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In an article newly published by Interpreter, Brian Hales defends against allegations that Joseph and the early Saints used various psychedelic drugs to induce visions and spiritual experiences in the early Saints.

The Abstract:

Quote

Abstract: An article recently published in an online journal entitled “The Entheogenic Origins of Mormonism: A Working Hypothesis” posits that Joseph Smith used naturally occurring chemicals, called “entheogens,” to facilitate visionary experiences among his early followers. The entheogenic substances were reportedly derived from two mushrooms, a fungus, three plants (including one cactus), and the secretions from the parotid glands of the Sonoran Desert toad. Although it is an intriguing theory, the authors consistently fail to connect important dots regarding chemical and historical cause-and-effect issues. Documentation of entheogen acquisition and consumption by the early Saints is not provided, but consistently speculated. Equally, the visionary experiences recounted by early Latter-day Saints are highly dissimilar from the predictable psychedelic effects arising from entheogen ingestion. The likelihood that Joseph Smith would have condemned entheogenic influences as intoxication is unaddressed in the article.

 

His conclusion:

 

Quote

 

Conclusion

EOMWH presents an interesting theory that the visionary experiences of Joseph Smith and the early Saints resulted from entheogenic ingestion. Sustaining this view, the authors present general observations and a few selected reports along with many conjectures.

The idea that Joseph Smith was a highly advanced herbalist and mycologist who could correctly distinguish psychedelic mushrooms and from death caps and then appropriately prepare the entheogens to obtain the expected hallucinations is historically unsupported. The learning curve to obtain such expertise for most of the seven entheogens [Page 354]would be steep and time-consuming. Overall, there is no evidence that mushrooms, cacti, other plants, or toad secretions were sought, harvested, prepared, or consumed by the first generation of believers or any thereafter.

An additional concern is that the psychedelic influences of drugs like psilocybin, mescaline, and 5-MeO-DMT are very different from the extra-worldly experiences mentioned by early Latter-day Saints that were described as faith-promoting and uplifting. It is likely that Joseph Smith would have condemned many of the behaviors arising from entheogen ingestion as intoxication.

A growing trend among secularists is to provide naturalistic explanations for religious phenomena. Claims that exogenous chemicals can duplicate the spiritual experiences described by religionists remain unverifiable, because spiritual sensations are so personal to the individual. However, as a believer and researcher who has read multiple accounts describing entheogen effects, I detect remarkable differences.

 

 

Visions, Mushrooms, Fungi, Cacti, and Toads: Joseph Smith’s Reported Use of Entheogens

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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JS had hang nails and carpel tunnel and athlete's foot. Prove that false!!!

I would add that philosophically, it is a category error to assume that chemical brain states are the direct "causes" of particular experiences in an objective, observable, repeatable sense.  All huma

I grew up in the drug culture of the 1960's and 1970's in Southern California. I guarantee you drug hallucinations are nothing like a vision from God. There is absolutely no comparison. I tried them a

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Posted (edited)

I would add that philosophically, it is a category error to assume that chemical brain states are the direct "causes" of particular experiences in an objective, observable, repeatable sense.  All human experiences are subject to the interpretation of the one having the experience, adding another layer of interpretation and uncertainty between the experience and its final result in one's life.

It is not possible for one to take a certain drug to induce a specific experience- one cannot take a drug and see the specific movie "Lion King", in vision, as an example,  and even if it was possible, the vision would still be subject to interpretation- one might decide that the structure of the film was flawed, that talking lions do not actually exist, etc.

Hales mentions these points, but not in a philosophical sense, so I thought I would throw that in as well.  ;)

Taking psychedelic drugs may increase the probability that one will have an hallucination- but what that hallucination contains will vary with each individual, and the interpretation would also vary.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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22 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I would add that philosophically, it is a category error to assume that chemical brain states are the direct "causes" of particular experiences in an objective, observable, repeatable sense.  All human experiences are subject to the interpretation of the one having the experience, adding another layer of interpretation and uncertainty between the experience and its final result in one's life.

It is not possible for one to take a certain drug to induce a specific experience- one cannot take a drug and see the specific movie "Lion King", in vision, as an example,  and even if it was possible, the vision would still be subject to interpretation- one might decide that the structure of the film was flawed, that talking lions do not actually exist, etc.

Hales mentions these points, but not in a philosophical sense, so I thought I would throw that in as well.  ;)

Taking psychedelic drugs may increase the probability that one will have an hallucination- but what that hallucination contains will vary with each individual, and the interpretation would also vary.

 

Precisely. That's why I have never been convinced by the claims that Joseph manipulated the witnesses by means of hypnosis or other tricks: vivid hallucinations cannot be produced on demand and to order. Thus, the testimony of the Witnesses and the many other divine witnesses of the early Church remain in force for me. 

I've often wondered about miracles. Things like John Tanner's leg, the "day of God's power" at Nauvoo, numerous and sundry other reported healings and such. Not to derail the OP, but I've heard such dismissed as merely "events that you have interpreted as miracles." Is that a valid defeating critique of the existence of miracles, that they are just interpretations of events?

I have appreciated and I think that I've learned from your philosophy, but I still wonder. If I have it correctly, "truth" is the fusion of experience and interpretation. How do we debate between interpretations? For example, I have had X spiritual experience. It could be a direct experience with God, or it could be the cause of W unidentified psychophysical mechanism or combination thereof. How does one adjudicate the difference?

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Haven't heard of them using drugs. I have heard it suggested that Joseph may have been suffering from some kind of medical condition which caused him to have seizures accompanied by hallucinations. But of course that would not explain similar visions that others experienced at that time.

 

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I thought one of JS's seerstones was a Peyote cactus. 

I believe a lot of what is in the Bible is because of wild mushrooms. Talking donkeys never sat well with me.

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56 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I thought one of JS's seerstones was a Peyote cactus. 

Huh?  How can a plant be a stone?

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

Haven't heard of them using drugs. I have heard it suggested that Joseph may have been suffering from some kind of medical condition which caused him to have seizures accompanied by hallucinations. But of course that would not explain similar visions that others experienced at that time.

 

That theory makes shipwreck on the appearance of the Savior to Smith and Cowdery, the appearance of the Kirtland Temple to Smith, Williams, and Rigdon(?), the Three Witnesses, the Vision of D&C 76, and other visions. Joseph Smith's internal hallucinations could not imprint themselves on the minds of those around him. Nor, might I add, did he experience seizures while receiving revelation: Brigham Young, Philo Dibble, Sidney Rigdon, Wilford Woodruff, and a host of other Saints would attest otherwise. 

Edited by OGHoosier
Improved the wording because I like drama
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8 minutes ago, Calm said:

Huh?  How can a plant be a stone?

 Maybe it was petrified. It is at a museum in Woods Cross, Utah.

https://mormonscholar.org/early-history/seer-stones-of-joseph-smith/

[18] See D. Michael Quinn. 1998a p. 246-247.  Joseph Smith found this stone, possibly in its rough unshaped form, along the Mississippi River’s shore between 1839 and 1844. After Joseph’s death, the stone was kept by Emma Smith and inherited by her second husband, Lewis Bidamon. It eventually made its way to the Wilford Wood Museum in Woods Cross, Utah.  It is the size of a U.S. quarter dollar and “is the most intricate of those attributed to Smith. It has a hole through the center surrounded by eight smaller indentations, with tooled ridges around the edge”   This is probably one of the two stones that Brigham Young referred to that was found during the Nahvoo period.  

Edited by Tacenda
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12 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

That theory makes shipwreck on the appearance of the Savior to Smith and Cowdery, the appearance of the Kirtland Temple to Smith, Williams, and Rigdon(?), the Three Witnesses, the Vision of D&C 76, and other visions. Joseph Smith's internal hallucinations could not imprint themselves on the minds of those around him. Nor, might I add, did he experience seizures while receiving revelation: Brigham Young, Philo Dibble, Sidney Rigdon, Wilford Woodruff, and a host of other Saints would attest otherwise. 

The rumor about Kirtland involved a large amount of wine consumed, not seizures or drugs.

Edited by JLHPROF
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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Maybe it was petrified. 

That is soapstone. It is carved to look like that, it isn’t natural. 

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Just now, Calm said:

That is soapstone. It is carved to look like that, it isn’t natural. 

I was thinking of petrified wood. 

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21 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The rumor about Kirtland involved a large amount of wine consumed, not seizures or drugs.

You're talking about the spiritual manifestations surrounding the anointings, right? I'm not. I'm talking about the time that the Williams and Smith and Rigdon (I think) saw were given a visionary tour of the Kirtland Temple in 1833 before it was constructed. 

Visions like that, I can't explain them in a naturalistic paradigm. I'm always tempted to, or to just dismiss them as anomalies that should be explained later, but I consider it my right to demand an explanation for those things and so far the divine revelation model is the only one that can really explain it. I can't prove that it was divine revelation, but it's the only model that works aside from an utterly self-contradictory promissory naturalism. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

Precisely. That's why I have never been convinced by the claims that Joseph manipulated the witnesses by means of hypnosis or other tricks: vivid hallucinations cannot be produced on demand and to order. Thus, the testimony of the Witnesses and the many other divine witnesses of the early Church remain in force for me. 

I've often wondered about miracles. Things like John Tanner's leg, the "day of God's power" at Nauvoo, numerous and sundry other reported healings and such. Not to derail the OP, but I've heard such dismissed as merely "events that you have interpreted as miracles." Is that a valid defeating critique of the existence of miracles, that they are just interpretations of events?

I have appreciated and I think that I've learned from your philosophy, but I still wonder. If I have it correctly, "truth" is the fusion of experience and interpretation. How do we debate between interpretations? For example, I have had X spiritual experience. It could be a direct experience with God, or it could be the cause of W unidentified psychophysical mechanism or combination thereof. How does one adjudicate the difference?

Well first off, I would not consider those kind of comments a "derail".  And incidentally I have never doubted nor condemned in any way the testimonies of the witnesses.

And again what I present is not "my" philosophy but my interpretation ;) of Neo Pragmatism as applied to the Gospel, and seeing scripture as a text like any other, but one which encourages spiritual experience.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neopragmatism#:~:text=Neopragmatism%2C sometimes called post-Deweyan,intend for them to describe.

For what it is worth, I differ with Rorty in his understanding of contingency of the self- I think there is a central contradiction in Rorty's view of the self, which incidentally is I think successfully handled by Chantal Bax here:  https://www.academia.edu/2081988/Chantal_Bax_Subjectivity_after_Wittgenstein_The_Post-Cartesian_Subject_and_the_Death_of_Man_

And on the other hand, Rorty and Dewey, and James himself would all agree that religious experience is "valid" for the person receiving it especially if it was a positive experience for the individual.  THEY might not agree what is or is not "positive" but that is up to the individual to determine for herself.

To give the 250 words or less summary of the argument: ;)  Many Neo Pragmatist postmoderns see the individual as totally "programmed" by their culture and language, and therefore believe that the very notion that persons are unique individuals cannot be be sustained.  This is the "Death of Man" hypothesis.  If we are all just mirrors of our culture, then we do not exist as individuals, but as programmed automatons.  But I won't get into that here- suffice it to say that if we are not individuals, we cannot be actors, but only acted upon, what we call "free agency" is an illusion.  That view is clearly incompatible with the gospel.   So that is where I differ with Rorty, and where I think Bax presents a reasonable case.  But I think Rorty's position is actually self contradictory- but that's not for here.

So I agree with Rorty's take on language but not on the individual- I think that is where he goes wrong- we are not fully programmed by our culture/language.  His position is called the "contingency of the self".  The very notion of "self" is contingent on other contingent factors acting on the alleged individual to the point where he is blown around like a leaf in the wind, as the gospels might say.

Regarding my take on "truth", I agree with Rorty as quoted below in my siggy.   Please read it slowly and think about it.  I will be glad to take it apart if you wish.

"Truth" is not about the world "as it is" independent of human beings, it is NOT "correspondence to reality" because all we can speak about is what humans can speak about- which is limited to their sense data, AND what they "feel in their hearts".   We cannot know reality as it is- but only as we see and experience it, and when we discuss it, we move farther from things as they are, into abstract symbolic communication through words.

So it is impossible to adjudicate between "truth" and "falsity" except through what descriptions work best for the purposes of the description itself. 

What we CALL "truth" is social agreement between peers.  In science, if the community of astronomers decide that Pluto is a "planet", then it is "true" that the statement "Pluto is a planet" is true, and if they later decide it is NOT a planet,  then the statement "Pluto is a planet" is false. !   In the case of religion, someone testifying in a sacrament meeting to a community of LDS folks that they "know the church is true", they are correct- THEY DO know THAT!   And the Methodist- perhaps- also KNOWS that for her the Methodist way of seeing the world is "true".

How does one adjudicate between truth or falsity in this case as a model for EVERY case?

"What works better" in the over all model is the only thing we can use to pick between the belief systems.  

What makes one person a Methodist and another LDS?   How does one adjudicate the truth of that?  Whatever view fulfills what they need in life.  We can't go around telling people that they have "false beliefs" and have them suddenly abandon their beliefs and jump into the waters of baptism- we have to show them IF POSSIBLE that the Church of JCLDS presents a model of religious belief that "works better" for THEM than the old model they have now.

And those will vary between individuals and between individual communities, so there IS NO ONE TRUTH which can be adequately verbalized which "corresponds to reality", because to speak is to REMOVE reality from the equation in the very act of speech itself!!  All we can SPEAK about is our own experience, and how we interpret it

And so geocentrism worked great until exceptions were observed and shared with the scientific community of its time- and people believed also that the bible was "true" about science as well as spiritual matters.  OOPS.  So now when heliocentrism was suggested by Keppler and the boys, they were seen as heretics!

But all they were doing is suggesting a model of the universe which "worked better" than a geocentric theory.

So getting back to the gospel, AND to the OP-- the direct experience of personal revelation, is, in my opinion, "true reality" unmediated or polluted by words.  But as soon as we put direct experience "into words" we have automatically distorted the direct experience and added in culture and language into the description.

So in an example from Hales' article- we cannot hallucinate a "castle" if we have never seen a "castle".   A native American before 1492 would never hallucinate a "castle" because there were no castles in his experience, or at least he would not have the words to describe it- thereby making it impossible to compare his hallucination to a European's who already had a concept of what a "castle" looked like as opposed to a "house".   Even supposing that IF we could look into the heads of each- obviously impossible- and if we could compare the "pictures" of the "true hallucination" whatever that even means ;) one might use the word "castle" and the other, NOT use that word, and yet we could not understand the sameness of the description to conclude that the two hallucinations were the "same".

Phew.

I hope that was easier to read than it was to write.  ;)  But I have suspicions...  ;)

So to repeat your question and respond directly:

Quote

I have appreciated and I think that I've learned from your philosophy, but I still wonder. If I have it correctly, "truth" is the fusion of experience and interpretation. How do we debate between interpretations? For example, I have had X spiritual experience. It could be a direct experience with God, or it could be the cause of W unidentified psychophysical mechanism or combination thereof. How does one adjudicate the difference?

I am glad if it has helped even a little.

"Truth" however is NOT a fusion of experience and interpretation- first of all truth only exists in statements, and not in the world, independent of human beings- so there is no final "adjudication" about it corresponding to "reality" - there is only AGREEMENT on the statement between peers in their community who then give the statement the stamp of approval by agreeing it is "true".

Truth is not a statement about correspondence to the world BECAUSE we can never see the world "as it is" to allow it to DEFINE what is "true".

Truth is a property of statements in language- not of reality itself.  There is no "reality" except what we can agree on in sentences.

Some are easy  to judge and some are not.   Easy ones are like saying "The car is red".  It's easy because we know the definition of "car" and we know the definition of "red" and we will all agree on it.  Is this what happens in your head when you hear the statement "the car is red"?   To me I picture a sleek sportscar.  

But even simple statements are always ambiguous and never exactly grab the experience.  

That is also Hales' point!

image.jpeg.112ff258d737bf77b29c9db7642e6388.jpeg.

 

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39 minutes ago, Calm said:

Huh?  How can a plant be a stone?

Read the article.

Joseph had a "peyote" stone.

This whole thread is based on the notion that one reads the article.  Perhaps it was also a seer stone- not sure if Brian mentions it as a seer stone.

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16 minutes ago, Calm said:

It is not. 

It would look like this, don't know if this is the actual photo. But to me it looks like it hardened like petrified wood which sort of looks like stone.

Restoration and the Sacred Mushroom. Did Joseph Smith use Psychedelic  Substances to Facilitate Visionary Experiences? - PDF Free Download

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37 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

That theory makes shipwreck on the appearance of the Savior to Smith and Cowdery, the appearance of the Kirtland Temple to Smith, Williams, and Rigdon(?), the Three Witnesses, the Vision of D&C 76, and other visions. Joseph Smith's internal hallucinations could not imprint themselves on the minds of those around him. Nor, might I add, did he experience seizures while receiving revelation: Brigham Young, Philo Dibble, Sidney Rigdon, Wilford Woodruff, and a host of other Saints would attest otherwise. 

Another point that Hales makes!

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1 minute ago, Tacenda said:

It would look like this, don't know if this is the actual photo. But to me it looks like it hardened like petrified wood which sort of looks like stone.

Restoration and the Sacred Mushroom. Did Joseph Smith use Psychedelic  Substances to Facilitate Visionary Experiences? - PDF Free Download

Did you read the description in the article?

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The rumor about Kirtland involved a large amount of wine consumed, not seizures or drugs.

But the point was that even as hallucinations "caused" by drugs (a misnomer in itself) everyone would not have the "SAME" hallucination

That would logically be like several people having the "same dream" at the same time induced by: --- wait for it---

SLEEP!

Does sleep cause us to dream about uncle Freddy?

It may be a necessary condition but your uncle Freddy is completely YOURS, not mine.

And even if I knew your uncle Freddie, I may have hated the guy and you loved him, so your dream, EVEN IF it could be proven to be "the same" - impossible-  not have the same affect in your life.   I may see it as a nightmare and you as a wonderful childhood experience

Edited by mfbukowski
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17 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

You're talking about the spiritual manifestations surrounding the anointings, right? I'm not. I'm talking about the time that the Williams and Smith and Rigdon (I think) saw were given a visionary tour of the Kirtland Temple in 1833 before it was constructed. 

Visions like that, I can't explain them in a naturalistic paradigm. I'm always tempted to, or to just dismiss them as anomalies that should be explained later, but I consider it my right to demand an explanation for those things and so far the divine revelation model is the only one that can really explain it. I can't prove that it was divine revelation, but it's the only model that works aside from an utterly self-contradictory promissory naturalism. 

If you want to include all models they could have simply lied about the whole thing, which of course we hope did not happen.

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13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

 

And those will vary between individuals and between individual communities, so there IS NO ONE TRUTH which can be adequately verbalized which "corresponds to reality", because to speak is to REMOVE reality from the equation in the very act of speech itself!!  All we can SPEAK about is our own experience, and how we interpret it

I think I'm getting it. Let me list it out and see if I get it right.

1. All "reality" is in fact experienced and perceived by human beings

2. Human perceptions can be communicated through language, but only imperfectly.

3. The reality communicated by language is therefore 2 degrees removed from "reality", first via human perception and then via the "crooked, broken, narrow prison" of human language.

4. Therefore, truth cannot be grasped in language. Only our interpretations of experience can be represented.

5. Therefore, all language removes the possibility of "objective reality" at the moment of instantiation. 

I think I get that. So, all experience is interpretation then, and the question of "experience of God vs. psychopsychological" is to be determined by what works better for the individual? 

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50 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

It would look like this, don't know if this is the actual photo. But to me it looks like it hardened like petrified wood which sort of looks like stone.

Restoration and the Sacred Mushroom. Did Joseph Smith use Psychedelic  Substances to Facilitate Visionary Experiences? - PDF Free Download

That stone as pictured has been carved, Tacenda. It is soapstone, not petrified plant. 

Petrified Wood has a ‘grain’ to it. You can see that it was once wood.  I am not sure something like a peyote button could even be petrified as it is usually harder plant material like trunks and branches. The other parts of a plant may be fossilized like in amber or like a leaf imprint. 
 

But that doesn’t even look like a peyote button which doesn’t have holes in it.  If you look closely, you can see carving marks. 
 

https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/268281/view/peyote-cactus-buttons-containing-hallucinogen-drug

BTW, petrified wood is stone.  See here:

https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/petrified-forest-national-park-how-petrified-wood-is-made-nature-boom-time

Edited by Calm
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11 minutes ago, JAHS said:

If you want to include all models they could have simply lied about the whole thing, which of course we hope did not happen.

They could have but I see that as unlikely. Too many people over too many different circumstances, literally ALL of which were rebuffed by the Church and fell away at some given point or other. That holds pretty strong for me. I'm pretty loathe to just dismiss historical records as "lying" or handwaving reported experiences as though they just didn't happen; it feels like stepping beyond my authority and cheapens the whole thing.

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I thought one of JS's seerstones was a Peyote cactus. 

I believe a lot of what is in the Bible is because of wild mushrooms. Talking donkeys never sat well with me.

I grew up in the drug culture of the 1960's and 1970's in Southern California. I guarantee you drug hallucinations are nothing like a vision from God. There is absolutely no comparison. I tried them all LSD peyote mushrooms mescaline on and on. I have had several visions from God they were nothing like a hallucination caused by drugs. 

Edited by rodheadlee
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      Over the years I have seen many fall way from the Gospel. Some because of writings that were proven false, Church history, apathy and disillusion to name a few. Lately over translation issues and historical accounts of these methods. Also in the past, articles and books later debunked. But as far as such things in the past, which have been debunked, generations now have no idea of their of anything to do with Mormonism, except the anger that has been passed down. I was in Nauvoo on vaction back in 1994, were non-members who found out I was Mormon told me that outside of Nauvoo (the old city site) I was told not to mention it. I went on a trip to Missouri with friends, my wife and I had to go to a time share sales pitch and decided to purchase a trial package...afterwards the lady doing the presentation asked what Church did we attend, along with other questions. She did so because she was very religious and I am sure she wanted to make sure we were "saved", which was very nice. When we told her we were LDS, she got quiet and whispered, "Don't tell anyone around here". 
      I mention this, because many in the ant-Mormon world have often said to me that there is no way that our leaders truly believe that the claims of Joesph Smith. I have found the opposite to be true via many examples. The Church from the beginning have been a missionary centered Church. Nearly ever revelation Joseph has see and put down n paper were witnessed by others. From the beginning we have been a Temple building Church and continue to be so dispite the cost and sacrifice. Emma was with Joseph when he retrieved the plates and hid them until he could go back and retrieve them. She saw them when he brought them hope...although covered, she acted a scribe for a time and testify that she felt them and notes that she could feel and lift one from another the leaflets. Other scribes the same, noting that Joesph used the U&T as well as the seer stone. Were the plates a fraud, Joseph would not have had Hyrum read from the Book of Mormon as he awaited death. Others saw the U&T, sword of Laban, the Liahona. When Joseph was having issues with Emma and polygamy (a revelation he had received in 1832, Hyrum asked him to use the U&T to write it and he would take it to Emma. This was while n Nauvoo, and Joseph said there was no need because he knew by heart. This is why we know that even though the plates were taken by Moroni, that others items were left behind. Others I Nauvoo witnessed many miracles, and why they gave up all to travel west, losing family members all along the way.
      Joseph F Smith (Hyrum's,son) received revelation that is now D&C 138, received October 3, 1918, which is a marvel and a must read. President Snow who saw and met the Saviour in the Salt Lake Temple) hope I got the names and dates correct...working on a memory that gets worse everyday. Wilford Wooduff receiving recelation of polygamy, Spencer W Kimball on the Priesthood ban, dispite much discord among a number of Apostles. President Gordon B Hinkley (who I miss so much) who with his wit and wisdom could make you feel the power of,the Holy Spirit until tears would fall like rain. A side not: I met President Kimball and President Hunter face to face (purely by accident) and Elder Ballard. We were,heading to New York to see some Mormon historical sites, just before Ohio while reading an Ensign, I asked my wife and we took a vote to g west to Nauvoo. Not only did I meet these men of God, but being on the local TV news with President Hinkley and Elder Ballard..."too cool". Another time, I attended the annual Christmas devotional the tickets we sold out, so a very nice brother told us to go to,a certain window,mye told us they always keep back a few for visiting dignitaries. Sure enough, I got four tickets. My family ending up,on the 2nd row sitting behind the entire 12 Apostles and wives. Elder Packer was in the seat in front of me, and when I stuck out my hand he gave me a handshake, and the kids with me the GA's with arm reach with my children and wife. 
      Anyway, on the day President Hinkley died we were having Stake Conference, via satellite. One of the speakers was President Monson, he was apologizing for any wrong he had fear done, by especially to someone he had not seen in decades. He felt bad for not sharing the Gospel while he was in the military, I think. During his talk, he was not the confident speaker he usually is, but looking at his watch and struggling with his words, and his comments. I told my wife, "Something is wrong and he is very upset", as he mentioned so many apologies. Something was wrong, his best friend whom he loved dearly was across the road dying, and he was about to have the weight of the Church on his shoulders. So today, know that our Propher also believes. It is not arrogance, but true faith, true belief, true honor and true alliance to the Faith. As Prophets have said in the past and today..."ye who are weary come home".
      Again, due to injury...due to my back, everything I type (99.9%) is on an IPad is while holding it up on my knees while laying down. So please forgive misspellings, punctuation and grammar. 
    • By mfbukowski
      The visions of Mary at Fatima are well documented and are accepted as "real" by the Catholic Church.
      I wish I could post the entire article here to kick off the thread, but I won't. I will let you click the link yourself.
      But these are well documented miracles and they also included prophecies which arguably have come to pass.
      I have never seen much from the LDS community about this, other than the belief that somehow these must be "of Satan" and left unexplained.
      My point of view is that frankly I have no problem accepting that they were from God, or alternatively that there is some kind of natural explanation. God teaches us all using the ways that work best to reach each of us, and perhaps this is what the Catholic Church needed to bring it closer to Christ. I make no pretense at knowing the answer, but I think many LDS are unaware that these events even happened, so I figured it was worth a thread. I really have already said about as much as I think I have to say on the topic- I was just wondering what others thought who perhaps did not know about these visions and miracles.

         
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Fátima

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