“Joseph Smith’s Experience of a Methodist ‘Camp Meeting’ in 1820” is an valuable recent contribution from D. Michael Quinn for DialogueJournal.com. (Hat tip to Elden Watson.) Quinn provides extensive documentation about the revival activities in Joseph’s area and effectively addresses the common anti-Mormon argument that the First Vision account must be fraudulent based on the allegation that there were no revivals around 1820 in Joseph’s area, or based on Joseph’s apparent conflation of some later events with events in 1820. I think this needs to be an essential resource to consider in dealing with several issues associated with the First Vision.
In addition to providing support for the existence of camp meetings in the time frame Joseph Smith gives, Quinn also demonstrates that it is quite common for people to combine related events from different times in their relation of actual historical events. The conflation of some similar events from different years in sharing an experience does not invalidate the experience.