God Speaks Through Visions in the Book of Acts and in the Latter Days

God Speaks Through Visions in the Book of Acts and in the Latter Days July 18, 2019

The Book of Acts testifies that God speaks and one way He speaks to us is through visions. These visions served specific revelatory purpose.

In Acts 7, as he was being stoned to death, Stephen beheld the Father and the Son in vision.

In Acts 9, Saul saw the Lord in vision and commanded him to stop persecuting the Church and to wait for further instructions.  The Lord appeared to Ananias commanding him to heal and teach Saul.

In Acts 10, Cornelius received a vision where an angel of God told him to send for Peter.  The heavens opened for Peter and he saw a vision of clean and unclean creatures three times.

In Acts 11, Peter recounted his vision and its interpretation,

In Acts 12, imprisoned Peter doesn’t leave the prison with an angel because he thinks he’s seeing a vision.

In Acts 16, a man from Macedonia appeared to Paul in vision pleading for his help.

In Acts 18, through a vision, the Lord spoke peace to Paul’s heart.

In Acts 23, the Lord stood by Paul while imprisoned and taught Paul of his mission to Rome.

In Acts 26, Paul testified of his visions to King Agrippa.

In Acts 27, an angel promised Paul safe passage on his voyage. During a tempest, Paul shared the news with his shipmates.

Does God Still Speak Through Visions?

When Joseph Smith shared his vision of God the Father and His Beloved Son with a reputable Methodist minister.

I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

Tamer Wasbhurn had a vision
Tamer Washburn

Another Quaker turned Methodist who believed God ceased revelations with the Apostles was my ancestor Tamer Washburn.

In 1837, Parley and Orson Pratt took the gospel message to Sing Sing, New York. Tamer’s husband Abraham Washburn immediately accepted the gospel.

He said this new gospel was like a light in the darkness and he thought that everyone who heard it would see the ‘beauty of it, but his wife felt differently. At first, she fought it with all her energy.

Hearing the gospel message, “. .. was too much for this dear lady who was a staunch Methodist, yet retaining many ideas of the Quaker faith in which she had been reared. She was infuriated at what she had just heard, it was impossible for God to give new revelations to man; all such things had ceased with the death of the ancient prophets and apostles.

This man was surely an imposter teaching false doctrines. Her righteous indignation arose and she turned on Brother [Parley] Pratt and poured out the venom of her wrath in no gentle tones. Her husband tried in vain to sooth her.”

Elder Pratt baptized Abraham right away and promised that Tamer would just follow suit. Tamer eventually did see the truth in the gospel and was baptized.

That same year, Tamer had a vision herself!  It was a revelation from God, forewarning her of impending loss. In the dream, Tamer

went to heaven. Everything was beautiful and in perfect order. She visited many wonderful places. In beautiful parks, she saw many groups of happy children at play. They were in the charge of and their play was supervised by very fine, intelligent women.

Tamer came to one group where two of her own children were playing [Daniel, age 10, and Elizabeth, age 3]. She was surprised to see them there, and when she looked up inquiringly into the face of the lady who had them in her charge, the lady said, ‘Sister Washburn, it is your privilege to see beforehand where your children will be so that the parting will not be so hard.’

In a few weeks, the two children died. Sister Washburn said that when they died, she could not shed a tear because the vision was continually before her mind.

“I Had Seen a Vision”

Paul testified before King Agrippa and the council what he saw in vision. His listeners couldn’t believe him.

Like Paul, and in spite of the Methodist minister’s reaction, Joseph knew he had received a vision.

However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.

So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

The Lord still speaks today! And He speaks according to His will and the needs of the people He’s communicating with.

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