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Eight First Vision Truths Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2020 9:02 pm

Eight First Vision Truths Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 24, 2020 9:02 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.

Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman

Point is 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 welcome to this additional 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 we continue looking at an article that was in the February 2020 addition of & magazine and it is talking about the eight truths from the first vision, so we are going through each of these points given our little critique of each one and today we begin looking at point number four. Jesus was a conveyor of Revelation as taught in the Bible.

And this is what Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said, and he was 1/10 president, all Revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the father Elohim has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he is never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the son. Now I think there's a lot that we could challenge on this assumption, but I think one thing we need to look at would be of course Exodus chapter 3. If you look at Exodus chapter 3, and again I'm going to be citing from the Joseph Smith translation. This is what it says in verse four and when the Lord saw that he turned aside God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said Moses, Moses, and he said here I am. Verse six goes on to say. Moreover, he said I am the God Elohim of thy father, that God Elohim of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and Moses hit his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. Verse seven and the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people, which are in Egypt.

So here we have a case where the word Lord Jehovah is used and God Elohim is used and unless a Mormon wants to argue that will maybe both Jesus and God the father showed up at this particular time, it would seem to still dismiss the assumption that's made from this statement by Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith where he says that the father has never dealt with man directly and personally. But yet it certainly seems like the father is involved in this conversation that's going on with Moses and if you want to look at the King James version to look at this passage in Exodus 3 which deals with the burning bush. You can see God being you.

Specifically, you can see the Lord being you specifically and when they capitalize hello RD that's called the tetra graviton that is Yahweh. And so, so that is referring it will but in in Latter Day Saints at doctrine that would be referring to Jesus and yet God would be God the father, heavenly father, so you have both persons of the Godhead being in and involving themselves here in the burning bush situation now of course they're trying to emphasize by using the statement from Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president at the last portion where it says that the father has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the sun will even that becomes questionable in light of what Joseph Smith includes in his Joseph Smith translation of the Bible. Now remember, Joseph Smith claimed that he finished his translation of the Bible in 1833.

This is prior to when he introduces this idea of a tri-theistic God, it seems like up until this point he's not holding quite to that position yet.

It's a lease it's not fully developed as Mormons believe it today. But in verse 20 of Exodus 33 in the Joseph Smith translation it says and he said unto Moses, thou canst not see my face at this time lest mine anger is kindled against the also and I destroy the and by people for there shall no man among them see me at this time and live for. They are exceeding sinful and no sinful man happen at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live but yet Joseph Smith claims.

According to this account known as the first vision he sees the face of God has a conversation with God the father in the sacred Grove. The question we would have is if that really happened and what Joseph Smith gives us in his translation of the Bible. In Exodus 3320 is true. How did he live to tell about it. Point number five says the promise of James to ask of God for wisdom was fulfilled.

This is from president Russell M. Nelson that's found underneath that point and he said the prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions drawn to the promise of James that if we lack wisdom, we may ask of God, the boy Joseph took his question directly to heavenly father let me stop you there because it gives the impression here that no Christian knew that they could ask God for wisdom and yet it's trying to say here that Joseph Smith set the pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions and of course it's referring to James 15 wouldn't you respond to that accusation to say wait a minute I think I would much rather go to James rather than Joseph Smith because for one James is speaking about wisdom. Joseph Smith misuses this verse and he uses it to try to find knowledge and of course wisdom is the proper application of knowledge, so you could say Joseph Smith is misusing this so what goes on in the It was just the continuation of the citation by Russell M.

Nelson it says follow the example of the prophet Joseph and we would say no don't do that don't follow the example of the prophet Joseph and here is why he goes to the Bible to get instructions but yet the verse he goes to. He ignores you would think if he was using wisdom any new even what it says in Exodus 3320, which I just read and even though Exodus 3320 in our Bibles is not as long as what Joseph Smith includes in his translation quote unquote it still tells us the same thing. You can't see the face of God and live to tell about it. So if he is having an apparition of some sort. If he was really using wisdom he would've known this can't be God as he assumed Bill.

This is the problem when you take versus out of their context. When you pull a verse out you can make versus say whatever you want them to. Depending on how you wanted to be said, but James 15 is following James 1234 which talks about consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, it's talking about in the context when you are going through a trial and later it talks about temptations Internet whole sequence when you're going through a hard time.

You can pray for as you said wisdom not knowledge to be able to help get you through there. We can go to Proverbs, it's a book of wisdom as well. But Joseph Smith outtakes that verse. According to a story and then uses it to pray, to see which of all the church is a true and that's how the first vision comes about.

I think it's a wrong way of using the Bible to come up with a conclusion that was never meant to be and I think the point itself where it says number five the promise of James to ask of God for wisdom was fulfilled.

Really, it was fulfilled in Joseph Smith as if no Christians have ever gone to James read that and use that as a guide to gain wisdom in a particular situation.

I just think that's so far-fetched.

One other thing that I want to point out with what Nelson said at the end of that quote that we can read yet but this is what he says. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go humble yourself before God pour out your heart to your heavenly father turned to him for answers and for comfort. Although I can say I agree completely in a Christian context that I can say those things. And yes, I believe we can do those things but not to look for new revelation. Anything that would contradict the Bible. I don't think you would accept that.

And yet at the same time we as Christians certainly believe in meditating upon God's word and seeing what God's word has for us today that we go to point number six which reads Joseph learned of the reality of an actual being from an unseen world who try to destroy him and then apostle Jeffrey R.

Holland is quoted. He said that Satan or Lucifer or the father of lies. Call him what you will, Israel, the very personification of evil. His motives are in every case, malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light at the very thought of truth.

He is eternally opposed to the love of God, the atonement of Jesus Christ and the work of peace and salvation. He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can now taken at face value the words that he uses in this statement talking about the quote by Jeffrey R.

Holland. You just read what Christian would deny that we really need to have Joseph Smith go out into the woods and have this alleged first vision in order to find that to be true, wouldn't you agree that Christians have known this ever since the first century Jesus taught these very things. The apostles taught these very things.

First Peter 58.

I think very clearly explains who our adversary is and why we know that he's from the unseen world is trying to destroy us. It says be sober minded, be watchful.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So the Bible itself tells us the same thing that Mormons are being told we can only learn from the first vision if they're merely trying to say that Joseph Smith seem to learn this.

At that time I would go. Okay, I might give you that one. But when it comes to eight truths we learn from the first vision I would argue, at least in point number six. That certainly that is something that Christians have known for centuries Bill in the first vision account. It has the idea of some evil force that comes upon Joseph Smith and is a very eerie thing.

It's always bothered me because you have within the midst of seeing God the father in Jesus before that you have this almost like a Satanic attack.

How would you deal with that will often ask Latter Day Saints this question.

They all know about Joseph Smith in this dark spirit, whatever that grabs a hold of him I guess throws into the ground where he feels like he's going to die then immediately after that he sees this bright light which is interesting because that's how the devil is described as an angel of light.

Mormons of course have a tendency to separate that first event from the second event, the dark spirit from the light that happens afterwards, why are you separating these two events, one being bad in one being good. How do you know both are not related.

I mean, let's be serious. What Joseph Smith claims that he sees afterwards is something that even his own translation of the Bible seems to refute. Why would you accept that as being a positive thing, as opposed to the first part of the event as being the bad. Why couldn't they be related in some way I know of Mormon is not going to want to accept my rationale on that because obviously it undermines everything they think is good about the first vision, but the problem of course is what Mormons get out of the first vision are things that conflict with what God has already revealed in the Bible so you can understand why I is a New Testament Christian would equate the dark spirit event with the event of this bright light in these two personages being seen.

If I'm going to give Joseph Smith the benefit of the doubt that he really had an experience like this, which I doubt entirely.

I think he made the whole thing up.

Can I prove this know I can't really prove that anymore than a Mormon can prove the event of the first vision, and I wonder how many Latter Day Saints have ever thought of it the way that you just described it. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry.

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