The Lord spoke face-to-face with Joseph … Furthermore, about 1832 Joseph Smith, Jr. began an account of the origin of the Mormon Church (the only one written in his own hand) that contradicts the official First Vision story he dictated some six years later. It is patently absurd to believe that Joseph Smith would contradict himself in less than one week while telling the same exact story in front of the same exact scribe, https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/index.php?title=Joseph_Smith%27s_First_Vision/Accounts/1835/Mentions_%22Angels%22&oldid=183917, "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, "He (Smith) commenced and gave him a brief relation of his experience while in his youthful days, say from the age of six years up to the time he received, "I gave him a brief relation of my experience while in my juvenile years, say from six years old up to the time I received. It is patently absurd to believe that Joseph Smith would contradict himself in less than one week while telling the same exact story in front of the same exact scribe (Warren Parrish). 3. In answer, he received a heavenly manifestation. 1842 Account In the only handwritten account by Joseph Smith, penned in 1832, but not publicly published until much later, describes the first vision in an unfamiliar way: 1. All four of the Prophet’s written recitals of the First Vision along with contemporary accounts given by others can be found in Backman, Joseph Smith’s First Vision… 2. Roberts that modified the diary entry in. The exact wording of this version of the First Vision from Smith’s diary was later faithfully published, word for word, in the Church newspaper. It should also be noted that one of Joseph Smith’s other contemporaneous scribes (Frederick G. Williams) regularly used the capitalized words “Angel” and “Angels” to refer to celestial beings other than Deity. In this version Joseph presents himself between the ages of 12 and 15 as being a committed and perceptive reader of the Bible. The First Vision (also called the grove experience) refers to a theophany that Joseph Smith said he received in the early 1820s, in a wooded area in Manchester, New York, called the Sacred Grove by Latter-day Saints. Smith described it as a vision in which he received instruction from … 1832 Handwritten Account 2. ", Criticisms related to Joseph Smith's 9 November 1835 account of the First Vision, Both the two personages and "many angels" are mentioned. This remarkable vision is foundational to Latter-day Saint history. Joseph Smith recorded that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a grove of trees near his parents’ home in western New York State when he was about 14 years old(This will be covered more later, but the first sentence highlights the problem here: In Joseph Smith's first account of the First Vision, God and Jesus did NOT both appear. . The Visions of Joseph Smith & Solomon Chamberlain. Therefore, the capitalized “Angels” of the 14 November 1835 statement - which was also penned by Warren Parish - cannot be exclusively applied to Deity. Note that the additional detail that there were "many angels" was inserted into the text as a clarification. Concerned by his sins and unsure which spiritua… Since the visit of the Father and Son are acknowledged in the diary entry for the 9th the change from "first visitation of Angels" to "the First Vision" in the History of the Church entry is not a "falsification" of information. Joseph Smith published two accounts of the First Vision during his lifetime. Joel Tiffany published an interview he had with Martin Harris in Tiffany’s Monthly, pgs 163 – 170 in 1859 with details of Smith’s first vision, how he came into possession of the plates and why he founded Mormonism. Criticism #1 - Critics note that this word is plainly used in reference to the First Vision and thus assume that Joseph Smith … First Vision Accounts videos, josephsmithpapers.org. I was about fourteen years old when I received this first communication. Joseph Smith… Donate to us by shopping at Amazon at no extra cost to you. FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of the doctrine, practice, and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. New York Gov. “These various angels, the heads of dispensations, . The appearance of the Lord to him, like that to Saul of Tarsus, was attended by a shining light from heaven . When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints refer to Joseph Smith’s First Vision, they are referring to the miraculous encounter Joseph Smith had with God the Father and God the Son. The First Vision. The two unpublished accounts, recorded in Joseph Smith’s earliest autobiography and a later journal, were generally forgotten until historians working for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rediscovered and published them in the 1960s. In addition to the firsthand accounts, there are also five descriptions of Joseph Smith’s vision recorded by his contemporaries. Some have mistakenly argued that any variation in the retelling of the story is evidence of fabrication. 3 In another retelling, Joseph informed Erastus Holmes that he was “about 14 years old” when he received “the first visitation of Angels.” 4 Since the Prophet's 14 November 1835 diary entry does indeed refer to his "first visitation of Angels" (which took place during the First Vision) the anti-Mormon characterization cannot be applied to Elder Roberts' editorial clarification in any legitimate sense. In a vision, the heavenly beings are understood not to have made a literal physical visit to the visionary. (Joseph Smith Journal) 14 Years Old – Joseph said he was about 14 years old and referred to the First Vision as a visitation of angels. Dean C. Jessee, “The Earliest Documented Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” in John W. Welch, ed., Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820–1844 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005), 1–33. Andrew Cuomo recently issued an executive citation to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. The appearance of the Father and Son are clearly referenced separately from the mention of the "many angels." In this brief paper we'll discover that God and Christ were not the only divine beings present at the First Vision and clues left by Joseph Smith point us to a more ancient Old Testament-mode Prophetic Call or Divine Assembly where the plans and purposes of the Almighty were discussed and resolved.. In spring 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith prayed in faith and was answered by God and Jesus Christ in person. Copyright © 1997-2021 by The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Question: Does the 14 November 1835 account reference to the "first vision of Angels" mean that Joseph Smith did not see Deity? 278ff.) This is the only account which mentions other personages in the vision other than the Father and Son. Joseph Smith published two accounts of the First Vision during his lifetime. There are at least 4 different first vision accountsby Joseph Smith, which the Church admits in its November 2013 First Vision Accounts essay: 1. And I saw many angels in this vision. 1838 Account (Official Version) 4. 1. The "angels" referred to on the 9th are definitely IN ADDITION TO the two main personages who appeared - the text says quite specifically that the angels "also" made an appearance on this occasion. Williams, Joseph Smith 1835 Warren B. Cowdery 1839 Official, Pearl of Great Price I … Age is 15-years-old (“16th year of … Scripture James 1:5 James B. Allen and John W. Welch, “The Appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in 1820,” in Opening the Heavens, 35–75. . If the editor of the seven History of the Church volumes (Brigham H. Roberts) was not drawing information directly from the original Joseph Smith diary then he may have felt that a previous editor had made an error in description - and took it upon himself to correct it. Serious historical interest in gathering and studying the First Vision accounts began in 1965 when Paul Cheesman, a graduate student at Brigham Young University, presented a gentle surprise to scholars studying Mormonism by including in his master’s thesis an account of Joseph Smith’s First Vision that was largely unknown at that time. Former assistant Church Historian, James B. Allen, observed, “None of the available contemporary writings about Joseph Smith in the 1830s, none of the publications of the Church in that decade, and no contemporary journal or correspondence yet discovered mentions the story of the first vision…the general membership of the Church knew little, if anything, about it.” In 1839, Orson Pratt created a proselytizing pamphlet in Scotland, wh… An examination of the adjoining sentences in the 9 November 1835 account (original source document) reveals that within a very short space Warren Parish thrice used the capitalized word “Angel” to refer to Moroni. A careful examination of the diary entries for the 9th and 14th of November indicates that the "Angels" of the 14th are the very same "angels" mentioned on the 9th. (Verses 1–20.) “He was visited constantly by angels,” Elder George Q. Cannon said of Joseph Smith. No. It is not always clear whether a specific event reported by Joseph Smith should be classified as a vision or a visitation. Criticisms related to Joseph Smith's 9 November 1835 account of the First Vision. Chamberlain felt he was led by God to tell people about his vision that was remarkably similar to Joseph Smith’s and took place circa 1815 – five years before Smith’s vision of Moroni. Angels – The context is how the First Vision related to Joseph Smith’s subsequent visions, in which angels restored the true priesthood and gave Joseph Smith the gold plates. 4 Charles Lowell Walker preserved John Alger’s 1893 report of Joseph Smith informing him (Alger) that God the Father appeared first to Joseph in the vision and physically touched his eyes, whereupon he then saw Christ. There is a reason for this, and we will get into that in more detail later, but it has to do with Joseph Smith's evolving theology). The account was never finished. 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.[2]. 12 years after the vision happened. Question: What are the two 1835 First Vision accounts that refer to angels? (See the text in BYU Studies, Spring 1969, pp. He said unto me, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” He testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Joseph Smith tells of his ancestry, family members, and their early abodes—An unusual excitement about religion prevails in western New York—He determines to seek wisdom as directed by James—The Father and the Son appear, and Joseph is called to his prophetic ministry. It includes such elements as angels, the light depicted as fire, and the Father and Son at staggered positions, suggesting that They didn’t appear at the same time. Joseph Smith prepared four accounts of his First Vision, recorded in 1832, 1835, 1838 (now in the Pearl of Great Price), and 1842. Concerned by his sins and unsure which spiritual path to follow, Joseph sought guidance by attending meetings, reading scripture, and praying. . In the two tables below, all visitations and visions are to Joseph Smith alone, unless stated otherwise. We review the 1832, 1825, 1838, and 1842 versions and address the contradictions and official LDS essay. To the contrary, the rich historical record enables us to learn more about this remarkable event than we could if it were less well documented. BYU Studies 9 (Spring 1969): 278–81, 284–85, 287–93, 296. The first of these, known today as Joseph Smith—History, was canonized in the Pearl of Great Price and thus became the best-known account. American Legal and Political Institutions, Christian Churches in Joseph Smith’s Day, Daily Life of First-Generation Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith’s 1844 Campaign for United States President, Lectures on Theology (“Lectures on Faith”), Martin Harris’s Consultations with Scholars, Printing and Publishing the Book of Mormon, Religious Beliefs in Joseph Smith’s Day, Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Temple Dedications and Dedicatory Prayers, “Joseph Smith’s First Vision Accounts,” Church History Topics, “Joseph Smith’s First Vision Accounts”. Question: Does the use of the capitalized word "Angel" in the 14 November 1835 account refer to Deity? Learn how →. Historians expect that when an individual retells an experience in multiple settings to different audiences over many years, each account will emphasize various aspects of the experience and contain unique details. 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