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For those of you not familiar with the prophet, Joseph Smith’s “first vision”, I’ll start with a short video that depicts it along with his writings.  Joseph Smith was the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).  An important note is that in the video below, it doesn’t depict how Satan tried to overcome Joseph Smith before Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared to him.  For a full account, you can read his history here.

My thoughts on first vision

I think that the first vision is a testimony that God works through small and simple things that challenge the worlds’ views. Joseph Smith was an unlearned boy of only 14 years. He couldn’t write well and didn’t attend school. However, he had great faith and desire to know God’s will and he was humble and sincere by asking. He didn’t just flippantly pray on a whim. Rather, he had pondered things in his mind and heart for months and perhaps years and on his own came to the conclusion that only God can give him the wisdom he needs.
I would do well to apply this in my life. Daily. Remember that I am nothing and if I want wisdom and strength to overcome Satan’s power and also know what God wants me to be and do, I need to ponder in my mind and sincerely ask for strength and guidance.

Principles learned from First Vision
1. God answers the humble prayer of an honest seeker
2. Heavenly Father is separate from Jesus and loves Jesus as a son
3. Jesus is Heavenly Father’s messenger and does what Father wants him to do.
4. Satan is real and tries to hinder our progression
5. If we’re tempted, it takes effort on our part to exercise faith and call upon God. Only God can dispel Satan through our faithfulness. If we have God with us, Satan has no power.
6. Satan is more powerful than we are alone. We need God to overcome Satan.
7. Be humble and God can work miracles with us.

What are your thoughts on the first vision and what other principles can we learn and apply to our lives?

The other day we took the kids out to buy some toys with the money they had earned.  As we walked out of the store, a homeless guy was waiting and asked for some change.  I had a couple dollars in my wallet and I also encouraged the kids to give them some of their money, which they did.

He tried to refuse their money, but I insisted as I wanted to teach the kids the lesson so beautifully taught by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

It also reminded me of this video of being civil to ALL people…not just the ones we are comfortable with:

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-04-008-the-civility-experiment?category=mormon-messages/mormon-messages-2011&lang=eng&cid=HPWE090314389

I’ll have to admit that I’m not always as generous as I should be and I’m judgmental a lot of the time when I see homeless people-especially when I’m in a rush or in a sketchy part of downtown.  Fear and selfishness keeps me moving on rather than stopping and trying to get to know them and help them.

I’m curious. What do you do when you see a beggar or homeless person?

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