For this lesson on Joseph Smith’s First Vision, we recommend starting with the materials on lds.org which present the various versions, especially “The First Vision: A Narrative from Joseph Smith’s Accounts,” and “First Vision Accounts,” one of the LDS Gospel Topics Essays. Copies with modern spelling and grammar of the 1832, 1835, and 1842 accounts are given at The Joseph Smith Papers. For information about versions created by Joseph Smith and others and published during his lifetime, see “Primary Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity,” also at Joseph Smith Papers.
“The Earliest Documented Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Dean Jessee, Opening the Heavens.
Another history of these accounts.
“The Appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in 1820,” James B. Allen, John W. Welch, Opening the Heavens.
For a comparison of the various versions of the First Vision, including charts comparing the various versions.
The way for Joseph Smith was prepared
- For a geographic look at LDS history, see these excerpts from Mapping Mormonism, by Brandon Plewe.
- Locations where each D&C revelation was received, showing that more revelations were received in the Kirtland area than in any other location.
- The Smith family in Vermont. Joseph and Lucy Smith’s growing family was forced to move nine times in 20 years. Their moves frequently took them back to Joseph Sr.’s parents’ land in Tunbridge or Lucy’s parents’ land on the border of Sharon and Royalton.
- Palmyra/Manchester, showing, from N to S, the home of Lemuel Durfee; home of Silas Stoddard; home of Martin Harris; the Erie Canal; the Smith family’s home for 1816-1818; the Grandin printing building; Smith family store; Western Presbyterian Church; Methodist Campground; the Smith family log home of 1818-1825; Clark Chase home; the Smith family frame home of 1825-1829; Russell Stoddard home; William Stafford home; Orin Rockwell home; and Stafford School (where Oliver Cowdery was employed).
- The Smith Farm, showing the proximity of the log home, the frame home, the Hill Cumorah, the farm, and the Sacred Grove.
- Locations of religious revivals, showing that there were at least 30 revivals, new churches, and large conferences held within 20 miles of the Smith home.
- The hardcover book Mapping Mormonism, published by BYU Studies, is for sale on our website.