Monday, August 13, 2007

WELCOME

Welcome to the new home of Mormon Mysticism.

The phrase “Mormon Mysticism” brings all kinds of images to the minds of readers. The problem is almost none of those images are of the same thing. The topic of Mormon Mysticism has a large problem with nomenclature. Even the words used to describe “mysticism” mean different things to different people.

When I speak and write about Mormon Mysticism I am using it in the context that Hugh Nibley described:

“...[B]ut that is what Christ meant by the mysteries of the kingdom. He meant ordinances, which were necessary; and these he revealed to the apostles during his very confidential teachings of the forty days after the resurrection. The purpose of such ordinances is to bridge the space between the world in which we now live, the telestial world, and that to which we aspire, the celestial world.” [Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, Deseret Book, pg. 28.]

From antiquity “mysteries” have been associated with the temple. The study of the fragmented and corrupted remains of earlier gospel dispensations has sparked an almost endless speculative debate about the meaning of mysteries.

Some equate mysteries with seeking some unobtainable and forbidden knowledge, but that is not what is meant in scripture. In scripture we are invited to the mysteries, and they are an obtainable worthy goal.

“Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.” [D&C 6:7]

I invite you my readers to participate in this discussion that is meant to further understand the things of God.

40 comments:

Todd Ellis said...

Wonderful! I've been looking for a blog like this for some time now. I will be a daily visitor for sure!

Anonymous said...

First! err...Second...

Mystic Monkey said...

Glad there's finally a website to go along with the book.

I look forward to seeing the mysteries become less mysterious.

David Littlefield said...

Thanks guys!

Come back often - I have a ton of material to post.

- David

Anonymous said...

I am glad i found this website. Topics are very interesting!

-A reader from Finland

David Littlefield said...

Dear Anonymous from Finland: And thank you for coming, and your kind words! You have forever the distinction of being the first international comment poster on this blog!

David J Larsen said...

Dear David,

This is David Larsen. I'm LDS and study at Marquette University under Andrei Orlov (who Kerry Shirts has made famous in these circles). I am learning a lot about the mystical tradition from him. I have come to appreciate the work you are doing and hope it continues to go well for you.
I thought of your sight today as I was in a Christian History class and the figure of discussion was Pseudo-Dionysius and his Mystical Theology. I have never seen a professor so lost for words. It seemed that nobody could understand where this guy was coming from. However, thanks to sites like yours and Kerry's and Dr. Orlov, I was able to explain to the class what he was going on about. The teacher still didn't want to acknowledge what I was saying, because the theology is so foreign to today's catholic theology.
Anyways, keep up the good work!
DJL

David Littlefield said...

Thank you David for your kind words.

I am so glad to hear that you have enjoyed my site, it means a lot to me.

Best wishes on your studies. And I am sure you will impact those around you wherever you are.

-David

Bryce said...

Great site! We are kindred spirits. I look forward to reading your site. I will add you to my blogroll over at TempleStudy.com too.

George said...

I tried to post a comment but it didn't work the first time.

To David Littlefield:

I have a problem with Mormon Mysticism because there is no such thing, as far as I know. Mysticism is a concept foreign to Mormonism. The only thing Mormonism has are mysteries. When we find concepts in other traditions that are compatible with Mormonism in other traditions, we interpret them through the lens of Mormonism, not the other way around. We don't add foreign apostate ideas to Mormonism. Mysticism, as far as I know, is one of these foreign ideas that are incompatible, I think. Perhaps you have made a poor choice of terminology that makes people like me think this way. But this is what I think I'm seeing here. Now please respond and clarify if I'm misunderstanding.

David Littlefield said...

Dear George:

Thank you for your comments, and your challenge. I completely understand what you are saying. However let me submit these ideas to you.

I could have chosen a softer name for this website and my book. I know my name throws many off right from the start. But frankly I figure if they can’t get past that, we won’t get past most any other of my topics.

When I refer to “mysticism” I am not referring to Gnosticism, or what can be called the “Mystery Schools.” And I suspect that your aversion stems from your assumption that I am associating Mormonism with the Mystery Schools. But I am not.

In short, my thesis is that certain knowledge, primarily revolving around temple worship was revealed to Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Peter, Paul, etc.. And that that knowledge was also revealed to Joseph Smith, and that that knowledge is central to the religion of Mormonism, which is known as the gospel. That fragments of the knowledge held by earlier dispensations exist into todays world, and that studying them can bring great stores of understanding to our religious walk.

I would also suggest that Mormonism is much more exotic than most members ever notice. Joseph Smith tried to teach us some of these things, but it was and is hard to move members beyond their puny protestant views.

I believe if anyone can grasp what is being taught in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, they would be a fan of my site. In Mormonism we are free to accept all truth.

George, I suspect you have not read much herein. I invite you to read a bit and let me know if you still feel the same way.

Best regards,
David

David Littlefield said...

George:

And one more thing about the name Mormon Mysticism.

There is a small but growing movements among Mormons, ex-mormons, and a special kind of anti-Mormons, that consider themselves Mormon Mystics. They have assumed that title for themselves, and have begun to control the conversation of certain topics that are dear to me. They are creating a whole genre that rightfully belongs to the true gospel.

I have appointed myself to jump into the mix, and gain control to the extent that I can. Some people want to understand these topics, and I did not want to leave them to the wolves, and I have seen the wolves eat to many of us.

And frankly, I enjoy the study.

-David

George said...

I was a lurker on the Mormon Mystic yahoo email list on and off for a while. I see people re-interpreting Mormonism on there as another occult tradition among the many occult traditions. I see them as occultists treating the gospel as if its wicca or any other "magickal" tradition. I see them having no aversion to Terot or witchcraft that to me amounts to no better than playing with ouija boards.

I have browsed your book and read through some of it. I see yours as an apologetic attempt to re-define what these people are doing into something else, but with your own twist of cabbala, re-interpreting the temple tradition within the framework within that framework. I'm a bit uncomfortable with that as well, and I don't know whether I'm adverse to it yet or not, only that I see it as going at this backwards. I don't know how much is worthwhile in cabbalah yet.

David Littlefield said...

George:

A couple points.

First I was thrown out of the Mormon Mystic Yahoo group. I did not fit there because I would not bend to their apostate views.

I think your comment “. I see yours as an apologetic attempt to re-define what these people are doing into something else, but with your own twist of cabbala” is unfair. I don’t see “these people” as relevant to the study. I have not referred to them in any positive way. Please take what I have on its own merits, please don’t throw it out because someone else discusses related topics.

I don’t have any interest in what some today call “Cabala” (Modona etc). But I am interested in the oral traditions of the Jews. These are the teachings of Israel, and to the extent they are pure, they ar the gospel.

-David

George said...

I guess that's the problem. I haven't figured out what merits it has yet I guess.

But if you would have picked some name like "Applying Jewish Traditions To the Gospel" or something of the like, I think people wouldn't be so adverse to it, because for those that know anything about the "Mormon Mystic" garbage on that yahoo group, the term "Mormon Mysticism" means exactly what these people have defined it as. It has become a loaded term essentially meaning "Mormon Occultism". And as you say, that isn't what you are trying to define it as.

George said...

Furthermore, Joe Swick "Heretic" and Kerry Shirts are on that Mormon Mystic group, and I'm trying to figure out whether they are siding more with you or them, or just what their stance is on this stuff.

It seems to me that Shirts and Swick actually do get into some Terot garbage, and have no aversion to it.

David Littlefield said...

George:

The Mormon Mystic Yahoo group is owned by Joe Swick. He runs it and he is the guru.

I really like Kerry Shirt, you should visit his site at Backyard Professor. Kerry has a wider area of teaching that he is comfortable in than I do, but he is very insightful, and a nice guy. I don’t see him as being cut from the same cloth as Joe.

-David

Elijah Sandalphon said...

DL- "The Mormon Mystic Yahoo group is owned by Joe Swick. He runs it and he is the guru."

ES- I think Joe and most on the members on Mormon Mystic Yahoo group would disagree with your characterization of Joe as MM's guru.

Clance' said...

Thank you for posting your blog. LDS doctrine and the truths of the Universe are as deep as we allow it to be.
Line upon line, precept upon precept...

David Littlefield said...

Hello Clance'!

Your are very welcome!

Thanks for visiting, please come back often.

-David

JayFlow22 said...

I don't see George's aversion to the term "mystic".
My Apple computer defines mystic as:
"A person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect."
I want to surrender my will to obtain unity with God. I believe that there are certain spiritual truths that are beyond my capability to understand fully

Bryce Haymond said...

I just did a post on mysticism that you might find interesting.

ama said...

great site! I read the templestudy site and one of the posts I was reading linked to your site.

I blog on things I learn in the gospel line upon line and I had recently written a post on the mysteries of God and how they are related to the temple. I will include your site on my blog as a reference if you don't mind.

ama
http://www.graceforgrace.com

okie777 said...

Hi David,

What an interesting blog / book you have put together! I hope to eventually do something similar with respect to Catholic or Patristic Mysticism. Blessings, Life, & Liberty.

Chad

David Littlefield said...

Okkie777

Thanks for the kind words. Please come back often.

David

Anonymous said...

Hi David. I would like to comment but before I do I would like to chat first, I am not a blogger, this is my first attempt to do so. If possible let me know how I can reach you. This topic is too close to my heart and life to not comment on. Maybe you can send me an email. Thanks.

David Littlefield said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for visiting.

I am glad these things are close to your heart, they are meant to be.

Please feel free to email me anytime at: david@mormonmysticism.com

David Littlefield

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Brooksidecourt said...

David;
I think I know where you mean to go with this, but you need to re-read your scriptures carefully for a full sense of the word mysticism and you can also get a clear feel for how the Savior feels about such things as mysticism, spiritualism, etc.
The problem with these "isms" (and Mormonism is a term, not a thing; we are actually members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, not Mormons, hence, no real Mormonism), as I was saying, the problem with these isms is that they are like witchcraft. I've heard people try to defend "white" witchcraft in saying that because it's white, it's not evil, therefore it's ok. But it's not ok, it worships the creation and not the Creator.
Same thing with these isms. They take you to a place where you get so hyped up on the ego of what you have discovered, and so focused on what it is you are discovering, you take God out of the equation. Suddenly you are relying soley on yourself as a conduit to some mystical source of nothingness; that thing without body, passion, or love that we all know as nonexistant.
For instance, God is so magnificant that He has done things in such a mathmatical order, with reason to it, that some have discovered this have named it "numberology" (sp?). But their problem is that they are so focused on their excitement over the discovery and fascination in the balance of numbers and the connection they have discovered with numbers, math, our world timeline, and all sorts of things, that they seem to think that numbers are a god in and of itself. They think that the whole world's mysteries are wrapped up in numbers. They are short sighted. They don't realize that numbers and math, and the order and beauty in the design used, is but a small part of all God has and does and uses. They are so focused on the numbers that they don't see the designer, the way witches don't see the Creator.
The same thing can happen when one gets caught up in mysticism or spiritualism. They become so focused on these types of isms, and fascinated with what you've termed as these mysteries, that they can't pull back any longer and see God, nor all else that He has to offer. Suddenly it becomes just them, there fellow observers and the ism. Like a cult following. And with people already misinterpreting us as it is, we don't need adding fuel to their flames.
As I said, I don't think you meant things in this vain, but I think you walk a fine line in using words like these. I think finding a new word to describe what it is you are trying to get across as your point might be a good idea.
Mysticism, spiritualism, familiar spirits; these are all places we don't want to visit. They belong to those who read taro cards, palms and crystal balls.
The words Mysteries of God and Mystery, those are good words, but mysticism is a whole different matter.
Just my point of view for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Brooksidecourt said...

Well someone is trying to separate the Flesh from the the Bones of Mormon-ISM - because MORMONISM IS THE BIRTH CHILD OF GNOSTICISM and of Freemasonry- John Dee Enoch-ISM and Magick-ISM - Emanuel Swendenborb- ISM and all of that POINTS to
LUCIFERIAN - ISM


Call it what you Want -
It is Not a Rose- by any Name
Know your Roots- Tree - Trunk

David Littlefield said...

Brooksidecourt:

Thanks for the input. I think we will just see this differently. But I might direct you to an earlier post comment that let's you know some others see this in the same light as I do.

Temple Study - Mysticism
------------------------------

Anonymous:

Like I said, you need to repent, and stop fighting against the kingdom. I am not the judge, but otherwise, I fear one day you will awake in hell.

-David

Anonymous said...

Like I said, you need to repent, and stop fighting against the kingdom. I am not the judge, but otherwise, I fear one day you will awake in hell.
-David

I have not Lied about Mormon Things or Joseph Smith History - Correct Me if I make a Mis-deed - but it is lazy to reply that "you are going to hell"-

a Few Facts
1 Joseph Smith was a Freemason- And freemasonry is in Question.
2 Mormon Doctrine and Practice Change
3 Mormon Temple Doctrine and Practice Change
4 Mormons Keep secrets and are Pretending to be the "TRUE TRADITIONAL" christians- When in truth Mormons are More like Gnostic children of Freemasonry and did and do Freemason things in Mormon Temples.
5 Mormons Now deny Polygamy as being a thing of the Past a "little" practice of a few- now Not Doctrinal?

ON AND ON.................
I fight for the Truth as I see It -

Here is a Nice little quote that gets to the Heart of the Matter-

"I look forward to seeing the mysteries become less mysterious."

Anonymous said...

David, After finishing Amazing Grace earlier this week, I jumped right in to Mormon Mysticism and finished it today. Fasting and prayer this week have given me a voracious appetite for the Word. I am going to read them both again more slowly. I feel guilty taking this short cut to understanding some things that you obviously have spent time to understand. I have a greater pressure and need to follow Jesus Christ and to repent of my sins to bridge my painful separation from God, and I am pregnant with need to share my new found enthusiasm with my family. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the video link on dimensions.

David Littlefield said...

Annon!

Thank you for the kind words.

I am glad that my books could help a little in your spiritual journey, and it sounds like right now that journey is in high gear. I pray the Lord’s blessing upon you as you go through this season.

I wrote Mormon Mysticism as the book I wish someone would have given me ten years earlier. You are perceptive seeing it as a shortcut, and I meant it as a shortcut for those who are ready to traverse that ground.

Please stop in often.

David

IRamat2 said...

Hi David,

Thank you for your Blog. I am not Mormon, but a long-time friend of mine who is a member of the LDS blew up at me recntly about the concept of mysticism and Mormonism. Now I see by your definition that mysticism is more realted to an action or an object rather than a person (who would be a mystic...I do not know what ordinances are). In your blog you mention that there are other definitions of Mormon Mysticism than the main one you give. Could you let me/us know what some of those other definitions of mystic within the LDS are?

Thank you!

I.R.

David Littlefield said...

Ordinances are sometimes called rites. You are likely familiar with the ordinance of Baptism. Baptism is first, then followed by a number of ordinances, and associated covenants. This is whey we have temples.

Frater N.T.I. said...

Enjoy!
"Around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder. From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. By December 22nd, the Sun's demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to it's lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least perceivably, for 3 days. During this 3 day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, a constellation. And after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring. And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again.This is why Jesus and numerous other Sun Gods share the crucifixion, 3-day death, and resurrection concept. It is the Sun's transition period before it shifts its direction back into the Northern Hemisphere, bringing Spring, and thus salvation. However, they did not celebrate the resurrection of the Sun until the spring equinox, or Easter. This is because at the spring equinox, the Sun officially overpowers the evil darkness, as daytime thereafter becomes longer in duration than night, and the revitalizing conditions of spring emerge.

And for the record John Smith is just another drop in the bucket. Religon seperates mankind as there is only one universal religon. If you seek the Father you must first see the Son as no one goes to the Father but through the Son. Jesus Christ is the equalibrium between Heaven and Earth. Follow the middle pillar home through the Sun to the Father. See you there.

Michael de Jager said...

Hi, for the past 4 years I have been reading about the mystic traditions of the various world religions. What I have read has led me to believe that mysticism in the experiencing of religion, the feelings of divine relationship and communication with God. I believe it could be the bridge to greater interfaith dialogue for LDS and others as we can ship the dogma/doctrine/intellectual debates of what one person believes to be true and share in what people have felt, heard and experienced in relation to things not of this earth. I am glad I found this site for the first time today and I plan to read and contribute more over time. Thx I am glad to see I am not alone with even thinking of the words mormon mystic or mysticism. Michael de Jager

Anonymous said...

We will be having funeral services for David Littlefield on Tuesday, March 5th from 4-5 p.m. It will be at this LDS chapel: 1276 Erringer Road, Simi Valley, CA. He will later be buried in Sandy, Utah. If you know anyone that would like to know this information, please do pass it along.

Anonymous said...

More than anything, David Littlefield (1957-2013), will be remembered for his generous spirit. David was born to Marilyn and Glenn Littlefield in 1957. He had an adventurous childhood with his four siblings, full of bike rides and schemes. One of the most significant turning points of his life was choosing to go on an LDS mission to Roanoke, Virginia. While there, he learned to love and serve, and he imagined the kind of life he wanted to create for himself. When he returned, he met his sweetheart Mary Martin and pulled up to her house on a motorcycle for their very first date. They fell in love and were married in the Salt Lake City LDS temple. They went on to have four kids, and he was the best Dad anyone could ask for. He was always hilarious, always gentle, always looking for the best in his kids. He taught his children to be strong, to laugh at themselves, and to always keep an eye out for others. At birthday parties for his kids, nieces, and nephews, he would sneak out into the garage, put on a gorilla suit, and surprise the family by running off with the birthday child. During Christmas would dress up as you-know-who while all the kids, and the adults that could be persuaded, told him what they wanted. He would also show up in costume for neighbors, ward members, and families that he knew needed a little Christmas cheer that year. He would take off late at night to drop off piles of presents for families and neighbors that might not otherwise have had them. He spent a significant amount of time fixing up a group home for children and often volunteered for the overnight shift at a homeless shelter. Too many times to count, he gave money to people that were struggling even if that meant he would get further behind on his own bills. He knew many of the homeless near his work by name and would take time out of his day to talk with them and give them a meal or some financial assistance. He opened up his home to families that needed a place to stay. In at least two instances, he was able to save someone’s life. In the halls during an LDS ward meeting, he administered emergency mouth-to-mouth to a baby that had stopped breathing when no one else knew what to do. And, once in the drive through of a Jack-in-the-Box, he noticed a patio diner choking, got out of his car, did the Heimlich maneuver, and got back in line to order a burger and his large Diet Coke. David loved studying the LDS religion and would spend hours marking up articles and writing his own books. He loved sharing what he learned with others through discussions and his blog. He was always up for a lively debate and always kept a good humor even when others didn’t share his views. He served diligently in every church calling he had, and was never hesitant to visit a family, give blessings, or take someone to the hospital in the middle of the night. David worked harder than anyone we know. He often spent 14-hour days toiling over a project or trying to meet a deadline. When things got tough, he would stay positive and just work harder. He never really took a vacation or had a break in his whole adult life. But he never complained because he truly believed that he was doing it for the people that he loved. For his family, for his friends, for the ability to help those that were in need. David gave so much to everyone he encountered, always with his jolly attitude, his good natured playfulness, and his love of life. For all of us, David, thank you

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