Odd question for Mormons


#1

As a former Mormon, I cant say that I recall any sense of mysticism within Mormonism?

Are there any Mormon mystics?


#2

I’m not really sure what a mystic is. Dictionary.com says this:

“involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal.”

There is certainly symbolism in the sacrament in in our temple ordinances, but I wouldn’t describe anything as ‘otherworldy’ or ‘ethereal’. It’s all about understanding how reality works and what God wants of me.


#3

The great majority of Mormons are not allowed any freedom to become mystics. That is allowed only among the leadership-- as prophets. However, the top leadership are businessmen.

Early Mormons spoke in tongues. This was banned, since it would encourage people to challenge Joseph Smith’s leadership.


#4

there is some in the garments (the underwear). Stories are told of it stopping bullets and such


#5

[quote="TexanKnight, post:4, topic:310313"]
there is some in the garments (the underwear). Stories are told of it stopping bullets and such

[/quote]

I would like to put it to the test. (absent the person of course) If it stops a bullet, ill convert. Alot cheaper than a bullet resistant vest :D


#6

[quote="LongJourney, post:3, topic:310313"]
The great majority of Mormons are not allowed any freedom to become mystics. That is allowed only among the leadership-- as prophets. However, the top leadership are businessmen.

.

[/quote]

That was my first thought as well. If anything, I would see it as being discouraged. Many of the Catholic mystics faced a lot of grief and were poorly treated by others, including many of their own religious communities if they were a religious.


#7

[quote="NeuroTypical, post:2, topic:310313"]
I'm not really sure what a mystic is. Dictionary.com says this: There is certainly symbolism in the sacrament in in our temple ordinances, but I wouldn't describe anything as 'otherworldy' or 'ethereal'. It's all about understanding how reality works and what God wants of me.

[/quote]

Here is a better understanding for you Neuro Typical.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism


#8

Im thinking more along the lines of human mystics. Not inanimate objects. :smiley:

Perhaps you read “magical” when I wrote “mystical”… They arent the same :slight_smile:


#9

Mormon teachings have nothing good to say about asceticism.


#10

The fundamental Mormon experience, or summum bonum, of Mormonism might be considered intrinsically mystical. In Mormon epistemology, the ultimate witness is the witness of the Holy Ghost, for "What greater testimony can you have, than from God?"

If mysticism has anything at all to do with a conscious awareness of or direct communion with the Spirit of God, then all Mormons who pursue this principal end are mystics. Whatever difficulties may arise; whatever reasonable arguments might be mounted, the Mormon ever relies upon the "whisperings" of the Spirit for assurance and comfort and the Knowledge that his is the truth revealed from God.


#11

[quote="NeuroTypical, post:2, topic:310313"]
It's all about understanding how reality works and what God wants of me.

[/quote]

Yes, this is what a mystic seeks. Unification with God, who is reality.


#12

Here is what lds.org has under their topic index for mysticism:

False doctrine
Sorcery
Superstition
Traditions of men

There's your answer Marie.


#13

Mormonism is rooted in American transcendentalism, not mysticism.


#14

[quote="Marie5890, post:8, topic:310313"]
Im thinking more along the lines of human mystics. Not inanimate objects. :D

Perhaps you read "magical" when I wrote "mystical".... They arent the same :)

[/quote]

No...I read mystical...sorry if I upset your applecart


#15

[quote="RebeccaJ, post:13, topic:310313"]
Mormonism is rooted in American transcendentalism, not mysticism.

[/quote]

Each man a god, the self-reliant man, intuition, spirit, and individual... yes, these are all tenets of early Mormonism, preserved in the modern church in much of its practical religion. But if that is its root, its chief tool of conversion is the personal, spiritual union with God--and this is a functional definition of mysticism.

It is not uncommon for a system to decry in others the thing which it leans upon most. The reason you see such pejoratives and epithets under the topic of "mysticism" in the LDS topical guide, is that the same thing that Mormons experience as their ultimate Good, when found in other places that do not square with Mormon thought, are logically very dangerous to Mormonism.

If I am filled with the Spirit, and all of those things that William James wrote about in his "Varieties of Religious Experience"; and if I have received a certainty and witness from what I am convinced is God Himself, then what can it possibly mean when someone else receives completely contrary evidence through the same alleged channels? Well, I shall dismiss it as "Sorcery," "Superstition," and so forth.


#16

[quote="TexanKnight, post:14, topic:310313"]
No...I read mystical...sorry if I upset your applecart

[/quote]

No, no upset apple cart. Your answer just read as if you misread my question is all. :)


#17

[quote="RebeccaJ, post:12, topic:310313"]
Here is what lds.org has under their topic index for mysticism:

False doctrine
Sorcery
Superstition
Traditions of men

There's your answer Marie.

[/quote]

Thanks Rebecca, as always, for your help.

Looking back on my years, I didnt recall anything that would equate with mysticism. I just wasnt sure.


#18

[quote="pmccombs, post:15, topic:310313"]
Each man a god, the self-reliant man, intuition, spirit, and individual... yes, these are all tenets of early Mormonism, preserved in the modern church in much of its practical religion. But if that is its root, its chief tool of conversion is the personal, spiritual union with God--and this is a functional definition of mysticism.

[/quote]

Except, I don't think that is what most Mormon are doing. Most are examining their emotions and applying meaning to those emotions based on what Mormonism defines. ie, it feels good so God must be saying it is right and good. It feels bad, so God must have left the building.

I say "most", because I have known a handful of LDS who have figured out the emotional definitions they've been taught don't match to reality, and have moved on to seeking God in a more mystical sense.

It is not uncommon for a system to decry in others the thing which it leans upon most. The reason you see such pejoratives and epithets under the topic of "mysticism" in the LDS topical guide, is that the same thing that Mormons experience as their ultimate Good, when found in other places that do not square with Mormon thought, are logically very dangerous to Mormonism.

If I am filled with the Spirit, and all of those things that William James wrote about in his "Varieties of Religious Experience"; and if I have received a certainty and witness from what I am convinced is God Himself, then what can it possibly mean when someone else receives completely contrary evidence through the same alleged channels? Well, I shall dismiss it as "Sorcery," "Superstition," and so forth.

Yes, I figured this out as Mormon teen. :)


#19

[quote="Marie5890, post:17, topic:310313"]
Thanks Rebecca, as always, for your help.

Looking back on my years, I didnt recall anything that would equate with mysticism. I just wasnt sure.

[/quote]

Same here.


#20

That makes a little more sense.

Mysticism; (from the Greek μυστικός, mystikos, meaning ‘an initiate’) is the belief in personal experience of, states of consciousness, or levels of being, or aspects of reality, beyond normal human perception, sometimes including experience of and communion with a supreme being

Do I understand correctly that Catholics believe mysticism to be a welcome and genuine part of their spiritual existence?

I don’t think I’ve really ever encountered the word at church. But yes indeed Mormons believe in person experience of and communion with God, through the Holy Ghost. I’m much more familiar with terms like “personal revelation” or “spiritual confirmation” or “witness of the spirit”. (And I’m not sure if the word ‘communion’ means the same thing to me as it does to Cathoics.)

You can’t swing a dead cat in a room full of Mormons without hitting a few who are willing to share experiences of receiving personal communication from deity. I have a few experiences, as does my wife. A mormon’s testimony of the truthfulness of the BoM and prophet is often (usually?) based on a spiritual witness.

Would this BoM scripture be an example of what you’re asking about?
Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.


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