First vision accounts now available in gospel library

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nibbler
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First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by nibbler » 04 Aug 2016, 04:20

This past Sunday we had a lesson on how handbook 1 and 2 are revelation and we were encouraged to download handbook 2 which is available in the gospel library app.

I figured, "why not?" and while I was there I decided to revisit the "Church History" section. I noticed something new (to me). A new section entitled "Joseph Smith's Accounts of the First Vision"

It contains:
  • Circa Summer 1832 History
  • Journal, 9-11 November 1835
  • Circa 1838 History
  • "Church History," 1 March 1842 (Wentworth Letter)
Maybe this has been in the app for a long time and I'm just now noticing but I thought I'd mention this for anyone else that didn't know.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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DarkJedi
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Aug 2016, 05:34

Thanks for sharing. And thanks for helping me understand my fifth Sunday lesson could have been worse (although it still ranks pretty high on the bad scale). I think the FV accounts have been on LDS.org for some time, but I also hadn't noticed them before on the app. So, I went and looked at the app this morning and guess what - the essays are there too (under church history). Progress!
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by nibbler » 04 Aug 2016, 05:56

The essays were added to the gospel library in May. I figure the FV accounts were added at the same time but I didn't notice.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Aug 2016, 06:05

nibbler wrote:The essays were added to the gospel library in May. I figure the FV accounts were added at the same time but I didn't notice.
Just shows how much I poke around in there. I usually just open whatever book of scripture or the HWH manual and sometimes the handbook. I'm not actually sure but whether that whole Church History section is somewhat new.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SilentDawning
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Aug 2016, 06:43

I don't see what the big deal is about the multiple FV accounts. You share things in different levels of detail depending on the context. I haven't read the different accounts, but do they conflict with each other? Like, JS saw 3 beings in one vision, and two in the other? One one of them was a woman? I am exaggerating a bit, but are they that different so as to raise suspicion about their authenticity? Allowing for differences in delivery, and detail, I'm not convinced they would be a source of a FC for me personally.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Aug 2016, 07:10

SilentDawning wrote:I don't see what the big deal is about the multiple FV accounts. You share things in different levels of detail depending on the context. I haven't read the different accounts, but do they conflict with each other? Like, JS saw 3 beings in one vision, and two in the other? One one of them was a woman? I am exaggerating a bit, but are they that different so as to raise suspicion about their authenticity? Allowing for differences in delivery, and detail, I'm not convinced they would be a source of a FC for me personally.
Actually they're worth a look. I don't see the big deal, either, because I recognize that stories I tell vary according to audience and sometimes as I have aged even recollection. I'm sure there are other factors that affect them as well. At least one of your exaggerations about the FV accounts is not really an exaggeration - there are differences in the number of beings that appeared. Also it's clearer in some why he really went to pray (to ask forgiveness of his sins, which he did receive) and one also makes it very clear it was a vision not a physical appearance.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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LookingHard
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by LookingHard » 04 Aug 2016, 07:24

The multiple 1st vision accounts are not something that caused my FC, but they don't help give me any comfort either. It is just more messiness and one more thing that the church of my youth didn't think I was mature enough to handle and so they kept it hidden from me (and told me not to look around). On this specific topic, how it was handled bothers me more than the issue itself.

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mom3
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by mom3 » 04 Aug 2016, 13:56

I think for a lot of people the first vision accounts alone don't create a crisis. An aha moment yes. I think where things begin to be a problem is adding it into the pile of other stuff. We aren't a million year old church. These accounts happened less than 200 years ago. We require people to "Be honest in their dealings with their fellow men." Tucking away source material or choosing just one and presenting it as the only fact causes a breech in the honesty claim.When it appears that the leadership teams over time have not been "honest" that's when small cracks give way to breakers.

DJ just explained that he hadn't gone searching. Which I hadn't either, but we who know about the issues have a connection to them, then what happens to members who have never known about them? This is where I get stuck. I don't want people to have crisis. I have no desire to share the joy I have experienced with everyone else. Yet, I know the longer we wait to tell the story or get the word out, the more chances we have to add more loss to the attrition that is already way over the top.

My crisis centers on caring. If we care about the membership wouldn't it be wise to present as full and open of an account for everyone, then begin to build. Imagine brother so and so hitting a brick wall about the 4 versions. Wouldn't it be great if he could find a soul to listen to him and let him process his conflict without retribution or rejection? Wouldn't it be wonderful if any of us could publicly say, "I love the 1832 version." and not have heads spin or leaders freak. I believe many hurt souls could have be spared or saved if the leadership team (and I am more willing to say PR department) had put the facts out, encouraged families to learn about them together, and let the tide run it's natural course.

Stepping down from my soapbox now. Thank you for listening. :silent:
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Shawn
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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by Shawn » 05 Aug 2016, 13:59

I have some concerns regarding the First Vision accounts. I’ve studied all of the available accounts and have notes on the four that are summarized on the church essay. These are:

1832: The earliest known account of the First Vision, the only account written in Joseph Smith’s own hand, is found in a short, unpublished autobiography Joseph Smith produced in the second half of 1832.
1835: In the fall of 1835, Joseph Smith recounted his First Vision to Robert Matthews, a visitor to Kirtland, Ohio. The retelling is recorded in Joseph’s journal by his scribe Warren Parrish.
1838: The narration of the First Vision best known to Latter-day Saints today is the 1838 account. First published in 1842 in the Times and Seasons.
1842: Written in response to Chicago Democrat editor John Wentworth’s request for information about the Latter-day Saints, this account was printed in the Times and Seasons in 1842.

My first concern has to do with the nature of the experience. Was there an actual visitation or was it merely a vision seen with the mind’s eye? Two of them support the latter. Here’s what the accounts say:
1832: “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”
1835: “a pillar of fire appeared above my head, it presently rested down upon me head, and filled me with Joy unspeakable, a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame”
1838: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.”
1842: “while fervently engaged in supplication my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision and saw two glorious personages”
My biggest concern is the discrepancy regarding who visited Joseph. Here’s what the accounts say:
1832: “and I saw the Lord”
1835: "a personage appeard in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around, and yet nothing consumed, another personage soon appeard like unto the first…and I saw many angels in this vision"
1838: “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.”
1842: “and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in features, and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon-day”
I am also concerned about what was said. The first two accounts do not say anything about the churches of the time. Here’s what the accounts say:
1832: “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”
1835: “he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee, he testified unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”
1838: "One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!...I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong..."
1842: “They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom. And I was expressly commanded to ‘go not after them,’ at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.”
I understand people share different details in different ways when telling a story, especially if the story covers a long period of time and many people are involved. However, the First Vision was a single event and those involved were very significant. If Joseph really were visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, that’s an important enough detail to remember clearly and mention in every account.

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Re: First vision accounts now available in gospel library

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Aug 2016, 14:37

1) All of the accounts support a vision. None of them explicitly recount a visitation, although it can be read into two of them, albeit not as easily as a vision.

2) The first account mentions one personage; the other three accounts mention two personages. If honestly retold, the first might have been a synopsis or summary that focused on the question of whether he had seen "the Lord"; the second one might have been a chronological restelling (one followed soon by another); the last two might have been a condensed account (both appearing together). The only real discrepancy would be the first one telling only of one personage - but the other three do mention him "seeing the Lord", so the first one isn't actually a contradiction of the last three. They all, easily, are consistent in that regard.

3) The second one is the only one that doesn't mention the churches of the time, and it was delivered to an individual who might have assumed that part without it having to be mentioned specifically. Since it was a face-to-face recitation to an individual AFTER the establishment of the Church, it probably wasn't a necessary detail (perhaps one that Joseph assumed Mr. Matthews knew or had heard already) - or just wasn't critical for that person. The first tells of the people, but the wording absolutely implies the churches, as well. It is impossible to read that account as saying "not one" and "none" of the people followed the Gospel and say reasonably that the churches weren't part of that description. I would say the part about the other people and religions of the time is one of the most consistent parts - along with the vision-not-visitation description.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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