Fact: Joseph Smith's Belief in the Godhead evolved from one personage to two.

This presentation will show with simple evidence that this statement is true. If Joseph Smith's belief in the Godhead evolved, this also proves that he DID NOT see two personages in the sacred grove. If he did not see both Jesus Christ and God the Father in his First Vision all claims of the church crumble.

All references to original sources are provided so you can see the facts for yourself.

Gordon B. Hinckley said

Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens.

Gordon B. Hinckley also said

I thank my Father in Heaven for the testimony I have of the reality of the First Vision. I have stood among the trees where Joseph knelt as a boy, and heard the whisperings of the Spirit that it happened as he said it happened. I have read the words of critics, who from 1820 until now have tried to destroy the validity of that account. They have made much of the fact that there were several versions and that the account as we now have it was not written until 1838. So what?

The fact is there were serveral accounts of the First Vision. Hinckley said "So What?".
Do multiple versions of the first vision matter to you?

The 1832 Account of the First Vision

The 1832 Account of the First Vision is the earliest known written account of Joseph Smith's experience. Importantly this 1832 account is the only version written by his own hand.

“I was filled with the spirit of God and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy way 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.”


One critical issue with the 1832 account is that Joseph Smith NEVER mentions being in the presence of the Father & Son, just the Lord.

The Official LDS Account of the First Vision

“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Gordon B. Hinckley said

"That becomes the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is just that simple." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 227)

Is that enough evidence for you? Do you believe that Joseph's view of the Godhead changed?

Ezra Taft Benson said

The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. This was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement. He testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.

1 Nephi 11:18

1830 Book of Mormon
And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh.

1837 Book of Mormon
And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

1 Nephi 11:21

1830 Book of Mormon
And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!

1837 Book of Mormon
And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!

1 Nephi 11:32

1830 Book of Mormon
And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world;

1837 Book of Mormon
And it came to pass the angel spake unto me again, saying, look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the Everlasting God, was judged of the world;

1 Nephi 13:40

1830 Book of Mormon
These last records… shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world;

1837 Book of Mormon
These last records... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world;

Why?

If the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth why did it change? Why did it evolve? The answer is simple, because Joseph Smith's view on the Godhead changed.

If his view changed, then he didn't actually see Jesus Christ and God the Father during his "First Vision", and as Gordon B. Hinckley said "we are involved in a great sham". It is just that simple.

Joseph Smith said

Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none.