Joseph Smith-History Insights


Observations on the Timing of the First Vision

Joseph Smith–History Insight #20 Why did God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ wait until “early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty” (Joseph Smith–History 1:14) to reveal themselves to the Prophet Joseph Smith and usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times? This question naturally rises

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The Visionary World of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith–History Insight #19 Joseph Smith was not the only person who claimed visionary experiences during the “unusual excitement on the subject of religion” (Joseph Smith–History 1:5) known as the Second Great Awakening (circa 1790–1840). As several American cultural historians, including Richard Bushman and others, have documented, many men and

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Are the Christian Creeds Really an Abomination?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #18 One of the more dramatic divine pronouncements delivered to Joseph Smith during his First Vision concerns the creeds being propounded by Christian leaders and theologians of his day. Upon asking the two glorious personages—God the Father and Jesus Christ—which of the Christian denominations he should join,

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What Are the Doctrinal Contributions of the First Vision?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #17 As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have studied the accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision over many decades— particularly the account canonized in the Pearl of Great Price—they have come to understand that the vision makes a number of important doctrinal

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What Did Joseph Smith Learn from the First Vision?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #16 Latter-day Saints have formulated a number of important theological or doctrinal points that can be learned from Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Some of these points include: searching the scriptures can bring revelation, God answers sincere prayers and forgives sins, Satan is real but his power is

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The Significance of the First Vision

Joseph Smith–History Insight #15 The accounts of the First Vision left by Joseph Smith establish the basic details of this supremely important historical experience. These details include the who, what, where, why, and when of the events surrounding the First Vision.1 But beyond the historical details surrounding the First Vision

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How Did Joseph Smith Tell the Story of His First Vision?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #14 Joseph Smith was influenced in many ways by his time and culture. He spent his teenage years growing up in western New York’s so-called Burned-over District, which saw not only intense religious revivals and spiritual fervor but also an outpouring of books, tracts, newspaper articles, and

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Remembering Joseph Smith’s First Vision

Joseph Smith–History Insight #13 As historians strive to understand and interpret the past, they are dependent upon the memories of those who were there and who left a record of their experiences. This is especially true of the First Vision, in which we must rely on the memory of the

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