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Joseph's apparent contradiction.


StuddleyG

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I was reading FAIR wiki and I came across this article in which the writer was trying to make sense of an apparent contradiction Joseph makes in his first vision accounts. But I couldn't make much sense of the point it was trying to make. I'm not seeing how the contradiction is resolved here. Anybody want to try reading it and make some sense of it?

http://en.fairmormon.org/First_Vision/Contradiction_about_knowing_all_churches_were_wrong

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StuddleyG:

There is no contradiction. It is just telling the same story to different groups emphasizing different aspects as needed. We all do it. We'll tell our loved ones more details of our experience of an event, than we do to someone we just met. That doesn't mean we are lying or that the event never happened.

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Mmmm, had to read it twice to even see the contradiction. The response, to me, fits the subtlety of the "contradiction" - bold, CAPS, underlined and even some red words: you need a law degree as well as an English degree to appreciate what is being said. A divinity degree and some experience figuring out how many angels can balance on a pin would also come in handy.

If you are ever in doubt whether the canonized story of the first vision evolved over time, just read Joseph's first account. They might as well be stories of two different experiences or by different people. I think a lot of conflation and interpretation went into the canonized account. To me, the first version is a lot "purer" (can't think of a better word) but for a prophet, what more do you need than for him to be called of God?

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I was reading FAIR wiki and I came across this article in which the writer was trying to make sense of an apparent contradiction Joseph makes in his first vision accounts. But I couldn't make much sense of the point it was trying to make. I'm not seeing how the contradiction is resolved here. Anybody want to try reading it and make some sense of it?

http://en.fairmormon.org/First_Vision/Contradiction_about_knowing_all_churches_were_wrong

I am having a hard time seeing anything that could be reasonably construed as a contradiction.

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Mmmm, had to read it twice to even see the contradiction. The response, to me, fits the subtlety of the "contradiction" - bold, CAPS, underlined and even some red words: you need a law degree as well as an English degree to appreciate what is being said. A divinity degree and some experience figuring out how many angels can balance on a pin would also come in handy.

If you are ever in doubt whether the canonized story of the first vision evolved over time, just read Joseph's first account. They might as well be stories of two different experiences or by different people. I think a lot of conflation and interpretation went into the canonized account.

Let's see. The differences are so subtle that you had to work really hard to figure out the contradiction -- but "They might as well be stories of two different experiences or by different people?"

On the contrary: they are so obviously descriptions of the same experience as to need no further comment.

Regards,

Pahoran

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe you should acept this challenge?

The "Baura Challenge" is this:

I will give $2,000 (USD) to anyone who can show that Joseph Smith CLAIMED to have been visited as a teenager by God the Father and Jesus Christ as separate personages, and told by them all the churches were corrupt.

I'm not talking about whether it really happened or not, I'm talking about whether or not Joseph Smith CLAIMED it happened.

Here's the kicker:

To claim the money you are limited to documents that were in existence BEFORE 1835. Now that's at least 14 years after it happened. There were neighbors interviewed, affidavits about Joseph Smith sworn out, letters written, journals written in, newspaper accounts of Mormonism published, missionary tracts printed, sermons recorded, Church periodicals published etc.

Surely in this mass of documentation there would be SOME reference to Joseph Smith's vision of the two Gods. Remember he says in the PoGP how he told what he had seen and it aroused great persecution but that didn't stop him because he knew what he had seen etc.

Isn't it interesting that when Joseph Smith's mother wrote her biography of Joseph and his progenitors she carefully detailed dreams of Joseph Smith Sr. (including one that is identical, item for item, to Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon), she carefully gives the details of the Moroni visit (although she called him Nephi, as did Joseph Smith originally) but in her dictated manuscript there is no mention of the first vision. When the book was finally published in England in the early 1850s the First Vision had been inserted into it, by someone, in Joseph's words, not his mother's.

So there it is. Just show that Joseph said to ANYONE that he had this first vision experience at 14 or so. But you have to use material before 1835.

What I will not accept are people later on after the "official version" was created retrofitting their memory. I won't accept someone in the 1890s saying, Oh, yes I remember Joseph telling this story in 1834. It's too easy to alter memory to fit what you later expect it to be.

They can talk all they want about how a careful "nuanced" reading of the different accounts don't "technically" contradict but just show that JS didn't make it up 15 years after the supposed fact and you get my two grand.

I've put this challenge out there for a couple of years now and nobody has picked it up. Isn't that interesting.

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Maybe you should acept this challenge?

The "Baura Challenge" is this:

I will give $2,000 (USD) to anyone who can show that Joseph Smith CLAIMED to have been visited as a teenager by God the Father and Jesus Christ as separate personages, and told by them all the churches were corrupt.

I'm not talking about whether it really happened or not, I'm talking about whether or not Joseph Smith CLAIMED it happened.

Here's the kicker:

To claim the money you are limited to documents that were in existence BEFORE 1835. Now that's at least 14 years after it happened. There were neighbors interviewed, affidavits about Joseph Smith sworn out, letters written, journals written in, newspaper accounts of Mormonism published, missionary tracts printed, sermons recorded, Church periodicals published etc.

Surely in this mass of documentation there would be SOME reference to Joseph Smith's vision of the two Gods. Remember he says in the PoGP how he told what he had seen and it aroused great persecution but that didn't stop him because he knew what he had seen etc.

Isn't it interesting that when Joseph Smith's mother wrote her biography of Joseph and his progenitors she carefully detailed dreams of Joseph Smith Sr. (including one that is identical, item for item, to Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon), she carefully gives the details of the Moroni visit (although she called him Nephi, as did Joseph Smith originally) but in her dictated manuscript there is no mention of the first vision. When the book was finally published in England in the early 1850s the First Vision had been inserted into it, by someone, in Joseph's words, not his mother's.

So there it is. Just show that Joseph said to ANYONE that he had this first vision experience at 14 or so. But you have to use material before 1835.

What I will not accept are people later on after the "official version" was created retrofitting their memory. I won't accept someone in the 1890s saying, Oh, yes I remember Joseph telling this story in 1834. It's too easy to alter memory to fit what you later expect it to be.

They can talk all they want about how a careful "nuanced" reading of the different accounts don't "technically" contradict but just show that JS didn't make it up 15 years after the supposed fact and you get my two grand.

I've put this challenge out there for a couple of years now and nobody has picked it up. Isn't that interesting.

Has FAIR addressed this?

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Has FAIR addressed this?

The topic yes, not sure about the challenge....it's the first time I've heard of it. Matthew Brown has done a lot of work collecting early references to the First Vision, but I'm not up-to-date on his latest work.

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Maybe you should acept this challenge?

The "Baura Challenge" is this:

Isn't it interesting that when Joseph Smith's mother wrote her biography of Joseph and his progenitors she carefully detailed dreams of Joseph Smith Sr. (including one that is identical, item for item, to Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon), she carefully gives the details of the Moroni visit (although she called him Nephi, as did Joseph Smith originally) but in her dictated manuscript there is no mention of the first vision. When the book was finally published in England in the early 1850s the First Vision had been inserted into it, by someone, in Joseph's words, not his mother's.

Actually, this is no big deal. How old was JS's mom when she wrote her autobiography? I believe that she got confused. You see, it goes like this: his mom was a believer in the restoration and a committed member of the lds church. As was her husband Joseph Smith Sr. Do you think that Lucy would have been so committed if she smelled a fraud early on? And then of course, there were Joseph's brothers and sisters. All were on board for the restoration. Why? Because at that time as it was actually happening all believed the account of their brother and son Joseph Smith. And why was that? Because they could not believe that Joseph could have lied about such a thing. Also, all knew that JS did not have time to write such a book since they were living with him or near him.

As we get older we have memory lapses.

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Maybe you should acept this challenge?

The "Baura Challenge" is this:

I will give $2,000 (USD) to anyone who can show that Joseph Smith CLAIMED to have been visited as a teenager by God the Father and Jesus Christ as separate personages, and told by them all the churches were corrupt.

I'm not talking about whether it really happened or not, I'm talking about whether or not Joseph Smith CLAIMED it happened.

Here's the kicker:

To claim the money you are limited to documents that were in existence BEFORE 1835. Now that's at least 14 years after it happened. There were neighbors interviewed, affidavits about Joseph Smith sworn out, letters written, journals written in, newspaper accounts of Mormonism published, missionary tracts printed, sermons recorded, Church periodicals published etc.

I might be closing in on the 2,000 dollars. ;)

As another example, The Reflector, in Palmyra, New York, reported in 1830 that "Oliver Cowdery and 'friends' were preaching in Ohio to the effect that "Joseph Smith had seen God frequently and personally" (R.L. Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision Through Reminiscences," BYU Studies, Vol. 9, Num 3 (Spring 1969), pp. 373-404, see p. 401 for the quotation - thanks to Stan Barker for this reference).

It is true that we have little in writing from Joseph Smith before 1832, when he wrote his earliest account of the First Vision, and it is true that the main account we use of the 1820 First Vision was written in 1838. We must remember that the stories of heavenly visitations were both sacred, private, and controversial, so he had little incentive to publish them at the time. His first experience telling a minister about them in public led to immediate persecution, persecution which persisted throughout his life. However, we do have evidence that he had told others of this experience long before 1832, including ample evidence that his story of angelic and divine visitations were a major reason for the persecutions he faced before 1832. (See, for example, Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision through Reminiscences," Brigham Young University Studies, Vol. 9, Spring 1969, pp. 373-404.)

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_first_vision.shtml

Now if this is true that the Reflector wrote such a thing, do I get my 2,000 dollars? And how should I collect it? Can MADb arrange for the transfer of the money? :P

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As another example, The Reflector, in Palmyra, New York, reported in 1830 that "Oliver Cowdery and 'friends' were preaching in Ohio to the effect that "Joseph Smith had seen God frequently and personally" (R.L. Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision Through Reminiscences," BYU Studies, Vol. 9, Num 3 (Spring 1969), pp. 373-404, see p. 401 for the quotation - thanks to Stan Barker for this reference).

If I were you, I'd definitely try to get the two thousand. Why not just contact the poster who offered the reward?

Personally, I don't think "seeing God frequently and personally" is supportive of the first vision narrative at all (not even the 1832 version). "Personally" maybe, but "frequently" not so much, unless you can prove that by "God" the writer of the newspaper article really meant "Christ" (he uses both names in the article, but not interchangeable, imo).

Also, it's hearsay - not Joseph Smith claiming anything.

I checked Richard Anderson's 1969 paper and this is the paragraph from which the above quotation was taken:

Historical analysis of Joseph Smith's earliest religious experiences raises the larger question of what documentation can reasonably be expected for such events. A few writers on this subject virtually claim that one could not accept the vision if it were not headlined by the regional press in the spring of 1820. But that is projecting twentieth century journalism onto the patterns of another age, for precious little local news reached the columns of the country newspaper of Joseph Smith's youth. A more realistic criterion is the outside publicity given the rise of Christianity. Contemporary mention of this obscure religious reform is absent until it became an influential force, and at that point comment emerges in Roman sources. Non-Mormon references to the First Vision follow this parallel. The earliest known newspaper allusion is a reaction to the first great success of Latter-day Saint proselyting, the Ohio-Missouri mission. "Our Painesville correspondent" forwarded a report of the 1830 preaching of "Cowdery and his friends" in Ohio: "Smith (they affirmed), had seen God frequently and personally."

The emphasis is mine. I found this an odd claim because if you look at the very newpaper Anderson quotes, it is full of local news and carried numerous articles about Mormonism. Maybe Richard Anderson is the one doing the projecting - reading twentieth century Mormonism with its emphasis on the first vision into an insignificant byline in a second-hand (or worse) source.

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The emphasis is mine. I found this an odd claim because if you look at the very newpaper Anderson quotes, it is full of local news and carried numerous articles about Mormonism. Maybe Richard Anderson is the one doing the projecting - reading twentieth century Mormonism with its emphasis on the first vision into an insignificant byline in a second-hand (or worse) source.

I think he may be thinking more about any reports made in JS's teenage years especially prior to his becoming active in the work (before the BoM translation). Why would a newspaper report on the latest doings of an obscure teen or young adult from a family that was not high on the social register, etc?

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This is very typical over the space of many years -- to tell the same story with varying elements. As many have pointed out, Paul differed in the account of his own vision in the New Testament. Also, as any criminal attorney can attest, people remember things differently over time. So, too, as mentioned, sometimes people just want to emphasize differing points.

.

I disagree. An account of seeing God/Gods is something so profound it escapes me how the story can evolve over time. Drawing parallel arguments and claiming they are "very typical" is, IMO, rationalization and is not typical. The evolution of Moroni to God and Jesus is anything but trivial. The aspect I find the hardest to rationalize is the time it took to even print the "official" version, which was in 1842, since the church history was written in 1835... why the delay?

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I disagree. An account of seeing God/Gods is something so profound it escapes me how the story can evolve over time. Drawing parallel arguments and claiming they are "very typical" is, IMO, rationalization and is not typical.

In your opinion.

An opinion that would carry a whole lot more weight -- almost enough to give it neutral bouyancy -- were it not for the fact that you have consistently demonstrated that your opinions are determined by their utility. In witness whereof, I point to the now closed "folk magic" thread, in which you appealed to hearsay accounts of contradictory testimony attributed to the same witness, and the "Jupiter talisman" as if anyone who understands the rules of evidence thought there was any conclusions to be drawn from these hearsay stories.

And now, given your complete and totally determinative bias, do you really expect us to take your utterly predictable fault-finding as if it carried any weight?

Is there any time, date or place in which Joseph could have published a First Vision account, which would cause you to reconsider any part of your automatic rejection thereof?

The evolution of Moroni to God and Jesus is anything but trivial.

What "evolution of Moroni to God and Jesus" is that? The one you'd like to believe happened, sans any evidence to that effect?

The aspect I find the hardest to rationalize is the time it took to even print the "official" version, which was in 1842, since the church history was written in 1835... why the delay?

Why the delay between Paul's letters and the writing of the Gospels?

Or is this where your double standards come into play?

Regards,

Pahoran

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-why me:-We must remember that the stories of heavenly visitations were both sacred, private, and controversial, so he had little incentive to publish them at the time.

Really? Says who? And I suppose this also includes personal diarys ?

why me:-His first experience telling a minister about them in public led to immediate persecution, persecution which persisted throughout his life. However, we do have evidence that he had told others of this experience long before 1832, including ample evidence that his story of angelic and divine visitations were a major reason for the persecutions he faced before 1832

A bold statement of which you have no evidence. So, this is just another opinion.

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I smell a loaded question.

I smell, as it were, somebody hoping to make hay out of the fact that certain classes of person living at a certain time and place didn't keep journals and whose letters, if any, didn't happen to discuss a certain occurrence or series of occurrences as evidence that that occurrence or those series of occurrences never happened.

Another dirty trick. Nothing more.

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why me,

I have written a thorough response to this alleged early reference to the First Vision. In that response, I show that the material you cited gives the wrong date for the Reflector article (it was 1831, not 1830), that the information in the article is at best third-hand information, and that the specifics in the Reflector article show it to be an unreliable report.

By the way, I wrote to Jeff Lindsay last year to make him aware of my article, but I heard nothing back from him.

On our website you will also find a summary of other research articles I have written on alleged early references to the First Vision.

I might be closing in on the 2,000 dollars. ;)

As another example, The Reflector, in Palmyra, New York, reported in 1830 that "Oliver Cowdery and 'friends' were preaching in Ohio to the effect that "Joseph Smith had seen God frequently and personally" (R.L. Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision Through Reminiscences," BYU Studies, Vol. 9, Num 3 (Spring 1969), pp. 373-404, see p. 401 for the quotation - thanks to Stan Barker for this reference).

It is true that we have little in writing from Joseph Smith before 1832, when he wrote his earliest account of the First Vision, and it is true that the main account we use of the 1820 First Vision was written in 1838. We must remember that the stories of heavenly visitations were both sacred, private, and controversial, so he had little incentive to publish them at the time. His first experience telling a minister about them in public led to immediate persecution, persecution which persisted throughout his life. However, we do have evidence that he had told others of this experience long before 1832, including ample evidence that his story of angelic and divine visitations were a major reason for the persecutions he faced before 1832. (See, for example, Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision through Reminiscences," Brigham Young University Studies, Vol. 9, Spring 1969, pp. 373-404.)

http://www.jefflinds...st_vision.shtml

Now if this is true that the Reflector wrote such a thing, do I get my 2,000 dollars? And how should I collect it? Can MADb arrange for the transfer of the money? :P

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In your opinion.

An opinion that would carry a whole lot more weight -- almost enough to give it neutral bouyancy -- were it not for the fact that you have consistently demonstrated that your opinions are determined by their utility. In witness whereof, I point to the now closed "folk magic" thread, in which you appealed to hearsay accounts of contradictory testimony attributed to the same witness, and the "Jupiter talisman" as if anyone who understands the rules of evidence thought there was any conclusions to be drawn from these hearsay stories.

It

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It's hearsay because it consists exclusively of second-hand (at best) reports. As such, it is not only underwhelming, but it is arguably not evidence at all.

Incorrect. What you choose to discount you label hearsay without any reason other than there needs to be iron-clad data by multiple sources. In the case of this OP, the source being Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery isn't even good enough.

quote name='Pahoran'

Direct answer to you: there is no valid evidence that Joseph saw a dead Indian./quote

And again you discount what evidence you choose because it doesn't bode well for your foregone conclusion. Consider the following:

A) Joseph Smith was a money-digger looking for treasure.

B) Money-diggers believed that treasures were guarded by evil spirits.

C) Indian burial mounds supposedly contained treasures.

D) Thompson, who was a favorable witness who believed in Joseph Smith's ability to see treasures and treasure guardians through his seer stones, testified at his trail what Joseph Smith said, which was an Indian was buried with the treasure to guard it.

E) Joseph Smith often claimed treasures were moved by treasure gurdians.

Conclusion: There is no reason to doubt the testimony of Thompson and since all the pieces add up, the logical conclusion is to believe what Thompson said at Joseph Smith's trial for glass-looking.

quote name='Pahoran'

There are earlier First Vision accounts than this, and references thereto as early as 1830. Unfortunately they do not support your argument, so you will of course ignore them. /quote

Note to anyone with a critical thought process that might read the above... what "earlier accounts" is being alluded to? This is absolute hearsay without any data to back it up. You are discounting the written words of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey and claiming "other accounts" (that you didn't reference) would trump the written history. You are simply making arguments from silence to allude they have merit.

Excuse me Thews, but your presumption is overtaking your arrogance. I have denied nothing at all; you made that up. If I see fit to deny something, I will tell you that I have denied it, and NOT the other way around.

You use so many words to say so little Pahoran. To claim there are "earlier accounts" is denial of the written account by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in 1835. What do you have to say about the 1835 account and what it actually said?

No need to apologise for your blunder; just see that you do not repeat it.

Apologize for what? You are in denial of the actual history and have failed to acknowledge it.

quote name='Pahoran'

No one is saying anything was "overlooked;" that is a straw man of your own manufacture. What you obviously don't realise is that those who, unlike yourself, have actually had deeply sacred experiences are frequently reticent about telling the details to all and sundry. /quote

You love to claim every argument is a straw man don't you? If someone "forgets" that they saw Jesus Christ and God instead of an angel, I hardly consider that trivial as you assert. Your actual straw man is based on denial of the written history by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in 1835. First you claim eyewitness testimonly at Joseph Smith's trial is hearsay, and now you continue to fail to acknowledge what was published in 1835... you can't claim it wasn't published, but you are failing to acknowledge what was published.

Since I have not made the claim you attribute to me, your first question is moot. The answer to the second is: Well, duh!

Note to anyone with a critical thought process... this is denial of the facts and simply a poor diversion. This was the question asked: Do you acknowledge the published 1835 history of the church by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?

Such is not my argument. You appear to be the resident master of the straw man. I hereby nominate you for the Order of the Scarecrow.

And yet another false claim to divert. Note how the actual written history by Joseph Smith is considered a straw man by Pahoranan. How can you deny what was actually recorded history and make this false claim?

Call for references: what "circular reasoning" am I employing?

Failing to acknowledge the 1835 written history of the church when Joseph Smith said an angel appeared to him, following by your usual claims every argument is a straw man when it's based on facts you fail to acknowledge, claiming any evidence that doesn't bode well with your beliefs as hearsay, making statements that "earlier accounts" that have no reference are supposed to trump the written historical record, and finally, claiming that something as profound as seeing Jesus Christ and God could somehow be overlooked... no one is going to overlook that and you're simply rationalizing.

Do you even know what "circular reasoning" is? Or is it just a pretentious-sounding phrase that you thought you'd trot out for effect?

See above answer to the question asked.

And now psychobabble too. Is there any old standard anti-Mormon wheeze you won't try?

Note to those with a critical thought process... yet another dodge with implications that supposedly negate actual recorded history.

The fact, Thews, is that if an argument is sound, then it is sound for all cases to which it applies. It is, of course, the standard anti-Mormon comeback to accuse the Saints of "attacking the Bible" or some such falsehood; but, as you and I both know, that is not what I was doing. It is not my position that the dates of writing of the various books constitute a "flaw" in the Bible; anyone who says that such is my position has no love for the truth. Rather, this is my position: The claim that the dates of writing of the various books constitute a "flaw" in the Bible -- or latter-day Scripture -- is a fundamentally flawed argument.

Your argument is flawed because you are ignoring written history by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey... this was the purpose of the OP.

If you misrepresent my position again, you will certainly be without excuse.

Again more trivial blather to imply what I'm saying isn't true... it is true. You have ignored the 1835 written account by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in your responses, and therefore your argument is flawed.

Call for references, please: what "eyewitness testimony" places the Jupiter Talisman in Joseph Smith's possession?

Well, first of all you have to ignore the original speech by Dr. Reed Durham. You also have to ignore that every other item in the collection belonged to Joseph Smith, and continue to rely on an argument from silence that because it was not listed when he was killed it didn't belong to him. In doing so, you fail to acknowledge items like a necklace were not commonly recorded. Here's some actual data:

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech4.htm

the Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett reveals that "This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Jail" (The Wilford C. Wood Collection, 1972, vol. 1, p. 173).Wesley P. Walters says that "Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the Wood collection, stated in his accompanying affidavit: 'Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet's widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet's intimate possessions (Charles E. Bidamon Affidavit. Wood Coll. #7-J-b-21)."

See "if an argument is sound," above. There is no "diversionary tactic" in view; your double standards are actual double standards. You shamelessly apply bogus arguments to latter-day Scriptures while consciously ring-fencing the Bible from that same argument.

Hence, you are relying upon a double standard.

Wrong... I reference data that is presented while you ingore what is presented and claim it's hearsay without any justification.

My opinion is that Joseph neither saw, nor claimed to see, a "dead Indian treasure guardian." My opinion is that someone embellished that little detail, in the grand Yankee tradition of the tall story.

Your opinion is biased and is ignoring what a treasure guardian was to a money digger. If you had referenced some actual data to dispute why Thompson would have motive to lie, it would make your opinion more than just idle chit-chat.

In support of my opinion, I point to the fact that this detail appears in only one of the two second-hand (i.e. hearsay) accounts of what someone at the trial heard Thompson report that he heard Joseph say.

Regards,

Pahoran

Thanks for the response Pahoran, but the foundation for your argument is lacking data to support it.

Respectfully,

thews

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Incorrect. What you choose to discount you label hearsay without any reason other than there needs to be iron-clad data by multiple sources. In the case of this OP, the source being Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery isn't even good enough.

That's false, as you evidently intended. I have not described that account as hearsay, as you know.

And again you discount what evidence you choose because it doesn't bode well for your foregone conclusion. Consider the following:

A) Joseph Smith was a money-digger looking for treasure.

B) Money-diggers believed that treasures were guarded by evil spirits.

C) Indian burial mounds supposedly contained treasures.

None of which is actually evidence of anything. This is a familiar rhetorical trick, in that you are attempting to build up a case based upon a perception of probabilities, rather than upon specific evidence relating to the instance in question.

D) Thompson, who was a favorable witness who believed in Joseph Smith's ability to see treasures and treasure guardians through his seer stones, testified at his trail what Joseph Smith said, which was an Indian was buried with the treasure to guard it.

Not quite.

One person reported, years later, that Thompson said something to that effect. Another person who also heard Thompson's testimony, reported it differently. Thus, the question of what Thompson actually said is not settled, and it is not honest to pretend that it is.

E) Joseph Smith often claimed treasures were moved by treasure gurdians.

Call for references, please: what sources original to Joseph Smith make this claim?

I will help you out by anticipating your answer: none. All of the claims to that effect come via such notorioius gossips as Stafford, Chase and Ingersoll -- all via D. P. Hurlbut and E. D. Howe -- and, of course, Pomeroy Tucker many years later.

Which is precisely why all this is mere hearsay. And you know it is.

Which explains why you are trying to divert attention to this fact by throwing up this huge smokescreen of pseudointellectual bloviations.

Conclusion: There is no reason to doubt the testimony of Thompson and since all the pieces add up, the logical conclusion is to believe what Thompson said at Joseph Smith's trial for glass-looking.

Yes, that is the conclusion you'd like people to reach. The facts are (1) there is no way to determine what Thompson actually said at (2) the preliminary hearing, which was NOT a trial; therefore (3) there is no real evidence that Joseph said any such thing.

Note to anyone with a critical thought process that might read the above... what "earlier accounts" is being alluded to? This is absolute hearsay without any data to back it up. You are discounting the written words of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey and claiming "other accounts" (that you didn't reference) would trump the written history. You are simply making arguments from silence to allude they have merit.

Every word of the above is false; as, of course, you intended. There are in fact eight written First Vision accounts from Joseph Smith. I never said that anything would "trump" anything else; you fabricated that out of whole cloth, as you habitually do.

You use so many words to say so little Pahoran. To claim there are "earlier accounts" is denial of the written account by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in 1835.

That assertion is, once again, intentionally false.

What do you have to say about the 1835 account and what it actually said?

I take it you are referring to this?

I commenced giving him a relation of the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the book of Mormon, as follows being wrought up in my mind, respecting the subject of religion and looking at the different systems taught the children of men, I knew not who was right or who was wrong and I considered it of the first importance that I should be right, in matters that involve eternal consequ[e]nces; being thus perplexed in mind I retired to the silent grove and bow[e]d down before the Lord, under a realising sense that he had said (if the bible be true) ask and you shall receive knock and it shall be opened seek and you shall find and again, if any man lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men libarally and upbradeth not; information was what I most desired at this time, and with a fixed determination to obtain it, I called upon the Lord for the first time, in the place above stated or in other words I made a fruitless attempt to p[r]ay, my toung seemed to be swolen in my mouth, so that I could not utter, I heard a noise behind me like some person walking towards me, I strove again to pray, but could not, the noise of walking seemed to draw nearer, I sprung up on my feet, and and looked around, but saw no person or thing that was calculated to produce the noise of walking, I kneeled again my mouth was opened and my toung liberated, and I called on the Lord in mighty prayer, a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first, he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and I saw many angels in this vision I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication; When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels in the night season after I had retired to bed (Joseph Smith Journal, 9 November 1835)

What comment would you like me to make? Joseph reported seeing two personages, in addition to "many angels." To accuse me of "denying" this is a brazen, blatant and arrant falsehood.

Apologize for what? You are in denial of the actual history and have failed to acknowledge it.

That is a lie. See that you do not repeat it. I am "in denial of" nothing.

You love to claim every argument is a straw man don't you?

No; only the ones that are.

If someone "forgets" that they saw Jesus Christ and God instead of an angel, I hardly consider that trivial as you assert.

Call for references: who says that "someone 'forgets' that they saw Jesus Christ and God instead of an angel?" You put that "forgets" in quotes; whom were you quoting? Who has actually asserted that Joseph forgot any such thing?

Because if nobody actually asserted it, Thews, then you fabricated it out of whole cloth.

IOW, it is a straw man.

Your actual straw man is based on denial of the written history by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey in 1835. First you claim eyewitness testimonly at Joseph Smith's trial is hearsay, and now you continue to fail to acknowledge what was published in 1835... you can't claim it wasn't published, but you are failing to acknowledge what was published.

Please cease and desist from repeating this lie. Note that I say "please" purely as a pro-forma matter of good manners; this is not a request.

Note to anyone with a critical thought process... this is denial of the facts and simply a poor diversion. This was the question asked: Do you acknowledge the published 1835 history of the church by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?

See above. And now I have the same question for you, Thews: do you acknowledge that Joseph mentioned two personages apart from the "many angels" he described in that account?

You may answer "yes" or "no."

And yet another false claim to divert. Note how the actual written history by Joseph Smith is considered a straw man by Pahoranan. How can you deny what was actually recorded history and make this false claim?

The only "false claim" in view is your own.

You may now retract it. Until you do, you have nothing relevant to say.

Regards,

Pahoran

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... it's been over a year since I visited this board. After reading Pahoran's posts ... I can now go another year or two without coming back again.

Really, why is that?

I think he did a fine job of defending against mis-representation and false hoods.

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