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Mormon Enigma

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3 hours ago, MormonGator said:

That never bothered me. Human memory is a little strange, and if Joesph recited the First Vision word for word every time he was asked about it, they'd still accuse him of making it up. Out of all the criticism thrown at him, this one, in my view, is the most unfair. 

It doesn't bother me either, but it is interesting that the CoC uses a different version and has a completely different view of the Trinity.

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3 minutes ago, Scott said:

It doesn't bother me either, but it is interesting that the CoC uses a different version and has a completely different view of the Trinity.

Yup, totally agree. 
 

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3 hours ago, Scott said:

And after joinging the National Council of Churches.

As far as declaring themselves Trinitarian; this is interesting since in the First Vision that we know, Joseph saw two personages; both the Father and the Son standing side by side.

In the version of the First Vision that the Community of Christ uses, this didn't happen:

http://www.communityofchrist.net/History/More_History/Joseph_s_Story/joseph_s_story.html

This is the version our Church uses:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/first-vision?lang=eng

This is the most important ommission in what the Community of Christ uses concerning the First Vision:

"When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
 

To be fair to the CoC though, Joseph himself gave different accounts of the First Vision, depending on the audience. 

An interesting item.  Up until the 1830s he apparently didn't even mention the First Vision to many close to him and instead the 1823 visitation was what many thought was the first vision.  This can be confusing as in the 1823 vision he saw only one personage, an angel (which he said is Moroni, but one account was written erroneously stating it was Nephi, which Joseph corrected later, but still holds onto some people's thoughts as it was this version that I believe our accounts of the story come from).

Three different versions that some people call the first vision are actually accounts of the 1823 vision, and in it, are some of the confusion people toss around in regards to what he saw or did not see.

The question then is which vision this one is attributed to, as this one specifies he was in his 16th year of age.  Talking about enigma's, the First Vision and the intertwining folds of it with the visit of the Angel Moroni and the intervening years and discussions of it, can create quite the spectacle of speculation today.  The question arises then, was it in his 15th year, his 16th year, his 17th year, or which year of his was it?  Or perhaps our understanding of the timeline of the First Vision is incomplete and though he started questioning when he was 14 he didn't get an answer till he was 15?  Or perhaps it is as we say.

It is possible that he had several visitation, and several different visions.  The question of which was first is one that various individuals ask, but sometimes perhaps the question should not be which was first, but what each vision contributed in his understanding and thought. 

For me, I tend towards his later statements as he was more sure of the trust of those with him, but others tend towards those that are earlier.

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@Scott and @JohnsonJones- Remember, I am a convert to the church, so I didn't grow up in the culture. Did the church talk about the different versions in the past, or is it mostly a recent development? 

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15 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

@Scott and @JohnsonJones- Remember, I am a convert to the church, so I didn't grow up in the culture. Did the church talk about the different versions in the past, or is it mostly a recent development? 

Its definitely recent. Much appreciated, but recent.  I don't have a problem with it, but I know it has been a stumbling block for some so I'm glad the church has addressed it.

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15 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

@Scott and @JohnsonJones- Remember, I am a convert to the church, so I didn't grow up in the culture. Did the church talk about the different versions in the past, or is it mostly a recent development? 

Yes and no?

In the past they discussed different versions as recently as the early 20th century.  I'm a convert myself, and by the time I joined they were not discussing the various versions as far as I was aware of, so sometime in between then and the time I joined it changed in the approach.  It was not that we were not aware that there were other statements, but, taking me when I converted for example, I had NO IDEA at the time that they even existed. 

Small knowledge of at least one other account arose during the years after, but much of the information we have now wasn't known to me until the past few decades.

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39 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

@Scott and @JohnsonJones- Remember, I am a convert to the church, so I didn't grow up in the culture. Did the church talk about the different versions in the past, or is it mostly a recent development? 

I don’t remember not knowing about it.  But then, I was a weird kid who read Donna Hill’s “Joseph Smith, The First Mormon” while still in elementary school.  Money digging, multiple First Vision accounts, seer stones, polygamy . . . Whenever it was that I first heard about them, I was just too young to know why I should find them particularly outrageous.  So I read the stories, thought “cool!”, and moved on.

As a kid, from about middle school onwards I consistently knew more about LDS and scriptural history and dogma than my Sunday School and seminary teachers did; so I’ve never really looked to the Church (at least, not to Sunday instruction) as my primary source for knowledge about the Gospel.  It’s only in doing apologetics that I’ve had to really stop and think about how much information was spoon fed to me by “the Church”, versus how much knowledge I got because I proactively went out and looked for it.  And frankly, since I never got—or asked for—much academic-type knowledge from the Church’s traditional instruction programs, it’s hard for me to work up a lot of empathy for those who look on the shortcomings of those programs as some sort of whitewash or fundamental betrayal.  I suppose the CES can’t really disappoint you if you never really held high expectations for it in the first place. ;) 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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12 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I don’t remember not knowing about it.  But then, I was a weird kid who read Donna Hill’s “Joseph Smith, The First Mormon” while still in elementary school.  Money digging, multiple First Vision accounts, seer stones, polygamy . . . Whenever it was that I first heard about them, I was just too young to know why I should find them particularly outrageous.  So I read the stories, thought “cool!”, and moved on.

 

Agree. I read about most of that before I joined the church. 

I wish I read about the "no drinking" though. Come, on seriously? 

😉

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44 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Agree. I read about most of that before I joined the church. 
 

What, no remarks about “well, JAG, considering you were there when it all happened, of course you weren’t surprised to read about it . . .”?

You’re slipping, my brother . . .

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LDS cultural knowledge about the first vision accounts, mainly came when we started getting beat over the head with them as a criticism by critics.  Something that started as the world went online in the '90's.

Before that, you actually had to be reading and paying attention to know about them.  Here's an article from 1985 about it in the Ensign.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng

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6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

What, no remarks about “well, JAG, considering you were there when it all happened, of course you weren’t surprised to read about it . . .”?

You’re slipping, my brother . . .

Eh, I already accused you of being 600+ years old on my Facebook a few days ago. Need to give you a little break here and there. 

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5 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

LDS cultural knowledge about the first vision accounts, mainly came when we started getting beat over the head with them as a criticism by critics.  Something that started as the world went online in the '90's.

Before that, you actually had to be reading and paying attention to know about them.  Here's an article from 1985 about it in the Ensign.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng

Thanks NT. One thing converts don't know is how sensitive this or that subject is to lifelong LDS. We have to learn that the hard way. 

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

LDS cultural knowledge about the first vision accounts, mainly came when we started getting beat over the head with them as a criticism by critics.  Something that started as the world went online in the '90's.

Before that, you actually had to be reading and paying attention to know about them.  Here's an article from 1985 about it in the Ensign.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng

I'd agree with this.  It's the internet that really brought it out in the open.  Well that and the movie God's Army.

Before that, the church eadership didn't deny that there were different versions, but they usually didn't go out of their way to discuss it.

Our detractors seem more interested in the differences than our members.

I didn't know that the CoC used a different version until I read that they declared themselves Trinitarians.  I was thinking, "how can this be?" since the First Vision would refute this and then noticed that they use a different version.

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16 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I don’t remember not knowing about it. 

15 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

LDS cultural knowledge about the first vision accounts, mainly came when we started getting beat over the head with them as a criticism by critics.  Something that started as the world went online in the '90's.

Before that, you actually had to be reading and paying attention to know about them.  Here's an article from 1985 about it in the Ensign.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1985/01/joseph-smiths-recitals-of-the-first-vision?lang=eng

I remember being told other accounts existed.  But there was no way to access them without something like the internet, unless you happened to live in the SLC area.  They simply weren't readily available.

I had a mild curiosity about them. But it never really mattered much to me.  I just figured it was like:

Quote

As a matter of fact, we do not have a full account today of the First Vision. At no time did the Prophet disclose everything that he learned during his vision near Palmyra. Nevertheless (as with the four Gospels and the three versions of Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus), by combining all known accounts of the First Vision written by the Prophet, we may gain a more complete understanding of his theophany of 1820.

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35 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I remember being told other accounts existed.  But there was no way to access them without something like the internet, unless you happened to live in the SLC area.  They simply weren't readily available.

I had a mild curiosity about them. But it never really mattered much to me.  I just figured it was like:

I get the general position that you’re coming from, but let’s not overstate our past intellectual helplessness. ;)

We did have public lending libraries (which is how I stumbled on Hill’s book) that were tied together through a health inter-library loan system.  One certainly had to be more proactive to learn what one wanted to learn—but the resources were always there, if one took the time to learn to navigate them.

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14 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I get the general position that you’re coming from, but let’s not overstate our past intellectual helplessness. ;)

We did have public lending libraries (which is how I stumbled on Hill’s book) that were tied together through a health inter-library loan system.  One certainly had to be more proactive to learn what one wanted to learn—but the resources were always there, if one took the time to learn to navigate them.

If

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 9:19 AM, Just_A_Guy said:

I get the general position that you’re coming from, but let’s not overstate our past intellectual helplessness. ;)

We did have public lending libraries (which is how I stumbled on Hill’s book) that were tied together through a health inter-library loan system.  One certainly had to be more proactive to learn what one wanted to learn—but the resources were always there, if one took the time to learn to navigate them.

I suppose, but our library had very little about the LDS church, and later, except for the religious panic that many Southern Baptist churches had which were known to be using anti-Mormon sources, there was not much about any of this information available.  The library system normally did not request books from West of the Mississippi, and even within the University system later on, it was not a highly regarded subject for students or teachers to pursue in regards to trying to get informational books from other institutions. 

Outside of the Mormon corridor, obtaining information on Church history was a lot harder prior to the internet becoming a much greater asset in public usage.  What may have been common in Utah regarding Church history was not as common outside of the areas of the Church's major political influences.  Most of what we saw in the 70s and 80s beyond what the church would release came from sources that were antagonistic towards the Church.

As I started to get more into church history, it was actually easier for me to obtain things supported by the Church or printing services that were close to the Church (such as bookcraft, Deseret Book, etc) than other sources.  As such it was easier to get thing such as the Journal of Discourses or other materials to learn about the history (and to be honest, I think those sources are actually more reliable and truthful for the faithful members than some of the other sources that were out there) than the more surprising materials that were easier to obtain in Utah. 

Now, many decades later and more travelled, it is easy to obtain a lot of information and I even have contacts in Salt Lake for harder to obtain materials if I so want it, but several decades ago, a lot of the information that may have been available in Utah and the states surrounding it were pretty hard to come by for those members outside of that area.  Today, Even my children that are in other nations and/or relatives (in Germany for example) can have a very easy time obtaining many of the materials we had no idea even existed back in the 70s or 80s.  They also can request stuff for me to try to obtain for them as I also have far more access than I used to.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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