Before the First Vision: A Crucial Lesson for Us All


By Becky Squire

I've been writing and blogging about family relationships for several years now, and as a result I frequently receive many questions from my readers.

How can I stop yelling at my kids?

How can I revive my marriage?

How can I figure out my purpose?

Search engines provide endless answers to any question you may have. It's easy to whip out your phone or computer and quickly type something into that search bar. Hundreds of answers appear immediately. Social media is full of influencers who seem to have success running through every bone in their body. If Google can't answer your question, so-and-so who has 10 thousand followers and seems so relatable surely will.

So, what does the First Vision have to do with any of this? Before Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, before he was visited by God the Father and His Son, and even before he wandered into the sacred grove, there was one crucial step. When he was confused about which church to join, he didn’t ask his favorite influencer. He didn’t even ask his own parents. Joseph Smith followed the counsel of James to ask of God.

Perhaps you're thinking, "well sure - when I have a question as important as which church to join, or if I should change careers, or who I should marry - then of course I would ask of God." But why would you ever settle for anything less?

I'll never forget what my daughter taught me when she about 4 years old. Our family was at my oldest son's baseball game in a large field with 4 baseball diamonds. She brought a little toy pirate coin to play with while we watched and had lost it somewhere in the grass. She was extremely upset. I asked her what she could do about it, and she quickly settled down and said, "I'll say a prayer." I expected her to say a quick prayer by my side, but instead she marched off to the outfield of one of the games going on and knelt down. A few minutes later she walked back to me and immediately found her toy in the grass right where she had been sitting.

I know this won't be the case every time we pray, but I'll always remember the faith and action my daughter showed over such a simple request. But is any request ever too simple? So many of our experiences are echoes of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s search for truth. His words may be similar to our own: “If any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know” (JS—H 1:12).

Do you want to know how to stop yelling at your kids? Ask of God.

Need some guidance to revive your marriage? Ask of God.

Want to figure out your purpose? Ask of God.

Many of us simply don't realize how every article we read, every podcast we listen to, or every social media post we scroll past has the power to influence our thoughts. How can the content you consume fit every unique and individual circumstance? It can't! But God can because He knows you.

If you have questions about anything, don’t habitually seek the answer online. Ask of God.

Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman MagazineFollow Becky Squire on Instagram


  • Saundra Parry

    This is beautiful advice – and – it is soooo true. I support it 1000% into infinity. But one thing we must always remember – as was mentioned, it doesn’t always work instantly. We need to have faith and do our own part. My question has been, on occasion, “So, what is my part?” Sometimes it is just a matter of being more faithful in reading my scriptures – feasting on them. Sometimes the answer really is found in the reading. But sometimes we need to just have patience. I say “just” because it seems so simple. Not simple. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. But we need to have faith that our loving Father hears us. He knows our needs. Maybe it is not the right time. Maybe we need to do something more – like go to the temple or forgive a friend or …. We just need to be faithful and not give up. We must always remember, He is in charge; He loves us; what He decides is for our good – some way. I know that sometimes it is hard – lots of times it is hard. But hanging in there, enduring, is truly worth it.

  • Susan Cammerer

    What a powerful message. I am amazed at how often I can forget this simple bit of advice. This was unbelievably timely for me. Thank you.

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