1832 Account of the First Vision

Joseph Smith's 1832 Account (earliest) of His First Vision

I was born in the town of Charon [Sharon] in the of Vermont North
America on the twenty third day of December AD 1805 of goodly Parents
who spared no pains to instructing me in christian religion at the age
of about ten years my Father Joseph Smith Siegnior moved to Palmyra
Ontario County in the State of New York and being in indigent
circumstances were obliged to labour hard for the support of a large
Family having nine chilldren and as it required the exertions of all
that were able to render any assistance for the support of the Family
therefore we were deprived of the bennifit of an education suffice it
to say I was mearly instructid in reading writing and the ground of
Arithmatic which const[it]uted my whole literary acquirements.

At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with
regard to the all importent concerns for the wellfare of my immortal
Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was
taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to
them and my intimate acquaintance with those different denominations
led me to marvel exce[e]dingly for I discovered that of adorn their
profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I
found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my Soul

thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in
my heart concerning the sittuation of the world of mankind the
contentions and divi[si]ons the wicke[d]ness and abominations and the
darkness which pervaded the minds of mankind my mind become
exce[e]dingly distressed for I become convicted of my sins and by
searching the scriptures I found that did not come unto the Lord but
that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there
was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus
Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own
sins and for the sins of the world

for I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday to day
and forever that he was no respector to persons for he was God for I
looked upon the sun the glorious luminary of the earth and also the
moon rolling in their magesty through the heavens and also the stars
shining in their courses and the earth also upon which I stood and the
beast of the field and the fowls of heaven and the fish of the waters
and also man walking forth upon the face of the earth in magesty and
in the strength of beauty whose power and intiligence in governing the
things which are so exceding great and marvilous even in the likeness
of him who created and when I considered upon these things my heart
exclaimed well hath the wise man said fool saith in his heart there is
no God

my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an
omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeth
and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was
and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered
all these things and that being seeketh such to worship him as worship
him in spirit and in truth

therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to
whom I could go and obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the
wilderness and while in attitude of calling upon the Lord a piller of
light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above
and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the
opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me
saying Joseph thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy walk in my statutes
and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed
for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal
life the world lieth in sin at this time and none doeth good no not
one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not commandments
they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from
me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to
visit them ac[c]ording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass
that which been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles
behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud in
the glory of my Father

and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice
with great Joy and the Lord was with me but [I] could find none that
would believe the he[a]v[e]nly vision nevertheless I pondered these
things in my heart