Archives for the month of: February, 2017

I find Hugh Nibley’s description of Abraham deeply moving.

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The Saintly Throng in the Shape of a Rose, by Gustav Dore

As I pointed out in my last post, the scriptures and their authors consistently maintain the need for firsthand experience in gaining knowledge, while we don’t always correctly teach that principle.

When the Lord softened Nephi’s heart and spoke with him in 1 Nephi 2, Nephi knew he had spoken with the Lord. But he could only say he “believed” Lehi’s words, because he hadn’t yet had Lehi’s experience.

Later, when Nephi wanted to know what Lehi knew, he prayed to see the things Lehi had seen for himself: Read the rest of this entry »

Those who study the early history of Mormonism sometimes note many startling differences. Among them is a notable absence of references to Joseph Smith’s now-familiar First Vision. One former Bishop noted:

it would appear that the First Vision account as we have come to know it, was virtually unheard of for the first decade of the Church’s existence. What we now regard as pivotal to our claim to divine mandate was absent for the first members. Leaving many questions over what those founding Mormons actually believed about the nature of the Godhead, and what caused them to join the church?

What is now seen as the inaugurating event of the restoration and an essential narrative tool for conversion was, during Joseph Smith’s lifetime, not widely known. It wasn’t a feature of people’s conversions or testimonies, nor was it mentioned in missionaries’ lessons. I think there are a couple of factors that help explain this. Read the rest of this entry »