “When I considered upon these things . . . my heart exclaimed, ‘All, all these things bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotent and omnipresent power, a being who maketh laws and decreeth and bindeth all things in their bounds, who filleth eternity, and who was and is and will be from all eternity to eternity’” (Joseph Smith History, circa Summer 1832, 2–3, in Joseph Smith Papers, H1:12). The importance of the scriptures as a catalyst in leading the Prophet to revelation remained a prominent pattern throughout the rest of his life.
    Casey Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Minute, Joseph Smith—History 1:11–13.
  • Video: The First Vision Accounts - Casey Griffiths (Joseph Smith—History 1:1-26)

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Further Reading

Additional Resources (Bibliography)

Introduction

Awakenings and Revivals,” Church History Topics.

Christian Churches in Joseph Smith’s Day,” Church History Topics.

Religious Beliefs in Joseph Smith’s Day,” Church History Topics.

BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 2, Special Issue on the First Vision, 2020

“Hear Him,” Saints, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth

Primary Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity, Joseph Smith Papers 

Joseph Smith—History 1:1

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Must Christ’s True Church Be Called after His Name? (3 Nephi 27:8),” KnoWhy 482 (November 6, 2018).

Walker, Jeffrey N. “Standing as a Credible Witness in 1819.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker and John W. Welch, 51–70. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.

Welch, John W. “The Smiths and Religious Freedom: Jesse Smith's 1814 Church Tax Protest.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker and John W. Welch, 39-50. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.

Joseph Smith—History 1:3–4

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Would God Choose an Uneducated Man to Translate the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 27:19),” KnoWhy 397 (January 9, 2018).

Book of Mormon Central, “How Can We Be Strengthened by Lucy Mack Smith's Testimony of the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 27:14),” KnoWhy 379 (November 7, 2017).

Book of Mormon Central, “Did Joseph Smith’s Mother Believe He Could Have Written the Book of Mormon? (Alma 32:21),” KnoWhy 555 (March 31, 2020).

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Are There So Many Similarities between the Dreams of Lehi and Joseph Smith, Sr.? (1 Nephi 8:4),” KnoWhy 474 (October 9, 2018).

Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20

First Vision Accounts,” Gospel Topics Essays.

Joseph Smith’s First Vision Accounts,” Church History Topics.

Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 93–96.

Russell M. Nelson, “Hear Him,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 88–92.

Book of Mormon Central. “Why Are there Multiple Accounts of Joseph Smith's and Alma's Visions? (Alma 36:6–7).” KnoWhy 264 (January 20, 2017).

Book of Mormon Central, “How Can We Be Strengthened by Lucy Mack Smith's Testimony of the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 27:14),” KnoWhy 379 (November 7, 2017).

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Are People Exhausted by Powerful Spiritual Experiences? (Alma 19:6),” KnoWhy 460 (August 21, 2018).

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Does the Father Say “Hear Ye Him”? (3 Nephi 11:7),” KnoWhy 578 (September 15, 2020).

Joseph Smith—History 1:19–23

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Does Nephi Use Isaiah 29 as Part of His Own Prophecy? (2 Nephi 26:16),” KnoWhy 52 (March 11, 2016).

Book of Mormon Central, “How Can We Know What to Believe about Joseph Smith’s Personal Character? (3 Nephi 8:1) KnoWhy 413 (March 6, 2018).

Voices of the Restoration: Joseph Smith’s Family

Book of Mormon Central, “How Can We Be Strengthened by Lucy Mack Smith's Testimony of the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 27:14),” KnoWhy 379 (November 7, 2017).

Book of Mormon Central, “How Did Emma Smith Help Bring Forth the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 27:6),” KnoWhy 386 (November 30, 2017).

Joseph Smith—History Insights

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Joseph Smith’s Firsthand Accounts of the First Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 1 (February 4, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The 1832 First Vision Account,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 2 (February 6, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The 1835 First Vision Account,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 3 (February 11, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The 1838 First Vision Account,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 4 (February 13, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The 1842 First Vision Account,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 5 (February 18, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Secondhand Accounts of the First Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 6 (February 19, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Religious Excitement near Palmyra, New York, 1816–1820,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 7 (February 24, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “How Old was Joseph Smith at the Time of the First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 8 (February 27, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Did Both the Father and the Son Appear to Joseph Smith in the First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 9 (March 3, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The First Vision as a Divine Council Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 10 (March 5, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Who Was the Minister Joseph Smith Spoke to About His Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 11 (March 10, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Why Was Joseph Smith Initially Reluctant to Tell Others About the First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 12 (March 12, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Remembering Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 13 (March 17, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “How Did Joseph Smith Tell the Story of His First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 14 (March 19, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The Significance of the First Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 15 (March 24, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “What Did Joseph Smith Learn from the First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 16 (March 25, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “What Are the Doctrinal Contributions of the First Vision?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 17 (March 26, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Are the Christian Creeds Really an Abomination?,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 18 (March 31, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “The Visionary World of Joseph Smith,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 19 (April 1, 2020).

Pearl of Great Price Central, “Observations on the Timing of the First Vision,” Joseph Smith—History Insight 20 (April 2, 2020).

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