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Perspectives

on Church History

Explore insights on the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois

Joseph Smith formed this council in March 1844. The council met fairly regularly from then until January 1846 and then functioned intermittently during a handful of years in Utah until the 1880s. The publication of the Nauvoo-era minutes of this council is another step in the Church History Department’s ongoing effort to publish all of Joseph Smith’s papers.

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

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.