As President Nelson has invited us to study the Restoration, I have been thinking about the First Vision, which reminded me of an experience.
In college, while at Brigham Young University, I studied Arabic. It was an intense challenge. Between class and homework, I spent about 3 hours a day studying. I could have easily done more, but my professor said we should stop after 2 hours of homework, even if it wasn’t finished.
The final exam, of what I thing was the first semester came around, and I still remember the stress and the anticipation! Part of the exam consisted of reading passages and questions to answer, all in Arabic. I will never forget the collective relief in the classroom as I came to a reading passage and read,
“I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, State of Vermont. … My father, Joseph Smith, Sen., left the State of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York,…”
I could read the passage, the questions, and answer confidently all in Arabic. I was familiar with the story, and if there was a word I didn’t recognize I could use the context of the story. That Arabic exam, with a text that we were so familiar with was an act of mercy that helped bring peace and confidence in the room. When I think of mercy, I think of being given something more than I deserve. So as I continue to study the Restoration, and specifically the First Vision, it will remind me of the mercy I have been given. I hope to give that same mercy to others, as the Savior Jesus Christ does.