Dear Mormon: Which version of the first vision do you believe?

Here’s a quick time-line of how the conflicting accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision(s) overlapped.

1820 – 1838 The first vision consisted of angels only.

1842 The introduction of the “God the Father and Jesus the Son” version of the first vision.

1838 – 1890 The first account of “angels only” continued to linger on in spite of the new 1842 version.

1890 – Present The “God the Father and Jesus the Son” version is the only one accepted (and most Mormons today don’t even know about the whole “angels only” version).

To view a downloadable, easy to read, superbly detailed, full-color pamphlet on the various versions of the first vision click this link here.

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joseph-smiths-vision


I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14 years old.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith’s Diary 1835-1836

An American Prophet’s Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith

Page 59

It commenced by an angel of God flying through the midst of heaven and visiting a young man named Joseph Smith, in the year 1827.

Wilford Woodruff

Journal of Discourses

Volume 13 Page 324

1869

He sought the Lord by day and by night, and was enlightened by the vision of an holy angel.When this personage appeared to him, one of his first inquiries was: “Which of the denominations of Christians in the vicinity was right?”

George A. Smith

Journal of Discourses

Volume 13 Page 78

1869

Just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it.The answer was that none of them are right.What, none of them?No.We will not stop to argue that question; the angel merely told him to join none of them that none of them were right.

John Taylor

Journal of Discourses

Volume 20 Page 167

1879

Some one may say, “If this work of the last days be true, why did not the Saviour [sic] come himself to communicate this intelligence to the world?”Because to the angels was committed the power of reaping the earth, and it was committed to none else.

Orson Hyde

Journal of Discourses

Volume 6 Page 335

1854

How did this state of things called Mormonism originate?We read that an angel came down and revealed himself to Joseph Smith and manifested unto him in vision the true position of the world in a religious point of view.He was surrounded with light and glory while the heavenly messenger communicated these things unto him, after a series of visitations and communications from the Apostle Peter and others who held the authority of the holy Priesthood, not only on the earth formerly but in the heavens afterwards.

John Taylor

Journal of Discourses

Volume 10 Page 127

1863

Upon the reality and truth of this vision rests the validity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Gordon B. Hinckley

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first-vision

See also: This video on the first vision.

Quotes (508)

william-booth “‘Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.

– William Booth

1829 – 1912

HT: The Desert Pastor