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Joseph Smith’S First Vision Accounts: More Mormon Church Suppression And Cover-Up


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Why do you think so? Smith hardly even thought his first vision significant enough to mention until the mid-1830s.

On the contrary. He was so eager he related it to a sectarian minister, who not only treated it lightly but with great contempt.

Apparently, this, and probably similar, experiences caused him to be very guarded about when and with whom to share the experience.

I can certainly relate.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Why do you think so? Smith hardly even thought his first vision significant enough to mention until the mid-1830s. When listing the major visions and events leading to the founding of Mormonism in 1830, the first vision was hardly even a footnote (D&C 20:5), especially in comparison to the must more significant and momentous (from the 1830 perspective) revelation of Moroni (D&C 20:6-12). Smith wasn't bashful about telling people about his visions; it's just that his first one did not have much significance, other than as a remission of his sins, until 1838. In that year, the first vision needed to became his "road to Damascus" experience that verified to then-skeptical Mormons that he had indeed been called as an apostle.

I don't recognize that to be a valid observation. The First Vision was such a sacred experience that he did not always want to talk about it--especially after the persecution he suffered at the hands of the "ministers of religion" after telling the story to one of them very early on in his life.

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Thanks.

I'm aware of how to make the suggested word go away. In practice, however, I often get writing so feverishly I neglect to do so.

The trick with the double space forming a period is one I use quite often.

Another nice trick: you can use the "Notes" app as a word processor to type and save stuff, before copying and pasting it into the Web browser. If you are running out of battery, it is a good way of saving what you type so don't loose it. You can also email it from there to yourself, and use what you typed on your main computer. :D

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I notice in a footnote in Bushman's RSR that he thinks there is substantial circumstantial evidence that the Smith family joined the Presbyterian church as a result of a reivival in 1823-24 not 1820.

Wouldn't be wonderful if we found that missing record of exactly when they joined. It has been missing since 1930, the 100th anniv of the church's beginnings?

Edited by noel00
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I notice in a footnote in Bushman's RSR that he thinks there is substantial circumstantial evidence that the Smith family joined the Presbyterian church as a result of a reivival in 1823-24 not 1820.

Wouldn't be wonderful if we found that missing record of exactly when they joined. It has been missing since 1930, the 100th anniv of the church's beginnings?

What is the significance of this?

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One point seems to be lost on the critics who must make great points of multiple accounts of the First Vision, and that is the reason for the 1838 account being written in the first place, I mean if there was already a definitive account that told the complete version why did the Prophet state this?

"OWING to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons, in relation to the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all of which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a Church and its progress in the world—I have been induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts, as they have transpired, in relation both to myself and the Church, so far as I have such facts in my possession. In this history I shall present the various events in relation to this Church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now [1838] the eighth year since the organization of the said Church." (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:1-2)
I think this is rather plain, and here in 2012 we still have evil-disposed and designing persons who are hell bent on the destruction of the Church and the turning away of those who were seeking the truth of the restored Gospel. So I say that the 1838 version is the most correct and the reason why God has placed it in the official canon of the Church is because it is the fullest account. Of course or "loyal opposition" will never admit this and the reason for their continual stirring up of these points is to produce doubts in the minds of the spiritually unstable.
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I don't recognize that to be a valid observation. The First Vision was such a sacred experience that he did not always want to talk about it--especially after the persecution he suffered at the hands of the "ministers of religion" after telling the story to one of them very early on in his life.

Smith suffered far, far more ridicule for telling his story of the vision of Moroni. In fact, we don't even have any independent historical record of ridicule based on the first vision, but there is plenty related to the Moroni visions. Smith might have felt dismissed or rebuked by a clergyman or two, but it was nothing like the later ridicule he faced when he claimed that an angel gave him a set of golden plates. To the extent that Smith's history can be read (and I don't think it has to be read this way) as attributing the ridicule solely to the first vision, rather than the second, then the historical record proves otherwise.

So if there were ever visions that he would be hesitant to tell anyone about for fear of ridicule, it would be the Moroni visions. In comparison to the Moroni visions, a vision like the first vision would have been easily accepted by evangelical-minded laity of his time. Some of the mainline Christian clergy might have been dismissive, but the evangelical laity would have appreciated a theophany like Smith's, and might have wished they had their own such vision. Smith wasn't the only one in that era to claim to have a vision of God.

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Hey man, good to see ya!

You, too.

Truth be told, I had some ulterior motives in posting: (1) to see if I could log in after so long, (2) to see if I could still start a new topic, and (3) see if I could post a semi-snarky thread without immediate mod intervention.

Check, check, and check. But I did think the Smoot article was, at turns, cleverly funny.

What's happened here!?

Are you guys Mormon-dialoguing now?

Like it.

Edited by cksalmon
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Smith suffered far, far more ridicule for telling his story of the vision of Moroni. In fact, we don't even have any independent historical record of ridicule based on the first vision, but there is plenty related to the Moroni visions. Smith might have felt dismissed or rebuked by a clergyman or two, but it was nothing like the later ridicule he faced when he claimed that an angel gave him a set of golden plates. To the extent that Smith's history can be read (and I don't think it has to be read this way) as attributing the ridicule solely to the first vision, rather than the second, then the historical record proves otherwise.

So if there were ever visions that he would be hesitant to tell anyone about for fear of ridicule, it would be the Moroni visions. In comparison to the Moroni visions, a vision like the first vision would have been easily accepted by evangelical-minded laity of his time. Some of the mainline Christian clergy might have been dismissive, but the evangelical laity would have appreciated a theophany like Smith's, and might have wished they had their own such vision. Smith wasn't the only one in that era to claim to have a vision of God.

You are making things up. Joseph's own testimony was that he suffered great persecution for telling the story of the First Vision. I trust his own words better than yours. There is no evidence that Joseph suffered more persecution for telling the Moroni vision than the First Vision. The First Vision occurred several years before he was called to translate the Book of Mormon and begin the new dispensation. He was just a fourteen year old farm boy, without the support of the church which he later organized. It is understandable that independent accounts of those early days should be rare.

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The truth of the claim that the First Vision accounts are factual depends upon historical reality - that which actually occurred in the real past.

Knowing of the truth of the claim that the First Vision accounts are factual depends upon personal revelation.

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Of course the real issue is whether any of the theophanic accounts are factual.

But the claim that they are depends upon prior assumptions.

So Mormons are presuppers in disguise.

Rascals.

Unfortunately the tree-top security cams were not working that day- clear evidence of a cover-up.

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The truth of the claim that the First Vision accounts are factual depends upon historical reality - that which actually occurred in the real past.

Knowing of the truth of the claim that the First Vision accounts are factual depends upon personal revelation.

First person accounts, with no other witnesses, are a bit dicey to begin with, not to mention accounts of supernatural events. And first person accounts with no witnesses which happened almost 200 years ago- good luck.

In other words we have a bit of an epistemological problem for those looking for the historical "facts" here.

In still other words, you are right. If God hadn't whacked me over the head with a spiritual two-by-four there is no way I would believe the story.

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In still other words, you are right. If God hadn't whacked me over the head with a spiritual two-by-four there is no way I would believe the story.

So if the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, could whack you over the head with a metaphorical two-by-four, do you think He could do something somewhat less dramatic, like aiding Joseph's recall when it came time for the Prophet to compose what we now have as the official, canonized account of the First Vision?

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First person accounts, with no other witnesses, are a bit dicey to begin with, not to mention accounts of supernatural events. And first person accounts with no witnesses which happened almost 200 years ago- good luck.

In other words we have a bit of an epistemological problem for those looking for the historical "facts" here.

In still other words, you are right. If God hadn't whacked me over the head with a spiritual two-by-four there is no way I would believe the story.

So what do you think about the Muslims that get "whacked over the head with a two-by-four" with the spirit and thereby believing in the Koran, and dying for their religion? I haven't had that kind of experience so really I have no point of reference, just wanted your input.

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So if the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, could whack you over the head with a metaphorical two-by-four, do you think He could do something somewhat less dramatic, like aiding Joseph's recall when it came time for the Prophet to compose what we now have as the official, canonized account of the First Vision?

Absolutely. It's been 33 years since I had a major spiritual experience which resulted in my conversion, and I tell the story differently every single time because I remember certain details, I make different associations I hadn't before, and see it in a new light every time.

It's like discussing a certain passage in scripture and comparing it as you understood it as a kid, and how you understand it now. Anytime you take a central pivot point in your life- maybe meeting your wife, or any other major life event, that event will change in significance and how you understand it and integrate it into your life as you grow older.

And yes, of course the spirit can help you see what you didn't see or understand before, or even now see details and how those details fit in, details which you previously ignored or never bothered to mention because they seemed to be irrelevant, but now take on special significance with your later understanding.

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Absolutely. It's been 33 years since I had a major spiritual experience which resulted in my conversion, and I tell the story differently every single time because I remember certain details, I make different associations I hadn't before, and see it in a new light every time.

It's like discussing a certain passage in scripture and comparing it as you understood it as a kid, and how you understand it now. Anytime you take a central pivot point in your life- maybe meeting your wife, or any other major life event, that event will change in significance and how you understand it and integrate it into your life as you grow older.

And yes, of course the spirit can help you see what you didn't see or understand before, or even now see details and how those details fit in, details which you previously ignored or never bothered to mention because they seemed to be irrelevant, but now take on special significance with your later understanding.

How can Joseph miss key componets in the first vision like, first an angel, then Jesus and then God and Jesus? That isn't just sketchiness those are subjects that wouldn't be forgetable for anyone. Not that this is a testimony breaker for me. It's just something I learned about recently. I guess my faith level isn't as strong as yours and many others on this forum.

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So what do you think about the Muslims that get "whacked over the head with a two-by-four" with the spirit and thereby believing in the Koran, and dying for their religion? I haven't had that kind of experience so really I have no point of reference, just wanted your input.

I think God leads and directs us each individually to a path that will communicate to our hearts, and though it may appear that the paths are different, for us individually each one brings us closer to the gospel.

This is probably a poor example for Islam, but I have used the analogy before of a person being a drunk on skid row, and beginning to attend some religious group's meetings, and that having an effect in their lives leading them to become productive spiritual people- was that an improvement in that person's life? Absolutely! Was that a true path for that individual which brought them closer to God? Absolutely! Could the spirit have witnessed to that individual that he should get involved in that church? Absolutely!

The beauty about the gospel as we understand it is that we believe that EVENTUALLY "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ", but the key is that God teaches each of us in the way which is best for us.

And we believe that we will continue our progression in the spirit world as well- that even after death we will be learning and growing in the truth. All of us will do that- members and non-members alike.

We are on this earth to find as much truth as we can, and take it with us on our eternal journey- so we take what truth we can find and continue progressing.

If we only have access to one religious faith in our culture- is it better to believe in God and obey what we think he wants of us, rather than not have that experience? Of course it is, in my opinion.

But eventually we will all know the truth. And certainly we know that my church does not claim to have ALL truth either- just all that is necessary for us to return to our Father and continue being taught by him.

You wanted my perspective- that's it.

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How can Joseph miss key componets in the first vision like, first an angel, then Jesus and then God and Jesus? That isn't just sketchiness those are subjects that wouldn't be forgetable for anyone. Not that this is a testimony breaker for me. It's just something I learned about recently. I guess my faith level isn't as strong as yours and many others on this forum.

These points don't concern me so I have not researched them out, maybe others can respond to this. It kind of doesn't matter to me what Joseph felt or saw, because I am fortunate to have my own testimony which doesn't rely on his.

This is a good place to start: http://en.fairmormon...Vision/Accounts

Edited by mfbukowski
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I think God leads and directs us each individually to a path that will communicate to our hearts, and though it may appear that the paths are different, for us individually each one brings us closer to the gospel.

This is probably a poor example for Islam, but I have used the analogy before of a person being a drunk on skid row, and beginning to attend some religious group's meetings, and that having an effect in their lives leading them to become productive spiritual people- was that an improvement in that person's life? Absolutely! Was that a true path for that individual which brought them closer to God? Absolutely! Could the spirit have witnessed to that individual that he should get involved in that church? Absolutely!

The beauty about the gospel as we understand it is that we believe that EVENTUALLY "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ", but the key is that God teaches each of us in the way which is best for us.

And we believe that we will continue our progression in the spirit world as well- that even after death we will be learning and growing in the truth. All of us will do that- members and non-members alike.

We are on this earth to find as much truth as we can, and take it with us on our eternal journey- so we take what truth we can find and continue progressing.

If we only have access to one religious faith in our culture- is it better to believe in God and obey what we think he wants of us, rather than not have that experience? Of course it is, in my opinion.

But eventually we will all know the truth. And certainly we know that my church does not claim to have ALL truth either- just all that is necessary for us to return to our Father and continue being taught by him.

You wanted my perspective- that's it.

Good perspective! I like it. You didn't say this outright but pretty much whatever religion leads one to Christ should be the one to partake in. I've emailed someone in the past from FAIR and he was in the same frame of mind. He thought I should go the path my heart told me to go. Not pushing the LDS church as being the only one to go to no matter what. So thank you. I'm definitely an infant in Christ and never really had a sureness of Him or a born again experience.

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The key question in baptismal interviews and temple recommend interviews regards having a testimony of the restoration. That means some kind of spiritual revelation or strong spiritual feeling that Joseph indeed restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is a requirement for membership. If you don't have a testimony- I would advise anyone to seek that out and to pray earnestly, and it is my belief that you will obtain a testimony.

But absent that, I would not think that anyone would advise that a person without such a testimony should join the church

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So what do you think about the Muslims that get "whacked over the head with a two-by-four" with the spirit and thereby believing in the Koran, and dying for their religion? I haven't had that kind of experience so really I have no point of reference, just wanted your input.

I know next to nothing about Islam. Does it have a teaching similar to Mormonism, that one can pray and ask God if it is true and receive a personal revelation regarding its authenticity?

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I know next to nothing about Islam. Does it have a teaching similar to Mormonism, that one can pray and ask God if it is true and receive a personal revelation regarding its authenticity?

It doesn't. In fact, I know of no other religion that does that except Mormonism.

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It doesn't. In fact, I know of no other religion that does that except Mormonism.

That's pretty much my understanding as well. In fact, I've seen Evangelical Protestants be quite contemptuous of this teaching in Mormonism.

As for Muslims being willing to die, people die for all manner of causes, including political ones. Just because one is a zealot doesn't mean he has had a divine manifestation regarding his zealotry.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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