Y Facts

The Vision

The Vision

This bronze interpretation of Joseph Smith's First Vision was created by Avard T. Fairbanks and unveiled within an open courtyard in the Joseph Smith Building on Oct. 17, 1997. It was a gift from the BYU classes of 1945, 1947, 1955 and 1957. (DU) Here is what Elder Henry B. Eyring had to say about it during the unveiling ceremony.

"I would like to pay tribute to the artist, Avard Fairbanks, and make a wish for the way this statue should be viewed by those who come here.   My tribute to Avard Fairbanks is for what he didn't show.   One of the marks of great art is not what it portrays but what it suggests.   There are other figures not sculpted here which I would like you to imagine with an eye of faith.   God the Eternal Father and his Beloved Son Jesus Christ appeared to open this dispensation.

From studying the various accounts of the First Vision, we learn that young Joseph went into the grove not only to learn which church he should join but also to obtain forgiveness for his sins, something he seems not to have understood how to do.   And in more than one account the Lord addressed the young truth seeker and said, "Joseph, my son, thy sins are forgiven thee."

I hope that as young people through the generations see this statue, they will realize that though the building is named for Joseph Smith, and though the statue portrays him, this piece of art represents that moment when Joseph Smith learned there was a way for the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be unlocked fully.   Because of what Joseph saw and what began at this moment, , the Savior was able, through this great and valiant servant and through others He sent, to restore power and privilege.   That power and privilege allow us, and all who will live, to have the benefit of Jesus Christ's Atonement work in our lives.   Joseph Smith is looking up at the figures not shown.

I testify to you that Jesus is the Christ.   He lives.   I know He lives.   I know Joseph Smith saw Him, and I know that because He lives and because Joseph Smith looked up and saw Him and because He sent other messengers, you and I may have the thing that the Prophet Joseph wanted as he went to the grove: to know, not just to hope, that our sins can be washed away."

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The Vision, by Avard Fairbanks.

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