Does it matter if Joseph Smith’s 1838 account of the First Vision (canonized by the LDS in 1880) is not historically reliable, as some Mormon historians have argued in recent decades? In reaction to apologists who insist on the First Vision’s historicity as a litmus test for the faith, some Latter Day Saints of a theologically liberal bent have tended toward the opposite view: that historicity doesn’t matter. This panel invites a second, and third, and fourth look at the issue. What is at stake in the historicity question? In what different ways do people negotiate those stakes?
Lachlan Mackay, Stephen C. Taysom, Dan Vogel