“Visions, Mushrooms, Fungi, Cacti, and Toads: Joseph Smith’s Reported Use of Entheogens”

“Visions, Mushrooms, Fungi, Cacti, and Toads: Joseph Smith’s Reported Use of Entheogens” July 31, 2020


The temple in Perth, West Australia
The Perth Australia Temple.(  In previous years, people living in and around Utah have had a distinct advantage with regard to the annual FairMormon conference.  Thanks to the coronavirus, however, this isn’t true in 2020.  Being in Provo brings you no closer to the conference than does being in Perth, Western Australia — which, residents of Western Australia have assured me, isn’t really at the ends of the earth. It’s just, they say, that you can SEE the ends of the earth from it.  In fact, they tell me (though I haven’t checked), you can’t get any further than Perth from Church headquarters.  Because, if you try to go further, you’re actually getting nearer.


A new article by Brian Hales has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:


“Visions, Mushrooms, Fungi, Cacti, and Toads: Joseph Smith’s Reported Use of Entheogens”

Abstract: An article recently published in an online journal entitled “The Entheogenic Origins of Mormonism: A Working Hypothesis” posits that Joseph Smith used naturally occurring chemicals, called “entheogens,” to facilitate visionary experiences among his early followers. The entheogenic substances were reportedly derived from two mushrooms, a fungus, three plants (including one cactus), and the secretions from the parotid glands of the Sonoran Desert toad. Although it is an intriguing theory, the authors consistently fail to connect important dots regarding chemical and historical cause-and-effect issues. Documentation of entheogen acquisition and consumption by the early Saints is not provided, but consistently speculated. Equally, the visionary experiences recounted by early Latter-day Saints are highly dissimilar from the predictable psychedelic effects arising from entheogen ingestion. The likelihood that Joseph Smith would have condemned entheogenic influences as intoxication is unaddressed in the article.




And here’s another item from the Interpreter Foundation:


A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 30 “The Great Plan of Happiness” (Alma 39-42)




This is coming up soon, so don’t miss it:


“Questions about the gospel? Find answers at the FairMormon Virtual Conference”




Finally, my attention was just now called to this petition, which, I think, first appeared about twenty-four hours ago:


“Emphasizing Christ-Centered Education at Brigham Young University”


I have no connection with the petition, and I neither know the principal figures involved nor known anything about them.


shrooms and the Spirit?
Have intrepid scholars finally managed to discover the real roots of the Restoration? If so, it’s no WONDER that I began to become interested in the history and teachings of the Church in 1960s California!
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)



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