The earliest known account of First Vision may not be the one in 1832, but many esoteric accounts in April-June 1829, in the Book of Mormon text itself.
Was the vision of Moroni unique, or had Joseph experienced something similar before?
A late thirdhand account of the First Vision from John Alger in 1893 may be corroborated by some early secondhand (esoteric) references in some songs and hymns recorded in 1833, which may also have connections to a recorded revelation in 1830.
A new translation of Joseph Smith's First Vision.
I introduce a new translation of Joseph Smith's First Vision, giving some background to this interpretation of his mystical experience, the nature of translation, its pseudepigraphal nature, how it was done, and more.
I suggest that Joseph Smith's earliest direct encounters with God happened in mystical experience, or what is also known as altered states of consciousness.
Mormonism traces back its history in modern times to its founding prophet, Joseph Smith Jr., and his "First Vision." Joseph was a young farmer boy who lived in western New York, born in the early nineteenth century. This was the time of what's known as the Second Great Awakening, and where Joseph lived is known as the "burned-over district." It was a time of much Protestant religious excitement, revivals, reforms, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations (which eventually included Mormonism). A Restoration Movement grew in popularity in the area, which involved ideas of "restoring" a pure, primitive, uncorrupted, and original form of Christian faith.
Jesus is, of course, the center of Christianity, including Mormonism. In Mormonism, he is prominently identified in the name of the largest denomination of which I was a member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everything revolves around Jesus.
"The highest form of meditation is not an activity that is undertaken by the mind. It is a relaxing, falling back or sinking of the mind into its source or essence of pure awareness, from which it has arisen."
I perceive that priesthood was originally an inner experience of Divine Power and Presence in humans, a deep Realization when they subdued their egoic psychological "natural man" self in consciousness, and perceived their real Being underneath it in Glory, beyond words. I believe humans eventually organized this mystical experience, and the knowledge of it, instituting it into the "ordination" to an "office" of "priesthood," meant to indicate those who had direct experience of God.