Joseph Smith's First Vision/Criticisms of the First Vision/A "mormoninfographic" indicates that the 1835 "Erastus Holmes" account describes a different vision

A "mormoninfographic" indicates that the 1835 "Erastus Holmes" account describes a different vision


Question: Why did Joseph Smith state the he was visited by two personages and then just five days later say that he was visited by angels?

Joseph's diary was simply summarizing the First Vision as the "first visitation of Angels"

Joseph had described his vision in detail in his journal just five days earlier (9 November 1835) when he described his visit with "Joshua the Jewish Minister." When he described his visit with Erastus Holmes, he simply referred to it as the "first visitation of Angels." In Joseph's 9 November 1835 entry, in addition to seeing two personages, Joseph also mentioned that he had seen "many angels" in the vision.

Critics attempt to use this to show inconsistency in Joseph's accounts of the First Vision. For example, a critical graphic indicates that the 1835 "Erastus Holmes" account describes a different vision. The graphic implies that he didn't mention every other element of the vision, and that this makes it inconsistent. However, Joseph was simply offering a one-line summary of the event that he had described only five days earlier in his journal.

Mormoninfographic.erastus.holmes.summary-1.jpg


Joseph Smith (9 Nov. 1835): "a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame...another personage soon appeard like unto the first...and I saw many angels in this vision"

I kneeled again my mouth was opened and my toung liberated, and I called on the Lord in mighty prayer, a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and I saw many angels in this vision I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication; [1]


Joseph Smith (14 Nov. 1835): "I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14"

I commenced and gave him a brief relation of my experience while in my juvenile years, say from 6 years old up to the time I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14. years old and also the visitations that I received afterward, concerning the book of Mormon [2]


Notes

  1. Joseph Smith's journal entry of 9 November 1835 (Monday)
  2. Joseph's journal entry of 14 November 1835 (Saturday)