First Vision.An event Mormons are taught that took place in 1820, according to the official account, when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to 14-year-old Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove near Palmyra, New York. In this vision, God told Smith that all the Christian churches were wrong. According to Joseph Smith-History 1:19, “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt.”. It was this vision that ultimately led Joseph Smith to organize what is today known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The historic reality of the First Vision is extremely important to Latter-day Saints. Gordon B. Hinckley, fifteenth President of the Church, said, “Upon that unique and wonderful experience stands the validity of this Church. … The truth of that unique, singular, and remarkable event is the pivotal substance of our faith” (Ensign, November 2002, p. 80). Though the official version of the First Vision is contained in the Pearl of Great Price, there are at least nine different versions of this vision, each of which differs in the more significant parts of the story.
For more information on the problems of the First Vision account, see the following articles:
- “The First Vision’s Slow Entrance Into the LDS Story”
- “Joseph Smith’s First Vision: Fact or Fiction”
- “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all substantially correct”
- “Joseph Smith’s 1832 Handwritten History”
- For a two-part audio podcast, go here and here.
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