Brand New Book. ; Today's scholars of Joseph Smith's First vision stand on the shoulders of giants. This volume reproduces some of the seminal articles written by the giants who have studied it for half a century. It is a monument to their contributions.
The past of First Vision scholarship is indispensable to the present. Those who study the First Vision today depend very much on the works of the scholars that are reprinted in this volume. Moreover, these scholars discovered and published much of the source material on which their articles are based and on which we depend.
Scholarly debate and criticism are important elements of the historical discipline because the contest of ideas leads to deeper research and more thorough analysis. Certain historians setting out to discredit Joseph Smith's claims were central to the formation of subsequent First Vision scholarship because their work proposed the questions that later formed the historical debate. Subsequently, Latter-day Saint scholars responded to the challenges with an increased energy that greatly benefited the study of early Mormonism.
The work of these scholars is little known to the "rising generations" (D&C 69:8). This book is intended to introduce a new generation of readers to those Latter-day Saint scholars and their contributions to the historical debate. By coupling historical study with faith, readers will be better prepared to face the challenges that an increasingly adversarial world presents.