Joseph Smith, Jr's First Vision?


#1

Some Mormons say that there are no “contradictions” among the various accounts of the First Vision. It seems to me that there are.

The so-called Vision is supposed to have happened in the spring of 1820.

In the official LDS version of the Vision, Joseph Jr saw two personages. One of them spoke to Joseph, saying: “This is my beloved Son, hear him.”

In the first known written account of the Vision, in Joseph’s own handwriting, dated sometime in 1832, only one personage appeared to him, whom he called “The Lord” or Jesus Christ.

In the official LDS version, Joseph asked the personages “which of all the sects was right, and which I should join.” The personage answered him that he was to join none of them, “for they were all wrong” and that “all their creeds were an abomination in His sight, that all their professors were all corrupt…” Further, he was forbidden by the personage from joining any of the sects.

In the handwritten account of 1832, Joseph doesn’t mention anything about this. There is no message about corrupt sects. Rather, Joseph is told, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.”

There’s a lot more to this, but I’ll limit it to these few particulars and hope that the discussion can enlarge. Many other renditions of the Vision were given between 1832 and May of 1844, just a month before Joseph was murdered. Each differs in important details, and there appears to be a progression of material included until the Official Version which appeared as a series of articles in Times and Seasons in 1842.

My source for this information is the book, One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes which is well endowed with footnotes and sources.


#2

I thought these threads had to do with the Catholic Church, not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith, Jr. did go into a grove and prayed asking Heavenly Father which church he should join and was told not to join any of them. I hope this thread is not being used to bash the Mormon Church or any other church. If anyone has questions about any religion, it might be a good idea to ask someone who is a member of that religion to explain any questions.


#3

Hi pigtown. This thread arises out of another thread still active in which a certain Mormon asked me to provide facts about contradictions in the various renditions of the First Vision. I didn’t think it was useful to include it with that other thread, since it was a completely new topic, and so I started this new thread.

While I am no fan of the Mormon religion, I do not consider myself to be bashing it by shedding light upon public information about it. My sources are listed, and the invitation is there for anyone who wants to to say what they have to say. This is, after all, the “non-Catholic Religions” forum, and Mormonism is, after all, a non-Catholic religion.

On another note, the phraseology you use in your post suggests that you’re a Mormon, or maybe a former Mormon? Are you able to shed any light on the contradictions between the several versions of the First Vision?


#4

Hi, Allweather: I didn’t realize your post was on a non-Catholic forum. Guess I just hadn’t thought about there being such a thing. I had never heard of contradictions in Joseph Smith’s first vision so you know more about it than I do.
Sometimes I wish God would appear before me and tell me what to do!


#5

the sad thing is Mormons believe that the book one nation under Gods is ‘anti’ so they will never read it

even though it is totally true :wink:


#6

Yeah, me, too. Then again, He has. His Church the Catholic Church is visible and gives us all we need to know and follow in order to become saints. That’s quite a bit.

God bless, pigtown.


#7

There’s no question that the book is anti-Mormon. OTOH it is very well documented as near as I can tell. I’ve found some instances of exaggeration in it, for instance the story of Joseph Smith Sr. teaching that the moon is populated by men who live for a thousand years and dress like Quakers. That’s a pretty dumb story, but Abanes gives it a couple of pages, so I think that that is a weakness. Every writer has weaknesses and strengths.


#8

weellll, I’m not so sure that it’s an exageration. Both JS II and Brigham Young are quoted making these claims in The *Journal of O.P. Huntingdon *and *The Journal of *Discourses.:twocents:


#9

even though it is totally true

It’s totally, like, even totally right since I like, totally read it…totally true dude! :wink:

You must be my little sister sans 10 years.

AW:

Umm…I must have missed the “contradictions.”

From Psychoanalysis:

In its primary meaning, contradiction is the act of contradicting, of opposing oneself to someone by saying the opposite of whatever he or she says.

Here’s the problem…you say they’re contradictions. What were those “opposing” points? If you use as evidence those things which were NOT said, I’m going to have to accuse you of another logical fallacy…just FYI, OK? Just in a very neat way (since I’m kind of dumb sometimes), could you layout those “opposing” accounts?

A Pac

P.S.

He has. His Church the Catholic Church is visible and gives us all we need to know and follow in order to become saints. That’s quite a bit.

Yawn! Are you a cheerleader, because for not playing the game you sure do a good, “Go team go!”


#10

I’ve only got a few moments (I’m at work, on lunch) so will respond hastily, but hopefully intelligently…

A Pac… and here I was thinking you’d actually get off your high horse long enough to speak to the issue, rather than to point a critical, boney finger at me. I guess a new day doesn’t do you much good.

I assume you’re pondering questions posed yesterday by me and some others (I particularly liked gottle of geer’s stately expansion on what I’d said earlier in the day about the nature of man vs the nature of God). I’ll check on those later, after work.

Whether you call them “contradictions” or something else, they are certainly inconsistencies, and ones which deserve some ‘splainin’.

Meantime, I refer you to what little I mentioned in the OP. First, the inconsistency between the official LDS account of the First Vision, in which two (visually identical?) spectres appeared to the Boy Joseph, one saying of the other, “This is my beloved son, hear him” (or words similar). Comparing that to a handwritten account of the same Vision by Joseph Smith in which he mentions only the one spectre. I’m certain you can explain that away, because I’m certain you’ve done it many times. Just that, I’ve never heard or read that explanation, and would like to get it for myself.

Yawn! Are you a cheerleader, because for not playing the game you sure do a good, “Go team go!”

Sorry to bore you, but yes, I am a type of cheerleader. I like being of good cheer, and I like helping to lead people to Christ in the Church that He established. Notice I said “help” because I am not much of a leader myself. More of a follower. So maybe it is more accurate to call me a cheerfollower. I follow Jesus through the Church that He established, and hope that others will also follow. I’m simple that way.


#11

I’m interested in your choice of the word “spectre.” I’m pretty familiar with all of the First Vision accounts, and this is a new one for me. Since a “spectre” is defined as a “disembodied spirit” or a “ghost” I’d be interested in why you used it.

Your OP used the word “contradiction” while your last message used “inconsistency.” You also claimed that “only one personage appeared to him.” I don’t know how you can conclude that only one appeared based on the comment that he only mentioned one in that specific account. Last night when I came into the house, my wife asked where I’d been. I said, “I had just been next door and seen my father.” She asked how he was and I said he was in good spirits.

I don’t believe that it would be reasonable to conclude from that discussion that my father was a disembodied spirit – or that he was the only person I saw at his home. I did see and speak with my mother as well, but that didn’t come up at that time. However, this morning I remembered that my mother had asked me to take home a piece of furniture for our front porch and so I mentioned that to my wife. She didn’t think that I was inconsistent or that my report this morning was contradictory to last night’s discussion.

I’m reminded of a similar circumstance from the New Testament. The earliest account of the vision on the Mount of Transfiguration (where Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah) comes from Peter’s second epistle. Peter doesn’t mention seeing anyone–only that they heard God’s voice: “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” No mention of Moses or Elijah or even that Jesus was transfigured before them. However, when we read Mark’s gospel, we find out they saw Moses and Elias (spectres?). The first account has no mention of a cloud overshadowing them or what Jesus told them when they asked him questions about the event. Does this mean that Peter’s account has inconsistencies or contradictions? If not, is there a different standard employed for Joseph Smith?

Alma


#12

AW:

A Pac… and here I was thinking you’d actually get off your high horse long enough to speak to the issue, rather than to point a critical, boney finger at me. I guess a new day doesn’t do you much good.

So, you’re now offended because your argument sucketh mucheth? How’s that my fault? If you’d be critical in your critique, it’d save me the time in doing it for you.

Whether you call them “contradictions” or something else, they are certainly inconsistencies, and ones which deserve some ‘splainin’.

On the contrary, until some “contradicts” something they’ve said, there isn’t a “contradiction.” You’re inventing words…what’s next? Gay marriage?

I’m still waiting for the official “quote” that is in such contradiction.

Sorry to bore you, but yes, I am a type of cheerleader. I like being of good cheer, and I like helping to lead people to Christ in the Church that He established.

RaRaRa!!

Alma147,

Yeah…AW likes to prooftext things and make uncritically disingenuous posts based on creative yet fallacious notions. Don’t expect much of a conversation.

Your OP used the word “contradiction” while your last message used “inconsistency.”

Oh! Did I mention that AW confounds her own words?

A Pac

P.S. NEXT!


#13

In 1967 the Utah Christian Tract Society published Wesley P. Walters’s study, New Light on Mormon Origins From The Palmyra (N.Y.) Revival. In the foreword to this work, Mr. Walters states:

Mormons account for the origin of their movement by quoting from a narrative written by their prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1838. In this account he claims that a revival broke out in the Palmyra, New York area in 1820…

Information which we have recently uncovered conclusively proves that the revival did not occur until the fall of 1824 and that no revival occurred between 1819 and 1823 in the Palmyra vicinity.

utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech6.htm#No%20Revival%20in%201820


#14

A contradiction can be logically incongruous, which does not rely on opposition but on inconsistency. It can also be defined as gainsaying, which is a denial or dispute. If you feel the need to correct people, try to make sure that you are correct… just FYI, OK?


#15

Allweather, I checked your profile because I thought some previous poster had referred to you as a female & from previous posts, you always seemed like a guy to me.

And I was surprised to see that you are about a month older than I am!

I think that’s one reason I enjoy your posts so much, because you come across with a certain maturity of attitude that is missing in the posts of some others. You also seem to be genuinely interested in learning and sharing what you know, as opposed to “scoring points”. I appreciate that!


#16

Daniel Marsh,

Information which we have recently uncovered conclusively proves that the revival did not occur until the fall of 1824 and that no revival occurred between 1819 and 1823 in the Palmyra vicinity.

If you take anything from the Tanners as “conclusive,” it proves you’re just a sucker. But more importantly, Joseph actually hit the END of the religious revival… Either way, so what? What’s your point? It was from Joseph’s observation—what are you trying to prove? That other’s had other opinions of this said revival? Good job, and thank you for wasting everyone’s time.

A contradiction can be logically incongruous, which does not rely on opposition but on inconsistency. It can also be defined as gainsaying, which is a denial or dispute. If you feel the need to correct people, try to make sure that you are correct… just FYI, OK?

Emphasizing different details in different accounts does not make it logically incongruous. So…thanks for the correction. I think. OK…not really.

A Pac


#17

A Pac, cut the immature insults. And for what it’s worth, the word “totally” in this concept means “wholly.” It comes from the word “totus” in Latin, as in Pope John Paul II’s motto “Totus tuus.” JP2 was not speaking like a Valley Girl saying, “I’m like, um, you know, totally yours!”


#18

ABostonCatholic,

A Pac, cut the immature insults.

Make me! :wink:

A Pac


#19

I probably would have gone through the roof if you had not added that wink. :smiley:


#20

Fact remains there was no revival in 1820 where JS lived. So, his testimony is false.

The Plates Described

In a letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, Joseph Smith described the plates in some detail:

“These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engraving, in Egyptian characters and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art of engraving.” (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 707, March 1, 1842; Comp. with History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 537)

Joseph Saves the Plates from Three Assailants

After removing the plates from the stone box, Joseph hid them in a birch log until preparations could be made at home for the plates. then he went to retrieve them.

“The plates were secreted about three miles from home.…Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and wrapping them in his linen frock, **placed them under his arm **and started for home.”

After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and **ran on again; **and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house." (Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, in Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, 1853, pp. 104-105; Comp. reprinted edition by Bookcraft Publishers in 1956 under the title History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, pp. 107- 108) Emphasis added.

The Weight of the Plates

The weight of the plates makes the story incredible. The heavenly messenger told Joseph Smith that plates were of gold. Joseph described the plates as being 6 inches wide, 8 inches long, and something near 6 inches in thickness. Gold has certain interesting properties. It is a very heavy metal, its specific gravity being 19.3. It is very soft and malleable. Plates made of gold would therefore pack down very tightly when stacked. A little figuring will reveal to the reader that the plates weighed 200.81 pounds or thereabouts!

The base of the monument on the hill in New York where Joseph Smith allegedly found the golden plates depicts him kneeling and receiving the 200 pound plates from the heavenly messenger with outstretched arms. Quite a physical feat!

Imagine Joseph Smith wrapping his linen shirt around this 200 pound block of gold plates, tucking it casually under his arm and strolling off towards home, some three miles distance! Imagine him further, running at the top of his speed through the woods, jumping over logs, and knocking down not one or two, but three assailants in the process, all the while with the 200 pounds of gold plates safely under his arm! If anyone would care to experiment, lead is the nearest common metal to gold in weight, its specific gravity being 11.35. Try tucking a 200 pound block of lead under your arm, and running and leaping through the woods with it for three miles! Then ask yourself: Can I believe Joseph Smith’s Story?

Joseph Smith made the ludicrous mistake because he was dealing with imaginary gold. While real gold is very heavy, imaginary gold weighs nothing at all. And that is what Joseph Smith’s golden plates were – imaginary.

64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:KhcFjsnkBi4J:www.hismin.com/gold_plates.htm+Joseph+Smith+ran+gold+plates+under+arm&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us :rolleyes:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.