The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

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

Post by On Own Now » 27 Jan 2014, 12:01

Joni wrote:I believe the unimportance/inferiority of women as presented in the temple to be factually true and in keeping with the way God created us. And to be honest, I am pretty frustrated with Him.
Joni,

Then I would offer that the different treatment of the sexes is merely a layer. The heart of the Gospel is pure and worthy of admiration. All that gender stuff... all that racism... all that anti-gay ornamentation that goes on top of it is a vestige of old-time thinking. It is frustrating that it still shows up in the Church, but the Gospel itself is so much more simple. I don't know you or your situation, but if a friend were angry at God and frustrated by the teachings of religion, I'd suggest they read Mark... after that, Luke, and after that John... And then top it off with Romans.

I don't believe in God at all, so there is nothing for me to frustrated with Him about. Because of my belief that we are alone, I get to pick and choose the best parts of the Gospel; I don't spend a lot of time worrying about the things that don't resonate with me. But the core Christian theology is wonderful, warming, reconciling... if we let it be that way. The author of John wrote that in Jesus there was life and that life was the light of all people, and that light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not stop the light from shining forth.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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Joni
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Joni » 27 Jan 2014, 12:56

If it's not factually true, how do we get it changed? The endowment has obviously been changed in the past (it used to say "obey"). But the ones who are the most fully invested in the problem are the ones who don't get listened to. Men are the chickens and women are the pigs. You can't tell yourelf "Well as long as I am hearkening to God, I don't have to hearken to any woman" and then sit back and pat yourself on the back because you aren't hearing any complaints about it.

(I mean the general "you," not anyone here.)

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

Post by On Own Now » 27 Jan 2014, 14:40

Joni,

I think one approach that I have found helpful is to compartmentalize when it comes to issues like this one. There is no single solution that is going to solve both your belief that God has created you unequal to your husband and also your desire for the endowment to be changed. That's like flipping a coin and expecting it not to come up either heads or tails.

In the interest of trying to compartmentalize, let me put it this way.

Though it's probably not going to be any time soon, I would like to see the rite changed. The reason I would like to see it changed is entirely, completely, and only because it is so easy for OTHERS to interpret it in a sexist way. In fact, that is the easiest way to interpret it, so I feel like the important message of the endowment is completely lost in the transmission. I believe the endowment contributes to sexist tendencies in the Church and changing it would do much for the culture of the Church.

That's one compartment or box... the one about sexism in the culture of the Church. I would like to see it changed to avoid the implication in the Church that God is sexist. But this is one box I can't really control.

Now I get to another box... one about me. This is one I can control.

For me, within my brain and my heart, I derive no sexist message in the way it is written. This is because, as I described earlier on this thread, I don't believe Eve represents you and I don't believe Adam represents your husband.

Way back on the OP of this thread you asked if there were constructive ways to resolve this issue. IMO, yes. I think the first and most important way is to find a non-sexist belief. Frame your own faith in a way that is good for you. Then, find a way to match these rites, teachings behaviors to YOUR framework for faith, not the other way around. Then last, because it's the one where you have the least influence, work to change archaic views on gender issues within the Church. This is something that is happening right now. It's too bad it hasn't already happened long ago, but on the up-side, I sort of like being a part of this major change.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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nibbler
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by nibbler » 02 Feb 2014, 16:05

I regret that I got left back somewhere around page 4 or so, I'll have to catch up sometime. In the meantime.

Joni,

I went to the temple for the first time in several years yesterday. I recognized the points you made, it is troubling. Thanks for sharing your perspective, as a man I might have never noticed otherwise.

I just wanted to share something I came across today, I even cryptically used it in a post earlier today but I feel that it's probably appropriate to explain why I used those words in this thread.

In short the phrase "help meet" was poorly translated from the Hebrew "ezer kenegdo." You can google the phrase, but here's a link to get you started:

http://www.godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm

Know that I view my DW as an equal, anyone that would tell me otherwise can safely be ignored.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
― Mark Twain

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

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Feb 2014, 16:18

Excellent, nibbler. That is the best breakdown of "helpmeet" (partner of equal strength) I have read.
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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Shawn
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Re: The big one: Being a woman in the temple.

Post by Shawn » 03 Feb 2014, 12:23

Last week I came across a quote by a GA that said he didn't like how "ezer kenegdo" was translated, or something like that. I can't find it now :(

I did find this, though:
What does it mean when the Lord said he would create for Adam “an help meet for him”? (Gen. 2:18.)
...As indicated in a footnote to Genesis 2:18 in the LDS edition of the Bible (note 18b), the Hebrew term for the phrase “help meet for him” (‘ezer kenegdo) literally means “a helper suited to, worthy of, or corresponding to him.” The King James translators rendered this phrase “help meet”—the word meet in sixteenth-century English meaning “fitting” or “proper.” It might be clearer if there were a comma after “help”—“I will make him an help, meet for him.”

...They are to each leave their parents who have cared and provided for them both physically and spiritually; and now, “corresponding to each other,” are to help, care for, and nurture each other. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/01/i-ha ... n?lang=eng

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

Post by On Own Now » 04 Feb 2014, 11:04

I do like the clarification about "help meet". Thanks for those who have posted those ideas.

However, the story still clearly places Eve in a "sidekick" role. Even if she is equal to him in every way (meet), she is still only in a supporting role (help). I do not believe the story of Adam and Eve, and by extension, the Temple, can ever be truly equalized if taken as a story that represents men (Adam) and women (Eve). IMO, it only works if taken as a story which represents PEOPLE (Adam and Eve).

I think the story would be much better if told as the story of Sally and her pet ferrets, Buckaroo and Mr. Hide. That way there would be no gender roles, expectations, or comparison implied.
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
- - -

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

Post by Shawn » 11 Feb 2014, 13:02

On Own Now wrote:The danger of using Wikipedia, though, is that any one of us could have written the article, and that doesn't make it definitive. If I had been writing it, I wouldn't have have said that Eliza R. Snow's poem "acknowledging the existence of a Heavenly Mother". I would have said "postulated" the existence. 'Acknowledge' makes it sound like ERS had special knowledge that she decided to let out. I believe that JS, if he didn't already believe it, would have liked ERS's take, and likely would have adopted it into his framework...
I think there is sufficient evidence (there is more than what is referenced on the Wiki page) that Joseph Smith taught some people about Heavenly Mother, so saying Eliza R. Snow wrote a poem "acknowledging the existence of a Heavenly Mother" works for me.

FWIW, I think Wikipedia is reliable enough. The checks and balances that have been implemented have improved its quality a lot over the years. Having people from various backgrounds contribute to a page makes it better - they balance it out. Of course, sources are required as well.

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

Post by Ann » 11 Feb 2014, 23:20

On Own Now wrote:I do like the clarification about "help meet". Thanks for those who have posted those ideas.

However, the story still clearly places Eve in a "sidekick" role. Even if she is equal to him in every way (meet), she is still only in a supporting role (help). I do not believe the story of Adam and Eve, and by extension, the Temple, can ever be truly equalized if taken as a story that represents men (Adam) and women (Eve). IMO, it only works if taken as a story which represents PEOPLE (Adam and Eve).

I think the story would be much better if told as the story of Sally and her pet ferrets, Buckaroo and Mr. Hide. That way there would be no gender roles, expectations, or comparison implied.
:lol:
"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

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

Post by Joni » 27 Feb 2014, 14:05

The understanding that I will be answering to my husband in the CK (and not directly answering to God, which is another problem) has led me to the conclusion that I don't want to be in the Celestial Kingdom at all. I have control over precisely one thing, and that's whether I accept it and allow my husband to 'preside' over me - and I choose to reject it. I don't have the potential to be like Heavenly Father - I only have the potential to be like Heavenly Mother, who isn't important enough to get any official mention in the temple (and barely acknowledged out of it). I've spent a lot of time vacillating between "Is it better to be alone forever or is it better to play second fiddle to my husband's exaltation" and I've finally come down in favor of the former.

The problem is, an awful lot of unpleasant things we do in this church are only done with the promise of celestial glory. Paying ten percent tithing (of gross!), wearing unflattering and uncomfortable underwear, sitting through THREE HOURS of church plus the pre-church and post-church meetings (on an empty stomach once a month), not drinking coffee or beer or wine, avoiding 'self-abuse', not watching R-rated movies, etc., etc., etc... What on earth is my incentive to toe the line if all I get at the end of the day is to be the facilitator of someone ELSE'S glory?

My husband is deeply troubled by this realization on my behalf. He was, after all, promised that if he got an Eagle Scout/served a mission/didn't masturbate, he'd earn a hot/faithful/virginal wife who would gaze on him adoringly and "hearken" to his "counsel" for all of eternity. I've pointed out that Husband doesn't stand to lose anything. As long as he keeps his covenants he doesn't lose out on any blessings - I will simply be replaced at the judgement day by another, more righteous woman who knows her place and he will forget all about me.

(Sorry if I seem bitter. If I do, it's just because I'm bitter. :D )

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