Joseph Smith wrote his ‘official account’ of the first vision in 1838 – this was published in times and seasons in 1842, a whole 2 decades after the event was alleged to have taken place.
What most mormons have never been told is the fact that there were between 6 and 9 earlier drafts of the ‘first vision’ – I will attempt to present some of these accounts to you below and also add some hand written comments by men and women who new Joseph personally.
These accounts and been repressed or ignored by the mormon leaders in an attempt to authenticate the official first vision account.
Out of all the accounts that we shall see, his final ‘official account’ is least credible and he should have stuck to one of his previous drafts, instead of going into extreme ficticious lies about an event that probably never occured.
The earliest account we have was written by Joseph in 1832, in this account his age is changed, his reason for seeking the Lord is changed, the event is changed, the presence of an evil power is not there,there is no mention of a revival and also the number of divine personages in the vision.
Here is the exact wording of his draft – word for word including spelling mistakes:
marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him (them) and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath thewise man said the (it is a) fool (that) saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and that (that) being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in (the) attitude of calling upon the Lord (in the 16th year of my age) a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the (Lord) opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph (my son) thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy (way) walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life (behold) the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not (my) commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which (hath) been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud (clothed) in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could reioice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but [I] could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time my mother and but after many days Joseph Smith’s Handwritten First Vision (click on the link to the left and see the photographic evidence for yourself)
So if the above version is true why did Joseph change it 6 years later?
If the 1838 account is true, why did he write this draft?
conclusion – obviously both were lies.
Below we can see the major differences between the 1832 account and the 1838 account.
personages = Smith claimed only a vision from Jesus
Seeking God = Bible reading stirred Smith to seek God
Churches wrong = Smith already knew this
personages = Smith claimed a vision of both the Father AND the Son.
Seeking God = A revival motivated Smith to seek God Churches wrong = ‘two personages’ informed Smith that all the churches are wrong
Joseph Smith, Nov. 1835 – “…I received the first visitation of Angels when I was about 14 years old…” Personal writings of Joseph Smith, page 84 [It should be noted that this entry has been changed in the History of the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 312. It now reads “my first vision” instead of “visitation of Angels”]
So in this latest account of the first vision we see Jospeh Smith claiming that it was many angels that visted him.
Now here comes the interesting part: What saith the future leaders of mormonism? what saith his family regarding the alleged first vision?
Brigham Young – “The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven … but He did send his angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong” Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 171 (1855)
Wilford Woodruff – “The same organization and Gospel that Christ died for … is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy angel from God, out of heaven, who held converse with man, and revealed unto him the darkness that enveloped the world … He told him the Gospel was not among men, and that there was not a true organization of His kingdom in the world” Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 196 (1855)
Orson Hyde – “Some one may say, ‘If this work of the last days be true, why did not the Saviour come himself to communicate this intelligence to the world?’ Because to the angels was committed the power of reaping the earth, and it was committed to none else.” Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 335 (1854)
George A. Smith – “…he [Joseph Smith] went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer, and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels , the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared , Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong” Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 334 (1863)
George A. Smith – “[Joseph] was enlightened by the vision of an holy angel. When this personage appeared to him, one of the first inquiries was ‘Which of the denominations of Christians in the vicinity was right?’ ” Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 78 (1869)
John Taylor – “None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right.” Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 167 (1879)
George Q. Cannon – “But suppose that the statement that Joseph Smith says the angel made to him should be true-that there was no church upon the face of the earth whom God recognized as His, and whose acts He acknowledged-suppose this were true…” Journal of Discourses, vol. 24, pg. 135 (1889)
William Smith – “He accordingly went out into the woods and falling upon his knees called for a long time upon the Lord for wisdom and knowledge. While engaged in prayer a light appeared in the heavens, and descended until it rested upon the trees where he was. It appeared like fire. But to his great astonishment, did not burn the trees. An angel then appeared to him and conversed with him upon many things. He told him that none of the sects were right…” William Smith On Mormonism , By William Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother. pg. 5 (1883)
” The angel again forbade Joseph to join any of these churches, and he promised that the true and everlasting Gospel should be revealed to him at some future time. Joseph continues: ‘Many other things did he (the angel) say unto me which I cannot write at this time’ ” Church Historical Record, Vol. 7, January, 1888
Brigham Young – ” Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith, and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth…” Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, pg. 239
I don’t know about you but i find it strange that Brigham Young who knew Joseph personally, aswell as others knew nothing of a visitation by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Joseph LIED
Test All Things