RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

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consiglieri
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RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by consiglieri » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:55 pm

A new Radio Free Mormon podcast went up yesterday dealing with this issue.

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/201 ... uppressed/

I had to do a lot of digging in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, among other sources, but eventually think I may have managed to contribute something to the discussion.

Enjoy!

--Consiglieri

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græy
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Re: RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by græy » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:14 pm

Downloaded and looking forward to listening to it!

Thank you, consiglieri, for all the time and effort you invest into your podcast.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Corsair
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Re: RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by Corsair » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:00 pm

consiglieri wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:55 pm
I had to do a lot of digging in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, among other sources, but eventually think I may have managed to contribute something to the discussion.
The rabbit hole of LDS history continues to be bottomless. It's crazy to think that this is remarkably good evidence that a lot has been casually suppressed over the years simply by some insider deciding that this information is not useful.

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jfro18
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Re: RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by jfro18 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:14 pm

I listened to this today while working - it's really interesting not just because it shows the 1835 FV account was likely suppressed along with the 1832 version, but the implications in your citation about how letterbooks get flipped over and used on both sides... which ties into those lost 16 pages.

Well done... if only believers would actually take notice of these things.

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moksha
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Re: RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by moksha » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:10 pm

Grant Palmer thought that sometime around 1835, when members were disgruntled and leaving, Joseph realized he needed to punch up his story in order to solidify his position as the leader and to give himself a greater divine mandate. By 1838, the story seemed sufficient so previous tellings that contradicted the new story were undesirable.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Mormorrisey
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Re: RFM--Was the 1835 First Vision Account Suppressed?

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:15 pm

consiglieri wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:55 pm
A new Radio Free Mormon podcast went up yesterday dealing with this issue.

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/201 ... uppressed/

I had to do a lot of digging in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, among other sources, but eventually think I may have managed to contribute something to the discussion.

Enjoy!

--Consiglieri
Great work as usual, Consiglieri. I'm certainly buying what you're selling, and I was absolutely intrigued that the 1835 account was buried amongst the various journals and histories, especially when I heard the words "Joshua the Jewish Minister." If I may, can I give you a possibility as to why the 1835 account was buried, having read extensively regarding the history of Joshua/Matthias/Robert Matthews?

As you noted, Joshua the Jewish Minister also went by the name Robert Matthias, who was born Robert Matthews. There is a great history tome written by two top-drawer historians, Sean Wilentz and Paul Johnson, called The Kingdom of Matthias which was written in the 1990s. A great book, and it gives a lot a very pertinent information about Matthias. Let me just give a taste of some of the salacious details, and some of the comparisons between Joseph and Matthews, but the book is fantastic. One can also get a shorter version of the events here:

https://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2013/04/ ... -tishbite/

Basically, the short story is Matthias believed he was the reincarnated apostle Mathias, and joined with Elijah Pierson who went by the moniker Elijah the Tishbite, to form the Kingdom in Upper New York. Similarities to Mormonism include spiritual wifery, a mixture of Old and New testament teachings and the establishment of Zion - they bought some land near Sing Sing and called it Mount Zion. It all came crashing down when Matthias chose new brides for himself and his followers, and (as the story goes) poisoned his good buddy Elijah. While he got off during the poisoning trial, he was subsequently convicted of the assault of his daughter. But clearly these were two charismatic preachers that met in Kirtland, and the fact that Matthews stayed a couple of days and preached in Kirtland suggest that Joseph and Matthews had much in common.

What is interesting to note, is that Matthews' trial and played out throughout the penny press in New York, so the story was absolutely well known, and I'm convinced that Joseph knew. Especially when at the end of his journal about Matthais, Joseph noted that "it was the first time I kicked out the devil in human form, and I believe, a murderer." I'm absolutely certain that during his stay in Kirtland someone recognized him, found out the story, and this was another way that Joseph could "prove" his prophetic powers, by calling him a murderer, which many believed Matthews was.

But to have another first vision story appear next to such a salacious character? I'm sure the church wanted to bury that one for that reason and that reason alone. Just look at the whitewashed nonsense that appears in the Joseph Smith Papers' "biography" of Robert Matthews: "17881–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism.Moved to Albany, ca. 1825.Claimed to be God the Father reincarnated in body of Matthias, the ancient apostle. Prophesied destruction of Albany, 1830.1 Left Albany and his family to embark on apostolic preaching tour through eastern and southern U.S. Upon returning to New York, recruited local religious figures Elijah Pierson and Benjamin Folger.Committed to hospital for the insane at Bellevue, New York City, for a time. Little is known of Matthews after his 1835 visit with JS at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Reported to have died in Iowa Territory."

None of the details I've mentioned above, no similarities to the real prophet Joseph, and the truth is in the footnotes, where this "biography" quotes extensively from Wilentz and Johnson. But no real details about Matthews appear in this pathetic attempt at a biography. I'm absolutely convinced after listening to your podcast, RFM, that this is why the 1835 account was buried, so as not to have the rather obvious comparisons of Joseph and Robert Matthews come to light. Just a thought for you!
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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