Updated on August 10, 2021
Doug Tales 36: What Joseph Smith Said and Did
Do you believe “the greatest American mystic was Joseph Smith”? Doug Mendenhall often talked about what Joseph Smith said and did in his life to conquer spiritual evil. Since Joseph openly shared about his spiritual experiences through the veil, Doug studied his teachings and life to learn how he too could do the same. Some of Doug’s observations about Joseph Smith are in his book, I See…Awake! (2015) on pages 18-23:
I met many people that did “energy work.” We brought in Robert Bruce from Australia to teach a workshop about energy work. When I first met him he asked if I was a Mormon. I told him I was. He said he was grateful to meet one, since the “greatest American mystic was Joseph Smith.” I asked him what he meant. “He contacted Heaven, looked into Heaven, talked to Heaven more than any American ever has,” he said. He talked about how Joseph had visions of God, angels, used seer stones and other metaphysical means to accomplish things never done before in America, so Robert Bruce declared him to be an incredible mystic and seer. I have to agree with Robert—Joseph is an amazing seer and even a mystic.
Here is the definition of mystical: Mystical: 1. Spiritual 2. Of or relating to an intimate knowledge of or direct communion with God (as through contemplation or visions).
I’d say that covers Joseph Smith—he was a mystic. He came to know God’s laws and used them to “see” and do all kinds miracles and more. We should all become “mystical!”…
Both light and dark have much to teach us. The Lord had to comprehend it all and we must also. Joseph Smith stated:
“The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. “Thy mind O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation; must search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.” (History of the Church 3:295)
We will search into and contemplate some of those dark abysses and by doing so will commune with God. He will teach us many things in our hearts and minds if we will take the time and ask for the experiences, and then give what He offers careful, ponderous and solemn thought. It is worth it—all of it.
Joseph Smith said: “Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 357)
“All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of our affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 355)
“…Revealed to us in the abstract…” What does that mean? “Abstract” is an adjective which indicates that a thought or an idea does not have a physical or concrete existence. As a verb it means to consider something in theory or separately from something else.
So, consider this possibility: Joseph is telling us that when God reveals something to us, He does it as if we had no bodies at all. So when God speaks to us, it is directly to our spirit. Like Robert Bruce said about Joseph Smith, he is the greatest seer or mystic of our time in America. Joseph is speaking from experience; he should know; he did know.
Spiritual information is always coming to us. Everyone knows that we have the five external senses: Seeing (visual); hearing (auditory); feeling (tactile); smelling (olfactory); and tasting (gustatory). But we have been blessed with six internal senses that are spiritual in nature. We have the same five as the physical senses plus one other, which is empathy, a “feeling” sense. This means we can feel emotions inside our bodies. All six of these internal senses are constantly giving us information, whether we realize it or not. Like all muscles and abilities, we can increase our competency when we spend time practicing each one of them. When voicing a blessing people have experienced that the information will come through visual, auditory, and especially empathic means. I have also smelled and tasted things during blessings and have felt other hands laid on top of mine. This is all spiritual in nature. You may feel things around you, on you, or in you. You might experience tastes or smells that you are to convey to the person receiving the blessing. Many times I have seen pictures or events that I will then describe to the one I’m voicing the blessing.
God has given us the knowledge that He speaks to our spirit, which is how we will learn. We will discuss many of His laws and how to apply them in this work.
It is my hope that the words of Joseph will apply to this work, that it doesn’t come from me in the least, that all of it comes from our Lord Jesus Christ, and that it will “taste good.”
“This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 355)