LDS Dreams History, 1818 and 1819

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- During 1818 and 1819
Joseph Smith Sr.: Dream-visions 1818 and 1819 of angels, garden, closed building of salvation (1)

-- April 1811
[Visions] Barren field, magic box, beasts
Joseph Sr. retires to bed contemplating the confusion of the Christian world.
He soon fell into a sleep, and before waking had the following vision, which I shall relate in his own words, just as he told it to me the next morning:
Joseph "seemed" to be traveling through an open, barren fieldnothing but fallen trees in all directions, not even a blade of grass, and not a sound to be heard.
... no living thing was there save myself and an attendant spirit that stood at my side of this personage I enquired the meaning of what I saw and why I was traveling in this gloomy place
Joseph Sr. asks the spirit why he (Joseph) was in such a dismal place. The spirit answers that the field is the world:
inanimate & dumb as to the things pertaining to the true religion or the order of Heavenly things all is darkness
He is told to continue on until he comes upon a box on a log:
whose contents will make you wise and if you eat the same you {shall} have wisdom and understanding
I did as I was directed and presently came to box I took it up and placed it under my left arm forced up the lid and began to taste of its contents
when all maner of beasts {and} horned cattle and roaring animals rose up on every side and rushed upon me tearing the Earth tossing their horns in air belowing round {him} <me> threatning every moment to devour {me} <me>
they came so close upon me that I was forced to drop the boxand fly for my life although <it> {the possesion of} made me the happiest of anything <of which> I ever had possession I awoke trembling with terror (2)

-- Summer 1811
[Visions] Desolate field, broad and narrow ways, delicious white fruit, spacious building

Traveling in an open, desolate field, it occurs to Joseph that he should stop and consider what he was doing before continuing. His guide tells him this is "the desolate world; but travel on."

The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, "Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat."

Soon he comes to a narrow path, which he takes. He sees a beautiful stream running from east to west as far as he could see in both directions. A rope runs along the bank as high as a man can reach.
Beyond is a pleasant valley with a beautiful tree in it. Its fruit is shaped like a chestnut bur. As he watches, the burs open, dropping dazzling white fruit. Joseph eats the fruit, which is "delicious beyond description."
Then he remembers his family and brings thema wife and seven childrento the tree. They all eat and praise God for the blessing.
We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed.

Then Joseph notices "a spacious building" on the opposite side of the valley, "and it appeared to reach to the very heavens." It is full of doors and windows, "filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt."
Turning from them, Joseph asks the guide what the delicious fruit means.
He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments.
He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there.
"No," he replied, "look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also."
In the distance he sees two small children. He brings them to the tree, where they also eat the fruit.
The more we eat, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it, eating it by double handfulls.
When Joseph asks what the spacious building means, he is told:
"It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of god, because of their humility."
I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy. (2)

1 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47
2 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Joseph Smith Sr. Visions,"

Mormon Timeline: Dreams