To celebrate the bicentennial year of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, President Russell M. Nelson announced “a unique conference that will commemorate the very foundations of the restored gospel” for April 2020. He invited members to prepare by designing their own plan to “immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration.” He promised if members would do so, the special General Conference would not only be memorable, it would be unforgettable.
As I sat down to design my own plan, I was overwhelmed. I felt a call to seize a great opportunity and promise given by our Prophet to connect with God and the truthfulness of the gospel like never before. What could I do to ensure I reached out with all my heart, might, mind, and strength?
After much thought and prayer, I came up with a study plan that I feel good about. Your study plan should be inspired and based on your personal needs, but I hope my ideas can help you get started and make a plan of your own!
January – Exploring Questions
President Nelson encouraged us to ask important questions as a part of our preparation. He said: “You may wish to ponder important questions such as, “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?” or “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
Through the month of January, I’ll create my own list of questions and seek answers. Here are a few that I’ve already thought of and can be a useful starting point to think of more meaningful questions.
- What questions do I have about the Restoration?
- How do I feel about the life of the prophet Joseph Smith?
- What does the First Vision teach us about God’s nature?
- How can I make my study of the Book of Mormon more meaningful?
It’s important to figure out if there is an area of your testimony that needs strengthening. Having questions about certain aspects of Church history is ok and this special conference is an opportunity to seek answers like never before. I want to ponder on any parts of the Restoration I don’t understand or feel uncomfortable about and seek guidance in these areas.
February – Studying the First Vision
The First Vision is more than just a few verses on paper. There is so much history and heart around it. I plan to use this Gospel Topic Page to launch into a deeper study of the First Vision of itself through the month of February. I hope to re-memorize the First Vision from Joseph Smith’s history.
There are also a number of other resources I want to use to better understand the four accounts given of the First Vision and what we can learn from them. Here are a few:
- Gospel Topics Essay: Accounts of the First Vision
- First Vision Now You Know Video
- Primary Accounts of the First Vision
- Church History: First Vision Resources
March – Creating and Sharing
Though it has been many years since my mission, I will never forget the special spirit that came when sharing the words of the First Vision. As General Conference approaches, I want to find a way to share the First Vision through my own talents and stewardships.
I love to write poetry. One of my plans is to write my own poem or song to express my feelings about the First Vision. I also want to pray for more opportunities to share the First Vision after spending two months studying and reconnecting with the Restoration.
April – General Conference
When General Conference finally arrives, I hope this plan will have prepared my heart to receive even more revelation for my own life. Do you have a plan and want to share some of your ideas? Let us know in the comments.