3 thoughts on “Whether Joseph Smith’s Canonized First Vision Account is Authentic History

  1. I am of the belief that Joseph Smith didn’t actually write the 1838 account. He wasn’t an idiot, but neither was he Shakespeare. The canonized account is a master class in writing. It’s exquisite.

    Emma later testified that Joseph could barely form a well worded letter.

    Having gone down my own rabbit hole and spending plenty of time going through the Joseph Smith Papers website, examining original documents, comparing writing sample, etc, I feel reasonably comfortable in ascribing this 1838 account to someone else. It’s plausible Joseph gave an outline, or was involved to some degree. You bring up some interesting points that give me a lot to consider — particularly the William Smith accounts. Thanks.

    But I do agree that there are serious doctrinal problems with The First Vision – mainly that there isn’t a single recorded instance of all of scripture of two personages known as “the father” and “the son” appearing at the same time. It’s always singular, be it Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah or Jesus.


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