More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

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wonderingcurrent
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More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by wonderingcurrent » 25 Nov 2011, 18:56

Okay I thought it would be good to review and have everything I feel in one place about the Temple. Right now its spread across two or three different discussions that I have participated in (possibly more). I will try to do my best making everything cohesive. Please add to this discussion.

The following are my own feelings on what I have been thinking upon during these Discussions:

1) The Name Symbolism: One of the reason stated why the man needs to know the woman's name, and the woman does not need the man's name is that resurrection is an ordinance, therefore it is the man who will resurrect his wife. And the wife will not ever resurrect the husband, it will always be one way. But when I studied the second anointing, and looked past its very patriarchal terminology I realized, as I also read that passage of Mary washing and anointing Christ's feet, that this was something very essential to be done. Christ did not stop her for he understood it as an exercise of her priest(ess)hood and he had really no authority to stop what she was doing, because he saw the necessity of it. For now the second anointing is done on an invitation bases only for those who are in the top leadership positions of the Church. As a side note: I highly doubt the second anointing as currently practiced, with the men initiating it in the Temple, and the Woman finishing it at home, is the way it is supposed to be, but evolved to be this way due to the Colored glasses and sheet of paper as discussed Either in my post on Women and the Church or in my post in Another Feminist (my introduction post).

2) The Viel in the Temple that women wear: Its See through, so people can see me, but the physical act of putting it on, feels depowering, and though I have looked for empowering views of this, like the whole "denying the head (husband)" to commune with God directly, I feel that it is still overall very sexist, and very much the symbolism of it is so up to interpretation, that it would be just better if this practice just disappeared.

3) The Initiatory (washings and anointings): These seem empowering, except for the line which puts women as being priestesses unto their husbands, with no hint or sign of them doing that for God, just simply because they have to be priestesses to their husband who holds the Priesthood. I do like the fact that the woman performs these ordinances on other women, I hope my Temple experience On Tuesday in this portion can carry me though the rest of it.

4) That there are a million interpretations of these things, That everything is up to what God wants to give as a message. Well for me, the only message I am getting right now as I review it, (after already have read it twice online).

Anyway, I just read excerpts of the Book Women in Eternity, Women in Zion. I was fine with the first part of this excerpt, but when it got to talking about Paul, I was a bit enraged. Personally I find it insulting to my very being, that even people would think that the Man cleanses the woman (read this right after reading about how in most patirachal cultures they viewed the woman as impure, unholy, defiled due to the very body process that allows her to give birth to the human race, and that just sent me for a loop. I can not read Paul any other way then a huge amount of interpolation of men, and if there was anything that needed a heavy rewrite it was that book (as well as some choice verses in the Book of Genesis and Moses). I am a bit tried of it all.

I am getting to the point, I am only doing these ordinances to show the intent to God that I still Love them and I still want to become like my Mother in Heaven, but I also have to express my great and utter sense of distaste at how people interpret our scriptures to make everything all right. I happen to be a feminist that believes that Equality means that yes people can be different, but I don't think those differences are how we see those differences, I believe that Equality means that in role and responsibility we are in fact all the same, Every husband has to do the same things his wife does. Every wife has to do the same things her husband does, that is PROTECT, PROVIDE, PRESIDE, and NURTURE their family. These roles should NEVER be delegated based upon Priesthood and Biological build & Sex as all to often they are, which is very sad to me. I am strongly in the camp that I believe that we should all just go by the spirit, and living that way is hard enough, but in the end more fruitful, then being told we have to make X, Y, Z covenants. I mean sometimes I don't even understand when the spirit is talking to me, but then I realize. Is what I'm talking about have pure intent? Does what I want bring people peace? Is it long suffering, patient, full of love, with no sense of "I'm better then you because of x, y, z".

I think maybe I do have to sincerely detach myself and break down these covenants, if I keep trying to believe these things Literally, all I'm going to do is hurt myself physically and emotionally.

I believe that the Temple Ceremony will change one day to reflect a truer picture of equality. That will happen at the Lords discretion. I am going Tuesday to get my endowment out, pray for me. I need peace just to get through it. I just need to experience it first. I have prepared my entire life, and now I see I am so not prepared as I would like to be, but at least I know everything that will bug me, hopefully I can still feel some sort of spirit during that.

*Sigh*, its just I look for help in books and try to keep an open mind, I think maybe everything is just too raw right now emotionally. And also I think I'm tired of excuses for how things currently are, when things have changed, and more things can change, and more things can be revealed. Joseph revealed a lot in a few short years, and more can be revealed in a few short months if we really wanted it.

Okay so maybe this just became my own rant.

Anyway back to the Temple, well for now, all I can say is the Temple is the Temple. To me it is significant still, I believe in marraige for Eternity, I just don't believe I will need to hearken to my husband, or that he has all the power, and all my power is just to give him eternal increase (read spirit babies), and on second thought. Well they did forewarn that the intended audience for that book are those who are Orthodox Believing Latter-day Saint Men and Women trying to understand equality within a male hierarchy. I am no longer labeling myself as Orthodox believing member, I am officially heterodox, Though I truly believe in the Tenants of this faith So that book I thought would work for me doesn't. Maybe I do need to read that book Hawkgrl mentioned.
Last edited by wonderingcurrent on 25 Nov 2011, 19:42, edited 1 time in total.
If you have questions about what I said above, if you do not see any solutions or questions, if you do not see how this relates to staying LDS, then please send me a question, publicly or through pm. If you are confused simply let me know.

wonderingcurrent
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by wonderingcurrent » 25 Nov 2011, 19:39

Sorry for the Long post, I was just looking for a lot of help, but I have barely any. I think maybe though I will look at scripture stories of my favorite women in the scriptures, and see how they dealt with hardship.

I am still finding something to help me. Sometimes though I feel like this: :crazy:

I am trying to make sense of what the Holy Spirit is speaking to my heart and my mind, though this is hard, when I have my own thoughts swirling inside my head.
If you have questions about what I said above, if you do not see any solutions or questions, if you do not see how this relates to staying LDS, then please send me a question, publicly or through pm. If you are confused simply let me know.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Nov 2011, 19:56

It's fine. All of us are volunteers, and we can't check in and comment sometimes for a while. I assume since it's Thanksgiving weekend, there are a lot of regular commenters who just can't visit right now.

Fwiw, I would advise you to take a deep breath and be careful not to work yourself into such an emotional state that you can't "be still, and know that I am God". My advice to people going through the temple for the first time is pretty simple:
Turn off your brain and focus strictly on the spirit of the place. You'll have someone with you the whole time who has been there previously, so you don't have to memorize or learn or know anything - nothing at all. Just relax and "be" there. Don't try to understand everything (or even anything) the first time, so don't worry right now about trying to figure it all out right now. If you go again at some point, you will have plenty of chances to start to understand it then.


Since you are getting married, I would focus on that and only that - letting the other things flow around you and just seeing how you feel in general, not about every little thing. I don't quite mean that you should just "go through the motions" with everything else, but I think that's a much better approach the first time than to get into an emotional and intellectual state where you are worried about things and can't "feel" the moment - especially with regard to your sealing.

I know that's a lot easier for me to say than for you to do, but it's my advice. Take a deep breath and try to let this go for the next few days. Enjoy the preparation to be married; you've got time enough to work on sorting out everything else once Tuesday has come and gone.
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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wayfarer
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by wayfarer » 25 Nov 2011, 20:31

a couple quick points, in line with ray's comment above:

1. priesthood is really just heirarchy (it is what the word meant in greek). that heirarchy is a communication channel that supports you spiritually. however, each person's fundamental spiritual power comes from direct access to the divine, what we in the church call the holy ghost. men and women in the temple are equal in their access to spirit.

2. the endowment comes from joseph smith's 'inspired translation' of the masonic rites, and as such has vestiges of the male-oriented ritual and symbols inherent to freemasonry. over time, the church has been gradually changing this to be more spiritual and equal, but it is not all the way there yet.

3. the ritual is deeply symbolic and in some ways startling. no one has an easy first go at it, but in time, the richness of the symbolism can help make for a very spiritual experience.

4. what i like most is the silence. in the highest room, there are no words, only pure spirit, if you allow that to enter your heart.

5. consequently, for me, (similar to ray's comment) it is best to empty the mind of any preconceived notions about it, to go with openness, and to receive whatever you find of use at the time, leaving aside things, for now, seem troubling or incomprehensible. allow the richness of the ritual to fill you, without getting caught up in the baggage.

i enjoy the temple for a lot of reasons, none of them really logical.

i hope you have a pleasant experience there.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by hawkgrrrl » 25 Nov 2011, 20:35

I agree with Ray. WC, give yourself some time. You've said before that your husband to be and you are on the same pge about how to live your lives. That's got a real impact to you. Stuff like leftover sexism and symbolism have very little impact on your life. The temple is not the sum of its sexist parts. Those parts will have little to no impact on your life unless you become obsessed with them. I just finished a day at the temple, and yes, parts are sexist, but here I am in my normal life again, and guess what? No impact. There is much more to the temple than this stuff. But you've got too much going on with wedding prep to get so distracted by this silly stuff. Unless you truly believe God thinks women are less valuable than men (which I don't believe) then you're getting tied up in knots over something that is ultimately irrelevant.

I think when we are stressed out about one thing (wedding) it's easy to get obsessed and stressed about another thing just as a distraction. I suggest tabling this until you've actually got the wedding taken care of or moving it to PM.

wonderingcurrent
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by wonderingcurrent » 25 Nov 2011, 21:09

Okay...
If you have questions about what I said above, if you do not see any solutions or questions, if you do not see how this relates to staying LDS, then please send me a question, publicly or through pm. If you are confused simply let me know.

wonderingcurrent
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by wonderingcurrent » 25 Nov 2011, 21:24

Look, I just want to say publically on this forum that I am feeling very bad right now, for hammering the topic of the Temple so much.

I have gotten a lot of good advice, and I will for the most part try to take that into my life, and how it works for me.

I appreciate all your help, and will continue to frequent this site as much as possible, for some camaraderie in my heterodox beliefs.

I will now again, just make a simple list, of my not so simple feelings and how I could handle it all on Tuesday in the Temple.

1) Clearing my head, and being still, its the only way God has spoken to me, and given me revelation. When I do think to much, I do become to freaked out and rant. It never ends well when I do that. I should definitely just take the Temple time to meditate, mostly on my relationship with God the Father and Heavenly Mother too.
2) Understanding it's okay to not understand or even agree with something in the Temple, I will for the most part, just act it with the intent of trying to understand it. If I don't understand it, maybe I am not yet in a spiritual place to accept it, or that it really does have no consequence to me.
3) The Patriarchal parts and seemingly sexist parts, if of God, aren't going to hurt me, and if of men aren't going to have effect on me outside the Temple.
4) Its okay to have a big cry about it, I realize that its okay to cry about things we are absolutely confused on
5) See it as a culmination of a lifelong goal I have had, and deeply hold as something very important to me, this is something I should be more happy then sad, but that doesn't mean the parts I am disappointed on, even saddened about has to be repressed
6) Consider the Endowment a lesson in life, and that though things seem unfair in this world, in the Celestial room, after its all said and done, one can find much peace just like I hope to find in the Celestial Kin-dom of Heaven.

I apologize if I sounded to bugging about this whole thing. It has been on my mind a lot, because i truly wanted to understand it, but since I haven't experienced it, I guess a lot of this is just plain fear as well.

So I ask just for prayers to help me get through this, oh I'm praying to. "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief".

I will all let you know my experience.
If you have questions about what I said above, if you do not see any solutions or questions, if you do not see how this relates to staying LDS, then please send me a question, publicly or through pm. If you are confused simply let me know.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Nov 2011, 22:05

See my comment on the other post. ;) 8-) :D
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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by hawkgrrrl » 26 Nov 2011, 09:42

WC, I did take the time to add you to the prayer roll, and as I went through my thoughts were with you. I can't predict how you will feel Tuesday, but I think you've prepped as much as you can. The sexist stuff is still there, but even so I had a spiritual moment in the session. Given some other things you have said I suspect you might feel similarly. I'm disappointed by the sexism, but I firmly believe it is cultural and an artefact of the past.

There is other good in the temple, but to see it you have to get to a place of peace. Bear in mind too that the old folks that run the place would not have a clue that any of it is sexist. Good luck to you. Return and report.

Minyan Man
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Re: More discussion on Temples, Women and a Rant

Post by Minyan Man » 27 Nov 2011, 14:54

Wayfarer, I agree with everything you said. Especially:
4. what i like most is the silence. in the highest room, there are no words, only pure spirit, if you allow that to enter your heart.

5. consequently, for me, (similar to ray's comment) it is best to empty the mind of any preconceived notions about it, to go with openness, and to receive whatever you find of use at the time, leaving aside things, for now, seem troubling or incomprehensible. allow the richness of the ritual to fill you, without getting caught up in the baggage.

i enjoy the temple for a lot of reasons, none of them really logical.
With my inactivity, that is the most I miss about not attending the temple.

Mike from Milton.

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