The 1st First Vision account and Enos

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deacon blues
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The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:01 pm

I think it is likely that Joseph Smith had some kind of spiritual experience around 1820-21. I think the 1832(?) account coupled with D&C 20:5 is evidence that something happened. I also think the account of Enos's prayer in the BOM could be autobiographical- that it is a description of what Joseph Smith experienced in this first spiritual experience. Any thoughts?
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2bizE
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Re: The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by 2bizE » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:39 pm

I wonder if he had this experience in 1824-25. I read some pretty descriptive articles showing there were not religious camps in the palmyra area until 1824. I think he wanted to backdate his story to before he had the magic rock. Runs very well could be his experience. Something I hadn’t thought about. I do believe he was a savant or sorts. He was a master storyteller and dictated experiences from his father, himself, and books he read into the Book of Mormon.
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el-asherah
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Re: The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by el-asherah » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:59 am

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:01 pm
I think it is likely that Joseph Smith had some kind of spiritual experience around 1820-21. I think the 1832(?) account coupled with D&C 20:5 is evidence that something happened. I also think the account of Enos's prayer in the BOM could be autobiographical- that it is a description of what Joseph Smith experienced in this first spiritual experience. Any thoughts?
I too have often felt there may have been a kernel of a spiritual experience buried somewhere in the first vision narrative. The account of Enos going into the wilderness and praying until he felt he had a received a remission of his sins is also in my opinion most likely autobiographical. However, praying in the wilderness for a remission of sins is not unique - many teens who are struggling to determine truth and their place in the world will pray in the woods and perhaps feel they are one with God (myself included). D&C 20:5 also alludes to Joseph feeling he had a remission of sins. I view this as a common shared rite of passage many people go through as they advance into adult hood.

I don't see anything that sets this "spiritual event" in the years 1820-1821, other than the later redacted story. Oliver Cowdery's 1835 History ties Joseph's "remission of sins spiritual event" to 1824 when the angel visited Joseph and told him his sins were forgiven, i.e. the Gold Plate vision. Before the 1824 angel visit, Joseph did not know if God existed according to Oliver. A date of 1820-1821 is also at odds with the historical record regarding revivals in the area, who Joseph told the story to, Joseph experiencing persecution due to telling about the event, and the story as recounted by Lucy and William Smith. It appears to me that Joseph's "spiritual event" of 1824 was later backdated to 1820-1821 to decouple the event from the BoM narrative and strengthen Joseph's authority. In my opinion, Joseph's 1832-1838 letter book version of the first vision was his first attempt to retell the "spiritual event" story on paper without the mystical baggage of the gold plates and seer stones that he had developed in version 1.0 of the story, so it was time for version 2.0. Thoughts?
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RubinHighlander
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Re: The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:45 am

I think he found some mushrooms out in the forests around his home. Wines and other psychoactive ingredients were commonly used in those days to invoke spiritual visions.

http://www.mormonthink.com/files/restor ... shroom.pdf
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Red Ryder
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Re: The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:06 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:45 am
I think he found some mushrooms out in the forests around his home. Wines and other psychoactive ingredients were commonly used in those days to invoke spiritual visions.

http://www.mormonthink.com/files/restor ... shroom.pdf
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Hagoth
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Re: The 1st First Vision account and Enos

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:03 pm

When Joseph was working as an exhorter his job was to whip people into a state of mind in which they would be overwhelmed by "the spirit." I suspect he had experienced that kind of rapture himself, very possibly in a grove of trees while begging God for forgiveness of his sins. In the following years he re-remembered/re-imagined and embellished that experience into the pattern of the kinds of visitations that other preachers in the Burned Over District were using as evidence of their legitimization by God. People have been claiming those kinds of experiences to elevate their authority as long as there has been religion. Who would have taken Paul seriously without his experience on the road to Damascus?

We can only guess about whether mind-altering plants were involved in his earliest experiences but I think there's some pretty good evidence that he was doing interesting chemistry with the special sacramental wine that he employed in the Kirtland era.
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