Can We Have A “First Vision” Experience?

This is a guest post by Ann Purcell. Ann has been teaching a technique of meditation called Transcendental Meditation (TM) since 1973. In this article she introduces what’s possible in meditation and some of the differences between TM and other forms of meditation.


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Ann Purcell

I recently posted a guest article on my blog by Bryce Haymond about Joseph Smith, publisher of the Book of Mormon and founder of the Latter-day Saint movement. In his essay Bryce describes a life-transforming experience that Joseph Smith had at age 14 when he was praying in a forest. Continue reading “Can We Have A “First Vision” Experience?”

God’s Mystical Greeting in Joseph Smith’s First Vision

There is a curious detail in Joseph Smith’s earliest accounts of his First Vision that may teach us more about his encounter with Deity, and why there are differences between the accounts. It is when God greets Joseph. Please bear with me as I present the various firsthand accounts, and we will return to the curious detail afterwards.

Continue reading “God’s Mystical Greeting in Joseph Smith’s First Vision”

The Divine Light of a Lowly Farmer Boy

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Ann Purcell

Ann Purcell is the author of the book The Transcendental Meditation Technique and The Journey of Enlightenment, from which I’ve cited several “First Vision” accounts. Ann has a friend who is Mormon who sent her a note about my website, ThyMindOMan.com, and Ann contacted me. Through email exchanges I’ve come to know Ann better. She is a kind, wise, humble, and gracious person, who I am grateful to know and call my friend. Continue reading “The Divine Light of a Lowly Farmer Boy”

Missionary encounters with people who had divine interactions

On my LDS mission in El Salvador East (’00-02, the mission and country name translation meaning “The Savior”), I once taught a woman the first discussion, and after teaching about Joseph Smith’s First Vision she said “YES! I’ve seen the same thing!” And she proceeded to tell us her own experience of seeing the divine light. My companion and I rolled our eyes at each other and told her, “No, no… you see, Joseph was a prophet of God who saw God and Jesus Christ,” etc. She was insistent that she too had seen God in the light. We left, chuckling under our breath at her obvious delusion. Continue reading “Missionary encounters with people who had divine interactions”

The Mystical Core of Mormonism: A Very Brief Introduction

Bryce Haymond

Abstract: The experience and concept known as mysticism and its practitioners, mystics, are largely unknown today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What are these, and what relationship might they have with the Gospel and the Restoration, particularly with Joseph Smith and his First Vision? The case is made that they may be vital to our communion with God, and our ultimate goal of returning to God. Many perspectives and concepts are discussed including personal experience, neuroscience, psychology, transhumanism, computer science, philosophy, popular culture, history of religions, psychology of religion, and contemplative practices, offering tentative associations and insights with Mormon concepts of spiritual experience, atonement, salvation, exaltation, the Second Comforter, calling and election, and theosis or divinization, becoming like God. Continue reading “The Mystical Core of Mormonism: A Very Brief Introduction”