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.
I suggest that Joseph realized Christ in himself in his First Vision, and I think this can be seen in many details in his accounts.
There is no genuine contemplative practice in Mormonism, an inner meditative gaze deep in consciousness. I offer a possible format for a uniquely Mormon practice.
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.
A late thirdhand account of the First Vision from John Alger in 1893 may be corroborated by some early secondhand (esoteric) references in some songs and hymns recorded in 1833, which may also have connections to a recorded revelation in 1830.
What is the relationship between mysticism and religion? It is perhaps a cycle, which begins in mysticism and ends in fundamentalist dogmatic religion, and politics, where it begins again.
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.
Can mysticism or spirituality be transmitted from one person to another? I suggest yes and no.
The ironies and paradoxes run high and deep in mystical experience. Here is some of what I've experienced.
A reinterpretation of a revelation to Joseph Smith on the glory of God.