Category Archives: The First Vision

Crash Course Mormonism: Joseph Smith

By Eric Johnson Joseph Smith (1805-1844) is the founder and first president/prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While he is not worshiped by followers of the church, he is certainly the most highly esteemed leader this religion has ever had. First Vision According to the official account told by the church, Joseph […]

The First Vision: Key to Truth? A Review of Seventy Richard J. Maynes’ June 2017 Ensign article

By Eric Johnson There are two cornerstone events in the history of the Mormon religion that are as important as the literal resurrection of Jesus is to Christianity. Remember how the apostle Paul testified to the historicity of the raising of Jesus from the dead? He claimed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: 3 For I delivered to you as […]

Do the First Vision accounts coincide?

By Eric Johnson and Bill McKeever Mormons are taught that, as a fourteen-year-old young man, Joseph Smith was visited by both God the Father and Jesus Christ during the spring of 1820. This visitation is known in Mormonism as the First Vision. According to the official LDS version, Smith was perplexed by the behavior of certain Christians in the area […]

Which First Vision Account Should We Believe?

By Lane Thuet According to LDS scripture, when Joseph Smith was 15 years old, he was confused as to which church was true. He claimed this confusion was sparked by an 1820 religious revival in his neighborhood. His heart was powerfully impressed one night when he read James 1:5, and subsequently he went into the […]

First Vision Accounts: Response to the LDS.org Essay

A good Mormon will be able to explain Smith’s supposed vision of God the Father and Jesus. As part of the Gospel Topics Essay, Joseph Smith’s First Vision account is described and defended by the LDS Church. But what about the different accounts that provided contradictory details? Did Smith see angels or did he see God the Father and God the Son? This response to the church’s essay goes along with 10 Viewpoint on Mormonism radio shows (podcasts) that will air beginning June 3, 2014.  Along with  our podcasts as aired on Viewpoint on Mormonism, this article provides our response to the church’s essay. For any Paypal gift to MRM during the month of June, receive a PDF version of Wesley Walters’ booklet “The Palymra Revival & Mormon Origins.” See article for details.

The First Vision’s Slow Entrance Into the LDS Story

When addressing the subject of Joseph Smith’s personal encounter with God the Father and Jesus Christ, Gordon B. Hinckley, the fifteenth president of the LDS Church, stated, “There’s no other event in all recorded history that compares with it, not even at the baptism of the Savior” (“Testimony of the First Vision,” Church News, July 1, 2006, p.2). This event, known to Mormons as the “First Vision,” is one of the most extraordinary tales told by Mormonism’s founder. However, if this event plays such a major role in Mormonism’s history, why do we find no mention of it among the writings of early LDS leaders or members, including Joseph Smith?