Question: Why did Joseph Smith state the he was visited by two personages and then just five days later say that he was visited by angels?

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Question: Why did Joseph Smith state the he was visited by two personages and then just five days later say that he was visited by angels?

Joseph's diary was simply summarizing the First Vision as the "first visitation of Angels"

Joseph had described his vision in detail in his journal just five days earlier (9 November 1835) when he described his visit with "Joshua the Jewish Minister." When he described his visit with Erastus Holmes, he simply referred to it as the "first visitation of Angels." In Joseph's 9 November 1835 entry, in addition to seeing two personages, Joseph also mentioned that he had seen "many angels" in the vision.

Critics attempt to use this to show inconsistency in Joseph's accounts of the First Vision. For example, a critical graphic indicates that the 1835 "Erastus Holmes" account describes a different vision. The graphic implies that he didn't mention every other element of the vision, and that this makes it inconsistent. However, Joseph was simply offering a one-line summary of the event that he had described only five days earlier in his journal.

Mormoninfographic.erastus.holmes.summary-1.jpg

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