Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

This is for discussions of the correlated lessons from Gospel Doctrine, Priesthood, and Relief Society.
Post Reply
User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by deacon blues » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:32 am

This upcoming lesson, as presented in the teacher's manual, is the same stuff that you have heard for your whole life about the first vision. If a teacher/student downloads the lesson from lds.org they will find references to the different first vision accounts and an essay/narrative that neatly blurs the conflicts between the accounts. In other words, you probably won't hear about Joseph's handwritten 1832 account in this lesson.
If I were attending this week's lesson, I might ask, "Is anyone aware of Joseph's earliest written account of his first vision? It can be found in the Joseph Smith Papers, Histories vol. 1, pg. 11-16. It takes about 10 minutes to read."

As I read this I can hear the little Boyd K. Packer angel on my shoulder saying, "deacon, the Joseph Smith papers are only for 'so-called intellectuals'' :roll:
God is Love. God is Truth

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 2195
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Corsair » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:52 am

deacon blues wrote: might ask, "Is anyone aware of Joseph's earliest written account of his first vision? It can be found in the Joseph Smith Papers, Histories vol. 1, pg. 11-16. It takes about 10 minutes to read."
I'm trying to come up with some good ways to bring up the alternate vision accounts without sounding like a total douchebag in class. This is one good approach. Ideally I would like class member to know about the essays. This might be a good introduction because I doubt that the polygamy essays will be brought up when Nauvoo gets mentioned. D&C 132 is, of course, a mine field and I am looking forward to that lesson. Any other ideas?

User avatar
shadow
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:07 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by shadow » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:10 pm

I think this is an important lesson to bring up the supplemental material. It's the best way to make people aware that the supplemental material exists with the lessons this year. Don't expect a lot of worthwhile discussion, though, if they haven't heard about it. When I asked how people reconciled that account during the Hinckley EQ/RS lesson last week, I got a lot of speculative stuff about his age, remembering different facts, etc.
"Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creates to the feast of Creation." --Wendell Berry

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 2255
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:00 am

I would so love to have a real discussion about this (or any topic, for that matter) in Sunday school but I never bring anything up because it would be so out of line with the mood and intent of the class. I have been in other classes with other teachers, rarely, where actual discussion seemed welcome and appropriate to some degree but my current GD class is such a cheer-leading event that any sign of alternative thinking is quickly stomped out. Mrs. Hagoth has even talked about going to the Gospel Essentials class, hoping it won't be as stifling.

Anyway, I will probably go today and it will probably be a white-knuckle ride for me.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:39 am

Hagoth wrote:I would so love to have a real discussion about this (or any topic, for that matter) in Sunday school but I never bring anything up because it would be so out of line with the mood and intent of the class. I have been in other classes with other teachers, rarely, where actual discussion seemed welcome and appropriate to some degree but my current GD class is such a cheer-leading event that any sign of alternative thinking is quickly stomped out. Mrs. Hagoth has even talked about going to the Gospel Essentials class, hoping it won't be as stifling.

Anyway, I will probably go today and it will probably be a white-knuckle ride for me.
I know what you mean. Our SS is about 12:20, which is the perfect time to go home for a nap, but maybe I'll check it out.
God is Love. God is Truth

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 2255
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:09 pm

We had a pretty interesting lesson. The teacher spent about 75% of the time giving an overview of Christian history up to the 19th century, including Martin Luther, the enlightenment, the great awakening, the second great awakening and what was going on in the burned-over district when Joseph Smith arrived on the scene. His lesson had actual information in it and not a single quote from a GA. He even talked briefly about the multiple versions of the First Vision and suggested that everyone go home and read them. :shock: At that point one of the ward watchdogs piped up and started talking about how Satan wants to confuse us and screw everything up (this ALWAYS happens if anyone goes even slightly off script). Afterward Mrs. Hagoth informed me that the teacher's wife is in faith crisis and has stopped coming to RS and rarely comes to SS. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get to know her better.

Then the teacher did something kind of unexpected. He used HeartSell! He asked us to open our scriptures to the first vision account in the JST and read it silently to ourselves. While we were reading he played audio of the MoTab Choir singing Joseph's First Vision. The whole time all I could think about was the 1832 manuscript that was hidden in Joseph Fielding Smith's safe all those years.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by nibbler » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:20 pm

Hagoth wrote:I would so love to have a real discussion about this (or any topic, for that matter) in Sunday school but I never bring anything up because it would be so out of line with the mood and intent of the class. I have been in other classes with other teachers, rarely, where actual discussion seemed welcome and appropriate to some degree but my current GD class is such a cheer-leading event that any sign of alternative thinking is quickly stomped out.
There's a lot of that going on in my ward for SS and PH but I feel there's another issue. It's extremely hard to generate any real discussion with the way the lessons in the manual are laid out. I don't know whether it's intentional or the people creating the correlated materials really are that uninspired. After reading the lesson structure in the manuals the goal of the lessons doesn't appear to be "generate discussion" the goal appears to be getting people to arrive at and believe in specific doctrines and conclusions.

Here's the stated purpose of the lesson:
To strengthen class members’ testimonies of the First Vision and of Joseph Smith’s calling as the prophet through whom God restored the fulness of the gospel to the earth.
Which I find to be useless. I'd love church to be relevant to my life, something that will help me become a better person in spite of the challenges life throws at me. At least that's how church could become more relevant to me. Having a stronger testimony in the first vision and Joseph Smith only helps me fit in at church, it has no application to my daily life. Besides, after you've heard the details of the first vision, Joseph Smith, etc. for the 1000th time how much stronger does your testimony need to become before you can move on to better things? So right off the bat the purpose of the lesson is best case like lifting a ten pound weight to try to bulk up, even after I've gotten comfortable with lifting 250 pounds or worse case it's completely irrelevant to my life. Uninspiring or irrelevant, take your pick.

The questions in the teachers manual are too many to list but they aren't the type that generates lots of discussion. Usually it's something to get people in the class to list off things we've all heard 100 times (What happened as Joseph Smith began to pray?). Many questions are extremely leading, steering people towards conclusions that support the church's truth claims. It's not really a discussion, it's getting members to repeat portions of the lesson in their own words as a form of conditioning. I'm not sure where my tinfoil hat was when making that last statement but this lesson was:

1) Accept the great apostasy as a given, set people up for accepting the need for a restoration.
2) Accept the restoration as a given.
3) Lots of what would Joseph do questions.
How can Joseph Smith’s behavior as a youth provide an example for young people today? How can Joseph’s example help you when you struggle to know the truth? when people turn against you or ridicule you? when you have to make difficult decisions in the face of ridicule?
And the icing on the cake at the end to set up the defense for the inevitable criticisms that members will face. The criticisms may be valid, they may generate discussion, but the line of questioning has members interpreting it as persecution, an attack, "ridicule." The jump off a cliff prophet told me you'd say that it was a dumb idea to jump off the cliff. Now I know what I must do.

I'm just ranting at this point (my class didn't go super well). Highlights:

1) Multiple first vision accounts were mentioned. I was shocked because I didn't think our teacher would bring it up. Genuinely shocked. The shock wave passed quickly though. There was no question or discussion during this portion of the lesson, just the teacher straight lecturing, almost like a telemarketer that won't let you get in a word so you can turn down the offer politely before they've given you their whole spiel.

They mentioned that there were 4 firsthand accounts. The only differences were in minor details, like you would expect there to be when you tell your stories over the years. Plus you'd expect there to be different details when your audience is different. "The critics" would have you think that there's something concerning to see but they are stupid.

That was it and it was over before it began. How do you say a thing when that's how multiple first vision accounts is brought up to the class? Seriously, I want to know.

2) Joseph Smith refused alcohol when he had his leg operation... just like someone else that refused alcohol in a moment of pain. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

3) God waited so long for the restoration because he was waiting for the American revolution and the war of 1812 to be over with. America is great. The only place in the world great enough for god to restore the gospel. I hate the America! F*** YEAH! stuff I hear at church all the time... and I'm American.

------------

I was hoping that the inclusion of some new essay material in the lessons would generate some actual discussion this year. So far it looks like the new essay material in the lessons is only going to be used as a weapon to point at the people that have issues and say "look how dumb they are."

Given my experience today I'll likely move to the position of hall occupier. SS is boring and pointless, at least for me. Now that some of the essay material has been included and I've seen how it will be used I'll even tack "insulting" on to the list of how I describe a typical SS lesson.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by nibbler » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:04 pm

I forgot one. The D&C was used to prove that the great apostasy had been fortold. Sigh.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

User avatar
2bizE
Posts: 974
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:33 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:00 pm

We had this lesson in GD today. Most of the talk was about all of the BoM references to the restoration as well as how God prepared this continent of America for the truth to be restored.
I brought up in the discussion about the 4 main FV versions. The instructor did well to briefly incorporate this. He spoke of how the Church History Library has a display with all the different versions of the FV. I didn't know that and should probably go check it out. But, nobody else in the class made a peep about the various FV versions.
~2bizE

User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:36 am

My wife said our instructor brought up the different accounts of the first vision and asked how many had read different accounts of the first vision. Nobody raised their hand. I came in a little late and missed that question. Then our teacher started talking about Robert Matthews/Mathias the bogus reincarnated apostle that Joseph Smith told one version of the first vision to. This moved on to the leading questions that the manual uses to build faith in the typical church history. I felt like our teacher has read enough to know what the real questions are, but never brought any of them up, except a brief mention of Hyrum Page's seer stone. It ended with the teacher explaining that we can't prove the first vision, we must take it on faith, and then saying "I know its true......" :roll:
God is Love. God is Truth

Korihor
Posts: 1236
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:37 am

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Korihor » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:57 pm

Ours was kinda lame, but they're all kinda lame IMHO

It was more about that the great apostasy and all the reformers (Martin Luther, Henry VIII, etc) that set the stage for JS to usher in the restored gospel. God set the perfect stage so we could have the truth today.

I just bit my tongue the entire time.
Reading can severely damage your ignorance.

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 2195
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Corsair » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:44 am

I was astonished at how lame our Sunday School was. The GD instructor concentrated on the reality of the Great Apostasy and completely side stepped any details or implications of any version of a First Vision. I barely got the chance to point out how the rest of the Christian world profoundly disagrees with Mormons on this critical, and more than a little insulting, point. Nobody else thought this was an important issue.

Part of the "proof" of the Great Apostasy came from 1 Nephi 13 where these "future" events lead to Joseph's Restoration. One rather insightful class member (not me) asked who was the first person to glean Christopher Columbus, the Reformation, and the American Revolutionary War from that chapter. Nobody knew, including me. It's a really good question although I expect that that answer is more prosaic than profound. My view is that Joseph's narrative simply built up the great American myths leading to Joseph Smith as prophet. I imagine early readers of the Book of Mormon marveling about how the Book of Mormon actually predicts itself without a trace of irony. The believers love this point and guys like me try not to arouse too much suspicion by pointing out several obvious ways that these "prophecies" were cribbed way after the fact.

Then the teacher played the latest "First Vision" video for the class as if no one had ever seen it before. It includes that normal Book of Mormon translation method of "plates openly on the table with Joseph reading them with no hat, seer stone, or any Urim nor Thummim in sight". I should have left to get coffee at Starbucks after that.

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 2255
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:39 am

nibbler wrote:
How can Joseph Smith’s behavior as a youth provide an example for young people today? How can Joseph’s example help you when you struggle to know the truth? when people turn against you or ridicule you? when you have to make difficult decisions in the face of ridicule?
Gotta love this. They set people up to feel persecuted for believing wacky stuff with zero comprehension of how they are being set up to persecute those sitting among them, and their friends and loved ones, who have come to the realization that they can no longer believe in the same wacky stuff.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 921
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: Lesson #3 "I had seen a vision"

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:47 am

What about JS behavior as an adult, let alone a youth? Wacky indeed!

Bishop: Tell me more about your masturbation problem?
Youth: An angel with a flaming sword told me I should or I would die. He said I had to hold onto the rod of Aaron, that I had a gift. Also, I found this cool rock in the backyard next to a quarter, so I have that going for me.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest