God’s Mystical Greeting in Joseph Smith’s First Vision

There is a curious detail in Joseph Smith’s earliest accounts of his First Vision that may teach us more about his encounter with Deity, and why there are differences between the accounts. It is when God greets Joseph. Please bear with me as I present the various firsthand accounts, and we will return to the curious detail afterwards.

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Norris Stearns “First Vision” Account

This is an account written by Norris Stearns of Greenfield, Massachusetts, published in 1815, five years before Joseph Smith’s First Vision experience, in a pamphlet titled The Religious Experience Of Norris Stearns Written by Divine Command. The 35 page pamphlet can be read in its entirety online at this link. Here is an excerpt of part of his vision:

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