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Apostalic Witness


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The Apostalic Witness to which Elder McConkie referred appears in volume 2 of the History of the Church:

"…it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven. Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?...You have our best wishes, you have our most fervent prayers, that you may be able to bear this testimony, that you have seen the face of God. Therefore call upon Him in faith in mighty prayer till you prevail, for it is your duty and your privilege to bear such testimony for yourselves.” (General Charge given by Oliver Cowdery to the Twelve: History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 194-198)

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So God has not appeared to man in the flesh, men have only been transfigured?

No; I think that what those verses mean is that God cannot be seen by man in his natural or carnal state, and with natural mind or natural eyes, but must undergo a change (if only temporary) in order to be able to see God, or abide His presence. Paul, for example, says that he was taken to heaven, where he saw and heard unspeakable things, but he could not tell if it had taken place in his natural body or not (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). See also 3 Nephi 28:12-15; D&C 76:114-118; where further explanation of the same phenomenon is given.

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So in your world because someone doesn't specifically records every fine metaphysical detail of a celestial event that must mean it didn't happen?

Did they say that they were unaffected and in the exact same physical state after as they were in before?

Or is a pot calling a kettle black?

You miss my point for bringing up the nature of metaphysical experiences. I believe that the metaphysical nature of visions/revelations needs to be emphasized. The Church doesn't do this, but rather makes it out that Joseph's, et al. the recipients of visions/revelations during the restoration experienced empirical events, every bit as real and engaging their bodily senses in the same way as driving a wagon or fetching water. This is manifestly not the case; otherwise the hundreds of congregants in the Kirtland temple would have seen and heard something going on behind that hanging cloth.

You have a good point, that the detail of exhaustion might have simply been taken for granted and not recorded....

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