LDS: not seen through "physical" eyes but "spiritual" eyes?

So I was curious about this, but I came upon where there were other people who were with Joseph Smith during his life. And I noticed how they didn't say they saw the plates/visions through normal eyes, but "spiritual eyes" and Joseph Smith led them through it. what does this mean, exactly? Why couldn't they see it with their physical eyes? Why did they have to see it with their "spiritual" eyes? Is there any examples of how this is used today?

9 Answers

  • rac
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    There are two ways of interpreting that phrase. First, they saw it in vision, or it was spiritually revealed to them, not physically. Second, they had to be elevated to a spiritual state of being in order to have the manifestation shown to them. In other words, Mary had to have the Holy Ghost come upon her first in order to withstand the presence of the Father when she had the Father's seed planted in her womb. Joseph had to have the spirit fall upon him first before he could stand in the presence of the Father and the Son.

    The eight witnesses had a physical showing of the plates. They saw and felt with their natural eyes and hands. The three witnesses had a spiritual manifestation. The heavenly messenger, Moroni came and revealed the plates to them. So the question is were they spiritually elevated to withstand the presence of the heavenly messenger in order to see the plates or were they shown the plates in a vision?

    It is my understanding that they actually saw the plates with their own eyes, but that they were spiritually elevated to be in the presence of the celestial being, Moroni. Thus, they saw with their spiritual eyes, not their natural eyes, for their natural eyes could not have tolerated the celestial manifestation without the spiritual assistance of the Holy Ghost.

    Source(s): LDS principles
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  • 9 years ago

    Sometimes when people have a visionary experience, it is hard for them to know whether the events that they are experiencing are actual physical events. Joseph Smith might have had similar confusion when he tried to retrieve the plates, the first time, and failed. Was Moroni actually in his room, or was he seeing a vision? Were the plates real, or was he seeing another vision? When God the father and Jesus Christ appeared to him, were they actually there? Or was he seeing a vision? When Stephen saw Jesus standing next to god, were they actually there? Or was he seeing a vision? How much can we actually trust a visionary experience? Joseph Smith certainly learned to trust his visions, and the LDS church was largely established through them.

    "And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)"

    2 Corinthians 12:3

    "And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God."

    3 Nephite 28:13

    "The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell."

    D & C 137:1

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  • 9 years ago

    The witnesses were all close friends and family. Almost all were at one time reviled by Smith for their bad character.

    It isn't surprising they didn't recant. It's a myth that people do that. Most people take their sins to their grave in privacy with shame. It is especially unlikely to recant a lie that caused so much trouble for so many people.

    Some of the witnesses also wrote later that they were sure that the Strang plates were the true ones. The Strang plates belonged to another Mormon sect and were proven to be frauds. Non of the witnesses had any expertise that would give them credibility.

    Even if the witnesses saw some plates, it wouldn't mean the plates were from God. They had no expertise in metallurgy or languages and could be easily duped.

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  • 9 years ago

    Not accurate. They did state they saw the plates with their actual eyes and touched them.

    Website with people's testimonies that saw and touched the plates. You should read each one. It's not the ones before you get to 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon either:

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  • 9 years ago

    And you have to continue that if they could see it with their spiritual eyes. What about touching them with spiritual hands.

    Yes it is very obvious with someone with no desire to belong to this belief that it is a complete falacy. But then again aren't all religions.

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  • 00
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    JS was a known con man who died after conning people with his lies the entire LDS and its book is contrary to the Word of God...the people with JS never saw nothing because there was nothing to see...GOD is not a respecter of persons so to say He showed ONLY JS what was what would be an utter lie concerning what God Himself states.

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  • 9 years ago

    I don't see any biblical relevance in their teaching.

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  • Brigham Young said, "Some of the Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel." (Journal of Discourses, Vol 7, page 164, 1859, Brigham Young.)

    I have had the misfortune of watching close family members get involved with a religious cult where they were lead to believe that angels were talking to them and they were on a mission from on high. When one of them finally got out of the manipulative group he told me that he had allowed himself to be lead through imaginary visions that he believed were actually happening because he had been conditioned to do so by the group's leader (ie conman). Personally I believe that a very similar form of psychological conditioning occurred with the Book of Mormon witnesses.

    As a result several of the book or mormon witnesses later went on to distinguish between seeing with "physical" and "spiritual" eyes, which could be very easily compared to the type of angelic visions that my family member was privy to when he was a part of a religious cult (unrelated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

    The following are additional facts about the Three Witnesses (with sources) where they make decisions using the same spiritual base they used to see the gold plates and the angel:

    Martin Harris signed his name to a statement: "Testimony of three witnesses: We Cheerfully certify...The Lord has made it known to me that David Witmer is the man. David was then called forward, and Joseph and his counselors laid hands upon him, and ordained him to his station, to succeed him...He will be prophet, seer, Revelator and Translator before God." Signed Martin Harris, Leonard Rich, Calvin Beebe. Of course this never came to pass as Brigham young became Joseph Smith's successor.

    Phineas Young wrote to his older brother Brigham Young on December 31, 1841, from Kirtland, Ohio: "There are in this place all kinds of teaching; Martin Harris is a firm believer in Shakerism, says his testimony is greater than it was for the Book of Mormon" (Martin Harris - Witness and Benefactor of the Book of Mormon, 1955, p. 52)

    David Whitmer said in 1887: "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to 'separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints...'" Address to all believers in Christ, p27, 1887

    David Whitmer changed his story about seeing the plates and later told of finding them lying in a field and later still, told Orson Pratt that they were on a table with all sorts of brass plates, gold plates, the Sword of Laban, the ‘Director' and the Urim and Thumim. (Millennial Star, vol. XL, pp. 771-772)

    During the summer of 1837, while in Kirtland, David Whitmer pledged his new loyalty to a prophetess (as did Martin and Oliver) who used a black seer stone and danced herself into ‘trances.'(Biographical Sketches, Lucy Smith, pp. 211-213)

    In 1847 David Witmer declared to Oliver Cowdery that he (Whitmer) was to be the Prophet of the New Church of Christ and Oliver a counsellor.(Letter to Oliver Cowdery, by David Whitmer, Sept. 8, 1847, printed in the "Ensign of Liberty," 5/1848, p. 93; also see ‘Ensign of Liberty,' 8/1849, pp. 101-104)

    As a Methodist, Oliver Cowdery denied the Book of Mormon (Times and Seasons, vol. 2, p. 482 and Improvement Era, Jan. 1969, p 56 and "Oliver Cowdery-The Man Outstanding," Joseph Greehalgh, 1965, p. 28)

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I think you've mistaken "LDS" with "LSD"

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