After the First Vision, Joseph Smith worked with his family at farming and other jobs. He found a stone in which he could see things, which he and his family understood as a divine gift. In 1823, he received a visit from Moroni, telling him that God had a work for him to do.
Joseph Smith’s environment in 1823 was shifting from an agrarian economy to an industrialized one and from a culture based in faith to one based in the natural world. Joseph discovered one or more seer stones before the visit from Moroni. Moroni’s lesson, as Joseph came to understand over time, was that God had chosen Joseph to restore priesthood, ordinances, and covenants that could bind people to God.
“Katharine Smith Salisbury’s Recollections of Joseph’s Meetings with Moroni,” Kyle R. Walker, BYU Studies 41, no. 3
Katharine Salisbury, sister of Joseph Smith, gave a long statement about Moroni’s visit that was published in 1895. She comments about Moroni’s clothing; that her father and two of her brothers were the first to hear Joseph’s recital of Moroni’s visits; and that after the loss of manuscript pages, Joseph fasted for several days. This account tells that Joseph had been pondering over his First Vision just before Moroni’s first visit and tells the impact these visits had on the Smith family.
“Not the First but the Second: Changing Latter-day Saint Emphases on Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Richard E. Bennett, BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 2
Throughout the nineteenth century, the Saints learned and taught about the visits from Moroni much more widely than about the First Vision. The visits of John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John also were often taught. Later, the First Vision became the focus of the Restoration.
This chapter talks about Joseph Smith’s use of a stone to see things “invisible to the natural eye” and how his family felt this was a gift and a sign of divine favor. One night, his prayers for forgiveness were answered with a visit from Moroni, who told Joseph about ancient plates.
“Being Acquitted of a ‘Disorderly Person’ Charge in 1826,” Gordon A. Madsen, from Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters
In March 1826, a neighbor of Joseph Smith filed a complaint that he was a disorderly person. Records of the case are fragmentary, but looking at the law and at later statements suggests that Joseph Smith was charged and tried and probably acquitted. An earlier version of this chapter is “Joseph Smith’s 1826 Trial: The Legal Setting,” BYU Studies 30, no. 2.
“Joseph the Seer,” Richard E. Turley Jr., Robin S. Jensen, and Mark Ashurst-McGee, Ensign, October 2015
This article discusses Joseph Smith’s use of seer stones and includes a photo of one seer stone. See also “Seer Stones, Salamanders, and Early Mormon ‘Folk Magic’ in the Light of Folklore Studies and Bible Scholarship,” Eric A. Eliason, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1.