Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision

Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision

There were four firsthand and five secondhand accounts of Joseph's vision published in Joseph's lifetime. A description of each account is available in "Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision",

A brief summary of each is included below, along with a link to the original image and a transcription published by the Joseph Smith Papers Project.

Firsthand accounts

Video published by Doctrine and Covenants Central.

Video published by the Church History Department.

Joseph Smith recorded four accounts of the First Vision (either by himself or using a scribe):

  • 1832, a journal entry recorded by Joseph Smith
  • 1835, a journal entry recorded in Joseph Smith's official journal
    • A lightly edited version of this journal entry appeared in the 1835 JS history prepared by Warren Parish
  • 1838 (commonly known as Joseph Smith–History in the Pearl of Great Price)
  • 1842 (commonly known as the Wentworth Letter)
    • A copy of this version appeared in an 1844 book published by Daniel Rupp

Secondhand accounts

Contemporaries of Joseph Smith recorded five secondhand accounts of the First Vision.

Later accounts

In 1893, Charles Walker recorded a late reminiscent account of hearing Joseph describe his vision.

Learn more about multiple accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision
Wiki links
  • Roger Nicholson, "The Cowdery Conundrum: Oliver's Aborted Attempt to Describe Joseph Smith's First Vision in 1834 and 1835," Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 8/4 (6 December 2013). [27–44] link
  • Robert A. Rees, "Looking Deeper into Joseph Smith's First Vision: Imagery, Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Construction of Memory," Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 25/3 (21 April 2017). [67–80] link}
  • John A. Tvedtnes, "Variants in the Stories of the First Vision of Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul," Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 2/5 (2 November 2012). [73–86] link
  • "Multiple accounts of the First Vision," BH Roberts Foundation print-link.