From reading the Tanners exhaustive research into early mormonism I think the issue is that canonized Mormon doctrine really didn't get written by Joe, it got written in England by the Elders. The missionaries needed a good concise story to give when they went door to door. Joe wasn't around and didn't leave the history for them to use, The story of course got bigger after each telling and some elaborations must have been made, so Orson Pratt and others in the Liverpool printing office, mission home organised the sales pitch and put it all together. Errors in the BOM were corrected and correlated, the old spook, Nephi became Angel Moroni, the Pearl of Great Price got put down on paper, polygamy was hushed up. Magic peepstones and sorcery got put away. No more killing goats and sprinkling blood around, no more midnight romps in the woods chanting for the spirits of the dead.
I remember it well! We were too broke for a honeymoon- never have had one- so we stayed at a friendly hotel in a nearby city. I knew I had married the right guy when he insisted that we had to take along my wee dog Ben, just because "He'll be so lonely without us." When we got to the hotel we had a gift basket of champagne and munchies. We proceded to get thoroughly spifflicated and wound up yelling out the window while Ben curled up on the couch with a look on his face like, "There they go again!"
We got our deposit back because Ben was a perfect, well-behaved little gentleman. They said he was welcome anytime. They did not criticize us but they did not say that about us, though.
As for JS, sometimes it's hard to remember a big old pile of lies and keep em all straight.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2016 01:52PM by Doxi.
I think apologists should cling to JS History 1:20 -
"20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven..."
This makes it sound like it was a vision/dream, NOT a visitation. He did NOT see God/Jesus/Angels, he dreamt about them. It's much easier to explain the inconsistencies and fuzzy details if it was just a dream, hallucination, etc... Maybe he did have some experience that he didn't recognize the significance of until years later. I don't actually believe that, but I see it as the only way to explain the BS surrounding the first vision story. Dump the hymns, the notion that the vision clarified the nature of God, etc... He had a dream. That's it.