I am frustrated by apologists for the church. They do more harm than good and undermine what good exists in the church through their tone and methods. They wrest scriptures to their own destruction and to the anxiety of others. Some who seek to defend the church academically and professionally use a mind-boggling array of rhetorical and textual tactics to justify anything in church practice and behavior, without regard to how the same methods can be turned against their side almost effortlessly.
Apologist extraordinaire Daniel Peterson had just such an article this week in the Deseret News. To defend Joseph Smith's character against the claim that he spoke arrogantly at times, he shows how the History of the Church cannot be trusted as a historical reference to Joseph Smith.
Ahem. The History of the Church cannot even be trusted.
So let's take Mr. Peterson's article and apply it exactly to another context: the First Vision. (For best results, first read Mr. Peterson's article before proceeding further.)