I am sometimes shocked when I read about things that some Mormons believe or practice. For example, can you be a Mormon and a Pagan or a Wiccan? Do some Mormons believe in nature worship, reincarnation, channeling, goddesses, astrology or divination? If they do, then they do not understand Mormon doctrine on these subjects. Is there such a thing as a new age Mormon?
This essay is going to walk a fine line. I have no desire to offend or exclude. Labels are so limiting and so easy to misunderstand. For example, when I refer to goddesses I am thinking of the new age or pagan view, not the traditional LDS view. In traditional, orthodox LDS doctrine, we believe that women can and will be exalted with their husbands and thus become goddesses.
Let me be clear. Most Mormons do NOT adhere to the beliefs or the practices of Paganism, Wiccan and especially not the occult. Most Mormons are not into nature worship, although we feel strongly that part of good health involves enjoying nature. Camping, hiking, boating, skiing and all kinds of outdoor activities are common with happy Mormon families all over the world.
Mormonism and Scientology
How about Scientology? Can you be a good Mormon and be a Scientologist? I don’t think so. There are just too many things about Scientology that are contrary to the revealed doctrines of the restored gospel. Some people have compared the beginnings of the LDS Church to the way L Ron Hubbard came up with the principles of Dianetics, including engrams and auditing.
I personally don’t see the connection at all and view Scientology as a figment of the imagination of L. Ron Hubbard. I have read a lot about Scientology and can’t help but think that he was influenced by spirits of deception. Of course, some people say that about Joseph Smith. I guess you have to decide based on your own perceptions and the fruits of the religion in the people.
I have met some wonderful people who are devout followers of the principles of Scientology. I have the highest respect for the successes they have achieved. They practice the Hubbard Management System to perfection and are extremely disciplined in their approach to business. My boss was a practitioner and I know of many famous actors who practice Scientology.
New Age thinking and Mormonism
Probably one of the more common areas of overlap between new age thinking and Mormonism is in the area of alternative medicine. We feel strongly about and have a rich cultural heritage of priesthood blessings, many with miraculous results. That is not to say that we do not believe in Western medicine. I don’t think we are very different from other good Christians in this area.
Many faithful members pray devoutly for help to find answers to their medical problems. I have given many blessings in which I felt impressed to direct the individual to seek out help from a competent medical doctor. But I have given just as many blessings in which I felt directed to exercise the Priesthood and command the sickness to leave the body of the afflicted individual.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that a priesthood blessing is a form of alternative medicine. I’m just saying that you may be surprised by the number of Mormons who believe in, accept and participate in alternative health practices like chiropractic, homeopathy or even acupuncture. I draw the line when it comes to iridology, but I know Mormons who practice it.
Holistic health among Mormons
I have written extensively on one of my other blogs about an experience I had many years ago that introduced me to something called muscle response testing. You may have heard about some of the controversy involving the idea of questioning the subconscious mind through this technique. It has to do with false memories which some claimed were repressed memories.
I don’t know much about false memories, but I do have an idea on how they could be put there. This blog is not the place for that essay so I’ll address it in my other blog. My point is that some Mormons, including me, are strong proponents of holistic health, which is the idea of uniting health techniques of mental, physical and spiritual well being in a whole or holistic experience.
I do not see any conflict between LDS doctrines or practices and those of holistic health. As a people we adhere to the Word of Wisdom, which advocates the consumption of wholesome foods, the use of herbs and of course, abstinence from coffee, tea, tobacco and harmful or habit-forming substances. We excel in spiritual health, or at least we should, and pursue good mental health.
We embrace all truth
Joseph Smith said, “We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up.” Joseph F. Smith said that “we are willing to receive all truth, from whatever source it may come….” Not only do we embrace all truth, but we are admonished to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
There are many new age ideas that are based on false teachings – some of man and some of devils. Yes, I mean that. Reincarnation is a doctrine of devils. This was taught clearly by Joseph when he met a man who claimed to have received the spirit of an ancient apostle by means of transmigration. Joseph said he was in possession of an evil spirit and cast him out.
I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that a good Mormon cannot be a Wiccan. After all, Wiccans embrace witchcraft in which one enters into a compact with Satan. Don’t try to convince me that modern Wiccans don’t believe that. I extend this same line of thinking to Paganism, which in my observation, is heavily influenced by doctrines of devils.
Summary and conclusion
I hope I have not offended anyone who reads this as a recent convert and has not quite made the connection that some of these new age ideas are not in harmony with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a lot of good and truth in the new age movement, including some great music that is inspired and inspiring. I am listening to some right now as I write this post.
As I noted above, I embrace several new age holistic health alternative medicine practices. My life has been blessed immensely by being able to discover blocked emotions or feelings that were holding me back in my spiritual progress. They were very annoying and frustrating. I felt so liberated once I discovered how to remove them through questioning my subconscious mind.
One of the greatest blessings we have to guide us in this area is the gift of the Holy Ghost. We are promised that through the exercise of this gift we can know the truth of all things. We who have taken the Holy Spirit as our guide can discern what is true and what is false among the many and varied beliefs and practices of the new age movement which permeates our world.