"I Was Seized Upon by Some Power"

Joseph Smith, Satan, and the First Vision

Steven Hepworth

Steven Hepworth is an archivist with the Church History Library.

Joseph Smith’s first documented encounter with the supernatural was not with God but with Satan. As Smith later recorded in 1838, for him this was not some contest with an imaginary foe but a literal fight for his salvation and against his potential destruction by a being from the unseen world. As Smith later described, at the breaking point when he felt the powers of darkness would overcome him, he was delivered and saw a light brighter than the sun.[1]

Smith’s descriptions of Satan’s intrusion to his first vocal prayer are full of common ideas about Satan held in his day. His 1835 account of the vision contains the first known description of the devil’s involvement. Smith stated, “I called upon the Lord for the first time, in the place above stated or in other words I made a fruitless attempt to pray, my toung seemed to be swollen in my mouth, so that I could not utter, I heard a noise behind me like some person walking towards me, I strove again to pray, but could not, the noise of walking seemed to draw nearer, I sprung up on my feet and looked around, but saw no person or thing that was calculated to produce the noise of walking.”[2]

In his well-known and canonized 1838 account, Smith wrote that

I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God, I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me and had such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction, not to an imaginary ruin but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world who had such a marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being.[3]

This was not his last encounter with the devil.

Over his prophetic career, Joseph Smith produced scripture and revelations in which Satan was the major antagonist. Smith revealed a cosmological history of the devil that highlighted the primordial fall of Lucifer. Smith also taught his followers about how to detect the devil and his servants through special keys. Satan’s interruption of Smith’s prayer in 1820 profoundly affected the young prophet and all his subsequent religious projects. To fully understand Smith and his prophetic identity, it is important to understand his beliefs and visions of the devil. This paper will explore the role Satan occupied in some of Smith’s early visions. It will also situate Smith’s devil in the context of nineteenth-century American diabolism.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Second Great Awakening spread over the young American republic and made evangelical Christianity the dominant religious expression. This movement transcended individual Protestant sects. A central component of evangelical Christianity was an individual conversion to Christ. This new birth created a new identity for the participant involved. The new birth was more than a new understanding; it was typically an overwhelming emotional experience that changed the participant forever.

Itinerant preachers speaking at revival meetings, hoping to awaken their audiences to seek for this conversion experience, evoked just as many threats and promises of damnation as they did promises and hopes of salvation. Warnings about possible interference from Satan became common. Preachers described the role of the devil in the nineteenth century as working to halt the work of God and prevent conversion to the gospel. The devil damned souls that had not heard the gospel. He could attack and possess individuals who had made no pact with him. The devil of American evangelicals turned his wiles primarily toward the purpose of preventing conversion, of aborting new spiritual births.[4] Attendees at revival meetings saw any intrusion by Satan in their conversion process, particularly any physical intervention, as a prelude to their own conversion and a rite of passage into the evangelical experience. Satan was an immensely important figure in early America because the culture was saturated with the consciousness of sin. Ministers went to great lengths to warn individuals of the traps and dodges of Satan as he wound his way into the hearts of unwary people.[5]

The Reverend Theophilus R. Marvin reflected the preoccupation some clergy felt about the power of the devil in a pamphlet published in 1828 entitled “Letters on the existence and agency of fallen spirits.” Marvin noted that

Satan meets with no resistance to his ill-gotten authority from man himself. You must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. The soul of everyman is by nature Satan’s garrison; all is at peace in such a man till Christ comes, and gives it terrible alarms of judgement and hell, batters it with ordnance and his threats and terrors. Have you ever reflected that you have an invisible active enemy, whose assaults can be resisted only by repentance for sin, by faith in the divine promises, by prayer for heavenly strength and light? Satan has few more successful servants than those professed teachers of Christianity, who either openly deny his existence, or, by never asserting it, let it slip out of the minds of their hearers.[6]

A new birth was as much about defeating Satan as it was about holding communion with God.

The Reverend James McGready taught his listeners about some of the methods Satan used to defeat humanity:

In order to bind the sinner’s heart against the light of God’s word and spirit, Satan fills [the sinner’s] mind with prejudice against experimental religion. O, says the old serpent, the Devil, conversion and a sensible experience of the love of god shed abroad in the heart of communion with god, and Christ in the soul the hope of glory, are only wild delusions, peculiar to weak minds; such a religion will sink you into contempt; the gay and respectable members of society will esteem you a fanatic; But if, notwithstanding all the efforts of Satan, the sinner will cry to God for mercy, [Satan’s] next stratagem is to send the fowls of hell to gather up the good seed the Spirit of God has sown in [the sinner’s] heart for the purpose of alluring him [or her] into sin. If these efforts fail, and the Devil cannot thereby draw the sinner into his [or her] former wicked practices and hardness of heart, [Satan] tries [the sinner] upon new ground, viz. to deceive . . . and influence him [or her] to settle down on false hope and rest short of Christ.[7]

Evangelical minister Samuel Stebbins published a pamphlet in 1806 entitled “The Policy of the Devil.” In it, Stebbins argued that the devil’s main work was to prevent the spread of the gospel as taught in the evangelical revival movement. Stebbins wrote that “Satan fills minds with an invincible prejudice against revivalism while simultaneously spreading slander and suspicion that created disrespect for the ministers of the gospel.”[8]

It is likely that these ideas reached the ears of young Joseph Smith. He may have considered Satan the cause of his confusion and the instigator of the contention and discord he perceived in the various religious sects of his day. Later, Smith may have seen confirmation of Satan’s influence while translating the climactic chapter of the Book of Mormon in which Christ, sometime after his resurrection, descended from heaven and appeared among the survivors of a catastrophic event. Christ taught them his gospel and the correct mode of baptism and then admonished them that “there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:28–29).[9] For Smith, part of his restoration project was to end the contention he saw among the various Christian churches of his day. Doing this diminished Satan’s power and brought the unity Christ had promised to his followers.

Ministers were not the only ones to speak and warn of diabolic intrusion during a conversion experience. Many participants in the evangelical experience noted their individual battles with Satan before being rescued or receiving a conversion. A New England man, born in 1802, wrote and published an anonymous account of his 1822 spiritual rebirth in Connecticut. He included a vision of the devil in his account. While investigating the Methodist Church, he experienced a spiritual agony that he stated “can never be described. The pains of Hell had got hold of me I was cut off from hope and sunk in despair. The quicker I could know my doom and yield to my fate the better.” Subsequently he wrote that “I strove, I cried, I wept. I called for mercy, but none was to be found. My sins my crimes deserved Hell and to Hell thought I must go.” This language echoes Smith’s fears of destruction in his 1838 history.[10] The anonymous author continued, “About 11 O’clock at night when in deep distress of soul I started off for the woods but when alone in the field with none but God near, Satan appeared to me in a form I will not now describe. I saw him as really and as truly as I ever saw any form in my life. I was greatly frightened and fled from the field.” Twice more that night and once again the next morning the author stated the devil troubled him. He concluded by saying “I saw that horrid form. I tell the truth. I lie not.”[11] Much like Smith’s experience, the unnamed seeker sought solitude as he prayed to God for forgiveness of sin. Satan disrupted the experience. This individual used language similar to Smith’s when describing the devil. “I saw him as really and as truly as I ever saw any form in my life.” Smith said that his destruction was “not to an imaginary ruin but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being.” For both men, Satan and his power were real. Unlike the unnamed seeker, however, Smith was delivered from the devil by the appearance of deity.

Aaron Lummus, an itinerant Methodist minister, was saved from the power of Satan during a solitary prayer. Born in 1792 in Massachusetts, Lummus wrote of his first religious experience as a boy and his later conversion to Methodism as a teenager. He reflected decades later that “I was about six years old when I first thought seriously of spiritual and eternal things.” Like Joseph Smith, Lummus “wept over [his] sins at a tender age. [He] soon lost ground, very sensibly, as to convictions of sin, righteousness, and judgements; and did but just escape some snares into which the unbridled passions often hurry unwary youths.” Lummus confessed that in February of 1808 he “had never prayed, except by rote, and [he] did not yet feel prepared to begin the experience.”

On the night of 17 October 1808, Lummus finally felt the time was right. He wrote, “Soon after I went to bed, I heard a strange noise in my chamber; and thought, as I was just fit for him, Satan had come to carry me off.” Shortly thereafter Lummus noticed a bright light in his chamber. He stated, “The light became brighter than that of the sun at noon. . . I concluded it must be supernatural.” He then closed his description of the event with this statement: “I soon found the world, the flesh, and the devil were combined against me, and that I must watch and pray continually, in order to overcome them.”[12]

Benjamin Abbott was born in 1732 and converted to Christianity in 1772. He wrote that for the greater part of his early life he “lived in sin and open rebellion against God, in drinking, fighting, swearing, and gambling.” At the age of thirty-three Abbott had a dream in which he died and was carried into hell. He recorded that he saw nothing but devils and evils spirits, who “tormented me in such a manner, that my tounge or pen cannot express. I cried for mercy, but in vain.” As Abbott awoke from his dream, horror and guilt seized him and he thought he would die and be damned. He was saved by a light and released from the power of the devil. This dream converted him to God.[13] An attack by Satan followed by a rescue from the heavens was not unique to Smith. Though others did not describe seeing God like Smith did, they did witness a bright light and the subsequent cessation of diabolic torment.

Solomon Chamberlin converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in 1830. The previous autumn, he had visited with the Smith family in New York. Chamberlin had heard rumors of a golden bible and went to investigate the matter further. When he arrived, he inquired, “Is there any one here that believes in visions or revelations?” Hyrum Smith answered, “Yes we are a visionary house.” Chamberlin then produced a pamphlet he had just published about his own visionary experiences and left it with the Smiths. In the pamphlet, Chamberlin described a contest he had had with Satan. While contemplating attendance at a reformed camp meeting in 1816, Chamberlin was assaulted by Satan. Chamberlin wrote, “The first assault [that] Satan made was to personate himself in the person of Christ. While standing between hope and despair I saw my supposed Savior to be Satan, who had transformed himself into an Angel of light; but he disappeared in an instant, and the blessed son of God stood close by me and said, give your case to me.”[14]

Satan appeared as an angel of light to Oliver Cowdrey and Joseph Smith some thirteen years after his appearance to Chamberlin. In a letter Smith wrote to the members of the Church in September of 1842, he recorded his feelings about some of the early events of his prophetic career and those surrounding the organization of the Church. While offering no context or details, Smith recorded, “And again, what do we hear? . . . The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light.”[15] For Smith, detecting the devil and casting him out would become a major focal point of his prophetic enterprise.[16] Smith learned from Michael how to detect the devil when he appeared as an angel of light, and Smith then taught that to the apostles.[17]

As noted above, the ministers evoked Satan in their evangelism during the nineteenth-century revivals of Joseph Smith’s time. Smith’s 1838 rendering of his first theophany reflects the evangelical focus on conversion surrounding him in 1820: “Multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division among the people, Some Crying, ‘Lo here’ and some ‘Lo there.’ Some were contending for the Methodist faith, Some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist. . . . The respective Clergy . . . were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling in order to have everybody converted as they were pleased to call it.”[18]

Smith’s language about conversion in his account significantly demonstrates how saturated he was with the culture of conversion. Smith was surrounded by the conversion stories of many of his friends and neighbors. He very likely heard stories from individuals who battled with Satan as they attempted to pray to God. He was present as preachers relayed these experiences and warned their listeners that Satan would attack all who sought to join the body of Christ. He was surely aware of the diabolic discourse surrounding his religious seeking.

In the spring of 1820 Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near the family home in Palmyra, New York, hoping to have his own conversion experience. There, he encountered Satan. As noted previously, this was not unheard of in the evangelical tradition. Charles Finney, a contemporary of Joseph Smith, preached, “You must expect very frequent and agonizing conflicts with Satan. . . . Spiritual Christians, [Satan] understands very well, are doing him a vast injury, and, therefore, he sets himself against them. Such Christians often have terrible conflicts. They have temptations that they never thought of before, blasphemous thoughts, atheism, suggestions to do deeds of wickedness, to destroy their own lives, and the like. And if you are spiritual, you may expect these terrible conflicts.”[19] As Smith attended revival meetings, he would have heard individuals recount their experiences of new birth, including their battles with the devil. As Smith approached God in prayer, he may have expected Satan to interfere with his prayer or at least been aware that diabolic intrusion was a possibility.

While Smith implies in these accounts that the identity of his attacker is Satan, he does not do so explicitly. But contextualizing this vision within the diabolism of nineteenth-century America, looking at other visions Smith had of Satan, and reading scripture produced by Smith all point to the conclusion that he is describing the devil in his spring 1820 vision. Smith’s contemporaries also recognized that it was Satan who attempted to destroy Joseph Smith.

Orson Hyde published an account of Smith’s 1820 theophany in an 1842 pamphlet Hyde titled “A Cry Out of the Wilderness.” He described Smith’s encounter, identified the attacker as “the adversary,” and included many components contained in Finney’s warning. Hyde recorded:

[Smith] went to a small grove of trees near his father’s home and knelt down before God in solemn prayer. The adversary then made several strenuous efforts to cool his ardent soul. He filled his mind with doubts and brought to mind all manner of inappropriate images to prevent him from obtaining the object of his endeavors; but the overflowing mercy of God came to buoy him up and gave new impetus to his failing strength. However, the dark cloud soon parted and light and peace filled his frightened heart. Once again he called upon the Lord with faith and fervency of spirit.[20]

Diabolic participation in Smith’s First Vision would not have been strange to Smith—he may have expected it or known others who had similar struggles with a being from the unseen world. Like many contemporaries of Smith’s day and just as many preachers had warned, Satan obtruded into Smith’s solitary religious experience and attempted to abort it. None who listened to Smith’s experience would have found Satan’s appearance strange or extraordinary since it was common for the day. What sets Smith apart in the diabolism of his time was not his first vision, but his many subsequent visions and scriptural revelations that expanded and enlarged the role and history of Satan.

Satanic temptations also worked against Joseph’s efforts to obtain and translate the Book of Mormon plates. In one of the angel Moroni’s visits to Smith on the evening of 23 September 1823, Moroni warned Smith that the devil would severely tempt him to covet the gold plates. The following day at the Hill Cumorah, Moroni showed Smith the devil and all his minions in hell so that Smith could discriminate between good and evil.[21] However, Smith was prevented from securing the record for four more years because of his inability to resist the temptations of the adversary.

Once the plates were secured, they were to be translated by a seer. Smith believed that in his role of seer the devil might interfere with the translation of the plates. Emma Smith, years after the death of her first husband, stated, “When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word . . . one time while he was translating he stopped suddenly pale as a sheet, and said, ‘Emma, did Jerusalem have a wall around it?’ When I answered ‘Yes,’ he replied ‘Oh! I was afraid I had been deceived.’”[22] Additionally, Smith saw Satan as the main conspirator behind the theft of the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript. Smith battled the devil throughout the entire process of obtaining, translating, and publishing the Book of Mormon.[23]

The Book of Mormon contains more references to the devil than the Bible does.[24] The Christian Jews of the Book of Mormon not only looked forward to the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ, but they also had a firm belief in the reality of the devil. The book’s authors go to great lengths to outline the mission of the devil, describe how he operates, and teach how to overcome his temptations.[25]

Smith turned his attention to the Bible in 1830. Years after his own first vision and struggles to obtain and translate the Book of Mormon plates, Joseph Smith received a revelation describing Moses’s experience with both God and the devil. In the revelation, Moses saw and conversed with God, was shown a panoramic view of God’s creations, and came to understand the essence of what God is and does. This encounter with God left Moses weak. As recorded in the Book of Moses, Satan appeared to Moses and demanded his worship.[26] A struggle ensued between the two. Moses commanded, “Get thee hence Satan, deceive me not. I will not cease to call upon God for his glory has been upon me wherefore I can judge between him and thee, depart Satan.”[27] Satan responded with anger but left Moses’s presence. Moses had successfully detected and cast out Satan.

Smith’s revelation about Moses fully Christianized the prophetic figure. Twenty-five at the time he received this revelation, Smith was still formulating his own prophetic identity. Moses would become a central prophetic model for him. Smith’s vision showed a prophet who was tempted by Satan to worship the prince of darkness, a being attempting to appear as an angel of light. This revelation is key to understanding how Smith formulated his own prophetic identity. Smith considered the act of detecting Satan and casting him out to be one of his major roles as prophet, linking him with and occupying the same role as Moses.

Smith’s Bible translation vastly expands biblical knowledge of Satan. In the Book of Moses revelation Satan’s past is revealed. He is acknowledged as a son of God and a brother to Christ and the human family. The revelation hints that Lucifer (which was Satan’s name in the premortal existence) was not always the devil but became such through his rejection of God, his prideful desire to take God’s glory, and his attack on a fundamental principle in God’s universe: agency. He was cast out of God’s presence and has continued to lead a rebellion against God on earth. In Smith’s vision about Moses, Satan also made covenants with Cain and other Old Testament figures to enable them to murder and get gain.

Smith also molded his own prophetic identity after Enoch, another prophet shown in Smith’s revelation about Moses. Smith, in the fall and winter of 1830, continued the translation of Genesis and, as a result, greatly expanded the history of the prophet Enoch. Enoch, like Moses, communed with God. God made Enoch a seer and showed him things not visible to the natural eye. Enoch was shown how Satan had deceived humankind and that Satan’s power was over all the earth. Enoch was called to reclaim all from the devil’s power. Smith, like Enoch, believed that part of a seer’s role was to detect Satan. Enoch built a city (called after his own name), which was a heavenly community and, in time, was taken up to heaven.[28] The city of Enoch, or Zion, was a city in which Satan had no power and could not dwell. An entire people had collectively exorcised Satan from their hearts and physical surroundings. Smith’s aim to build Zion, a project meant to gather a people that would receive Christ and the city of Enoch, changes in view of diabolism. Smith wanted to create a sacred space in which Satan could not come and deceive. Zion would be a safe harbor from the power and deception of the devil. Smith’s visions of Moses and Enoch and their encounters with God and Satan reflected and informed Smith’s prophethood. The influence of these visions on Smith cannot be overstated.

Diabolism played another important role in Smith’s religious culture. Many mainline Protestants believed that the age of miracles and visions had ended. For them, all supernatural effects necessarily sprang from either fraudulent illusions or the workings of the devil. Diabolism was a tool for both preventing new conversions and explaining away the visionary experiences of the overexuberant. Satan both impeded revelation and explained it away.[29]

When Benjamin Abbott relayed his conversion story to his wife, she became concerned about the content of his dream and had him speak with her minister. Of that experience, Abbott recorded, “I related my conviction and my conversion; he paid a strict attention until I had done, and then told me that I was under strong delusions of the devil.”[30] The minister was able to explain away Abbott’s hellish visionary experience by blaming it on the devil. This secondary function of diabolism affected Joseph as well.

Smith shared his visionary experience with a local Methodist minister sometime in 1820. It is not known whether Smith included details about Satan’s involvement. Smith recorded that the minister “treated [his] communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil.”[31] As Reverend Samuel Stebbins warned, and similar to the experience of Benjamin Abbott, Smith’s religious experience was dismissed as the work of the devil. While he may have been hurt or surprised at the accusation, it is possible that Smith knew this was a potential reaction to his spiritual experience. Being told he had been deceived by the devil would have a lasting effect on Smith and was crucial in forming his then inchoate prophetic identity.

It was not the first or last time a member of the clergy would claim one of Smith’s visions was from the devil. Alexander Campbell, a religious contemporary of Smith’s who led his own restoration movement, wrote one of the first critiques of the Book of Mormon. Campbell stated that the book “is as certainly Smith’s fabrication as Satan is the father of lies. ‘Smith is an honest looking fellow . . . he was inspired.’ So was Judas, by Satan.”[32] Campbell considered Smith and his new book of scripture as either fraudulent or inspired by the devil. Joseph himself employed this same concept on various occasions. When Hiram Page started receiving revelations from a seer stone in the summer of 1830, Smith, through revelation, stated they were from the devil.[33]

Smith described his 1820 vision to a visiting preacher and prophetic figure named Robert Matthews, or Matthias, in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835. This is the first known instance in which Smith described Satan’s involvement. After describing his vision, Smith listened to Matthews describe his own visionary experiences. Smith rejected the visions of Matthews and told him they were all from the devil.[34] Smith believed in diabolic revelation and felt that an important part of his prophetic identity was to point it out and correct those who fell victim to it.

As the nineteenth century progressed, diabolism slowly diminished. By the mid-1850s, as historian Andrew Delbanco argues, “The personal existence of Satan was so feebly realized and so superficially regarded that the fact of his existence and influence upon the minds of the people [was] virtually disbelieved.”[35] This was not the case within the early Latter-day Saint faith. Smith developed an expansive cosmological history of the human family, which included Satan as a brother to Christ and all of humanity. Zion was to be a safe harbor from the devil, for he was to be exorcised from space and from among an entire people. Further still, Smith taught his congregants how to detect Satan and cast him out.[36] Smith’s visions and revelations showed that Satan existed, and they served to give individuals knowledge about Satan and help them avoid being deceived by him. Smith taught that “a [person] is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us and give us knowledge of the things of God.”[37]

Joseph Smith’s visions created a history of the devil, included prophetic encounters with the devil, and showed how the devil would eventually be defeated by Christ. In Joseph Smith’s First Vision the devil played a role common in many evangelical conversion experiences. Through Joseph Smith, precept upon precept, God revealed much about the nature, origins, and designs of Satan.


[1] See Joseph Smith, History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], p. 3, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/3.

[2] The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, 1:24–25 (hereafter JSP, J1).

[3] Joseph Smith, History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], p. 2, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/2.

[4] See W. Scott Poole, Satan in America: The Devil We Know (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), 33–38.

[5] For an extended discussion on Satan and the Second Great Awakening, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), 129–213; Andrew Delbanco, The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995), 57–121; Christine Leigh Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (New York: A.A. Knopf , 1997), 28–76; Poole, Satan in America, 33–65; and Kathryn Gin Lum, Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 126–66.

[6] William Ellery Channing and Canonicus, Letters to the Rev. William E. Channing, D.D., on the Existence and Agency of Fallen Spirits (Boston: T. R. Marvin, 1828), 81–82.

[7] James M’Gready, The Posthumous Works of the Reverend and Pious James M’Gready, Late Minister of Gospel in Henderson, KY (Nashville, TN: J. Smith’s Steam Press, 1837), 119–20.

[8] Poole, Satan in America, 41.

[9] See Book of Mormon, 1830, p. 478, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/484.

[10] See Joseph Smith, History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], p. 3, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/3.

[11] Anonymous, “Spiritual Autobiography by a man of New England born ca. 1802, relating his revival/conversion experiences, including visions obtained during solitary prayer in the fields in 1823–24,” presented in Mormonist Twenty-Nine (Syracuse, NY: Rick Grunder Books, June 1988), item 2.

[12] Aaron Lummus, Records of Some of the Princip[al] Events in the Life of Aaron Lummus (n.p., 1850), 4–11.

[13] Benjamin Abbott, The Experience and Gospel Labours of the Rev. Benjamin Abbott: to Which Is Annexed, a Narrative of His Life and Death (New York: Published by Ezekiel Cooper and John Wilson, for the Methodist Connection in the United States, John C. Totten, printer, 1805), 6–10.

[14] Solomon Chamberlin, A Sketch of the Experience of Solomon Chamberlin, to Which Is Added a Remarkable Revelation, or Trance of His Father-in-Law Philip Haskins (Lyons, NY: n.p., 1829); and Larry C. Porter, “Solomon Chamberlin’s Missing Pamphlet: Dreams, Visions, and Angelic Ministrants,” BYU Studies 37, no. 2 (1997–1998): 113–40.

[15] Doctrine and Covenants, 1844, pp. 427–28, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/doctrine-and-covenants-1844/430.

[16] See Steven Hepworth, “‘He Beheld the Prince of Darkness’: Diabolism and the Rise of Mormonism” (master’s thesis, Utah State University, 2020), 40–83.

[17] See Instructions, 9 February 1843 [D&C 129], as Reported by William Clayton, p. 54, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/instructions-9-february-1843-dc-129-as-reported-by-william-clayton/2.

[18] Joseph Smith, History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], p. 2, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/2.

[19] Charles G. Finney, Revivals of Religion (New York: Leavitt, Lord, 1835), 107.

[20] Orson Hyde, Ein Ruf aus der Wüste (A Cry Out of the Wilderness), 1842, extract, English translation, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/orson-hyde-ein-ruf-aus-der-wste-a-cry-out-of-the-wilderness-1842-extract-english-translation/1.

[21] See Oliver Cowdrey, “Letter VIII,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, October 1835, 198–99.

[22] John W. Welch and Erick B. Carlson, Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820–1844 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 129.

[23] See Hepworth, “Diabolism and the Rise of Mormonism,” 14–45.

[24] See Hepworth, “Diabolism and the Rise of Mormonism,” 52–74.

[25] For example, 2 Nephi 28:19–23 outlines various strategies the devil employs to bring people under his power. According to Smith’s translation, this warning about the devil was written 559 years before the birth of Christ.

[26] Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 135.

[27] Old Testament Revision 1, p. [1], https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/old-testament-revision-1/3. See Moses 1:16–18.

[28] See Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 12–17, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/old-testament-revision-1/14.

[29] See Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England (London: Penguin Books, 1991), 256.

[30] Abbott, Experience and Gospel Labours, 26.

[31] Joseph Smith, History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2], p. 3, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-june-1839-circa-1841-draft-2/3.

[32] Alexander Campbell, Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon; With an Examination of Its Internal and External Evidences, and a Refutation of Its Pretenses to Divine Authority (Boston: Benjamin H. Green, 1832), 14.

[33] See Michael Hubbard MacKay, Joseph Smith’s Seer Stones (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Desert Book, 2016), appendix 3. See also Revelation Book 1, p. 41, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/revelation-book-1/25.

[34] See Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, 274–77; JSP, J1:23–29.

[35] Delbanco, Death of Satan, 97.

[36] See Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook (Provo UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), 6, 20–21; Doctrine and Covenants 129.

[37] Discourse, 10 April 1842, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff, p. [146–47], https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-10-april-1842-as-reported-by-wilford-woodruff/2.