Joseph Smith’s
“First Vision”

h¹b
Beit Midrash (House of Study)
This day in Jewish History ABOUT THIS WEB SITE - THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW
You will need to download and install the free Greek &
Hebrew fonts
to properly view and print from this site.
Search our Site
Bookmark and Share
If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

Please Note Well — It is not my intent to belittle, unduly criticize, or “bash” anyone who may hold religious persuasions or opinions other than my own. Even though I may absolutely and totally disagree with your opinion, I will defend to the death your God-given right to hold it. Since this website was originally launched in 1995, I have continually held the position that I am not “anti-”anybody; I am only pro-Truth [click here for the definition of “Truth”].

    I firmly believe that it can be proven with absolute certainty that the Bible, and the Bible only, is the revealed Word of God, and is the standard by which all knowledge and opinion must be judged. Information on this website that concerns non-Biblical religious beliefs is provided for the sole purpose of comparing those beliefs with the Revealed Truth of the Bible. I also attempt to demonstrate how far the Body of Messiah has drifted from its Jewish origins. We earnestly await the return of Messiah and the “Restoration of All Things” as promised by the prophets. If you disagree with my position, please click this link before emailing me.

Joseph Smith’s Handwritten First Vision
(Demonstrating just two of the hundreds of changes
that have been made to the Mormon “scriptures”)
deletions | (insertions)

Transcript of Handwritten Document Scanned Document in
Joseph Smith’s own handwriting
Current version in The
Pearl of Great Price
“marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him (them) and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath the wise man said the (it is a) fool (that) saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and (that) being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in (the) attitude of calling upon the Lord

Scanned image from:
History, 1832,
Joseph Smith Letterbook 1,
p.3
Handwriting of Joseph Smith.
Click picture for a larger view.
 
(in the 16th year of my age) a piller of fire (light) above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with

“I was at this time in my fifteenth year.” PGP, JS-H 1:7

the spirit of God and the (Lord) opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph (my son) thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy (way) walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life (behold) the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not (my) commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which (hath) been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud (clothed) in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could reioice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but [I] could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time my mother and but after many days

“I saw two Personagesstanding above me in the air. PGP, JS-H 1:17

The message conveyed by the two “personages” is totally different than the handwritten version. See PGP, JS-H 1:17-19

Another Version of the “First Vision”

Joseph Smith’s First Vision
Mirrored from http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,104-1-3-4,00.html

In accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to destruction.

I saw a pillar of light
“I saw a pillar of light
exactly over my head…”
But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction —not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

Joseph Smith and two personages
One of them … said, pointing to the other—
“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home.

Read the First Vision article by Sandra Tanner

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:18 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)