Multiple Accounts of the First Vision

66 Primary Sources


Printer's Manuscript of BOM.

Apr 1830

Revelation manuscript for D&C 20.

Jan 6, 1831

LMS letter to her family describing appearance of Moroni.

Jun 1832 - Jul 1832

Joseph describes his childhood education and his upbringing.

Jun 1832 - Jul 1832

Joseph's 1832 history giving earliest firsthand account of the vision.

Dec 1832

JST manuscript for Psalm 14 which has similar verbiage to 1832 FV account.

Dec 1834

OC letter to WWP describing JS First Vision.

Feb 1835

OC writes to WWP on JS First Vision.

Apr 1, 1835

JC describes hearing JS relate First Vision when a religious revivial occurred.

Jun 2, 1835

WWP letter to his wife saying he heard JS preach.

Nov 1835 - Feb 1836

RF remembers hearing about First Vision in 1835.

Nov 9, 1835

JS account of his First Vision from 1835.

Nov 14, 1835

JS First Vision summary.

Nov 27, 1836

PPP recounts JS telling about his visions.

Jun 1839

Joseph's 1838 canonical history.


Orson Pratt recounts JS's First Vision.

Apr 18, 1841

JM recounts meeting WS who retells JS First Vision.

Mar 1, 1842

JS 1842 account of First Vision for JW.

Mar 15, 1842 - Apr 1, 1842

1842 publication of JS 1838 First Vision account.


OH recounting of JS First Vision.

Jun 11, 1843

LR accounts of JS First Vision.

Aug 21, 1843

DNW interviews JS on the First Vision and JS details seeing two personages.

May 24, 1844

AN 1844 account of JS First Vision.


IDR prints JS' account of the First Vision, where he sees two personages who are exactly the same.


Lucy Mack Smith conflates First Vision and Moroni visit.

Jun 25, 1850

JT recounts JS First Vision.

Feb 18, 1855

BY says Lord sent his angel to JS in First Vision.

Mar 3, 1861

BY mentions First Vision; gives JS age at 14.

Dec 19, 1869

OP retells First Vision.

Dec 31, 1876

JT recounts JS First Vision, indicating that God revealed "events that are to transpire on this continent."

Mar 2, 1879

JT declares purpose of First Vision in discussion of priesthood, missionary work, and enlightenment.


William Smith recounts Joseph Smith's First Vision account.

Feb 2, 1893

CW says JA says he heard JS say God touched his eyes in the vision.


ES late reminiscence of hearing First Vision.

Jul 15, 1894

ES reminiscence of hearing of FV, with God the Father Pointing to JC who was in his likeness.

Dec 31, 1897

Edward Stevenson writes a late recollection of the First Vision of Joseph Smith.


Reprint of Wentworth Letter, including 1842 FV account, in History of the Church series.

Apr 1910

MIHH late recollection of JS First Vision where "the Prophet's countenance lightened up."

Apr 1921

Joseph Fielding Smith is sustained as Church historian/recorder at the April 1921 General Conference.


BHR recounts First Vision, reproduces and cites material from 1838 and 1842 FV accounts.

Feb 1962

Preston Nibley republishes JS 1842 Wentworth Letter in IE, including First Vision account, in full.


PRC MA thesis including first published version of 1832 FV account.


James B. Allen cites evidence supporting that the First Vision had relevance in the lifetime of Joseph.


BYU Studies full issue of Spring 1969 devoted to First Vision accounts.


TGM mentions institutional support behind project to catalogue known First Vision accounts.

Feb 14, 1970

"Church Section" of Deseret News reports on release of Joseph Fielding Smith as Church historian/recorder in February 1970; notes he was called March 17, 1921.

Apr 1970

JBA provides chart harmonizing First Vision accounts.

Apr 1970

James B. Allen discusses First Vision accounts in an official Church periodical.

Dec 1974

GML illustrates how the standardization of Sunday School was an ongoing process from the 1800s into the early 1900s.

Aug 22, 1978

TGM writes that JS saw both angels and God during the First Vision.

Jan 1985

MVB Jr. publishes article in Ensign on the different First Vision accounts.

Jan 1986

MVB Jr. follow-up article to Jan 1985 piece on the First Vision; details more known accounts of FV and provides additional historical context.

Apr 1996

RLA publishes article in Ensign talking about First Vision accounts; answers common criticisms, provides historical context.


L. Petersen recalls his discussion with L.E. Young about a "strange account" of the First Vision.


CES teacher's manual that recommends scholarship on First Vision.


Chpt 3 in CES manual references 1832 and 1838 First Vision accounts.


Non-LDS scholar SP discusses First Vision.


Joseph Smith Papers Editors explain the document history of the 1832 First Vision account.


L. Petersen recounts L.E. Young's examination of a "strange account" of the First Vision.


Stan Larson argues that J.F. Smith hid the 1832 First Vision account.


ROB explains lack of documentation for JS's early visions, discusses reasons for that.

Jan 2019

"Mormon Stories" article argues that the evidences supports Joseph Fielding Smith, or someone under his charge in the Church Historian's Office, tearing out the 3 pages of Letterbook 1.

Jan 5, 2020

RJ and SM discuss JS writing and record-keeping habits.

Apr 18, 2020

Robert M. Bowman Jr., argues that Joseph Fielding Smith knew about the 1832 First Vision account and he wanted "to be made public quietly under the most favorable possible circumstances."


RSJ explores possible reasons why JS was reluctant to record visionary experiences, or at least why he hesitated to record them.


JSPP editors on JS needing to use scribes.