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La Primera Visión de José Smith/Actividad religiosa en el área de Palmyra en 1820
Actividad religiosa en el área de Palmyra en 1820
Saltar a subtema:
- Christofferson (2013): "Critics have also claimed that there were no religious revivals in the Palmyra, New York, area in 1820"
- Pregunta: ¿Qué emoción religiosa se estaba produciendo en Palmira en 1820?
- Pregunta: ¿No se mencionó en el periódico la actividad de reavivamiento en 1820?
- Pregunta: ¿A qué edad José Smith se preocupan acerca de la religión?
- Pregunta: ¿Qué evidencia de excitación religiosa existe de fuentes no-mormones?
- Pregunta: ¿Los reavivamientos y la excitación religiosa eran demasiado comunes para ser notados en los periódicos?
- Pregunta: ¿José Smith simplemente combinó elementos de los avivamientos de 1818 y 1824-25 en su historia de la Primera Visión?
- Palmyra Register (1820): "It was far from our intention to charge the Methodists with retailing ardent spirits while professedly met for the worship of their God"
- Benajah Williams (1820): "Had a two Days meeting at Sq Bakers in Richmond. Br. Wright being gone to campmeeting on Ridgeway circuit I expected to find Br. J. Hayes at the Meeting"
- Pregunta: ¿Gordon B. Hinckley citó información falsa con respecto a un avivamiento de Palmyra de 1820 en un libro llamado Truth Restored?
Pregunta: ¿Qué emoción religiosa se estaba produciendo en Palmira en 1820?
Se celebraban reuniones de campo metodistas en Palmira en 1820
Algunos afirman que no hubo avivamientos religiosos en el Palmyra, área de Nueva York en 1820, contrariamente a las afirmaciones de José Smith que durante ese año se produjo "una agitación extraordinaria sobre el tema de la religión ... de hecho, todo el barrio de país parecía afectada por esto " Joseph Smith—History 1:5
José Smith habló de observar, como de 14 años de edad, "una agitación extraordinaria sobre el tema de la religión" en el área de Palmyra durante la primavera de 1820. Joseph señala que "Se comenzó con los metodistas, pero pronto se generalizó entre todos las sectas en esa región del país ". Existe evidencia documentada de al menos una reunión campamento Metodista en el área de Palmyra durante ese período, que sólo por casualidad pasó a ser mencionado en el periódico local debido a una muerte específica que parecía estar asociada a ella. Es razonable suponer que los metodistas tenían más de una reunión de campo durante este período. Además, hay artículos de prensa que hablan de la actividad reactivación a gran escala en la región más grande que rodea Palmyra durante el mismo período general cuando José Smith dijo que estaba teniendo lugar.
Es interesante notar que un sitio web Critical intenta desestimar evidencia de reuniones campestres metodistas en la zona de Palmira en 1820 porque no son "revivals", ofreciendo esta excusa débil:
El ensayo de la iglesia de noviembre 2013 y FAIR (un sitio LDS apologista oficial) afirman que hubo un resurgimiento en 1820. Ellos utilizan el término renacimiento libremente para ayudar a convencer a los investigadores que las afirmaciones de Smith son correctos. Un anuncio en el periódico para una reunión de campamento de la iglesia no es un avivamiento que hace que el "entusiasmo religioso" que Smith describió. 
Descripción del crítico es incorrecta: Esto no fue "un anuncio en un periódico para una reunión de campamento de la iglesia." Era un artículo de periódico sobre un muerte que ocurrió cerca de la reunión de campo - la reunión de campamento en sí nunca fue publicada en el periódico, y probablemente nunca hubiera sido. Sin embargo, su mención en el periódico es evidencia de que 'estaban detenidos en la zona en ese momento' reuniones campestres metodistas . La única razón por la que uno se mencionó se debe a la muerte asociada a ella.
Se debe tener en cuenta que José Smith nunca utiliza el término "renacimiento" en su descripción - él simplemente lo describió como "una agitación extraordinaria sobre el tema de la religión." Para un niño de 14 años que había estado preocupado acerca de la religión de partida a los 12 años después de la reactivación de 1817, las reuniones de campo en curso en la ciudad en la que vivió sin duda calificar.
Pregunta: ¿No se mencionó en el periódico la actividad de reavivamiento en 1820?
References to regional revival activity in the Palmyra Register, a newspaper which Joseph's family would have read, are clearly evident
A Presbyterian historian on Wikipedia comments on this FAIR Wiki article:
FAIR disagrees with your assessment and stubbornly holds to an 1820 date, Methodist camp meetings as interdenominational revivals, no date conflation, and local newspapers not reporting local news. The FAIR page never suggests that the time and place of the interdenominational religious awakening is irrelevant...
Indeed, we "stubbornly hold" to the 1820 date, and we do not consider the time and place of religious awakening irrelevant. This claim by critics that there is no record of revival activity in the region surrounding Palmyra during the 1820 timeframe has simply not stood up to historical scrutiny. References to regional revival activity in the Palmyra Register, a newspaper which Joseph's family would have read, are clearly evident. While these revivals did not occur in Palmyra itself, their mention in the local newspaper would have given Joseph Smith the sense that there was substantial revival activity in the region. 
- GREAT REVIVALS IN RELIGION. The religious excitement which has for some months prevailed in the towns of this vicinity...This is a time the prophets desired to see, but they never saw it....—Palmyra Register, June 7, 1820 (Ballston, NY - 196 miles away from Palmyra)
- REVIVAL. A letter from Homer [N.Y.] dated May 29, received in this town, states, that 200 persons had been hopefully converted in that town since January first; 100 of whom had been added to the Baptist church. The work was still progressing.—Palmyra Register, August 16, 1820 (Homer, NY - 76 miles away from Palmyra)
- REVIVALS OF RELIGION. "The county of Saratoga, for a long time, has been as barren of revivals of religion, as perhaps any other part of this state. It has been like 'the mountains of Gilboa, on which were neither rain nor dew.' But the face of the country has been wonderfully changed of late. The little cloud made its first appearance at Saratoga Springs last summer. As the result of this revival about 40 have made a public profession of religion in Rev. Mr. Griswold's church....A revival has just commenced in the town of Nassau, a little east of Albany. It has commenced in a very powerful manner....—Palmyra Register, September 13, 1820 (Saratoga, NY - 193 miles away from Palmyra)
- FROM THE RELIGIOUS REMEMBRANCER A SPIRITUAL HARVEST. "I wish you could have been with us yesterday. I had the pleasure to witness 80 persons receive the seal of the covenant, in front of our Church. Soon after 135 persons, new members, were received into full communion. All the first floor of the Church was cleared; the seats and pews were all crowded with the members...Palmyra Register, October 4, 1820 (Bloomingsgrove, NY - 209 miles away from Palmyra)
There wasn't even any mention of the 1818 revival in Palmrya in the local newspaper
Critics often wish to place the revival which Joseph spoke about in 1818. However, even though we know that a revival occurred in Palmyra during June 1818, there is no mention of it in the town paper, despite the fact that it was attended by Robert R. Roberts, who was one of "only three Methodist bishops in North America." 
Once again, the commonality of such an event did not ensure that it would get a mention—yet, by the critics' same argument, this "silence" in the newspaper should mean that the 1818 revival didn't happen either.
Pregunta: ¿A qué edad José Smith se preocupan acerca de la religión?
El interés de José en la religión comenzó cuando tenía 12 años, después de la reactivación 1817
La preocupación de José acerca de la religión comenzó cuando tenía doce años de edad, cerca de la mano de la reactivación de 1817. En su relato de 1832, Joseph señala que su preocupación acerca de la religión comenzó a los 12 años (1817-1818)
Aproximadamente a la edad de doce años, mi mente se convierten en serio anticipos con respecto a las preocupaciones de todos los importent de para el bienestar los de mi alma inmortal, que me llevó a escudriñar las Escrituras believeing como me enseñaron, que contenían la palabra de Dios aplicando así mismo a ellos y mi conocimiento íntimo de las de diferentes denominaciones me llevó a admirar excedingly para que descubrí que no adornan en lugar de adornar su profesión por un paseo santa y piadosa conversación agradable para lo que encontré que figura en dicho depósito sagrado se trataba 
Richard Bushman señala que esto "habría sido a finales de 1817 y principios de 1818, cuando el todavía se sintieron después-afecta de la reactivación de 1816 y 1817 en Palmyra." 
José Smith habló de observar, como un niño de 14 años de edad, "una agitación extraordinaria sobre el tema de la religión" en el área de Palmyra durante la primavera de 1820. Joseph señala que "Empezó entre los metodistas, pero pronto se generalizó entre todas las sectas en esa región del país. "Existe evidencia documentada de por lo menos una reunión de campamento metodista en la región de Palmyra durante ese período, que sólo por casualidad pasó a ser mencionado en el periódico local, debido a una muerte concreta que parece estar asociado con él. Además, hay artículos de prensa que hablan de la actividad de reactivación a gran escala en la región más grande que rodea Palmyra durante el mismo período general cuando José Smith dijo que estaba teniendo lugar.
Es razonable suponer en base a los hechos que los metodistas tenían más de una reunión al aire durante este período. Esto fácilmente podría ser responsable de la emoción religiosa en Palmyra que, en la mente de José a los 14 años, comenzó con los metodistas.
A partir de los 12 años al 15 de Joseph reflexionó muchas cosas en su corazón en relación con la religión
José continúa en su relato 1832: "Así, desde la edad de doce años en quince meditaba muchas cosas en mi corazón acerca de la situación del mundo de la humanidad las contiendas y divisiones de la iniquidad y abominaciones y de la oscuridad que invadía el de la mente de la humanidad se convierta en mi mente muy apenado por me convierto condenado por mis pecados ". En julio de 1819, varios años después de Joseph dijo que su mente se volvió "más que impresionados", una importante conferencia Metodista se llevó a cabo cerca de Palmyra:
Los metodistas de la Conferencia de Genesee se reunieron durante una semana en Viena (más tarde Phelps), un pueblo de trece millas al sureste de la granja de Smith en el camino a Ginebra. Cerca de 110 ministros de una región que se extiende 500 millas desde Detroit a los Catskills y desde Canadá a Pennsylvania se reunieron bajo la dirección del obispo Robert RR para recibir instrucción y establecer la política. Si hemos de juzgar por la experiencia en otras conferencias, los ministros predicaron entre las sesiones a las personas que se dieron cita en muchas millas a la redonda. Fue un año importante para la religión en todo el distrito. . . . El Presbiterio de Ginebra, que incluía las iglesias en el área inmediata de José, informó en febrero de 1820, que "durante el pasado año más han sido recibidos en la comunión de las Iglesias que tal vez en cualquier año anterior." Metodistas mantienen registros de las congregaciones individuales, pero en 1821 se construyó un nuevo centro de reuniones en la ciudad. 
Pregunta: ¿Qué evidencia de excitación religiosa existe de fuentes no-mormones?
Evidence of religious excitement from non-Mormon sources
Non-Mormon evidence demonstrates that there was a considerable increase in membership among some Christian sects. One source goes so far as to point out the growth over a given period without explicit revivals:
- 1817 to 1830 increase from 6 to 80 without revival, in a particular circuit (énfasis añadido). 
David Marks was born the same year as Joseph Smith, 1805. His parents moved to Junius, not far from Palmyra, when he was a teenager. He became very religious very early, and left home to become an itinerant Baptism minister. He published his memoirs in 1831. Here are some things he has to say about happenings in Junius and Phelps [Vienna], in 1819:
- In the fall of the year 1818, upon relating my experience to the Calvinistic Baptist church in Junius, they received me as a candidate for baptism;….
- I continued to attend the Baptist covenant meetings, and was treated with the same studied coldness as before. Six months had passed [i.e., sometime in spring 1819], since the church received me as a candidate for baptism,….
- In the month of July, 1819, Elder Zabulon Dean, and his companion, having heard of my situation, and feeling interested, sent an appointment to our neighborhood; and came thirty miles, accompanied by brother Samuel Wire, then an unordained preacher, Deacon C., and Brother S. They were all Free-Will Baptists, and the first of whom I had any knowledge. On Saturday, July 10th, I meet with them, learned their sentiments, spirit and humility; which so well accorded with my own views and feelings, that desiring to be baptized, I related to them my experience and sentiments, also the manner in which my application to unite with the Baptist church had been received and afterwards rejected. They expressed satisfaction with my experience, approved of my sentiments, and the next day, being the Sabbath, a meeting was appointed for preaching and examination, at the house where the Baptist church usually met for worship (29).
- On the 17th of the same month [July 1819], I attended the Benton Quarterly Meeting of the Free-Will Baptists, in the town of Phelps, eighteen miles from my father’s, and was there received a member of the church in that place. Five were baptized, communion and washing feet attended to, and a profitable season was enjoyed. After this, Elder Dean and brother Wire frequently preached in Junius, and a good reformation followed their labors; in which some of my former persecutors were converted to the faith of the gospel. In the ensuing autumn, brother Wire was ordained. He and Elder Dean baptized fifteen in Junius, who united with the church in Phelps; but in January following , they were dismissed and acknowledged a church in Junius, taking the scriptures for their only rule of faith and practice. Being absent at the time of its organization, I did not become one of its members till the ensuing Spring. This church walked in gospel order several months, and enjoyed many happy seasons. But the summer of prosperity passed, and the winter of adversity succeeded. New and unexpected trials brought heaviness and mourning. Seven or eight, who first united and were well engaged, soon turned aside after Satan and walked no more with us. Iniquity abounding, the love of some waxed cold. Every feeling of my soul was pained, when those with whom I had taken sweet counsel, thus wounded the innocent cause of Jesus and brought it into reproach. But while our number decreased by  excommunications, the Lord more than supplied the vacancies by adding to the church of such as should be saved. 
Clearly, there was extensive religious excitement in the Palmyra area. A young man of Joseph's age was likewise much taken by it, as Joseph himself was.
What was happening in Joseph's area in 1820
Joseph states that about 1820 "an unusual excitement on the subject of religion" had commenced, and that "[i]t commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country." The Palmyra newspaper reported many conversions in the “burned-over” district. The Palmyra Register recorded that the Methodists had a religious camp meeting in 1820.  Since they did not have a chapel yet, they would meet in the woods on Vienna Road.  Pomeroy Tucker (a witness hostile to Joseph Smith) states that “protracted revival meetings were customary in some of the churches, and Smith frequented those of different denominations…”  These revivals in 1820 must have helped the Methodists, for they were able to build their first church in Palmyra by 1822, down on Vienna Road where they held their camp meetings. The Zion Episcopal Church was originated in 1823.  In 1817, the Presbyterians were able to split into an eastern group and a western group. The eastern group used the only actual church building that was in Palmyra in 1820, while the western group assembled in the town hall. 
Pregunta: ¿Los reavivamientos y la excitación religiosa eran demasiado comunes para ser notados en los periódicos?
One report of a Methodist camp meeting in Palmyra only made it into the local newspaper because of a fatality due to alcohol consumption
Ironically, evidence for local religious meetings was less likely to be documented in the newspapers because they were so common. One report of a Methodist camp meeting in Palmyra only made it into the local newspaper because of a fatality due to alcohol consumption. The paper, in a less politically correct time, pointed out that the deceased was Irish and had died due to alcohol at the Camp-ground outside Palmyra:
The deceased, we are informed, arrived at Mr. McCollum's house the evening preceding, from a camp-meeting which was held in this vicinity, in a state of intoxication....It is supposed he obtained his liquor, which was no doubt the cause of his death, at the Camp-ground, where, it is a notorious fact, the intemperate, the lewd and dissolute part of community too frequently resort for no better object, than to gratify their base propensities.
The Methodists strenuously objected to the implication that their camp meetings where places where people came to get drunk. The Palmyra Register printed a clarification about a week later:
By this expression we did not mean to insinuate, that he obtained it within the enclosure of their place of worship, or that he procured it of them, but at the grog-shops that were established at, or near if you please, their camp-ground. It was far from our intention to charge the Methodists with retailing ardent spirits while professedly met for the worship of their God.
Thus, Joseph's recollection of religious excitement in Palmyra is confirmed at the very edge of the Spring of 1820; very close to the time when he said he prayed to God about religion. 
Pregunta: ¿José Smith simplemente combinó elementos de los avivamientos de 1818 y 1824-25 en su historia de la Primera Visión?
There is documentary evidence that shows abundant religious activity in the region surrounding Palmyra, New York during the 1819-1820 time period
Some critics and armchair scholars have come to the conclusion that some of the revival story elements found in Joseph Smith's 1838 historical narrative are not really accurate, but rather are representative of a conflation of facts. These people believe that Joseph Smith was actually mixing parts of 1818 and 1824-25 Palmyra revival activities into his storyline about what happened in 1820. In other words, they claim that the Prophet's narrative is not historically accurate - but not deceptively so.
The problem with the 'conflation theory' is two-fold: (1) It can be demonstrated that one of the most important pieces of documentary evidence which is used to support this theory does not actually say what some people think it says - see the FAIRwiki paper called Conflation of 1824-25 revival?. (2) There is plenty of documentary evidence that shows abundant revival activity in the general region surrounding Palmyra, New York during an 1819-1820 time period. A careful examination of Joseph Smith's 1838 narrative reveals that three distinct zones of revival activity are being referred to by him and each of these can be confirmed in non-LDS newspapers and ecclesiastical sources. When all of these sources are taken into account the idea of conflation loses most of its strength.
Source:Palmyra Register:28 June 1820:5 July 1820:It was far from our intention to charge the Methodists with retailing ardent spirits while professedly met for the worship of their God Source:Benajah Williams:July 1820:Had a two Days meeting at Sq Bakers in Richmond
Pregunta: ¿Gordon B. Hinckley citó información falsa con respecto a un avivamiento de Palmyra de 1820 en un libro llamado Truth Restored?
It is claimed that there were no religious revivals in the Palmyra, New York area in 1820, and that Gordon B. Hinckley cited false information regarding an 1820 revival in a book called Truth Restored. The material found in Truth Restored was written in 1947 under the title What of the Mormons? It was written as an introduction to the Church for non-members when Gordon B. Hinckley was a 37-year-old employee of the Church.
Several chapters were later reprinted as Truth Restored. The relevant material reads as follows:
This condition among the people of the frontier areas of America became a matter of serious concern to religious leaders. A crusade was begun to "convert the unconverted." It was carried over a vast area from the New England states to Kentucky. In 1820 it reached western New York. The ministers of the various denominations united in their efforts, and many conversions were made among the scattered settlers. One week a Rochester paper noted: "More than two hundred souls have become hopeful subjects of divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Lyons, and Ontario since the late revival commenced." The week following it was able to report "that in Palmyra and Macedon . . . more than four hundred souls have already confessed that the Lord is good."
The source for this claim is Preston Nibley, Joseph Smith the Prophet (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1946), pp. 21-22. Nibley, in turn is quoting from Willard Bean, A. B. C. History of Palmyra and the Beginning of "Mormonism (1938). Bean writes:
In the year 1819 a sort of religious awakening... spread... After reaching New York it spread to the rural districts upstate, reaching Palmyra and vicinity in the Spring of 1820.... The revival started the latter part of April ... which gave the farmers a chance to attend the meetings... By the first of May, the revival was well under way with scores of people confessing religion... The revival had been even more successful than the ministers had anticipated. I quote from the Religious Advocate of Rochester: 'More than 200 souls have become hopeful subjects of divine grace in Palmyra, Macedon, Manchester, Lyons and Ontario since the late revival commenced. This is a powerful work. It is among young as well as old people.... A week later [also from the 'Religious Advocate' of Rochester]... 'It may be added that in Palmyra and Macedon, including Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, more than 400 have already confessed that the Lord is good. The work is still progressing. In neighboring towns, the number is great and still increasing. Glory be to God on high; and on earth peace and good will to all men.'"
This is almost certainly a miscitation
Yet, as the Reverend Wesley Walters pointed out in his article which attempted to dispute the existence of a revival, this is almost certainly a miscitation, since the quoted newspaper did not begin publication until 1825.
Thus, Gordon Hinckley (1947) quoted a line from Nibley (1946), who was quoting from Bean (1938) that was in error. It is important to remember, however, that then-Bro. Hinckley's book was not intended to be a scholarly treatise, but was an introduction to the basics of Church history. The material from 1947 was later reprinted as Truth Restored.
Despite the miscitation, there actually is, however, evidence of religious excitement in Palmyra in 1820
Despite the claims of Walters and other critics, modern research has demonstrated that there were religious meeting in the Palmyra area in 1820. The cited newspaper article did not apply to the 1820 events, but other reports are known today which would make the same point.
The evidence does not suggest that this was an attempt to deceive, but simply an error that was perpetuated between multiple authors.
Anti-Mormon authors should be well aware of this phenomenon—anti-Mormon arguments are constantly recycled and requoted by their successors, with little heed given to LDS responses or the primary sources. In this respect, the Church has done better than the critics—the current brief introduction to Church history, Our Heritage, quotes no newspapers about the 1820 revival.
- MormonThink.com page "The First Vision"
- Wikipedia editor "John Foxe", (9 December 2007)
- These primary sources, not surprisingly, are omitted from the "First Vision" Wikipedia article. For further information, see: An analysis of Wikipedia article "First Vision"
- Discussed and cited on pages 9–10 of Plantilla:DialogueP
- 1832 relato de la Primera Visión de José Smith
- Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana and Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition, 1987), 53. ISBN 0252060121.
- Plantilla:Book:Bushman:Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism:Short
- Francis W. Conable, History of the Genesee Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 2nd edition (New York: Phillips and Hunt, 1885), 317.
- David Marks, The Life of David Marks, To the 26th year of his age. Including the Particulars of His Conversion, Call to the Ministry, and Labours in Itinerant Preaching for nearly Eleven Years (Limerick, Maine: Printed at the Office of the Morning Star, 1831), 30-31.
- Palmyra Register (Palmyra, NY), 28 July 1820.
- Orsamus Turner, History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase, and Morris’ Reserve (Rochester, New York: William Alling, 1851), 212–213.
- Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism (New York: D. Appleton, 1867), 17–18.
- George W. Cowles, Landmarks of Wayne County (Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Company, 1895), 194.
- Cowles, Landmarks of Wayne County, 194.
- Cowles, Landmarks of Wayne County, 191–192.
- Palmyra Register (Palmyra, NY), 28 June 1820.
- Palmyra Register (Palmyra, NY), 5 July 1820.
- This episode in the Palmyra Register was noted in Walter A. Norton, "Comparative Images: Mormonism and Contemporary Religions as Seen by Village Newspapermen in Western New York and Northeastern Ohio, 1820-1833" (Ph.D. Diss., Brigham Young University, 1991), 255. Discussed in footnote 3 by Plantilla:FR-6-2-8
- Truth Restored (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979), 1–2.
- Rev. Wesley P. Walters, "New Light on Mormon Origins From the Palmyra Revival," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4:1 (Spring 1969): 67, 67 n. 48.
- Cited in Dale Broadhurst, "Uncle Dale's Readings in Early Mormon History: Misc. New York Newspapers," note 2. off-site (Inglés)
- Rev. Wesley P. Walters, "New Light on Mormon Origins From the Palmyra Revival," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4:1 (Spring 1969): 67, 67 n. 48.
- See Plantilla:OurHeritage