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The First Vision (1976)

 -  Drama | Short  -  1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 60 users  
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In 1820, 14 year-old Joseph Smith is confused about what church is true.


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Title: The First Vision (1976)

The First Vision (1976) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast overview:
Stewart Petersen ...


In Palmyra, New York in 1820, 14 year-old Joseph Smith wonders about what church is true. He feels that none of the other faiths are not true and wants an answer. One spring morning, he goes out to pray in a grove near his home and starts to pray. He feels an evil spirit trying to prevent him from praying. Then, he sees the most beautiful light and sees 2 personages. They are Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. They told Joseph that he should not join any of the churches because they were of the wrong faith. They also told Joseph to restore the true church of Jesus Christ. Written by mountain91

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Drama | Short


Not Rated




Release Date:

1976 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The scene where Joseph hears disembodied footsteps in the grove and leaps to his feet was taken from Joseph Smith's 1835 account of the First Vision as recorded by Warren Cowdery. See more »


When Joseph walks toward the grove, some scenes show untouched grass ahead of him, while others clearly show a path in the tall grass, the result of an earlier take. See more »


Referenced in It's Latter-Day Night! Live Comedy (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Dated but solid version of the First Vision of the Mormon Prophet
9 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is a dramatization of Joseph Smith's account of his first vision.

Whether you believe the story or not, there is no denying that Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have strongly marked American history. Even to this day, being a member of this religion is a lightning rod for questions and examination. For example, Mitt Romney was grilled about his religion during the 2008 Presidential election. Yet who knows or even cares what the religion is of John S. McCain or Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama?

As the film is over 30 years old and it was no doubt filmed on a shoestring budget, it looks dated in many ways. It's easy to find fault with the film when comparing it to Hollywood productions. The Mormon Church didn't hire Sir Laurence Olivier to star or Akira Kurosawa to direct it. Yet it is a good, light introduction to the story that is very fundamental to the belief of Mormons. It's worth seeing by everyone just to know about this uniquely American religion, just as everyone should attend a Catholic Mass and visit a mosque to widen their horizons.

There are two versions of the film, an original longer one and an edited one. I prefer the longer one because I am a fan of shaped note singing and a scene with it was one of those cut.

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