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Joseph Smith's First Vision/First Vision accounts
FAIR Answers Wiki Table of Contents
Accounts of the First Vision
- What accounts do we have?
- Why are there multiple accounts?
- What differences are there in the accounts?
Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision
Summary: During Joseph's lifetime, he and other contemporaries published multiple accounts of his 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", josephsmithpapers.org.
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.
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)
- Two other versions of this account were created in the 1838–1841 draft history and the 1841 fair copy history as Joseph's scribes were preparing the Church history (formerly known as History of the Church, now known as the JS, History, 1838–1856). It was also published in two parts the Times and Seasons, on 15 March 1842 and 1 April 1842
- 1842 (commonly known as the Wentworth Letter)
- A copy of this version appeared in an 1844 book published by Daniel Rupp
Contemporaries of Joseph Smith recorded five secondhand accounts of the First Vision.
- 1840, A(n) Interesting Account, a pamphlet published by Apostle Orson Pratt
- 1842, Ein Ruf aus der Wüste (A cry out of the wilderness), a pamphlet published by Apostle Orson Hyde (original German also available)
- 1843, journal entry by Levi Richards, recording his experience listening to Joseph tell about the First Vision
- 1843, newspaper report by David Nye White in the Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, including an interview White did with Joseph Smith
- 1844, journal entry by Alexander Neibaur, recording his experience listening to Joseph tell about the First Vision
In 1893, Charles Walker recorded a late reminiscent account of hearing Joseph describe his vision.