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Js And The Accounts Of The First Vision


bluebell

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10 years is a long time?

Not as long as many of the Bible accounts.

What do you want him to have done? Take Dictation?

I already addressed this - but I have been thinking about what you thought I meant, that 10 years was a long time for JS to get around to writing down an account of his first vision. 10 years (actually more like 12)was a long time for JS to wait to write down the first vision account. Why did he wait so long? I write important things down as soon as I can because I know that the more time passes the more I will forget little details, and I want to remember every detail (the Greek-thinking in me). Why would JS wait so long?

I don't know why you are bringing up dictation. We're discussing why JS waited 12 years to write down his first vision account, not why JS didn't write it down as it was happening.

As far as Bible accounts go - we don't know how long it took for various authors to write things down. I was reading in Exodus last night and found in 24:4 "Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said." Also, the Hebrews lived in an oral world - it wasn't easy to grab paper and pen/pencil so they had a strong oral tradition. JS did not live in an oral world. JS did not have an oral tradition.

I still don't understand why the first vision account isn't in introduction material in the BoM. Wouldn't that be its likely place?

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He also didn't have much means as 14 year old farm boy either. It's not like he had a spiral notebook, or Notepad on his desktop to "write everything down in". Schools at that time where using black slates to teach with for crimanies sake.

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I never said it was specifically addressing the First Vision.

Its basically summarizing what JS had been doing for 10 years. It also shows us what the missionaries where teaching. They'd been doing missionary work since at least April 6, 1830. And they where speaking of 3 "gods" as well as angels.

And this is 2 years Prior to a Rough Draft project that JS gave up on in which no father is mentioned just the Lord. But it shows that JS didn't develope the theology of one then two and then three gods. It was always three from the beginning.

We have been discussing who JS saw in the first vision - one personage or two. We were not discussing what JS believed. I have never thought that JS didn't believe the Father existed. I never thought that if JS didn't mention the Father then he didn't believe in the Father.

You have an account that JS believed in the existence of the Father, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, and of angels. But JS's belief in these doesn't mean he saw them in his first vision. Paul didn't see the Father in his conversion experience either . . . should we conclude that he didn't believe in the Father?

I was never questioning JS's belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (and angels). But what did he teach about them and their relationship to each other? Non-Mormons believe in the Father, Son, and HS (and angels) as well. I donâ??t see that this newspaper account tells us anything about JSâ??s possible non-trinitarian theology of this time.

But the original question was not what JS believed, but who he saw.

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I still don't understand why the first vision account isn't in introduction material in the BoM. Wouldn't that be its likely place?

JS's first vision does not have anything do to with the Book of Mormon. The importance, to the LDS church, of the first vision is simply that it was during that vision that Christ declared to Joseph that he was not to join any of the churches because they had all apostasized from Christ's true Gospel.

That vision marked the beginning of the 'restoration of all things'-but that vision is not considered 'the restoration of all things' in and of itself.

The first vision is one of the very first things taught to investigators of the church, along with the Book of Mormon, but there is no reason for the first vision to be printed in the bom because the bom is not about the first vision and the first vision is not about the bom.

Hope that helps.

:P

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I still don't understand why the first vision account isn't in introduction material in the BoM. Wouldn't that be its likely place?

Does anyone know when The Book of Commandments was published (or any other similar publication of revelations)? The reason I ask is that I personally wouldnâ??t expect a transmission of a written, published account of the First Vision until other revelations of doctrinal importance were beginning to be published. At the time the BoM was published, an account of the First Vision probably wasnâ??t included as it wasnâ??t considered â??scripture.â? But that of course is just my personal opinion.

I don't have a "Blue" Book of Mormon to double-check this (I'm sure someone else does), but I thought the First Vision is now published with every Book of Mormon (although it isnâ??t in the Introduction, it is in the back section: â??Joseph Smith -- History"). (?)

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I found this and thought Iâ??d share it. I canâ??t remember where in the thread, but I believe someone asked if there was anything saying that G-d had a physical body before the 1838 account of the first vision. This is after the 1832 account, but before the 1838.

August 25, 1836 issue of the Cincinnati Journal

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/OH/miscoh08.htm

Thanks be to the great Uncle Dale!

I don't remember if that was my question, but I do believe that Mormon theology kind of evolved - changed over time. It would then make sense that the idea of God having a physical body would be around before 1838. However, I can't see as yet that it was revealed to JS in 1832 or earlier that the Father had a physical body. There is nothing in the BoM (that I know of) that says the Father has a physical body. We still have not established evidence that JS really saw two personages in 1820 even though he wrote in 1832 that he saw only one.

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I don't remember if that was my question, but I do believe that Mormon theology kind of evolved - changed over time. It would then make sense that the idea of God having a physical body would be around before 1838. However, I can't see as yet that it was revealed to JS in 1832 or earlier that the Father had a physical body. There is nothing in the BoM (that I know of) that says the Father has a physical body. We still have not established evidence that JS really saw two personages in 1820 even though he wrote in 1832 that he saw only one.

I don't think it was you that asked. There's a good chance that no-one asked and that I'm simply imagining things (it wouldn't be the first time :P )

I donâ??t know that it changed, but I can certainly agree wholeheartedly that it has evolved (although others might take offense at such a thought). But I see it as evolving much in the same way that doctrines in the Bible evolved. Line-upon-line... here-a-little, there-a-little... and all that jazz. What if Joseph had simply just come out with guns blazinâ?? at the age of 14 and published the King Follet (sp?) Discourse? I doubt many would have listened, and I doubt Mormonism would ever have taken hold.

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He also didn't have much means as 14 year old farm boy either. It's not like he had a spiral notebook, or Notepad on his desktop to "write everything down in". Schools at that time where using black slates to teach with for crimanies sake.

He had the means to write down the BoM - was that beginning in 1827? He could at least have written it down then.

As far as JS's age - that is another change from the 1832 account.

As I was researching I noticed this:

JS History - verse 24 and part of 25 -

However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise. (25) So it was with me. (emphasis mine)

It seems that it was not that way for JS. Paul stood by his vision. If JS changed his 1832 vision (patterning it after Paul) then JS did not stand by his vision. He was not like Paul.

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Yes one place he says 15 another he says 14. I have a hard time remebering my age as well.

Pauls vision story is told 3 different times and it changes every time. The last time its told its morphed in magnitude to impress a King. But it just wasn't quite tweeked enough to do the job.

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JS's first vision does not have anything do to with the Book of Mormon. The importance, to the LDS church, of the first vision is simply that it was during that vision that Christ declared to Joseph that he was not to join any of the churches because they had all apostasized from Christ's true Gospel.

That vision marked the beginning of the 'restoration of all things'-but that vision is not considered 'the restoration of all things' in and of itself.

The first vision is one of the very first things taught to investigators of the church, along with the Book of Mormon, but there is no reason for the first vision to be printed in the bom because the bom is not about the first vision and the first vision is not about the bom.

Hope that helps.

:P

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, but I see the first vision account as an introduction to how the BoM came to be in America in the 1800s. JS received word that all religions were wrong, and that led to the golden plates and the BoM. Many books have this kind of introduction - they explain where the author had been (spiritually, mentally) which then led to the book that follows. The first vision account would also possibly help the reader accept the authenticity of the BoM. That "the first vision is one of the very first things taught to investigators of the church, along with the Book of Mormon" seems to support my point of view. How was the first vision taught to investigators of the church in 1830?

Anyway, it's just my opinion.

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Does anyone know when The Book of Commandments was published (or any other similar publication of revelations)? The reason I ask is that I personally wouldnâ??t expect a transmission of a written, published account of the First Vision until other revelations of doctrinal importance were beginning to be published. At the time the BoM was published, an account of the First Vision probably wasnâ??t included as it wasnâ??t considered â??scripture.â? But that of course is just my personal opinion.

I don't have a "Blue" Book of Mormon to double-check this (I'm sure someone else does), but I thought the First Vision is now published with every Book of Mormon (although it isnâ??t in the Introduction, it is in the back section: â??Joseph Smith -- History"). (?)

What is The Book of Commandments? What is a "Blue" BoM?

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What is The Book of Commandments? What is a "Blue" BoM?

Sorry.

The Book of Commandments was basically a precursor to the current D&C.

A â??Blueâ? BoM is how I refer to the current Book of Mormon that is given out to investigators.

book-of-mormon.jpg

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He had the means to write down the BoM - was that beginning in 1827? He could at least have written it down then.

As far as JS's age - that is another change from the 1832 account.

As I was researching I noticed this:

It seems that it was not that way for JS. Paul stood by his vision. If JS changed his 1832 vision (patterning it after Paul) then JS did not stand by his vision. He was not like Paul.

True. But it does discount what you said here.

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Thanks for your thoughtful reply, but I see the first vision account as an introduction to how the BoM came to be in America in the 1800s. JS received word that all religions were wrong, and that led to the golden plates and the BoM. Many books have this kind of introduction - they explain where the author had been (spiritually, mentally) which then led to the book that follows. The first vision account would also possibly help the reader accept the authenticity of the BoM. That "the first vision is one of the very first things taught to investigators of the church, along with the Book of Mormon" seems to support my point of view. How was the first vision taught to investigators of the church in 1830?

Anyway, it's just my opinion.

I can see your point of view. It's just that the first vision happened quite a few years before JS was informed about the existence of the book of mormon. Their connection is only a tenative one.

If anything-it is the appearance of the angel moroni that speaks about where JS was spiritually and mentally before the book of mormon was shown to him and those experiences ARE in beginning of the book of mormon for all to read and ponder on-for the very reasons that you mention.

I truly don't know how the first vision was taught in the 1830's except that it was simply shared with those who wanted to know more about the Joseph Smith and the LDS church.

:P

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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?

When I think of 'mutually exclusive', I have in mind a meaning not unlike dictionary.com's definition of the phrase:

of or pertaining to a situation involving two or more events, possibilities, etc., in which the occurrence of one precludes the occurrence of the other

In other words, both events/possibilities/occurences cannot both be true in any logical way. In his most descriptive account of the First Vision, Smith recounts the things that Jesus told him, but prefaces this with the Father's seven word introduction of the Son. My understanding is that the Son did all the talking from that point on. Smith, at times, omits the Father's rather brief preface to the discussion between Christ and himself, while mentioning it at others. Do we really have mutually exclusive accounts here?

Is the data given in the 1832 account, while incomplete when compared to other accounts, mutually exclusive to the data given in more detailed accounts?

Can one believe everything Smith says in his 1832 account, while still accepting his later, more detailed retellings where the Father's introduction of the Son is mentioned?

With respect to your 'one or two' bank robber analogy; I can appreciate your reasoning, but I think it falls short as a parallel to Smith's vision. In your analogy, the hypothetical 'you' is asked specifically how many?, and changes this number. An analogy maybe more appropriate to the Smith example would be:

I told my girlfriend, Heather, that I saw our mutual friend, John, at Burger King. I told her he asked how she was doing in school. When I spoke to my friend, Aaron, I told him I had just seen John and his super-hot new girlfriend at Burger King. I didn't tell him a thing about John's inquiry of Heather's schooling, and because it was irrelevant (or more likely perhaps because it would have resulted in a face-slap), the detail of John's girlfriend and my impression of her was omitted in my account to Heather. But who did I really see at Burger King? John, or John and his girlfriend?

Well, neither. I saw John, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's mother, who happened to be a classmate of my mother's. So you could guess the answer to the how many? question when I spoke with mom (although there was no mention of Burger King to her, because she always gives me crap about the way I eat).

Could one argue that my Burger King experience as related to Heather, Aaron, and my mom are different to the point of being mutually exclusive?

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I don't think it was you that asked. There's a good chance that no-one asked and that I'm simply imagining things (it wouldn't be the first time :P )

I donâ??t know that it changed, but I can certainly agree wholeheartedly that it has evolved (although others might take offense at such a thought). But I see it as evolving much in the same way that doctrines in the Bible evolved. Line-upon-line... here-a-little, there-a-little... and all that jazz. What if Joseph had simply just come out with guns blazinâ?? at the age of 14 and published the King Follet (sp?) Discourse? I doubt many would have listened, and I doubt Mormonism would ever have taken hold.

Well, it could have been me who asked - I donâ??t remember and I donâ??t really desire to look through 14 pages!

I would not apply the word â??evolveâ? to the Bible.

Prophets in the Bible were told by God that people wouldnâ??t listen, but they were to give the true message anyway, and they did.

On this thread I have been looking for evidence that specifically shows JS had always seen two personages in his first vision. I was looking for something like a witness in 1822 (for example) said JS told him he saw two personages in his first vision, or a newspaper article reporting that JS had a vision (1st) and claims to have seen two personages, or something like that.

The only evidence produced was that by 1830 people knew JS claimed to have seen multiple sightings/visions/whatever of the Father, Jesus, the H.S., and angels. This has nothing necessarily to do with the first vision. JS could have seen all this from 1825-1830 for all we know.

The other idea produced was the claim that JS had always seen two personages but didnâ??t write this in 1832. I have seen no evidence of this either.

The other evidence I have been looking for is evidence that JS believed the Father had a body of flesh and bones before the BoM was published (though this is not necessarily connected to the possibility that JS had always seen two personages in the first vision). So far, I have not seen evidence of this either.

I am empty.

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Yes one place he says 15 another he says 14. I have a hard time remebering my age as well.

Pauls vision story is told 3 different times and it changes every time. The last time its told its morphed in magnitude to impress a King. But it just wasn't quite tweeked enough to do the job.

Do you have a hard time remembering your age when you are writing it down? Do you fill out forms with your wrong age? Or, do you take some time to think and write it down accurately?

I feel we have already established that the Bible is full of differences (some are contradictions). We have talked about oral tradition vs. written tradition, the importance of exact details and chronological narration to two different times and cultures, and the witness writing down his own account vs. the witness not writing down his own account.

JS in 1832 wrote that he saw one personage. It is on paper and still exists today, so it must have existed in 1838. When the account was written in 1838 did JS not check his original story for details he remembered in 1832 but might have forgotten by 1838? If he was dim-witted as you have suggested, wouldnâ??t someone say, â??Hey, letâ??s check JSâ??s first version for accuracyâ??

There are lots of differences in JSâ??s first vision accounts and Paulâ??s conversion accounts. But Paul knew who he had seen. JS, on the other hand, seems not to have remembered who he saw or didnâ??t consider it important.

True. But it does discount what you said here.

I don't understand what you are saying here. Please explain.

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I can see your point of view. It's just that the first vision happened quite a few years before JS was informed about the existence of the book of mormon. Their connection is only a tenative one.

If anything-it is the appearance of the angel moroni that speaks about where JS was spiritually and mentally before the book of mormon was shown to him and those experiences ARE in beginning of the book of mormon for all to read and ponder on-for the very reasons that you mention.

I truly don't know how the first vision was taught in the 1830's except that it was simply shared with those who wanted to know more about the Joseph Smith and the LDS church.

:P

I do see what you are saying - the first vision isnâ??t as directly connected with the golden plates, etc. - but it was the beginning. The first vision is now included in the BoM as someone has said in Post #280, and it is taught along with the BoM to those considering the LDS church. I guess this shows that it is not just me who feels it is a good thing to know about with the BoM!

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I do see what you are saying - the first vision isnâ??t as directly connected with the golden plates, etc. - but it was the beginning. The first vision is now included in the BoM as someone has said in Post #280, and it is taught along with the BoM to those considering the LDS church. I guess this shows that it is not just me who feels it is a good thing to know about with the BoM!

Dr. Steus said that he thought it was included in the new blue B's of M, and it may be in there now.

All i know is that when i served as a missionary in 98-99 the first vision was not included in the blue B's of M at that time.

The first vision certainly was the beginning of it 'all' when it comes to these 'last days' and again, i do see your point and think it would be perfectly acceptable to include it-and also perfectly acceptable not to include it.

:P

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Do you have a hard time remembering your age when you are writing it down? Do you fill out forms with your wrong age? Or, do you take some time to think and write it down accurately?

I certainly have a difficult time trying to remember how old i was during any particular year. I mean, who off the top of their head remembers how old they were the year they started the 7th grade, for example? I can't think of anyone who wouldn't have to stop and calculate that out before they could give an answer.

Just last week, my mother asked me how old i was when my first was born-it took us 5 minutes to figure it out-and my first isn't even five years old yet! :P

Since we are all two different ages during the course of every calandar year (the age we are before the month of our birthday and the age we are after that date)-it don't think it's a big deal if someone gets their age wrong by a few months.

JS in 1832 wrote that he saw one personage.

I just wanted to point out that JS never says that he saw ONE personage. He never gives a number at all. It's an important point to keep clear and we should be very careful not to say he wrote things that he never wrote.

<_<

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The other evidence I have been looking for is evidence that JS believed the Father had a body of flesh and bones before the BoM was published (though this is not necessarily connected to the possibility that JS had always seen two personages in the first vision). So far, I have not seen evidence of this either.

Joseph Smith probably did not know the Father had a body of flesh and bone before his revelation that the Father had a body of flesh and bone (1843?). I doubt this is something he could have established at the First Vision.

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JS in 1832 wrote that he saw one personage.

I think it's interesting to note that in his 1832 account, Smith wrote:

and there were many things which transpired that cannot be writen

Who's to say he didn't have in mind the appearance of the Father? At the very least, he is insistent that his account is not an exhaustive retelling of his experience. Neither here nor there, I suppose, but worthy of consideration....

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Interesting. Although it is a third hand account, we first have this:

â?¦Smith (they affirmed) had seen God frequently and personallyâ?¦

Why do you assume this is the Father? The title page of the BOM says its purpose is to prove "Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God." So, in the context of 1830, JS saw Jesus "frequently", which has nothing to do with the First Vision.

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