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Full Access Talking to Angels; Talking of Angels: Constructing the Angelology of the Book of Mormon

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Talking to Angels; Talking of Angels: Constructing the Angelology of the Book of Mormon

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AbstractVision narratives report experiences that cannot be confirmed because they cannot be shared. Those who see angels can only receive confirmation and reassurance from the way that their testimony is accepted by others. Taking the publication of the vision reports found in the Book of Mormon (1830) as an example of a visionary’s concern for validation, the paper shows how Joseph Smith, Jr. (the book’s “author and translator”) could rely on his readers confirming - by their tacit assent to what they read - the truth of what he held to be his own revelatory experience. However, as Smith thought of the ministry of angels as a relational rather than a referential term, and brought all instances of revelation under this heading, there could be a difference between what was described (and assented to) and what was experienced.

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