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The 1832 First Vision Account: Needed to be Hidden?


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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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1 hour ago, kiwi57 said:

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?

If Joseph Smith thought it created a problem, he would have done something about it.  Apparently Joseph did not find a problem with it.  I really don't see much a problem with it.  Joseph did not give an account that was 100% comprehensive.  He told the story in different ways at different times according to what was on his mind at the time.  I would have done the exact same thing.  I never tell a story any meaningful experience the same exact way over time in my life.  My mind may draw on one aspect of the experience at one time and another aspect at a different time. 

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For me the 1832 account of the first vision is beautiful and inspiring.  When I was serving in the bishopric last year I had the young men combine one Sunday and I showed the young men the new church history tab on the mobile gospel library, clicked on the Joseph smith accounts and then you're there.  we read through the account and I passed around a few printouts of the scans of Joseph smith's handwriting.  We wrote down all the scripture references interlaced in his account and we discussed our testimonies of Christ, or how we can have faith in the savior and receive a forgiveness of sins.  Joseph says that after the vision, "my soul was filled with love, and for many days I could rejoice with great joy."  I think we can all hope to experience what he did.  As for why there are still in 2017 , 8 pages cut out of the book and "missing"?   I asked Mark ashurst McGee and he had no idea where they are or why they have not been returned.

 

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Edited by blueglass
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There are those who hold that the 1832 account "contradicts" the better-known 1838-9 account now canonised in the Pearl of Great Price.

Anyone looking to see the contradictions might be a little bit disappointed. He does not say that he didn't pray, or that he didn't have a vision. The "contradiction" consists in (1) emphasising elements of the experience that received less emphasis in other accounts, and (2) giving less emphasis to elements that got more emphasis in other accounts.

Below is the entire text of the 1832 account. Let's read it together, and then discuss any details that might seem important.

At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with regard to the all importent concerns for the wellfare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations led me to marvel excedingly for I discovered that they did not of adorntheir profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my Soul thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart concerning the sittuation of the world of mankind the contentions and divi[si]ons the wicke[d]ness and abominations and the darkness which pervaded the minds of mankind my mind become excedingly distressed for I become convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that mankind did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world for I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday to day and forever that he was no respecter to persons for he was God for I looked upon the sun the glorious luminary of the earth and also the moon rolling in their magesty through the heavens and also the stars shining in their courses and the earth also upon which I stood and the beast of the field and the fowls of heaven and the fish of the waters and also man walking forth upon the face of the earth in magesty and in the strength of beauty whose power and intiligence in governing the things which are so exceding great and marvilous even in the likeness of him who created them and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath the wise man said it is a fool that saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I, considered all these things and that that being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord in the 16th year of my age a piller of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy way walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life behold the world lieth in Sin at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not my commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which hath been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud clothed in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could rejoice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart but after many days I fell into transgression and sinned in many things which brought a wound upon my soul and there were many things which transpired that cannot be writen

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20 hours ago, kiwi57 said:

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.

Not only was it not published, it was definitely cut out or removed from the original record.  Why do you believe that someone removed that one section and placed it in the first presidency vault?

(I don't buy that it was to retain it's value since damaging it like that actually devalued the document.....but I would sincerely like to know why you believe it was removed rather than published when it was discovered)

 

Edited by ALarson
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In another thread (I'm redirecting that discussion here) Exiled wrote:

Quote

Are you serious about there not being any contradictions? How about one being v. two for starters? If you can't admit that is a contradiction then this will quickly devolve into a yes it is, no it isn't engagement like you had with the other posters on other threads. I'm not interested to go down that road with you. So, I guess you can declare victory.

Was there only one being?

First of all, let us accept, arguendo, that the 1832 account only mentions one being. Does that mean that it unambiguously asserts that there was only one being?

Consider these two statements:

1. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill.
2. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Jane.

Do those statements "contradict" each other? I think a reasonable person would say no, there is no contradiction between them. If 1 is true, there's no reason 2 can't also be true. Now a third statement:

3. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill and Jane.

Does 3 contradict 1? Does it contradict 2? Again, I think a reasonable person would say no, there is no contradiction anywhere in view. All three statements can simultaneously be true. In fact, statement 3 absolutely entails statements 1 and 2. But what about this?

4. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill, but I didn't see Jane.

Now we're getting somewhere! If 4 is true, then 2 and 3 cannot be. If either 2 or 3 is true, then 4 must be false.

Most sensible people have argued that the 1832 account is like statement 1 - it mentions one being, but not the other - while the 1838-9 account is like statement 3. We've established that there is no contradiction between statements 1 and 3; they can both be simultaneously true. There is no question about that.

The critics' counter-argument is to say that if Joseph really saw God the Father, then he could not possibly have left that part out, due to His supreme importance. However, that merely changes the subject. What Joseph must or should or ought to have said is a quite distinct matter. The specific argument is that 1832 contradicts 1838-9, not merely that it leaves out something the critic thinks is important. Given that 1838-9 is like statement 3, 1832 would have to be like statement 4 in order to furnish us with a contradiction.

But it isn't, so there's not.

If I have laboured this (rather trivial) point, then I apologise, but the fact that the "contradiction" keeps being claimed seems to indicate a lack of understanding on this point.

That being settled, we come back to the question: Does the 1832 account only mention one being?

Here is the relevant excerpt from the 1832 account:

Quote

I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord in the 16th year of my age a piller of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy way walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life

I'd like to draw attention to certain features of this statement. As mentioned elsewhere, it is a "run-on sentence" with hardly any punctuation at all. We can make some attempts to punctuate it, but I'll leave that for later.

Another notable feature is that it includes the word "Lord" six times. The Lord performs a number of functions in this very brief account.

1. Joseph calls upon The Lord.
2. The Lord hears Joseph.
3. The Lord opens the heavens.
4. Joseph sees the Lord.
5. The Lord speaks to Joseph.
6. The Lord forgives Joseph's sins.
7. The Lord testifies of His identity and role as crucified and risen Saviour.

All of these functions are highly significant and are packed with information that may not be obvious on a cursory glance.

Joseph prays to someone called "The Lord," someone called "The Lord" hears Joseph and opens the heavens. To whom did Joseph pray? He tells us that this was his first attempt to pray vocally. What was his most likely prayer formula? I submit that it would be "Our Father, which art in heaven."

Thus, "The Lord" carrying out functions 1 and 2 represents God the Father. Without a doubt, "The Lord" carrying out functions 5, 6 and 7 represents Jesus Christ. So which of them carried out function 4? Probably also Jesus.

Now, which of them carried out function 3? That's not quite so simple. The relevant passage says:

the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me...

It's easy to assume that the expression "the Lord" always refers to the same personage, but that's clearly unsustainable. Joseph is using that phrase (it's a title after all, not a unique name) at different times to refer to both the Father and the Son. Now Joseph demonstrates that he knows how to use pronouns when he says:

I saw the Lord and he spake unto me...

So why doesn't he use a pronoun here?

the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord

Why not "the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw Him?" Why the unnecessary repetition?

No-one imagines that Joseph was an expert grammarian. But the account as we have it is a pretty good effort. I submit that the repetition wasn't unnecessary at all. It was necessary because the first Lord and the second Lord in the account are two distinct beings.

Joseph's 1832 account focuses upon the message Jesus gave him. The Father is certainly present, but alluded to only discreetly.

One more point: Stan Larson, apart from sanctimoniously objecting to anyone saying that the Father appeared to Joseph, also claimed that the 1832 account does not mention Joseph receiving any prophetic calling. He is plainly unfamiliar with the Bible. In Revelation 19:10 we find:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

For those who have ears to hear, when Jesus testified of his divine identity and saving role, He was making Joseph one of those who have that testimony. Or, in other words, he was making him one of the prophets.

Finally, here, for anyone who might be interested, is my attempt to punctuate the 1832 account. I'm not sure I've got it right, but I'm confident that I've done it no harm. As someone once said, it is too great to be harmed.

Quote

I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go [and] to obtain mercy; and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness, and while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord, in the 16th year of my age, a pillar of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me; and I was filled with the spirit of God. And the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord. And he spake unto me saying, Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee. Go thy way, walk in my statutes and keep my commandments. Behold, I am the Lord of glory. I was crucified for the world, that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life.

 

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

This is an incorrect statement.  The evidence of it being hidden was that is was cut out of the letterbook while in the Church's possession in the church archives.

No, that's not evidence that it was being hidden.

Furthermore, the portion that was cut out of the letterbook was not merely the First Vision account. It was the entire History section.

 

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20 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

No, that's not evidence that it was being hidden.

I have to say that cutting out a section and placing it where very few could find it or see it sounds like it was being hidden away.  Why wasn't it published when it was discovered?  One does not damage a historical document like that without a reason (IMO).  I think we could debate what the reasons were behind someone doing that (cutting it out and putting it in the first presidency vault), but that action is one of hiding rather than sharing or revealing.

If one of your kids did that to a diary they were keeping (you found it with pages removed), wouldn't you wonder why they did that and what they were hiding?  I know that I would.  I wouldn't accuse them of doing something evil or wrong, but I'd wonder what was on those pages that they didn't want anyone else to see if the diary was discovered.

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30 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I have to say that cutting out a section and placing it where very few could find it or see it sounds like it was being hidden away.

I humbly submit that it sounds like that to you because that's what you are predisposed to hear. To a fair-minded person, there are all sorts of possible explanations.

Stan Larson, by whom several have tried to conjure recently, actually has to labour to argue that the excision was not being done in accordance with the standard archival practice of separating written material by content. The narrative history is significantly different stuff from the correspondence.

30 minutes ago, ALarson said:

  Why wasn't it published when it was discovered?  One does not damage a historical document like that without a reason (IMO).  I think we could debate what the reasons were behind someone doing that (cutting it out and putting it in the first presidency vault), but that action is one of hiding rather than sharing or revealing.

So do you genuinely assume that only two options are possible? Either bury it deep or broadcast it from the rooftops? Is there no room for anything in between?

30 minutes ago, ALarson said:

If one of your kids did that to a diary they were keeping (you found it with pages removed), wouldn't you wonder why they did that and what they were hiding?  I know that I would.  I wouldn't accuse them of doing something evil or wrong, but I'd wonder what was on those pages that they didn't want anyone else to see if the diary was discovered.

Speaking only for myself, if I found a diary one of my children left lying around, I wouldn't read it.

If in fact I did notice some pages torn out, I'd probably assume that they'd used them for some other purpose, like writing notes. It probably wouldn't occur to me to get suspicious.

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35 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

No, that's not evidence that it was being hidden.

Furthermore, the portion that was cut out of the letterbook was not merely the First Vision account. It was the entire History section.

 

Is it proof that it is being hidden?  No.  Is it evidence it is being hidden?  Absolutely.

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1 minute ago, Oliblish said:

Is it proof that it is being hidden?  No.  Is it evidence it is being hidden?  Absolutely.

No, it's not.

A data point that can have multiple explanations is not evidence for one of them any more than any other.

As I pointed out multiple times elsewhere: if anyone really wanted to stop others from ever reading the history, then they had one infallible and completely safe method to ensure that, and they didn't use it.

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10 minutes ago, Oliblish said:

Is it proof that it is being hidden?  No.  Is it evidence it is being hidden?  Absolutely.

Definitely.   The actions of removing a section of a document and locking it out of view are actions of concealing or hiding.  There could be very good reasons why this was done, but I'm having a difficult time understanding how anyone can deny that what was done definitely did not involve an attempt to share, reveal or publish the information on those pages.  The opposite actions took place....those of making sure no one saw the information (at least until a decision could be made regarding how to deal with it).

Edited by ALarson
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14 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Speaking only for myself, if I found a diary one of my children left lying around, I wouldn't read it.

Oh brother....:rolleyes:

It was just a "for instance" or similar example that I threw out for thought.  Now I remember why I usually ignored you in the past since it's near impossible to have an honest discussion with you.

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1 hour ago, kiwi57 said:

In another thread (I'm redirecting that discussion here) Exiled wrote:

Was there only one being?

First of all, let us accept, arguendo, that the 1832 account only mentions one being. Does that mean that it unambiguously asserts that there was only one being?

Consider these two statements:

1. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill.
2. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Jane.

Do those statements "contradict" each other? I think a reasonable person would say no, there is no contradiction between them. If 1 is true, there's no reason 2 can't also be true. Now a third statement:

3. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill and Jane.

Does 3 contradict 1? Does it contradict 2? Again, I think a reasonable person would say no, there is no contradiction anywhere in view. All three statements can simultaneously be true. In fact, statement 3 absolutely entails statements 1 and 2. But what about this?

4. I was at a party on Saturday, and I saw Bill, but I didn't see Jane.

Now we're getting somewhere! If 4 is true, then 2 and 3 cannot be. If either 2 or 3 is true, then 4 must be false.

Most sensible people have argued that the 1832 account is like statement 1 - it mentions one being, but not the other - while the 1838-9 account is like statement 3. We've established that there is no contradiction between statements 1 and 3; they can both be simultaneously true. There is no question about that.

The critics' counter-argument is to say that if Joseph really saw God the Father, then he could not possibly have left that part out, due to His supreme importance. However, that merely changes the subject. What Joseph must or should or ought to have said is a quite distinct matter. The specific argument is that 1832 contradicts 1838-9, not merely that it leaves out something the critic thinks is important. Given that 1838-9 is like statement 3, 1832 would have to be like statement 4 in order to furnish us with a contradiction.

But it isn't, so there's not.

If I have laboured this (rather trivial) point, then I apologise, but the fact that the "contradiction" keeps being claimed seems to indicate a lack of understanding on this point.

That being settled, we come back to the question: Does the 1832 account only mention one being?

Here is the relevant excerpt from the 1832 account:

I'd like to draw attention to certain features of this statement. As mentioned elsewhere, it is a "run-on sentence" with hardly any punctuation at all. We can make some attempts to punctuate it, but I'll leave that for later.

Another notable feature is that it includes the word "Lord" six times. The Lord performs a number of functions in this very brief account.

1. Joseph calls upon The Lord.
2. The Lord hears Joseph.
3. The Lord opens the heavens.
4. Joseph sees the Lord.
5. The Lord speaks to Joseph.
6. The Lord forgives Joseph's sins.
7. The Lord testifies of His identity and role as crucified and risen Saviour.

All of these functions are highly significant and are packed with information that may not be obvious on a cursory glance.

Joseph prays to someone called "The Lord," someone called "The Lord" hears Joseph and opens the heavens. To whom did Joseph pray? He tells us that this was his first attempt to pray vocally. What was his most likely prayer formula? I submit that it would be "Our Father, which art in heaven."

Thus, "The Lord" carrying out functions 1 and 2 represents God the Father. Without a doubt, "The Lord" carrying out functions 5, 6 and 7 represents Jesus Christ. So which of them carried out function 4? Probably also Jesus.

Now, which of them carried out function 3? That's not quite so simple. The relevant passage says:

the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me...

It's easy to assume that the expression "the Lord" always refers to the same personage, but that's clearly unsustainable. Joseph is using that phrase (it's a title after all, not a unique name) at different times to refer to both the Father and the Son. Now Joseph demonstrates that he knows how to use pronouns when he says:

I saw the Lord and he spake unto me...

So why doesn't he use a pronoun here?

the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord

Why not "the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw Him?" Why the unnecessary repetition?

No-one imagines that Joseph was an expert grammarian. But the account as we have it is a pretty good effort. I submit that the repetition wasn't unnecessary at all. It was necessary because the first Lord and the second Lord in the account are two distinct beings.

Joseph's 1832 account focuses upon the message Jesus gave him. The Father is certainly present, but alluded to only discreetly.

One more point: Stan Larson, apart from sanctimoniously objecting to anyone saying that the Father appeared to Joseph, also claimed that the 1832 account does not mention Joseph receiving any prophetic calling. He is plainly unfamiliar with the Bible. In Revelation 19:10 we find:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

For those who have ears to hear, when Jesus testified of his divine identity and saving role, He was making Joseph one of those who have that testimony. Or, in other words, he was making him one of the prophets.

Finally, here, for anyone who might be interested, is my attempt to punctuate the 1832 account. I'm not sure I've got it right, but I'm confident that I've done it no harm. As someone once said, it is too great to be harmed.

 

Despite your introduction, I think you have little interest in hearing what others think about the contradiction of the different versions of the first vision.  I personally can not imagine a more powerful or impactful incident in anyone's life than receiving a personal manifestation from God.  The vision and how it played out would be so etched in my soul forever.  If such a thing happened to me, I would probably immediately write down exactly and in every possible detail of that event so that I would never forget even the smallest fraction of what had occurred.  I would forever know how many personages appeared to me, how old I was, where that vision occurred and what was said.

There have been very important events that have happened in my life.  Certainly nothing as dramatic as an appearance from God.  I have repeated those events regularly in my life to those that I have met.  I have done it often enough and without varying anything of any significants that my partner would be able to repeat the event himself with little variance.  

I fully realize that I am a different person than Joseph Smith.  But it is very difficult for me to even conceive that Joseph Smith could ever, and I mean ever, forget to mention that both the Father and the Son were both part of that amazing vision.  That is entirely different than attending a party and saying that they saw Jane.

Your faith of the variance of the First Vision is remarkably different than mine.  I don't fault you for your own personal beliefs.  But there is no way that the variance would not be a big problem for me to reconcile.  I think that is the position that those who are troubled by the differences.  A difference that you fail to acknowledge or understand.  

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2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Oh brother....:rolleyes:

It was just a "for instance" or similar example that I threw out for thought.  Now I remember why I usually ignored you in the past since it's near impossible to have an honest discussion with you.

Really?

And is that an example of how hard you try, is it?

My post raises a number of substantive points, but you confine yourself exclusively to my response to your hypothetical - and then complain that I'm the one not having an honest discussion.

All I can say to that is, "Oh."

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10 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Oh brother....:rolleyes:

It was just a "for instance" or similar example that I threw out for thought.  Now I remember why I usually ignored you in the past since it's near impossible to have an honest discussion with you.

You threw out an analogy that didn't work. Don't accuse your interlocutor of bad faith discussion just because you devised an analogy that failed.

 

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10 minutes ago, california boy said:

Despite your introduction, I think you have little interest in hearing what others think about the contradiction of the different versions of the first vision.

 I personally can not imagine a more powerful or impactful incident in anyone's life than receiving a personal manifestation from God.  The vision and how it played out would be so etched in my soul forever.  If such a thing happened to me, I would probably immediately write down exactly and in every possible detail of that event so that I would never forget even the smallest fraction of what had occurred.  I would forever know how many personages appeared to me, how old I was, where that vision occurred and what was said.

There have been very important events that have happened in my life.  Certainly nothing as dramatic as an appearance from God.  I have repeated those events regularly in my life to those that I have met.  I have done it often enough and without varying anything of any significants that my partner would be able to repeat the event himself with little variance.  

I fully realize that I am a different person than Joseph Smith.  But it is very difficult for me to even conceive that Joseph Smith could ever, and I mean ever, forget to mention that both the Father and the Son were both part of that amazing vision.  That is entirely different than attending a party and saying that they saw Jane.

Your faith of the variance of the First Vision is remarkably different than mine.  I don't fault you for your own personal beliefs.  But there is no way that the variance would not be a big problem for me to reconcile.  I think that is the position that those who are troubled by the differences.  A difference that you fail to acknowledge or understand.  

Thank you for the irenic tone of your response. (Apart from the first sentence, which I'm prepared to overlook.)

But I have to ask: Did you actually take the trouble to read and understand the post to which you are responding? It's generally a good idea, you know.

A contradiction exists when some statement S1 necessarily falsifies some other statement S2, such that if S2 is true, then S1 cannot be, and vice versa.

If we accept that the 1832 account is true, then what is there in the 1838/9 account that must be false?

If we accept that the 1838/9 account is true, then what is there in the 1832 account that must be false?

Those are the only questions that can disclose any contradictions.

"What I would do if it happened to me" doesn't relate to contradictions at all. It's a completely different argument about a completely different subject. Whether it's a valid criticism - and I don't agree that it is - is a completely different discussion, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand, which is whether 1832 contradicts 1838/9.

That's not to say that I'm not willing to discuss that question as well, but let's be clear: it's a different question.

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33 minutes ago, california boy said:

Despite your introduction, I think you have little interest in hearing what others think about the contradiction of the different versions of the first vision.  I personally can not imagine a more powerful or impactful incident in anyone's life than receiving a personal manifestation from God.  The vision and how it played out would be so etched in my soul forever.  If such a thing happened to me, I would probably immediately write down exactly and in every possible detail of that event so that I would never forget even the smallest fraction of what had occurred.  I would forever know how many personages appeared to me, how old I was, where that vision occurred and what was said.

There have been very important events that have happened in my life.  Certainly nothing as dramatic as an appearance from God.  I have repeated those events regularly in my life to those that I have met.  I have done it often enough and without varying anything of any significants that my partner would be able to repeat the event himself with little variance.  

I fully realize that I am a different person than Joseph Smith.  But it is very difficult for me to even conceive that Joseph Smith could ever, and I mean ever, forget to mention that both the Father and the Son were both part of that amazing vision.  That is entirely different than attending a party and saying that they saw Jane.

Your faith of the variance of the First Vision is remarkably different than mine.  I don't fault you for your own personal beliefs.  But there is no way that the variance would not be a big problem for me to reconcile.  I think that is the position that those who are troubled by the differences.  A difference that you fail to acknowledge or understand.  

If I had a personal experience similar to the First Vision, I would keep it close to the vest, at least for a time, just as Joseph did. Why? because I don't trust the average person to treat it with the respect and reverence it should have. If, sometime later, I decided to recount it in writing, I would think it unjust if someone thought me a liar just because I didn't create a written record of it right away.

I'm not a journal keeper by nature. There are, alas, a good many momentous events in my life that I have not recorded in detail, namely the precise circumstances and minute-by-minute occurrences pertaining to the births of each of my children.

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

You threw out an analogy that didn't work. Don't accuse your interlocutor of bad faith discussion just because you devised an analogy that failed.

 

Oh, I think it works (I'm fine if you disagree).  We're talking about a journal or history here which is very similar to the example I used.  

It's difficult for me to see how anyone cannot see the actions involved with cutting out a section of a record or history and placing it where others could not see it as actions of concealment rather than sharing.  Once again, I have not stated I believe anything evil was a foot.  I understand why it may have taken place until a decision was made regarding how to handle the information contained on those pages.  But they were removed and they were concealed.  I think a better discussion would be why that was done. 

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9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Oh, I think it works (I'm fine if you disagree).  We're talking about a journal or history here which is very similar to the example I used.  

It's difficult for me to see how anyone cannot see the actions involved with cutting out a section of a record or history and placing it where others could not see it as actions of concealment rather than sharing.

I agree that it's not "sharing." But that looks like an example of the fallacy of the false dilemma. "Sharing" versus "concealment" does not exhaust the universe of possibilities.

Quote

Once again, I have not stated I believe anything evil was a foot.  I understand why it may have taken place until a decision was made regarding how to handle the information contained on those pages.  But they were removed and they were concealed.  I think a better discussion would be why that was done. 

I think you are presuming too much when you say "they were concealed."

And (I really shouldn't need to say this) I'm being honest about that.

Edited by kiwi57
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6 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

Thank you for the irenic tone of your response. (Apart from the first sentence, which I'm prepared to overlook.)

But I have to ask: Did you actually take the trouble to read and understand the post to which you are responding? It's generally a good idea, you know.

A contradiction exists when some statement S1 necessarily falsifies some other statement S2, such that if S2 is true, then S1 cannot be, and vice versa.

If we accept that the 1832 account is true, then what is there in the 1838/9 account that must be false?

If we accept that the 1838/9 account is true, then what is there in the 1832 account that must be false?

Those are the only questions that can disclose any contradictions.

"What I would do if it happened to me" doesn't relate to contradictions at all. It's a completely different argument about a completely different subject. Whether it's a valid criticism - and I don't agree that it is - is a completely different discussion, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand, which is whether 1832 contradicts 1838/9.

That's not to say that I'm not willing to discuss that question as well, but let's be clear: it's a different question.

Of course I read the post that I was responding to.  I think my point was that if something so important as a visitation from God to me, there would be no contradiction.  Not whether the contradiction could be explained away.

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2 minutes ago, california boy said:

Of course I read the post that I was responding to.

I'm glad to hear it.

2 minutes ago, california boy said:

 I think my point was that if something so important as a visitation from God to me, there would be no contradiction.

Is there something missing from that sentence? I'm having trouble making sense of what you are saying.

2 minutes ago, california boy said:

 Not whether the contradiction could be explained away.

There's no "contradiction" that needs to be "explained away."

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6 minutes ago, kiwi57 said:

I agree that it's not "sharing." But that looks like an example of the fallacy of the false dilemma.

I think you are presuming too much when you say "they were concealed."

Who was it shared with when the information was discovered...do you know?  (Honest question....)

These writings should have been remarkable to find and to share.  But instead they were cut out of the original document and put in a place away from other's eyes to see and read.  

Edited by ALarson
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