I sit down with Chris and Clay again and this time we are dissecting the First Vision and all that surrounds it. We talk about the four First Hand accounts and their discrepancies as well as similarities. We explore the historical context of each account, who the audience is, what factors into why Joseph perhaps shapes each account the way he does. We talk about the valid reasons to see contradictions and why some lose faith but we also “lead with faith” showing that their are valid and serious ways to tackle this issue that actually build faith in Joseph and in the sincerity of his “First Vision”.
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About the missing pages at the back of JS’s journal: I wonder…Could it be they were blank pages when they were torn out? Because that’s part of how Mark Hoffman got his forgeries to pass inspection: he removed pages from old books and journals and wrote on them. That way the paper passed the dating tests.
As far as the word vision goes this quote came to my mind from a Mormon Matters interview. I wrote it down because it was so jarring for me to think of it as anything other than a physical manifestation.
“The first vision is an example of our current understanding being imposed back onto the First Vision. To my knowledge, for him it was always a vision in which anything could happen and not be doctrinally accurate. We have made it into a visitation. In fact in that 1976 film “Joseph Smith’s First Vision”, the subtitle was The visitation of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I was in the theater with Bob Millet when we watched that and both of our eyebrows flipped over the top of our heads because that was like “wow when did it become the visitation!?!” See? It seems that we have imposed our current understanding onto the first vision.”
– Phil McLemore, http://mormonmatters.org/2014/07/16/239-243-jesus-christ-within-mormonism/, part 1, about 1:05:00
i like this and once we narrow Joseph down to one who had a vision that he and everyone after has over reached on this and everything else then we can begin to let go of the stuff we said came from God that didn’t and stop hurting others.
Jeff Lindsay mentions several pre-1832 documents that show early discussions of JS’s first vision, that you do not discuss in this. It also appears that BY had discussed the First Vision as well.
I would love a link please of any pre 1832 documents. Thanks
This is very interesting and thought provoking. I recently read a book by an LDS author on near death experiences entitled “The Eternal Journey: How Near-Death Experiences Illuminate Our Earthly Lives” by Craig R. Lundahl. This brings about a number of thoughts regarding the first vision. My first thought was if Joseph’s vision could be compared to the spiritual visions or experiences by these people. Did the people they encountered in an ND appear to have physical bodies. It seems to me that this type of spiritual experience could be likened to Joseph’s vision and what he experienced. It may be similar in nature to his vision of Moroni and other beings. I’m certainly not implying that I believe Joseph had an ND. I just think that it’s possible that spiritual visions may be similar in nature to the spiritual visions or experiences in an ND. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for a great podcast.