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Joseph Smith’s First Vision (likely on Sunday, March 26) and Easter 1820 (Sunday, April 2) happened only a week apart. Each event represented something significant for the world. Each event demonstrated God’s living powers. Each event symbolized God’s opening of the heavens to bring healing, revelation, and salvation. Each event reminds us that we are not alone, that God is intimately involved in our lives and personally interested in our daily cares and concerns. Most significantly, the memory of the rising Son is mirrored by the Son coming to Joseph Smith in the blinding flash of light brighter than the rising sun.
Celebrate Light Returning to the Earth
As we celebrate the resurrection when Jesus broke the bands of death that we might all live again, I think it worthwhile to also celebrate light shedding and spreading upon the world because of the First Vision.
In fact, we do not call this history-changing event the “Only Vision” for a reason. To do so would be to close off the possibility that anyone else could receive visions, dreams, revelation, knowledge, truth, or wisdom. If this were called the “Only Vision,” imagine all we would never know: the converting power of the Book of Mormon, priesthood ordinances, the call to gather to Zion, the community of the Church, the Restoration of the gospel, the beauties of temple blessings, the healing truths of revelation. We could multiply this list because Joseph Smith did not simply experience the “Only Vision.”
The First Vision Is NOT the Last
Similarly, Joseph’s transcendent experience is not called the “Last Vision.” To name it such would put a book end on God’s work with His children. To do so would place a period on God’s communication with us. If this were called the “Last Vision,” all hope would be destroyed, for there would be no searching need to hear God’s voice again. There would be no promise that God would ever visit us again. We would wallow in the waning light as darkness crept back into the world. As the echoes of God’s voice lapse into silence, we would be left only with the memory that God did once speak but now would forever remain silent.
“But what joy to know this is called the “First Vision”—the beginning! And there is no end. Joseph experienced the Alpha. We will never experience an Omega.” (Taylor Halverson and Lisa Halverson Beautiful Truths from the First Vision, Covenant Communication, Inc., 2020, p. 1)
Similarly, because Jesus broke the bands of death, we have an Alpha of immortality that will see no Omega.