Josh, I really appreciate your reply. I’d love to dig into a few things with you. As I mentioned in my post, it’s not the absurdity of the events. One magical occurrence is not greater than the magical occurrence of another. However, I think there are two issues with your solution of throwing all logic and reason out the window and focusing only on a spiritual witness:
1.) Within the framework of Mormon theology, it is said that the glory of God is intelligence. You are supposed to seek out the best books, improve yourself, study things out in your mind, become like Him, etc.
Why would God create such confusion within His own church? Why have Joseph Smith create multiple, conflicting accounts of the First Vision account? Why have anachronisms in the “most correct book on the face of the Earth?” Why have the Book of Abraham facsimile’s be blatant non-translations?
It doesn’t make any sense. Why give you a brain to use, write in holy cannon that you need to use it, but then create impediments in your search for knowledge and truth to such a degree that you need to ignore reason and appeal only to a spiritual witness?
2.) Nearly every believer in nearly every religion has a personal, spiritual witness that their religion is best and right. I’ve listened to others recount their experiences and some of the stories I’ve heard are quite impactful. They talk about having a vision, hearing a voice, having a feeling that completely enveloped them — sometimes much more impactful than conversion stories I’ve heard from LDS members. How do you so quickly discount others’ experiences and say that yours is more authentic? More true?
I think it’s worth asking yourself, if other believers of other religions, which have fundamentally different doctrine, feel the same feelings that you feel — why is that?