Joseph Smith's First Vision

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    Joseph Smith's First Vision

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

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  • Summary article

Leading up to the vision:

The vision:

After the vision:

Others' accounts:

Moroni's visit:

Other criticisms:

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God touched his eyes with his finger and said “[Joseph] this is my beloved Son hear him.” As soon as the Lord had touched his eyes with his finger he immediately saw the Savior. After meeting, a few of us questioned him about the matter and he told us at the bottom of the meeting house steps that he was in the House of Father Smith in Kirtland when Joseph made this declaration, and that Joseph while speaking of it put his finger to his right eye, suiting the action with the words so as to illustrate and at the same time impress the [occurrence] on the minds of those unto whom He was speaking.

Diary of Charles Lowell Walker (Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 1980), 2:755–56 [recorded 2 February 1893]
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Joseph Smith's First Vision

Joseph Smith's claim that he saw the Father and the Son in 1820 has produced a wide variety of criticism. This set of articles addresses the various critical claims related to the First Vision. The linked articles below are designed to help readers to see some of the weaknesses that are found in arguments that are made against Joseph Smith's First Vision accounts. Some of these arguments are currently being advocated in anti-Mormon literature that is handed out near the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. (Click here for full article)

  • D&C 121:28 contradicts vision?
    Brief Summary: In 1839 Joseph Smith received a revelation from God in which it was stated that the time would come "in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods they shall be manifest" (D&C 121:28). This was an "unnecessary revelation," since according to the official LDS Church First Vision account Joseph Smith supposedly knew that there was more than one God since 1820. This information counts as evidence that the Prophet's story was fraudulent. (Click here for full article)
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  • Father: Spirit vs. Embodied
    Brief Summary: When the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 it portrayed God the Father as a personage of spirit whereas Jesus Christ was portrayed as a personage of tabernacle, or one having a physical body. Yet the official LDS First Vision story portrays the Father as a physical Being. (Click here for full article)
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  • Personages seen by Joseph
    Brief Summary: A list of known personages who appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith or who were seen by him in vision. (Click here for full article)
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  • Brigham Young and the First Vision
    Brief Summary: It is claimed either that Brigham never taught about the First Vision, or that he taught that the Lord did not appear to Joseph. Both claims are false. (Click here for full article)
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The claim is sometimes made by critics that the LDS Church hides the various accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision that are not in its official canon. The following chronological database (compiled by FairMormon volunteer Edward Jones) demonstrates conclusively that this is simply not the case. The various accounts of the First Vision have been widely acknowledged in LDS-authored sources throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. (Click here for full article)

Original text of Joseph's accounts of the First Vision (Click here for full article)

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