The “Ahman Prayer”: Toward a Mormon Contemplative Practice

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.

Joseph Losing the “Plates” and “Interpreters” was Mystical not Literal

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.

Notes on “Contemplation” from a Lecture with Fr. Laurence Freeman

Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a lecture with Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB, at the Carmelite Monastery of Baltimore in Towson, Maryland. It was sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore, and the Benedictine Sisters of Emmanuel Monastery, as well as The World Community for Christian Meditation, of [...]

Reconstructing the narrative surrounding Joseph Smith

Who was Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844)? He's been quite an enigma both within and outside of Mormonism since his death. Many Mormons see him as a deeply gifted prophet of God, in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and even Moses. He recorded and published new scripture, the Book of Mormon, just like ancient prophets. Many Mormons revere him as someone who restored Christianity in its purity, even the original Christian church and true gospel of Jesus. They believe he received true priesthood authority from God to perform real saving rituals, ordinances, and act as a "high priest" to bring others into the presence of God.

Annie Dillard's "First Vision" Account

Annie Dillard (b. 1945) is an American author of fiction and non-fiction. She won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1975 for her work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This nonfiction book was written in the first-person detailing Dillard's exploration around her home in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and her close observation of nature and life.

The Mysticism of Joseph Smith

I see mysticism in Joseph Smith and his work at nearly every turn. Joseph united his mind and consciousness in God to such a great degree that he spoke with the voice of Christ. One only does that if one is genuinely in mystical union with God, or delusional, or a con man (a fake). I perceive Joseph was the first, and I'll share a few reasons why.

“If Evolution is True, The Church is False”?

President Joseph Fielding Smith, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who later became the tenth President and "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" of the LDS Church, wrote the following that was published in 1954: "IF EVOLUTION IS TRUE, THE CHURCH IS FALSE."

Our Loss of Mystical Consciousness

God wants to speak to us. God yearns for it, and many of us yearn for it too. God wants us to know Him ourselves, in our Selves. This is the very definition of Eternal Life (John 17:3). But we must do our part. We must get out of our own way. We must surrender and submit our egos, our egoic mind, in order to allow God to speak to us. The Prophet Joseph Smith seems to have known how to do this, but we seem to have lost this ability today, even the kinds of practices that lead to it.