Mormon Mysticism?

This blog's title might seem odd to you. Journals of a Mormon Mystic? I mean, mysticism conjures up images of crystal balls and tarot cards, a far cry from the exoteric conservatism normally associated with Mormonism. But in reality these are both gross misconceptions, for the Mormon religion has mysticism at its heart.

I'm going to use a definition of mysticism that may not be what people accept or what you are used to. As Humpty-Dumpty said in Lewis Carroll's famous work, "a word is exactly what I choose it to mean", so bear with me. The way I see it, a mystic is one who has "an eye single to the glory of God" (D&C 4:5; 82:19). He or she focuses not on the humdrum concerns of everyday life, but looks ever upward to the source of all things' life and being. They pass over the limited and temporal, seeing everything in this world as a lens through which they behold the divine.

But the mystic doesn't merely try to gaze upon God, for mysticism also involves a desire to lose yourself in him.You see, only a fool would deny that the life of an individual on his or her own is sorely lacking something. Each of us has a gaping hole in our hearts that can't be filled by worldly pleasures or delights, a fundamental sense of deficiency that never goes away. To echo C. S. Lewis' statement that we were "made for another world", the mystic recognizes that it is only by losing oneself in God that anyone can have any sense of totality.

As a matter of fact, this craving for heaven makes up the very heart of Mormonism. Not only does Mormon doctrine espouse the notion that we should look God-ward (as does any theistic religion), but it stands unparalleled among all Abrahamic faiths in its insistence that we can become one with deity. For the God of Mormonism isn't some exclusive Trinitarian oligarchy - it is uniquely democratic. Anyone and everyone can partake of the divine nature, joining the infinite hosts of those who can say that they have become "as God now is".

This blog is my attempt to explore the connection that I have presented here. Through forays into various subjects, I will try to show that mysticism - the tradition of the Upanishads, Meister Eckhart, and Emerson - can be reconciled with the Mormonism of Joseph Smith, his successors, and all others who believe. Let me know how I do.


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