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I feel I have found a way of seeing Mormonism which justifies visions as being "real" by justifying human experience as the only reality humans can know.
Visions are human experience, therefore in a sense and in a qualified way, they are as "real" as science. They are about different subject matter, but fully justifiable as a part of human experience. We can even justify speaking of them as being "true" within the context of Wittgensteinian language games and a pragmatic theory of truth, in which truth is dependent on a given context and in speech within a given social group.
So fans of basketball can debate whether or not a given call by a given ref was a "true call" for example- use any sport you like. Within the rules of that game, there is "truth" within the context and the facts are debatable, but everyone agrees on what "truth" is in that context.
Scripturally I see that as cohesive with D&C 93 which speaks of the "spheres" of truth and even this talk by president Kimball https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/09/absolute-truth?lang=eng (as well as MANY other scriptures.)
But have been blathering my views here for a long time and will intentionally avoid voicing them in this new thread. I just want all to know that I AM a "true believing Mormon" though here I play an atheist on the internet.
So come on all you TBM proponents of objective reality- you know who you are!
Come on and tell me why YOUR testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.
The intent is to show me IF there are any theories other than mine which I find justifiable which are current in the views of other "Mormons in the street" as opposed to weird philosophy types like me. I am betting there are not after 40 years of thinking this way, but I could be wrong.
I predict this will be a short thread unless I get going on MY theories which I will try to avoid
Wait a second.... I have to put on my atheist hat..... THERE
OK all you dang TBM's- show me how I am wrong. Show me how Josephs hallucination was of objective reality. Go for it! The challenge is hereby issued!!
I have the popcorn out.....
By Bill "Papa" Lee
Over the years I have seen many fall way from the Gospel. Some because of writings that were proven false, Church history, apathy and disillusion to name a few. Lately over translation issues and historical accounts of these methods. Also in the past, articles and books later debunked. But as far as such things in the past, which have been debunked, generations now have no idea of their of anything to do with Mormonism, except the anger that has been passed down. I was in Nauvoo on vaction back in 1994, were non-members who found out I was Mormon told me that outside of Nauvoo (the old city site) I was told not to mention it. I went on a trip to Missouri with friends, my wife and I had to go to a time share sales pitch and decided to purchase a trial package...afterwards the lady doing the presentation asked what Church did we attend, along with other questions. She did so because she was very religious and I am sure she wanted to make sure we were "saved", which was very nice. When we told her we were LDS, she got quiet and whispered, "Don't tell anyone around here".
I mention this, because many in the ant-Mormon world have often said to me that there is no way that our leaders truly believe that the claims of Joesph Smith. I have found the opposite to be true via many examples. The Church from the beginning have been a missionary centered Church. Nearly ever revelation Joseph has see and put down n paper were witnessed by others. From the beginning we have been a Temple building Church and continue to be so dispite the cost and sacrifice. Emma was with Joseph when he retrieved the plates and hid them until he could go back and retrieve them. She saw them when he brought them hope...although covered, she acted a scribe for a time and testify that she felt them and notes that she could feel and lift one from another the leaflets. Other scribes the same, noting that Joesph used the U&T as well as the seer stone. Were the plates a fraud, Joseph would not have had Hyrum read from the Book of Mormon as he awaited death. Others saw the U&T, sword of Laban, the Liahona. When Joseph was having issues with Emma and polygamy (a revelation he had received in 1832, Hyrum asked him to use the U&T to write it and he would take it to Emma. This was while n Nauvoo, and Joseph said there was no need because he knew by heart. This is why we know that even though the plates were taken by Moroni, that others items were left behind. Others I Nauvoo witnessed many miracles, and why they gave up all to travel west, losing family members all along the way.
Joseph F Smith (Hyrum's,son) received revelation that is now D&C 138, received October 3, 1918, which is a marvel and a must read. President Snow who saw and met the Saviour in the Salt Lake Temple) hope I got the names and dates correct...working on a memory that gets worse everyday. Wilford Wooduff receiving recelation of polygamy, Spencer W Kimball on the Priesthood ban, dispite much discord among a number of Apostles. President Gordon B Hinkley (who I miss so much) who with his wit and wisdom could make you feel the power of,the Holy Spirit until tears would fall like rain. A side not: I met President Kimball and President Hunter face to face (purely by accident) and Elder Ballard. We were,heading to New York to see some Mormon historical sites, just before Ohio while reading an Ensign, I asked my wife and we took a vote to g west to Nauvoo. Not only did I meet these men of God, but being on the local TV news with President Hinkley and Elder Ballard..."too cool". Another time, I attended the annual Christmas devotional the tickets we sold out, so a very nice brother told us to go to,a certain window,mye told us they always keep back a few for visiting dignitaries. Sure enough, I got four tickets. My family ending up,on the 2nd row sitting behind the entire 12 Apostles and wives. Elder Packer was in the seat in front of me, and when I stuck out my hand he gave me a handshake, and the kids with me the GA's with arm reach with my children and wife.
Anyway, on the day President Hinkley died we were having Stake Conference, via satellite. One of the speakers was President Monson, he was apologizing for any wrong he had fear done, by especially to someone he had not seen in decades. He felt bad for not sharing the Gospel while he was in the military, I think. During his talk, he was not the confident speaker he usually is, but looking at his watch and struggling with his words, and his comments. I told my wife, "Something is wrong and he is very upset", as he mentioned so many apologies. Something was wrong, his best friend whom he loved dearly was across the road dying, and he was about to have the weight of the Church on his shoulders. So today, know that our Propher also believes. It is not arrogance, but true faith, true belief, true honor and true alliance to the Faith. As Prophets have said in the past and today..."ye who are weary come home".
Again, due to injury...due to my back, everything I type (99.9%) is on an IPad is while holding it up on my knees while laying down. So please forgive misspellings, punctuation and grammar.
The visions of Mary at Fatima are well documented and are accepted as "real" by the Catholic Church.
I wish I could post the entire article here to kick off the thread, but I won't. I will let you click the link yourself.
But these are well documented miracles and they also included prophecies which arguably have come to pass.
I have never seen much from the LDS community about this, other than the belief that somehow these must be "of Satan" and left unexplained.
My point of view is that frankly I have no problem accepting that they were from God, or alternatively that there is some kind of natural explanation. God teaches us all using the ways that work best to reach each of us, and perhaps this is what the Catholic Church needed to bring it closer to Christ. I make no pretense at knowing the answer, but I think many LDS are unaware that these events even happened, so I figured it was worth a thread. I really have already said about as much as I think I have to say on the topic- I was just wondering what others thought who perhaps did not know about these visions and miracles.