Monday, April 30, 2012

The 1824 First Vision Reference - Joseph Smith, Sr. and Martin Harris

April 30, 2012
by Tim Barker

In my post, The First Vision in the Formative Years of the Church, I discussed the various accounts of the First Vision related by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as well as by his contemporaries (such as Orson Pratt and Orson Hyde).  In addition to these accounts there were other early Latter-day Saints, as well as non-Latter-day Saints, who made reference to the First Vision during the prophet's life.  Later reminiscences were also recorded by those who knew the Prophet and were familiar with this foundational event.  My post was an overview of these various references and accounts of the First Vision and provided a summary of research that has been available through various resources, such as BYU Studies, Dialogue, Sunstone, and FAIR.  I added some additional information discovered through my own efforts in researching this topic as well.The purpose of this post is to further discuss one of these particular accounts in greater detail.

1824 - Martin Harris and Joseph Smith, Sr.

The chronologically latest published account refers to the chronologically earliest discussion of the First Vision in Willard Bean's 1938 book, A.B.C. History of Palmyra and the Beginning of Mormonism.  This is the earliest published source for the 1824 account between Martin Harris and Joseph Smith, Sr.  The relevant excerpt from Bean's book is provided below:2