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DonBradley

The Latest Anti-Mormon Deception: "Futuremissionary.Com"

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Ack, yes. Correction made. Thanks, Cal. Delete the correction post?

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RE: First Vision infographic error as pointed out in the FAIR article

http://en.fairmormon...rns_&_Questions

I am the owner and main contributor to mormoninfographics.com I wanted to thank you or whoever for pointing out the error I had in the 1835 Jewish Minister account. I had mistakenly labeled his age as 17. This has since been corrected. I apologize for the error and welcome any and all input on this or any other infographic. Thank you.

The updated infographic can be viewed here:

http://www.mormoninf...on-and-his.html

Well, I have to give you credit for being willing to correct it.

I will mention that in the FAIR Wiki article. However, this particular graphic has been propagated for some time and the copy in the "Letter to a CES Director" has received such widespread circulation that it still requires the clarification - the CES letter makes the specific point that Joseph's age is "all over the place" in the First Vision accounts, and the graphic is used to support this. The reality is that it is only the 1832 account in which the age is inconsistent, and when you take a close look at Frederick G. Williams' handwritten insertion of the age over Joseph Smith's handwriting, even that is open for some debate.

I will, however, acknowledge that you removed the age from the graphic. I do have respect for people who are willing to correct mistakes. I'm still planning to point out other issues with that, and other graphics. This was primarily a side effect of the response to the CES letter, since it heavily utilizes "mormoninfographics."

WW

Edited by Wiki Wonka
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After reading my comments on the thread that got locked (Africa), and a good nights sleep, it occurred to me, while the church isn't perfect, it did afford me many service opportunities that never would have happened otherwise, it also provides a great youth program where they learn service. Now if it becomes to dogmatic and tow the line or else, that would be sad. But usually the favorite leaders aren't doing that when giving advice or talks in conference, so people can hold to that. As ERayR keeps referring to, that we have the HG and the BoM, why isn't that enough, well that would be enough if those people that are struggling had that confirmation. That's where I ran off the rails, never getting the testimony of it on my own, just letting others rub off on me. I'll never forget a RS lesson once where a gal in my ward told of her mission experience. She had a problem of getting the manifestation of the BoM and church being true. She told her MP she couldn't get an answer as hard as she tried. Finally she decided she could borrow others testimonies to get her through. I guess that's what I've been doing, she also said when she watches people in this church and the way they live their lives that testifies to her that the church is true. I have done that also. So hopefully this will suffice until that confirmation.

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I will, however, acknowledge that you removed the age from the graphic. I do have respect for people who are willing to correct mistakes. I'm still planning to point out other issues with that, and other graphics. This was primarily a side effect of the response to the CES letter, since it heavily utilizes "mormoninfographics."

WW

I am open to further improvements so I eagerly await your feedback. I had a moment of panic after you had pointed out the error because last month I had spent some money to have some T-Shirts and full color glossy prints of the First Vision Graphic made. But it turns out I had already found and corrected this mistake then but forgot to update the website. This was an oversight.

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So hopefully this will suffice until that confirmation.

For what it's worth, I've never had a 'confirmation' regarding the Book of Mormon. I read it the first time, and it changed my life. Changed me, really. My hopes, thoughts, desires, personality -- everything got better. As I've lived its principles, life has been so blessed. They work. Everything we have works. I was excited to get in a bit early last night. I've been working 12-hour days followed by Mutual, bishopric visits, etc. Last night I did some home teaching, but I still got home at 9:30. I put a small pot of leftover soup on to warm and headed out to get a lug of firewood. I came back in, got the fire going, ladled up some soup, and switched on my laptop so I could check my email whilst eating. The first message to load was a Facebook notification from a ward member. She's a single sister in her 30s, from another country. A rich family that lives quite far outside the city 'imported' her to work as a governess for their son. She apologised but wondered if there was any way she could have a blessing. I immediately sent her a message that I'd head right out. I contacted our exec sec (who lives in the same street as me and is a good mate with an understanding wife), and off we went. It was a simple visit. Everyone else in the house was sound asleep, so we quietly provided the requested blessing and left. When I got in to work this morning, I checked Facebook, and this sister has posted an expression of gratitude. She'd been sick since Monday, she wrote, and she hadn't slept at all since Tuesday due to the illness. 'But for the first time in days I slept like a baby last night' -- exactly as we had promised her.

Sometimes I think I should get around to asking God if the Book of Mormon is true, but I never have. What I have done is to repeatedly put the restored gospel into practice, and it works -- reliably, predictably, and consistently.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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For what it's worth, I've never had a 'confirmation' regarding the Book of Mormon. I read it the first time, and it changed my life. Changed me, really. My hopes, thoughts, desires, personality -- everything got better. As I've lived its principles, life has been so blessed. They work. Everything we have works. I was excited to get in a bit early last night. I've been working 12-hour days followed by Mutual, bishopric visits, etc. Last night I did some home teaching, but I still got home at 9:30. I put a small pot of leftover soup on to warm and headed out to get a lug of firewood. I came back in, got the fire going, ladled up some soup, and switched on my laptop so I could check my email whilst eating. The first message to load was a Facebook notification from a ward member. She's a single sister in her 30s, from another country. A rich family that lives quite far outside the city 'imported' her to work as a governess for their son. She apologised but wondered if there was any way she could have a blessing. I immediately sent her a message that I'd head right out. I contacted our exec sec (who lives in the same street as me and is a good mate with an understanding wife), and off we went. It was a simple visit. Everyone else in the house was sound asleep, so we quietly provided the requested blessing and left. When I got in to work this morning, I checked Facebook, and this sister has posted an expression of gratitude. She'd been sick since Monday, she wrote, and she hadn't slept at all since Tuesday due to the illness. 'But for the first time in days I slept like a baby last night' -- exactly as we had promised her.

Sometimes I think I should get around to asking God if the Book of Mormon is true, but I never have. What I have done is to repeatedly put the restored gospel into practice, and it works -- reliably, predictably, and consistently.

I'm always amazed at the service you and others give. Today I'm going to sit with a woman that has had a very hard life, she is on hospice and her husband needs someone to be there when he needs to go shopping or doctor's appt. etc. ETA: I'm nervous to go alot of the time because she is just waiting to die, she doesn't want a pacemaker and will try to walk and is so unsteady even with a walker and I don't want to be the only one there if she does falls or gets hurt or dies, don't know what I'd do, but like I said the church has provided me these avenues that I'd not taken on my own most likely. I love this lady and have been able to serve her for many years, she has had an extremely hard life, she suffers from bi-polar and many years ago tried to take her life by driving off a mountain road, well she lived and then has suffered from the consequence it had with physical problems. Severe pain, and internal problems. This past year her daughter took her life, and this daughter had a family and a son on a mission. So this lady has been through so much, I love her personality and she has taught me alot, her testimony in the church is so strong too. She'd be shocked if she knew of my stuggles.

The bolded statement is awesome! Because that is where it's at!

Edited by Tacenda
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Well, I have to give you credit for being willing to correct it.

@WW,

Is there anything else wrong with the First Vision Infographic?

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@WW,

Is there anything else wrong with the First Vision Infographic?

Love, love this board, when the truth is truth, and this infographic is exactly that, but it will hurt testimonies, especially very raw opened wounded ones. Is there a purpose for all of this? I know the JS Papers Project outlined all of this in a faith promoting way in one of their programs. I guess that's why we have apologists to counteract this inforgraphic and other facts.

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And now for something possibly too personal but perninent, in my opinion: After writing the above post, I decided to put a bit of extra wood on the fire since we're supposed to drop down to -4 tonight, so I stepped outside to grab some, and I found my housemate ... drunk and half frozen. He coudn't stand or walk on his own, but I managed to get him in the house, and as soon as I did, he started to sob uncontrollably. I just held him in my arms for many minutes and let him sob it out. Then I got his shoes off and managed to get him in to his bedroom, where I sat next to him on his bed, put my arm around him, and told him that I love him. We ended up praying together, and now, thankfully, after many more tears and words of comfort, I can hear him snoring.

How is this pertinent? He developed a drinking problem as a youth after losing his father, but he managed to get on top of it in his early 20s. With his life cleaned up, he served a faithful mission in the US, and he'd been active ever since. Early last year, a family in our stake who've apostatised decided they needed to bring this man into their 'amazing' post-Mormon life, so they started sharing with him the sorts of skewed nonsense one finds on the website in question and, knowing his past, generously plyed him with alcohol as well. Thankfully, he's been rescued from the attempted destruction of his faith, but now he's fighting the once-vanquished demon of addiction. All because people 'cared' for him enough to tell him the 'truth'.

I hope anyone who reads this will forgive me for feeling a bit passionate tonight, but after two hours of holding a shivering, intoxicated brother in my arms, I don't feel too kindly towards the vipers whose goal it was to destroy him ... or toward their likeminded fellows who are similarly hell-bent on getting anyone they can to join them in their misery regardless of the means. 'By their fruits ye shall know them'.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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@WW,

Is there anything else wrong with the First Vision Infographic?

In your 1832 section, you have an X by "Pillar of fire". However, in the 1832 account, Joseph was attempting to describe what he was seeing. He first described it as a "pillar of fire." Then, he crossed out the word "fire" and replaced it with "light."

From Joseph's 1832 account: "a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day"

For the two 1835 accounts, it should be noted that they were both written in Joseph's journal within a few days of each other.

9 November 1835: "a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God"

14 November 1835: "I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14. years old and also the visitations that I received afterward"

The term "angel" was also commonly used to refer to deity It is unlikely that Joseph forgot what he said he saw only five days after he had just described seeing two personages that were distinct from the other angels he saw. We see a similar thing in two talks given by John Taylor on the same day. There are two discourses by John Taylor recorded for 2 March 1879. In each of these, Taylor refers to the first vision:

John Taylor (2 March 1879): "None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it." (Journal of Discourses, 20:167)

John Taylor (2 March 1879): "When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph Smith . . ." (Journal of Discourses, 20:257)

In your first 1835 graphic, the one with the guy standing in the fire,

Joseph's 1835 account: "a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first"

The fire was "spread all around" and also "rested down upon" Joseph's head. In other words, it wasn't wrapped around one guy, and there is no reason to exclude the second personage, or Joseph Smith, from the fire/light.

Also, for the 1835 graphic, saying the Joseph saw "2 personages" but saying that he didn't see God the Father or Jesus Christ doesn't make sense, especially when the "official" 1838 account graphic marks both the "2 personages" AND "God the Father" and "Jesus Christ." The official 1838 account never explicitly mentions that the personages were God and Jesus either. It is simply implied since one personage introduces the other as his "beloved son.

I'm afraid that's all I have time for at the moment. More later.

WW

Edited by Wiki Wonka
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In your 1832 section, you have an X by "Pillar of fire". However, in the 1832 account, Joseph was attempting to describe what he was seeing. He first described it as a "pillar of fire." Then, he crossed out the word "fire" and replaced it with "light."

From Joseph's 1832 account: "a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day"

Point #1

I can only depict what is recorded and I cannot depict a pillar of fire where one was not.

For the two 1835 accounts, it should be noted that they were both written in Joseph's journal within a few days of each other.

9 November 1835: "a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God"

14 November 1835: "I received the first visitation of Angels which was when I was about 14. years old and also the visitations that I received afterward"

Point #2

Agreed, however I see no discrepancy, I'm simply depicting what is in the written record.

The term "angel" was also commonly used to refer to deity It is unlikely that Joseph forgot what he said he saw only five days after he had just described seeing two personages that were distinct from the other angels he saw. We see a similar thing in two talks given by John Taylor on the same day. There are two discourses by John Taylor recorded for 2 March 1879. In each of these, Taylor refers to the first vision:

John Taylor (2 March 1879): "None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it." (Journal of Discourses, 20:167)

John Taylor (2 March 1879): "When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph Smith . . ." (Journal of Discourses, 20:257)

Point #3

You seem to be implying that I should be depicting something other than what is in the written record. You and I cannot pretend to know anything more than that.

In your first 1835 graphic, the one with the guy standing in the fire,

Joseph's 1835 account: "a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first"

The fire was "spread all around" and also "rested down upon" Joseph's head. In other words, it wasn't wrapped around one guy, and there is no reason to exclude the second personage, or Joseph Smith, from the fire/light.

Point #4

I do have the pillar and hence the angel "above" Joseph. The record only states that one was in the midst of the fire.

Also, for the 1835 graphic, saying the Joseph saw "2 personages" but saying that he didn't see God the Father or Jesus Christ doesn't make sense, especially when the "official" 1838 account graphic marks both the "2 personages" AND "God the Father" and "Jesus Christ." The official 1838 account never explicitly mentions that the personages were God and Jesus either. It is simply implied since one personage introduces the other as his "beloved son.

I'm afraid that's all I have time for at the moment. More later.

WW

Point #5

Again here you seem to be suggesting that I should depict something other than what is in the written record. There's nothing in the 1835 account that would indicate God or Jesus only what you are inferring from other accounts.

Conclusion

The above Points amount to an attempt at spinning the tale. I'm not open to making changes that aren't documented in the written accounts simply to make this more faith promoting. I'm only interested in the truth.

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And now for something possibly too personal but perninent, in my opinion: After writing the above post, I decided to put a bit of extra wood on the fire since we're supposed to drop down to -4 tonight, so I stepped outside to grab some, and I found my housemate ... drunk and half frozen. He coudn't stand or walk on his own, but I managed to get him in the house, and as soon as I did, he started to sob uncontrollably. I just held him in my arms for many minutes and let him sob it out. Then I got his shoes off and managed to get him in to his bedroom, where I sat next to him on his bed, put my arm around him, and told him that I love him. We ended up praying together, and now, thankfully, after many more tears and words of comfort, I can hear him snoring.

How is this pertinent? He developed a drinking problem as a youth after losing his father, but he managed to get on top of it in his early 20s. With his life cleaned up, he served a faithful mission in the US, and he'd been active ever since. Early last year, a family in our stake who've apostatised decided they needed to bring this man into their 'amazing' post-Mormon life, so they started sharing with him the sorts of skewed nonsense one finds on the website in question and, knowing his past, generously plyed him with alcohol as well. Thankfully, he's been rescued from the attempted destruction of his faith, but now he's fighting the once-vanquished demon of addiction. All because people 'cared' for him enough to tell him the 'truth'.

I hope anyone who reads this will forgive me for feeling a bit passionate tonight, but after two hours of holding a shivering, intoxicated brother in my arms, I don't feel too kindly towards the vipers whose goal it was to destroy him ... or toward their likeminded fellows who are similarly hell-bent on getting anyone they can to join them in their misery regardless of the means. 'By their fruits ye shall know them'.

So glad you were there, and you may have saved his life in more ways than one.
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Point #1

I can only depict what is recorded and I cannot depict a pillar of fire where one was not.

There is no need to depict a pillar of fire. My point was that the X indicates that it wasn't mentioned in the original account. It was indeed mentioned - Joseph simply chose to change it to a different word, and the presence of both "fire" and "light" indicates another point of consistency between accounts. The word "fire" is still there, because the strikeouts are part of the original document. Historians do not ignore strikeouts, because they provide additional insight into what the writer was thinking at the time.

The remaining points, of course, depend upon what you want the audience to perceive. In your case, you wish to emphasize differences by attempting to visually represent the exact (and final) words used. It works for your intended audience.

I, on the other hand, see the similarities and will point out those discrepancies. That works for my audience. On this we will obviously disagree.

WW

Edited by Wiki Wonka
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In my mission, dinner appointments were discouraged (dinner takes a long time in Italy)

Cooking our own food was the norm. One of my favorite ways of meeting people was to ask for recipes in the market.

I was able to practice the recipes in the apartment and by the time I was done with my mission, I was a pretty good Italian cook.

In my mission (Japan, early 80's) a dinner appointment was a bonus. I would say 95% of the time we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner on our own. Needless to say, I ate more than my share of curry rice, spaghetti and pancakes, as these were the only things I could cook *well*. I believe 'Fly On the Wall' would concur. ;) (Inside joke).
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BJ,

For centuries scholars of the Bible have been developing what are called "harmonies of the gospels," in which they attempt to synthesize the differing information in the four Gospels. Is this an incorrect approach?

Also, as a historian, if, as is the case, I am confronted with several differing account of Joseph Smith's assassination, should I attempt to integrate them into an overall coherent picture, or should I treat them all as canceling each other out and thereby proving that Joseph Smith never really died? Which of these options would I choose if I were mirroring your approach to the First Vision?

Don

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BJ,

For centuries scholars of the Bible have been developing what are called "harmonies of the gospels," in which they attempt to synthesize the differing information in the four Gospels. Is this an incorrect approach?

Also, as a historian, if, as is the case, I am confronted with several differing account of Joseph Smith's assassination, should I attempt to integrate them into an overall coherent picture, or should I treat them all as canceling each other out and thereby proving that Joseph Smith never really died? Which of these options would I choose if I were mirroring your approach to the First Vision?

Don

That's why I chose to only portray Joseph's own first hand accounts or (as in the case of the 1838 official version) those that he injected final edit on. This is something else entirely than what you have proposed with the (4) gospels which were all written by disparate authors. Or the varying account (by separate individuals) of the assassination of Joseph.

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BJ,

For centuries scholars of the Bible have been developing what are called "harmonies of the gospels," in which they attempt to synthesize the differing information in the four Gospels. Is this an incorrect approach?

Also, as a historian, if, as is the case, I am confronted with several differing account of Joseph Smith's assassination, should I attempt to integrate them into an overall coherent picture, or should I treat them all as canceling each other out and thereby proving that Joseph Smith never really died? Which of these options would I choose if I were mirroring your approach to the First Vision?

Don

I see attempts at harmonizing and creating an overall coherent picture as two different things. Harmonizing is an attempt to make differing accounts say the same thing despite inconsistencies and contradictions. Creating an overal coherent picture is about weighing different accounts to achieve a "most likely" scenario. I would tend to be against the former while supporting the latter. Am I missing something in your questions?

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For some clarification, in Brasil you eat lunch with members and we did that every day. Still, I think you misunderstand. If we weren't eating with investigators for dinner, we weren't allowed to have dinner. We couldn't go home or buy food. That was just the rule. Like I said earlier, I'm sure it's not like this in every mission, but this rule does exist in some. I'm at least glad that we can all agree that this shouldn't happen. :)

Pure bunk bro. THere would never be a rule that excluded you from eating dinner if you didnt have a dinner appointment. In WV that would be most nights. And that Mission would not be alone. I think it would be more of a mis-understanding than a rule.
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Another great example of a half answer / lie :/

Am I allowed to listen to music?

In some missions you may listen to hymns, but you cannot use headphones.

On my mission, when I arrived at my first apartment in Japan, I noticed that the other two elders had a large stereo set up in their room. One of those elders showed me his “Kiss Army” card and played Detroit Rock City with the volume cranked! My companion was a Billy Joel fan and played 52nd Street nonstop. A few months later the new mission president reiterated the mission rules – Only Mormon Tab and Saturday’s Warrior was allowed. I had one companion who got permission to play his Carpenter’s tape during Christmas. Now I can’t hear ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ without thinking of Saijo.

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I cannot beleive I missed this thread. The only thing after reading this thread and some recents ones started by Johnnie Cake are that he was the only one in this thread that thought the FM site was good. That should tell you something right there about this site.

I wonder if The Nehor was on to something.

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Don,

With all due respect, your analogy about Joseph's death and his claimed 1820 vision doesn't work for one good reason. We have a body. It is an historical fact that he died. On the other hand, we do not know if Joseph actually had a vision in 1820. We have only his word for it, explained by the late accounts that he gave. The veracity of the accounts help determine if the event actually took place. The 1832 History is a huge problem for coherency.

Other observations,

I for one, totally disagree that there are problems with the age insertion by Frederick G. Williams in the 1832 account. It was meant to be the 16th year of his age. It's clear that he wrote '16'. The other problem I have found is with those that think that Williams inserted the age on his own. The insertion arrow is the same ink color as the words preceding it, indicating that the arrow was made at the time of the writing. A few sentences below you can see that the arrow for another insertion is much lighter, therefore added after the writing. Since Joseph himself wrote this part of his 1832 history, he meant to insert the age at a later time when he was in the process of writing it. This to me is evidence that Joseph himself is the one who determined what age should be placed there.

This history was abandoned by Joseph and the book it was written in flipped over and used as a letterbook. It was never copied into his journal like the 1834 History was. Why?

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The church has 18 years to inoculate and prepare its army of missionaries for the difficult issues this sight shares...If the church prepares them, teaches them the truth then none of the so called revelations on this sight will come as a surprise to these young men and women. If taught and exposed to these difficult issues these young people will shrug rather than implode when exposed. So then why if the church is doing Such a great job of teaching its members this information and havent hidden or whitewashed it is this web site of any concern? Unless they have failed to share this information....which those who are leaving the church have claimed to be the case....and posters here have denied is happening. So which is it...the church doesn't hide it's history and shares it with its members and the information on this sight is harmless or the information is harmful because these young people can lose testimonies when they become exposed to it on this sight for the first time?

Edited by Johnnie Cake
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In your first 1835 graphic, the one with the guy standing in the fire,

Joseph's 1835 account: "a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first"

The fire was "spread all around" and also "rested down upon" Joseph's head. In other words, it wasn't wrapped around one guy, and there is no reason to exclude the second personage, or Joseph Smith, from the fire/light.

Point #4

I do have the pillar and hence the angel "above" Joseph. The record only states that one was in the midst of the fire.

Considering the record states "another personage soon appeared like unto the first" and that the flame "was spread all around", I would think that the record is actually stating that the second is in the flame as well because it is "like unto the first". How else can you read "appeared like unto the first" if you just look at the record by itself?

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The church has 18 years to inoculate and prepare its army of missionaries for the difficult issues this sight shares...If the church prepares them, teaches them the truth then none of the so called revelations on this sight will come as a surprise to these young men and women. If taught and exposed to these difficult issues these young people will shrug rather than implode when exposed. So then why if the church is doing Such a great job of teaching its members this information and havent hidden or whitewashed it is this web site of any concern? Unless they have failed to share this information....which those who are leaving the church have claimed to be the case....and posters here have denied is happening. So which is it...the church doesn't hide it's history and shares it with its members and the information on this sight is harmless or the information is harmful because these young people can lose testimonies when they become exposed to it on this sight for the first time?

Your problem Johnnie is with the words you use. And this is a tactic that most critics take: use very loaded words for the effect they wish to get: have members doubt. Do you see your words and the connotation they convey? Of course, more benign words could be used to make your point. But that would not suit your purposes. Instead of exposed one can use knowledge or learn. But then the entire text would need to be less aggressive. And that would not do, right?

And most likely this is the problem with futuremissionary. This person feels the way you do and wish more members to feel this way too. You guys are missionaries with a purpose. to get people to leave. If you didn't wish this, you would use different vocabulary.

Edited by why me
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The church has 18 years to inoculate and prepare its army of missionaries for the difficult issues this sight shares...If the church prepares them, teaches them the truth then none of the so called revelations on this sight will come as a surprise to these young men and women.

I don't think that this has much to do with truth at all. But it does have something to do with interpretation. We need to be honest Johnnie. Even if the church would report the 'facts' you would still be up in arms if the interpretation of these facts did not fit your interpretation of the events. Right?

What you basically want and it would be the same for exmormon critics across the board, would be for the church to put out the facts and with it, the interpretations that the critics have on those facts. Anything short of this, would be a whitewash. Right?

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