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Perspectives

on Church History

“Owing to the Many Reports”: Different Accounts for Different Audiences


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Many of the small differences between Joseph Smith’s accounts of the First Vision relate to the circumstances surrounding each account. Joseph Smith addressed different audiences under different circumstances and emphasized different aspects of the experience. The 1838 account, now recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, was intended for publication in Joseph Smith’s official history and is the most complete account of the First Vision on record.