Jump to content

Js And The Accounts Of The First Vision


bluebell

Recommended Posts

As I wrote in post #223, I don't think JS denied seeing two personages because I don't think he saw two personages. I think his first idea of the story (fictional or real experience) was that he saw only one personage - the Lord. I believe the story was altered by 1838. You believe JS didn't mention seeing two personages in the 1832 account (for various reasons). So you believe JS purposefully left out seeing the Father. If what you believe is true, then JS in 1832 wrote a false account (for whatever reason).

No problem-thankyou for clarifying.

Now-i want to address the underlined statement in your post-

If JS leaving out a part of a story is writing a 'false' account-then why is John leaving part of the cruxifiction story (and the theives) NOT considered him writing a false account?

Why is Luke's change in the Pauline vision not considered false because certain elements were not present in both accounts?

This is what the topic of this thread is about-why is something 'false' when spoken of for the changes in JS's accounts but just considered 'different' for the differences of the accounts written in the New Testament?

:P

Link to post
The issue I was addressing in my prior post was whether JSJr, in penning the 1832 account which does not expressly mention the Father, had indeed denied he had seen the Father. A denial requires that the denier publish his denial to an audience. JSJr never did, as he never published, or had published, the highly stylized and Saulian/Paulian 1832 version.

I do not know if JS ever wrote anything denying he saw the Father, but it is possible he verbally denied seeing the Father.

It would be nice if, rather than simply voicing the "possibility" that JSJr denied seeing both Father and Son, that you would be more assertive so that we could ask you to provide a source for the assertion. As it is, you appear to be waffling. I don't think that's what you intended.

However, if someone told me they saw the Lord (Jesus) I probably wouldn't think of asking them, "Did you see the Father too?" It seems that no one knows much about JS's oral first vision accounts, so the oral accounts can't be used for evidence either way.

On the contrary, there is quite good evidence that JSJr spoke of both Father and Son long before the 1832 draft.

Why JSJr left the Father out (at least expressly) may well be accounted for by his use of the Saul/Paul story as a structure to tell his own -- Saul/Paul never saw G-d, but rather "only" the resurrected Master.

JS's account is like Paul's conversion account, but, again, this says to me that JS patterned his fictional account on Paul's writings. (Actually, I leave room for the possibility that JS had some sort of experience, but I do not believe it was of G-d unless JS really misinterpreted it.)

Telling the story of one's own life experiences using a prior writer's model is not the same thing as stealing or making things up. You will agree at least thus far, yes?

Paul never saw G-d because no one in the Bible saw G-d. See Exodus 33:20, John 1:18, John 6:46, etc. Paul (as a Jew) believed G-d was spirit and that a human can't see G-d's Holy Essence and live.

I'm going to ignore this thread-hijacking issue.

You use G-d as Jews do - Jews do this because even G-d's name is too Holy to write. If this is just G-d's name imagine seeing G-d!

Does it trouble you that I honor our cousins and remind myself of the 3rd Commandment in so doing? And, no, I cannot imagine how glorious it would be to see G-d.

Perhaps JS didn't see the Father because he did start out believing the Father is spirit and can't be seen. The BoM never says the Father has a body of flesh and bone - that is in the D&C (130:22, written in 1843). The BoM says God is spirit - Alma 18:24-28.

See above.

Link to post
No, you understand correctly, and this is precisely why I started the 'Stephen's Theophany' thread. You (and others) feel Smith's vision of two personages is anti-Trinitarian (and I would agree). The Acts passage (and Mt 3:17, if you like) seem to convey a similar idea, yet, as you say, 'the Trinity holds'.

While I understand the belief of the Father having a body being contrary to Trinitarian thought, I am confused as to how Smith's vision of two beings is contrary to your idea of the Trinity if Stephen's is not.

Acts 7:55-56 - But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

Stephen saw the glory of God, not God in a body. "The right hand of God" does not refer to God having a hand - it is an example of the Hebraic way of putting ideas into concrete images. A ruler or person of high rank would put someone on his right hand to give him equal honor with himself and to recognize him as possessing equal power and authority. So Jesus is equal with God in power, authority, honor, etc. The position of the Messiah is also at God's right hand in the OT.

(I'm not trying to argue that Smith's vision is or should be compatible with a doctrine rejected by the LDS, I am just trying to understand how Trinitarians make sense out of these little things without compromising their belief in a doctrine that, to me, doesn't make sense).

Maybe this will help you a little - the Jews had no problem with holding seemingly contradicting ideas - like God is Judge and God is Mercy/Love. They would say "On the one hand, God is Judge - on the other hand, God is Mercy and Love." They had no problem with ideas in tension. They knew God could not be totally understood or comprehended by humans. Greek-thinkers struggle with this though. Greek-thinking came up with the Trinity. (They also felt they needed a definition of God to judge and combat heresies.) The Greek-thinkers sat down and said, "O-K, what do we know about God?" The Jews didn't write a neat little passage of doctrine that totally explains God - Jews didn't normally write doctrine (not that God can be explained anyway). So the Greek-thinkers studied verses about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They tried to put them all together. They had verses where Jesus says He is God, verses that say God can't be seen, verses that seem to say God was seen, verses about the Holy Spirit, etc. The only way to keep the truth of all the verses is the Trinity.

God cannot be totally comprehended by us. If someone told me they understand God then I would say their God is too small.

BTW - The First Vision is not the source of LDS belief of the Father's body of flesh and bone, this is at D&C 130:22 which was received a good while after the First Vision (I want to say 1843, but I'm not sure).

Yup - 1843 . . . I just looked it up. But this contradicts Alma 18:24-28. And, the BoM doesn't teach anywhere that I know of what D&C 130:22 teaches. This leads me to believe that the doctrine of God the Father having a body of flesh and bone was not thought of until sometime after 1832 and the 1838 first vision account was written to match this later doctrine of the Father.

Link to post

Freedom in Truth,

If this rationale can harmonize the Gospels, could it not also harmonize the First Vision accounts? Are Smith's accounts so different as to be mutually exclusive?

If we can grant that John just did not mention the story, while Matthew and Mark never say that the two thieves never did anything but mock Jesus, could we not also grant that Smith just did not originally mention the Father, or never said he saw only Christ and none else?

I personally feel this approach is reaching, but it seems that if the Gospel writers can be let off the hook with such reasoning, consistency demands that so can Smith.

The major difference for me is that the Gospel writers were different people. They had different perspectives. Also, I don't think the apostles necessarily penned the Gospels themselves, but one of their disciples did after the accounts circulated orally for a time (decades?). (Oral tradition was still in practice.) The Gospel writers were also Jewish (other than Luke), not Greek, and not from a tradition where accurate details and chronological narration were important. Yet they still agreed on the major issues.

On the other hand, JS wrote his accounts himself, or at least he was a direct source. We have one source here, one perspective. And, JS is from our culture (Greek-thinking), which gives importance to chronological narration and accurate details. Yet JS's accounts do not agree on what is a major issue - who he saw. But the accounts are more different than this one detail.

If I ever saw a vision I would think what (who) I saw would be very important, and I think I would remember. But, maybe that's just me. Paul remembered who he saw.

But the biggest issues for me is one direct source vs. many possibly indirect sources. and differing minor details vs. differing major detail. If the Gospels differed on who was crucified and resurrected - Jesus, or Jesus and Peter - I would have a problem.

Link to post
If I ever saw a vision I would think what (who) I saw would be very important, and I think I would remember. But, maybe that's just me. Paul remembered who he saw.

And changed the details of his story as time went by. Or are we going to blame that on Luke?

Link to post

But this [God having a body] contradicts Alma 18:24-28.

From "Tanner Worship and Real Scholarship":

The descriptions of God as a "Great Spirit" (Alma 18:24-28; 22:7-11) doesn't mean God is nonmaterial (asomatos); incorporeal or formless since King Lamoni initially thought Ammon was the "Great Spirit" (Alma 18:2-4,11,18 cf. 19:25) despite he was in humanoid form and possessed a material body. Furthermore, the word "spirit" does NOT mean "nonmaterial, incorporeal or formless."

Was 'Great Spirit', as used in Alma, more of a colloquial name for God rather than an explicit assignment of incorporeality? It seems Lamoni understood it this way.

Link to post

To Trashcan Man - again, on â??mutually exclusiveâ? -

Iâ??ve been thinking more about this. Letâ??s say I went to my bank. While inside I see that the bank is being robbed - a teller is being held at gunpoint. After the event the police arrive and I am being questioned as a witness. I am asked how many robbers held the teller at gunpoint. I say one man did . . . then I say two men did. Iâ??m going to guess Mr. Policeman will look at me a little frustrated and say, â??Well, which is it? One or two?â?

â??One or twoâ?. It canâ??t be both. And Mormons seem to acknowledge this, for they came up with the â??writing the 1832 version according to Paulâ??s conversion storyâ? theory.

Link to post

Ex. 24: 10-11

10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

John 1:19, JST (John 1:18, KJV) -

â??And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved. â??

JS changed surrounding verses, but not this verse. How does this go with Exodus 24:10-11?

There are manifestations of God in the OT. We believe some passages are not literal. We also believe Jesus was seen in the OT -

John 14:9b - â??Jesus saith unto him, . . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Fatherâ?

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for â??Godâ? in Exodus 24 is #03068 - the tetragrammaton, except in verses 10, 11, and 13 - then #0430 â??Elohimâ? is used.

Exodus 24:16-17 â??And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. â??

The word for LORD is #03068.

Link to post

â??One or twoâ?. It canâ??t be both.

Sure it can... just ask Mr. Slick.

How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?

Matt 28:2; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:1-2,12

An angel of the Lord on the stone (Matthew 28:1-2) - "Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it."

A young man (Mark 16:5) - "And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed."

Two men (Luke 24:4) - "And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel."

Two angels (John 20:1-2,12) - "Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2And so she *ran and *came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him. . 12and she *beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying."

There is no discrepancy at all. An angel of the Lord moved the stone and was sitting upon it outside (Matthew 28:2). The two men (Luke 24:4) were angels (John 20:12). Mark 16:5 presents the only potential issue and it isn't one at all. If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one. This one was on the right. Therefore, we see that there was one angel outside and two on the inside of the tomb.

http://www.C***.org/diff/Mark16_5.htm

He can make any number of angels you want out of just 1.

:P

Link to post
If JS leaving out a part of a story is writing a 'false' account-then why is John leaving part of the cruxifiction story (and the theives) NOT considered him writing a false account?

First, you are making the assumption that John witnessed Jesusâ?? conversation with the two thieves. Though I agree this is likely, I couldnâ??t swear in court that he did because I have no evidence. John being at the crucifixion doesnâ??t mean he heard everything.

Second, it is, as you have said, the Crucifixion story. That makes the information about the two thieves a detail in the story. But it is JSâ??s account of his First Vision. His Vision is not a detail - it is the subject, the main point of the story.

John 20:30-31 - â??And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.â?

John didnâ??t write his gospel to tell us about the two thieves - in fact, he says he did not include everything. He wrote so we might believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God - and that we would believe and have Life.

Why is Luke's change in the Pauline vision not considered false because certain elements were not present in both accounts?

I believe Luke wrote Paulâ??s words, so it would be Paul who told the stories differently (in the minor details). Most people tell the minor details of stories differently to different people - but the important points are usually consistent. And, how do you describe light from heaven? I can imagine I would struggle with this and possibly say it differently.

To use the bank robber example I gave Trashcan Man - if I told my dad the story I might say that one of the robbers looked like my dadâ??s friend Joe. I probably wouldnâ??t tell the police that. If I told the story to my friend I might say that the teller looked really cute in her J. Crew sweater. I probably wouldnâ??t have told the police that either. Also, I am not going to remember every small little detail, especially over time. But, I will remember the bank robber(s) and my panic!

This is what the topic of this thread is about-why is something 'false' when spoken of for the changes in JS's accounts but just considered 'different' for the differences of the accounts written in the New Testament?

From your point of view, we know JSâ??s account of 1832 is false (not true) because you believe he said he saw one personage when he really saw two. He misrepresented the main idea of the story - the Vision. Other differing details in his accounts donâ??t concern me nearly as much, so in this way I am judging his account like I judge Paulâ??s accounts and the crucifixion stories.

Remember, I donâ??t believe he gave a false account in 1832.

Link to post

From your point of view, we know JSâ??s account of 1832 is false (not true) because you believe he said he saw one personage when he really saw two. He misrepresented the main idea of the story - the Vision. Other differing details in his accounts donâ??t concern me nearly as much, so in this way I am judging his account like I judge Paulâ??s accounts and the crucifixion stories.

It takes a lot to get me riled-but this kind of stuff does it in a heartbeat.

Don't presume to tell me what my point of view is-because you have no right to and frankly, if you knew anything about my beliefs, you saying such could only be considered a grave and purposeful misreprentation of my 'point of view' to make your own point appear stronger than it is.

:P

Link to post
(Freedom in Truth - I do not know if JS ever wrote anything denying he saw the Father, but it is possible he verbally denied seeing the Father.

USU78 - It would be nice if, rather than simply voicing the "possibility" that JSJr denied seeing both Father and Son, that you would be more assertive so that we could ask you to provide a source for the assertion. As it is, you appear to be waffling. I don't think that's what you intended.

I can't be more assertive because it is only a possibility. I think the rest of this subject is covered in other posts. You say JS saw two but wrote one. I don't agree.

On the contrary, there is quite good evidence that JSJr spoke of both Father and Son long before the 1832 draft.

JS spoke of seeing them in the first vision? What is the evidence?

Telling the story of one's own life experiences using a prior writer's model is not the same thing as stealing or making things up. You will agree at least thus far, yes?

Paul wrote his own history - what actually happened to him. JS apparently did not. Using a prior writer's model might be telling your account in 3rd person or telling your account using flashbacks, but not saying you fell off of a horse at age 9 if you didn't. I believe JS took many ideas from many sources - this is just one example of a pattern. But, that would be a topic for another thread.

Does it trouble you that I honor our cousins and remind myself of the 3rd Commandment in so doing? And, no, I cannot imagine how glorious it would be to see G-d.

Does it trouble me? NO! Not at all!! :P I am very into the Hebraic roots of my faith - I have studied this and celebrated the feasts and attended Messianic congregations, etc. I believe we are grafted into Israel and promises for Israel still stand. I used G-d when writing you to honor your use of it.

Link to post

And changed the details of his story as time went by. Or are we going to blame that on Luke?

See post #235.

Do you not see the difference between major, crucial details/main topics, and minor details? The story is called The First Vision.

If you don't see the difference, then there are lots of other details that don't match in the different accounts that we can discuss.

Paul knew he saw the Lord. The gospel writers knew Jesus was crucified and rose. And they bravely proclaimed these things even though they suffered greatly for it.

Link to post
Paul wrote his own history - what actually happened to him. JS apparently did not.

Actually, there's precious little evidence Saul/Paul wrote the accounts attributed to him and didn't write the most well-known Acts. JSJr wrote much of the 1832 account in his own hand. As you know, my view is that, dissatisfied with him attempt at the poetic tribute to Saul/Paul, he gave up and abandoned the project for a while, later having OC try one -- which didn't take -- and finally his 1838 account, which he approved for publication. How would our bosses perceive our work if they saw all of our rough drafts? Yikes! Cannot imagine the fallout.

Using a prior writer's model might be telling your account in 3rd person or telling your account using flashbacks, but not saying you fell off of a horse at age 9 if you didn't. I believe JS took many ideas from many sources - this is just one example of a pattern. But, that would be a topic for another thread.

Agreed. Let's not hijack.

Does it [use of G-d] trouble me? NO! Not at all!! :P I am very into the Hebraic roots of my faith - I have studied this and celebrated the feasts and attended Messianic congregations, etc. I believe we are grafted into Israel and promises for Israel still stand. I used G-d when writing you to honor your use of it.

Sounds terrific. And my thanks, FiT.

Link to post

From "Tanner Worship and Real Scholarship":

The descriptions of God as a "Great Spirit" (Alma 18:24-28; 22:7-11) doesn't mean God is nonmaterial (asomatos); incorporeal or formless since King Lamoni initially thought Ammon was the "Great Spirit" (Alma 18:2-4,11,18 cf. 19:25) despite he was in humanoid form and possessed a material body. Furthermore, the word "spirit" does NOT mean "nonmaterial, incorporeal or formless."

I do not understand the authorâ??s last sentence in the above quote. Here are some definitions I found on the web -

spirit - any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings

incorporeal - without material form or substance; "an incorporeal spirit"

formless - having no physical form

â??Furthermore, the word â??spiritâ?? does NOT mean â??nonmaterial, incorporeal or formlessâ??? Yes, it does. The author is criticizing Tanner scholarship?

Was 'Great Spirit', as used in Alma, more of a colloquial name for God rather than an explicit assignment of incorporeality? It seems Lamoni understood it this way.

I see your point. We donâ??t really know what Lamoniâ??s concept of â??Great Spiritâ? was. He did wonder if a man was the â??Great Spiritâ?. However, he was wrong. It is possible that Ammon believed a spirit was incorporeal according to the above definitions, and Ammon was the one in the story who knew Truth.

Is there anything in the BoM or anything written in or before 1830 that says JS believed the Father had a body of flesh and bones?

BTW, I could not help but notice Alma 18:39 ("and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ") as I read through the chapter. This chapter took place in 90 B.C.? Christ hadnâ??t come yet. â??Christâ? is a translation of a Greek word (NT).

Link to post
Don't presume to tell me what my point of view is-because you have no right to and frankly, if you knew anything about my beliefs, you saying such could only be considered a grave and purposeful misreprentation of my 'point of view' to make your own point appear stronger than it is.

I sincerely never mean to anger you. Please remember that when you read my words. I am sorry again. I am really never attempting to make my point stronger - I am just writing my thoughts.

I thought your point of view was that JS patterned his 1832 first vision account after Paul's conversion account. Paul saw the Lord, so JS said he saw the Lord too. There were various reasons why JS did this.

If I am incorrect please correct me, bluebell.

Link to post
Actually, there's precious little evidence Saul/Paul wrote the accounts attributed to him and didn't write the most well-known Acts. JSJr wrote much of the 1832 account in his own hand. As you know, my view is that, dissatisfied with him attempt at the poetic tribute to Saul/Paul, he gave up and abandoned the project for a while, later having OC try one -- which didn't take -- and finally his 1838 account, which he approved for publication. How would our bosses perceive our work if they saw all of our rough drafts? Yikes! Cannot imagine the fallout.

Right - I didn't mean to say I believed Paul sat down and wrote Acts himself. What I meant was that Paul was telling his own history - someone else wrote it down. As far as the rest, I think I have already posted my questions and views, so no need to go through it all again! We will have to agree to disagree.

Sounds terrific. And my thanks, FiT.

I especially like Messianic music and dance . . are you familiar with it at all?

Link to post

I thought your point of view was that JS patterned his 1832 first vision account after Paul's conversion account. Paul saw the Lord, so JS said he saw the Lord too. There were various reasons why JS did this.

If I am incorrect please correct me, bluebell.

No-that was a discussion you were/are having with some other poster.

It certainly could be true, but i have no opinion on that either way.

We all share our thoughts-it's when we attempt to tell someone else what they think that we start to lose some validity. I can appreciate that you didn't mean to do so-but it came across much more smug than that.

It is a hard medium to communicate in though and we all come across worse than we meant every now and then.

Link to post
Could you provide some examples [of pre 1832 non-Mormon sources for events reported in the 1838 version]?

Wish I could. I was referring to information contained in this 2006 FAIR presentation. The relevant paragraph reports 18 points of confluence between the unfriendly sources and the 1832 account and even more with the 1838 account. Unfortunately the slide showing the sources is not reproduced on the FAIR website. I recall they were almost all newspaper accounts, however. Perhaps somebody else has the information to hand?

Link to post

Wish I could. I was referring to information contained in this 2006 FAIR presentation. The relevant paragraph reports 18 points of confluence between the unfriendly sources and the 1832 account and even more with the 1838 account. Unfortunately the slide showing the sources is not reproduced on the FAIR website. I recall they were almost all newspaper accounts, however. Perhaps somebody else has the information to hand?

I followed the footnotes and was unable to find any references to the vision accounts. Most of them had to do with the "Golden Bible." I might have been looking at the wrong articles though. I did find this in one of the newspapers. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand, but I thought it was worth sharing (for those who think Joseph wrote the BoM himself):

â?¦his mental powers appear to be extremely limited, and from the small opportunity he has had at school, he made little or no proficiency, and it is asserted by one of his principle followers, (who also pretends to divine illuminations,) that Jo, even at this day is profoundly ignorant of the meaning of many of the words contained in the Book of Mormon.

The Reflector, 1 February 1831 (Palmyra, New York).

Link to post
I followed the footnotes and was unable to find any references to the vision accounts. Most of them had to do with the "Golden Bible." I might have been looking at the wrong articles though.

The relevant paragraph is not footnoted, alas!, although the referenced slide did have the references on it. That's the problem with getting transcriptions of what's said without copies of what's shown. I'm afraid I took exactly 0 notes, so I'm no help.

Link to post

The relevant paragraph is not footnoted, alas!, although the referenced slide did have the references on it. That's the problem with getting transcriptions of what's said without copies of what's shown. I'm afraid I took exactly 0 notes, so I'm no help.

According to this: Historical or Hystericalâ?? Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources The 14 February 1830 issue of The Reflector â??announced that he [Joseph Smith] had seen God 'personally.'" I searched Uncle Daleâ??s website and couldnâ??t find this issue. Does anyone else know where the text of this issue might be found?

Link to post

According to this: Historical or Hystericalâ?? Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources The 14 February 1830 issue of The Reflector â??announced that he [Joseph Smith] had seen God 'personally.'" I searched Uncle Daleâ??s website and couldnâ??t find this issue. Does anyone else know where the text of this issue might be found?

Its the feb 14 1831

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/wayn1830.htm#021431

The world (except the New Jerusalem) would come to an end in two or three years. The state of New York would (probably) be sunk: Smith (they affirmed) had seen God frequently and personally -- Cowdery and his friends had frequent interviews with angels, and had been directed to locate the site for the New Jerusalem, which they should know, the moment they should "step their feet" upon it. They pretend to heal the sick and work miracles, and had made a number of unsuccessful attempts to do so. The Indians were the ten lost tribes --

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...