I suggest that the physical object that Joseph had in his possession was not literally ancient gold plates, but plates of his own creation which talismanically represented the "gold plates" of his visions, aiding his mystical translation of those visions.
For many people, religious language is failing. New words are being used to refer to similar religious ideas.
We will be discussing how we may reinterpret the ideas of Mormonism (and Christianity) in the light of classic mysticism, interspirituality, modern science, psychology, and other progressive and constructive approaches.
A tradition of a "heavenly book" runs through many traditions, including Mormonism with its "gold plates." What spiritual reality might these traditions be pointing to?
The earliest known account of First Vision may not be the one in 1832, but many esoteric accounts in April-June 1829, in the Book of Mormon text itself.
The "Urim & Thummim" were perhaps Joseph's own eyes, which in a mystical state of consciousness could "see" the visionary "plates." He lost these "gifts" for a time.
I introduce a new translation of Joseph Smith's First Vision, giving some background to this interpretation of his mystical experience, the nature of translation, its pseudepigraphal nature, how it was done, and more.
Is the meaning of scripture fixed, or can it be given new fresh meaning? I think it is much more of the latter than the former.
Scrooge is a metaphor of the egoic mind, dismissing mystical experience as pathological.
This is my response to a recent video produced by the LDS Church on the nature of God. My reinterpretation moves away from the supernatural dualistic interpretation, towards a more immanent nondualistic interpretation of the Divine.