There were too many contradicting accounts of this event for honest people to
trust their etermity with it. Any scholarly discussion of this subject must
give a full chronology and deal with the fact that it was not referred to or
referenced for the first 20 years of the Church's history.Factual, honest discussion is the only way to deal with extra-biblical
accounts. I hope this book looks at all aspects.
Grace, have you ever described the same event, a movie, or a book, to different
people over a long period of time? Did you use the same words exactly each time?
Did you leave anything out of any of the versions, regardless of the audience
you spoke to? Did you forget? Does that make you untrustworthy? The fact that
the descriptions of the First Vision that Joseph and others who offered second
hand accouts are different, testify to me the event probably happened. I embrace
the different accounts (14 of them if I recall different). I do agree that each
of the accounts, and the circumstances around those varying accounts should be,
can be and have been discussed. Doing a little homework will reveal that to
anyone. I trust my eternity to it.
But of course we're not really entrusting our eternity to the hands of
fellow mortals -- rather, it is to the confirmation of the Holy Ghost (ie.
personal revelation) that allows one to "know the truth of all
things."I believe you'll find there are differing and often
contradictory accounts of the events describing Jesus' death and
resurrection -- yet all the Christian world is built around those descriptions.
Central Texan,".....there are differing and often contradictory
accounts of the events describing Jesus' death and resurrection -- yet all
the Christian world is built around those descriptions."______________________________The differences in the Nativity
accounts from Matthew and Luke are even more striking. But what makes the Joseph
Smith first vision accounts immediately suspect is that the divergent material
all comes from a single source.
The longer the LDS church avoids official clarification on these conflicting
accounts of questionable church history the more unbelievable the church itself
becomes. It is time for the church to recognize that in today's world
people have access to previously reclusive information, and more educated
people now have honest questions that deserve honest answers.