QUOTE: “Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens. Reflect upon it, my brethren and sisters.” -Gordon B. Hinckley, in General Conference, October 2002. [source]
QUOTE: “None of the available contemporary writings about Joseph Smith in the 1830’s, 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….” -James B. Allen, Church Historian, Dialogue, Autumn 1966, p. 30. [source]
QUOTE: “The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek, the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowledge of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith, Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.” -Brigham Young, February 1855, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 171. [source]
COMMENTARY: Brigham Young said some really stupid things in his day, but denying the first vision (at least in the format the church currently tries to pass off as history) wasn’t just another of his mistakes. This was how he believed it happened. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.