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“According to Joseph Smith, he told the story of the vision immediately after it happened in the early spring of 1820. As a result, he said, he received immediate criticism in the community. There is little if any evidence, however, that by the early 1830s Joseph Smith was telling the story in public. At least if he were telling it, no one seemed to consider it important enough to have recorded it at the time, and no one was criticizing him for it. Not even in his own history did Joseph Smith mention being criticized in this period for telling the story of the first vision…

“[N]one of the available contemporary writings about Joseph Smith in the 1830s, none of the publications of the Church in that decade, and no contemporary journal or correspondence yet discovered mentions the story of the First Vision… the general membership of the Church knew little, if anything, about it.”

James B. Allen/Assistant Church Historian, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, “The Significance of Joseph Smith’s ‘First Vision’ in Mormon Thought” (Salt Lake City, UT: Dialogue Magazine, Autumn 1966), 30, 34.