General Conference 2020 – President Nelson Has Invited Us to Prepare:
For those still basking in the glow of the General Conference 2020, let's reflect on how President Nelson asked followers of the Church of Latter day saints to prepare for this year's conference.
Study Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price.
But which account? Did you know there are 9 different accounts of the 1st Vision? Written at different times for different audiences.
- Joseph Smith published two accounts of the First Vision during his lifetime.
- Two other accounts recorded by Joseph were published by the Church in the 1960s.
- Five secondhand accounts were written by Joseph’s contemporaries.
The LDS Church will tell you the various accounts of the First Vision tell a consistent story, though naturally they differ in emphasis and detail. And that these inconsistencies need not alarm you, just trust the leadership. When the leadership has spoken the thinking is done.
If you really want to read up on the issues between the 9 visions, Mormonthink.com gives an extremely in depth review of the separate visions.
it's worth the read if you really want to get into it.
But why is this so important? at the LDS Conference in October, 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated:
"Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud"
His is comparing the foundation of first vision to the death and resurrection of Christ, as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
The problem really is, there are huge gaps and inconsistencies in the accounts.
Many people record important events in their lives when they happen in letters, diaries, and conversation. This way they can remember where they were when their first child was born; or when they received their patriarchal blessing; or their wedding night. Skepticism from investigators is triggered because Joseph Smith shared the 1820 vision story with no one, and did not consistently recall critical facts correctly. The story also grew and evolved into a grander and more impressive vision than the one he originally reported
Ponder questions like "How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?" or "How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?" Select your own questions. Design your own plan.
I suppose you'd have to just go back to reading the Bible.
Truthfully, the addition of the Book of Mormon has introduced an idea that the truth has been corrupted and that Joseph's vision and leadership is what God really intended. This idea that the world and his Word has gone astray, that God was powerless to keep his word (the Bible) in tact and needed extra ordinary events to get everyone back on track.
That is inconsistent with the nature of an all powerful, all knowing God.
The Bible actually very specifically warns against what Joseph Smith teaches.
Take steps to hear the Savior better and more often. For ideas, visit HearHim.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Nelson invites you to think deeply, listening for Jesus to "speak", that the answer will come from within you. That you need to search your feelings and share them.
Did you know this is opposition to what the Bible teaches. Anything that comes within you is beyond cure.
Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure"
When God speaks, it has to come externally, through something that cannot change, cannot lie, cannot be manipulated. God speaks solely though the written word, the Bible. God's word is like a sword, cutting deep to your soul. You don't need anything else. When the rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus back to tell his brothers they were on the road to torment, Abraham's reply was "they have the law and the prophets", not "they will search their feelings"
There is also someone else who is desperate to "speak" to you, and he desperately wants to to keep the Bible closed. This person is persuasive, intellectual, cunning and a liar.
Funny (not funny) how the LDS Church puts NO EMPHASIS on reading the Bible.