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


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I'm happy for you to live in dissonance if that's your preference, but I maintain that there is nothing uniquely or tellingly dissonant about the various First Vision accounts. Consider the following hypothetical (inspired by my own research):

  • In 1562 a Jesuit missionary reports that upon having visited a remote Pacific Island he met the ruler of the island in a palace set on 18 poles; the ruler told him that he was happy to have the priest in his island.
  • In 1565 the missionary reports that upon having visited this same Pacific Island he met first one and then another ruler of the island in a palace set on 18 poles; a number of local chiefs were also present during this audience.
  • In 1568 the missionary reports that upon having visited this same Pacific Island he met the queen and king of the island in a palace set on 18 poles; the king told him that he hadn't been particularly impressed with the Muslim traders who had been visiting his island.
  • In 1572 the missionary reports that upon having visited this same Pacific Island he met the rulers of the island in a palace set on 18 poles; the rulers told him that they hadn't been particularly impressed with the Muslim traders who had been visiting their island.

If I were to present the above in a seminar and express concern over the dissonance caused thereby, I would be met with quizzical, probably embarrassed looks. And yet these hypothetical accounts parallel the supposedly difficult-to-reconcile differences in the First Vision accounts.

 

 

I don't think anybody is claiming stories can't vary slightly when explaining past events, what many are having trouble with is the magnitude of the even (the greatest since the resurrection) and what most would consider the obvious nature of mentioning both deities.    Apparently Joseph Fielding Smith was disturbed enough with the discovery of the 1832 account that he actually tore the three pages from Joseph's journal and placed them in his personal vault.

 

When describing the first vision in detail to investigators, potential critics, primary children, or a gospel doctrine class do you ever mention that Joseph saw Jesus without mentioning The Father?  Do you ever mention the angels that were present in the 1835 account?  I have heard others  or recounted the FV myself to a variety of audiences, hundreds or perhaps thousands of times and cannot recall once not mentioning the that Joseph saw both The Father and The Son.  It's admittedly hard for me to comprehend that when describing the event for the first time (that we are aware of) he would leave out such an important detail. 

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I don't know how I would react to such a sacred event. Would I always tell everything I saw and heard at every telling of the story?  Would I ever emphasize something specific at the expense of not telling everything else?  Would I ever keep any completely private?  

 

I suspect I would at times emphasize something when teaching an objective or when summarizing.  

 

Consequently I have never been bothered by Joseph's telling of the story.  What is important to me is his fuller accounts when he testified for a purpose.  He still did not tell everything, but we know the highlights and why this was such a vital vision for such a young boy.  

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When describing the first vision in detail to investigators, potential critics, primary children, or a gospel doctrine class do you ever mention that Joseph saw Jesus without mentioning The Father?  Do you ever mention the angels that were present in the 1835 account?

 

No

 

 I have heard others  or recounted the FV myself to a variety of audiences, hundreds or perhaps thousands of times and cannot recall once not mentioning the that Joseph saw both The Father and The Son.

 

OK.

 

 It's admittedly hard for me to comprehend that when describing the event for the first time (that we are aware of) he would leave out such an important detail. 

 

OK, you cannot "comprehend" a reason why he would "leave out such an important detail". 

 

I have been able to comprehend a logical explanation for this.

Edited by cdowis
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The scriptures do tend to separate "heart" and "mind".

16 Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds . . .

35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind:

20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride,

9 ¶ And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind:

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart,

33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind,

Just to quote a few.

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The scriptures do tend to separate "heart" and "mind".

16 Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds . . .

35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind:

20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride,

9 ¶ And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind:

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart,

33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind,

Just to quote a few.

Yes.

 

And scriptural allusions, phrasing and imagery pervade the writings of Joseph Smith and the latter-day revelations that came through him.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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    • 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.
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