The Greatest Evidence That He Told The Truth!


“God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in this Grove”, is the simple sign that is posted outside the “Scared Grove.” I have visited the grove several times in my life.  I have always been impressed with the first hand account written by Joseph Smith regarding the “First Vision” and the resulting controversy surrounding it. One of the greatest testimonies to me of the reality of his vision was not only that he never denied it, but that no one ever reported that he told them in private that it was a hoax. Imagine if a boy of 14 had made up some preposterous story that brings upon him ridicule and hate. He is persecuted, tarred and feathered, beaten, and driven from place to place. He loses loved ones and family members over the next twenty four years because of it.  His life becomes a living hell! Who would not break down, at least in private, and tell someone it is a hoax. If I had made up such a story, I know at some point I would tell someone: most likely my wife, mother, father, brother, best friend, or someone that the whole thing was a fraud. I could always deny it later.

But the great testimony of his vision and calling, is that no one, not one soul, report at any time during the lifetime of the prophet that he varied from his story. Like Paul, both stayed faithful in defending their stories of a personal visitation and no amount of persecution was going to alter the truth. It is hard to keep a secret under normal circumstances. Imagine lying in the Liberty Jail, as did Joseph Smith,  with your buddies for months on end. It’s just you and them and you have months to talk. What else is there to do! During all that time it seems logical that you would have extended discussions on your situation. If your story was bogus, wouldn’t you at some point crack and say, “Sorry guys for all the trouble I’ve put you through. I’m sorry, but I made it up!”

Although many negative things have been written about the prophet, some false, some filled with half-truths, I find it interesting that no one claims to have ever heard the prophet deny his calling. Even when others left the church and denounced the man, they never reported that Joseph Smith denied the reality of his calling.  To me his unwavering testimony of the first vision and other divine visitations,  stands as one of the greatest evidences of the truthfulness of his message!


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