Anyone who has been around the Bloggernacle for a substantial amount of time is probably aware that there are multiple accounts of the First Vision. In these different accounts, there is often discrepancy between which personages Joseph Smith claimed to have visited him. For example, the 1831 account states that Jesus was the personage while the 1834 account states the personage was Moroni.
A common explanation for this difference in details is that Joseph smith was speaking to different audiences, so he needed to explain the story differently. While I have heard this explanation on several occasions, I have never thought about it much until now.
What purpose would be served by telling one person he saw Jesus, another he saw Moroni, and another he saw God and Jesus? In what ways would these three audiences be different enough to warrant these differences?