Joseph Smith's First Vision

5 Episodes

Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which occurred in upstate New York in 1820, is foundational to the Latter-day Saint movement. In this series Scott and Casey do a deep dive into Joseph Smith’s own first hand accounts of his vision, as well as the second hand accounts of some of Joseph’s contemporaries. 

Art Credit: Anthony Sweat


Episode 1

Why Are There Different Accounts of the First Vision?

Joseph Smith’s First Vision is foundational to our narrative of the Restoration today, but it was not always so from the Church’s beginning. So how did the First Vision go from what began as a very personal experience of Joseph’s, to growing in institutional significance for the whole Church as it has today? Also, given that there are unique differences in Joseph Smith’s 4 separate accounts of his First Vision, what role does …

53 Min

Episode 2

What's Unique About Joseph's 1835 and 1838 Accounts of His First Vision?

In 1835 Joseph Smith briefly received into his Kirtland, Ohio home an eccentric visitor who claimed to be a Jewish minister named Joshua. According to Joseph’s journal, it was to this supposedly Jewish man that he recounted what we know as Joseph’s second recorded account of the First Vision. This episode explores how Joseph’s perception that he was speaking with a Jewish man influenced the details he chose …

62 Min

Episode 3

How Did Orson Pratt Influence Joseph Smith's 1842 First Vision Narrative?

Did you know that the first time the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision was ever printed was in a pamphlet written by apostle Orson Pratt and published in Scotland while Pratt was on a mission there in 1840? Intriguingly, Pratt’s language from this pamphlet was used by Joseph Smith himself two years later, in 1842, when writing the story of his First Vision for a non-Latter-day Saint newspaper editor named …

45 Min

Episode 4

How Do 2nd and 3rd Hand Accounts Add to Our Understanding of the First Vision?

Thousands of people heard Joseph Smith’s testimony first hand. Some of those testimonies included him telling about his First Vision experience. Some of those people who heard his witness wrote down the details of what they heard. Luckily, a few of those handwritten accounts have survived until today and some of them contain even more details about Joseph’s vision which add to our understanding of …

47 Min

Episode 5

Q&R! What about Others Who Claimed Similar Visions in Joseph Smith’s Day? Etc.

The more carefully one studies Joseph Smith’s First Vision and the context of his world at that time, the more interesting the questions become. For example, if Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a vision, does that mean he didn’t actually see them in reality? And what are we to make of the fact that other people around the time of Joseph Smith’s vision also claimed to have had visions of God (many of whom …

54 Min