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1835 First Vision Account by Joseph Smith given to Joshua the Jewish Minister

1835-36 — Account, Joseph Smith Diary, Nov. 9, 1835 as found in Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, compiled by Dean C. Jessee, pp. 75-77; also in An American Prophet’s Record, p. 51.

Principle elements of the account:

  • “Wrought up” in his mind about religion
  • Age 14 (1820)
  • In a grove
  • Had a vision of one personage and then another
  • One personage testifies about Jesus, but neither is identified as Jesus
  • Saw many angels in this first visitation
  • Was told sins were forgiven
  • Later (age 17) has another vision of angels
  • No mention of revival

The Account


Typescript of Joseph Smith Diary 1835, p. 22
Typescript of Joseph Smith Diary 1835, p. 23
Typescript of Joseph Smith Diary 1835, p. 24
Handwritten page Joseph Smith Diary 1835 - "another vision of angels"
Typescript of Joseph Smith Diary 1835, p. 25

“being wrought up in my mind, respecting the subject of religion and looking at the different systems taught the children of men, I knew not who was right or who was wrong and I considered it of the first importance that I should be right, in matters that involve eternal consequ[e]nces; being thus perplexed in mind I retired to the silent grove and bow[e]d down before the Lord … I called upon the Lord for the first time, in the place above stated or in other words I made a fruitless attempt to p[r]ay … I called on the Lord in mightly prayer, a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; <and I saw many angels in this vision> I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication; When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels in the night season after I had retired to bed …”


Though this account appears in Joseph Smith's diary, it was omitted from the History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 304. This account contains parallels with the one Joseph related to Erastus Holmes later this same month.


Next account — 1835 (Erastus Holmes)

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