Journal 09:3 | BYU Studies

Journal 09:3

Volume 9:3 (Spring 1969)
See an account from Joseph Smith on the First Vision in the Wentworth Letter that was later published in the Times and Seasons. Many more articles continue on the theme of the early Mormons in such articles as, "How Authentic Are Mormon Historic Sites in Vermont and New York?," "The Shaping of the Mormon Mind in New England and New York," and "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision...Read more

Guest Editor's Prologue

Imagine yourself sifting through some documents on western New York and finding this typescript interview with a Presbyterian lady who grew up on a farm close to Joseph Smith's: "[she] . . . said her father loved young Joseph Smith and often hired him to work with his boys. She was about six years old, she said, when he first came to their home." There is a need for gathering these documents... Read more

Mormon Origins in New York: An Introductory Analysis

In the fall of 1967 a small group of Mormon historians met in Salt Lake City to discuss the problems involved in writing the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were concerned with the history of the Church and its background in New York from 1820 to 1830, the decade which may be called the period of Mormon origins. Well aware that most books and articles on Mormonism... Read more

The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision

By October 29 of that year, when Joseph left Nauvoo for Washington, D.C., to present the Missouri grievances of his people before the federal government, only fifty-nine pages of his history had been written; and six days after his departure, his scribe James Mulholland died. When Joseph returned to Nauvoo in March 1840, he lamented the passing of his "faithful scribe," and expressed... Read more

The Wentworth Letter

Joseph Smith's letter to Mr. John Wentworth was published in the March 1, 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons in Nauvoo Illinois. Although the whole letter runs about three full pages, the rendition of the First Vision events is only one-half page long. The Prophet himself called it a "sketch," a "brief history." The conclusion of the letter is Joseph Smith's statement of belief which has come to... Read more

A Stained-Glass Replica of Joseph Smith's First Vision

There is currently no description for this title. One will be added shortly. Read more

Awakenings in the Burned-over District: New Light on the Historical Setting of the First Vision

The six decades preceding the Civil War were years of intense religious activity in many sections of the United States. During this second great awakening, sporadic spiritual quickenings erupted throughout the new nation; and many Americans living in the rugged frontier communities, in the rapidly growing urban areas, and in the villages and towns of northern and southern United States turned... Read more

Reverend George Lane—Good "Gifts," Much "Grace," and Marked "Usefulness"

The Methodist Minister, Reverend George Lane, (1784–1859) is one of many of the personalities who touched early Mormonism and whose initial role has drifted into comparative obscurity. Rev. Lane was, according to certain accounts, instrumental in moving Joseph Smith to make his epic inquiry of the Lord with the attendant vision of the Father and Son. The renewed research on Mormon origins has... Read more

How Authentic Are Mormon Historic Sites in Vermont and New York?

Commencing in 1903 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having firmly established itself in the Far West, was bold enough to turn its face eastward to look back at its places of origin. Under the direction of President Joseph F. Smith, Carthage Jail was the first site acquired in this movement, because of the nostalgic feelings of the Mormon people for their beloved prophet who had... Read more

The Shaping of the Mormon Mind in New England and New York

Recent students of Mormonism have tended to discount or dismiss the influence of the Church's sojourn in New England and western New York on the development of Mormon thought. Within the last decade two scholars have placed major emphasis on what occurred in Kirtland or afterward as determinative in molding the Mormon mind. It is my contention that during its "eastern" phase Mormonism assumed its... Read more

Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision Through Reminiscences

The bread and butter work of the historian is less the divining of bias than a careful reading of his documents to determine just what is said, whether his source is in a position to know the information related, and to what extent each one tells a partial or complete story. Because it is claimed that Joseph Smith's account of the events surrounding his First Vision are not factual, the foregoing... Read more