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Brigham Young "Transformed" Into Joseph Smith


paulpatter

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Most LDS are familiar with what is purported to have happened during the speech Brigham Young gave on Aug. 8, 1844; i.e., ". . .it seemed in the eyes of the people as though it was the very person of Joseph who stood before them" (George Q. Cannon, Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith, page 541).

Unquestionably, some who witnessed the speech were adamant in declaring BY miraculously took on the appearance and voice of Joseph Smith.

I am not saying they were wrong. I have no way of knowing that, and--in fact--I want their accounts to be accurate in every detail. I recall reading that the event was noted in the journals of some of those who were in attendance. I also recall reading, however, that the journals of some witnesses make no mention whatever of the "transformation." Moreover, I have read material suggesting that the event has been "added upon" over the years. (Yes, I need to cite sources; I'm working on that.)

I think it's possible--just my guess--that those who saw a transformation were touched by the Holy Spirit. Whereas those who did not have that experience were in some way unworthy of the Spirit's influence.

As to whether or not the event has been "added upon," again I have no way of knowing that with certitude; in any event, I welcome your comments about any aspect of the foregoing.

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Most LDS are familiar

...

It is absolutely true!

In front of thousands of totally objective witnesses,

Brigham Young literally transformed into Joeph Smith, Jr.

at Nauvoo -- while Sidney Rigdon writhed in jealousy.

First his speech became exactly like Joseph's -- down to

the tiny detail of a slight lisp, due to Joseph's broken tooth.

Then Brigham's leg took on a slight limp exactly like Joseph's --

down to the tiny detail of a typhus extraction bone scar.

Finally, Brigham's face lost its beard and his nose grew

to match our beloved martyr's generous schnozzola.

A blazing prophet's mantle of celestial glory descended from

the heavens upon Brigham's manly shoulders, and there,

embroidered upon its edge, a delicate heart, surmounted by

the words "For my loving husband, the Prophet Joseph."

Unfortunately this striking visage faded, before Brigham

could convince Mother Smith and Emma to hop into his wagon

for a holiday dip in the Great Salt Lake, on the 24th of July.

It's all recorded there in that now "lost Extra" of the Nauvoo

Times & Seasons. (Only surviving copy is said to be

in the vault of the First Presidency)....

[/sarcasm]

UD

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It is absolutely true!

In front of thousands of totally objective witnesses,

Brigham Young literally transformed into Joeph Smith, Jr.

at Nauvoo -- while Sidney Rigdon writhed in jealousy.

First his speech became exactly like Joseph's -- down to

the tiny detail of a slight lisp, due to Joseph's broken tooth.

Then Brigham's leg took on a slight limp exactly like Joseph's --

down to the tiny detail of a typhus extraction bone scar.

Finally, Brigham's face lost its beard and his nose grew

to match our beloved martyr's generous schnozzola.

A blazing prophet's mantle of celestial glory descended from

the heavens upon Brigham's manly shoulders, and there,

embroidered upon its edge, a delicate heart, surmounted by

the words "For my loving husband, the Prophet Joseph."

Unfortunately this striking visage faded, before Brigham

could convince Mother Smith and Emma to hop into his wagon

for a holiday dip in the Great Salt Lake, on the 24th of July.

It's all recorded there in that now "lost Extra" of the Nauvoo

Times & Seasons. (Only surviving copy is said to be

in the vault of the First Presidency)....

[/sarcasm]

UD

Have you read Lynne Jorgensen's chapter in John Welch's Opening the Heavens (linked to in Hamba Tuhan's thread)? Did you look at the thread I linked to, in which the arguments implied in your apparently knee-jerk derision are addressed? How do you account for 121 witnesses, in widely scattered locales after the event, leaving independent journal accounts or recollections?

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...

How do you account

...

It's not my place to account for anything. But, according to Elder Sidney Rigdon

(who was present at the time) the supporters of The Twelve were liars and

falsifiers, who represented actions of The Twelve as honest, which were dishonest.

I suggest that we begin by looking at the "Times and Seasons" and "Nauvoo Neighbor,"

in order to see just what mentions of the prophetic mantle were actually published in 1844.

I believe some attention has already been given to that subject by Richard Van Wagoner

in his "The Making of a Mormon Myth" ("Dialogue," Winter 1995) and by Reid L. Harper,

in his "The Mantle of Joseph Smith" ("Journal of Mormon History," Fall 1996).

The modern scholarly consensus is that vague ideas about the "mantle of the prophet"

from 1844 were expanded and exploited by Mormons seeking to embellish their testimonies

or their own "witness" status. A phenomenon familiar in "fish stories" and in some

"burning in the bosom" testimonies which eventually morph into "burning bush" testimonies.

Did Brigham purposely speak like Joseph -- right down to mimicking the whistling

voice of a man with a broken tooth? -- Perhaps so.

Did some onlookers practically faint with pounding-heart emotions, "knowing" that

Brigham should lead the Church? -- Perhaps so.

Did the heavens open, with a white dove descending upon Brigham's shoulders,

and a heavenly voice proclaim, "Thou art my beloved successor - and this day have

I consecrated you" ??? -- very unlikely that anything even remotely similar happened.

I prefer Sidney Rigdon's explanation.

He was there, and records no manifestation.

UD

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In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

In this case, 121 witnesses. hehe

If one wonders about whether this event truly did take place as is witnesses and recorded, one need only pray for the Holy Ghost to testify of the truth thereof, whatever that may be.

I believe that those in attendance, who sincerely sought to know who of the remaining leaders should inherit the mantle of Joseph, probably previously prayed about this in their hearts. They were already ready to receive the answer to their prayers. I don't think Rigdon was interested in the slightest in what the Holy Ghost thought, rather I believe he just wanted to be of some great importance after the death of Joseph in the Church. I think he knew full well what the Lord said concerning the succession, that is in D&C 107, 23-24, that the authority following Joseph's death remained with the Apostles. Even thought he felt he should be the Church's protector, the Lord already provided the answer in 107, which he certainly didn't like. So he left to run his own apostate church, living what I'm sure was a sorry and sad life, having denied almost everything God gave him (save his witness of the Book of Mormon), till his death. What a sad man, to have received so much by the Spirit, to have served with the Prophet and then reject it when he didn't get his way.

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In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

In this case, 121 witnesses. hehe

If one wonders about whether this event truly did take place as is witnesses and recorded, one need only pray for the Holy Ghost to testify of the truth thereof, whatever that may be.

I believe that those in attendance, who sincerely sought to know who of the remaining leaders should inherit the mantle of Joseph, probably previously prayed about this in their hearts. They were already ready to receive the answer to their prayers. I don't think Rigdon was interested in the slightest in what the Holy Ghost thought, rather I believe he just wanted to be of some great importance after the death of Joseph in the Church. I think he knew full well what the Lord said concerning the succession, that is in D&C 107, 23-24, that the authority following Joseph's death remained with the Apostles. Even thought he felt he should be the Church's protector, the Lord already provided the answer in 107, which he certainly didn't like. So he left to run his own apostate church, living what I'm sure was a sorry and sad life, having denied almost everything God gave him (save his witness of the Book of Mormon), till his death. What a sad man, to have received so much by the Spirit, to have served with the Prophet and then reject it when he didn't get his way.

AND. . . .

He forgot to tell everyone that it was he, who wrote the Book of Mormon. :P

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It's not my place to account for anything. But, according to Elder Sidney Rigdon

(who was present at the time) the supporters of The Twelve were liars and

falsifiers, who represented actions of The Twelve as honest, which were dishonest.

I suggest that we begin by looking at the "Times and Seasons" and "Nauvoo Neighbor,"

in order to see just what mentions of the prophetic mantle were actually published in 1844.

I believe some attention has already been given to that subject by Richard Van Wagoner

in his "The Making of a Mormon Myth" ("Dialogue," Winter 1995) and by Reid L. Harper,

in his "The Mantle of Joseph Smith" ("Journal of Mormon History," Fall 1996).

The modern scholarly consensus is that vague ideas about the "mantle of the prophet"

from 1844 were expanded and exploited by Mormons seeking to embellish their testimonies

or their own "witness" status. A phenomenon familiar in "fish stories" and in some

"burning in the bosom" testimonies which eventually morph into "burning bush" testimonies.

Did Brigham purposely speak like Joseph -- right down to mimicking the whistling

voice of a man with a broken tooth? -- Perhaps so.

Did some onlookers practically faint with pounding-heart emotions, "knowing" that

Brigham should lead the Church? -- Perhaps so.

Did the heavens open, with a white dove descending upon Brigham's shoulders,

and a heavenly voice proclaim, "Thou art my beloved successor - and this day have

I consecrated you" ??? -- very unlikely that anything even remotely similar happened.

I prefer Sidney Rigdon's explanation.

He was there, and records no manifestation.

UD

I asked if you had read the thread I linked to and the book chapter by Jorgensen. You ignored the question. I take it that the answer was no, since these arguments and others were addressed therein. Suffice it to say that Van Wagoner's analysis is not the definitive word some want it to be.

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AND. . . .

He forgot to tell everyone that it was he, who wrote the Book of Mormon. :P

He also never admitted writing any of the D&C (although Jockers' word-print study

reports otherwise). Here is what he had to say about the D&C in 1846:

STRANGEST OF THE STRANGE.

Under this head, we notice the sayings and doings of some whose conduct would savor of maniacism more than any thing else. There are some who profess to be great sticklers fur the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and say they can see great departures from it; but let their own works and words, speak for their honesty in this, matter. As sure then as the book is true, and of God, there is one thing in it, which alone gives it value, and that is that the church founded on it, was to be led by a man like unto Moses, whom the Lord would raise up, and that said man was to be Joseph Smith, or one ordained under his hands to this office, and the church was forbid to receive the teaching of any other. -- These things all acquainted with the book know. It mattered not how many prophets might arise, those who believed and received that book, were forbidden to receive them, as their leader, unless they had been ordained under the hand of Joseph Smith. It matteted not how many letters they had received from him, this was not the evidence of their authority, but the person who led the church must be ordained to that office under his hands; and any coming who were not so, the church by that book; was forbiden to receive him or them as their leader.

According to this book the church, which it recognised as the church of Christ, was to be thus led and no other way, There is not a word said about the man whom Joseph Smith ordained, ordaining some body else to act in his place. The people were forbidden to receive any one, only Joseph Smith or one ordained under his hands, and the same book declares that if Joseph Smith did transgress and was taken, that another should be planted in his stead; that is, to lead the church, and that Joseph Smith had or would have power after his transgression, to do this thing.

Now Joseph Smith is gone, did he do as the book said he would do, all know he did. Then the question is forever settled, if that book is of God, the church is forbid to receive the teachings of any other than that man thus ordained.

If Mr. Smith did ordain a man to that office how much regard do men have for the book about which they hypocritically say so much? all must answer none. Their pretentions are hypocrisy and shameless impudence, that no beings but those whose conscience were seared as with a hot iron, dare make. So easily has the Lord put it into the power of his saints to detect base hypocrites and shameless liars who sneak about like wolves to get a prey; but their shame will overtake them, for the Lord will vindicate his word. That such will be the result when the whole is wound up and the object for which creation was designed is obtained, is as sure as the Lord ever spake by man.

There is one fact in the book of Doctrine and Covenants pre-eminent above all others, and that is, that all are forbidden to receive the teachings of any other, but one that was ordained under the hand of Joseph Smith for that pupose. If there is now such person in existence, then all are forbidden to receive the teachings of any man living, or who will hereafter; for Joseph Smith is dead, and cannot now or over ordain a man, to take his place; if he has not done so, then, there is an end to the book of Doctrine and Covenants; and if he did so, before his death, all are forbidden to receive the teachings of any other save that person...

Either Sidney Rigdon continued to believe in the D&C (nor matter who we say wrote it),

or else he was a very convincing liar.

I choose to think he truly believed that his ordination by Smith made him

Smith's successor, and that the D&C texts backed him up in that assertion.

... or, he was an accomplished religious fraud.

UD

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Well, I believe all those folks saw this happen, just like I believe all the people who have seen the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje.

Why should the "vision" those 121 folks "witnessed" be any less real than the "visions" of those in Medjugorje?

Do any of YOU believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to people in Poland? Why or why not?

edited to add this link: http://www.medjugorje.org/

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Well, I believe all those folks saw this happen, just like I believe all the people who have seen the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje.

Why should the "vision" those 121 folks "witnessed" be any less real than the "visions" of those in Medjugorje?

Do any of YOU believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to people in Poland? Why or why not?

I certainly agree that their (I mean the 121) experience is not "less real." Have you read Jorgensen's book chapter?

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I certainly agree that their (I mean the 121) experience is not "less real." Have you read Jorgensen's book chapter?

BIZ: So, you DO believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to people in Poland? After all, there ARE more than 3 witnessess of her.

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...But where is the other?

...

Probably joined the Reorganization, had a dozen kids,

and lived out her golden years on an Iowa farm, humming

"The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning."

Elder Hyde's apostolic discernment to the contrary notwithstanding,

I doubt Israel's God disinherited any saintly sisters who failed to

see supernatural changes in 1844 Q12 members' countenances.

UD

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In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

In this case, 121 witnesses. hehe

If one wonders about whether this event truly did take place as is witnesses and recorded, one need only pray for the Holy Ghost to testify of the truth thereof, whatever that may be.

I believe that those in attendance, who sincerely sought to know who of the remaining leaders should inherit the mantle of Joseph, probably previously prayed about this in their hearts. They were already ready to receive the answer to their prayers. I don't think Rigdon was interested in the slightest in what the Holy Ghost thought, rather I believe he just wanted to be of some great importance after the death of Joseph in the Church. I think he knew full well what the Lord said concerning the succession, that is in D&C 107, 23-24, that the authority following Joseph's death remained with the Apostles. Even thought he felt he should be the Church's protector, the Lord already provided the answer in 107, which he certainly didn't like. So he left to run his own apostate church, living what I'm sure was a sorry and sad life, having denied almost everything God gave him (save his witness of the Book of Mormon), till his death. What a sad man, to have received so much by the Spirit, to have served with the Prophet and then reject it when he didn't get his way.

AND . . . .

He forgot to tell everyone that he wrote portions of the D&C. :P

(Uncle Dale, does that make you feel better?)

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BIZ: So, you DO believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to people in Poland? After all, there ARE more than 3 witnessess of her.

Don't know. I'm only expressing an opinion about those who reported seeing a transfiguration of Brigham.

By the way, did you read Jorgensen's book chapter. (Why do people here seem so determined to ignore this question?)

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AND . . . .

He forgot to tell everyone that he wrote portions of the D&C. :P

(Uncle Dale, does that make you feel better?)

I couldn't feel more satisfied and at rest, than if the entire Nation of North Korea

had testified to the glorious manifestations atop Baekdu Mountain on the night

that Kim Il Sung was born into this lost and degraded capitalist world.

I couldn't feel more satisfied and at rest, than if the 2009 Scientology Conference

rose with a single voice to testify of the mental miracles wrought by that Greatest

Friend the Universe has ever known -- L. Ron Hubbard.

I couldn't feel more satisfied and at rest, than if my own cat answered "meeeow!"

when asked if George M. Hinkle in 1838 truly betrayed God's Prophet at Far West....

... but you get the picture...

UD

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For those who have not yet read Lynne Jorgensen's chapter in Jack Welch's Opening the Heavens compilation, there is an earlier version of Jorgensen's article here in a past issue of BYU Studies. Scroll down to the bottom to find a link to the article, and then download a PDF copy for free.

I have to say, some posts on this thread have been rather disappointing, in that the same pattern is being exhibited that we observed on the earlier thread that I linked to: i.e. people spouting off about the topic without bothering to read or even take cognizance of Jorgensen's research on the subject. Ah well, with the offer of a free PDF download, they are now left without excuse.

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I think it's possible--just my guess--that those who saw a transformation were touched by the Holy Spirit. Whereas those who did not have that experience were in some way unworthy of the Spirit's influence.

I don't think that necessarily follows. Only the the Lord knows for certain why some receive specific gifts of the Spirit while others do not receive those same gifts. It could be that the ones who witnessed the transfiguration had a need for that sort of manifestation, while others, present on the same occasion, did not.

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I prefer Sidney Rigdon's explanation.

He was there, and records no manifestation.

UD

Sidney, unfortunately, had suffered brain damage due to a mob attack, and is not really a reliable witness to much of anything. People who knew him describe him as "mercurial" after the injury.

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I don't think that necessarily follows. Only the the Lord knows for certain why some receive specific gifts of the Spirit while others do not receive those same gifts. It could be that the ones who witnessed the transfiguration had a need for that sort of manifestation, while others, present on the same occasion, did not.

It is also a gift for others to beleive on their words. Even though none of us were there.

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It is also a gift for others to beleive on their words. Even though none of us were there.

So true.

And there are those who not only disbelieve them, but dismiss them with derision and vague, airy reference to some supposed "modern scholarly consensus" without even acquainting themselves with what at least 121 disparate witnesses testified, as reflected in this article by Lynne Jorgensen in BYU Studies and reprinted as a chapter in John W. Welch's Opening the Heavens.

(Note: If you click on the link, scroll down to the bottom, where you'll find a link to Jorgensen's article, which is accessible without charge as a PDF download.)

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