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”

David O. McKay: Meditate to Enter God’s Presence

Fifty years ago in April 1967, David Oman McKay (1873-1970), the ninth president of the LDS Church, gave a talk in the priesthood session of General Conference that was unique. It was entitled “Consciousness of God: Supreme Goal of Life.” (He did repurpose some material from an earlier talk he gave in April 1946 on the topic of the sacrament.) At the age of 93, just three years before his passing, President McKay was in deteriorating health, which is why he may have asked his son, Robert R. McKay, to read his talk for him.

Continue reading “David O. McKay: Meditate to Enter God’s Presence”

What is Priesthood and Ordination?

I perceive that priesthood was originally an inner experience of Divine Power and Presence in humans, a deep Realization when they subdued their egoic psychological “natural man” self in consciousness, and perceived their real Being underneath it in Glory, beyond words. I believe humans eventually organized this mystical experience, and the knowledge of it, instituting it into the “ordination” to an “office” of “priesthood,” meant to indicate those who had direct experience of God. Those who had greater or deeper experiences of God were ordained to higher priesthoods.

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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”