Romans 1:22; “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

Whether you call it a vision, or a theophany, the end result in many cases is very much the same.

Today we’re looking at an interesting event that took place in the early nineteenth century at the beginning stages of America’s 2nd Great Awakening. After the 1stAwakening, Americans were compelled to fall back into their old ways. The Lord and His word found its way to the back burner of American’s itineraries, but it didn’t last long.

Early in the 1790’s one person from the southern regions of Kentucky was convicted by God to change his ways. That one person’s experience was the birthing pangs of the 2nd Great Awakening. Feeling impressed to be washed in the baptismal waters to wash away his sins, one man convinced his pastor to baptize him that very day. His actions started another revolution in America, albeit this one wasn’t against Britain. The only blood shed this time around was already done almost 2,000 yrs prior.

This awakening didn’t come and go as quickly as the first. This one stuck around from 1790 to the 1840’s.

Along with the religious fervor, came those who believed God had made a special appearance to them alone. They’re known as ‘The Visionaries’.

In many cases, God appeared as a man, and he wasn’t alone. Countless stories were told, expounded upon, and written about, in great measure. God and Jesus in human form was a popular one, as was the obligatory appearance of heavenly hosts. Countless angels were seen, yet a common denominator in these visions was how their appearance was so glorious it couldn’t be spoken of out loud.

The visions soon became as numerous as the countless angels they couldn’t talk about. Thrown in the mix of all those visions, one will of course, read Joe Smith’s account of his own experience. Strangely, his shied away from putting pen to paper about these things for over twenty years.

It was as if he was waiting for the fevered pitch to die down before he stole the stories of others. It wasn’t until 1842 before we hear of Smith talking about his experience our in the Palmyra woods, where he claims God and Jesus told him not to join any other Christian denomination because they were all corrupt.

Mormon Historian, Richard Bushman identified at least 38 visions that are very similar to the one Smith claimed he had in 1820. You can read about it in his book, ‘The Visionary World of Joseph Smith’. While the accounts of others in and of themselves, seems like it could be stretching things to point an accusatory finger at Smith, consider this. They all took place within the same region Smith resided, and where he had easy access to papers, as well as locals spreading the word.

The seven accounts listed below are just a small sampling of what was found overall. To think that Smith had a vision all on his own would be the real stretch for anyone’s imagination. How sad for the Mormon people.

For years Mormons have been fed on a steady diet of how great Smith was, and how vitally important his experience with the Father and the Son is to believers.

“I would like to say that this cause is either true or false. Either this is the kingdom of God, or it is a sham and a delusion. Either Joseph talked with the Father and the Son, or he did not. If he did not, we are engaged in blasphemy” Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Reports, October 1961, 116.

So now what?

We’re praying the Mormon people turn to God Almighty and run as fast as they can away from Smith’s made up stories!

1794 Richard Brothers

In a vision Brothers saw a bird just like the one that landed on Jesus’ shoulder, and then he heard a voice…

“The LORD GOD then spoke to me from the middle of a white shining cloud…
…I was in a Vision and being carried up to heaven the Lord God spoke to me from the middle of a large white cloud, and said in a strong clear voice—-ALL, ALL I pardon London, and all the people in it, for your sake : there is no other man On earth that could stand before me to ask for so great a thing. ”

1813 Benjamin Abbott

“Rev. Benjamin Abbott published an account of his 1772 vision in 1813. His vision included seeing both God the Father (“Ancient of Days”) and Jesus Christ, as well as a pronouncement that his sins were forgiven…”

For more info, see

1815 Norris Stearns “The public are here presented with a book written by an illiterate youth who has been highly favoured of God and shown many things which he is now commanded to write…

there appeared a small gleam of light in the room above the brightness of the sun then at his meridian which grew brighter and brighter… at length being in an ecstacy of joy I turned to the other side of the bed whether in the body or out I cannot tell god knoweth there I saw two spirits.” – Norris Stearns, 1815

1816 Solomon Chamberlain

“…the angel had made known to me in the vision, that all Churches and Denominations on the earth had became corrupt…”

1816 Elias Smith

“…I went into the woods one morning…, a light appeared to shine from heaven, not only into my head, but into my heart…” 1816

1823 Asa Wild

Asa Wild’s vision was published in the Wayne Sentinel, a newspaper from Palmyra, NY.

“The Lord in his boundless goodness was pleased to communicate the following Revelation, having in the first place presented me with a very glorious Vision, in which I saw the same things: In the first place I observe that my mind had been brought into the most profound stillness, and awe; realizing in a remarkable manner the majesty, greatness and glory, of that Being before whom all nations are as the drop of the bucket. It seemed as if my mind, though active in its very nature, had lost all its activity, and was struck motionless, as well as into nothing, before the awful and glorious majesty of the Great Jehovah. He then spake to the following ourport; and in such a manner as I could not describe if I should attempt…” “A Short Sketch of the Religious Experience and Spiritual Travels of Asa Wild, of Amsterdam, N.Y.” excerpt printed in Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, N. Y., Wednesday, October 22, 1823

Excerpt Retrieved November 22, 2017.

1838 James G. Marsh (Obituary)

“…he talked with God the Father and many of the ancient prophets face to face, and beheld the Son of God coming in his glory…”

Retrieved from MormnHandbook November 22, 2017