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Category:First Vision/John Taylor
John Taylor's References to Joseph Smith's First Vision
Parent page: First Vision
Brother Taylor took the testimony that Joseph gave him, that Jesus delivered unto Joseph, that God bade Joseph to listen to from the lips of His beloved Son, as he bore those tidings to foreign lands…
—Comment made at John Taylor's funeral by Joseph B. Noble, Millennial Star, 5 September 1887
John Taylor (1850): "An holy angel appeared unto a young man about fifteen years of age...two glorious personages"
In 1850, John Taylor was assigned to open France for the missionary activities of the Church. Upon arrival he wrote a letter, which was published in the French and English language paper. In that letter he wrote, in part:
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first organized in the Town of Manchester, Ontario County, State of New York, U.S.A., 6th April 1830. Previous to this an holy angel appeared unto a young man about fifteen years of age, a farmer's son, named Joseph Smith, and communicated unto him many things pertaining to the situation of the religious world, the necessity of a correct church organization, and unfolded many events that should transpire in the last days, as spoken of by the Prophets. As near as possible I will give the words as he related them to me. He said that "in the neighborhood in which he resided there was a religious revival, (a thing very common in that country) in which several different denominations were united; that many professed to be converted; among the number, two or three of his father's family. When the revival was over, there was a contention as to which of these various societies the person who was converted should belong. One of his father's family joined one society, and another a different one. His mind was troubled, he saw contention instead of peace, and division instead of union; and when he reflected upon the multifarious creeds and professions there were in existence, he thought it impossible for all to be right, and if God taught one, He did not teach the others, "for God is not the author of confusion." In reading his bible, he was remarkably struck with the passage in James, 1st chapter, 5th verse. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." Believing in the word of God, he retired into a grove, and called upon the Lord to give him wisdom in relation to this matter. While he was thus engaged, he was surrounded by a brilliant light, and two glorious personages presented themselves before him, who exactly resembled each other in features, and who gave him information upon the subjects which had previously agitated his mind. He was given to understand that the churches were all of them in error in regard to many things; and he was commanded not to go after them; and he received a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be unfolded unto him; after which the vision withdrew leaving his mind in a state of calmness and peace.
John Taylor (1859): "The Lord did hear him, and told him what to do"
There was one man that had a little good sense and a spark of faith in the promises of God, and that was Joseph Smith—a backwoods man. He believed a certain portion of Scripture which said—"If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." He was fool enough in the eyes of the world, and wise enough in the eyes of God and angels and all true intelligence, to go into a secret place to ask God for wisdom, believing that God would hear him. The Lord did hear him, and told him what to do.
John Taylor (1876): "The Father and the Son appeared to him, arrayed in glory"
In 1876 Elder Taylor spoke at a funeral service, and he stated:
Again, there are other things associated with these matters, all bearing more or less upon the same points. When God selected Joseph Smith to open up the last dispensation, which is called the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Father and the Son appeared to him, arrayed in glory, and the Father, addressing himself to Joseph, at the same time pointing to the Son, said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." As there were great and important events to be introduced into the world associated with the interests of humanity, not only with the people that now are, but with all people that have ever lived upon the face of the earth, and as what is termed the dispensation of the fullness of times was about to be ushered in, Moroni, who held the keys of the unfolding of the Book of Mormon, which is a record of the people who lived upon this American continent, came to Joseph Smith and revealed to him certain things pertaining to the peoples who had lived here and the dealings of God with them, and also in regard to events that are to transpire on this continent.
John Taylor (1877): "God himself, came to break the long, long silence of ages, revealing through his Son, Jesus Christ"
In General Conference October 1877, President Taylor stated:
The work we are engaged in emanated from God, and what did Joseph Smith know about it until God revealed it? Nothing. What did President Young, or the Twelve, or anybody else, know about it before the heavenly messengers, even God himself, came to break the long, long silence of ages, revealing through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the holy angels, the everlasting Gospel? Nothing at all. We were all alike ignorant until heaven revealed it.
John Taylor (1877): "When the Lord manifested himself to Joseph Smith, presenting to him his Son"
[W]e are told that no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God. And if they cannot obtain a knowledge of God only by the Spirit of God, unless they receive that Spirit they must remain ignorant of these principles. And it matters not what the learning, what the intelligence, what the research, the philosophy, or religion of man may be, the things of God cannot be comprehended, except through and by the Spirit and revelations of God. And this can only be obtained through obedience to the principles which God has and shall ordain, sanction and acknowledge. And hence, in these last times, he first communicated a knowledge of himself to Joseph Smith, long ago, when he was quite young. Who in that day knew anything about God? Who had had any revelations from Him, or who knew anything in relation to the principles of life and salvation? If there were any persons I never heard of them, nor read of them, nor never met them. But when the Lord manifested himself to Joseph Smith, presenting to him his Son who was there also, saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him;" he then knew that God lived; and he was not dependent upon anybody else for that knowledge. He saw him and heard his voice, and he knew for himself that there was a God, and of this he testified, sealing his testimony with his blood.
John Taylor (2 March 1879): "the Father and the Son...came to Joseph Smith" and "the Prophet Joseph asked the angel"
The following two statements were made by John Taylor in different discourses on the same day, 2 March 1879. In one, Taylor talks of Joseph Smith asking "the angel" which church was right, and in the other, Taylor clearly states that "the Father and the Son...came to Joseph Smith." This demonstrates how early Church leaders often used the term "angel" to refer to the personages that appeared in the First Vision, even though they clearly knew that they were the Father and the Son.
"When the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right"
None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right.
"When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph Smith"
When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph Smith, he had a priesthood conferred upon him which he conferred upon others for the purpose of manifesting the laws of life... 
Notice how one refers to an "angel" and the other refers to "the Father and the Son." Taylor was clearly aware of the details of the First Vision. This also demonstrates how early Church leaders used the term "angel" to represent the personages that Joseph saw, even at the same time that they recognized that these personages were the Father and the Son.
John Taylor (1879): "God Himself, accompanied by the Savior, appeared to Joseph"
In 1879 John Taylor wrote to a friend about the First Vision:
We of all others on the earth ought to be the last to oppress the Lamanites. Through the development of their record, by the ministrations of one of their old prophets, we are indebted for the introduction of the Everlasting Gospel; and of so great importance was this action considered that God Himself, accompanied by the Savior, appeared to Joseph.
John Taylor (1879): "He came himself, accompanied by his Son Jesus, to the Prophet Joseph Smith"
The Lord has taken a great deal of pains to bring us where we are and to give us the information we have. He came himself, accompanied by his Son Jesus, to the Prophet Joseph Smith. He didn't send anybody but came himself, and introducing his Son, said: ‘This is my beloved Son, hear him.’ And he permitted the ancient prophets, apostles and men of God that existed in different ages to come and confer the keys of their several dispensations upon the prophet of the Lord, in order that he should be endowed and imbued with the power and Spirit of God, with the light of revelation and the eternal principles of the everlasting Gospel.
John Taylor (1879): "The Lord revealed himself to him together with his Son Jesus"
Note that in this case, Taylor refers to the Father as "the Lord":
Now, we will come to other events, of later date; events with which we are associated—I refer now to the time that Joseph Smith came among men. What was his position? and how was he situated? I can tell you what he told me about it. He said that he was very ignorant of the ways, designs and purposes of God, and knew nothing about them; he was a youth unacquainted with religious matters or the systems and theories of the day. He went to the Lord, having read James' statement, that "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." [James 1.5] He believed that statement and went to the Lord and asked him, and the Lord revealed himself to him together with his Son Jesus, and, pointing to the latter, said: ‘This is my beloved Son, hear him.’ He then asked in regard to the various religions with which he was surrounded.
John Taylor (1880): "the Lord appeared unto Joseph Smith, both the Father and the Son"
John Taylor refers to "the Lord" as "both the Father and the Son":
[A]s a commencement the Lord appeared unto Joseph Smith, both the Father and the Son, the Father pointing to the Son said ‘this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.’ Here, then, was a communication from the heavens made known unto man on the earth, and he at that time came into possession of a fact that no man knew in the world but he, and that is that God lived, for he had seen him, and that his Son Jesus Christ lived, for he also had seen him. What next? Now says the Father, "This is my beloved Son, hear him." The manner, the mode, the why, and the wherefore, he designed to introduce through him were not explained; but he, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of man, he was the one pointed out to be the guide, the director, the instructor, and the leader in the development of the great principles of that kingdom and that government which he then commenced to institute.
John Taylor (1881): "the Father and Son appeared and revealed unto Joseph"
Hence when the heavens were opened and the Father and Son appeared and revealed unto Joseph the principles of the gospel, and when the holy priesthood was restored and the Church and kingdom of God established upon the earth, there were the greatest blessings bestowed upon this generation which it was possible for man to receive.”
John Taylor (1881): "the Father and the Son appeared to the youth Joseph Smith"
Finally, when all the preparations were made and everything was ready, or the time had fully come, the Father and the Son appeared to the youth Joseph Smith to introduce the great work of the latter days. He who presides over this earth and he who is said to be the maker of all things, the Father, pointing to his well-beloved Son, says, this is my beloved Son, hear him. He did not come himself to regulate and put in order all things, but he presented his Only Begotten Son, the personage who should be, as he is termed in the Scriptures, the Apostle and great High Priest of our profession, who should take the lead in the management and regulation of all matters pertaining to the great dispensation that was about to be ushered in.
John Taylor (1881): "the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith"
In the commencement of the work, the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith. And when they appeared to him, the Father, pointing to the Son, said, ‘This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!’ As much as to say, ‘I have not come to teach and instruct you; but I refer you to my Only Begotten, who is the Mediator of the New Covenant, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world; I refer you to him as your Redeemer, your High Priest and Teacher. Hear him.’” Continuing, he pointed out that Joseph was also visited by Moroni, John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John.
John Taylor (1882): "the Father and the Son appeared together to the Prophet Joseph Smith"
[W]hen the Father and the Son appeared together to the Prophet Joseph Smith they were exactly alike in form, in appearance, in glory; and the Father said, pointing to His Son, ‘This is my beloved Son; hear Him.’
John Taylor (1882): "both of whom appeared to Joseph Smith"
[W]e declare that God himself took part in it, and that Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, accompanied him, both of whom appeared to Joseph Smith, upon which occasion the Father, pointing to the Son said, ‘This is my beloved Son, hear him.’…. ….. After the Lord had spoken to Joseph Smith, and Jesus had manifested himself to him….” He later refers to the visitation of Moroni, John the Baptist, and Peter, James and John.
John Taylor (1882): "God the Father, and God the Son, both appeared to him"
A message was announced to us by Joseph Smith, the Prophet, as a revelation from God, wherein he stated that holy angels had appeared to him and revealed the everlasting Gospel as it existed in former ages; and God the Father, and God the Son, both appeared to him; and the Father, pointing, said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.
John Taylor (1882): "It is true that God appeared to Joseph Smith, and that His Son Jesus did"
In the first place He has Himself spoken to us from the heavens, as also has His Son Jesus Christ…. Now, it is the rule of God which is desired to be introduced upon the earth, and this is the reason why the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith…. It is true that God appeared to Joseph Smith, and that His Son Jesus did…
John Taylor (1884): "When our Heavenly Father appeared unto Joseph Smith, the Prophet, He pointed to the Savior"
I have heard some remarks in the Temple pertaining to these matters, and also here, and it has been thought, as has been expressed by some, that we ought to look for some peculiar manifestations. The question is, What do we want to see? Some peculiar power, some remarkable manifestations? All these things are very proper in their place; all these things we have a right to look for; but we must only look for such manifestations as are requisite for our circumstances, and as God shall see fit to impart them. Certain manifestations have already occurred. When our Heavenly Father appeared unto Joseph Smith, the Prophet, He pointed to the Savior who was with him, (and who, it is said, is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person) and said: ‘This is my beloved Son, hear Him.’” Later in the sermon he mentions the appearance of John the Baptist, and Peter, James and John; and Moroni.
John Taylor (1884): "to make known unto us through Thy servant Joseph---by the manifestation of Thyself and Thy well beloved Son"
In one of his dedicatory prayers at the Logan Temple, President Taylor said:
It hath pleased Thee, O Lord God, our Heavenly Father, to reveal Thyself in our days, and to make known unto us through Thy servant Joseph---by the manifestation of Thyself and Thy well beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, by Thine appearing unto him, that Thou still livest by the opening of the heavens, by the brightness of Thine appearance, and by Thine own voice Thou hast manifested Thyself unto him, and pointing also to our glorious Redeemer who was present with Thee, declared Him to be Thy well beloved Son in whom Thou wast well pleased, and commanded Thy servant Joseph to hear Him.
John Taylor (1886): "God revealed Himself, as also the Lord Jesus Christ, unto His servant the Prophet Joseph Smith"
In 1886, shortly before he died, President Taylor wrote a letter to his family, part of which reads:
We are engaged in a great work, and laying the foundation thereof—a work that has been spoken of by all the holy prophets since the word was; namely, the dispensation of the fullness of times, wherein God will gather together all things in one, whether they be things in the earth, or things in the heaven; and for this purpose God revealed Himself, as also the Lord Jesus Christ, unto His servant the Prophet Joseph Smith, when the Father pointed to the Son and said: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.’
- Joseph B. Noble, "Laid to Rest. The Remains of President John Taylor Consigned to The Grave," Millennial Star 49 no. 36 (5 September 1887), 564.
- John Taylor, Letter to the Editor of the Interpreter Anglais et Français, Boulogne-sur-mer (25 June 1850). (emphasis added) Reprinted in John Taylor, Millennial Star 12 no. 15 (1 August 1850), 235–236.
- John Taylor, (7 October 1859) Journal of Discourses 7:322.
- John Taylor, "A Funeral Sermon...over the remains of Ann Tenora, etc.," (31 December 1876) Journal of Discourses 18:325-6; 329, 330.
- John Taylor, "The Trusteeship, etc.," (7 October 1877) Journal of Discourses 19:123.
- John Taylor, "Gathering The Result Of Revelation, etc.," (14 November 1877) Journal of Discourses 19:151-152.
- John Taylor, (2 March 1879) Journal of Discourses 20:167.
- John Taylor, (2 March 1879) Journal of Discourses 20:257.
- John Taylor letter to A. K. Thurber at Richfield, Utah (25 February 1879).
- John Taylor, "Eternal Nature Of The Gospel, etc.," (28 November 1879) Journal of Discourses 21:116-117.
- John Taylor, "Restoration Of The Gospel Through Joseph Smith, etc.," (7 December 1879) Journal of Discourses 21:161.
- John Taylor, "The Revelation Of The Father And Son To Joseph Smith, And The Bestowal Upon Him Of The Priesthood, etc.," (4 January 1880) Journal of Discourses 21:65.
- John Taylor, "The Privileges Of The Saints, etc.," (27 June 1881) (emphasis added) Journal of Discourses 22:218, (emphasis added).
- John Taylor, "Duties Of The Saints — The Atonement, etc.," (28 August 1881) Journal of Discourses 22:298-299, (emphasis added).
- John Taylor, "Manifestation Of The Father And Son To The Prophet Joseph," (20 October 1881) Journal of Discourses 26:106-107.
- John Taylor, The Mediation and Atonement (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Co., 1882), 138.
- John Taylor, "Restoration Of The Gospel," (5 March 1882) Journal of Discourses 23:29-32.
- John Taylor, Millennial Star 44 no. 22 (29 May 1882), 337–338, (emphasis added).
- John Taylor, "Man's Natural Spirit And The Spirit Of God, etc.," (23 November 1882) Journal of Discourses 23:322-323.
- John Taylor, "Manifestations To Be Looked For, etc.," (18 May 1884) Journal of Discourses 25:177-178.
- John Taylor, Logan Temple Dedicatory Prayer, May 17, 1884, Utah Journal [Logan, Utah] volume 2, reprinted in the Millennial Star 46 (1884): 386-91.
- B. H. Roberts, Life of John Taylor (Salt Lake City, Utah: George Q. Cannon & Sons, Co., 1892).:394
Pages in category "First Vision/John Taylor"
The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total.
- Source:John Taylor:1850:Letter to the Editor of the ''Interpreter Anglais et Français'':First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1859:JD 7:322:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1876:JD 18:325:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1877:JD 19:123:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1877:JD 19:151:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1879:JD 21:116-117:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1879:JD 21:161:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1879:John Taylor to A.K. Thurber:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1880:JD 21:65:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1881:JD 22:218:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1881:JD 22:298-299:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1881:JD 26:106:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1882:JD 23:29-32:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1882:JD 23:322:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1882:JD 44:29:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1882:Mediation and Atonement:138:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1884:JD 25:177-178:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1884:Millennial Star 46:386-91:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:1886:Life of John Taylor:394:First Vision
- Source:John Taylor:2 March 1879:JD 20:167 and 257:First Vision Father and Son or angel