The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

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

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 11:03

Yes, there are issues (and important ones) that I hope change, but it's important not to overstate issues or make issues where none need exist, even if it's unintentionally.

1) Eve is not an afterthought in the endowment. The actual phrasing is, "Is man meant to be alone?" - and the answer is a resounding, "No." The message is that man needs a "helpmeet" - and "helpmeet" means, at the most basic level, "partner; one who walks beside another". We tend to translate it as "helper" - someone who follows directions, but that's not what the word means. That is the actual foundation of the rest of the story - that Eve, based on the actual word used, is a partner, not a helper, and that man is hopeless without her. That's not a knock on man; it simply says that the ideal is not an individual, but a couple.

2) When God asks what happened, Adam did not "pass the buck" - and his answer was not weak in any way. It was straightforward and honest. If I change the wording a little but keep the exact same meaning, he said:
You commanded me to stay with my wife. You said it is more important to stay with her than to continue alone without her, even if I was alone with you. She gave me the fruit, and, knowing I needed to stay with her - that I simply can not be perfect (complete, whole, fully developed) without her, I ate it.


That means Adam realized that being with Eve away from God was better than losing her and staying with God. In a very real way, that means, in the moment, Eve was more important than God - since his faith in God told him they would get back to God together, if he stayed with her, but they couldn't do and be what they were commanded to do and be without each other.

Eve was the most important thing in Adam's life, and he proved it by leaving God to stay with her.

3) When God asked Eve what happened, she also did not pass the buck - and her answer was not weak in any way. It was straightforward and honest. If I change the wording a little but keep the exact same meaning, she says:
I got tricked, and I ate the fruit.


That is exactly what happened. She was "beguiled" (tricked, deceived), and she ate the fruit. Her answer not only was honest, but it also didn't duck responsibility. She said, "It was my fault. I got tricked." She displayed a lot of strength in that answer, taking responsibility for what had happened.

Nothing in what I just wrote is a stretch in any way. It is based only on the actual wording. It shows a committed couple who each took responsibility for what they had done and, above all else, were committed to each other.

Yes, again, there are issues that I hope change, but we don't need to make more issues than there are, regardless of what others have said about it. We can interpret the presentation in a way that minimizes or eliminates, legitimately, some of the issues - and that can allow us to deal better with the other issues and hope that they change. It's the difference between some rain and an avalanche.
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, 11:17

Ray Degraw wrote:Yes, there are issues (and important ones) that I hope change, but it's important not to overstate issues or make issues where none need exist, even if it's unintentionally.
I don't think I'm making issues where none exist. As an endowed female, I can tell you I am one hundred percent invested in this problem.
Eve is not an afterthought in the endowment. The actual phrasing is, "Is man meant to be alone?" - and the answer is a resounding, "No." The message is that man needs a "helpmeet" - and "helpmeet" means, at the most basic level, "partner; one who walks beside another". We tend to translate it as "helper" - someone who follows directions, but that's not what the word means. That is the actual foundation of the rest of the story - that Eve, based on the actual word used, is a partner, not a helper, and that man is hopeless without her. That's not a knock on man; it simply says that the ideal is not an individual, but a couple.
Eve was created for Adam. If he hadn't needed her, she wouldn't exist. If she ever gave consent (in the premortal existence?) to be married to Adam and bear his children, nobody thought it was important enough to mention that fact in the endowment.

Was I created specifically for my husband? Or was I as a woman, generally, created for the benefit of the male species, generally? Either way, it's not about MY personal salvation but someone else's.
Last edited by Joni on 16 Jan 2014, 11:21, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 11:21

Joni, the "we" was meant as a generic. It wasn't meant to be pointed at you.

I apologize for not making that clear.
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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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by journeygirl » 16 Jan 2014, 11:22

Joni wrote:
Taken in the context of the temple, it feels like my loss of agency & lack of a personal relationship with God is a punishment for the original sin of Eve. (Even though Eve was created to be the one to introduce sin into the world so that Adam wouldn't have to get his hands dirty. So she was kind of doomed from the start.) The Articles of Faith only say that man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression.

Another point I've never seen mentioned before... Where on earth is Heavenly Mother in the temple?
These are some issues I've had as well. I know many probably believe the "man will be. . .his own. . . Adam's" refers to humankind, but I have to wonder. The lack of Heavenly Mother is becoming a huge issue for me. I know there have been more uses of Heavenly Parents in conference, but then whenever it is something important they switch back to Heavenly Father. I think that is a big reason the temple is problematic for women. Is she a goddess? Does she have priesthood? Did she help create the world? We have no idea, and so we have no idea of what the future for women in heaven is either. This makes me nervous.

I do agree with others that the temple is not perfect, and from what I have studied about when the endowment was started, it seems like it may have been left incomplete with Joseph Smith's death. Perhaps there would have been greater things for women if he could have lived longer. Who knows. I do wonder why if God leads this church he can't fix it quicker, but I guess that thinking brings up all the unpleasant things God allows to happen and doesn't fix.

Finally, I just want to add my experience with the temple. Several years ago as a newly married woman, I can't remember why but I was feeling bad about the role of women, and I thought to go to the temple to see God's view of us. Wow, big mistake huh! It was the first time I really noticed all the things you refer to in the OP. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and practically ran through the Celestial Room to get changed and leave. It would have been nice to have the spirit confirm to me that those things were not of God or something, but it didn't. So I am left confused on these issues. I don't plan to attend the temple again for a long time. I had gone several years without attending and then sort of got tricked into going by my visiting teachers. It wasn't horrible because I know what to expect, and I got to see the new video (for me, Eve's depiction did not improve) but I have no desire to go again, and I don't feel God's presence there anyway.

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

Post by Joni » 16 Jan 2014, 11:27

That makes sense, Ray. Thank you for the clarification.

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

Post by journeygirl » 16 Jan 2014, 11:30

SamBee wrote: Women take part in all the ordinances, see what goes on, and as I would argue, receive the priesthood therein.
I agree, this part of the temple is pretty good. However, since no one at the top will talk about what kind of priesthood women have, it ends up being useless. There were conference talks last fall that got so close to this issue, but they didn't go there. So it still leaves such a question for me.

Also, Ray, I really liked what you said about Adam and Eve being a couple and the importance of maintaining that, even if it meant leaving God's presence. I want to use that next Sunday in my primary class when I teach about Adam and Eve.

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

Post by Joni » 16 Jan 2014, 11:39

That means Adam realized that being with Eve away from God was better than losing her and staying with God. In a very real way, that means, in the moment, Eve was more important than God - since his faith in God told him they would get back to God together, if he stayed with her, but they couldn't do and be what they were commanded to do and be without each other.
You know, I've thought about this a little more in the context of the unequal covenants of women and men. What if it's all a test? What if the Mister and I stand before God on the judgement day and the Lord says, "Well done, [Mister Joni], you've kept all of your covenants. Now here is your woman that you may rule over and subjugate for all of eternity." And then my husband can say something like, "Thanks but no thanks, Lord. I'd rather have my wife be my equal even if it means accepting a lesser degree of glory. Because I love this woman more than life itself and I'm not okay with making her feel inferior." (I'm not really putting words in his mouth - he's stressed many times that he will NOT rule over me even if it means flouting God's will.) And what if it turns out that is the right answer?

I mean, if the Adam and Eve story is an allegory for all of us, it kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

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

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 16 Jan 2014, 11:57

Joni wrote:
That means Adam realized that being with Eve away from God was better than losing her and staying with God. In a very real way, that means, in the moment, Eve was more important than God - since his faith in God told him they would get back to God together, if he stayed with her, but they couldn't do and be what they were commanded to do and be without each other.
You know, I've thought about this a little more in the context of the unequal covenants of women and men. What if it's all a test? What if the Mister and I stand before God on the judgement day and the Lord says, "Well done, [Mister Joni], you've kept all of your covenants. Now here is your woman that you may rule over and subjugate for all of eternity." And then my husband can say something like, "Thanks but no thanks, Lord. I'd rather have my wife be my equal even if it means accepting a lesser degree of glory. Because I love this woman more than life itself and I'm not okay with making her feel inferior." (I'm not really putting words in his mouth - he's stressed many times that he will NOT rule over me even if it means flouting God's will.) And what if it turns out that is the right answer?

I mean, if the Adam and Eve story is an allegory for all of us, it kind of makes sense, doesn't it?
I've already played that scenario out in my mind a hundred times. It's how I feel and choose to do if it were that way. Mostly because covenants do not mean much to me as bearing firth good fruit, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. It's not the covenants that matter to me so much as the good fruit proceeds and has priority over them. Even if it were to mean I'm dammed. I have to live with at least myself for eternity, I choose good fruit first priority over a promised future theological good fruit and suffering in the mean time... No contest.
That quote is how I would play it out if it happened that way.

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

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 12:09

I don't believe that will happen, since I don't believe in a God that would create that sort of test, but if it did happen . . .

I LOVE the scene in "What Dreams May Come" where the husband says to his wife that he would rather stay in Hell with her than be in Heaven without her. Heaven without my wife, as an equal partner, is not Heaven to me. Period.
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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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 16 Jan 2014, 12:26

Ray Degraw wrote:I don't believe that will happen, since I don't believe in a God that would create that sort of test, but if it did happen . . .

I LOVE the scene in "What Dreams May Come" where the husband says to his wife that he would rather stay in Hell with her than be in Heaven without her. Heaven without my wife, as an equal partner, is not Heaven to me. Period.
I agree Ray. To help this thread along with positivity I thought I would post my thoughts, even though I am a man.

I really dislike the classical thought of roles and even predestined roles both from a subjugater or subjugatee on either side, this includes in marriage. So the way I reword or repicture things is that I see everyone including my wife and myself not in a hierarchy but as side by side with different jobs that may even change from time to time.
It helps to look and see things that way and makes things less frustrating and feel more positive and holy.

I constantly reword things to fit a mite positive and spiritual feeling for myself even inside the temple.
After all if things (concepts) aren't helping to be positive I can change them to be positive by working things out in my mind that way instead of ingesting and internalizing things that are said that aren't helping it even hurting.

Then it becomes much more positive. I think the internalizing as is worded is causing discomfit for some--(including me) so I don't internalize before I rewind or reimagine into something more positive...that's what helps me.

This is not something I just do in the temple btw... It's all through life in different places where I start to feel uncomfortable to make where I am a more pleas sent experience... In as much as I can.

It may work for some others, so I thought I would throw it out there. Not something I usually share.

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