First Vision, Milo Andrus Version (1853)

Milo Andrus was born on March 6, 1814. He became a member of the Mormon church in 1833, at 19 years of age. Twenty years later, on July 17, 1853, he held a sermon in which he also mentioned Joseph Smith’s first vision.

This sermon is one of the very few evidences that Joseph Smith spoke about his vision in public as early as 1833. The year before, he had written down the story for the first time but that 1832 version does not match Andrus’ version here. In his 1832 version, Joseph Smith described seeing Jesus but according to Andrus, it was an “angel”:

I was a boy, first nineteen years of age, when I heard the testimony of that man, Joseph Smith, that [an] angel came and that glory [shone] and [the] trees seemed to be consumed in [a] blaze and he was there entrusted with this information: that darkness covered the earth, that the great mass of [the] Christian world [was] universally wrong [and] their creeds [were] all upon [an] uncertain foundation. “Now as young as you are,” [he was told], “I call upon you from this obscurity: go forth and build up my kingdom on the earth.”