Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Crosswalk

La la la la la la sing a happy song...

We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.

Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine, after the rain....
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;
But God's always ready, to answer your call....
He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
a word from His lips, can calm every fear...
Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, by dawn's early light...
The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,
to give you His grace, and send you His love.

Bear up your crosses, Christ's atonement will save us in the end!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Validity of their reasoning

I have always been boggled by the fact that the authority or claim of so many religions or denominations comes down to thinking they are smarter in interpretation than everyone else. It seems in many cases their sole authority is the validity of their reasoning. It seems that as long as authority is derived only from the inner contents of the Bible, this will be the case, because there is disagreement about what the chapters and verses are teaching. Each group claims that they have the correct interpretation, but without an appeal to direct revelation from God, the only explanation for one group being right and the others wrong is that the one group is smarter in interpretation, and then in turn associate that with being inspired. Talk about a sandy foundation.

We know the scriptures act like a kind of constitution. It can be updated and amended, but it takes a very positive and affirmative act widely recognized by Church authorities and common consent by members. The scriptures, like a Constitution, lay down broad and general statements of very foundational principals that control and govern all other possibilities of belief. So the scriptures must be accepted because they are the foundational revelation; however, they do not contain there own self-contained self-interpretation. There are numerous possibilities and the interpretive rules are not themselves authoritative. That is why the prophetic voice is crucial in the Church and to the world.

It seems to me that what makes a denomination or belief distinctive is the interpretive stance it adopts. Evangelicals adopt a kind of inerrant stance where they suppose that the Bible is living and holds a self-contained authority that provides interpretive rules for interpretation of the text. So how do we decide what the interpretive rules are? I believe that it is evident that the evangelical stance is logically flawed, and I believe that it fundamentally and seriously misunderstands the scriptural texts by treating them as a consistent set of belief statements that can be worked into a systematic doctrinal statement that must be believed for salvation. Only the intelligent and correct interpreters can be saved on such a view. Given all of the different views that intelligent interpreters have and can adopt based only on the scriptural texts, if one must get the doctrine right to be saved, then I don’t believe that it is possible for anyone to be saved at all. With this position, how can you know for sure you are getting it right? How can you base salvation on such a principle? This is why I believe today we see little claim or emphasis of “one” true religion or denomination or set of doctrines. It seems today to matter less about what you believe, just an emphasis that you believe. Unless of course you’re not considered to be Christian, because then your going to hell. Ha! I’m sorry, but they can’t all be right, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy likewise constitute distinctive interpretive traditions. The later writings of the Church Fathers for Eastern Orthodox and for Catholics constitute a crucial context for interpretive authority. The way they approach the texts is within the context of a later traditions that developed. (ie. Creeds and such things) The problem I see here is that there is no reason to give any authority to the later tradition or texts because they eschew revelation on par with scripture as a means of interpreting scripture. Thus, there interpretive context lacks authority — their sole authority is the validity of their reasoning. I find this kind of reasoning seriously flawed and can find no other reason to accept such authority of such a tradition or Creed.
I have done a serious study of the trinity doctrine and find it confusing and inconclusive and quite contradictory though they claim it is not. To me it seems they are saying without actually saying it, that it is as though there is one God (being) with multiple personalities; that somehow is one being but can be in all places at one time shown in different distinct persons. I won’t apologize, it makes no sense whatsoever, and I honestly think they know it makes no sense! When confronted on it they just seem to throw up their hands and say, “well this is one of the great and holy mysteries”. How can you worship a God without understanding his character? “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.” (Joseph Smith Jr., King Follett discourse)

It’s different with the Latter Day Saints, where scripture context and doctrines are given by revelation. With so much confusion all around us, we see the need for continuing revelation and prophetic interpretation. There is purpose for such prophetic influence beyond a systematic reasoning of theology because we don’t have all of the revelations and interpretations yet. The end has not yet come.

“AoF: 9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God”.

We are guided by a prophetic living voice rather than being left to our best reasoning to figure out the right interpretation. We could even be given commandments or truths that make no sense at present because they await further interpretation to put them into a context that makes sense. There is authority beyond the authority of simply reasoning from what has already been given. The gospel is not a closed shop. God cares about his children in all ages, their personal lives, circumstances and challenges. He will not leave us in darkness and confusion. He has given us his spirit and his has given us his prophets. So with this truth, I will follow and sustain what we learn from revelation. Things may turn out to be beyond our current perception and understanding and this can sometimes happen; however, I won’t agree with someone when the sole basis is reasoning. There must be revelation; God has never worked any other way!

Friday, October 3, 2008




Synopsis of an Address delivered by President JOSEPH SMITH,
in Commerce, Illinois, Tuesday, June 2, 1839.

The Priesthood was first given to Adam. He obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the creation, before the world was formed, as in Gen. i. 20, 26, 28. He had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures. Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood. He was called of God to this office, and was the Father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.

The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven, whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam's authority. Daniel vii. speaks of the Ancient of Days. He means the oldest man-our Father Adam (Michael). He will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. He (Adam) is the Father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men; and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ-that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.

The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, &c., had their existence in an elementary state from eternity. Our Saviour speaks of children and says, "Their angels always stand before my Father." The Father called all spirits before him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him.

The Priesthood is everlasting. The Saviour, Moses, and Elias gave the keys to Peter, James, and John, on the mount, when they were transfigured before him. The Priesthood is everlasting-without beginning of days or end of years-without father, mother, &c. If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of Priesthood. Wherever the ordinances of the Gospel are administered, there is Priesthood.

How have we come at the Priesthood in the last days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them, and they gave it to others. Christ is the Great High Priest; Adam next. Paul speaks of the Church coming to an innumerable company of angels; to God, the Judge of all-the spirits of just men made perfect; to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, &c. (Heb. xii. 23.)

I saw Adam in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. He called together his children and blessed them with a patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst, and he (Adam) blessed them all, and foretold what should befal them to the latest generation. (See Doc. and Cov., sec. iii., pars. 28, 29)

This is why Abraham blessed his posterity-he wanted to bring them into the presence of God. "They looked for a city," &c. Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God, through the power of the Priesthood, but he could not. In the first ages of the world they tried to establish the same thing; and there were Eliases raised up who tried to restore these very glories, but did not obtain them; but they prophesied of a day when this glory would be revealed. Paul spoke of the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God would gather together all things in one, &c.; and those men to whom these keys have been given will have to be there; and they without us cannot be made perfect.

These men are in heaven, but their children are on earth. Their bowels yearn over us. God sends down men for this reason. (Matt. xiii. 41.) "And the Son of Man shall send forth his angels, &c." All these authoritative characters will come down and join hand in hand in bringing about this work.

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed. The mustard seed is small, but brings forth a large tree, and the fowls lodge in the branches. The fowls are the angels. Thus angels come down, combine together to gather their children, and gather them we must. We cannot be made perfect without them, nor they without us. When these things are done, the Son of Man will descend-the Ancient of Days sit; we may come to an innumerable company of angels-have communion with and receive instruction from them. Paul told about Moses' proceedings-spoke of the children of Israel being baptised, &c. He knew this, and that all the ordinances and blessings were in the Church. Paul had these things, and we may have the fowls of heaven lodge in the branches, &c.

The horn made war with the Saints and overcame them, &c., until the Ancient of Days came; judgment was given to the Saints of the Most High from the Ancient of Days; the time came that the Saints possessed the kingdom. This not only makes us ministers here, but in eternity.

Salvation cannot come without revelation: it is in vain for any one to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a prophet. No man can be the minister of Jesus Christ, except he has the testimony of Jesus, and this is the spirit of prophecy. Whenever salvation has been administered, it has been by testimony. Men of the present time testify of heaven and of hell, and have never seen either; And I will say that no man knows these things without this.
Men profess to prophesy. I will prophesy that the signs of the coming of the Son of Man are already commenced. One pestilence will desolate after another. We shall soon have war and bloodshed. The moon will be turned into blood. I testify of these things, and that the coming of the Son of Man is nigh, even at your doors. If our souls and our bodies are not looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, and after we are dead, if we are not looking forth, &c., we shall be among those who are calling for the rocks to fall upon us, &c.

The hearts of the children of men will have to be turned to their fathers, and the fathers to the children, living or dead, to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. If Elijah did not come, the whole earth would be smitten.

There will be here and there a Stake for the gathering of the Saints. Some may have cried peace, but the Saints and the world will have little peace from henceforth. Let this not hinder us from going to the Stakes; for God has told us to flee, not dallying, or we shall be scattered, one here, and another there. There your children shall be blessed, and you in the midst of friends, where you may be blessed. The Gospel net gathers of every kind.

I prophesy that that man who tarries after he has an opportunity of going will be afflicted by the Devil. Wars are at hand; we must not delay, but are not required to sacrifice. We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object. When wars come, we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste. The last revelation says, "Ye shall not have time to have" gone over the earth, until these things come. It will come as did the cholera, war, fires, and earthquakes, one pestilence after another, &c., until the Ancient of Days come; then judgment will be given to the Saints.

Whatever you may hear about me or Kirtland, take no notice of it; for if it be a place of refuge, the Devil will use his greatest efforts to trap the Saints. You must make yourselves acquainted with those men who, like Daniel, pray three times a day to the house of the Lord. Look to the Presidency and receive instruction. Every man who is afraid, covetous, &c., will be taken in a snare. The time is soon coming when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her Stakes.

I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies; I saw blood, desolation, fires, &c. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, &c. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the Devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; and with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No. I will lift up my voice and testify of them. How long you will have good crops, and the famine be kept off, I do not know. When the fig-tree [fig tree] leaves, know then that summer is nigh at hand.

We may look for angels and receive their ministration, but we are to try the spirits and prove them, for it is often the case that men make a mistake in regard to these things. God has so ordained that, when he has communicated, no vision is to be taken but what you see by the seeing of the eye, or what you hear by the hearing of the ear. When you see a vision, pray for the interpretation. If you get not this, shut it up. There must be certainty in this matter. An open vision will manifest that which is more important. Lying spirits are going forth in the earth. There will be great manifestations of spirit, both false and true. Being born again comes by the Spirit of God, through ordinances. An angel of God never has wings. Some will say that they have seen a spirit,-that he offered them his hand, but they did not touch it. This is a lie. First, it is contrary to the plan of God. A spirit cannot come but in glory. An angel has flesh and bones: we see not their glory. the Devil may appear as an angel of light. Ask God to reveal it. If it be of the Devil, he will flee from you; if of God; he will manifest himself, or make it manifest. We may come to Jesus and ask him: he will know all about it. If he comes to a little child, he will adapt himself to the language and capacity of a little child.

Every spirit, or vision, or singing is not of God. The Devil is an orator. He is powerful. He took our Saviour on to a pinnacle of the Temple, and kept him in the wilderness for forty days. The gift of discerning spirits will be given to the Presiding Elder. Pray for him that he may have this gift. Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The Devil can speak in tongues: the Adversary will come with his work. He can tempt all classes-can speak in English or Dutch. Let no one speak in tongues, unless he interpret, except by the consent of the one who is placed to preside; then he may discern or interpret, or another may. Let us seek for the glory of Abraham, Noah, Adam, the Apostles, who have communion with these things, and then we shall be among that number when Christ comes.

Joseph Smith Jr.

Visions and Revelations

Vision of Mosiah Hancock

The vision claimed by early LDS member, Mosiah Hancock(son of Levi Hancock):

"I shall now return to Payson. {visions} About the time I was one and twenty years of age, I know not whether to call it a dream or a vision; some have classed it a dream. I do not expect to give it in full: for to me it is sacred, beyond expression, especially some things I have no power to describe in words or to express in writing. Me thought I was taken away somewhere to Oh! such a Glorious Realm. I saw He whom at that time we Reverently spoke of as The Great Eternal. I saw the females at his right side. I have no idea of their number. I there saw the Savior; and calling me by name He said, "Mosiah, I have brought you here that you may know how it was before you went to yonder earth." Thinks I, What earth? for it seemed to me that I had no knowledge of an earth. He said, "As it is written in the Beginning, God created man, male and female, created He them." "And know you that no man is man without female, and that in the Lord. And no female is female without the male, and that in the Lord." I shall not attempt to tell how they were formed...suffice it to say, they were created in pairs, the male and his female. And as they came up to the throne of the Great Eternal the mothers seemed to name the females, and Oh! the respect they seemed to entertain for each other as they marched forth. The right elbow of the female seemed to touch the left elbow of the male. I should judge the males, generally to be about six feet two inches in height, and the females some three or four inches less. Their forms seemed as perfect as a new born infant, with no interference. They marched forth clothed in robes of a light color, tied in front.

They were instructed in everything that could be imagined, the finest oratory and everything of literary turn, including astronomy, trigonometry, surveying and the use of most delicate machinery. The females were taught to weave, to knit, to sew and to work in everything in their departments. Oh! the music of those spheres; I seem inadequate to touch upon the least of those accomplishments of the Heavenly Characters. Yet they were so orderly and harmonious that it seemed as if one could hear a pin drop. I saw some who became more efficient in science or other knowledge and they were advanced from class to class. It seemed as if the female always kept with her companion for they were always together, for I never saw one fall behind. Even those who had been placed to overlook the classes were always together. The male overlooking the males and his female overlooking females. I even had a companion with me that needed no prompting. It seemed that I had been with the Savior so long, it seemed that I wore the same vesture as his. All at once a Heavenly voice seemed to reverberate, as it were, through the immensity of space and said: 'Hear all ye, Oh my children! We have a world for you on which you can dwell and you can have the chance on coming up as we have come up.' We then gathered together in counsel to devise means of redemption, should it be needed. One arose whom I had always looked upon as the Savior and said that he would go down and lay before the Children of men the gospel that they might have the chance of attaining the glory as the Gods had done by the obedience to the Divine Plan of Life. Then I saw another who supposed his plan to be superior to the plan of the first for he said that he would save all; only that he wanted the glory. I saw that he and his plan were not accepted, so there was considerable commotion. At last I saw, as it were, a platform extended where the contest could be decided. I was indignant at the opposition as we fought with our opponents. The one called Levi became my father, and the one called Clarissa was my mother here on earth. My father seemed a savior as he strove to bring me up in the admonition of the Lord; and blessed be the name of my parents. Clarissa became my mother and she certainly did a Christian duty to me. But there are others who have no right with me or mine, that I cheerfully leave in the hands of One that I know doeth all things well. Although I have been weak at times, I trust that I can be worth of Glory hereafter.


"When about twenty-one years of age, I was permitted by the power of God, to go into His presence and into my former abode. I saw the Eternal Father on His throne and His wives on His left side, all shining in glory, I saw the Savior and knew Him. It takes the power of the Holy Ghost to tell the difference between the Father and the Son, they look so much alike. Jesus said: 'Mosiah, I have brought you here to show you how it was before you went to the earth.' I had been to the earth; everything looked so natural and familiar. I seemed to have been a companion of the Savior and talked with him like a friend. Again, He spoke to me and said: 'Look and see man as he came forth.' I looked in the direction indicated and saw an innumerable line of God's children extending further than I could see. They were arranged in pairs, male and female, and passed in front of the Eternal Father who named them; and they were clad in long white robes with girdles tied around the waists; each pair seemed to have been created mates.
"When thus clothed; they were arranged in classes of about two hundred; the males sitting in front and the females behind them. They were taught in the arts and sciences, and everything necessary to make the heart happy The teachers of the classes received the instruction they imparted from certain notable ones, who in turn got their directions from the Father and the Son- I thought I was one to overlook the classes; I also saw Joseph, Brigham and many others engaged in this work of education. I thought as some became more efficient than others they were advanced from class to class I thought my name was Mosiah, and the names of the other brethren there were the same as upon the earth. All at once there was a gathering of these spirits and the voice of the Great Eternal (for that is what we called God there) spoke: 'Oh, ye my children,' and His voice penetrated throughout space, so countless were His offspring 'We have an earth prepared for you, on which you can dwell and have a chance to come up, thru obeying our Heavenly laws.'
"I there heard the question asked: 'Who will go down and set an example of humility and faithfulness to these my children, that they may be brought, thru obedience to our laws, back into our presence?'
"I thought I saw one in the express image of the Father say, 'Father, I will go down and set a pattern of humility and patience that your children, thru my example, may be brought back again.' How noble, I thought, He looked when He offered Himself so patient before the children of our Father.
"I saw another, who seemed to be a very high military officer who arose and said: 'I will go down to yonder earth and surely I will bring all your children back to you so none of them shall be lost.'
"The plan of the first was accepted as being the only sure plan for an exaltation. The plan of the second was rejected with great kindness, but the second was not satisfied; and while the first stood in great humility by the side of the Father, the second with many who stood in with him, went about among the Heavenly hosts to advocate the plan, that was put forth as the rights of the second. This one was Lucifer, a son of the morning, for any had been with the Father for countless ages, and learned their lessons well, and he had been no dull scholar. Finally Lucifer openly rebelled against the Father and the Son and six other mighty ones who stood faithful with them and declared, 'I will have it my way.' I saw the faithful ones gather around the Father and the Son, and Lucifer's workers gathered around him, when one of the notable ones, who was called Michael, arose and said, 'We will decide the contest' It seemed that a platform was extended into space,. upon which we could operate, by what power I could not tell. We who were faithful to the Father and the Son, had a white star upon us, and the others chose a red star, about one third of the males and females would not accept of either star, but withdrew from the conflict, the females taking the males by the arm, said, 'Come, let us not take part with either side. Let us retire-' (When they were cast out after the manner of spiritual warfare,) they had no power to return. When they were all cleared from the platform and Satan and his followers were all cast down, their female companions wept, and we all wept.
"No females took part against the Father and the Son, but all took sides in their favor, except the. neutral ones already mentioned. After the tears were dried, from our eyes, the voice of the Great Eternal spoke again and said, 'Hear, O ye my children;' His voice penetrating the immensity of space so that all could hear it; it is decreed by the Great Eternal that the females shall not follow their males in their banishment, but for every male that has kept his first estate and fought valiantly for the Father and the Son, there are two females. Again it is decreed that those males who have taken no part in this great conflict shall keep their females and a race of servants shall they be.' I then saw that the notable ones who had taken such an interest in the rights of the Father and the Son were appointed to gather up those lone females whose companions had been cast down They were again placed in classes. each man having two females in the ranks behind him. I there saw that they were again taught in their classes, which now contained about three hundred. I next saw Michael and his companion proceed a long way off, to people the earth where Lucifer and his FOLLOWERS HAD BEEN CAST. As time passed, other notable ones followed as they were appointed. During all this time the classes met frequently, being taught by instructors appointed. Each member knew his or her own-place, and took it each time, and the best of order prevailed. They were asked, first the males, and then the females behind them, 'Will you obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when you go to that earth?' Some would answer, yes, but not all. Some could be asked, Will you obey that law which placed the Gods on high? And in very few cases I would hear the females say, 'I want my own mate' Sometimes the question would be asked of a male, 'Will you obey that higher law? and he would answer, 'I wish to enjoy myself with the females' Sometimes when the question would be asked of the females she would reply 'I wish to enjoy myself with the males.' Again the question would be asked of the males, 'If you will not join the Church of Christ, what do you wish to be? He would sometimes say, 'I wish to be a judge, or an officer of high rank among the people ' Then he would be asked, 'Will you sustain the laws of God and also the rights of all mankind?' and the answer in every instance was, 'yes. ' I saw there that those who were proficient in their classes were advanced more rapidly until they became most perfect in those heavenly teachings, but some males, even there in Heaven would neglect their females and their classes and not meet with them. They would go off, arm in arm, as men now go, not having any desire for their duties. I never saw a female leave her place in the class assigned her by the Heavenly powers. I saw Abraham, when he came back from the earth, and many of the notable ones, when they came back to be crowned I saw them step upon the platform of the Gods and receive their crowns, and enter into their exaltations. At last I saw the time when Joseph was to go forth, and the voice of the Great Eternal said, 'Oh, my neglected daughters, gather around these my faithful servants who have been faithful in teaching you the principles of righteousness and of our kingdom, that others may come up and have the chance to be glorified-' I saw many of them gather around Joseph and form a ring with him and the Savior in the center. They made a covenant with him that they would meet him on the earth and help him establish that great work upon the earth. I saw many of them gather around Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and many other notable ones, and around many who have not become so notable. They formed rings around each of them with Christ in the center each time, for He rehearsed to them the Covenant. They would take each other by the hand, in the circle and bow their faces down to Him, in the center, and in the most solemn manner agree to meet them here, until every one of those neglected daughters was provided for; and they were filled with such joy that their songs made a paradise of the realm.
"At last The time came for me to go to the earth. The Savior came to me and said, 'Mosiah, it is time for you to prepare to go. You have been faithful so long here it is time for you to go, that you may return and be as we are.' As I beheld Him, I thought, 'How is it that I am not as you are now? For it seemed, that I knew nothing of the earth or the changes a probation there would make in me. However, I said, 'Who will go down to that earth, and be my father, and help me that I may be brought in the ways of truth and righteousness?' A male by the name of Levi stepped forth, in the presence of the Son, and said, 'I will go down to yonder earth, and by the help of the Great Eternal, I will try to do as well by you as you have done for me, for I am grateful to you for all your kindness to me.' He returned to his place, being an instructor of a class. I was one among others who was appointed to instruct him and the other teachers of classes. A female came out of the class and bowing before the Savior and me, said, 'I will go down and be your mother.' In a short time the man disappeared and was immediately followed by the woman. I knew my departure was near at hand and I asked, 'If on my return I could have the same position I then held.' Then the Savior said, Yes, and greater, but you have to go down to the earth, and take a lowly position and be misunderstood by man, even your brethren and endure many hardships and set many examples of humility and patience, that you may return and enter the glory, even such a s I have.' He then added, 'Your time is now come to take your mission to the earth,' and He laid His hands on my head, as He had done to others, and set me apart for that important mission. He again said to me, 'I will see you safely thru until you return again.' I fully believe on that promise. It seemed as though a way was opened before me, and I dived down toward the earth with the speed of lightening and awoke while sailing thru space."

Mosiah Hancock

Autobiography of Mosiah Hancock

My comments:

*At first glance this account is at least interesting enough to read. Although I see some truths within, I also find some things either problematic or included as a result to his time, teaching and thinking. I do not think you would see a similar dream or vision in a modern day account. How seriously can we take these sorts of early day accounts by faithful lds? Its seems as though these types of visions are somehow filtered by the thinking or belief of the individual. I have seen this in my own experiences. There may be many truths embedded in a so called vision but I don’t think they are always to be taken literal. Most of these personal visions are to be kept just that, personal! It is usually something for the individuals learning and not a revelation for anyone else. This is why they can’t be taken literally. Perhaps this is why today we are encouraged by the brethren to guard these types of experiences as sacred and personal, only to be shared when directed by the spirit in the right circumstances. They are not meant to be doctrinal or binding and therefore if not taken that way can be troublesome and confusing for others. This is the problem we face with so many of the early day accounts of the lds saints. Many enemies of the church like to use these against us when they find some problematic things that can contradict the doctrine. They are not always seen in the light that they are supposed to be. This can cause even more confusion when these accounts come from past leadership. Unless a prophet distinguishes something as doctrinal or true revelation it should not ever be taken as such. We see these types of assumptions all the time. It is true we can receive revelation for ourselves as well as certain things for those over which we preside but they should not extend those bounds. Everything else falls under opinion and speculation.

We are only given as much light as we are willing to accept by our current faith and beliefs. These visions can however inspire, and uplift an individual to greater learning and a desire to come closer to God. Although the vision of Mosiah Hancock cannot be taken literally given some of the silly suggestions within, I do not think that it makes it a false vision, just a personal one. In the early days of the church these types of experiences were often shared. As a result many put too much emphasis on some of these accounts. A problem for some is an over reliance on these types of sources. This problem can begin with the scriptures themselves. Even though a scripture may be true it is still subject to many interpretations. Many will thus look at a true scripture and receive from it an erroneous interpretation and cling to that interpretation because it is "the infallible word of God" and is not to be questioned. Hence we see so many thousands of different types of religions in the world today.

Therefore I must conclude that we must be careful what we believe or take from these types of accounts, the same for interpretations or deep and unknown doctrines. The truth of things can only come from God himself through revelation to a Prophet of God. We all have the ability to receive some form of revelation but the only pure doctrinal truth can come through the prophets. The Holy Ghost will teach us about the truthfulness of the current revealed word. We must interpret all things by that same spirit. We have the ability as well to learn new truths by this spirit but these are to be guarded and not shared as doctrinal. This is the prophets calling to do so, and when the general membership is ready to receive more truth we will be given it. In the mean time learn all you can personally by the spirit. I guess my ending point is, to always be aware of the source and credibility of the information you receive.
Kent Wentzell