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Js And The Accounts Of The First Vision


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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.

How do you know Paul stood by his vision? Were you there? Was there a great amount of paper work you could go through or was there already a 'suppression' of material before the Bible you now hold, was even created?

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What source... The Newspaper written by an Author who had spoken with LDS missionaries who where teach in November of 1830 that JS had spoken with God the father, His Son Jesus Christ as well as Angels.

You have a funny way of reading. It doesn't say the Father and son appeared in a single vision. It doesn't even say the Father appeard. It was Cowdery and others who saw angels.

Here it is again:

In fact God Christ the Holy Ghost as well as the Angels are all elelements of this story.

So? You are trying too hard.

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PS. My above statement was a rushed inprecise summarization.

Not really... He relates what it was that the LDS missionaries where teaching in 1830 two years prior.

They give the Holy Ghost, Cowdery and others regularly have visits from Angels (ala Angel Moroni, Peter, James and John) And Joseph Smith regulary discourse with God, ala First vision) , Christ himself signed the revelations. Yes it doesn't relate the detales but it does cover almost every point in the first two discussions.

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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?

Remembering one's age at present is considerably easier than remembering one's age during events years prior. I can tell you without thinking about it that I am 27 right now. But I don't remember how old I was when I had my first kiss, when I found out there was no Santa Claus, when my Grandparents died, when I got in my first fight, when I lost my first tooth, when I was in my first car accident, or when I got the chicken pox. I could give you a ballpark guess, and I would probably hit it within a year or two (or three...)

Yet each of these events was quite significant as far as its impact on me emotionally. I can recount explicit details of each of these events (exactly how I felt at the time, exactly where I was, how it impacted me afterwards, etc), but alas, my precise age at the time, for whatever reason, is not something I associated with the specific experience in an important enough way for it to be connected to the memory of the event itself.

But put a form in front of me that asks for my age, and I'll impress the heck outta ya.

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To TrashcanMan - Post #292

Actually, when I look at Elder Watsonâ??s harmony of the first vision accounts (under â??and saw two glorious personagesâ??), I wouldnâ??t say the 1838 account is the most descriptive. It does have more description than the 1832 account. (BTW, do you see all the various first vision accounts as having accurate details?)

When you went to Burger King you saw three people you knew. This did not change. You did not see one or two people you knew, but three. And you could not have both seen two people you knew and seen three people you knew. You saw three.

What changed is what you wished to tell to others (different others). And, hopefully if Heather asked you everyone you had seen whom you knew you would have been honest! (Yeah, Iâ??m with your mom - Burger King will kill you!)

But letâ??s suppose you saw two very important people at Burger King. Iâ??m going to try to pick out two important people to you - suppose you actually saw Joseph Smith and Jesus! Or say you saw two celebrities you love. Would you not be excited to tell everyone you knew who you saw? Would you leave out one of them?

JS in 1832 was not chatting with friends. Wasnâ??t he by this time a leader of a religious movement? Wasnâ??t he known to be a prophet? As a leader and prophet, and he sat down to record the vision that started everything. Does it sound reasonable to you that he would neglect to say he saw the Father? JS had the same general readership in 1832 and 1838, correct? He wasnâ??t telling his story to two different people or two different groups. And his purpose in telling the story was the same as well, correct?

JS did not just omit mentioning â??the Father's rather brief preface to the discussion between Christ and himselfâ?? - he omits seeing the Father entirely!

JS in 1838 didnâ??t speak about having his sins forgiven. He thought it was important in 1832 to mention this. In 1832 he did not have a brush with the power of the enemy (which seemed very frightening and emotional for him). Most people remember frightening experiences. In 1832 he was not told not to join any religious sects.

In 1838 JS says (JS History, verse 7), â??I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My fatherâ??s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.â?

But the note to the New York Religious Chronicle, Nov. 20, 1824 (Uncle Daleâ??s site) says â??It was in the midst of this 1824-25 religious excitement that Lucy Smith and her children (Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel) joined the Presbyterian church in Palmyra.â? This is 4 years later than the 1838 account claims.

Is there any evidence before 1830 that JS had this first vision?

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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.

So true! But JS had time to calculate. Not too big a deal, though. There are more important things . . .
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.
You are right. See my further thoughts on this in Post #306.
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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....

I can't find this quote of JS's. What words surround it in his account?

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For Zakuska -

Western Farmer Jan. 23, 1822 (Uncle Dale) -

Note: In the dead of winter, with little agricultural work to be done, the "young people of the village of Palmyra" were free to attend a few weeks of school, visit with their friends, or even emulate their elders in carrying on some public debate. Orsamus Turner, who worked on the local paper at this time, later recalled that Joseph Smith, jr. "used to help us to solve some portentous questions of moral or political ethics, in our juvenile debating club, which we moved down to the old red school-house on Durfee street."

Again, JS doesnâ??t sound â??dim-wittedâ?, as you have said.

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How do you know Paul stood by his vision? Were you there? Was there a great amount of paper work you could go through or was there already a 'suppression' of material before the Bible you now hold, was even created?

JS History, verse 24 - "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." (emphasis mine)

It sounds to me like JS believed Paul stood by his vision.

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (JST the same) -

23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

JS didn't change these verses, so they must be accurate.

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PS. My above statement was a rushed inprecise summarization.

Not really... He relates what it was that the LDS missionaries where teaching in 1830 two years prior.

They give the Holy Ghost, Cowdery and others regularly have visits from Angels (ala Angel Moroni, Peter, James and John) And Joseph Smith regulary discourse with God, ala First vision) , Christ himself signed the revelations. Yes it doesn't relate the detales but it does cover almost every point in the first two discussions.

Again, I feel your conclusion is inaccurate. I feel you are making assumptions. You are assuming that because JS claimed to have regular discourses with God this means he discoursed with God during his first vision.

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Remembering one's age at present is considerably easier than remembering one's age during events years prior. I can tell you without thinking about it that I am 27 right now. But I don't remember how old I was when I had my first kiss, when I found out there was no Santa Claus, when my Grandparents died, when I got in my first fight, when I lost my first tooth, when I was in my first car accident, or when I got the chicken pox. I could give you a ballpark guess, and I would probably hit it within a year or two (or three...)

Yet each of these events was quite significant as far as its impact on me emotionally. I can recount explicit details of each of these events (exactly how I felt at the time, exactly where I was, how it impacted me afterwards, etc), but alas, my precise age at the time, for whatever reason, is not something I associated with the specific experience in an important enough way for it to be connected to the memory of the event itself.

But put a form in front of me that asks for my age, and I'll impress the heck outta ya.

I bet you would impress me! :P

This is a small point in comparison, but . . .

I agree. I have to figure out my age. (And I'm way more than 27!) What I tend to remember is years - the year I graduated high school, the year I graduated college, the years I had children, the years in which I moved to the many places I have lived in, the year I found Truth, the year the Twin Towers collapsed, etc. Then I calculate my age.

JS wrote in 1832 that he was in his 16th year. In 1838 JS wrote that he was in his 15th year. (Verse 7 - "I was at this time in my fifteenth year.") If he didn't remember then why did he change his age in 1838 from the 1832 account?

Also, in verse 3 of the 1838 account he wrote " . . . and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts. In about four years after my fatherâ??s arrival in Palmyra . . ." (emphasis mine)

JS, in verse 3, was careful to say that he didn't remember exactly his age or a time period. Yet he is sure of his age in verse 7, even though he changes it from the 1832 account.

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It sounds to me like JS believed Paul stood by his vision.

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (JST the same) -

JS didn't change these verses, so they must be accurate.

Do we have all of the records on Paul's life? Do we have his personal journal about himself? Or just public statements? Could there be a difference?

What about letters to his parents? Letters to friends? Do we have any of these?

Joseph made reference to what is known, not what wasn't. Many make assumptions about JS because of lacking evidence to the contrary. Why not do the same about Paul?

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For Zakuska -

Again, JS doesnâ??t sound â??dim-wittedâ?, as you have said.

It's funny that all his neighbors and Anti-Mormons of the time called him dumber than a bump on a log. Of course they've changed their toon now. Just ask RAbanes.

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To TrashcanMan - Post #292

Actually, when I look at Elder Watsonâ??s harmony of the first vision accounts (under â??and saw two glorious personagesâ??), I wouldnâ??t say the 1838 account is the most descriptive. It does have more description than the 1832 account. (BTW, do you see all the various first vision accounts as having accurate details?)

At the risk of staining my credibility, I actually haven't thoroughly read and compared all the accounts. I've glanced at the Watson site, and, as a missionary, I often read and discussed the canonized version (the 1838 account?), but I could easily accept that the 1838 is not the most descriptive (can't remember, did I say that it was?)

When you went to Burger King you saw three people you knew. This did not change. You did not see one or two people you knew, but three. And you could not have both seen two people you knew and seen three people you knew. You saw three.

What changed is what you wished to tell to others (different others). And, hopefully if Heather asked you everyone you had seen whom you knew you would have been honest! (Yeah, Iâ??m with your mom - Burger King will kill you!)

But letâ??s suppose you saw two very important people at Burger King. Iâ??m going to try to pick out two important people to you - suppose you actually saw Joseph Smith and Jesus! Or say you saw two celebrities you love. Would you not be excited to tell everyone you knew who you saw? Would you leave out one of them?

The point of my Burger King analogy was primarily to illustrate that seemingly conflicting accounts does not necessarily equal mutual exclusion. As to would I tell everyone if I saw Smith and Jesus at Burger King? I would tell only one person: a psychiatrist.

JS in 1832 was not chatting with friends. Wasnâ??t he by this time a leader of a religious movement? Wasnâ??t he known to be a prophet? As a leader and prophet, and he sat down to record the vision that started everything. Does it sound reasonable to you that he would neglect to say he saw the Father? JS had the same general readership in 1832 and 1838, correct? He wasnâ??t telling his story to two different people or two different groups. And his purpose in telling the story was the same as well, correct?

JS did not just omit mentioning â??the Father's rather brief preface to the discussion between Christ and himselfâ?? - he omits seeing the Father entirely!

Good points, and, by and large, I agree with you. I hesitate to put too much weight on the 1832 account myself, however, by virtue of its being an unpublished draft that was abandoned before completion (this is my understanding of this version, anyway; I could be wrong, a victim of apologetic propaganda!).

JS in 1838 didnâ??t speak about having his sins forgiven. He thought it was important in 1832 to mention this. In 1832 he did not have a brush with the power of the enemy (which seemed very frightening and emotional for him). Most people remember frightening experiences. In 1832 he was not told not to join any religious sects.

Not sure I'm seeing your point here. I guess I don't expect Smith to be exhaustive at every retelling of the experience.

In 1838 JS says (JS History, verse 7), â??I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My fatherâ??s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.â?

But the note to the New York Religious Chronicle, Nov. 20, 1824 (Uncle Daleâ??s site) says â??It was in the midst of this 1824-25 religious excitement that Lucy Smith and her children (Hyrum, Sophronia, and Samuel) joined the Presbyterian church in Palmyra.â? This is 4 years later than the 1838 account claims.

This is interesting. I'll have to look at it a bit before I could make a judgement as to its significance.

Is there any evidence before 1830 that JS had this first vision?

What is significant about 1830? (My bad if this has been firmly established as a pivotal year for whatever reason, but I've hardly read every post in these 16 pages!) I, personally, am unsure as to what the actual 'evidence' could be that Smith actually had his vision. Or maybe you mean 'claimed to have had', to which I would answer, I don't know.... But if there was evidence of his claim in 1829, would it then be significant to establish whether or not he had mentioned it in 1828? Maybe I'll have another glance at prior posts so I can see what the 1830 fuss is about.

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I can't find this quote of JS's. What words surround it in his account?

It's from the Watson site. However, Smith uses similar wording in accounts where he does mention the Father, so it would be impossible to say for sure if the use of this disclaimer in 1832 pertained to him seeing the Father.

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JS wrote in 1832 that he was in his 16th year. In 1838 JS wrote that he was in his 15th year. (Verse 7 - "I was at this time in my fifteenth year.") If he didn't remember then why did he change his age in 1838 from the 1832 account?

Maybe he realized that his figuring was inaccurate in the 1832 account?

Also, in verse 3 of the 1838 account he wrote " . . . and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts. In about four years after my fatherâ??s arrival in Palmyra . . ." (emphasis mine)

JS, in verse 3, was careful to say that he didn't remember exactly his age or a time period. Yet he is sure of his age in verse 7, even though he changes it from the 1832 account.

In verse 3, he uses imprecise language to approximate when his family moved. In verse 7, he does not use imprecise language with regard to when he had his vision. I guess I fail to see the significance of this.

Smith being fuzzy as to precisely how old he was during the events of his life (even the First Vision) just isn't that big a deal to me. Should it be?

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JS didn't change these verses, so they must be accurate.

Or it could be that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, improbabilities, and morally questionable actions perpetrated by Godly men and God Himself - and not even Joseph Smith could get rid of them.

(I've been reading Letter to a Christian Nation and The Sins of Scripture; can you tell?)

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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 [First Vision] down then.

Did the Gospel writers avail themselves of the first opportunity to pen their witness of Christ? Paul, his vision? And what of the disciples who didn't bother to make a record of Christ's miracles and resurrection at all? Oral tradition and all that, yes, I know. But the idea of preserved, written scripture was not alien to any of them. They had the Jewish scriptures, after all.

Maybe the real question is, when scripture is being written, is its author aware that he is writing what future generations will consider scripture? New thread, maybe.

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I am empty.

How sad. We have evidence (including evidence from unfriendly sources) showing the "Dual visitation" nature of JSJr's First Vision which precedes the 1832 unpublished draft. And we have the 1838 version, published a few years later, which purports to clear things up, and which makes the "Dual visitation" quite clear. Here are JSJr's words, approved by him for publication:

Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons, in relation to the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all of which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a Church and its progress in the worldâ??I have been induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts, as they have transpired, in relation both to myself and the Church, so far as I have such facts in my possession. In this history I shall present the various events in relation to this Church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now the eighth year since the organization of the said Church.
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We have evidence (including evidence from unfriendly sources) showing the "Dual visitation" nature of JSJr's First Vision which precedes the 1832 unpublished draft.

What is the evidence? Granted, I have not read through all 16 pages of this thread (I've more or less just been following along since Freedom in Truth started posting), so forgive me if I am :P

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Well, lets put it this way. When JS wrote his undertandings of his visions he may not have been careful because he didn't consider it to be important. Perhaps if he were to look into the future and see this debate on this thread, maybe just maybe, he would have been more careful.

Sadly, many members seem more concerned about this than the members at the time of JS. Of course, the reasons for this can vary and I must add that I am only guessing. But it seems to me that when JS wrote these somewhat differing accounts, the members at that time, didn't give a fiddle stick about them. Most likely, those who knew the man, knew that man and knew the kind of man JS was. Plus, I am sure that if asked personally for the reason, he had a satisfactory answer for the enquiring mind.

Unfortunately, no one recorded his response, if he did make one, but we can perhaps guess that he did.

The church did not fall at that time of the varied vision accounts. In fact, the church grew. What did those members know that we seem not to grasp today?

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Well, lets put it this way. When JS wrote his undertandings of his visions he may not have been careful because he didn't consider it to be important. Perhaps if he were to look into the future and see this debate on this thread, maybe just maybe, he would have been more careful.

I agree. In fact, I think some (if not many) of the things being said by critics of the First Vision and Smith's reaction to it (or supposed lack thereof) could be considered examples of historian's fallacy, but we cannot dismiss these arguments wholesale, as they can be construed as evidence of the evolutionary nature of Smith's theology. To the extent that Smith received revelation 'line upon line, precept upon precept', a maturing of his beliefs should not be unexpected. But if the critics can demonstrate that Smith held Trinitarian views early on and if the 'changes' to the First Vision account are in lock step with his changing attitudes toward Trinitarianism, then a motive can be assigned to Smith for not mentioning the Father as a separate personage at an earlier time and cast suspicion on his mention of two personages in later retellings, calling into question whether or not the Vision occurred at all (that's if I understand the critic's argument correctly).

Sadly, many members seem more concerned about this than the members at the time of JS. Of course, the reasons for this can vary and I must add that I am only guessing. But it seems to me that when JS wrote these somewhat differing accounts, the members at that time, didn't give a fiddle stick about them. Most likely, those who knew the man, knew that man and knew the kind of man JS was. Plus, I am sure that if asked personally for the reason, he had a satisfactory answer for the enquiring mind.

Unfortunately, no one recorded his response, if he did make one, but we can perhaps guess that he did.

The church did not fall at that time of the varied vision accounts. In fact, the church grew. What did those members know that we seem not to grasp today?

Perhaps. Or maybe the 1832 account was not then well known enough for them to consider its implications.

But I do find the following interesting (and helpful to the Mormon defense of these things) :

It should be noted that the scribe for the material which directly precedes and follows after the 1832 First Vision narrative (Frederick G. Williams) never mentioned anything about Joseph Smith's story evolving over time and becoming more elaborate with the inclusion of the Father. This, despite the fact that he faced a Church court, was rejected as a counselor in the First Presidency, and evidently lost his membership for a period of time.

source - Only one Deity appears in the 1832 account - FAIRWiki article

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Critics claim that in the 1832 account of the First Visionâ??which is in the handwriting of Joseph Smith himselfâ??it only says that Jesus Christ made an appearance in the wilderness; the Father is missing from the text. Since this is the earliest known written account of the First Vision story, critics presume that it provides evidence that the Prophet's story became more elaborate and impressive over time.

Whats funny is... we KNOW Pauls story did exactly that and all in a failed attempt to impress a king.

Acts 26: 28

28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

I wonder if there's a little projection going on here?

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I agree. In fact, I think some (if not many) of the things being said by critics of the First Vision and Smith's reaction to it (or supposed lack thereof) could be considered examples of historian's fallacy, but we cannot dismiss these arguments wholesale, as they can be construed as evidence of the evolutionary nature of Smith's theology. To the extent that Smith received revelation 'line upon line, precept upon precept', a maturing of his beliefs should not be unexpected. But if the critics can demonstrate that Smith held Trinitarian views early on and if the 'changes' to the First Vision account are in lock step with his changing attitudes toward Trinitarianism, then a motive can be assigned to Smith for not mentioning the Father as a separate personage at an earlier time and cast suspicion on his mention of two personages in later retellings, calling into question whether or not the Vision occurred at all (that's if I understand the critic's argument correctly).

That's not the only alternative, TCM. Indeed, one could take the position that the best explanation of such data is that JSJr grew in his understanding of what he saw ca. 1820 and that expanding understanding is prior to, and not an evolution of JSJr's views on the Trinity.

USU "Not that I take that position" 78

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