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10 hours ago, cinepro said:

You might find this context interesting:

Many factors contributed to the relative lack of interest in the First Vision by nineteenth century believers and nonbelievers. Most have been identied by Latter-day Saint scholars in a variety of articles attempting to validate the historicity of the event or its relationship to developments in L.D.S. doctrine.  Though these studies disagree on the First Vision’s theological implications, what matters for our purposes is that all agree, in the words of James B. Allen, author of the most extensive study, that “the weight of evidence would suggest that it [the First Vision] was not a matter of common knowledge, even among church members, in the earliest years of Mormon history .” As Allen’s research makes apparent, though the First Vision is used in a sermon as early as 1883, the turning point in the status of the First Vision occurs during the administration of Joseph F. Smith and, signicantly for the purposes of this essay , contemporaneous with the Smoot hearing and its immediate aftermath. The story is first used in Latter-day Saint Sunday School texts in 1905; in priesthood instructional manuals in 1909; as a separate missionary tract in 1910; and in histories of the church in 1912. Moreover, in 1907, the Smith family farm in Palmyra, New York, was purchased and passed into church ownership in 1916. A grove of trees on the site where Joseph Smith was assumed to have had the First Vision became an increasingly popular pilgrimage site, culminating in centennial celebrations in 1920. By mid-century, Joseph Smith’s account of his theophany was denominated “The Joseph Smith Story.” Eventually, this story would be granted the status of “the beginning point, the fountainhead, of the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation.”  In the First Vision, Progressive-Era president Joseph F. Smith, whose tenure lasted until his death in 1918, had found a marker of L.D.S. identity whose pedigree was as great as, and would be made greater than, that of plural marriage for the twentieth-century Saints.

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/kathleenflake/files/2012/01/RAC-Re-placing-Memory.pdf

Thanks cinepro, this is interesting and I hadn't read it before.  I knew the early church members were not really aware of the first vision (from what I've read).

I have also read that Lucy Mack Smith's first version of the history of Joseph Smith and the church that she wrote, didn't even include or mention the first vision.  The title of her history was Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations  and it was published in 1853. Brigham Young ordered the members to destroy their copies of this history in 1865. 

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I'm not sure whom you mean here by we, but I certainly don't teach that, and I've even written on this topic in this and subsequent posts in the same thread.

"We" as in the institutionalized church. See here for just one example: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-3-i-had-seen-a-vision?lang=eng

Quote

What are some of the truths we can learn from the First Vision? 

<snip>

  1. The Father and the Son are real, separate beings with glorified bodies of flesh and bones.

 

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Besides Allen's important essay on the pedagogical use of the First Vision, his "The Emergence as a Fundamental" in The Journal of the Mormon History, there is also Tim Barker, “The First Vision in the Formative Years of the Church” at LDS Studies: A Personal Study of Mormon Scripture, Doctrine, History, and Culture, 4 July 2011, online at http://lds-studies.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-vision-in-formative-years-of.html

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

When we teach that from the first vision, Joseph knew that HF and JC were two separate and distinct physical beings and hence the trinity is false, we are going beyond what Joseph ever claimed or taught.

It makes perfect sense.  Let's take look at another astonishing fact.  In the account, he never said that he saw and spoke to Christ -- he uses the word "personage".

So, with your brilliant insight, we can now question where he was talking about Christ, or some other angel.  Now the "first personage" said that this was His son, perhaps this was the father of John the Baptist.  Who knows, and you showed us that we cannot assume ANYTHING unless JS actually tells us.  Now later, perhaps he says that it was Christ, but that's only because that is what the church now teaches.

Brilliant insight.  We are free from using common sense to interpret the events from the obvious interpretation.  Joseph Smith actually saw a "one substance entity".

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12 hours ago, cinepro said:

You might find this context interesting:

 

 

Yes I did find that context interesting.  I wasn't aware of many of those details including Joseph F. Smith's promotion of that vision.

I still think it doesn't get the attention that it deserves, though.  I think there needs to be a LOT more talk about God being the same kind of being we are.  The word God itself promoted as being synonymous with human, as the kind of being we are as a species.  

Promoted correctly even atheists would agree with us even if they didn't believe we have ancestors living "in outer space".

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45 minutes ago, cdowis said:

It makes perfect sense.  Let's take look at another astonishing fact.  In the account, he never said that he saw and spoke to Christ -- he uses the word "personage".

So, with your brilliant insight, we can now question where he was talking about Christ, or some other angel.  Now the "first personage" said that this was His son, perhaps this was the father of John the Baptist.  Who knows, and you showed us that we cannot assume ANYTHING unless JS actually tells us.  Now later, perhaps he says that it was Christ, but that's only because that is what the church now teaches.

Brilliant insight.  We are free from using common sense to interpret the events from the obvious interpretation.  Joseph Smith actually saw a "one substance entity".

Even if that "personage" (a high fallutin from of the word "person" I reckon) referred to as the son of the other was not Jesus we have other evidence in the form of first-hand testimony telling us what Jesus looked like, in form, after he was resurrected.  So Jesus and that "son" would still have had the same form.

And which person is which isn't even the most important detail we get out of that vision.

The core idea is that they are like us, in form, because they are the same kind of being we are.  Or if you prefer and want to get really technical you could say that we are like them, in form, because we are the same kind of being they are.

That's the main idea I get out of the 'First Vision'.

The form and substance of God, as a kind of being.  

That we are the same kind of being as God.

Whether you use the term human or God we are talking about the same kind of being.

Edited by Ahab
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1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:
Quote

What are some of the truths we can learn from the First Vision? 

<snip>

  1. The Father and the Son are real, separate beings with glorified bodies of flesh and bones.

 

There's the point I was trying to make earlier. Joseph saw them; but how does him seeing them at that first vision tell us they had bodies of flesh and bone? He only saw the two personages; he did not feel them.

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7 minutes ago, JAHS said:

There's the point I was trying to make earlier. Joseph saw them; but how does him seeing them at that first vision tell us they had bodies of flesh and bone? He only saw the two personages; he did not feel them.

I agree. And given that Christians who believe in the trinity accept Acts 7:55 (Stephen's theophany) where two personages were seen, its not clear to me that you could conclude that just because you have seen the father and the son at the same time, the doctrine of trinity is false. 

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4 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I agree. And given that Christians who believe in the trinity accept Acts 7:55 (Stephen's theophany) where two personages were seen, its not clear to me that you could conclude that just because you have seen the father and the son at the same time, the doctrine of trinity is false. 

The trinity is essentially the idea of 3 in unity.

By seeing 2 of those 3 as separate persons you would then see that they are not the same person, at least, although you could still wonder how they are in unity.

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4 minutes ago, Ahab said:

The trinity is essentially the idea of 3 in unity.

By seeing 2 of those 3 as separate persons you would then see that they are not the same person, at least, although you could still wonder how they are in unity.

This is off topic, but (and I will probably butcher this) the trinity teaches that three distinct persons co-exist as one God. Hence the Father and the son can manifest at the same time. You are thinking modalism perhaps?

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21 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I agree. And given that Christians who believe in the trinity accept Acts 7:55 (Stephen's theophany) where two personages were seen, its not clear to me that you could conclude that just because you have seen the father and the son at the same time, the doctrine of trinity is false. 

I do believe it is false, because Joseph Smith did receive revelation telling us that they both have separate bodies of flesh and bone. (D&C 130: 22)

I suppose God being God, even as a trinity, could show himself as two separate beings; but why would He do that?

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11 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

This is off topic, but (and I will probably butcher this) the trinity teaches that three distinct persons co-exist as one God. Hence the Father and the son can manifest at the same time. You are thinking modalism perhaps?

As long as we're sticking to the same thing that Joseph saw in the 'First Vision' I think we'll be staying on topic. 

The idea of what and who God is can now be defined as a (a as in one) particular kind of being, not necessarily only one person. 

So the Father can be referred to as God,  and so can his son Jesus, and so can the Holy Spirit because each of those 3 is the same kind of being we refer to as God.  And not only those 3 persons but any other person as well as long as that person is the same kind of being they are.  And each one of us is, even though we are not as perfect or in unity as much as they are right now.

So even if you do not agree with me you are still the same kind of being as I am and as our Father in heaven is too.  We are all the one and only true God. 

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14 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

This is off topic, but (and I will probably butcher this) the trinity teaches that three distinct persons co-exist as one God. Hence the Father and the son can manifest at the same time. You are thinking modalism perhaps?

I think an actual problem is the idea that the Father is pure spirit and invisible (a Trinitarian can correct me if I am wrong).  Modalism, which iirc applies to faiths such as Oneness Pentacostals, would be contradicted by two personages, but not mainstream beliefs in the Trinity, which is three persons in one Being.

I have heard/read Evangelicls who state that Stephen's vision was symbolic because the Father can't be seen.  I don't know if this is widespread or applies to other forms of the Trinity.

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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I imagine if I were telling a story to different people and the story-telling was separated by a few years each, I could imagine quite a bit of variation in the accounts without me even realizing it.  Our perception is an interesting thing, and our change in perception over time is palpable, at least it has been for me.  In that sense, I'm not too concerned about the varying accounts in the first vision or visitation of angels or whatever we want to call it. 

With that said, it seems obvious we want to put more stock into the story than Joseph did. 

That's what SeekingUnderstanding mentions above; the operations (and limitations) of human memory have been well studied in the past few decades, and what we're discussing with the different versions of the First Vision story is actually exactly what would be expected with normal memory function. 

Basically, our brains aren't like computer hard drives that store every bit of data that happens in our lives 24/7.  Memory is subjective and sporadic, and ultimately when we remember an event we aren't remembering the actual event, but instead are remembering the last time we remembered the event, with additional "information" possibly added to it.

For example, in the original Star Wars movie there were scenes filmed of Luke and his friends on Tatooine that appeared early on (during the first space battle).  These scenes were cut before the film was released to theaters, but the comic books and novelization (which were written before the final edit) did include the dialogue and pictures of these scenes.

But because some peoples' memories of the film included not only seeing it in the theater but reading the comic books and novelization, there are people who are 100% convinced that they saw an early film print that still had these scenes in it.  They can actually remember sitting in the theater and seeing those scenes (and they even create theories about all the prints being changed after release).

So we would expect Joseph Smith's story to change over the years as he remembers things differently and as his religious views developed over time.  But one thing we wouldn't expect is (to the degree that the First Vision was an objective, actual event) for his memory to get more accurate over the years.  We can theorize divine intervention so that the memory was specially preserved, or perhaps new information (for example, Jesus visiting him in 1837 and saying "Hey, remember the time my Dad and I visited you in the grove and told you ....?")  But what we see with the different versions is exactly what would be expected without divine intervention or new information. 

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16 hours ago, CountryBoy said:

I agree....but...in my profession, as a litigator, I have cross-examined many a witness and destroyed them due to various versions of a story.  But...I also understand, in my experience, that people tell stories differently depending on to whom they speak.

I got upset at my wife once for interrupting me constantly while I told her a story.  She finally said, "I would not interrupt if you have told me all the details from the beginning".  The problem was, I did not think those details were pertinent in telling HER the story......so I left them out.

Wow, that hit close to home for me!  Also gave me a chuckle, for which I thank you!

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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I imagine if I were telling a story to different people and the story-telling was separated by a few years each, I could imagine quite a bit of variation in the accounts without me even realizing it.  Our perception is an interesting thing, and our change in perception over time is palpable, at least it has been for me.  In that sense, I'm not too concerned about the varying accounts in the first vision or visitation of angels or whatever we want to call it. 

With that said, it seems obvious we want to put more stock into the story than Joseph did. 

I've told my conversion story to many people over the years, and I have picked and chosen the elements that I have shared according to whom I was telling it, and according to time available and appropriateness at the moment I told the story.  I recently got remarried after my wife passed away last year, and in my retellings of both events, I have done the same.  Yesterday, my very good friend Daren, whom I have not spoken with in several months, stopped by.  Because of his depth of spirituality and testimony of the gospel, and because of his experience of being present with his mother when she passed away, not to mention our personal closeness, I gave him the entire detailed story of my wife's passing, and the miraculous (to me) events of my later courtship and marriage.  He got the lion's share of it all, whereas I have told more casual acquaintances far less, with far less personal details.  Yet I was telling the truth in all instances.  

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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think an actual problem is the idea that the Father is pure spirit and invisible (a Trinitarian can correct me if I am wrong).  Modalism, which iirc applies to faiths such as Oneness Pentacostals, would be contradicted by two personages, but not mainstream beliefs in the Trinity, which is three persons in one Being.

I have heard/read Evangelicls who state that Stephen's vision was symbolic because the Father can't be seen.  I don't know if this is widespread or applies to other forms of the Trinity.

"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,  56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.," (Acts 7: 55-56)

I have heard these scriptures explained  by other Christians that there were not two separate beings but that Stephen saw Jesus exalted, standing in the glory of God or in the splendor of God. Other explanations are so convoluted that I can't understand what they are trying to say. 

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16 minutes ago, JAHS said:

"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,  56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.," (Acts 7: 55-56)

I have heard these scriptures explained  by other Christians that there were not two separate beings but that Stephen saw Jesus exalted, standing in the glory of God or in the splendor of God. Other explanations are so convoluted that I can't understand what they are trying to say. 

That would be more plausible if there were not the direct statement about Jesus "standing on the right hand of" (not "in the glory of") God.

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

That's what SeekingUnderstanding mentions above; the operations (and limitations) of human memory have been well studied in the past few decades, and what we're discussing with the different versions of the First Vision story is actually exactly what would be expected with normal memory function. 

Basically, our brains aren't like computer hard drives that store every bit of data that happens in our lives 24/7.  Memory is subjective and sporadic, and ultimately when we remember an event we aren't remembering the actual event, but instead are remembering the last time we remembered the event, with additional "information" possibly added to it.

For example, in the original Star Wars movie there were scenes filmed of Luke and his friends on Tatooine that appeared early on (during the first space battle).  These scenes were cut before the film was released to theaters, but the comic books and novelization (which were written before the final edit) did include the dialogue and pictures of these scenes.

But because some peoples' memories of the film included not only seeing it in the theater but reading the comic books and novelization, there are people who are 100% convinced that they saw an early film print that still had these scenes in it.  They can actually remember sitting in the theater and seeing those scenes (and they even create theories about all the prints being changed after release).

So we would expect Joseph Smith's story to change over the years as he remembers things differently and as his religious views developed over time.  But one thing we wouldn't expect is (to the degree that the First Vision was an objective, actual event) for his memory to get more accurate over the years.  We can theorize divine intervention so that the memory was specially preserved, or perhaps new information (for example, Jesus visiting him in 1837 and saying "Hey, remember the time my Dad and I visited you in the grove and told you ....?")  But what we see with the different versions is exactly what would be expected without divine intervention or new information. 

Yeah, but I also find it possible that later tellings are fuller and more complete.  Earlier tellings might be more raw, assuming a more accurate portrayal, but it's also possible a later telling considers accuracy or completeness in a way earlier tellings did not.  I guess tellings isn't a word.  But there it is four times in this one little paragraph anywho. 

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

Yeah, but I also find it possible that later tellings are fuller and more complete.  Earlier tellings might be more raw, assuming a more accurate portrayal, but it's also possible a later telling considers accuracy or completeness in a way earlier tellings did not.  I guess tellings isn't a word.  But there it is four times in this one little paragraph anywho. 

If one were to ask me what is more accurate, thorough, comprehensible and closer to the truth between my hastily scrawled, handwritten notes and my carefully crafted news story in its final draft, I would respond without hesitation that it is the latter.

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

If one were to ask me what is more accurate, thorough, comprehensible and closer to the truth between my hastily scrawled, handwritten notes and my carefully crafted news story in its final draft, I would respond without hesitation that it is the latter.

It may depend on how much time transpires between the two versions.  Are we talking hours, days, weeks, or years?

I would think writing details down right after you witnessed something would be more accurate (when the event was still fresh in your mind).  

(Also, the words "carefully crafted" sound a bit suspect to me :) )

Edited by JulieM
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42 minutes ago, JulieM said:

It may depend on how much time transpires between the two versions.  Are we talking hours, days, weeks, or years?

I would think writing details down right after you witnessed something would be more accurate (when the event still was fresh in your mind).  

 

You've never seen my handwritten notes. ;)

Quote

(Also, the words "carefully crafted" sound a bit suspect to me :) )

Why would it necessarily be suspect? My crafting is to make the account readable and comprehensible and to ensure there is sufficient explanatory content.

If you think the crafting is for the purpose of alteration, distortion or deception, I could see why you would be suspicious, but I don't cop to that sort of thing.

And an immediate record is not necessarily a more truthful one. There is something to be said for the benefit of perspective and understanding that might not be present until after some time has passed.

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

You've never seen my handwritten notes. ;)

Why would it necessarily be suspect? My crafting is to make the account readable and comprehensible and to ensure there is sufficient explanatory content.

If you think the crafting is for the purpose of alteration, distortion or deception, I could see why you would be suspicious, but I don't cop to that sort of thing.

Ok (I was just teasing you anyway :) )

But, I do think at least for me, the notes or record I made closer to anything I'd witnessed would be more accurate than trying to compose something after very much time had passed.

Edited by JulieM
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        20. What principle is emphasized in Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41-2? (1 mark)
      a) Priesthood holders can draw upon the powers of heaven only if they live righteously.
      b) lf we actively seek to learn through study and faith, our faith in Jesus Christ will increase.
      c) If we obey the Lord, He will always keep His promises to bless us.
        21. Which of the following accurately describes Heavenly Father? (1 mark)
      a) He is without feelings or emotions.
      b) He is a personage of Spirit and can dwell in us.
      c) He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's.
        22. Which of the following is a requirement for receiving exaltation in the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) Bearing testimony of the Savior is all that is needed.
      b) Receiving a patriarchal blessing
      c) Receiving and being valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ
        23. Of the following groups, who will inherit the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) All children who die before they reach the age of accountability
      b) All members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      c) All individuals who have been baptized
        24. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "God doesn't care how marriage is defined"? (1 mark)
      a) Ever individual born into morality is a child of God, and God loves each of us.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God changes truth to meet the circumstances and needs of His children.
        25. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "It isn't as important for couples to have children today as it used to
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) God's commandment fr husbands and wives to have children remains in force today.
        26. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As long as two individuals love each other, physical intimacy is
      acceptable"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
        27. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As governments continue to redefine marriage, God's definition of
      marriage will change to reflect the values of modern society"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) Changes in the civil law do not change the moral law that God has established.
        28. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "The only purpose of marriage is for adults to find fulfillment and
      happiness"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      Section name: Explain Doctrine _
      Instructions: Write your answer on a piece of paper. Compare your response with the correct answer received from your teacher. After self-grading the explain-doctrine question, bubble in your answer sheet.
      Self-grade your answer for each question:
      a. Yes, I explained this in my response.
      b. No, I left this out of my response.
        29. What is an example of a truth that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the truth you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        30. What is an example of an ordinance that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the ordinance you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        31. What is an example of priesthood authority that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why this authority of the priesthood can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        32. Share your personal thoughts on the importance of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (1 mark)
    • By blueglass
      Really impressed with Kate Holbrook's interview with Terryl Givens.  She's thoughtful, candid, and inspiring as she speaks about her persistence to get a PhD and work full time for the church as a manger of church history.  She's working on a project with Lisa Tate on the history of the young women's organization.  
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2G7k1ggz7k&amp;feature=em-uploademail
      One thing I caught that I hadn't heard before was when Terryl asks her about whether she felt a sense of loss and a sense of jubilation when studying the history of the RS.  Joseph envisioned a more collaborative relationship with the male priesthood, more autonomy, abundance of spiritual gifts, authority to administer ordinances including healing by the laying of hands.  Kate responds that she understands the hyperfocus on this time period, but she feels there is a lost opportunity in recognizing the accomplishments of the women of the 20th century - she then backtracks a bit and says:
      "I don't want to say that their isn't a difference, between - a time when a woman was able to say I have this terrific idea she's say the General RS president and she goes and talks to the president of the church about it.  That is certainly different than now, when she goes and talks to someone in the presiding bishopric, and it has to go through several levels to even get to the president.  There is a loss, and there is a difference."
      I had no idea that the General RS president did not have direct access to the quorum of the 12, and first presidency?  Why in 3 heavens does the general RS president still have such an auxiliary level of access to the presiding apostolic quorum, access to financial influence through Pres Bishopric perhaps, but no real budget to work with?  No seat on the correlation committee?  
      Kate has a great story about how Ardeth Greene Kapp (General YW president 84-92') while receiving a downpour of revelation would use innovative, clever ways and technology to push the ideas upward through the hierarchy.  
    • By blueglass
      A number of church historians recently published a book through Oxford entitled "Foundational Texts of Mormonism: Examining Major Early Sources” (Oxford University Press, $74, 448 pages.)
      In the last chapter (13) pg 390 the historian Ronald Barney quotes Donald Enders, the senior curator at the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City where he states, "There is no evidence, that Joseph told his mother that he had talked face-to-face with God. Certainly his mother never claimed to have heard such a declaration."
      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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