The First Vision

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Shulem
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Re: Vision of the Three Degrees

Post by Shulem »

bill4long wrote:
Fri Sep 16, 2022 8:58 am
Shulem wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:25 pm
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon
Sydney Rigdon was the cause of almost all the errors which were introduced while he was in the church ... Rigdon would expound the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible and Book of Mormon (in his way) to Joseph, concerning the priesthood, high priests, etc., and would persuade Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord about this doctrine and that doctrine, and of course a revelation would always come just as they desired it. --David Whitner, And Address to All Believers in Christ

bill4long,

As you probably know, Rigdon was a source of a lot of grief for Joseph Smith only months prior to having the grand and glorious vision of the three degrees. Smith admonished Rigdon for exalting himself and by revelation stated how the Lord was displeased with him and the Spirit was grieved. Do you know of any of Rigdon’s writings or teachings wherein he testified that the Father was a separate Personage having a body prior to Smith’s formal introduction of the plurality of the gods beginning in 1835? You’d think that if Rigdon had really seen the Father & Son together according to Smith’s later claims of seeing them in the grove then that knowledge would have been properly expressed somewhere in the historical annals of church history during that time.
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Shulem
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Lectures on Faith

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I suppose the best source in which to tap into Sidney Rigdon’s mind regarding his personal beliefs of the Personages of God (prior to 1835) is to turn to the “Lectures on Faith.” Rigdon is attributed as the main author and largely responsible for the theological content which was approved by the First Presidency and published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.

Here are some bulleted points from the infamous 5th Lecture expressed in the order they were given:
  • We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • There are two personages who constitute the great matchless, governing and supreme power over all things
  • They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit
  • The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle
  • possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit
  • Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?
    A. Two: the Father and the Son.
  • Q. What is the Father?
    A. He is a personage of glory and power.
  • Q. What is the Son?
    A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. Secondly, and being a personage of tabernacle, was made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man. Thirdly, he is also in the likeness of the personage of the Father.

Notice how the theology in the discourse is in keeping with traditional Christian views that the Father & Son are one in the same but are two manifested Personages in expressing the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is NOT a Personage but is considered the mind of the Father & Son who are one God.

It’s important to note that the Father does NOT have or manifest himself with a body of flesh but is a “personage of spirit.” The Son who is in the image of the Father manifests the Godhead having a body.

All of this is pretty much standard Christian theology of the day. There is nothing about the Father being a separate Person having a body of flesh and bones. That particular Christian heresy came much later. Rigdon did not embrace that when he delivered the lecture in 1835. And bear in mind that Rigdon claimed to see the Father & Son in the grand and glorious vision of the three degrees. The same goes for Joseph Smith who never expressed the idea that the Father was a separate Person having a body of flesh until after he developed his theology of the plurality of gods.
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Re: The First Vision

Post by Moksha »

Shulem, do you see the plurality of Gods as being an adjunct to the deification of Joseph and polygamy theology?
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Shulem
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Re: The First Vision

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Moksha wrote:
Sat Sep 17, 2022 7:24 am
Shulem, do you see the plurality of Gods as being an adjunct to the deification of Joseph and polygamy theology?

Polygamy was a doctrine that Smith entertained early on in his ministry when translating the bible. I’m of the understanding that Smith viewed polygamy as a practice that would continue through him as part of the restoration of all things. His interest and involvement with polygamy precedes his shift into viewing God as a plurality in which glorified physical bodies are used to procreate. Polygamy and plurality of gods grew together and became entirely dependent on each other for the works, designs, and purposes of Mormon Man-God.

Smith’s First Vision account written by his own hand in 1832 makes no mention of the Father because he believed the Savior was a manifestation of the one God. He believed the Father & Son were literally one God and the Spirit was his mind and power. The 1832 account makes no mention of the Father verbally introducing the Son like in the New Testament or the appearing of Christ in the Book of Mormon when the voice of the Father is repeated three times (3 Nephi 11:3-7). Why is that? Why would Joseph ignore the Father while writing his choice experience of the most important event of his life? No mention of the Father! The answer is rather simple and I expressed earlier in this thread how the Father sent the Son to visit Joseph in the grove. And since the Father sent the Son it must be that an appearance or voice of the Father stayed behind and was elsewhere, kept back from Joseph’s senses. The absence of the Father in the 1832 account is all the proof we need in knowing that he was not part of that appearance as expressed in later accounts. Smith changed the story. He embellished his spiritual experience and lied.
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