The Joseph Smith Papers: "The historical preamble to the 1830 'articles and covenants,'...appears to reference JS’s vision in speaking of a moment when 'it truly was manifested unto this first elder, that he had received a remission of his sins'"

Table of Contents

The Joseph Smith Papers: "The historical preamble to the 1830 'articles and covenants,'...appears to reference JS’s vision in speaking of a moment when 'it truly was manifested unto this first elder, that he had received a remission of his sins'"

"History, circa Summer 1832 - Historical Introduction," The Joseph Smith Papers:

In the early 1830s, when this history was written, it appears that JS had not broadcast the details of his first vision of Deity. The history of the church, as it was then generally understood, began with the gold plates. John Whitmer mentioned in his history “the commencement of the church history commencing at the time of the finding of the plates,” suggesting that Whitmer was either unaware of JS’s earlier vision or did not conceive of it as foundational.5 Records predating 1832 only hint at JS’s earliest manifestation. The historical preamble to the 1830 “articles and covenants,” for example, appears to reference JS’s vision in speaking of a moment when “it truly was manifested unto this first elder, that he had received a remission of his sins.”6 Initially, JS may have considered this vision to be a personal experience tied to his own religious explorations. He was not accustomed to recording personal events, and he did not initially record the vision as he later did the sacred texts at the center of his attention. Only when JS expanded his focus to include historical records did he write down a detailed account of the theophany he experienced as a youth. The result was a simple, unpolished account of his first “marvilous experience,” written largely in his own hand. The account was not published or widely circulated at the time, though in later years he told the story more frequently.[1]

Notes

  1. "History, circa Summer 1832 - Historical Introduction," The Joseph Smith Papers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.