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Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26
January 4–10. “I Saw a Pillar of Light”
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.
- Scripture: JS—H 1:1–4
- KnoWhy 397: Why Would God Choose an Uneducated Man to Translate the Book of Mormon?
- Scripture: JS—H 1:5–10
- Joseph Smith—History Insight 7: Religious Excitement near Palmyra, New York, 1816–1820
- 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.
- Scripture: JS—H 1:14–20
- KnoWhy 578: Why Does the Father Say “Hear Ye Him”?
- Joseph Smith—History Insight 10: The First Vision as a Divine Council Vision
- Scripture: JS—H 1:21–23
- Video 887: Ask of God: Joseph Smith’s First Vision
- Joseph Smith—History Insight 12: Why Was Joseph Smith Initially Reluctant to Tell Others About the First Vision?
- Scripture: JS—H 1:23–26
- Joseph Smith—History Insight 1: Joseph Smith’s Firsthand Accounts of the First Vision
- KnoWhy 264: Why Are there Multiple Accounts of Joseph Smith's and Alma's Visions?
- Voices of the Restoration: Joseph Smith’s Family
- KnoWhy 379: How Can We Be Strengthened by Lucy Mack Smith's Testimony of the Book of Mormon?
- KnoWhy 386: How Did Emma Smith Help Bring Forth the Book of Mormon?