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Eight First Vision Truths Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 25, 2020 9:04 pm

Eight First Vision Truths Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 25, 2020 9:04 pm

In the Spring 2020 conference happening next week, the leaders have promised that the theme will be the bicentennial of the “First Vision.” In this repeat series, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson take a closer look at the February 2020 Ensign Magazine, considering the First Vision and if this is truly a historic event.

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Viewpoint is mainly to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism, Joseph Smith made the first vision in order to come to the conclusion that all sex were wrong. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we are looking at an article that was in the February 2020 edition of & magazine.

It was titled eight truths from the first vision and were going through these alleged eight truths and critiquing them for the simple reason that many of the things listed in these eight points are not really things you can only learn if there was in fact a first vision experienced by Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820. Today we are looking at point number seven there was a falling away from the church that was established by Jesus Christ. Joseph was told not to join any of the sex, for they taught the doctrines of men, and then it has a quotation from Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard and he says the apostasy or falling away from the original church organized by the Lord was prophesied by those who helped establish the church in the first place.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Christians who are eagerly anticipating the second coming of the Savior that the day shall not come, except there come a falling away first and that's from second Thessalonians to three let's stop there for a moment and examine second Thessalonians to three that is cited by M.

Russell Ballard, first of all, context is very important folks.

And when you go to second Thessalonians chapter 2 it starts off by saying now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being to gather to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed either by a spirit or a spoken word or a letter seeming to be from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. In other words, there were some obviously saying that the day of the Lord, it already happened.

Paul is going to correct them on that misunderstanding.

So we goes on in verse number three to say. Let no one deceive you in any way for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. My question is is this really a good passage to support the Mormon presupposition that all the churches were in a state of apostasy, making it necessary for God the father and Jesus to appear to Joseph Smith to let them know about this.

The context tells me that this isn't even happened yet because it's talking about what's going to happen prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of course that did not happen in the 19th century hasn't happened so far in the 21st century the states to be a lesson that we remember yesterday we talked about James 15. Here we have second Thessalonians to three we could list lots of other verses first Corinthians 1529 so on and so forth. Christian is so important that whenever you use the word of God that you make sure you're going to the full context and getting out everything that the context says and not allow others to be able to try to make points that are not really there will another case in point would be that I would call the sister verse two second Thessalonians to three.

At least how Mormons use this passage that would be first Timothy 41 it says now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. I had Mormons use this verse to say see that talks about the great apostasy as well. Well, if you read it carefully. It says merely this, that the Spirit expressly says that in the later times some will depart from the faith doesn't say everyone and yet the Mormons will often use this passage as proof that there existed in history, something known as the complete apostasy. How do you get a complete apostasy when only some are departing from the faith, and as I've said before, when talking to Latter Day Saints and I hear this verse brought up my responses. How do I know if that's what you're going to interpret this verse that it's not talking about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because in my opinion, the LDS church has certainly departed from the Christian faith not the point I want to stress in this show is it's giving us the impression that Smith does not seem to come to the conclusion that there was a falling away of the church until he has this alleged first vision. Now there was an article that was published in dialogue.

Journal of Mormon thought it was volume 43 number two came out in the summer 2010 edition.

It was titled Joseph Smith in hermeneutical crisis and it was written by a man by the name of Christopher C. Smith, the all we know about Christopher Smith is that he was raised in a more Pentecostal background of evangelical Christianity and he converted to Mormonism. He's written a number of articles dealing with Mormon history. This happens to be one of them, but there are some things that he says in this article that I think are pertinent when we examine this point. Point number seven in the article 8 truths from the first vision bill that titled Joseph Smith in hermeneutical crisis. I think it's important to understand if you don't know what the word hermeneutical means. It means interpretation the way that he is interpreting the Bible. So this is what it says on page 87 font Brody, one of Joseph's biographers has said of the early 19 century quote these Pentecostal years were the most fertile in history for the sprouting of profits, and she wrote that in no man knows my history page 15. He goes on and writes this was an age of remarkable religious ferment. The second great awakening was in full swing and many Americans were abandoning mainline religious denominations to join upstart sex that promised, among other things, a more democratic charismatic and biblical faith for Joseph Smith religious dissent was not merely a cultural phenomenon both sides of his family had long made it a way of life, his paternal grandfather, a sale, Smith was a Universalist.

His maternal grandfather Solman Mac had spent most of his life as an atheist Max wife raise their children, including Joseph Smith's mother Lucy without formal church affiliation. Joseph's father Joseph Senior was also incubated largely apart from organized religion. Universalist like a sale. He showed greater interest in folk religious practices like divination, then in the activities of local evangelical churches. But if the prophets parents were not regular church attenders.

Neither were that your religious they simply believed that no true church existed on the earth not did you catch that, folks. It wasn't that they were your religious his family simply believe that no true church existed on the earth.

I think that's an important tidbit of Joseph Smith's early life that is often overlooked, especially when points such as this one.

Point number seven is trying to be made in this article and the reason I say that is because I don't believe that Joseph Smith if he had a first vision at all. All of a sudden, as it says in the 1838 account that it never occurred to him that none of the churches were true. I don't believe that at all. I think what this author Christopher C. Smith has said in this article Joseph Smith in hermeneutical crisis paints a perfect picture of how Joseph Smith was probably raised any gives pretty good evidence, I think, to show that his parents as well as his grandparents who we assume are probably a strong influence probably helped form some of the things that Joseph Smith already believed.

Let me explain why I say that as I mentioned earlier, the 1838 account of Joseph Smith's first vision has him saying it never occurred to him that the churches were wrong. He claims he gets this from being told by the two personages God the father and Jesus Christ, who told him not to join any of the churches, for they were all wrong and their creeds were an abomination in his sight, but yet if we look at the 1832 account of Joseph Smith's quote unquote first vision we find a number of details that are different including this idea of churches being in a state of apostasy built, you just mention a couple of dates 1832 in 1838.

I think we need to remind our listeners that the suppose it first vision account took place in 1820, and is not until 1832 and then later in 1838 when we get more information. So there's a silent. There of over a decade. I think that's important to remember and now it makes sense that you're going to come up with an apostasy like this because in apostasy is not necessary for the reason for the church even exist.

The restoration I think you bring up a good point and I think it should also be mentioned that nobody in the early years of the Mormon movement knew anything about this alleged first vision.

This doesn't come about until later on in Mormon history.

Smith is not telling this story to anybody because I don't believe it was a part of his narrative at that time.

Now certainly, the book of Mormon was the angel Moron I telling them about the gold plates. That was a part of it.

But when he said he was persecuted as a young man for this first vision that's not true folks. He wasn't telling people about this first vision but getting back to this point about Smith learning of a great apostasy. As a result of the first vision. This is why I dismiss this account found in this is the issue of inside magazine. If you look at the 1832 account written by Joseph Smith himself. He says I become convicted of my sins and by searching the Scriptures, I found that mankind did not come unto the Lord, but that they had apostatized from the true and living Faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is 1832. Account Smith already seems to have come to the conclusion that there were no true churches on the face of the earth but yet in his 1838 account. He says just the opposite, and makes it appear that he had never entertained such a thought.

And that's the idea that's being perpetuated from point number seven in this article 8 truths from the first vision, the facts seem to show that this statement about a complete apostasy not being realized by Joseph Smith until his 1838 account of the first vision seems to be very suspicious thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research. We hope you'll join us again as we look at another viewpoint is since it was first released back into thousand nine, the book in their own words a collection of Mormon quotations is helped many Christians better understand what Mormon leaders and manuals have taught regarding the Mormon faith compiled by Mormonism research ministries Bill McKeever new, enlarged and expanded edition comes with a CD that includes a searchable PDF version of the book in their own words is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore located right there in Salt Lake City for order it directly online MRM.org


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