Saint Teresa of Ávila’s “First Vision” Accounts

Saint Teresa of Ávila, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1615.
Saint Teresa of Ávila, by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1615. (click to see the full painting)

Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) was a Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and was canonized a Roman Catholic saint by Pope Gregory XV.

In her penetrating autobiography, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, she describes many of her ecstatic visions of the Divine, which should ring many bells for Latter-day Saints.

Here are a few selections, beginning with a vision of hell: Continue reading “Saint Teresa of Ávila’s “First Vision” Accounts”

Nancy Clark’s “First Vision” Accounts

Nancy Clark
Nancy Clark (b. 1941)

Nancy Clark worked as a cancer researcher and cytology instructor at Ohio State University for many years, until her retirement. She is the founder of the Columbus Ohio branch of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc. (IANDS). She is also the author of several books on spirituality, detailing her spiritual experiences and insights.

In 1979, at about the age of 38, she had an experience while giving a eulogy at the funeral of a friend that forever changed her life. She later called it a “near-death-like” experience, being similar to many NDEs (including one she had earlier in life), but she was not near death at all. She describes it in one place like this: Continue reading “Nancy Clark’s “First Vision” Accounts”

AA Co-Founder Bill Wilson’s “First Vision” Account

bill-wilson
William Griffith Wilson (1895-1971)

Bill Wilson, the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), had a spiritual awakening that involved bright light, sometimes referred to as his “hot flash” or “white light transformation.”

Prior to founding AA, Wilson was an extreme alcoholic, and was admitted to the hospital several times for it. At about age 39, on what would be his last visit to the hospital in 1934, he showed signs of delirium tremens, a condition caused by withdrawal from high intakes of alcohol. Similar to Joseph Smith, he found himself in an extremely distressed mental state. He later recounted: Continue reading “AA Co-Founder Bill Wilson’s “First Vision” Account”