Joseph Smith-History Insights


Who Was the Minister Joseph Smith Spoke to About His Vision?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #11 In the canonized account of the First Vision, Joseph Smith remembered confiding in a Methodist minister and received a stinging rebuke.1 Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in

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The First Vision as a Divine Council Vision

Joseph Smith–History Insight #10 In the various accounts of the First Vision left behind by Joseph Smith, the appearance of Jesus Christ, alongside God the Father, takes center stage.1 Yet a passing reference in the 1835 account hints at the possibility that he saw more than the Father and the

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How Old was Joseph Smith at the Time of the First Vision?

Joseph Smith–History Insight #8 When Latter-day Saints tell the story of the First Vision today, they frequently emphasize Joseph Smith’s age when he entered the grove of trees near his family home to seek God in prayer. For instance, an article on the official website of The Church of Jesus

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Religious Excitement near Palmyra, New York, 1816–1820

Joseph Smith–History Insight #7 Joseph Smith remembered the time leading up to his First Vision as a period of intense personal struggle trying to decide which church, if any, was true. “At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with the all important concerns for the

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Secondhand Accounts of the First Vision

Joseph Smith–History Insight #6 During his lifetime, Joseph Smith provided four firsthand accounts of his First Vision.1 These primary accounts serve as the foundation for understanding the Prophet’s early history and prophetic call. During his lifetime, however, Joseph also on occasion recounted his First Vision to trusted friends and the

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The 1842 First Vision Account

Joseph Smith–History Insight #5 In 1842, as Nauvoo, Illinois was growing rapidly and Joseph Smith was gaining more notoriety on a national level, a Chicago newspaperman named John Wentworth solicited “a summary of the doctrines and history of the Latter-day Saints” from Joseph on behalf of his friend George Barstow,

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