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: “As far as Mormon literature is concerned, there was apparently no reference to Joseph Smith’s first vision in any published material in the 1830’s. Joseph Smith’s history, which was begun in 1838, was not published until it ran serially in the Times and Seasons in 1842. The famous ‘Wentworth Letter,’ which contained a much less detailed account of the vision, appeared March 1, 1842, in the same periodical. Introductory material to the Book of Mormon, as well as publicity about it, told of Joseph Smith’s obtaining the gold plates and of angelic visitations, but nothing was printed that remotely suggested earlier visitations.” -James B. Allen, Church Historian, Dialogue, Autumn 1966, pp. 31-32. [source]
QUOTE: “How did this state of things called Mormonism originate? We read that an angel came down and revealed himself to Joseph Smith and manifested unto him in vision the true position of the world in a religious point of view.” -John Taylor, 1 March 1863, Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 127. [source]
COMMENTARY: If Joseph Smith had told one story consistently, subsequent leaders of the church wouldn’t have gotten it wrong. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.