This is a well-known, well-loved, often-sung hymn among LDS members. The story of The First Vision full of its joy, promise, excitement--yet in its perfect simplicity. One of the most important events in the world's history, and it took place in an unassuming, quiet forest. Everything changed. Heavenly Father came with His Son, our Savior, to speak to a boy who wanted to know the truth. The heavens were opened again. The First Vision, as it came to be called, is a favorite event among many, including myself. So I love that this hymn is not only about that event, but basically tells the story of it. I love the tune as well. It fits perfectly with the text, though I did have the choir sing a version that was to the tune of "Come, Thou Fount" (a fabulous hymn no longer in our current hymnal) which was amazing as well.
My personal connection with this hymn--it was the first one I played on the piano from this hymnal. Up to that point, I had been teaching myself from two different books of simplified hymns. This was a huge part of my piano "career." I couldn't believe I had played an actual, non-simplified hymn! This was in 7th grade I think. Within a few years, I was able to play pretty much every hymn in this hymn book. The hymns of the Church were a major role/teacher in my learning to play the piano. So this song was not only one I loved to sing, and loved its message, but it was a milestone for me as well.
From the history book
George Manwaring wrote the text, though the first verse was different. And someone(s) at the Juvenile Instructor edited it, and in 1878 it first appeared in print. The first two lines of music are a tune by an American composer and was used in the 1889 hymnal. The last two lines were written by A.C. Smyth. The book also points out that the hymn has a strong base in the account Joseph Smith himself wrote about his experience.