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QUESTION: The foundation of mormonism is basically the "visit" of the alleged
visit of two personages that appeared to J Smith in 1820.
How would you convince me this is or was a historical event.?

ANSWER: Hi Daniel,
 I will be happy to answer your question. Please note that I am not LDS and
belong to a different church that believes in the Book of Mormon, the Church of
Christ.

 The evidence to your question lies in the Book of Mormon itself. If it teaches
the same gospel as does the Bible and the Spirit of God bears witness of the
truth then you know Smith's account must have really happened. I know some
"antis" will quibble over differing versions of Smith's account yet they have no
problems with the differences between Mark, Luke and John in their accounts.

 Even though I believe Smith's account (so far as it was accurately recorded,
their have been historical changes) I also believe Smith made many grievous
error which brought himself and his followers into condemnation. Many believe
(including the LDS) that God won't allow a true prophet to err, yet even Moses
was denied entrance into the promised land over his error. Anyway there is a LOT
to Mormon history. I will be happy to go into it further if you like.

Mike

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No, no,  you missed the whole question point....let me clarify
I am talking about the First Vision of the Father Son appearing to J
Smith...read again what the late Hinckley said...

".... Every claim that we make concerning divine authority, every truth that we
offer concerning the validity of this work, all finds its roots in the First
Vision of the boy prophet. Without it we would not have anything much to
say...This becomes the hinge pin on which the whole cause turns. If the First
Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then
we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the
other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision
did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is that simple.
(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.227)
Hinckley, said that if the vision did not occur?  ...LDS is involved in a great
sham..
Hinckley said if the vision was true...then mormonism is true...
So you need to establish J Smith TOLD...
I  will repeat the   question again
Can you find me a close associate/family/newspaper/dairy/book/friend/foe/historian/newspaper/document,
a third party person of J Smith , that would corroborate this TALL TALE?  Surely
if he TOLD,  there would be TONS of evidence that J Smith TOLD...it was a
revival,...folks would flock to the site to see this site of this glorious event  
in the "sacred" grove...maybe even erect a monument there...
As you can see from J Smith account he TOLD this TALL TALE to everybody in
town...(about 600+ at time of vision in 1820) was bitterly persecuted...not a
single time you will find the statement that he saw the "Father and Son"
Joe said he told this TALL TALE for three years...well I will extend the frame
time?..... my question to you, can you  provide me with any corroboration
statement from a   close associate/family/newspaper/dairy/book/friend/foe/historian/newspaper/document/third
party, of J Smith ...... any thing to confirmed J Smith TOLD FROM 1820 TO 1838
time frame
If you cannot find any evidence of this TALL TALE J Smith made it all
up....mormon people have been had big time...
And I agree with Hinckley  You are involved in a great SHAM...
Dan
Hint: You could look at J Smith mother biography of J Smith surely she must of
have mentioned something...or the history written by Oliver in 1834...or his
brother William, He was an "apostle"  he gave four interviews in his life time
up until 1876? he died in 1893?
If J Smith TOLD,  it is inconceivable that you cannot find any corroboration in
these 18 years.!

<<I'm sorry, I can't help with that.>>

(you can't or you will not, because you have no answer???)

Expert: Michael Kelley

If you'd like to ask another question in the category, please come to
http://www.allexperts.com/el/Latter-day-Saints/

Answer
Hi Daniel,
 I chose not to answer because I detected a spirit of contention in your last message and saw no purpose in continuing on. There is no possibility of providing an answer to someone whose mind is already set against a certain belief.

 I agree that if the first vision did not really occur that the whole concept of Mormonism is a sham. There is a recorded reference in 1832 that can be seen at: http://en.fairmormon.org/Primary_sources/First_Vision_accounts/1832
Smith may well have told others of his first vision and either he or others simply did not record it, or if they did such recordings were lost... it does not mean the event did not happen. Much of the Bible was not recorded until DECADES after the events occured.

 There have been many changes in Mormon history throughout the years which has greatly muddied up the waters. Some of these changes were done by Smith himself, others by other church leaders as the church's doctrines changed. Other changes were done by antis and enemies of the Restoration. Some even more recently by forgers such as Mark Hoffman who killed several people with pipe bombs whose forgeries are still promoted by antis to this day... even knowing they are frauds such as the "Salamander Letters".

 I am aware that many antis pick up on the different "versions" of the grove visitation. This may have been caused by the changing doctrines that had occured in the early church, or more likely simply on how we as human use different words to recall the same account. I know I have had special spiritual events occur in my life, and used different words, or highlighted different aspects more than others, as I shared these events with others throughout the years. It does not mean I am lying or made up the events... only that someone who wants to pick apart the differences in my accounts would be lacking in charity. Athiests do the same with the Bible... they observe differences between the four gospels of the same event and cry AHA! A fraud! The same occurs with crime scenes where police interview different eye witnesses and see differences in each account... the crime happened, the people saw the event with their own eyes... so why the differences? Because they were human.

 I'm really not all that concerned with the opinions of the LDS "authorities". They are not the leaders of my church, the Church of Christ... and I don't even fully trust the leaders of the Church of Christ either. The forger Mark Hoffman fooled the 1st President and other LDS "authorities" with his frauds so they lack in discernment and have from time to time said foolish things that the antis pick up on.

 The point that I was trying to make, that you totally missed, was that if the Book of Mormon can be proven true by other means, then surely the grove visitation must have occured (regardless of its scanty history). The Book of Mormon has a promise at its end that if you ask God with a sincere heart if it is true He will reveal the truth to you. I have found this to be a true promise. I have also found many Biblical prophecies fullfilled with the Book of Mormon, as well as many archaeological, literary (internal Hebraisms) and numerous other evidences that authenticate the Book of Mormon. Mostly it is the Book of Mormon itself that proves its divinity... for those who take the time to actually read it instead of trusting in the lies and distortions of the antis. The truth within its pages is proof enough for the humble seeker of truth.

 By the way, if you think believing in the Book of Mormon means supporting LDSism that couldn't be further from the truth. The Book of Mormon not once mentions many LDS doctrines and often strongly condemns them such as polygamy, baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, a changing God, secret works, etc. etc.

Mike

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Michael Kelley

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For a different viewpoint on Mormonism for your questions, try me. I am a staunch believer in the Book of Mormon and belong to another church (the Church of Christ)that is set up identically to the Biblical church. If there are things about traditional Mormonism that trouble you or you have questions about, just ask and you might find the answers from the Book of Mormon to be quite surprising. I have been studying the scriptures diligently for 16 years under the school of hard knocks... I may not have all of the answers but will sure go find them if I don`t. I`m strongest on Biblical and Book of Mormon doctrines, and am also somewhat familiar with Mormon history and archaeology.

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