“Based on passages in the Book of Mormon which appear to contain fragments of Joseph’s first vision experience, I suspect that the vision, or at least the claim to a vision, may be traced to 1820-21. I, therefore reject the suggestion that Smith invented the vision in the 1830s. However, his subsequent alterations reflect an evolving theology – particularly the addition of the [Heavenly] Father in his 1838 account – and cautions against an uncritical acceptance of even the 1832 account. In fact, one should be cautious, if for no other reason, because Smith himself freely modified his original account.”
~Dan Vogel, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 30 April 2004), 30.