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Perspectives

on Church History

“I Saw the Lord”: Joseph Smith’s Descriptions of His Vision


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In three of Joseph Smith’s accounts of the First Vision, he speaks of two personages, whom he identifies as God the Father and Jesus Christ. In his 1832 account, he simply says, “The Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord.” Historians Steven C. Harper, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Jed Woodworth talk about several ways to think about the ambiguity in the 1832 account.