Special Feature

Celebrating Joseph Smith's First Vision

Celebrating Joseph Smith's First Vision

Joseph Smith’s First Vision happened in the spring of 1820—199 years ago. Next year will see many celebrations, but you can commemorate the vision now with these readings.Reading several accounts of the vision adds to our understanding and helps us appreciate Joseph’s effort to tell of his unparalleled experience.

“First Vision” at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Short description of the First Vision.

“First Vision Accounts” at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Joseph Smith left several accounts of his First Vision, listed and linked here. These accounts naturally vary in their descriptions.

“Primary Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity” at JosephSmithPapers.org
Lists and describes four accounts given by Joseph Smith under his direction and five accounts written by contemporaries who heard Joseph Smith speak about the vision.

“The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Dean C. Jessee, BYU Studies 9, no. 3
This article, published in 1969, was an early report of Dean Jessee’s lifelong research into the documents of the First Vision. It was part of the foundation of what later became the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Read about Joseph’s tireless efforts frequently in his life to document his vision.

“Rendering the Ineffable Effable: Treating Joseph Smith’s First Vision in Imaginative Literature,” Richard Cracroft, BYU Studies 36, no. 2
The First Vision is integral to the story of the Latter-day Saints and to their very existence as a people. Repeated and heartfelt recitations of the event, together with testimonies sought, gained, and uttered regarding its divinity, have gradually transformed the First Vision into the a profound story that presents direction and provides a theory about how the world works. The following survey of LDS poetry, drama, and fiction about the First Vision demonstrates how the Vision continues to reverberate among the Latter-day Saints and how it serves not only as a foundational document and doctrinal exegesis but increasingly also as a springboard to personal and universal revelation commensurate to the spiritual needs of those generations of Saints that did not know Joseph.