How young adults relate to Joseph Smith’s search for answers


Answers often come in unexpected ways. A meaningful friendship formed, a reassuring triumph, a eureka moment that clarifies the next steps in life. For Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820, the search for truth and purpose brought powerful change with it.

Growing up in Palmyra, New York, young Joseph had serious concerns about the world and questions about his place in it. At only 14 years old, he decided to take a leap of faith in his journey toward finding his answers by following the guidance of a Biblical verse found in the book of James. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). 

“At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as (the Bible) directs, that is, ask of God” (Joseph Smith History 1:13). That fateful spring morning, Joseph entered a densely wooded grove of trees with the intent to pray for his answers. His answers came in a miraculous manner, a brilliant vision of God and His Son Jesus Christ. From this experience, Joseph found the truth and purpose he had searched for. 

In the spring of 2020, young adults face many of the same questions that Joseph Smith faced in his day. We asked the young adults who participated in this project how they saw themselves in fitting into Joseph Smith’s story. Watch the videos below to see their responses.

Paul and Amy Hatch reflect on how their spiritual journey is similar to Joseph Smith’s experience seeking for answers. Read more about how Paul and Amy seek revelation to survive the ‘blizzard-like’ moments of life. (Karmen Kodia)
Josh Hobart, from Palmyra, New York, said he has felt a connection to Joseph Smith as he searches for answers to his own questions. Read more about how Josh has turned to God and found acceptance. (Karmen Kodia)
Tara Hoellein was inspired to pray about Joseph Smith’s First Vision because of her father’s testimony. Read more about Tara’s experience receiving answers that come little by little like spiritual breadcrumbs. (Morgan March and Karmen Kodia)
Josh Flygare talks about how Joseph Smith’s story should be all of our stories. Read more about how Josh has learned to overcome the toughest times in his life by searching for God in his extremities and choosing to trust Him. (Kalicia Bateman and Karmen Kodia)
Kathryn Bjorling, who grew up near Palmyra, New York, talks about how she received answers to her prayers for knowledge as well as the role of Church history sites in her search. Read more about how Kathryn has learned to look and listen for God in her life. (Karmen Kodia)
Kevin Rodriguez talks about how Joseph Smith’s experience in the Sacred Grove inspired him in his search for truth. Read more about how Kevin felt a spiritual emptiness that could only be filled by seeking God through prayer and scripture study. (Karmen Kodia)
Riley Creer explains that “we all have the opportunity that (Joseph Smith) had to ask.” Read more about Riley’s struggle to make time for God despite a busy school and family life. (Kalicia Bateman and Karmen Kodia)

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