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This is Video Two in the FairMormon series: “The CES Letter, A Closer Look” wherein Brian Hales examines claims posted by Jeremy Runnells in his “Letter to a CES Director”. Installments in the series run every Monday and can also be found on the FairMormon youtube channel.

Pages 22 and 23 of The Letter to a CES Director attack the First Vision recounted by Joseph Smith. It is true that minor variations are found in the five primary and four secondary accounts. However, The CES Letter seems to employ highly biased, if not deceptive, methodology as it sensationalizes the differences. When the claims are distilled down and contextualized, it appears that the concerns voiced in The CES Letter regarding the First Vision are less compelling, if not misleading.

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Brian C. Hales is the author of The CES Letter: A Closer Look, as well as seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.



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