Personal Online Journal

Monday, August 10, 2015

For the First Time in Their Lifelong Membership

...questions that confronted me in the Liverpool Library, which were the same as those raised in Joseph Smith’s day: the veracity of the Book of Mormon, the witnesses, the translation process, the nature of revelation, the personal history of Joseph Smith. Perhaps it shouldn’t have, but it mildly surprised me, in the wake of publication on of a series of in-depth essays on various topics, that so many faithful members expressed surprise at discovering some things like multiple accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision for the first time in their lifelong membership. Since I was reading that readily available stuff in 1967 before I was even a member of the Church, I had erroneously imagined that most members read the same things. For example, the Improvement Era — the forerunner to the Ensign — carried a detailed article on eight contemporary accounts of the First Vision in its April 1970 edition. (Michael Otterson addresses FairMormon Conference, Aug 7, 2015, Starting at 6:09 in Youtube video.)

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