This one has been on my mind for a while, so I guess the time is now to share some things I have come across relating to the origins of the Mormon experience.
I don't often write diaries, but some comments on a diary I just posted yesterday :
Idaho Senator Crapo arrested on DUI (23 Dec 2012)
... reminded me about this. Crapo is a supposedly teetotaling Mormon, so particularly ironic to get busted for a DUI. Which got me thinking on how some folks say Joseph Smith got started in the first place, which is at such odds with what it seems to have become since then.
In short, it appears that Joseph Smith, who was essentially the prophet of Mormonism, may have used entheogens as a key ingredient for his spiritual quest & ministry.
There is a pretty in depth description in :
The Restoration, Holy Ghost and Visions: Did Joseph Smith use psychedelics to facilitate visionary experiences? Excerpts from Dr. Robert Becksteadm's essay "The Restoration and The Sacred Mushrooom"
For example here's an excerpt:
Heavenly manifestations occurred in a March 18th 1833 sacrament meeting held in Kirtland Ohio under the direction of Joseph Smith.
Bro Joseph … promise[d] that the pure in heart that were present should see a heavenly vision … after which the bread and wine was distributed by Bro Joseph after which many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the savior and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what he saw. (LDS History of the Church, Vol I. p. 283., Kirtland High Council Minutes (December 1832–November 1837). P. 16-17)
In the afternoon of March 27th 1833, Ebenezer Robinson reported that after the administration of the bread and wine Frederick G. Williams bore record that a holy angel of God came and sat between him and Joseph Smith, Senior.
Here is another interesting piece on this:
Was Joseph Smith the First Hippy?
Finally the insight I liked the best was the interview with Dr. Robert Beckstead and James Warren Mooney – “The Mormons: Joseph Smith’s Psychedelic Voyage”
it's a bit long 2+ hours, but if you have the time it's worth it. Very insightful.
What's it all mean? I am not a Mormon so I can't judge, but just find it all intriguing - actually mind-blowing. I'm amazed that this is not front-page news on the cover of Time Magazine or something.
I'd hope that the Mormon church owns up to it's roots & acknowledge that they are the heirs to an incredible legacy. Perhaps if they turned back to the real plant teachers they would have less of a problem with embarrassing things like their standard-bearers getting arrested on DUI's
Either way, I wish all my fellow beloved Kossacks a Merry Christmas (or alternative celebration of your choice!) & best wishes for a happy New Baktun