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Js And The Accounts Of The First Vision


bluebell

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A Better related question is... Why did the Bible initially not support the Trinity and then was later changed to support it?

http://www.bible-researcher.com/comma.html

So your statement that doctrine is not effected by textual/story variants is foundationless.

The Johannine Comma was added in the 1500s I believe. My Bible even says it is not in early manuscripts. If you want we can consider this verse "crossed-out" of the scriptures. The doctrine of the Trinity was not established on one verse. Also, the doctrine of the Trinity existed way before the 1500s.

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The bigger question is why God aloud some one to change his infallible word?

Inquiring minds want to know....

PS. How many more such changes can we rip from our Bibles? Perhaps there are some we don't even know about.

Justin Martyr accused the Jews of doing just that. :P

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Where is the evidence that Joseph Smith did see 2 personages in his first vision? Why would he neglect to include this in his first account? It doesnâ??t make sense to me that he saw 2 personages but he would write that he saw one. I canâ??t think of a reason to explain that.

Go back to the beginning of the thread and read the links provided and that will help you understand the evidences better.

As to why he woud neglect to write it in this one account-i don't think there is anyone who could possible say.

How do you explain the changes made in the 1830 BoM - changes it seems from a Trinity view to a non-Trinitarian view? And Alma 11:44 still sounds like a Trinitarian view.

They were clarifying changes-to help people understand what was meant by what was said.

There are still instances in the book of mormon (alma 11 is only one) where we learn that there is one eternal God.

The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost constitute the one God of scripture. Such a definition, as i understand it, is known as trithesim. This is not the same thing as trinitarianism. The oneness of the Godhead is spiritual, not physical.

:P

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His initial account preceded the 1832 version and was a spoken account. This is corroborated by other sources. The 1832 version was different, as is explained in Brown's essay found in the link below. It clears everything up.

You're right. It was anything but accidental. It was intended to emphasize the similarities between his own and Paul's experiences. People, PLEASE click on the link below and scroll down past the BoMormon portion to the subtitle "First Vision." This conversation is going around in circles, when it doesn't have to.

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/20...al_Stories.html

Read it. Not impressed.

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Actually, JS's version of seeing the Father and Son began before 1832. See the link above.

Read it. Not impressed. I don't see any evidence for JS claiming to have seen both father and son before 1832.

Furthermore, the chances of not mentioning President Clinton would become very high, if your goal was to write an essay comparing your experience of meeting the vice president to the experience of someone else who met ONLY the vice president. In that context, to mention Bill Clinton would sound like you were bragging. That's the last thing you would want, if you were already being persecuted for mentioning Bill Clinton in the past. By the way, Joseph Smith did mention the introduction "from on high."

The comparing to Paul comes in the 1838 account, yet it is there that the Father is mentioned. Brown's examination of the biblical overlays is interesting, but when he suggests that such things explain why certain things were not mention, he begs the question and his arguments are laughable.

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Post 148 - Zakuska - The first quote you attributed to me is not what I said. I wrote "Christian doctrine" not "Mormon doctrine". Please do not change my words in a quote (or anyone else's).

I am not aware that I have a doctrine built on "Today you will be with me in Paradise." Could you further clarify?

â??Joseph Smith didn't include some details either. So whats the problem?â?

In my opinion, the problem is you have a major doctrine built on initially â??missed detailsâ?. You have an 1830 BoM that matches Joseph Smithâ??s handwritten first vision account in this detail. And you have the JST of the Bible (begun in 1830) where verses are changed to reflect that God the Father and Jesus are one (Luke 10:23, originally Luke 10:22).

â??Many of the accounts weren't written by JS too.â?

A copy of JSâ??s initial first vision account in JSâ??s own handwriting exists.

â??The question really is... "Are you going to fault a Backwoods 3rd grader for not writing according to yoyur standards"?â?

I do not believe JS was unintelligent or uneducated. Do you have evidence that JS only finished 3rd grade? I also do not believe that the people of Palmyra were uneducated, unread, or unintelligent - but this sounds like a tangent for this thread. Would God allow JS to get a major doctrine wrong? (What else might JS have gotten wrong?) Wouldnâ??t God have protected such an important detail?

â??Then you are admiting that there is an â??apparent contradictionâ???â?

I do admit that the Bible has possible contradictions from our available knowledge and point of view (yet nothing that affects major doctrines). A clear contradiction in this case would be that Matthew wrote that the others crucified did not say anything to Jesus other than insults, etc. To answer your question more fully I ask that you clarify exactly what you mean by â??apparent contradictionâ?.

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Sorry about that... when I originally quoted you I was going to do a parrody replacing things you said with mormon speak.

I am not aware that I have a doctrine built on "Today you will be with me in Paradise." Could you further clarify?

Christ says to the Theif... "Today you'll be with me in Paradise". This is a proof text used by nearly every Christian denomination, to prove some doctrine or other.

For the Catholics its Purgatory.

For LDS its Paradise and Spirit Prison, where spirits await judgement.

For Protestants... its heaven or hell... and the uneccessity of Baptism.

So to say that no doctrine hangs on the contrdicting story is misleading.

In my opinion, the problem is you have a major doctrine built on initially â??missed detailsâ?. You have an 1830 BoM that matches Joseph Smithâ??s handwritten first vision account in this detail. And you have the JST of the Bible (begun in 1830) where verses are changed to reflect that God the Father and Jesus are one (Luke 10:23, originally Luke 10:22).

I'll Look those up ans respond latter.

Many of the accounts weren't written by JS too.

A copy of JSâ??s initial first vision account in JSâ??s own handwriting exists.

You misunderstood me. You where saying that many of the Gospels werent even written by who they say they where written by. There are also Newspaper accounts of JS vision prior to the 1832 account. The point being... You expect me to trust second hand accounts of the savior life and be saved over first hand accounts.

â??The question really is... "Are you going to fault a Backwoods 3rd grader for not writing according to yoyur standards"?â?
I do not believe JS was unintelligent or uneducated. Do you have evidence that JS only finished 3rd grade?

Well thats a given... I do not have the references. it was common Knowledge of those writing about him that he was dimmer than a 15w in a thunder storm. Ever read any of his personal writings? he couldn't spell worth snot! (Kind of like me :blush:)

[quoyte] I also do not believe that the people of Palmyra were uneducated, unread, or unintelligent - but this sounds like a tangent for this thread. Would God allow JS to get a major doctrine wrong? (What else might JS have gotten wrong?) Wouldnâ??t God have protected such an important detail?

Why would he... he didn't protect the Bible from being altered. Why are you expecing him to do it for JS?

â??Then you are admiting that there is an â??apparent contradictionâ???â?

I do admit that the Bible has possible contradictions from our available knowledge and point of view (yet nothing that affects major doctrines). A clear contradiction in this case would be that Matthew wrote that the others crucified did not say anything to Jesus other than insults, etc. To answer your question more fully I ask that you clarify exactly what you mean by â??apparent contradictionâ?.

I'll cut to the chase... My Point is the Bible is full of Contradiction.

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You are aware of some facts about the 1832 account arnt you?

1) It was a rough draft and never published.

2) Others where telling the first vision story as missionaries prior to the 1838 publication, some even as early as 1831 or ealier?

Yes, I am aware of the above. Changes to the initial first vision account started earlier than 1838. And, JS's first account was part of his personal writings. Usually earlier accounts of an event are more accurate - memory is better. JS apparently didn't at first remember he saw 2 personages - he also didn't remember that he heard one speak of the other.

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Yes, I am aware of the above. Changes to the initial first vision account started earlier than 1838. And, JS's first account was part of his personal writings. Usually earlier accounts of an event are more accurate - memory is better. JS apparently didn't at first remember he saw 2 personages - he also didn't remember that he heard one speak of the other.

Didn't remember... Or was affraid to include the detail?

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However, a major doctrine is based on Joseph Smithâ??s account of who he saw, which initially was the Lord and later changed to 2 personages. This is a MAJOR doctrine. Christianity in Joseph Smithâ??s day believed in the Trinity. Interestingly enough, Smithâ??s first account does not contradict the Trinity. Also, the first edition of the Book of Mormon (1830) does not contradict the Trinity but supports it. Then changes are made to the Book of Mormon, and the first vision account changes as well. Now Jesus and God the Father are 2 personages and Mormonism is anti-Trinity.

You keep making a spurious claim. His FIRST account was not written. It was spoken. Multiple sources support this. His FIRST account supports him seeing the Father and Son as seperate personages, it appears. That his first known WRITTEN account doesn't overtly mention the Father might make one wonder WHY. However, we do find that it is an account meant to compare his experience with Paul's, so he emphasizes his vision of Christ. Regardless, he makes subtle references to the Father being there. If you consider his desire to compare his and Paul's experience and the fact that he was previously persecuted for his initial claim, it's obvious that he had some very reasonable motives to borderline equivocate on the Father being there or not. However, the Father is obliquely referred to in the 1832 account.

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Precisely because I don't read any commands in that passage. Descriptions, yes. But not commands.

Where do you see the "command" you quoted in your earlier post?

Best.

CKS

It is a slothful servant that needs be commanded in all things. I take suggestion, teachings of principles, enlightenment to be as good as a command in that I swiftly follow suite.

You gag on a knat, and swallow a camel.

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What is the important Christian doctrine you feel is at stake here? I don't know of any doctrine based on the others crucified with Jesus.

John’s silence on this issue is not a contradiction. This gospel chooses not to include this detail - we don’t know why.

The gospels probably were not written by the apostles but by a disciple of the apostles, so it would be Matthew’s account but not necessarily penned by Matthew.

Hebrew writers of Bible times had different literary conventions than we do today. They were not concerned with chronological narration or precise citation. They thought differently. We have been greatly influenced by Greco-Roman thinking - we like exact details and chronological narration. Are you going to fault Jewish NT authors for not writing according to your standards?

Luke was Greek and a gentile. Perhaps his Greco-Roman (and not Hebraic) thinking is evidenced by the added details of the others crucified. Luke’s account does not necessarily contradict Matthew and Mark’s account since the others crucified could have initially insulted Jesus.

But, again, no doctrine is based on the two crucified with Jesus. The important issue is that Jesus was crucified - all gospels agree on this.

My point, which you have kindly demonstrated, is the double standard

to which we Mormons are held by our co-religionists when it comes to

problems in our respective histories.

The important doctrine? Salvation by confession...deathbed salvation...

Purgatory...necessity for baptism...all hotly argued using this event as evidence.

It has been pointed out to me many times by folks who disagree with

the LDS position on baptism and salvation. And it is based on a biblical

contradiction.

A variety of EV viewpoints based on this event:

http://www.letusreason.org/Doct19.htm

http://www.piney-2.com/Max-Lucado-Thief-on-Cross.html

http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/23_39-43.htm

http://www.biblestudylessons.com/cgi-bin/g...thief_cross.php

http://www.bibleweb.com/content/thief.htm

http://larryrouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/doe...cross-make.html

I've got to stop. These guys are giving me a headache. : :P

Bernard

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Read it. Not impressed. I don't see any evidence for JS claiming to have seen both father and son before 1832.

What's your point? What is evident is that he had motive to HIDE it and purposely did so.

The comparing to Paul comes in the 1838 account, yet it is there that the Father is mentioned.

No, Joseph Smith says he FELT like Paul in the 1838 account. In the 1832 account, as Brown illustrates, he's writing in a way that parallels Pauls account and is a direct comparing of experiences. This would obviously lead Joseph to emphasize the appearance of Jesus Christ and NOT the Father. Furthermore, we know Joseph Smith was hesitant to name who it was he saw at all. In his 1835 account, he simply mentions two personages, and doesn't name either of them. Oliver Cowdery, when writing the history of the Church, as Brown points out, had access to Joseph Smith's 1832 account but chooses not to include it. The 1835 account and Cowdery's lack of mention of the 1832 document in writing the history of the Church illustrate Joseph's motive to hide details of the first vision. The 1838 version tells us WHY he wants to hide details: he was severely persecuted for telling the story. Lastly, the 1832 version DOES allude to the Father's introduction of Jesus, so once one puts all the parts together, the picture is of a man who has a lot of motive to hide the fact that the Father himself appeared to him, yet he at leads alludes to it subtly.

Brown's examination of the biblical overlays is interesting, but when he suggests that such things explain why certain things were not mention, he begs the question and his arguments are laughable.

It does explain why he would leave some things out and emphasize others. He purposely kept it in the same format which required that it be short and lacking in details and purposely emphasizes that Jesus appeared to him. The fact that Joseph Smith had not talked much of the details prior to this also fits his pattern of avoiding this story repeatedly. As a final note, the Book of Mormon indicates on more than one occasion that the Father and Son are distinct individuals. That was written in 1829. There is no begging of the question at all, unless you miss the whole point of the paper: Joseph Smith purposely made his experience parallel Paul's, necessitating certain details be left out and others be emphasized.

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What's your point? What is evident is that he had motive to HIDE it and purposely did so.

No, Joseph Smith says he FELT like Paul in the 1838 account. In the 1832 account, as Brown illustrates, he's writing in a way that parallels Pauls account and is a direct comparing of experiences. This would obviously lead Joseph to emphasize the appearance of Jesus Christ and NOT the Father. Furthermore, we know Joseph Smith was hesitant to name who it was he saw at all. In his 1835 account, he simply mentions two personages, and doesn't name either of them. Oliver Cowdery, when writing the history of the Church, as Brown points out, had access to Joseph Smith's 1832 account but chooses not to include it. The 1835 account and Cowdery's lack of mention of the 1832 document in writing the history of the Church illustrate Joseph's motive to hide details of the first vision. The 1838 version tells us WHY he wants to hide details: he was severely persecuted for telling the story. Lastly, the 1832 version DOES allude to the Father's introduction of Jesus, so once one puts all the parts together, the picture is of a man who has a lot of motive to hide the fact that the Father himself appeared to him, yet he at leads alludes to it subtly.

It does explain why he would leave some things out and emphasize others. He purposely kept it in the same format which required that it be short and lacking in details and purposely emphasizes that Jesus appeared to him. The fact that Joseph Smith had not talked much of the details prior to this also fits his pattern of avoiding this story repeatedly. As a final note, the Book of Mormon indicates on more than one occasion that the Father and Son are distinct individuals. That was written in 1829. There is no begging of the question at all, unless you miss the whole point of the paper: Joseph Smith purposely made his experience parallel Paul's, necessitating certain details be left out and others be emphasized.

You have been more than clear and right in your understanding of what was happening with JS and why and how his accounts came as they did. Those who are not looking for understanding, but rather a validation of their own stance, will not hear or see it with understanding.

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The bigger question is why God aloud some one to change his infallible word?

Inquiring minds want to know....

PS. How many more such changes can we rip from our Bibles? Perhaps there are some we don't even know about.

Justin Martyr accused the Jews of doing just that. :P

I think the biggest problem is that we tend to approach the Bible with Greek-thinking minds. We want all details to line up. But, as I have said, Hebrews didn't think this way - details were not crucial . . . the message was. The Bible presents a consistent message (revelation on who God is, who we are, our relationship, etc.). God seems to prefer to work through people, even though we are imperfect. I believe God wants us to look past the letters on the page and the details. This seems to me similar to Jesus telling parables - why didn't He just teach the straight facts so everyone would clearly understand? God wants us to seek Him - He gives us all we need (like revelation in the Bible) but He seems to set things up so we don't have to believe if we don't want to.

There are variants in manuscripts of the Bible - but they don't change the message. That to me is incredible for such an old and long book. But the BoM is not so old and not so long, and it already has had thousands of changes, many of which affect doctrine.

JS was supposed to restore Truth. He wrote the JST of the Bible, which I would think would be the corrected version of the "corrupted" Bible text. However, it must not be the corrected version - for example, the Johannine Comma is in the JST. It does not make sense to me.

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It is a slothful servant that needs be commanded in all things. I take suggestion, teachings of principles, enlightenment to be as good as a command in that I swiftly follow suite.

You gag on a knat, and swallow a camel.

Leaving aside your patent, conversation-stopping, condescension, I don't see here a suggestion, or a teaching of principle, or enlightenment (in the sense you mean it). I see a description of a state of affairs. Of course, LDS refer to this as the basis for all those things you mentioned. My point is that I don't see it in the text.

Perhaps you could engage the text itself and explain how you get from A to B in a civil manner.

But, I suspect, in light of your disdain for critical thinking, you'd probably rather not.

Critical thinking takes you away from God, not nearer.

Best.

CKS

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Go back to the beginning of the thread and read the links provided and that will help you understand the evidences better.

I read the article Dan cited in Post #154 - I will comment on the article in another post. If there are any other articles you think would be beneficial could you give me the post #? Thanks.

As to why he woud neglect to write it in this one account-i don't think there is anyone who could possible say.

They were clarifying changes-to help people understand what was meant by what was said.

I can clarify the citing of a balloon by adding that it was red and as big as a basketball. I don't clarify the citing of a balloon by saying that I cited two balloons.

There are still instances in the book of mormon (alma 11 is only one) where we learn that there is one eternal God.

The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost constitute the one God of scripture. Such a definition, as i understand it, is known as trithesim. This is not the same thing as trinitarianism. The oneness of the Godhead is spiritual, not physical.

I looked up tritheism - it can refer to a trinity concept or refer to 3 separate gods (which would be the Mormon godhead). Alma 11:44 can be interpreted as tritheistic or trinitarian. Are there verses in the BoM 1830 edition that are clearly tritheistic?

:P

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Read it. Not impressed.

I read it, and I am not convinced either. First, a principle of textural criticism is that additions are usually not original.

All quotes are from your cited article -

â??A preliminary survey of the literature on my part turned up several First Vision story elements that were known in non-LDS circles before JS 1832 was created. They did not make it into this particular account, but they were included by Joseph Smith in JS 1838, signifying that they were integral parts of the story.â?

Maybe I missed them, but I did not see any examples supporting the first sentence. These elements were â??integralâ?, but JS left them out? That does not compute, even with the authorâ??s explanations. Prophets/followers of God/Jesus did not lead wonderfully happy lives in the Bible and during post-Biblical times. They were beaten, mocked, crucified, burned at the stake, etc. But JS modified his first vision account â??to bolster the chances of his story being accepted by the world by couching it in language that would resonate in a positive manner with the massesâ?? That is different. People with a passion for God and filled with the Holy Spirit are often incredibly bold and brave.

As far as the scriptural framework found in JSâ??s account - I have noticed that. However, I believe it is evidence that JS knew his Bible well and copied its ideas in creating his story.

â??These exacting parallels also indicate that JS 1832 is a deliberately constructed, and complex textâ??it is NOT the simple retelling of a story.â?

All this detail and complexity from a guy with a â??3rd grade educationâ?? The author did not indicate that the first vision account was God-inspired - he seemed to indicate that JS himself wrote it. (see quote below)

â??It is apparent from this exacting pattern of parallels that Joseph Smith was trying to show . . .â?

No - it doesn't add up for me.

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To Zakuska -

Hey - how do you get those nifty little boxes of my quotes? All I can figure out is how to cite the whole post!

"Christ says to the Theif... "Today you'll be with me in Paradise". This is a proof text used by nearly every Christian denomination, to prove some doctrine or other.

For the Catholics its Purgatory.

For LDS its Paradise and Spirit Prison, where spirits await judgement.

For Protestants... its heaven or hell... and the uneccessity of Baptism.

So to say that no doctrine hangs on the contrdicting story is misleading."

Well, I'm not Catholic or Mormon. I also don't believe any major doctrine should be (or is) based on one verse. If you are Mormon - do you base your above doctrine on this one verse?

"You misunderstood me. You where saying that many of the Gospels werent even written by who they say they where written by. There are also Newspaper accounts of JS vision prior to the 1832 account. The point being... You expect me to trust second hand accounts of the savior life and be saved over first hand accounts."

I think we have lost the original understanding that it is "the gospel according to Matthew", for example, and not penned by Matthew. We cannot relate to a society and time where literature was oral in tradition. The firsthand accounts were oral, and memorization was important. (They also had all sorts of ways to aid memory.) But we are a pen and paper society now, and we have JS's penned account of his first vision.

Where can I read these newspaper accounts you speak of?

Since you believe JS's written account is different from his first accounts, I can see why you wouldn't trust second-hand accounts. And I have no expectations of what you should trust - that is up to you. I do hope you will be consistent.

"Well thats a given... I do not have the references. it was common Knowledge of those writing about him that he was dimmer than a 15w in a thunder storm. Ever read any of his personal writings? he couldn't spell worth snot! (Kind of like me :blush:)"

Actually, JS's spelling in his handwritten first vision account is quite good. Here is a quote from Brown's article Dan cited to me - "It is apparent from this exacting pattern of parallels that Joseph Smith was trying to show that the concerns which weighed heavily upon him before his prayer in the woods were all addressed and resolved by his Savior. These exacting parallels also indicate that JS 1832 is a deliberately constructed, and complex textâ??it is NOT the simple retelling of a story." JS doesn't sound so dim to me.

[quoyte] I also do not believe that the people of Palmyra were uneducated, unread, or unintelligent - but this sounds like a tangent for this thread. Would God allow JS to get a major doctrine wrong? (What else might JS have gotten wrong?) Wouldnâ??t God have protected such an important detail?

Why would he... he didn't protect the Bible from being altered. Why are you expecing him to do it for JS?

I'll cut to the chase... My Point is the Bible is full of Contradiction.

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You keep making a spurious claim. His FIRST account was not written. It was spoken. Multiple sources support this. His FIRST account supports him seeing the Father and Son as seperate personages, it appears. That his first known WRITTEN account doesn't overtly mention the Father might make one wonder WHY. However, we do find that it is an account meant to compare his experience with Paul's, so he emphasizes his vision of Christ. Regardless, he makes subtle references to the Father being there. If you consider his desire to compare his and Paul's experience and the fact that he was previously persecuted for his initial claim, it's obvious that he had some very reasonable motives to borderline equivocate on the Father being there or not. However, the Father is obliquely referred to in the 1832 account.

I addressed a lot of this in #168. I am still missing the text of his first spoken accounts. Where can I read them? If you claim that his first (spoken) accounts were different than his first written account, then you must have something written down that supports this.

Is there proof that JS desired to compare his experience with Paul's? Did JS say this to anyone or write this - that he specifically altered his first vision account to compare to Paul's conversion account?

An oblique reference to the Father doesn't mean JS saw the Father.

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Dan Vogel,

I'd like to respond to your post about the "ad hominem circumstantial" fallacy, and how it relates to a common Mormon argument. In my experience, there are quite a few Mormons (including myself) who have tried to point out the apparent double standard of Bible believers with regards to their disapproval of the seemingly incongruous versions of the First Vision. You seem to be taking this as an attack from us on their character/logic, in order to divert them from their valid criticisms (hence, the claim of ad hominem circumstantial). In fact, this is not what our argument is about at all. Perhaps unfortunately, the argument is a bit more subtle than that (and a whole lot less negative). Let's start from the Mormon point of view. We believe that neither Joseph Smith's accounts, nor the Biblical accounts, should be rejected. We have many reasons for this, and we could explain each of these reasons to our detractors, but we have learned (by sad experience) that this is a less effective means of convincing them. Instead, we figure that they also have valid reasons for not rejecting the Biblical texts (even though riddled with seeming contradictions as they are). We are not asking them to ignore their criticisms of the Joseph Smith's texts, but rather apply the same criticisms to our common text (the Bible) and once they use their justifications for the Bible, to then apply those justifications to Joseph's story.

Now, it might be the case that these critics really are not coming from double standard, and that the arguments they use to justify their belief in the Biblical story in spite of its contradictions really don't apply to Joseph's first vision. If this is the case, our argument is two-fold. Firstly, we are interested to know why their arguments don't apply in this case (hence this specific thread, by Bluebell). Secondly, we hope that they might realize that just like they can find reasons to believe in the Bible with all its seeming conundrums, so can we with regards to the First Vision.

It might also be the case that they really are coming from a double standard. In that case, we still have to deal with their criticisms (now, of both texts). And we admit this, hence we are not trying to deflect their criticisms via an ad hominen. But, before we deal with their criticisms, we first want to know they have not already answered their own criticisms via their justifications with regards to the Bible.

I hope this helps expand and explain what bluebell was trying to communicate, and why this thread does go to the heart of the criticism. We want to understand why the justifications they use to believe in the Bible don't apply to Joseph's vision.

Cheers,

Zeta-Flux

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There is one true principle I would like to explain that I think would help discussion. I have found that when I can't think of a reason why something might be the way it is, the fault lies with myself. I simply am not creative enough to find a reason for it.

In this thread I have read numerous times that people can't think of any reason why Joseph would not mention seeing the Father in his 1832 version. And immediately after this confession of lack of creativity, this is used as a reason to reject Joseph's story. I hope that people can see the tenuousness of this argument. I also hope that they might go back and read the entire thread, so as to see a few very likely reasons Mormons have given for Joseph leaving this out.

1. Joseph felt it was too sacred to mention at that time.

2. Joseph was afraid of criticism.

3. Joseph wanted his story to match Paul's more closely.

4. Joseph wrote it so that only those with "eyes to see" would find that element.

If you don't find any of these convincing, so be it. And if you want to convince us, then go ahead and try to refute the evidence given in the links.

Cheers,

Zeta-Flux

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My point, which you have kindly demonstrated, is the double standard

to which we Mormons are held by our co-religionists when it comes to

problems in our respective histories.

The important doctrine? Salvation by confession...deathbed salvation...

Purgatory...necessity for baptism...all hotly argued using this event as evidence.

It has been pointed out to me many times by folks who disagree with

the LDS position on baptism and salvation. And it is based on a biblical

contradiction.

A variety of EV viewpoints based on this event:

http://www.letusreason.org/Doct19.htm

http://www.piney-2.com/Max-Lucado-Thief-on-Cross.html

http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/23_39-43.htm

http://www.biblestudylessons.com/cgi-bin/g...thief_cross.php

http://www.bibleweb.com/content/thief.htm

http://larryrouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/doe...cross-make.html

I've got to stop. These guys are giving me a headache. : :P

Bernard

Bernard - yeah, the links give me a headache too!

Salvation by faith is supported throughout the Bible by verses such as Gen 15:6 (Rom. 4:3, Gal. 3:6), John 3:16, and Eph. 2:8-9. Baptism isnâ??t required for salvation. Baptism is talking about the Hebrew immersion or ritual cleansing, which the Jews of Jesusâ?? day understood. This immersion wasnâ??t anything new to them, and it wasnâ??t a magical formula that made something spiritual happen either. It was what they did to symbolize repentance and/or to symbolize a cleansing and a change. The person usually immersed themselves with a witness watching. Baptism is for us, not for God. It helps us touch on the reality of the spiritual. It is great for us to do, but not required for salvation.

I donâ??t need the story of the thief on the cross to illustrate salvation by faith - there are so many other verses.

As far as the concept of Paradise - I donâ??t consider that a major doctrine. Major doctrines - we all have eternal life, which means we will live after our death of this world; we will either be eternally with God in Heaven or we will have chosen separation from God in Hell. I know Paradise is important to Catholics . . . but I am not Catholic.

JSâ??s differing first vision accounts would be hypothetically illustrated in the Bible like this:

Eph. 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Hypothetical first version of Eph. 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith and required baptism; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (addition mine)

Now we would have a major doctrine affected, especially if other verses supporting salvation by faith alone were changed as well.

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There is one true principle I would like to explain that I think would help discussion. I have found that when I can't think of a reason why something might be the way it is, the fault lies with myself. I simply am not creative enough to find a reason for it.

In this thread I have read numerous times that people can't think of any reason why Joseph would not mention seeing the Father in his 1832 version. And immediately after this confession of lack of creativity, this is used as a reason to reject Joseph's story. I hope that people can see the tenuousness of this argument. I also hope that they might go back and read the entire thread, so as to see a few very likely reasons Mormons have given for Joseph leaving this out.

1. Joseph felt it was too sacred to mention at that time.

2. Joseph was afraid of criticism.

3. Joseph wanted his story to match Paul's more closely.

4. Joseph wrote it so that only those with "eyes to see" would find that element.

If you don't find any of these convincing, so be it. And if you want to convince us, then go ahead and try to refute the evidence given in the links.

Cheers,

Zeta-Flux

I do not feel creativity should be involved - research and logical-thinking should be. I can make up an answer (be creative) for anything, but that does not mean it is true or logical.

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I think the biggest problem is that we tend to approach the Bible with Greek-thinking minds. We want all details to line up. But, as I have said, Hebrews didn't think this way - details were not crucial . . . the message was. The Bible presents a consistent message (revelation on who God is, who we are, our relationship, etc.). God seems to prefer to work through people, even though we are imperfect. I believe God wants us to look past the letters on the page and the details. This seems to me similar to Jesus telling parables - why didn't He just teach the straight facts so everyone would clearly understand? God wants us to seek Him - He gives us all we need (like revelation in the Bible) but He seems to set things up so we don't have to believe if we don't want to.

There are variants in manuscripts of the Bible - but they don't change the message. That to me is incredible for such an old and long book. But the BoM is not so old and not so long, and it already has had thousands of changes, many of which affect doctrine.

JS was supposed to restore Truth. He wrote the JST of the Bible, which I would think would be the corrected version of the "corrupted" Bible text. However, it must not be the corrected version - for example, the Johannine Comma is in the JST. It does not make sense to me.

You do error in your facts about the BoM, but I certainly am not surprised. The changes in the BoM are a few words, gramatical changes like commas etc and spelling corrections. Not one of the changes made a doctrinal difference in their text.

The Bible has several passages, as proven by the upgrades from JS that were totally changed and confused the doctrines. Of course you won't see that either.

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