Is There Really Any Problem with Joseph Smith’s First Vision? And Why Not? Since Joseph Smith’s First Vision is both the fundamental historical event and the basic theological tenet of Mormon thought, it has been the object of many attacks on Smith’s credibility. Questions are generally raised concerning the content and the timing of the event because Joseph did not report on the event until more than twelve years after it occurred. Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s mother, added to the problem by merging the First Vision and the 1823 visitation of the Angel Moroni to the Prophet in her history, which was prepared after Joseph’s death and not subject to his review. This presentation addresses the timing and content issues through a careful analysis of the sequence of events that led up to the First Vision. It demonstrates why Joseph’s account is most likely accurate.
Richard K. Behrens, John P. Hatch