Episode 65a: The First Vision for Dummies Part 1

George, Mike, Glenn, join John Larsen to discuss the 4 major accounts of the First Vision.

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Episode 65a

42 comments on “Episode 65a: The First Vision for Dummies Part 1”

  1. Robert Boylan Reply

    One of the annoying things at the start was the (false) claim by Mike that the Trinity states that the Father and the Son are the same person and the like; this is untrue, and is Modalism (a heresy condemned by the early Church), though it is a common misinterpretation of the Trinity by many Trinitarians. In the Trinity, there are three separate person (the Father; Son and the Spirit), but they share the same *being* which is an important distinction.

    It is a common LDS misunderstanding that annoys me (a TBM, btw).

  2. Robert Boylan Reply

    One of the annoying things at the start was the (false) claim by Mike that the Trinity states that the Father and the Son are the same person and the like; this is untrue, and is Modalism (a heresy condemned by the early Church), though it is a common misinterpretation of the Trinity by many Trinitarians. In the Trinity, there are three separate person (the Father; Son and the Spirit), but they share the same *being* which is an important distinction.

    It is a common LDS misunderstanding that annoys me (a TBM, btw).

  3. John Larsen Reply

    A special thanks to long time ME supporter Russ, who is filling the big shoes of Joseph Smith for the podcast. Thanks Russ.

    • tol Reply

      I was thinking one or two of you was @sev getting a slurpee or something and a clerk overheard you talking on the phone or with each other about wanting to get an actor to read the different versions of the 1st vision and the clerk was like, “I’m an actor. Do you want a copy of your receipt?”. I love this episode. I think it’s one of my favorite so far.

  4. John Larsen Reply

    A special thanks to long time ME supporter Russ, who is filling the big shoes of Joseph Smith for the podcast. Thanks Russ.

    • tol Reply

      I was thinking one or two of you was @sev getting a slurpee or something and a clerk overheard you talking on the phone or with each other about wanting to get an actor to read the different versions of the 1st vision and the clerk was like, “I’m an actor. Do you want a copy of your receipt?”. I love this episode. I think it’s one of my favorite so far.

  5. Glenn Reply

    Way to go Russ! Incidentally, I looked up “Russ” in Hebrew, and it means “he who shall fill the biggest of shoes.” Remarkable.

    • brandt Reply

      I’m usually not one to laugh out loud, but the quote of “And ‘Emma’ means ‘Go ahead take another'” had me rolling. Very funny.

      • Glenn Reply

        Hooray. I looked it up, by the way. And Fanny really does only mean Fanny. Especially in England.

  6. Glenn Reply

    Way to go Russ! Incidentally, I looked up “Russ” in Hebrew, and it means “he who shall fill the biggest of shoes.” Remarkable.

    • brandt Reply

      I’m usually not one to laugh out loud, but the quote of “And ‘Emma’ means ‘Go ahead take another'” had me rolling. Very funny.

      • Glenn Reply

        Hooray. I looked it up, by the way. And Fanny really does only mean Fanny. Especially in England.

  7. Russ Reply

    Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 I look forward to helping out with the podcast wherever I can in the future.

    And Glenn, I’m always willing to accept more of your insights into the Hebrew meanings of my name. 😀

  8. Russ Reply

    Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 I look forward to helping out with the podcast wherever I can in the future.

    And Glenn, I’m always willing to accept more of your insights into the Hebrew meanings of my name. 😀

  9. Rich Rasmussen Reply

    I love the idea of Joseph’s account of angels being god’s bodyguards. Rad…no, that doesn’t quite say it. It’s Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China rad. FUBAR, guys, FUBAR.

  10. Rich Rasmussen Reply

    I love the idea of Joseph’s account of angels being god’s bodyguards. Rad…no, that doesn’t quite say it. It’s Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China rad. FUBAR, guys, FUBAR.

  11. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    John when you say that nothing in the Book of Mormon can make the case for God and Jesus being separate I think you take your point too far. I do believe you can a make good argument for the trinity even a better argument for the trinity than them being separate. I think when Christ prays to the father is one thing that could make the argument for them to be separate.
    John I do not think it is important whether it is a vision or a physical event. Either way could God not choose what form he took. Neither God or Christ in any version of the story tells us anything about their nature. How can we just think that we can infer this? If God himself does not tell us directly about his nature how could we ever know?
    Mike when you talk about apostasy you pick and choose your quotes very carefully. When you read most biblical scholars they explain how you can see how the idea of the divinity of Christ grew through the ages just in things like how that idea changes with the Gospels. Before the Gospels were written there was just some vague idea that the spirit of God was with Christ. Mark being the first gospel writes the spirit of God descended upon Christ a dove after his baptism, directly before his ministry. Mathew and Luke talk about it descending upon Marry in the whom. This gave Gods spirit at the very beginning of Christ’s life. Then the last Gospel being John talks about Christ being at the Creation. Yes, if you choose your quotes carefully you can chart a line towards apostasy, but you can just as easily chart a line away from apostasy and closer to Mormon theology. Just as when you tried to argue that the scriptures support the condemnation of Homosexuality your argument only holds up if you only look at a few isolated quotes and not look at a more full view.

    • John Larsen Reply

      For me, the importance of the vision vs physical event is that the Church insists on a really physical appearance of physical beings. Joseph’s accounts do not necessarily lend credence to that view.

      Additionally, I think the changing voice of Joseph shades the credulity of the entire account.

      • Rich Rasmussen Reply

        I’m with you on this one John. To me, it seems far more likely that Joseph’s changing narrative is a byproduct of manipulation rather than any of the other apologist based ideas running through this episode. Perhaps it’s confirmation bias but it feels like occam’s razor. Also, and I can say this while wearing my tightly fitted “Team Zilpha” tee, I too read that there was a shift from the internal to external in the physical, literal, and metaphorical.

        I have those first two pages of JS History still memorized from my mission. I read and reread it so many times and I felt the spirit many, many times (what I labeled as the spirit). then, when I heard Russ read it last night, right on cue, I again felt that feeling. This made me a bit frustrated until I felt the same feeling with Glenn’s campfire story…whew.

        What does everyone think about Grant Palmer’s thesis that the changing narrative was partly due to the leadership “crisis” of 1837?

        John, is the adam-god reasoning your own, or is there some reading I can find? I’m intrigued by that concept.

  12. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    John when you say that nothing in the Book of Mormon can make the case for God and Jesus being separate I think you take your point too far. I do believe you can a make good argument for the trinity even a better argument for the trinity than them being separate. I think when Christ prays to the father is one thing that could make the argument for them to be separate.
    John I do not think it is important whether it is a vision or a physical event. Either way could God not choose what form he took. Neither God or Christ in any version of the story tells us anything about their nature. How can we just think that we can infer this? If God himself does not tell us directly about his nature how could we ever know?
    Mike when you talk about apostasy you pick and choose your quotes very carefully. When you read most biblical scholars they explain how you can see how the idea of the divinity of Christ grew through the ages just in things like how that idea changes with the Gospels. Before the Gospels were written there was just some vague idea that the spirit of God was with Christ. Mark being the first gospel writes the spirit of God descended upon Christ a dove after his baptism, directly before his ministry. Mathew and Luke talk about it descending upon Marry in the whom. This gave Gods spirit at the very beginning of Christ’s life. Then the last Gospel being John talks about Christ being at the Creation. Yes, if you choose your quotes carefully you can chart a line towards apostasy, but you can just as easily chart a line away from apostasy and closer to Mormon theology. Just as when you tried to argue that the scriptures support the condemnation of Homosexuality your argument only holds up if you only look at a few isolated quotes and not look at a more full view.

    • John Larsen Reply

      For me, the importance of the vision vs physical event is that the Church insists on a really physical appearance of physical beings. Joseph’s accounts do not necessarily lend credence to that view.

      Additionally, I think the changing voice of Joseph shades the credulity of the entire account.

      • Rich Rasmussen Reply

        I’m with you on this one John. To me, it seems far more likely that Joseph’s changing narrative is a byproduct of manipulation rather than any of the other apologist based ideas running through this episode. Perhaps it’s confirmation bias but it feels like occam’s razor. Also, and I can say this while wearing my tightly fitted “Team Zilpha” tee, I too read that there was a shift from the internal to external in the physical, literal, and metaphorical.

        I have those first two pages of JS History still memorized from my mission. I read and reread it so many times and I felt the spirit many, many times (what I labeled as the spirit). then, when I heard Russ read it last night, right on cue, I again felt that feeling. This made me a bit frustrated until I felt the same feeling with Glenn’s campfire story…whew.

        What does everyone think about Grant Palmer’s thesis that the changing narrative was partly due to the leadership “crisis” of 1837?

        John, is the adam-god reasoning your own, or is there some reading I can find? I’m intrigued by that concept.

  13. Richard of Norway Reply

    I liked Russ’s (is that too many s’s?) reading of the accounts. And I really liked Tom’s humorous muppet-newsroom-style advert at the start. Made me laugh! 🙂

    • brandt Reply

      For a second I wondered “WILL MY EMAIL BE READ!!!??!???” Then I realized it was an advert for the live show. And it made me sad. 🙁

  14. Richard of Norway Reply

    I liked Russ’s (is that too many s’s?) reading of the accounts. And I really liked Tom’s humorous muppet-newsroom-style advert at the start. Made me laugh! 🙂

    • brandt Reply

      For a second I wondered “WILL MY EMAIL BE READ!!!??!???” Then I realized it was an advert for the live show. And it made me sad. 🙁

  15. George Miller Reply

    John Larsen- I enjoyed your comments about if the First Visions was an internal or an external event. I tend to agree that overtime the center of focus slowly moves from an internal to an external event. Great comment.

  16. George Miller Reply

    John Larsen- I enjoyed your comments about if the First Visions was an internal or an external event. I tend to agree that overtime the center of focus slowly moves from an internal to an external event. Great comment.

  17. Mr. IT Reply
  18. Mr. IT Reply
  19. Tartar Reply

    I’ve always understood that the first vision may or may not have been a dream-vision.

  20. Anonymous Reply

    I see nothing wrong with temporary tattoos, as long as they are not offensive. I would strongly discourage my children from getting permanent ones, however (though I would not absolutely forbid it, if they were determined to get one and able to pay for it themselves). I can see one good reason why one might want to get a tattoo, though. Tattooing one’s blood type or that one is diabetic or highly allergic to certain antibiotics on some relatively inconspicous part of the body (though not so inconspicous that first responders would be unlikely to spot it quickly) could help expedite appropriate medical treatment and, perhaps, even save the life of an unconscious victim of an accident or medical emergency.

  21. ff42 Reply

    Beautiful – thanks for sharing. Dancing and laughing – isn’t that what the early saints enjoyed?

  22. Course Correction Reply

    I come from a place where these thoughts and feelings are viewed as evil. I cower even as the peace and light and hope I’ve felt coax me forward.

    How wonderful you’ve found a place that fills you with peace and light and hope. How can these feelings possibly be evil? Don’t religious people believe everything good comes from God?

  23. Zèle Chyrème Reply

    Uh, Christianity does too largely hang on the factuality of a supernatural event. Cf. :

    “In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… .We are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.” In that same chapter he says “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen sleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” But then Paul triumphantly declares, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:14-20).”

    http://www.gracevalley.org/radio_trans/resurrection.html

    And I’m pretty sure that Muhammed’s conversations with the archangel Michael, and/or his heavenly rapture, qualify; or the Buddha’s enlightenment – i.e. the blissful extinction of his self, liberation from mundane existence and its cycle of reincarnations -, from which he is held to have returned for a time to teach others how to achieve it too for themselves; etc.

  24. Zèle Chyrème Reply

    The “fire and nothing consumed” is a pretty obvious reference to Moses and the burning bush (Moses’ own “First Vision” of sorts). Just as the pillar of fire is a reference to God’s manifesting a pillar of fire to guide Moses and the Hebrews in the desert, saving them from the Egyptians, if my memory serves correct.

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