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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Interesting to see Dr. Peterson resurrect the old defense of the first vision. FAIRs old defense began with rather condescending assertions that there were many accounts of the first vision that supported the official version even predating the written 1832 account. But as more and more critics uncovered the reality these supposed early accounts all consisted of later recollections claiming someone heard the story somewhere in the 1830-1840 timeframe but being told no earlier than the 1850s, we saw this defense quietly retire in favor of others such as Smith's later visions and experiences helping him better understand what he had witnessed. That this defense fails to grasp how memory actually works to the point of almost arguing against itself was lost on those usually making the argument. I guess DCP is either getting old and having memory issues of his own, or he is quietly hoping to reassert this rather easily dismissed apologetic as it at least has the advantage of not requiring memory rewriting through recall.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:14 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
... as more and more critics uncovered the reality these supposed early accounts all consisted of later recollections claiming someone heard the story somewhere in the 1830-1840 timeframe but being told no earlier than the 1850s, we saw this defense quietly retire... I guess DCP is either getting old and having memory issues of his own, or he is quietly hoping to reassert this rather easily dismissed apologetic as it at least has the advantage of not requiring memory rewriting through recall.

Interesting backstory, honor, thanks. His revisiting of this doesn't seem to be going well, as he getting pushback in his comments similar to here:
Quote:
This "story" recounted by Mr. Stevenson cannot be true. Let me explain.

We know from many first hand contemporaneous accounts from the apostles and many others that Joseph Smith wasn't telling the story of the claimed first vision in 1834.

The first instance we have of Joseph telling the story is in 1842 when he published his history and wrote the Wentworth letter. All other versions were private. And, in 1834 Joseph did not believe and never openly taught in a two person Godhead. In 1834 Joseph Smith was teaching that Heavenly Father was a spirit and Jesus was God in bodily form.

When Joseph Smith had an opportunity to publish on this in 1834 (The Smith/Cowdery History) he omitted it.

In addition to the 60 year gap, Mr. Edward Stevenson is recounting a story that no one else in Church history happens to mention suggests this story just isn't true.

DCP's response is priceless.
DanielPeterson wrote:

I'm waiting for your explanation of why it "cannot be true."

And did I call it or what? I said DCP created such a convoluted title so that he could fall back on plausible deniability if there was pushback, and here it is:
DanielPeterson wrote:
I didn't offer [the Stevenson story] as proof.

I simply thought it interesting.

[people are reacting] as if I had offered it as -- and declared it -- a slam dunk.
:rolleyes:


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:10 am 
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Yep. One will notice Mr. Peterson is now employing step #2.

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:06 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
I remember one experience I had when I was nineteen and getting ready to leave on a mission. I will not share it in this venue, of course. But I remember it very clearly. I have not forgotten or distorted it. I am sure it happened as I remember it.

It was an experience that I had in the Salt Lake Temple.

Regards,
MG


I think you're missing the essence of the argument here:

Just how do you know that you have 'not forgotten or distorted it'?? You are relying on the mechanisms of memory that your brain uses, and it is those mechanisms themselves that have been demonstrated to be unreliable. Our memories do not capture 'flash-bulb' type moments, but are continuously updated, revised, and altered with each remembrance.

So one does not need to be lying to be incorrect. It is not an accusation of dishonesty, but simply a recognition that our memories are not reliable.

There is a very famous study where students were asked to write what happened when the Challenger exploded. Years later, they were asked again, and there were substantial differences between what they later recalled, and what they had actually wrote at the time.

Link to Memory Study

I can't find access to the full article, but the abstract linked to above is sufficient.

I recall hearing a podcast on this topic, and if memory serves correctly (since I can't access the article itself at the moment, and I could be mistaken), the point was made that for some of the students, their response when they were shown their original written account, was that yeah, that was their handwriting, but that's not what happened.

In other words, they naïvely 'believed' their current memories and recall, even if they conflicted with what they actually wrote at the time of the events in question.

This is why memories simply cannot be relied on to establish actual events, with that reliability becoming increasingly poorer as time goes on, and other events have the opportunity to alter the original memories.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:01 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Edward Stevenson may have remembered his experience listening to the prophet in the school house with exact precision, or he may not have. My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

That would mean he was lying.

Regards,
MG


Not so. Not at all. If he was familiar with the official version for the bulk of the 60 years it is likely he is interpreting the memory of what was said in the schoolhouse in light of what he had been trained to think the first vision was. It is obvious in 1894 he is trying to testify, if you will, of the truthfulness of the church as understood such testifying to be in 1894, not in 1834.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:58 am 
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mentalgymnast wrote:
Edward Stevenson may have remembered his experience listening to the prophet in the school house with exact precision, or he may not have. My main point is that I would suggest...if you read my posts carefully...that he would more than likely NOT get the number of personages wrong in his recollection. Unless he was purposefully doing so.

This seems where you are trying to have it both ways, MG.

You say Stevenson was not likely to have gotten the number of personages wrong in his sixty-year old recollection.

But Joseph Smith did get the number of personages wrong in his twelve-year old recollection.

Can you see what I'm driving at?

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:58 am 
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Stem wrote:
Not so. Not at all. If he was familiar with the official version for the bulk of the 60 years it is likely he is interpreting the memory of what was said in the schoolhouse in light of what he had been trained to think the first vision was. It is obvious in 1894 he is trying to testify, if you will, of the truthfulness of the church as understood such testifying to be in 1894, not in 1834.


Bingo.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:04 am 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Excellent OP, Reverend. I would say that I'm surprised that Dr. Peterson is (apparently) engaged in dishonest behavior, but, of course, I'm not. It really is kind of an inside joke at this point, isn't it? We point out he's dishonest; he makes some quip about how critics just automatically accuse him of dishonesty, and ho! ho! ho! it's all just so funny! Except for the fact that the key audience for this dissembling is going to wind up accepting it. In other words, DCP *knows* he is being dishonest but writes it off on the grounds that the Chapel Mormon "rubes" are too stupid to know better.


Thank you for the compliment, Doctor. I agree that DCP's target audience is already primed to assume that his critics hate him for no good reason, and so their criticism has no merit. That is what being a partisan is all about for many people--listening only to your own side's point of view, and never even bothering to examine the criticisms and counter-arguments.

Since DCP is a proponent and defender of Mormonism, the one true faith, and his critics are also critics of Mormonism, then he must be right and his critics must be wrong. Right? It is tribal thinking at its best, or, rather, worst.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:14 am 
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Quote:
This "story" recounted by Mr. Stevenson cannot be true. Let me explain.


The poster got greedy. Of course there must be a possibility, however slight, that Stevenson heard Joseph refer to two personages. It is highly improbable. But the poster wants to say it is impossible, and that gives DCP the wiggle room to jump all over the logical error and make this error the issue.

DCP is pretty sly. Don't forget that, anyone. He sets up the situation by posting about an interesting account, knowing that those already disposed to believe in Mormonism as it was later constructed and to assume that it was always that way will see their testimonies vindicated here. He knows that critics will jump in to say that this does not prove anything, so that he can say he never claimed it did. Meanwhile his fans are taking pleasure at watching the critics stopped dead in their tracks, lost in the weeds of DCP's hairsplitting and equivocations.

Critics need to be more savvy in avoiding these traps before they spring. Unfortunately, too often critics get excited about how DCP is wrong here and rush in to correct him. It is necessary to step back and grasp how he has set up the situation before you go rushing in.

The real issue here for me is that you have an educator who is failing to educate. He is abdicating his responsibility to cultivate critical thinking in his students. The only people educated here are those who are willing to take him on and criticize his work. His casual fans get uneducated. He has given them no help in how to assess the relative value of different kinds of evidence. This is what he ought to be doing as an educator. Instead, he is playing games and misleading his core readership.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:25 am 
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Kishkumen wrote:
The poster got greedy. Of course there must be a possibility, however slight, that Stevenson heard Joseph refer to two personages. It is highly improbable. But the poster wants to say it is impossible, and that gives DCP the wiggle room to jump all over the logical error and make this error the issue.

DCP is pretty sly. Don't forget that, anyone. He sets up the situation by posting about an interesting account, knowing that those already disposed to believe in Mormonism as it was later constructed and to assume that it was always that way will see their testimonies vindicated here. He knows that critics will jump in to say that this does not prove anything, so that he can say he never claimed it did. Meanwhile his fans are taking pleasure at watching the critics stopped dead in their tracks, lost in the weeds of DCP's hairsplitting and equivocations.

Critics need to be more savvy in avoiding these traps before they spring. Unfortunately, too often critics get excited about how DCP is wrong here and rush in to correct him. It is necessary to step back and grasp how he has set up the situation before you go rushing in.


Yes, people forget we are dealing in probability, and in this case it's pretty slight. But apologists tend to pounce on overstatements like this commenter's.

Kishkumen wrote:
The real issue here for me is that you have an educator who is failing to educate. He is abdicating his responsibility to cultivate critical thinking in his students. The only people educated here are those who are willing to take him on and criticize his work. His casual fans get uneducated. He has given them no help in how to assess the relative value of different kinds of evidence. This is what he ought to be doing as an educator. Instead, he is playing games and misleading his core readership.


I'm reminded of my daughter's explanation of why she didn't consider attending BYU: "Universities are supposed to challenge your basic assumptions, but BYU seems designed to reinforce them." Apologetics isn't about challenging assumptions or changing paradigms; it's about reinforcing beliefs and excluding other possibilities.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:58 am 
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Kishkumen wrote:
Quote:
This "story" recounted by Mr. Stevenson cannot be true. Let me explain.


The poster got greedy. Of course there must be a possibility, however slight, that Stevenson heard Joseph refer to two personages. It is highly improbable. But the poster wants to say it is impossible, and that gives DCP the wiggle room to jump all over the logical error and make this error the issue.

Excellent point, I threw the comment up here late last night, but it really did need to be qualified, thank you for doing that.

The irony to me, as a mathematician, is that DCP is misusing a strong mathematical concept to exploit a logical fallacy his believing readers engage in, that of assuming their conclusion is true a priori and then being left with no option but to force-fit all data into supporting that assumption.

The true probability, after weighing the evidence, is technically closer to zero (impossible) than it is to probable, which could be defined as at least better even odds. However, as you point out, the strict definition of "impossible" is "not possible," or a probability of zero. Few scientists would be willing to ever assign a probability of zero to an event like this, and DCP exploits that. As Doctor Scratch pointed out, it's not an honest way to treat one's readers.
kish wrote:
DCP is pretty sly. Don't forget that, anyone. He sets up the situation by posting about an interesting account, knowing that those already disposed to believe in Mormonism as it was later constructed and to assume that it was always that way will see their testimonies vindicated here. He knows that critics will jump in to say that this does not prove anything, so that he can say he never claimed it did. Meanwhile his fans are taking pleasure at watching the critics stopped dead in their tracks, lost in the weeds of DCP's hairsplitting and equivocations.

Critics need to be more savvy in avoiding these traps before they spring. Unfortunately, too often critics get excited about how DCP is wrong here and rush in to correct him. It is necessary to step back and grasp how he has set up the situation before you go rushing in.

Excellent advice, and you state it quite eloquently! I'm sure Cassius keeps a running list of advice for the budding non-mopologist, this deserves a place of honor. :lol: .

kish wrote:
The real issue here for me is that you have an educator who is failing to educate. He is abdicating his responsibility to cultivate critical thinking in his students. The only people educated here are those who are willing to take him on and criticize his work. His casual fans get uneducated. He has given them no help in how to assess the relative value of different kinds of evidence. This is what he ought to be doing as an educator. Instead, he is playing games and misleading his core readership.
Well stated. It's an area close to my heart, and I really don't understand his casual betrayal of his academic obligations. That it's happening in a blog is irrelevant. He is an academic representing his University.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:35 am 
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A fascinating post and thread. I'd never heard about this account. I'm of the mind that a fair historian should accept an account given by a source until and unless there is a reason not to. But I think Kish has the shown that the language between the 1838 version and Stevenson's account is simply too similar to ignore. It has to be explained somehow.

Speaking of the need to explain things, I think Peterson has tossed in a red herring. Stevenson's account might call into question the accepted view that the First Vision wasn't a prominent part of LDS devotion—has this exactly been established anyway? It tastes less like a fact to me than a historiographic trope one finds so often today in the steroidal market of academic publishing and interpretation-production ("you thought x, but it's really y"). But making this about Stevenson clouds the real issue we're concerned about: it's not whether Stevenson's memory is accurate but why the accounts of Joseph Smith are at such variance. Let's suppose his memory is accurate: if Joseph Smith was saying 1834 what he claimed in 1838, then why the variations in 1835?

On the most charitable and superficial reading of Stevenson (which Peterson wants his readers to take), Joseph Smith had an even harder time keeping his story straight than we had supposed before reading Peterson's column.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:44 am 
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Thank you for that lucid and eloquent explanation of the probability issue, Lemmie. Although I lack your expertise (wish I did not), my intuition or perhaps Bayesian sense of a priori probability that Stevenson’s memory was not malleable and altered over time, and that he was not influenced by the devotional memory of the First Vision of the late 19th century as he wrote this reminiscence is close to zero.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:48 am 
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Symmachus wrote:
On the most charitable and superficial reading of Stevenson (which Peterson wants his readers to take), Joseph Smith had an even harder time keeping his story straight than we had supposed before reading Peterson's column.


Delicious! Yes, I think others in this thread have come close to saying this, but you have an incisive and devastatingly clear way of arguing and articulating the point. DCP is lucky he does not have to face you out in the open. Wow.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:04 am 
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Quote:
Is there any written record/minutes of any of Joseph's preaching to those other "many large congregations" Edward Stevenson is referring to?


Not likely, and he wasn't testifying of the visit of the Father and the Son in 1834 as far as the contemporary evidence is concerned. What they were testifying to, all the missionaries and many others, is that Joseph supposedly first went to God in 1823 and was answered by an angel. And in that same exact year, that is the story in the HISTORY that Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith wrote and published for the world to read.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:21 am 
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You are generous in your praise as ever, Kish. I certainly don't have the command of the facts in the way that someone like Grindael does, who continues to awe me with how much he knows about this period of Mormonism. But the implication that Peterson seems to be leaning on is that the 1835 and 1832 accounts aren't difficult if just some version of the 1838 account was current in 1834. I don't get how that's supposed to help.

"Your Honor, it's true I did make contradictory claims in the past, but in fairness to me I additionally claimed at that time the thing that I'm claiming now."

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:24 am 
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Symmachus wrote:
You are generous in your praise as ever, Kish. I certainly don't have the command of the facts in the way that someone like Grindael does, who continues to awe me with how much he knows about this period of Mormonism. But the implication that Peterson seems to be leaning on is that the 1835 and 1832 accounts aren't difficult if just some version of the 1838 account was current in 1834. I don't get how that's supposed to help.

"Your Honor, it's true I did make contradictory claims in the past, but in fairness to me I additionally claimed at that time the thing that I'm claiming now."


Just ran across this rather appropriate quote from Mark Twain:

Quote:
"When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. But as I grew older, it got so that I only remembered the latter."

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:28 am 
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Here is a glimpse of what Smith was teaching in the early 1830's... (You can see the original here https://mormonitemusings.com/2015/10/09 ... scapegoat/

In 1830 a man named Peter Bauder came to see Smith and spent a whole day with him. The Peter Bauder interview with Joseph Smith was published in 1834, so we do not know the exact circumstances that led Bauder to Joseph Smith, other than what Bauder wrote later. Bauder wrote,

Quote:
However … we find him [anti-Christ] in various other places. For instance, view him in the Mahometan system, and a variety of other imposters, who have drawn disciples after them, who had no Theological Seminaries among them; but if you will observe their manner of increasing their numbers, you will find it is done without a reformation wrought in the hearts of their members, by a godly sorrow for sin, and a compunction of soul, and pungent conviction, which precedes a joy which is unspeakable and full of glory, 1 Peter, 1, 8—because the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them according to Romans, 5, 5.

Among these imposters there has one arisen by the name of Joseph Smith, Jr. who commenced his system of church government in this state, (New York) in the year 1830. His followers are commonly called Mormonites, sometimes New Jerusalemites, or Golden Bible society; they call themselves the true followers of Christ. I conceive it my duty to expose this diabolical system for two special reasons—first, because I have had an opportunity with Smith, in his first setting out, to discover his plan; secondly, because I learn since they were broke up in New York State, they have gone to the western States, and are deceiving themselves and the people, and are increasing very fast.

A copy of Bauders account from his book may be found here... https://mormonitemusings.files.wordpres ... _36-37.jpg

I will name some of the particular discoveries which through Divine Providence I was favored with in an interview with Joseph Smith, Jr. at the house of Peter Whitmer, in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, state of New York, in October, 1830. I called at P[eter]. Whitmer’s house, for the purpose of seeing Smith, and searching into the mystery of his system of religion, and had the privilege of conversing with him alone, several hours, and of investigating his writings, church records, &c. I improved near four and twenty hours in close application with Smith and his followers: he could give me no christian experience, but told me that an angel told him he must go to a certain place in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, where was a secret treasure concealed, which he must reveal to the human family. He went, and after the third or fourth time, which was repeated once a year, he obtained a parcel of plate resembling gold, on which were engraved what he did not understand, only by the aid of a glass which he also obtained with the plate, by which means he was enabled to translate the characters on the plate into English. He says he was not allowed to let the plate be seen only by a few individuals named by the angel, and after he had a part translated, the angel conmanded him to carry the plate into a certain piece of woods, which he did:—the angel took them and carried them to parts unknown to him. The part translated he had published, and it is before the public, entitled the Book of Mormon: a horrid blasphemy, but not so wicked as another manuscript which he was then preparing for publication, which I also saw. He told me no man had ever seen it except a few of his apostles: the publication intended was to be the Bible!!! The manner in which it was written is as follows:—he commenced at the first chapter of Genesis, he wrote a few verses of scripture, then added delusion, which he added every [p.18] few verses of scripture, and so making a compound of scripture and delusion. On my interrogating him on the subject, he professed to be inspired by the Holy Ghost to write it. I will now give the public my fears on this subject, (unless God prevents) when he gets his work ready for the press. He will pretend that the angel has brought the plate, and his new Bible will be a translation of the remaining plate, which were not put into the Book of Mormon, and the public will have this diabolical invention imposed on them. (See also, Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, p. 16-18).


It is obvious that this is written from an 1834 perspective. We do not know how Bauder felt in 1830 when he visited Smith. He may not have been antagonistic at all. FAIRMORMON assumes this of Bauder, and then concludes that “Joseph may have simply chosen not to share the experience of his vision with an obvious enemy of the church.” Yet, Joseph shared his claimed 1820 vision with Robert Matthews in 1835, who Smith speculated was a murderer and ultimately claimed that Matthew’s “God was the devil”. In the light of Smith sharing his supposed vision with one such as Matthews, Nicolson’s argument doesn’t make much sense.

What is interesting is that Bauder got all of the details right about Smith’s claimed visit with Moroni. He also got the details right about Smith’s “translation” of the Bible, although his later speculation that Smith might claim it came from the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon never came to pass. If Bauder was simply making it up about Smith’s lack of Christian experience in 1830, why did he correctly claim that Smith told him he was later translating the Bible with the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? This is not about Joseph joining any church; Bauder describes what “Christian experience” is, in an earlier paragraph:

Quote:
“…a reformation wrought in the hearts of their members, by a godly sorrow for sin, and a compunction of soul, and pungent conviction, which precedes a joy which is unspeakable and full of glory…because the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them…”


That is not about joining a church. The fact that Bauder claims that Joseph did not speak of any Christian experience before his supposed encounter with the angel Moroni in 1830, is borne out by what Mormon Missionaries were teaching in 1832; and what Smith and Cowdery wrote themselves in 1834. Smith made an attempt to rewrite his history in 1832, but left it unfinished and abandoned it in the back of a letterbook and did not include his supposed vision of Christ in the 1834 history. In that version of his history they claim that Joseph prayed in 1823 to see “if a Supreme Being did exist” and was answered by an angel who told him about some gold plates.

The wiki article today (2015) reads:

In June 1830, Smith provided the first clear record of a significant personal religious experience prior to the visit of the angel Moroni.[73] At that time, Smith and his associate Oliver Cowdery were establishing the Church of Christ, the first Latter Day Saint church. In the “Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ,” Smith recounted his early history, noting

“For, after that it truly was manifested unto [Smith] that he had received remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world, but after truly repenting, God visited him by an holy angel … and gave unto him power, by the means which was before prepared that he should translate a book.”[74]

No further explanation of this “manifestation” is provided. Although the reference was later linked to the First Vision,[75] its original hearers could have understood the manifestation as simply another of many revival experiences in which the subject testified that his sins had been forgiven.[76] On the other hand, when in October 1830, non-Mormon critic and author Peter Bauder interviewed Smith for a book, Bauder was writing about false religions, Smith apparently declined to share his experience. Bauder thus stated that Smith was unable to recount a “Christian experience.”[77]

So it appears that Nicholson’s objections of a few years ago are groundless, since Bauder is described as a “non-Mormon Critic” in the current wiki article. Now, these changes may have come about with the persistence of Mormon editors, but that is the way it is supposed to work, right?. It appears that this wiki article has “stabilized itself over time,” at least in this instance.

So why the current objections to wiki? Because FAIRMORMON can’t totally control the flow of information there as they can at their own site. But what is almost comical is that FAIRMORMON has its own version of wiki. And what do they have on their own wiki page? This:

Quote:
In October 1830 Peter Bauder (a non-Mormon minister) spoke directly to the Prophet. Bauder commented: “he could give me no Christian experience,” meaning that he did not belong to any church before his experience with the angel and plates in September 1823.


Notice there is little difference from the current “First Vision” Wikipedia page. FAIRMORMON uses this quote to try and prove that Joseph Smith didn’t join any Churches. On another page, they write the same thing:

Quote:
In October 1830 Peter Bauder (a non-Mormon minister) spoke directly to the Prophet. Bauder commented: “he could give me no Christian experience,” meaning that he did not belong to any church before his experience with the angel and plates in September 1823.


Bauder absolutely did not mean that, as he himself explains above. The Wikipedia article is still wrong though, because Bauder did not say that Smith declined to share his experience, Smith could not give him one, as defined by Bauder. And Bauder did not just spend an hour or two with Smith, he claimed that he spent “near four and twenty hours in close application with Smith and his followers,” and spoke to Smith alone for “several hours”, so neither Smith nor any who followed him could give Bauder a “Christian experience” for Joseph Smith in his youth.

In every instance of evidence from the early 30's, we have Smith giving the angel story as his "theophany". There was no visit from Jesus or the Father. The only document we have is of Jesus alone, with no Father and this document Smith scrapped and never used or referred to it again in his lifetime and it was later suppressed by the church. I think it really bothered Smith that he was looked upon as having no Christian experience, and his ties to the occult. He wanted to change that, and so invented the story of the claimed First Vision.

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:14 am 
Seedy Academician
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Location: The Brutus Memorial Rectory at Cassius University
Symmachus wrote:
You are generous in your praise as ever, Kish. I certainly don't have the command of the facts in the way that someone like Grindael does, who continues to awe me with how much he knows about this period of Mormonism. But the implication that Peterson seems to be leaning on is that the 1835 and 1832 accounts aren't difficult if just some version of the 1838 account was current in 1834. I don't get how that's supposed to help.

"Your Honor, it's true I did make contradictory claims in the past, but in fairness to me I additionally claimed at that time the thing that I'm claiming now."


Yes, grindael is a treasure! We have quite a cadre of thinkers, writers, and scholars here. When we are at our best the discussion is envigorating, edifying, and challenging. Granted we are often not at our best. I bet newbies and casual visitors are confused and even put off by our freewheeling ways, but as a veteran of the board I find the best aspects of the community continue to draw me back.


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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:17 am 
Dragon
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Quote:
The question that I would ask of you is why did Joseph refer to the second personage in 1835 and not be as forthcoming or explicit in his description of the vision in the 1832 account?

I think what you are saying is that he forgot to say anything explicitly of a second personage (although there are shimmers of such) in 1832 because he forgot...but then remembered three years later in 1835? And you find that suspicious, I would assume?

Consig, my posts may be numbered at this point. I've exceeded the the limits of what I am allowed in having a conversation without receiving harassment from those that would like to see me disappear.


Notice he never really answered this question. Instead he hems and haws about how his comments may be "numbered". But then what happens? He continues on and on and on and on. Even after Waterdog's post, he writes a long one in response to it, but doesn't put any effort into answering Consig's question. Why is that I wonder?

I have one. Why are there so many different versions of Smith's claimed theophany and why do Mormon Apologists use secular memory arguments, when Joseph taught that he had the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" which would bring all important things concerning God to remembrance? Why couldn't Joseph just dictate his history like he did his "revelations", instead there were multiple drafts until he got it where he wanted it? Why do Mormon "prophets" never act like prophets when it really matters?

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 Post subject: Re: That Lovely Morning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:31 am 
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Symmachus wrote:
Speaking of the need to explain things, I think Peterson has tossed in a red herring. Stevenson's account might call into question the accepted view that the First Vision wasn't a prominent part of LDS devotion—has this exactly been established anyway? It tastes less like a fact to me than a historiographic trope one finds so often today in the steroidal market of academic publishing and interpretation-production ("you thought x, but it's really y").


Yes, maybe it is. The tedious cult of counter-intuitive opinioneering is a lot older than the publish-or-perish culture, though. Just for fun, here is the Oxford historian R W Johnson talking about Harry Weldon, who died in 1958:

R W Johnson wrote:
Anyone who has been a victim, let alone a perpetrator, of the Oxbridge system will recognise Niall Ferguson’s book for what it is: an extended and argumentative tutorial from a self-consciously clever, confrontational young don, determined to stand everything on its head and argue with vehemence against whatever he sees as the conventional wisdom – or, worse still, the fashion – of the time. The idea is to teach the young to think and argue, and the real past masters at it (Harry Weldon was always held up as an example to me) were those who first argued undergraduates out of their received opinions, then turned around after a time and argued them out of their new-found radicalism, leaving them mystified as to what they believed and suspended in a free-floating state of cleverness.


Maybe things are different at BYU.


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