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First vision accounts getting detailed attention in CES devotional


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Elder Maynes CES devotional went into extensive detail on the first vision accounts last night. 

Starts at 35:20:

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/the-truth-restored?lang=eng&_r=1

I'm delighted that the essays and these topics are gradually becoming more mainstream. My mum (a primary president) even plans to use parts of the vision essay in sharing time this month (it's the "truth restored" section of the manual). I'll share this talk and article with her too as it's got some useful suggestions.

A couple of questions: 

- He said Joseph "wrote or dictated" the four accounts. Is that the best description of how the official account was written? I'll have to look up the Bushman reference I'm thinking of as I seem to remember him saying somewhere that the official version was a bit more of a co-creation or collaboration with Rigdon. I might be misremembering that so will try to check it.

- He also says that it's the best documented vision in history. I wondered what the other contenders would be. 

Any other thoughts?

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1 hour ago, canard78 said:

Elder Maynes CES devotional went into extensive detail on the first vision accounts last night. 

Starts at 35:20:

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/the-truth-restored?lang=eng&_r=1

I'm delighted that the essays and these topics are gradually becoming more mainstream. My mum (a primary president) even plans to use parts of the vision essay in sharing time this month (it's the "truth restored" section of the manual). I'll share this talk and article with her too as it's got some useful suggestions.

A couple of questions: 

- He said Joseph "wrote or dictated" the four accounts. Is that the best description of how the official account was written? I'll have to look up the Bushman reference I'm thinking of as I seem to remember him saying somewhere that the official version was a bit more of a co-creation or collaboration with Rigdon. I might be misremembering that so will try to check it.

- He also says that it's the best documented vision in history. I wondered what the other contenders would be. 

Any other thoughts?

Paul's vision while on the road to Damascus, perhaps. 

Or the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon? (Four eyewitness accounts and attested to with a document resembling a court deposition.)

Just a couple of thoughts off the top of my head. 

Or rh resurrected Jesus's numerous appearances to the apostles. And to "above 400 men at once."

Or how about Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration.?

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Aren't visions just visions and not real life?  What definition would Joseph's had been. Probably a dumb question, but has always made me wonder.

noun
1.
the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.
2.
the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be:
prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur.
3.
an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often underthe influence of a divine or other agency:
a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision.
Compare hallucination (def 1).
4.
something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience:
The vision revealed its message.
5.
a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation:
visions of wealth and glory.
6.
something seen; an object of sight.
7.
a scene, person, etc., of extraordinary beauty:
The sky was a vision of red and pink.
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47 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Aren't visions just visions and not real life?  What definition would Joseph's had been. Probably a dumb question, but has always made me wonder.

noun

1.
the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.
2.
the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be:
prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur.
3.
an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often underthe influence of a divine or other agency:
a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision.
Compare hallucination (def 1).
4.
something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience:
The vision revealed its message.
5.
a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation:
visions of wealth and glory.
6.
something seen; an object of sight.
7.
a scene, person, etc., of extraordinary beauty:
The sky was a vision of red and pink.
 

The First Vision is more accurately called The First Visitation.

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2 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

The First Vision is more accurately called The First Visitation.

CFR. If it is more accurately called the First Visitation, then why does the church persist in calling it the First Vision? There is certainly a difference in a vision and a visitation, and a vision is no less real than a visitation. Joseph himself never claimed it was anything other than a vision and in fact made it pretty clear it was a vision (see particularly the 1835 and 1842 accounts).

I watched Elder Mayne's talk and really liked it. he clearly has a testimony of those events that were part of the First Vision. I also very much appreciated that he not only made reference to the essay, but quoted from it and from the accounts themselves and did so in a widely seen event.

Edited by Boanerges
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“a brief relation of my experience while in my juvenile years, say from 6 years old up to the time I received the first visitation of Angels, which was when I was about 14” (Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:79). 

http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/journal-1835-1836#!/paperSummary/journal-1835-1836&p=38

I know you didn't cfr me, but I knew of at least one instance where Joseph Smith referred to it as The First Visitation of Angels, so i thought I'd share.

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10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Paul's vision while on the road to Damascus, perhaps. 

Or the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon? (Four eyewitness accounts and attested to with a document resembling a court deposition.)

Just a couple of thoughts off the top of my head. 

Or rh resurrected Jesus's numerous appearances to the apostles. And to "above 400 men at once."

Or how about Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration.?

What about some of Mohammed's visions? Or Bernadette (of Lourdes).

I guess many of the other visions only have one or two original accounts, compared to the four first-hand accounts and five second hand accounts. 

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There have been some thoughts in my mind the last while about what constitutes a vision.

Suppose I had been an eavesdropper in the Sacred Grove at the time of the visitation of the Father and the Son to Joseph. Would I have observed them standing in the air and talking to the Prophet? Or would the experience have been closed to my senses because, after all, it was not intended for my eyes/ears.

If the latter had been the case, would the visitation have been any the less real? Could I deny that Joseph had been in their presence simply because, in my limited mortal perception, I was unable to observe it?

Is a divine visitation (or vision, for that matter) any the less real if not everyone present on the occasion can perceive it? Bear in mind that, on the occasion of the visitation of Moroni, Joseph was very likely not alone in the bedroom, that there would have been a number of other siblings there with him in close quarters. Why did they sleep through it? Why were they not conscious of what was going on?

Is there that marked of a distinction between visitations, visions and dreams? Are spiritual promptings any the less real or divine because they don't take the form of more dramatic forms of revelation such as visitations, visions and dreams?

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I just noticed that the gospel topics essays are now found in the Gospel Library App. They are under the section called History. So now they are much out in the open for people with smart phones.

 

Edited by Rivers
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3 minutes ago, Rivers said:

I just noticed that the gospel topics essays are now found in the Gospel Library App. They are under the section called History. So now they are much out in the open for people with smart phones.

 

I'm not where I can check, but are all the polygamy essays in the list?  Someone posted elsewhere that they were missing (?) or were difficult to find.

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10 minutes ago, Rivers said:

I just noticed that the gospel topics essays are now found in the Gospel Library App. They are under the section called History. So now they are much out in the open for people with smart phones.

 

Good Deal!

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37 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I'm not where I can check, but are all the polygamy essays in the list?  Someone posted elsewhere that they were missing (?) or were difficult to find.

Just checked. All three plural marriage essays are there.

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It's interesting that in the 1835 account  he said:

"I saw in the vision  the place where they (plates) were deposited, he said the  indians, were the literal descendants of Abraham"

So regardless of what DNA studies tell us today the angel Moroni claims something different. He didn't say some indians; he said "the" indians were descendants of Abraham.

 

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3 minutes ago, JAHS said:

It's interesting that in the 1835 account  he said:

"I saw in the vision  the place where they (plates) were deposited, he said the  indians, were the literal descendants of Abraham"

So regardless of what DNA studies tell us today the angel Moroni claims something different. He didn't say some indians; he said "the" indians were descendants of Abraham.

 

Despite the stubborness of some in clinging to the illusion, the DNA studies were never a game-changer.

 

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29 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I find Elder Maynes' claim that the multiple accounts make the First Vision the best documented vision in history a bit laughable.

The variations do not give a deeper, more comprehensive account of what actually happened. The accounts contradict each other, muddying the water.

What clarity comes from the multiple accounts when the participants in the vision change from an angel, to a host of angels, then God, then God and Jesus?

When would a witness with such varied stories of the same event be trusted in a court of law? Never. I'm not saying there aren't good, nuanced ways to consider the multiple accounts, but claiming the inconsistencies add richness to the story is absurd. Maynes is calling black, white, and up, down.

 

The accounts don't contradict each other, and the participants don't change. Some provide detail that others don't. Big whoop.

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29 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I find Elder Maynes' claim that the multiple accounts make the First Vision the best documented vision in history a bit laughable.

The variations do not give a deeper, more comprehensive account of what actually happened. The accounts contradict each other, muddying the water.

What clarity comes from the multiple accounts when the participants in the vision change from an angel, to a host of angels, then God, then God and Jesus?

When would a witness with such varied stories of the same event be trusted in a court of law? Never. I'm not saying there aren't good, nuanced ways to consider the multiple accounts, but claiming the inconsistencies add richness to the story is absurd. Maynes is calling black, white, and up, down.

 

The accounts don't contradict each other, and the participants don't change. Some provide detail that others don't. Big whoop.

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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Despite the stubborness of some in clinging to the illusion, the DNA studies were never a game-changer.

I know you believe this but I know many who feel it's still a huge issue.  My brothe-in-law read everything he could find on this topic and spent over a year researching it.  He stopped believing over this one issue but is still holding on and attending for now.   He's staying in for family reasons and making it work.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Is there that marked of a distinction between visitations, visions and dreams? Are spiritual promptings any the less real or divine because they don't take the form of more dramatic forms of revelation such as visitations, visions and dreams?

 

Sometimes in the first question.  No to the second question. But some spiritual promptings are also demonic in nature.

Jim

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

What clarity comes from the multiple accounts when the participants in the vision change from an angel, to a host of angels, then God, then God and Jesus?

Can you provide some detail on which accounts you are referring to?

1832 account: Mentions "the Lord".

1835 account: Mentions two personages and "many angels." Five days later, he calls this "the first visitation of Angels."

All of the rest of the accounts mention two personages without mentioning the angels.

Edited by Wiki Wonka
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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

It's interesting that in the 1835 account  he said:

"I saw in the vision  the place where they (plates) were deposited, he said the  indians, were the literal descendants of Abraham"

So regardless of what DNA studies tell us today the angel Moroni claims something different. He didn't say some indians; he said "the" indians were descendants of Abraham.

 

Moroni was right. Native Americans are descendants of Abraham in the same way most people are related to Gengas Kahn. 

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16 hours ago, canard78 said:

Any other thoughts?

I think the so-called 'First Vision' is one of the greatest things ever revealed to any man in any dispensation and that too many people don't see or understand the significance of what was revealed to Joseph then.

I think I feel as deeply about what people are missing out on as President Ezra Benson felt most people, even members of the Church, miss out on the significance of the Book of Mormon. 

The idea that our Father in heaven is a person just like Jesus Christ is a person and that they are both the same kind of being we are is an idea that will help us draw nearer to God than any other idea I can imagine and if so-called atheists understood the significance of the word God as well as we do they'd  realize how much sense it makes to realize that God does in fact exist and that we would not exist without him

 

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      I knew that very few had heard about Joseph's first vision in the earliest days of the church, I didn't know his own mother was unaware. Then I was digging through the JSP where they have Lucy Mack's original 1844 - 1845 history draft, and I found a first vision account similar to the 1835 account in which the unnamed personage testifies that Jesus is the Christ in the 3rd person.  Also compare with Lucy Mack Smith's letter to her brother Solomon Mack, Waterloo, New York, 6 January 1831
      https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/lucy-mack-smith-history-1844-1845/40
      "our sons were actively employed in assisting their Father to cut down the grain and storing it away in order, for winter One evening we were sitting till quite late conversing upon the subject of the diversity of churches that had risen up in the world and the many thousand opinions in existence as to the truths contained in scripture Joseph who never said many words upon any subject but always seemed to reflect more deeply than common persons of his age upon everything of a religious nature This After we ceased conversation he went to bed <and was pondering in his mind which of the churches were the true one.> an but he had not laid there long till <he saw> a bright <light> entered the room where he lay he looked up and saw an angel of the Lord stood <standing> by him The angel spoke, "I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is the true church there is not a true church on Earth No not one Nor <and> has not been since Peter took the Keys <of the Melchesidec priesthood after the order of God> into the Kingdom of Heaven the churches that are now upon the Earth are all man made churches."
    • By mfbukowski
      There is a fascinating podcast recently published by Interpreter of an interview with Sharalyn D. Howcraft about early foundational documents of Mormonism in which the difference between "what really happened" and how history is recorded.
      For those like me who do not like podcasts, there is also a transcript which is a pretty short and totally fascinating read.
      I highly recommend both.
      "What really happened" as I have said forever is virtually unknowable, so all we are stuck with are historical accounts which may or may not be "true representations"
      I say this often to underscore the necessity of being guided by the Spirit in all matters, regarding virtually every document we read as "HIS-STORY" rather than necessarily "what really happened" which in a historical sense is unknowable in most cases.  Observed recorded events like the assassination of Lincoln of course are "facts" and those are another case.
      But when it comes to hearsay, questions of motivation, how ideas evolved or what ideas were developed by whomever, we just have to be cautious and in my opinion,  regard everything as a story written by a human being and all human beings have a point to make, prejudices to expose or hide, and in some cases the "truth" is simply impossible to know.
      So especially in religious matters, we must follow our "gut" or in more regular Mormon parlance, "follow the Spirit".
      This podcast and transcription illustrate these points extremely well.
      http://interpreterfoundation.org/a-closer-look-at-the-foundational-texts-of-mormonism-with-sharalyn-d-howcroft/
      This link goes directly to the transcript
      http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/d/c/6dcfab4b17c23c6a/LDSP_Sharalyn_D._Howcroft.pdf?c_id=20782383&expiration=1525899791&hwt=88c7d8ed9c3cfaf190629e1f5f8ac493
       
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