the fifth verse in the first chapter of James, which reads as follows:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
This was just the thing. God had surely led him to read that verse. Joseph certainly lacked wisdom, and here was a way to find out what he wanted to know about the sects. The Lord would tell him. All he had to do was to ask. How simple it was!
On a beautiful morning in the spring of the year 1820, Joseph decided to ask the Lord for wisdom. He went out into a grove near his father's house, and after looking around to make sure that he was alone, he kneeled down on the grass under the trees and began to pray. No sooner had he begun than some awful power which he could not see took hold of him and made it nearly impossible for him to speak. It soon became dark around the boy, and Joseph thought the unseen power would kill him; but he struggled hard and tried to pray to God for help.