The Nature of Men in the LDS Church

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: The Nature of Men in the LDS Church

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Jun 2019, 14:27

This is the central issue I have with discussions that try to identify or define "real men", which is the underlying, unexpressed vibe of lots of conversations about being a man.

What is a real man like? A real man is like whoever any particular man is. A man who fits a hyper-masculine stereotype is no more of a man than a man who would be labeled extremely effeminate - and vice-versa. A farmer is no more of a man than a hairdresser. A construction worker is no more of a man than a ballet dancer. A doctor is no more of a man than a nurse. A sexually active heterosexual man is no more of a man than a sexually active homosexual man. They all are "real men".

What kind of man is an ideal man? I would say one who lives the greatest commandment (all-encompassing love) no matter what he looks like or how else he acts or what he does for a living or his relationship status or, or, or, or. Another way to say it would be an ideal man is a man who has the characteristics mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount as being "blessed".

Jesus was strong and forceful and demanding, but he also was kind and gentle and forgiving and long-suffering and patient. He was neither masculine nor feminine exclusively. He was both. He was perfect in that he was complete, whole, and fully-developed. He didn't care about being masculine or feminine. He cared about about being everything good.

I think the LDS Church has plenty of sex/gender issues that need to be addressed, but encouraging men to not be solely stereotypical men but also to have characteristics that historically are labeled as feminine qualities is not one of those issues, in my mind.
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

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Nature of Men in the LDS Church

Post by Roy » 12 Jun 2019, 15:59

This has been a good discussion that has encouraged me to think about how males are socialized in the church and in other social groups. Thank you. Carry on.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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