Forgotten_Charity wrote:I can't know how you feel exactly. I know I always felt extremely uncomfortable as a man even thinking that someone should obey or hearken to someone else (husband and wife). It makes me very very uncomfortable to even think about a hierarchy of obedience (especially of man and flesh). What I can tell you is the way I feel I would prefer not to live or even prefer hell to seeing myself or others be preferred or above or below anyone else. That's just who I am even as a man. I let my wife know it because she insists that I am the patriarch of the house. I am not. There is none. There is a side by side effort only and that's what I talk to her about. I talk to her about disavowing any hierarchy or seeing yourself or others as above or below another. I hope in time she becomes more comfortable with it. Just my perspective as a man. I am very very uncomfortable with any notion of such too. It's a huge clash and I see hierarchy especially in marriage as a really bad and destructive idea. (I could say evil, but I don't think or place any thought in that.) Just good or bad ideas. This one is just very old black and white idea to preserve men in power. I don't want or need any kind of power. Hope it helps you to know it's not just you or even just women who have a problem with it.
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.
When I think about "hearkening" to my husband, I think about the time our oven broke. Last summer the heating element in our oven burst into flames (really) and we needed to replace the whole appliance within a matter of days since we had a family event coming up. My husband's input into the oven-buying process was, "I'll stay home with the kids after dinner so you can go to Lowes and pick out a new oven." He didn't tell me what features to get, he didn't even tell me how much money I could spend on the oven. Since I am the one who cooks in this house (he only reheats
) DH recognized that I was the one more fully invested into our kitchen appliances so he didn't really have any counsel to give me. Were we disobeying the Lord? Before, I would have said we did the right thing. But this was before I realized that I covenanted to "hearken" to my husband and my husband didn't covenant to "hearken" to me - making his voice the only one that really matters in our household.
My husband is like you, F_C
- he is uncomfortable with the hierarchy too, at least to the extent that he agrees with my interpretation. However - I heard an analogy once that I always apply in this situation. When you are eating a plate of bacon and eggs, who is more fully invested in your breakfast? The chicken or the pig? When it comes to "hearkening," my husband is the chicken and I am the pig. And I don't have any hope that the bias against women in the temple is going to go away in my lifetime because the chickens are running the show
The other thing that really, REALLY disturbs me is that the parallel language of man -> God and woman -> man strongly implies that a woman doesn't have a direct relationship with God
. If my relationship with God is mentioned at any time in the endowment, I haven't noticed it. (In the old endowment video, at least as I am remembering it, God never once speaks to Eve, only to Adam. That may have changed with the new videos. I'm not hopeful.) Now, I've been struggling with the lack of feeling loved personally by God. I've thought for many years that maybe I did Something to cause God to shut off His love for me. But maybe God never loved me all along because I am a woman and not a man.
But it begs the question - who actually created me to be a woman? Was it MY choice? (The Family Proclamation says that my gender was part of my premortal characteristics. Was I less faithful in the premortal existence?) And why would God even go to the trouble of creating an entire gender of human beings - roughly half of all the people who have ever lived
- if He is going to punish them by loving them less or not at all? That doesn't seem like a loving, all-wise Creator to me. That seems like a petty tyrant.