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First vision accounts getting detailed attention in CES devotional


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8 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I'm being honest, Scott.  The '32 account says he had learned before the prayer that there was "no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament".  I get that FAIRMormon responded by saying,

Which is really just changing what Joseph said to make it appear there is no contradiction.  No Joseph did not say he learned the churches or denominations he knew about were in apostasy.  he claimed there were none at all.  Yes the FAIRMormon piece also suggests that the '32 account mentioned "my intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations"

The problem remains though, that this phrase is followed by... when you read the fill in it does not suggest as FAIRMormon contends. 

So here it shows that Joseph had already concluded his own intimate acquaintance with those different denominations did not match up to what he found in that sacred depository.  Then he continues on to outline that all of mankind had apostatized from the true and living faith and there was no society or denomination. 

This really is no big deal.  We should expect some amount of contradiction along these lines, in my view.  But to pretend there's no contradiction when it's staring one in the face trying to explaining it away by assuming something else was meant than what was recorded..well that's just desperate silliness, if you ask me. 

It seems to me there are contradictions in the accounts. What matters is that some people find those contradictions important, and others don't. I don't see the point in pretending they aren't there.

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30 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

If Scott ever admits an error or offers an apology it may be a sign of the apocalypse. Fortunately, he's still capable of directing when the conversation should end, which ironically coincides with a need for him to admit an error or apologize.

Note to self- It's okay to apologize and it's ok to admit mistakes. We all do it

Apologies are overrated.

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14 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

It's cited elsewhere as well, under the first subheading and in the last paragraph of the penultimate subheading.

Did you actually read it, or did you only glance at it?

You are wasting my time.

Come back when you can demonstrate you have actually read and duly considered the FairMormon article.

I won't hold my breath.

I accept your surrender.

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10 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

If Scott ever admits an error or offers an apology it may be a sign of the apocalypse. Fortunately, he's still capable of directing when the conversation should end, which ironically coincides with a need for him to admit an error or apologize.

Note to self- It's okay to apologize and it's ok to admit mistakes. We all do it

We've yet to see some kind of apology from you for your habit of periodically repeating arguments that have already been answered or rebutted, this without any acknowledgment or cognizance-taking of the rebuttals that have been made.

But in truth, I don't care so much about an apology; I would be content with a mending of your ways.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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9 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

It seems to me there are contradictions in the accounts. What matters is that some people find those contradictions important, and others don't. I don't see the point in pretending they aren't there.

I don't think it's a matter of pretending so much as it is a matter of reading for comprehension.

Ask yourself: How could an uneducated farm boy in a rural area of upstate New York in the early 1800s possibly have concluded from his own investigation that each and every Christian denomination on the face of the earth had apostatized from the true gospel? To borrow a line from Eliza R. Snow, the thought makes reason stare.

So what is a reasonable interpretation, then, of what he did say? That all of the Christian denominations with which he was then acquainted had departed from the truth. Understood in that light, it makes sense for him to then say subsequently that it had never entered his heart that all of the Christian sects on earth were wrong until he learned it directly from the glorified Jesus Christ.

And I agree with you that the dispute is not really very important in the general scheme of things.

As I've repeatedly said, if this is the strongest thing the detractors can come up with to demonstrate contradictions in the First Vision accounts, I can comfortably and happily say that they don't have anything of any great substance to make their case.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I don't think it's a matter of pretending so much as it is a matter of reading for comprehension.

Ask yourself: How could an uneducated farm boy in a rural area of upstate New York in the early 1800s possibly have concluded from his own investigation that each and every Christian denomination on the face of the earth had apostatized from the true gospel? To borrow a line from Eliza R. Snow, the thought makes reason stare.

So what is a reasonable interpretation, then, of what he did say? That all of the Christian denominations with which he was then acquainted had departed from the truth. Understood in that light, it makes sense for him to then say subsequently that it had never entered his heart that all of the Christian sects on earth were wrong until he learned it directly from the glorified Jesus Christ.

And I agree with you that the dispute is not really very important in the general scheme of things.

As I've repeatedly said, if this is the strongest thing the detractors can come up with to demonstrate contradictions in the First Vision accounts, I can comfortably and happily say that they don't have anything of any great substance to make their case.

 

That you have an explanation for the contradiction doesn't mean it wasn't there. I think we can agree that this contradiction is not significant to you but is to others, even some who aren't detractors. 

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5 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

That you have an explanation for the contradiction doesn't mean it wasn't there. I think we can agree that this contradiction is not significant to you but is to others, even some who aren't detractors. 

The most damning thing that can be said is that Joseph misspoke or spoke imprecisely on one occasion. Since doing such a thing is a human characteristic, and since his likely true meaning can be easily ascertained with a moment of logical consideration, is it reasonable to say this is a matter of significance?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

The most damning thing that can be said is that Joseph misspoke or spoke imprecisely on one occasion. Since doing such a thing is human characteristic, and since his likely true meaning can be easily ascertained with a moment of logical consideration, is it reasonable to say this is a matter of significance?

I get it. I'm just saying that this is a matter of significance to intelligent people who don't have it in for the church, whether you think it's reasonable or not. I think the contradiction is obvious, even though it is not something I care much about. 

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When I was a student at BYU I read Backman’s The First Vision. This was before the internet and before most church members knew there was more than one account. I read the different accounts JS gave at different times, and it never occurred to me there might be a problem with these accounts. It just simply never entered my head.
 
But I might’ve had a problem if he’d told one story early on, then repeated this same story by rote over and over again through the years.
 
“Truth is stranger than fiction but not so orderly.”
 
What is the first sign of a made-up alibi or a made up story? It is too “orderly” — too orderly, in fact, to be true. 
 
Or, as the Sherlock Holmes character in the TV series “Elementary” says: "When a suspect tells one story, and one story only, and never changes this story one iota — well, that is a sure sign of a made up alibi.” (Approximate quote.)
Edited by bdouglas
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3 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I get it. I'm just saying that this is a matter of significance to intelligent people who don't have it in for the church, whether you think it's reasonable or not. I think the contradiction is obvious, even though it is not something I care much about. 

One is entitled to judge whether it's reasonable to consider it significant, despite how "intelligent" some might be who hold that opinion.

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4 minutes ago, bdouglas said:
When I was a student at BYU I read Backman’s The First Vision. This was before the internet and before most church members knew there was more than one account. I read the different accounts JS gave at different times, and it never occurred to me there might be a problem with these accounts. It just simply never entered my head.
 
But I might’ve had a problem if he’d told one story early on, then repeated this same story by rote over and over again through the years.
 
“Truth is stranger than fiction but not so orderly.”
 
What is the first sign of a made-up alibi or a made up story? It is too “orderly” — too orderly, in fact, to be true. 
 
Or, as the Sherlock Holmes character in the TV series “Elementary” says: "When a suspect tells one story, and one story only, and never changes this story one iota — well, that is a sure sign of a made up alibi.” (Approximate quote.)

I like that quote from Holmes. I wish you could provide a cite or a link.

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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I like that quote from Holmes. I wish you could provide a cite or a link.

I like it too. It jumped out at me when I heard it. I'll have to go back and find the episode and copy it verbatim.

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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

One is entitled to judge whether it's reasonable to consider it significant, despite how "intelligent" some might be who hold that opinion.

Of course. At least you're acknowledging that there is a contradiction. Progress. 

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15 minutes ago, bdouglas said:
When I was a student at BYU I read Backman’s The First Vision. This was before the internet and before most church members knew there was more than one account. I read the different accounts JS gave at different times, and it never occurred to me there might be a problem with these accounts. It just simply never entered my head.
 
But I might’ve had a problem if he’d told one story early on, then repeated this same story by rote over and over again through the years.
 
“Truth is stranger than fiction but not so orderly.”
 
What is the first sign of a made-up alibi or a made up story? It is too “orderly” — too orderly, in fact, to be true. 
 
Or, as the Sherlock Holmes character in the TV series “Elementary” says: "When a suspect tells one story, and one story only, and never changes this story one iota — well, that is a sure sign of a made up alibi.” (Approximate quote.)

But we are talking about a vision of heavenly beings..how and why do you change  that let alone the very reason you went to the grove in the first place?  When you are basing a restoration and sustaining a prophet, this story should never change. 

Edited by Jeanne
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1 minute ago, Jeanne said:

But we are talking about a vision of heavenly beings..how and why do you change  that let alone the very reason you went to the grove in the first place? 

Of course you'd say that. You're a detractor! 😀

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1 minute ago, jkwilliams said:

Of course you'd say that. You're a detractor! 😀

Of course I am!!:D  But my son who is in his 30's now can remember big events that happened in his teens..he doesn't have to change his story. 

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11 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Of course. At least you're acknowledging that there is a contradiction. Progress. 

Expressing oneself with precision can be an elusive goal. I make a studied effort at it, but even I fail from time to time. It can be more difficult for those who are not trained or experienced at it.

For the communication process to succeed there is some responsibility on the part of the receiver to listen or read with understanding to compensate for whatever deficiency there might be in the message. This might include, for example, not insisting on seeing a contradiction where it is fairly obvious that no contradiction was intended.

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Just now, Jeanne said:

Of course I am!!:D  But my son who is in his 30's now can remember big events that happened in his teens..he doesn't have to change his story. 

Well, only unreasonable detractors think the contradictions are significant. 

Seriously, I understand arguing the contradictions aren't significant, but why refuse to even acknowledge they exist? There's no shame in conceding a point  

 

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9 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Expressing oneself with precision can be an elusive goal. I make a studied effort at it, but even I fail from time to time. It can be more difficult for those who are not trained or experienced at it.

For the communication process to succeed there is some responsibility on the part of the receiver to listen or read with understanding to compensate for whatever deficiency there might be in the message. This might include, for example, not insisting on seeing a contradiction where it is fairly obvious that no contradiction was intended.

How do you know what was intended? I certainly have no insight into Joseph Smith's thought processes. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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9 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

How do you know what was intended? I certainly have no insight into what Joseph Smith's thought processes. 

I said I thought it was fairly obvious. I explained my reasoning: That an unlearned farm boy of 14 in a rural area could not be expected to conclude from his own investigation that every Christian denomination on earth had departed from the truth. Therefore, it is reasonable to think what the intended meaning must have been instead, especially when the record shows elsewhere that it had not entered into his heart that all Christian denominations on earth had lost their way.

 

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18 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Well, only unreasonable detractors think the contradictions are significant. 

Seriously, I understand arguing the contradictions aren't significant, but why refuse to even acknowledge they exist? There's no shame in conceding a point  

 

How about allowing that an apparent contradiction may not have been (or likely wasn't) intended?

As you say, there is no shame in conceding a point.

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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I said I thought it was fairly obvious. I explained my reasoning: That an unlearned farm boy of 14 in a rural area could not be expected to conclude from his own investigation that every Christian denomination on earth had departed from the truth. Therefore, it is reasonable to think what the intended meaning must have been instead, especially when the record shows elsewhere that it had not entered into his heart that all Christian denominations on earth had lost their way.

Sure, that's one way of looking at it, but there are other reasonable ways to see it. I just don't know why someone wouldn't even acknowledge a contradiction, especially when they think its insignificant. 

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27 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Of course I am!!:D  But my son who is in his 30's now can remember big events that happened in his teens..he doesn't have to change his story. 

Might there be some aspects of certain "big events" that he would feel comfortable sharing in certain settings that he might not in others?

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Sure, that's one way of looking at it, but there are other reasonable ways to see it. I just don't know why someone wouldn't even acknowledge a contradiction, especially when they think its insignificant. 

If it's obvious what the intended meaning was -- or if it's a matter of ambiguity in the phrasing that is selected -- then it's really not a contradiction.

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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

If it's obvious what the intended meaning was -- or if it's a matter of ambiguity in the phrasing that is selected -- then it's really not a contradiction.

Again, that reasonable people disagree as to the meaning indicates to me that it's probably not obvious. 

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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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