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Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors: Robert Beckstead, Bryce Blankenagel, Cody Noconi, and Michael Winkelman

Historical documents relating to early Mormonism suggest that Joseph Smith (1805–1844) employed entheogen-infused sacraments to fulfill his promise that every Mormon convert would experience visions of God and spiritual ecstasies. Early Mormon scriptures and Smith’s teachings contain descriptions consistent with using entheogenic material. Compiled descriptions of Joseph Smith’s earliest visions and early Mormon convert visions reveal the internal symptomology and outward bodily manifestations consistent with using an anticholinergic entheogen. Due to embarrassing symptomology associated with these manifestations, Smith sought for psychoactives with fewer associated outward manifestations. The visionary period of early Mormonism fueled by entheogens played a significant role in the spectacular rise of this American-born religion. The death of Joseph Smith marked the end of visionary Mormonism and the failure or refusal of his successor to utilize entheogens as a part of religious worship. The implications of an entheogenic origin of Mormonism may contribute to the broader discussion of the major world religions with evidence of entheogen use at their foundation and illustrate the value of entheogens in religious experience.

Open access