The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

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conflicted testimony
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by conflicted testimony » 16 Jan 2014, 15:36

This was the big one for me - women in the temple, and the role of women. It wasn't until I went to the temple that I realised how bad it was in the church.

From my conversations with abused women, there are a lot of men out there that simply do not deserve the role of priesthood holder in the family, yet they have it, and it seems to be held over the woman's head. It is yet another way to keep these women downtrodden. In all 3 cases I have seen lately, the male still holds a TR, attends the temple, and the woman is encouraged to stay with him - regardless. 1 lady ended up in hospital after being beaten in front of the children, another took his female "friend" to a temple session one week and his wife the next. One, after she left, had a woman come up to her in church and ask how she could possibly leave such a good priesthood holder and did she realise what she was doing to her and her children's eternity. Makes me wonder what a man has to do to lose that esteemed priesthood status. Also makes me wonder what the counsel to the husband would be if the wife did those things.

I am by no means a man hater and I know there are a lot more good men than bad, but this view of the roles of men and women in the church is creating an environment where the bad can flourish.

Of all things that could be considered wrong with the church, it is this issue that caused me to finally leave. I cannot and will not let my girls grow up in an environment where they are considered "less". My son (13) had a bit of an attitude problem as it is, I can only imagine how much worse that could be if he started to hear that he was better than women (and that is what he would hear!).

Joni
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Joni » 16 Jan 2014, 15:41

This discussion has reminded me of a conversation I had with my MIL over the summer. (MIL is a temple worker.) I went through the temple about a month before my wedding, so that my endowment would feel like a separate entity from my wedding day. I think that was the right thing to do - I wanted my endowment to be about MY personal salvation and not about my relationship with my future husband. (This was before I understood that my eternal purpose is to serve as my husband's accessory and not to achieve exaltation in my own right.)

MIL told me that that is no longer allowed, that unendowed brides are restricted to getting their endowment within a few days of their wedding. I don't remember the exact timeline she gave me but it seemed like a pretty short one (like a day or two). Her non-official explanation for the change is that in between a girl becoming endowed and getting sealed, "anything could happen." (Sex? Do you mean sex? Then just say sex.) I have no idea if a similar restriction applies to grooms, but the cultural norm in the Church is that a young man getting married has already been endowed for several years due to missionary service. I'm not sure why "anything can happen" would apply only in the case of young women who are endowed more than a few days before their temple sealing. Personally, I feel that the addition of baggy, unflattering undergarments would tend to deter premarital sexual excursions.

What does this policy tell us about the Church's view of women's temple covenants? From where I'm sitting, nothing good.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 15:54

What does this policy tell us about the Church's view of women's temple covenants?
It tells us absolutely nothing, since your mother-in-law is wrong. That is not a church-wide policy. There is NO difference in policy regarding how far before a sealing a man can go to the temple, if he is not endowed at the time, and how far before a sealing a woman can go, if she is not endowed. One of my sons is in that exact situation, and there has been nothing from the temple that even hints at what your mother-in-law said. Not once has anyone suggested that he should go to the temple before she does. There is no church-wide policy dictating a specific time frame that differs for men and women.

Also, the Church just lowered the minimum age for unmarried young women wanting to serve missions to 19. That means the church just opened the temple to women two years earlier than they had previously, and it pretty much guaranteed that more young women would be endowed for a significant time period prior to marriage than ever before in its history. In the context of this discussion, that's not a small thing.
(This was before I understood that my eternal purpose is to serve as my husband's accessory and not to achieve exaltation in my own right.)


That is one view, but it absolutely isn't the only one - or, frankly, the dominant one among most members. It simply isn't the view that the majority of members believe. Also, a man can't "achieve exaltation in (his) own right". There is NO Mormon doctrine and NO room in Mormon theology that says any individual can "achieve exaltation in (his or her) own right." Since there are FAR more men and women in the Church who do NOT see it as worded above, you can choose not to see it that way, also. You aren't tied to the view above, no matter how you learned it. You can see it as wrong and choose to see it differently, just like a whole lot of members do - even a whole lot of very traditional, orthodox members.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Joni
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Joni » 16 Jan 2014, 16:00

Ray Degraw wrote:
It tells us absolutely nothing, since your mother-in-law is wrong. That is not a church-wide policy.
I'm glad to hear that. Maybe it was just a Utah policy or specific to the temple she was working at (I forget which one, Timpanogos maybe?)
From my conversations with abused women, there are a lot of men out there that simply do not deserve the role of priesthood holder in the family, yet they have it, and it seems to be held over the woman's head. It is yet another way to keep these women downtrodden. In all 3 cases I have seen lately, the male still holds a TR, attends the temple, and the woman is encouraged to stay with him - regardless. 1 lady ended up in hospital after being beaten in front of the children, another took his female "friend" to a temple session one week and his wife the next. One, after she left, had a woman come up to her in church and ask how she could possibly leave such a good priesthood holder and did she realise what she was doing to her and her children's eternity. Makes me wonder what a man has to do to lose that esteemed priesthood status. Also makes me wonder what the counsel to the husband would be if the wife did those things.
Conflicted, I think part of the problem is that we do a really, really bad job of defining unrighteous dominion. I think every woman should know what unrighteous dominion is starting with maybe the Beehives. Out of all the RS lessons I've heard about how wonderful the priesthood is and how we should sustain the PH holders in our home, I've only heard unrighteous dominion brought up once. And that was because I was the teacher! I was shocked at how few women have a working definition of unrighteous dominion but we absolutely should know what is and is not okay from a priesthood holder. I remember one woman commenting that she believed it was totally fine for a man to boss a woman around because that's how it was done in her home. It wasn't until her marriage that she realized there was any other model available. That makes me sad. I'm raising a son and two daughters, I need to know what to tell my son to do and my girls to expect, but there's a total lack of dialogue about it in the Church.
Last edited by Joni on 16 Jan 2014, 16:07, edited 1 time in total.

Ann
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Ann » 16 Jan 2014, 16:01

Joni wrote:
I wouldn't have a problem agreeing to "hearken to" my husband if he was also under covenant to "hearken to" me. But he's not. The only one my husband has to "hearken to" is God. It feels like we are just paying lip service to the idea of spouses as 'equal partners.'

"Hearken" is kind of an interesting word to use in the covenant because it's not really well defined in its use. I think it's somewhere between "listen to" and "obey." (I've heard that pre-1990, women actually agreed to "obey" their husbands. That was before my time so I don't know if it's true or not, but it would confirm my suspicion that "hearken" was chosen because it's a less offensive way of saying "obey.") However, I don't think that in the specific context of the temple "hearken" means "counsel with" or "have discussions with" or even "listen to respectfully" because the exact same word describes what my husband does with the Lord. And I don't think my husband is under covenant to take advice from the Lord and then weigh it against his own opinions and then decide whether to follow that advice or not. I think my husband is under covenant to OBEY the Lord.
I don't get it, either. Problems like this just reduce my investment in the whole thing.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

LDSThomas
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by LDSThomas » 16 Jan 2014, 16:08

Joni wrote:MIL told me that that is no longer allowed, that unendowed brides are restricted to getting their endowment within a few days of their wedding. I don't remember the exact timeline she gave me but it seemed like a pretty short one (like a day or two).
I'm not sure that this is 100% accurate church-wide. I think it is another area where the local leaders have the final say. As a bishop, I would have encouraged a woman/bride-to-be go to the temple in advance of her wedding date -- no problem. I recognize that an official "policy" may be in play now that I don't know about. But it's also possible that your well-intentioned (?) MIL may be repeating what she's heard or what is done in her area/temple district -- but it might not be a church-wide policy.


What is the policy in your area for future missionaries? I can remember when missionaries went to the temple just before their MTC date -- now (in my area, at least) missionaries are encouraged to go to the temple as soon as they want to after their mission call arrives -- which could be 4 or 5 months ahead of their MTC report date.

[EDIT: Looks like Ray was typing a similar response at about the same time. He must be a faster typist than me!! I didn't mean for my post to appear to be "piling on." Sorry if it looks that way.]

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 16:12

My oldest daughter went to the temple for the first time about a month before she left for the MTC - in a different temple than the one that serves where we live. She wanted to go to a specific one, so we did.

Also, Temple Presidents aren't supposed to enact policies that are stricter than that of the general church guidelines, but it does happen, unfortunately. There is latitude in some areas, and too many leaders use that latitude to move in what I believe is the wrong direction. This is one area where I actually would like more clear, church-wide rules, since stricter rules in areas like this only end up hurting people unnecessarily.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Joni
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 08:36

Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Joni » 16 Jan 2014, 16:15

LDSThomas wrote: What is the policy in your area for future missionaries? I can remember when missionaries went to the temple just before their MTC date -- now (in my area, at least) missionaries are encouraged to go to the temple as soon as they want to after their mission call arrives -- which could be 4 or 5 months ahead of their MTC report date.
I don't know about a policy re: endowment, but I've noticed a really long lag time between mission call and MTC reporting. (I'm assuming this is because of the huge influx of missionaries.) It seems like if the leadership is worried about "something happening," they'd want to clamp down on that!

Dax
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Dax » 16 Jan 2014, 16:16

Temple is a huge issue for me as well. I was shocked when I didn't covenant to God but to hearken to my husband? Whaaaat? Sometimes gender issues of the church remind me of Jim Crowe laws of the south but with more flowery, praising language to justify their existence by "revelation". It is easy enough for men to say "oh you can change the way you view things" great but that still doesn't change the fact that as a woman I have truly zero power or control over any part of my religious experience other than my own attitude. What a fun thing to teach my daughter to accept one day.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 16:18

The time between mission call and entrance into the MTC varies radically. I know of one situation where the call was state-side, with a lag time of less than a month, while I know of another situation where the call was international, and the lag time was nearly six months. The average appears to be about 3-4 months, which hasn't changed much, if any, since I served almost thirty years ago.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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