Droopy ~ Your questions:
Droopy wrote:1.The First Vision.
It's possible that someone or something did appear to Joseph Smith in the grove. I don't believe it was God the Father & Jesus Christ telling Joseph Smith that all other Christian churches were wrong---I think that was added as Joseph Smith's theology and ecclesiology developed---but I'm not opposed to the idea that Joseph did really have some visionary experience there. The entirety of the 1832 account of the First Vision could have really happened and it would be completely consistent with my own theological worldview.
This doesn't have to do with the First Vision per se, but I've always liked what Paul Owen had to say about Joseph Smith:
Paul Owen wrote:I do believe that Joseph can be viewed as a prophet of sorts (something along the lines of Balaam in Numbers 22-24), who experienced a taste of the charismata, and who may have been used to speak a true word of rebuke upon a wordly, divisive church which was gripped by the spirit of revivalism. God used Joseph to speak to the churches, and to expose their shallow versions of the Christian religion… When the Church does not bear witness to its Catholicity, when the Faith becomes more of a mechanism of producing converts than maintaining the unity and identity of the visible body, God raises up men and movements to rebuke the worldly church. The Rechabites (Jer. 35) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) provide us with comparable models in which to understand God’s purpose in raising up Joseph Smith and the Mormons.
Sadly, the Web page where he originally said this is now defunct; it's cited at my friend aquinas's blog here.
Droopy wrote:2.The literal visit of Moroni to Joseph Smith and the physical reality of the gold plates.
I don't believe that it happened. I don't know whether Joseph Smith intentionally made it all up to deceive people, whether he made it all up because he honestly believed in the power of his message and the need to augment that message (i .e. "pious fraud), or had some kind of Beautiful Mind-style mental illness that made him think it was real. I'm pretty apathetic on the matter.
Droopy wrote:3.The personal visitation to Joseph Smith and others of physical, resurrected beings, such as Moses, Abraham, Noah, Enoch, Peter, James, and John etc., to restore keys and ordinances.
I don't believe that it happened and I don't believe in "priesthood" in the sense that Mormons teach it. I think the accounts of his ordinations to priesthoods by resurrected beings were added years later to deal with challenges to his authority in the church. Even Richard Bushman has stated that "the late appearance of these accounts raises the possibility of later fabrication" (RSR 75). I imagine it's a pretty standard take on the matter among non-LDS historians.
Droopy wrote:4.The doctrine of preexistence.
I don't believe that it happened, although I don't think there's anything in the Bible that contradicts it. Kevin Barney's response to Chapter 3 of James Patrick Holding's The Mormon Defenders contains some work on non-LDS Christians who have taught preexistence.
Droopy wrote:The whole "misogyny" claim I consider to be nothing more than a libel, and a deeply tendentious, if not mendacious one at that.
Well, you're wrong on all counts. And the fact that I critiqued a single Latter-day Saint whose behavior I strenuously objected to (and believed to be very much out of harmony with the teachings of his church) does not make me an "anti-Mormon."
While I take Don's perspectives on MsJack in the spirit in which they are given, the above thread can be pursued for some context and background to my own views.
Pretty disingenuous of you to cite this thread without citing my thorough and in-depth response, Droopy.
I don't deny having feminist inclinations or critiquing the way the LDS church treats women, just as I critique the way many evangelical denominations treat women. I have a daughter who is a member of record with the church and attends the LDS church with her father at least twice a month. I think I would be an irresponsible parent if I didn't keep tabs on what others are teaching my daughter about her identity. None of that makes me "anti-Mormon" though, or else I would also be "anti-evangelical." What it makes me is "anti-patriarchy," or maybe "anti-male-privilege."
I have repeatedly clarified that a good number of feminists wouldn't think I am a feminist because I'm pro-life. I don't have a problem identifying as a feminist, but many of them would object.
Droopy wrote:Yahoo bot implies a leaning toward "feminist theology." Yahoo bot again speaks of her "blogging amongst all your feminist ex-LDS apostates."
Yahoo Bot also agreed with me about William Schryver:
Yahoo Bot wrote:I whole-heartedly endorse Ms. Jack's expose of Mr. Will Shyrver, and that fellow ought to have no place in decent Christian society. But that's just my opinion.
I guess he's an anti-Mormon in your book, too?
Droopy wrote:But Jack is not a feminist, not a leftist, and not anti-Mormon.
Yeah, that's right Droopy, I'm a "leftist." The kind of "leftist" who can count the number of Democrats that she's voted for on one hand.