Joseph Smith History (1832)

    About the Account “Filled with Love”

    Joseph Smith recorded that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a grove of trees near his parents’ home in western New York State when he was about 14 years old. Joseph shared and documented the First Vision, as it came to be known, on multiple occasions. He wrote or assigned scribes to write four different accounts of the vision.

    The earliest known account of the First Vision, the only account written in Joseph’s own handwriting, is found in a short, unpublished history that Joseph produced in the second half of 1832. In the account, Joseph described his consciousness of his own sins and his frustration at being unable to find a church that matched the one he had read about in the New Testament and that would lead him to redemption. He emphasized Jesus Christ’s Atonement and the personal redemption it offers. He wrote that the Lord appeared and forgave him of his sins. As a result of the vision, Joseph experienced joy and love, though, as he noted, he could find no one who believed his account.