Impact Topic: First Vision Accounts
First Name: Clay
Date: 10 JUL 2014
Impact: I only first learned about the multiple accounts of the first vision in a Church History class in college before my mission, but thought little of the discrepancies. Later when I put the discrepancies into context after married and deep in my educational endeavors, I realized that the potent emphasis that we place on the First Vision story is a relatively new phenomenon and that early church members may not have even known about the First Vision at all. It was troubling to hear that the story was told differently numerous times. I wondered and still wonder why the multiple accounts are never something we talk more about. All those times that I related the first vision over and over on my mission, I never dreamed that I was actually just presenting what the vision might have been. I would have appreciated being viewed as capable of digesting the real history so that I could interpret the facts myself. I can see how Joseph might have had trouble recalling the vision the same way over the years, or maybe all of them are just a fraction of what actually happened. Knowing the truth has helped me to have a more mature view about what happened in that grove of trees. That understanding can now no longer be shaken by learning facts of which I was previously kept ignorant. The entire process has increased my empathy for others and reaffirmed my conviction and belief in a God that isn’t affected by the errors that humans make.