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The Interpreter Foundation Blog

Book of Moses Textual Criticism Article Preview 2: Were the Names “Mahijah” and “Mahujah” Inspired by Adam Clarke’s Commentary?

A recent article by Colby Townsend proposes that the names “Mahijah” and “Mahujah” were included in the Book of Moses as the result of one of two scenarios. A forthcoming article by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle argues that a common ancient source for “Mahujah” and “Mahijah” in the Book of Moses and similar names in the Bible and an ancient Dead Sea Scrolls Enoch text named The Book of Giants cannot be ruled out....

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Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: Pure Apostolic Witness and Testimony of the First Vision

As the concluding item of this series on the First Vision, I have sifted through most of the preceding nineteen pieces and selected brief quotations—nuggets of pure testimony—from those holding the holy Apostleship (including the keys of the Kingdom as received in direct line from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who got them from Peter, James, and John, and other ancient prophets), declaring their incontrovertible spiritual witness of the reality of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. ...

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Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Gordon B. Hinckley’s Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision

As far as I can discover, it seems to me that President Hinckley had more to say about Joseph Smith’s First Vision than any other modern prophet or apostle. President Hinckley’s testimony of the First Vision must therefore be considered one of the greatest prophetic witnesses given since the event of the vision itself. ...

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Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: Orson F. Whitney’s Dream-Vision of the Savior

Orson F. Whitney did not set down a written record of his vision the day he received it, probably in March or April of 1877. Orson’s first journal record recounting the experience came some six years later. Like Joseph Smith, he also left multiple accounts, written at different points over his (much longer) life. Five written records exist (that I could locate), along with notes mentioning other unrecorded tellings. Another similarity is that slightly more detail emerges with each account, though the whole remains consistent, as does the lesson the vision taught to Whitney. ...

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Book of Moses Textual Criticism Article Preview 1: Did God or Enoch Weep?

In a vision of Enoch described in a JST manuscript named “Old Testament 1” (OT1), we are told that after viewing the wickedness and misery of mankind “the God of heaven looked down … and wept.” In the “Old Testament 2” (OT2) manuscript, the text was revised to read “Enoch looked down … and wept.” A recent article by Colby Townsend argues that the OT2 revision is a better reading of the passage. A forthcoming article by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle argues that a more balanced understanding of Moses 7 emerges when comparing it to suitable Old Testament analogues, specifically Deuteronomy 32 and Isaiah 1....

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Scholarly Support for the Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price continues to generate considerable interest (and controversy) among readers. Ever since George Reynolds published his series “The Book of Abraham—Its Genuineness Established” in the year 1879,[1] members of The Church of...

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Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Hinckley Comments on Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s Critics

President Hinckley occasionally referenced public and private efforts of the enemies and critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to disturb or distract, or to diminish or destroy faith in Jesus Christ and His modern prophets. As President Hinckley noted, many of them have targeted Joseph Smith and his First Vision—and (as he notes) while they have had some small success among the weak in testimony, the true and faithful have not faltered. ...

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Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Joseph Fielding Smith Teaches and Testifies about the First Vision

President Smith was the grandson of Hyrum Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was and still is considered one of the great expounders of doctrine and interpreters of the scriptures in this dispensation. He became President of the Church with the death of President David O. McKay. He felt a special responsibility and therefore took pleasure in teaching about his forebears and the mission they performed as church leaders. ...

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