Dreams equal visions?

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deacon blues
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Dreams equal visions?

Post by deacon blues » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:51 am

One of the themes of 1st Nephi is that God speaks through dreams. Chapters 1, 8, and perhaps others emphasize this. What does this mean in the context of Joseph Smith's boyhood and young adult experience? Annotated BOM reminds us that Joseph Smith Sr. had some remarkable dreams, with striking similarities to Lehi's dream. In his @1832 account Joseph Jr. even tells us: "I made three attempts to get them (the Plates) and then being exceedingly frightened I supposed it had been a dream of vision but when I considered it I knew it was not."
I think the fine line between dreams and visions is a concern, but i'm not sure how to address it.
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Corsair
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Corsair » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:40 am

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:51 am
I think the fine line between dreams and visions is a concern, but i'm not sure how to address it.
This is a weird problem that the church truly has because revelation, manifestations, dreams, visions, and inspiration have no defined distinction between each mode of divine communication. The institutional LDS church passively prefers to not use precision when moving between each of these words.

One of the best examples is the story of multiple appearances of Moroni to Joseph Smith about finding the Book of Mormon plates. We have the common Sunday School image of an angel waking up Joseph Smith in his boyhood home. The problem is that Joseph shared this bed with several brothers who all seemed unaware of the angelic visitor. Was divine magic used to keep the other boys asleep? Was this a repeated vision or dream that Joseph thought was a waking appearance? Was this simply a memory implanted in his head just as Joseph woke up? Does this imply that the subsequent daytime appearance of Moroni was a full divine manifestation? Joseph's story holds the most power and influence when these questions remain unanswered.

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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:35 am

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:51 am
I think the fine line between dreams and visions is a concern, but i'm not sure how to address it.
Good question. Anyone who dreams during sleep could probably admit that dreams are basically hallucinations. So why do hallucinations (dreams) about "religious" subjects become "visions" or "revelations," and bat-sh!t crazy hallucinations (dreams) about the hot neighbor are just... Hallucinations? (Dreams.)

I guess my dividing line is: Dreams are the hallucinations of an idle/sleeping mind. They have nothing to do with revelations or visions from any sort of deity/ghost/whatever you want to call it. It becomes even more problematic for me when the late-night hallucinations of a 94-year-old become commandments for adherents of his "religion."
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fetchface
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by fetchface » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:42 am

The church's position on this today is pretty simple and straightforward:

If it increases faith in and obedience to the leaders, your dream is a revelation from God. If not, it is just a dream.
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Hagoth
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:33 pm

fetchface wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:42 am
The church's position on this today is pretty simple and straightforward:

If it increases faith in and obedience to the leaders, your dream is a revelation from God. If not, it is just a dream.
This also applies to policies.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Linked
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Linked » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:35 pm

I'm not sure about dreams vs. visions, but I think a similar question about whether visions = visitations is also important. In my years being raised very active in the church the First Vision and Moroni's Vision were taught as visitations.

In my opinion now, vision means a day dream where dream means an asleep dream. And visitation means someone actually came. After learning about the experience of the three witnesses and second sight it made it easy to suspect that all of the early church heavenly visitors happened in people's imaginations.
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1smartdodog
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by 1smartdodog » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:32 am

Dreams would be a stupid way for God to communicate. Why not just talk to you when you are awake in an unmistakable voice. Let you ask a few questions and give you some clear instructions. Why all the mystic interpretation is required makes no sense.

Dreams are just that. Your mind wandering when you are not fully conscious. To place any divine meaning to them is wrong I think.

I have concluded to not put to much stock in dreams or fleeting thoughts in my head. If God needs to talk to me he knows where i am at. I am totally willing to listen if he shows up or even sends a messenger. But don’t try some crazy dream on me when I am half awake.


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Hagoth
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:26 pm

No difference, according to the BoM:
Nephi 8:2 And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen avision.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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no1saint
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by no1saint » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:09 pm

Church mythological history aside, I don’t see any issues with dreams as vehicles for divine interaction.

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by MalcolmVillager » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:37 pm

My parents are huge into dreams, dream interpretations, and even visions. I can never challenge their foundational visions and revelations about various topics. Interestingly, none of them really testify of the COJCOLDS or specific religion even. Just of love, protection, and eternal families.

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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by wtfluff » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:13 pm

no1saint wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:09 pm
Church mythological history aside, I don’t see any issues with dreams as vehicles for divine interaction.
Have you personally had any such "divine interactions?"
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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deacon blues
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by deacon blues » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:51 pm

My point is how does one, whether an apostle, bishop, or even a lowly Aaronic priesthood man or even a woman, honestly say a dream is from God, or it means something in particular. I would say it is likely that Joseph Smith had erotic dreams, because I have had them from puberty on. I presume from recalling the "Little Factory" talk, that even Boyd K. Packer had them. If Joseph had an erotic dream about Fanny Alger or Helen Kimball, did it inspire him to believe God wanted him to marry Fanny or Helen? Joseph says in the D&C that he could tell when a messenger is from God, but other events in his life, (Canadian copyright for BOM, 116 pages, and more) indicate that the LDS God does not always mean what he says. Dreams are even more ambiguous.
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Reuben
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Reuben » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:45 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:51 pm
My point is how does one, whether an apostle, bishop, or even a lowly Aaronic priesthood man or even a woman, honestly say a dream is from God, or it means something in particular. I would say it is likely that Joseph Smith had erotic dreams, because I have had them from puberty on. I presume from recalling the "Little Factory" talk, that even Boyd K. Packer had them. If Joseph had an erotic dream about Fanny Alger or Helen Kimball, did it inspire him to believe God wanted him to marry Fanny or Helen? Joseph says in the D&C that he could tell when a messenger is from God, but other events in his life, (Canadian copyright for BOM, 116 pages, and more) indicate that the LDS God does not always mean what he says. Dreams are even more ambiguous.
If dreams are the result of interpreting random signals in the brain, then there's not much difference between dreams and seeing patterns in the Poisson noise and afterimages on a rock in the dark.

Shut your eyes and put your hand over your eyelids. Try to block out all the light without pressing on your eyes. See the shimmer? Those are individual photons. Or they're English words translated from Egyptian hieroglyphs that tell the Native American origin story.

And now you've got me wondering how often Joseph's iStone showed little dancing naked people.
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Hagoth
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Re: Dreams equal visions?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:58 pm

no1saint wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:09 pm
Church mythological history aside, I don’t see any issues with dreams as vehicles for divine interaction.
I don't see any problem with that assumption.

The dilemma comes when you try to specify which of your dreams are divine and which are just dreams. Since there is no way to differentiate you either have to take a leap of logic and assume that all dreams are divinely inspired or that none of them are. Or you can just take a very subjective approach and incorporate the useful insights you derive from your dreams and apply a belief-type confidence that their sum total is slightly inspired-ish. But you might want to ask whether some of your dreams might be demonically inspired, which just opens an additional can of worms.

Maybe the best approach is to derive personal inspiration from dreams that feel inspiring to you, as you would with books or movies.

I have known people to make demands of others based on their own dreams. I find that to be bad form.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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