The variations among First Vision accounts have always attracted our attention. Initially, this was due to the polemical tendencies of early studies of Mormon origins, which tried to disprove the veracity of Smith’s experience. Later inquiries were driven by historians who sought to discover the causal reasons for Mormonism’s appearance on the American religious scene. This paper will approach the First Vision accounts as conversion stories, with variations seen as indicators of shifts within Smith’s own worldview.
Bruce Smith, John P. Hatch