What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

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Orson
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Orson » 10 Dec 2014, 13:26

DarkJedi wrote:If it was made up it would have been pretty difficult for a boy to have perpetuated it without the assistance of his family.
I agree with Richard Bushman that there is little evidence that Joseph ever told his family. Lucy's personal account is easy to interpret as Joseph became (more) troubled about religion and his personal salvation, then he went to pray one night for forgiveness and the angel Moroni appeared to him. Other early personal accounts by those closest to Joseph (Oliver, ...) sound similar. Going purely off my memory here I don't think there is any kind of contemporary reference to a first vision before Joseph's own 1832 account. ...unless the minister that he spoke to made any kind of comment.

In my opinion Joseph's later reference to having been persecuted for seeing a vision (and no I don't think HF and Jesus were physically in the grove -- he came to as if he was passed out during the vision) is a recollection of the reactions for being "visionary" in general. The gift that his mother talked about, the reason that Mr. Stowell wanted his help, would be what people knew most about.

I would fall somewhere off #2. To be able to talk about if Joseph actually saw beings you first have to define your belief in a form(/s) that can be authentic for god. I am a little fuzzy on that subject so it's hard to talk about what he actually may have seen.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by LookingHard » 10 Dec 2014, 13:45

nibbler wrote:
LookingHard wrote:If I have to select a integer response, then #2 is the closest.
If you're only entertaining integers I guess you'd probably be even less likely to go with √-4 ;)
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Dec 2014, 14:44

Orson wrote:
DarkJedi wrote:If it was made up it would have been pretty difficult for a boy to have perpetuated it without the assistance of his family.
I agree with Richard Bushman that there is little evidence that Joseph ever told his family. Lucy's personal account is easy to interpret as Joseph became (more) troubled about religion and his personal salvation, then he went to pray one night for forgiveness and the angel Moroni appeared to him. Other early personal accounts by those closest to Joseph (Oliver, ...) sound similar. Going purely off my memory here I don't think there is any kind of contemporary reference to a first vision before Joseph's own 1832 account. ...unless the minister that he spoke to made any kind of comment.

In my opinion Joseph's later reference to having been persecuted for seeing a vision (and no I don't think HF and Jesus were physically in the grove -- he came to as if he was passed out during the vision) is a recollection of the reactions for being "visionary" in general. The gift that his mother talked about, the reason that Mr. Stowell wanted his help, would be what people knew most about.

I would fall somewhere off #2. To be able to talk about if Joseph actually saw beings you first have to define your belief in a form(/s) that can be authentic for god. I am a little fuzzy on that subject so it's hard to talk about what he actually may have seen.
I haven't read RSR yet - it's on my Christmas list. You make a good point, though, in what Joseph may or may not have told his family. In the most popular version he doesn't say he told his family anything about the First Vision, only that he had discovered that Presbyterianism wasn't right.

I'm remain fuzzy of the existence and nature of God as well, and I will point out that he does not explicitly say they were heavenly Father and Christ, either - he refers to them as two personages and says they spoke to him (but one didn't say much). It is left up to us to assume it was the father and the Son, but he doesn't spell that out - perhaps purposely? And I agree - from what I know of Joseph Smith he was "visionary" (less unusual then than now) and the "gift" referred to is very likely just that - he was visionary and used things like divining rods, etc.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Ann » 10 Dec 2014, 18:24

mom3 wrote:I am going with number 5.

I know, I know, there is no number 5, but my take is that his 1832 recording is the most accurate of the experience. In it he says it was a vision - not visitation - he only spoke with Jesus and it was only about his standing before God and his sins, which were forgiven him.

Everything else jumbles after that.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Dec 2014, 21:44

I have no idea if what he saw was what the thought he saw, but I do believe he was "a visionary man" and believed he experienced what he said he experienced - so I'm agnostic about it being either #2 or #3.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Holy Cow » 12 Dec 2014, 09:41

I guess I'm more in the #3 boat. I believe Joseph Smith felt the spirit in the grove and came to feel that the fullness of Christ's gospel was no longer on the earth. Then, as time went on, he began to embellish what actually happened. And the more he embellished it, and the more he re-told it, the more he began to actually believe that it actually happened that way. Like others have mentioned, he was a 'visionary' man, and was also a great storyteller. And when you look at his family's history, I don't find it strange that they would have gone right along with such an outrageous story. They already believed that Joseph had the power to see gold buried inside the hills with his 'spiritual eyes,' even though his digging had never been successful. They were always more than willing to come up with some excuse, like as soon as they got close to the treasure, the earth swallowed it up even deeper.
So, did Joseph really go into the woods and pray with a sincere heart? I believe he did. Did the spirit speak to him? I don't see why not. Did he see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, or any other angelic beings? That's where I have to pull out the bull- card.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Charity » 19 Dec 2014, 03:28

The very logical, skeptical person I am leans toward there being no vision at all. Many sources say he doesn't share his experience with family and it was 12 years before his story comes about. He was a grand manipulator that created this story that gave people chills, out of necessity to cause people to believe, this was necessary for his power and church to grow.

The part of my spirit that wants so badly to believe says, number 2. He didn't share his, to date, most spiritual experience with anyone because it was special and sacred. Just as we don't share all of our spiritual experiences with others. Just as it took me 2+ years to even address with my husband my spiritually altered path.

My testimony didn't fall apart with the first vision, but it was added to the list of things to question once it disintegrated in so many other areas dealing with JS.

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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Heber13 » 19 Dec 2014, 11:20

Mostly #2. I find some days I lean towards considering 3 is a part of it, but mostly because of the meaning and value I place on what happened in the visions...I go back to #2 as a basis for my faith.

I think it was similar to Emanuael Swedenborg's experiences in 1744. God wanted to reveal truths. A lot of what happens after is dependent greatly on the seer and what that seer decides to do with the experience.
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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 21 Dec 2014, 17:50

I'd say 2, although I used to say one. Maybe the grove was considered sacred just because Joseph had the experience, whether is was physical or visionary.

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Re: What are your beliefs about the First Vision?

Post by Heber13 » 22 Dec 2014, 10:39

Ilovechrist77 wrote:I'd say 2, although I used to say one. Maybe the grove was considered sacred just because Joseph had the experience, whether is was physical or visionary.
Yes...I think that about the grove. I think it is a way for us to reverence the experience. Kind of like rebuilding the Smith home outside the grove...it wasn't physically the exact home...but by rebuilding it and sending tours through there...we pay our respects to the idea and pass on teachings through the generations.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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