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In the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, for instance, a fundamental source of religious teaching is the termas treasures. Termas include sacred texts composed anciently, primarily by the great Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava and hidden by him in various secret locations to be discovered at a later date. Termas can only be discovered by a special class of spiritually enlightened adepts bodhisattvas known as tertons treasure finders. Only tertons can reveal these texts because they are written in the cryptic language of the dakini supernatural beings.

The terma treasures are sometimes physical texts, amulets, relics , but frequently they are treasures of the mind. In a broad understanding of the concept, one might say that the excavation of European mummies in China and Mongolia counts as terma, along with more technical artifacts unearthed in Tibet over the centuries.

To be a part of this lineage does not require that the person be participating in a particular spiritual form, such as Buddhism, although the teacher doing the transmitting may well be Buddhist.

Series: Sunstone Magazine

Is it possible that there could be a universal spiritual lineage that connects the Tibetan and Mormon traditions? I bring forth my word unto…all the nations of the earth?

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Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written…For I command all…both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them… I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.

Emma Smith as Shaman. Terma-finders must have a consort with whom to practice their mystical yoga. When Joseph told her of his vision in the woods she believed him. Reading the earliest accounts of this romantic adventure-quest Emma looks a lot like a classical yogini. Henry Harris had heard about the Golden Plates directly from Joseph Smith and recollected Smith's interaction with an angel and his use of a seer stone:.

I had a conversation with him, and asked him where he found them and how he come [sic] to know where they were. He said he had a revelation from God that told him they were hid in a certain hill and he looked in his stone and saw them in the place of deposit; that an angel appeared, and told him he could not get the plates until he was married, and that when he saw the woman that was to be his wife, he should know her, and she would know him.

Hale of Pensulvany. Stowel, and taking his wife, he went to the place where the plates were concealed, and while he was obtaining them, she kneeled down and prayed. Joseph could not have completed his task without her and just as the terton cannot obtain the treasure texts without his or her dakini, [97] Joseph was told that he could not obtain the golden plates without Emma, which I believe establishes Emma as the co-founder of the Mormon tradition. Sister Durfee and Abigail Leonard tell of receiving blessings of health from Emma Smith and her counselors.

Early rock carvings in Egypt and Chaldea and cave paintings in the Pyrenees that are 15, years old, portray [the] laying on of hands. Thus they are shamanic healers in their own right. The act of helping souls to transform themselves in order to cross from the other world into this world turns out to be at the heart of feminine shamanic traditions worldwide.

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They also rely on inspirational knowledge Knowledge consists of empirical information passed on from teacher to pupil. Wisdom adds to that an intuitive grasp of the complex connections and forms of consciousness in the natural world. It is not the plant alone that cures; the healing comes from the greater power that exists within the spirits of the plant, the healer, the patient, and the culture And in most cultures herbal healing, like midwifery, is a strongly feminine specialty. As noted earlier, Mormonism shares much in common with shamanic tribal peoples and traditional societies worldwide, including the belief in a holistic life-force energy that animates all things, sometimes referred to as animism or pantheism.

Other similarities are the obtaining of spiritual knowledge sometimes referred to as gnosis through the use of divination, entheogens, and crystal gazing; a belief in a Celestial goddess, who is the mother of our pre-existent spirits prior to our incarnation on earth; the practice of sealing family lineages together; and the importance and necessity of shamanism being transmitted to a couple who have a sexual or tantric relationship.

Emma herself shared much in common with what we know of ancient and contemporary female shamans: she was a healer through the laying on of hands; she was the leader of a group of women who went into trance and spoke in tongues; she was a singer, a midwife and an herbalist. Looking at Emma through this lens adds a new dimension to her contributions to the founding of Mormonism.

I have discovered that she played a more active role as a spiritual leader than is usually portrayed or perceived. This examination has also raised many more questions for future investigations about the elements Mormonism and shamanism share in common. I want to thank Dr. I would also like to thank Kenneth Shaw for pointing out to me, over ten years ago, the remarkable parallels between Joseph Smith and Tibetan tertons. History of Joseph Smith.

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Salt Lake City, , pp. The Gale Group, Inc, Abrams, HC Quoted in, Larry C. Porritt and Robert S. Vicki Noble pointed out to me that this is how she and Karen Vogel conceived the Motherpeace Tarot deck together. Personal communication, September 28, And Mitt did what he challenged us to do. He led by example. According to an article posted at the U. President Thomas S. The cover of Businessweek aroused particular controversy for its illustration of John the Baptist laying his hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Other segments of the show were less flattering.

Among these was a segment spotlighting Clark Johnsen, a gay man who is in the cast of The Book of Mormon musical on Broadway and identifies today as an ex-Mormon. After the Visit , By Lin Lifshin. Are You Like George Price?

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Then, B y Thomas Dorsett. Adventures of a Mormon Bookseller: Title Fights! Living on the Edge, By M. Clothespins, B y Jacqueline de Weever.

Fiction: Name, By Heidi Naylor. Mason Free.

Sunstone Magazine Issue 177 Spring 2015

Parker Blount. Before Language, B y Richard Schiffman. Update: Mormonism stripped of cult status? Haiku, B y E. Reverencing Creation, By Steven L. Sestina , By Sarah Dunster. Shuddering, B y Mark Penny. Transitioning, By Tiffany Singer. A Double Theft, By L.

Sunstone Foundation records, 1979-2002

Equally Shared Parenting: Half the Work. Being the Stepmom, By Karen Pellett. Innocence , By Richard Dinges, Jr. Invocation, B y Edward R. Mitosis, By Noelle Carter. Remembrance , By Melanny Eva Henson. Harrow, By Anita Tanner. Standoff, By Judith Curtis. Letters to the Editor. Is the Rameumptom Just a Rameumptom?

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Another Sky: Poetry by James Cushing. The Mandelbrot Set: Poetry by S. The Motions: Poetry by John Grey. Golden: Poetry by Paul Swenson. The Garment and the Veil. Understanding Talmage. My Favorite Martian. Birthday Party, Poetry by David Lawrence. Painting, Poetry by Anita Tanner. Michael Quinn. Return of the Native, Fiction by Levi S.