Jump to content

First Of A Series Of Tough Issues Tackled By Lds.org


Recommended Posts

http://www.lds.org/topics/first-vision-accounts?lang=eng

 

I believe this is the first in a series of tough issues tackled by the Church. 

 

One blurb from the lengthy article:

The various accounts of the First Vision tell a consistent story, though naturally they differ in emphasis and detail. Historians expect that when an individual retells an experience in multiple settings to different audiences over many years, each account will emphasize various aspects of the experience and contain unique details. Indeed, differences similar to those in the First Vision accounts exist in the multiple scriptural accounts of Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus and the Apostles’ experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.3 Yet despite the differences, a basic consistency remains across all the accounts of the First Vision. Some have mistakenly argued that any variation in the retelling of the story is evidence of fabrication. To the contrary, the rich historical record enables us to learn more about this remarkable event than we could if it were less well documented.

 

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

I love that the church is discussing these issues on their website now.  But I don't know that differing accounts of the First Vision would equal a 'tough' issue.  It's a popular issue with critics for sure, but overall this issue seems fairly tame.

 

Most bible adherents don't even bat an eye when this problem occurs in the bible, showing just how much of a non-issue most of Christianity really believes it to be.

Edited by bluebell
  • Upvote 2
Link to post

First vision accounts have been online on LDS.org for a long time now and certaintly the Ensign people have raised the issue before as the footnotes on the bottom of the article attest

  • Upvote 3
Link to post

First vision accounts have been online on LDS.org for a long time now and certaintly the Ensign people have raised the issue before as the footnotes on the bottom of the article attest

 

Very true!  For some reason, people don't seem to count it when the Ensign has those kinds of articles.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post

First vision accounts have been online on LDS.org for a long time now and certaintly the Ensign people have raised the issue before as the footnotes on the bottom of the article attest

 

Exactly. Milton Backman also wrote a lengthy Ensign article on this back in 1985, so the new article is not quite as novel as people think.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

First vision accounts have been online on LDS.org for a long time now and certaintly the Ensign people have raised the issue before as the footnotes on the bottom of the article attest

That's what I thought.  Is this a newer version?

Link to post

Just skimming over the LDS explanation, it strikes me that just because they say the accounts are consistent doesn't make it so.

I know how badly they want them to be......

Since they use Paul's account of the appearance of the Savior to him as an example, I think I would be somewhat puzzled if Paul later added a third or fourth account where suddenly God the Father is making an appearance in the same vision as well.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post

Just skimming over the LDS explanation, it strikes me that just because they say the accounts are consistent doesn't make it so.

I know how badly they want them to be......

Since they use Paul's account of the appearance of the Savior to him as an example, I think I would be somewhat puzzled if Paul later added a third or fourth account where suddenly God the Father is making an appearance in the same vision as well.

 

We don't know if Paul told more than two accounts of the incident. We do know that he told at least two. History, and the editors of the Bible, have forgotten if there were any others. IE; Most modern day Americans are unaware that there are 5 known versions of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. But get all upset when someone uses a different version.

Edited by thesometimesaint
Link to post

That's what I thought.  Is this a newer version?

 

 

they took the part out where Joseph was making s'mores and then saw his vision!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

I don't see the Church claiming that this is a "tough issue", did I miss that or is it just DB's description?  

 

It is a topic on pretty much all the anti sites that list their perceived problems with the Church in my experience and thus is a good topic to start any collection of answers to likely questions that people will have if they come across such sites.

 

See Palerider's post for why some might see it as "tough" as his response is typical in my experience.  Most critics do not take the time to study other references that demonstrate that the Father or Christ's appearance was not a sudden novelty or an alteration in Joseph's story.

 

For example:  http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Online_documents/Letter_to_a_CES_Director/First_Vision_Concerns_%26_Questions#.22There_is_absolutely_no_record_of_a_First_Vision_prior_to_1832.22

 

The newspaper article which reports the missionaries’ teachings refers to “God” twice but also to “Christ” once and the “Holy Spirit” once. Hence, all three members of the Godhead appear to be represented individually in the document. In this context, a natural interpretation demands that “God” refer to the Father and the statement made by the missionaries would therefore mean that sometime before November 1830 ("about the first of Nov last [year]), Joseph Smith had seen God the Father “personally.”

 

 

Only the first account, 1832, is uncertain whether it refers to one "Lord" or two.  The rest refer to two, so Palerider comparing this possible discrepancy to Paul suddenly adding God the Father in a third or fourth account isn't accurate.

Edited by calmoriah
  • Upvote 1
Link to post

Just skimming over the LDS explanation, it strikes me that just because they say the accounts are consistent doesn't make it so.

I know how badly they want them to be......

Since they use Paul's account of the appearance of the Savior to him as an example, I think I would be somewhat puzzled if Paul later added a third or fourth account where suddenly God the Father is making an appearance in the same vision as well.

Adding more details doesn't detract from being consistent.  It's only when some information contradicts some other information that the consistency is more uncertain.

 

For example, if Paul had said in one account that the Lord appeared to him and then in another account said it wasn't the Lord, who would think it was the Lord?

Link to post

I love that the church is discussing these issues on their website now.  But I don't know that differing accounts of the First Vision would equal a 'tough' issue.  It's a popular issue with critics for sure, but overall this issue seems fairly tame.

It's never been a problem with me either. But if, as you say, it is indeed "a popular issue with critics" and with members feeling doubts, it's probably as good a place as any to start.

Link to post

 so Palerider comparing this possible discrepancy to Paul suddenly adding God the Father in a third or fourth account isn't accurate.

Say it isn't so. Palerider said something that isn't accurate. Nooooooooooo.

Link to post

I agree.

 

But I'm not optimistic this will abate the carping to any great degree.

I don't think it will "abate the carping" but it is already the second item that comes up on a search of "different accounts of the First Vision" so it meets the need for those who are sincere in seeking information searching on the internet looking for an official source.  FairMormon gets dismissed as useless quite a bit since we are not "official".

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Very true!  For some reason, people don't seem to count it when the Ensign has those kinds of articles.

 

The same applies to many other issues such as BoM translation methods or the BoA papyri (Improvement Era in that case iirc)

Link to post

I don't think it will "abate the carping" but it is already the second item that comes up on a search of "different accounts of the First Vision" so it meets the need for those who are sincere in seeking information searching on the internet looking for an official source.  FairMormon gets dismissed as useless quite a bit since we are not "official".

Yes, having it appear with the imprimatur of the Church, as on the official website, makes a great deal of difference.

 

One point to bear in mind: There are probably many, many such people who are, as you say, "sincere in seeking information" who are satisfied by explanations such as this or those provided by FairMormon. We never hear about such people, because, once their doubts are assuaged, they don't ever bring the matter up again. By and large, the only ones we ever hear from are the malcontents for whom it seems no explanation, no matter how reasonable, is satisfactory.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
  • Upvote 2
Link to post

It's never been a problem with me either. But if, as you say, it is indeed "a popular issue with critics" and with members feeling doubts, it's probably as good a place as any to start.

 

I wouldn't expect it to be an problem for you (or many of the other believing members on this board), you are well aware of the issues and still ratain a strong testimony.  For many others this is a very real problem, one in which they are never able to fully reconcile.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

I wouldn't expect it to be an problem for you (or many of the other believing members on this board), you are well aware of the issues and still ratain a strong testimony.  For many others this is a very real problem, one in which they are never able to fully reconcile.

 

I think it's weird that it's a problem that 'they are never able to fully reconcile'.

 

1-In real world situations (like interrogations), having a story change slightly (rather than be exactly the same at every telling) is a sign that someone is telling the truth.  As long as the stories don't contradict each other, of course.  Once someone understands how recalling experiences actually works, shouldn't that help with the reconciliation?

 

2-many of these people who can never reconcile this issue, have no problem believing in the bible, which has the same problems.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By kiwi57
      In a now-defunct thread, I pointed out that the only evidence for the accusation that anyone had ever tried to "hide" the 1832 First Vision account was the mere fact that it hadn't been published. I argued from this that there was an implicit assumption on the part of the accusers that non-publication was always intentional, and that "hiding" was the intention that drove it.
      In reality, non-publication is rarely intentional at all; it is the default. Most written accounts never get published. But that is by the way.
      In response, my interlocutor claimed that there were all kinds of reasons why the 1832 account needed to be hidden. Now this isn't really a response to my argument. The fact that in the opinion of some person A some document might be problematic, doesn't even begin to approach evidence that some other person B either agrees, or if s/he does, finds the problems sufficient motivation to "hide" the document. It's rather like saying that since in my opinion Trump shouldn't grope women, Trump must not have actually ever done so.
      Thus, the argument as it stands is settled. The question at had is whether there is any evidence, apart from mere non-publication (and a garbled hearsay story, heavily larded with speculation, about what Joseph Fielding Smith may or may not have done with it) that anyone tried to "hide" the 1832 account; and the answer is no. Whether one person believes (or wishes) that the 1832 account creates problems for the Church's truth claims is not evidence of any kind about another person's actions.
      With that out of the way, though, the question is an interesting one: Does the 1832 account create problem for the Church's truth claims?
      I don't think it does, but I'd be interested to know what others think.
×
×
  • Create New...