New, from Dr. Hales Swift and the Interpreter Foundation:
Yesterday, I posted a blog entry (“Does This Thursday Mark the 200th Anniversary of the First Vision?”) in which I called attention to an intriguing argument and to an interesting 35-minute video that lays it out. According to the two researchers who figure in the documentary film, the First Vision most likely occurred on the morning of Sunday, 26 March 1820. As I write, that was exactly two hundred years ago today.
I find their argument plausible, and I think that they might be right.
In the light of their argument, the fact that the Book of Mormon may have been published exactly ten years later, on 26 March 1830 — which is to say precisely 190 years ago on the day that I’m writing this — now seems rather interesting, too. (At the least, the Wayne Sentinel announced on 26 March 1820 that the Book of Mormon was on sale at E. B. Grandin’s bookstore. That’s the first recorded public indication that the book was available to the public.)
I think that I called attention to this previously, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it:
While thinking about the First Vision and the potential importance of specific dates, I call your attention to something that I myself published a few weeks back in the pages of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scripture:
Abstract: Readers are surely aware that the birth of the Christ child is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Members of the Church may be less aware, though, of the notable birth of a child, millennia later, of distant secondary importance.
In the springtime of the year 2020, it will be exactly 200 years since Joseph Smith experienced the theophany that we know as the First Vision. God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph, a 14-year-old youth. That event marked the onset of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness, precisely as foretold in the Holy Bible.
Then came a succession of visits from heavenly messengers, including Moroni, John the Baptist, and the early Apostles Peter, James, and John. Others followed, including Moses, Elias, and Elijah. Each brought divine authority to bless God’s children on the earth once again.
Miraculously, we have also received the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a companion scripture to the Holy Bible. The revelations published in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price have also greatly enriched our understanding of God’s commandments and eternal truth.
The keys and offices of the priesthood have been restored, including the offices of Apostle, Seventy, patriarch, high priest, elder, bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon. And women who love the Lord serve valiantly in the Relief Society, Primary, Young Women, Sunday School, and other Church callings—all vital parts of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness.
President Russell M. Nelson (October 2019)