4. The Sacred Grove
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In the spring of 1820, Joseph Smith Jr. entered a forest near his home to pray. It was here that he experienced the First Vision where he beheld God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, who appeared to Joseph to commence the Restoration of the fullness of the gospel to the earth. (See Joseph Smith-History.)
Joseph wrote of the experience, "I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day. They told me . . . that the fulness of the Gospel should at some future time be made known unto me. (History of the Church, 4:536.)
Nine years later, in June of 1829, Joseph Smith Jr. gathered a small group of family and friends in these same woods and showed them the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Each of the eight witnesses touched and examined the plates. They then prepared a written testimony that was published in the Book of Mormon.
The exact location of Joseph Smith's First Vision is unknown, but it occurred somewhere within a 10-acre forest on the western boundaries of the Smith family farm.