James B. Allen discusses First Vision accounts in an official Church periodical.

Apr 1970
James B. Allen

James B. Allen, "Eight Contemporary Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision - What Do We Learn from Them?" Improvement Era 73 no. 4 (April 1970): 4–13

Improvement Era
James B. Allen
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public


One hundred and fifty years ago this spring, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith, Jr., perplexed about questions on religion, walked on a “beautiful, clear day” to a wooded area where he had been cutting wood, approximately a quarter mile from his father’s house, and knelt in earnest prayer. The answer to that prayer, known now as the First Vision, has changed the course of the world and marked with brilliant surety the opening of the dispensation of the fulness of times, a period of preparation for the heralded and oft-prophesied second coming of Jesus Christ. With this vision came a divine call to young Joseph, who “save Jesus only” was destined to do more “for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” (D&C 135:3.)

For the past 150 years, the story of the First Vision has been repeated on the street corner and from the pulpit, and has borne testimony to succeeding generations at the family hearthside. It has made the heart of the poet and musician sing, has sparked the mind and imagination, has been studied diligently, and has been submitted to the unrelenting light of research.

Here printed for the first time is a report on eight different accounts of the First Vision.

Copyright © B. H. Roberts Foundation
The B. H. Roberts Foundation is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.