Norris Stearns “First Vision” Account

This is an account written by Norris Stearns of Greenfield, Massachusetts, published in 1815, five years before Joseph Smith’s First Vision experience, in a pamphlet titled The Religious Experience Of Norris Stearns Written by Divine Command. The 35 page pamphlet can be read in its entirety online at this link. Here is an excerpt of part of his vision:

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Hellen Keller’s “First Vision” Account

Hellen Keller, the famed author, activist, and lecturer who was deaf and blind from two years old, wrote of her spiritual life in an autobiographical book titled My Religion, also published as Light in My Darkness. It seems that Keller had significant mystical insights into the nature of her being. Reading another mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg, she says that the truths were “to my faculties what light, color and music are to the eye and ear.” Here is one selection from her book: Continue reading “Hellen Keller’s “First Vision” Account”

“Who Am I?” The Simulation Hypothesis Mindfully and Mormonly Reconsidered

I came across a passage several years ago that I blogged about. I thought I’d say some more about that passage today.

…it could very well be that we’re the products of an elaborate simulation… Moreover, we may not be who we think we are. Assuming that the people running the simulation are also taking part in it, our true identities may be temporarily suppressed, to heighten the realness of the experience.

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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”