Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 3
“I Had Seen a Vision”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us strengthen our testimonies of the First Vision and of Joseph Smith’s calling as the prophet through whom God restored the fulness of the gospel to the earth.

Scripture references for study:  Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26, Our Heritage, pages 1–4
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 3 Handout (PDF)

Apostasy & Preparation For A Restoration

Christianity and Apostasy.

The Protestant Revolution.

A Land Prepared.

A Prophet Is Raised Up

President Joseph Fielding Smith: "It was necessary, therefore, that one should be chosen and clothed with power from the Father to re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. In choosing a representative to stand at the head of this 'great and marvelous work about to come forth unto the children of men,' the Lord did not select one who was versed in the learning and traditions of the world." (Essentials In Church History, p20)

The preparation of one so chosen began many generations before. Consider the ancestors and family of Joseph Smith. We see in the background of Joseph's ancestors, traits and attitudes that were so important in the development of the Prophet.

A brief historical note about this period:

An Unusual Excitement on the Subject of Religion

This is an incredible and remarkable story. From this small, humble beginning grows a story of epic proportions:

Joseph Smith's Own Story. It should be noted that this version of Joseph's first vision, as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, is only one of several accounts.  See First Vision Accounts at for information and discussion on these other accounts.

Photographs of the Sacred Grove from my visit in October 2010.

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the events leading up to Joseph's first vision? How has this discussion inspired you? What can you do to share this message with other?

Resources Used In This Lesson

Come Unto Christ by Ezra Taft Taft.

Conference Reports (CR).

Church News.


Essentials In Church History by Joseph Fielding Smith.

FairMormon (website).

History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith.

Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.

Joseph Smith and the Restoration by Ivan J. Barrett.

Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney.

Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.

That My Family Should Partake by Neal A. Maxwell.

The Abundant Life by Hugh B. Brown.

The Great Apostasy by James E. Talmage.

The Millennial Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie.

U.S. News & World Report.

Utah Society of Mayflower Descendants (website).

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Changes last made on:  30 December 2016