Changing the Temple Ceremony for Female Priesthood?

July 14, 2014

In the previous post from Guy Templeton, Jettboy explained that priesthood in the next life will be different from priesthood in this life, but noted the inherent sexism (though I’m sure he wouldn’t have couched it in those terms.)  He said,

Ah, but Sarah, there is even with those “conferrals” a God, then man, and then woman hierarchical structure taught within the Temple. Assuming that isn’t the case (and I believe it is), the final outcome isn’t going to be the leadership structure of Teacher, Priest, or President we think of with the Aaronic and Melchizedek ordinations. Authority has nothing to do with it, but blessings of the eternities. The highest callings will be King or Queen of our own Kingdoms; and that only as a promised conditional in this life.

This led me to say,

Jettboy,

I think you bring up a good point that the highest callings in the eternities will be different. I think it is an excellent point.

On the other hand, “then man, and then woman hierarchical structure taught within the Temple” clearly disagrees with Nephi’s idea that “all are alike unto God, male and female….” If man is hierarchically above woman, then all are not alike, nor equal. This is why people complain the temple is sexist. I don’t know how anyone can argue that men and women are equal in the temple ceremony when clearly the temple ceremony shows a hierarchy that is unequal. Clearly the men are elevated in hierarchy above women.

I understand that this point is off-topic of the post, but your comment clearly illustrates the inequality inherent in the temple endowment, and I think it should be clearly pointed out for those who say that the endowment is not sexist. I think your comment clearly illustrates the sexism within the temple, and I think you are right in your interpretation. I, on the other hand, wish the temple ceremony was changed to get rid of the sexism.

When blacks were allowed into the temple, the temple ceremony didn’t need to be changed. Perhaps if women are allowed to hold priesthood office, the temple ceremony may need some dramatic alterations. Surely a revelation on priesthood for women would simultaneously require changes in the temple ceremony. With the new movies leaving the dialogue essentially unchanged, I’m not hopeful that either the temple ceremony or female priesthood will change under the current prophet.

So, I bring a few questions for you, and would like you to comment on them, as well as answer the poll questions.

Are men hierarchically above women in the temple ceremony?

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Would the Temple Ceremony need to be changed if Women were ordained to Priesthood office?

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Do you support the status quo for women in the LDS Church?

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48 Responses to Changing the Temple Ceremony for Female Priesthood?

  1. hoggbegone on July 14, 2014 at 4:47 AM

    “all are alike unto God, male and female….”. Perhaps its time to open the Temple ordinances to the general public and to eliminate outer darkness and the various mansions in heaven. Or maybe Nephi wasn’t talking about equality like we do in the 20th and 21st centuries, but rather the fairness of God’s judgements.

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  2. Daniel Smith on July 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    I’ve found that unless a concentrated effort is put forth to remember exactly what is happening in the ceremony, most of the inequities are unmemorable. I like to believe this is because the Spirit only bring to remembrance the truth.

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  3. Amy on July 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Daniel, with respect, that is not my experience. My experience is that the inequalities in the temple are glaring, stand out immediately, remain with me throughout the experience and afterward, and cause significant pain and alienation from God.
    It is possible that you find the inequalities unmemorable because they favor you, and thus cause little existential pain or confusion about your standing in the sight of God. I have found, in my conversations with men in the church, that they often fail to notice, or are completely unaware of the existence of, these inequalities, while the women of my acquaintance often report that these inequalities stand out to them as if illuminated by a neon flashing light.

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  4. Howard on July 14, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Speaking of changes are you aware that “special witnesses of The Name of Jesus Christ” is the new “special witnesses of Jesus Christ”?

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  5. Quibbler on July 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    #4

    That’s not really a change: the phrase “special witnesses of the name of Christ” appears in D&C Section 107, verse 23. And to validate that the church did not change the wording anytime recently, the phrase also appears in the RLDS/CoC Doctrine and Covenants, section 104, verse 11c, as found on centerplace.org – you can search it for yourself. Also check WikiSource for other copies of the D&C to verify.

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  6. Daniel Smith on July 14, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    I did not mean to minimize anyone’s pain at the inequities that are in the ceremony. You are correct that I did need to have them brought to my attention and I am thankful for those who have spoken out on this issue. I wish their voices were more prominent and officially recognized.

    I have found though that it is not just men who find the inequities unmemorable. I know my personal experience is not a representative sample and those who have shared their opinion may not have felt at liberty to be frank, but the majority of women I have spoken with have also needed to have the inequities pointed out to them by someone who felt hurt by them. I do sincerely believe that the recollection of an equitable presentation demonstrates what the ceremony should be and the actual presentation should be changed to reflect that. A ceremony explicitly about coming to God is an abject failure if it results in alienation.

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  7. Howard on July 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Quibbler,
    I’m referring to a change in use. For example apparently the 1997 edition of Gospel Principles reads “Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, teach the gospel in all parts of the world.” and the 2009 edition reads “Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of THE NAME OF Jesus Christ, teach the gospel and regulate the affairs of the Church in all parts of the world.”

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  8. hoffbegone on July 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Amy, my goodness. You said “and cause [me] significant pain and alienation from God”. Maybe you need different friends? If your Temple experience is that painful for you, or for me, I would leave the Church or any organization. The Church is for true believers, not to cause such painful suffering to anyone. All of my female acquaintances that I have spoken to recently about this subject (not many to be truthful) have no problems with the doctrines. I am quite shocked by your post and don’t mean to make light of it. Sorry to hear of your sufferings. I would plead with God and take advantage of the relief the Atonement brings to all who suffer.

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  9. hoffbegone on July 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Howard, what is your point? The Church has always, since the beginning, been making corrections to it’s publications. In recent years I have seen a big emphasis from the Brethren trying to be as correct as possible. What is wrong with aligning wording in Gospel Principles Manual with wording in scripture? You have something against that?

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  10. Quibbler on July 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    So perhaps you would agree that the change in use makes that usage more scripturally accurate? Do you object? Given that “salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ”, this seems like hardly an issue to complain about, at least to my ears.

    Witnesses of Him or of His Name, either description of their task is sufficient, and -ultimately – equivalent, not that we really want to start playing lawyer-like word games with God.

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  11. hoffbegone on July 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Howard, here is something I just noticed. In the paragraph in the manual immediately above the “change” you point out it speaks of the Seventy: “Seventies are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world”. Careful review of the text of the manual will illustrate that The Church leadership, Seventy, Apostle, or President, are still special witnesses of Christ. The change you mention is to align it to scripture as noted in the manual: “An Apostle is a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world (see D&C 107:23)” The sentence regarding the Seventy was not referencing a scripture. Sorry to spend so much time, effort, and post space on this tiny, unimportant nit. Sorry to see so many are bothered by continued corrections and changes aka continual revelation (see Articles of Faith).

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  12. Howard on July 14, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    The phrase “special witnesses of Jesus Christ” has given rise to abundant folklore speculation that LDS apostles actually see Christ in a vision or visitation and the brethren seemed to do little to discourage this illusion. I never heard the other phrase used as a title for them while growing up so I’m wondering if they are moving way from that illusion and toward greater accuracy.

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  13. Howard on July 14, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    #11 Well hoffbegone attaching that title to 70s doesn’t seem to explain ” this tiny, unimportant nit”.

    Twelve Apostles, who are special witnesses of the name of Jesus Christ, teach the gospel and regulate the affairs of the Church in all parts of the world.

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  14. Amaryllis on July 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Other: No, there are things I don’t like, but I don’t think the most important changes need necessarily be accompanied by priesthood ordination.

    I hope desperately that the temple changes to eliminate the sexism. I mean desperately. This is to me the single most important inequality in the church because it has such terrible implications about the eternal nature of a woman’s soul and her relationship to God. I don’t think Amy’s words are too strong to express my feelings. As it stands, going to the temple will be one of the greatest sacrifices of my will and values that I will ever make.

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  15. Winifred on July 14, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Amy:
    You and your husband are a unit. One cannot be exalted without the other. If you let feminism get in the way, it will be very easy to lose sight of the prize.

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  16. Lonicera on July 14, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Winifred, just because Amy’s husband needs her to be exalted, does not mean they are equal (according to temple verbiage). To quote an example I saw elsewhere on the bloggernacle, you need a car to drive on the freeway, but that does not make you and the car equals.

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  17. Sandy Emmons on July 14, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    And the twain shall be one. In my opinion there will be no separation between the man and the woman. They will be a unit. They are one. No difference. Once sealed you are neither man or woman but a couple.

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  18. hoggbegone on July 14, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    If going to the Temple is such a horrible experience for women, any one have any comments why there is always more women than men at the Temple?

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  19. hawkgrrrl on July 14, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    hoffbegone: “If your Temple experience is that painful for you, or for me, I would leave the Church or any organization. The Church is for true believers, not to cause such painful suffering to anyone.” This is a catch-22. It’s painful to women who believe, which is why they don’t just leave. If they don’t believe, it ceases to be painful. I would think that would be obvious.

    “If going to the Temple is such a horrible experience for women, any one have any comments why there is always more women than men at the Temple?” Two main reasons: 1) older women don’t object to sexism nearly as much as younger generations because the church was LESS sexist than the world in which they grew up whereas the church is MORE sexist than the world in which most of us have grown up since the 1980s, and 2) very few people, men or women, pay that close of attention to what is actually said in the temple because it doesn’t actually match what we teach in our manuals. The exaltation offered to men is completely different than what is offered to women – in the temple – but outside the temple, it is taught that it is essentially the same for both. So, it’s easy to ignore what is actually said in the temple if you want to. Which one is accurate? Well, the temple is older and considered more sacred, but I sure hope it’s not right.

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  20. Moss on July 14, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    One person, in real life, knows how, let’s say, challenged, I am by the temple: my husband. And I only had the guts to tell him how torn up I was inside about the temple 8 years into our marriage. 8 years from the day of my endowment trying to figure out what was wrong with me, why I felt so sad and dark in the temple. Maybe if I just go more often, maybe if I just give it to God, maybe if I just study the scriptures more. Nope.

    I would never tell my parents, absolutely never tell my bishop, never tell other sisters in the ward. I don’t want to lose my calling and my friends, and I don’t want my parents to freak out about me going to hell. It does not surprise me one bit that no one ever tells anyone, in real life, that they feel hurt in the temple.

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  21. Cranky Day on July 14, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    If my father-in-law, brothers-in-law, brother, or any male member of my family asked me, I think I would fib about my “real” feelings and say everything is fine and just show up for all the weddings and temple nights. Negative experiences are not acceptable generally (see above), and you’d better be ready for a big debate/shunning/lecture/questioning of intellect or disbelief (see above for proof) if you tell the wrong audience your feelings – which, quite frankly, most Mormon women would rather avoid.

    You see, there’s no real safe in-person outlet for this kind of stuff. To me, as a faithful, active, card-carrying Mormon woman, the LAST person I’d tell my questions to is a Mormon man.

    Especially one who approaches ME about these issues. It would feel like a witch-hunt unless done in strictest of confidence and trust. There is always a “right” answer, and we know what those answers are.

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  22. Melissa on July 14, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Cranky day is right. As a fellow card-carrying woman, I would never tell any men from church how I truly felt about the inequality in the temple. I’ve just started opening up to my suppose, parents and sisters about it – turns out they don’t like it either. Maybe there are a lot more than we know that silently bear it, hoping for it to be changed someday.

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  23. jcgk on July 15, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    #3 No. There are things I don’t like, but I have not yet decided how I feel about the ordination of women.

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  24. Jettboy on July 15, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    The ignorance of the Temple here is mindboggling, and I don’t mean just what happens inside. Joseph Smith specifically said on more than one occasion that the Temple has greater understanding of doctrine than what is even found in his other teachings. What does that mean? That it is more likely that the “sexist” parts are closer to the Heavenly pattern than what is taught in Sunday School. The priesthood of church governance is temporary, where the priesthood of the Temple is eternal. I reiterate once again, the Temple priesthood is called Patriarchal, “The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood” (TPJS pg. 323). Although in this life the Melchizedek Priesthood holds a higher position, in the next life it will be transformed into a family organization. We learn in the Temple of that transformation.

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  25. IDIAT on July 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Hawk #19 – I don’t agree that people ignore the language. I was endowed in 1980, and I caught the language as a relatively new convert of a year. Nor was, has, or is, the language missed by my wife. You have accepted Eliseothel’s interpretation of the endowment. I haven’t, nor has my wife. The difficulty in discussing these things is that they are part of the temple experience, and the moment I say I have the correct interpretation, there will be 1,000 comments saying my interpretation is incorrect. What you and many other perceive as sexist language may not be so (as alluded to by hoffbegone and Jettboy). If you’re judging temple symbolism by 2014 worldly standards of equality you will probably come away from the endowment disappointed.

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  26. MH on July 15, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    The Standards of 2014 regarding discrimination, sexism, racism, etc are a VAST improvement over other eras. Brigham Young, for example, said slavery was good. I doubt anyone wants to go back to the discrimination of Brigham’s era where women couldn’t vote. I doubt women could vote in Nephi’s era either. I don’t want to go back to that kind of society of slavery and discrimination. The temple needs to be updated against these outdated sexist ideas. They aren’t good, even if Brigham believed it.

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  27. Hedgehog on July 15, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I note that IDIAT, hoggbegone and Jettboy are all men, though they say they are also speaking for their wives..
    Personally the very description ‘Patriarchal’ in Jettboy’s comment to describe eternity is something that makes my heart sink. I have yet to see anything in the temple that causes me to look forward to the next life…

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  28. Naismith on July 15, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    As is not uncommon, I feel very much in the middle on this. I would not tell another woman how to feel. I don’t condone some of the comments here, which strike me as rather un-Christian.

    But at the same time, I’m offended at the notion of #16, reducing the woman to a mere car. The church doesn’t do that, and when we try to make a woman LESS because her role is different from her husband, that is just ugly. When my husband and I have gone on long car trips, we took turns driving and navigating, and both were important.

    Since I joined the church in the mid-1970s, the church has always promoted equal partnership in marriage. That the roles are somewhat different, including at the temple, does not bother me, since our Creator made us different, after all. It would have been easy to create a species without genders, but instead there are two. Either God is a dumb ass or a mysogynist to make us this way, or perhaps there is something that we can learn by complementing each other, bringing together the ying and yang.

    I think the church teaches a Third Way, that is NOT men-on-top sexism NOR is it urging treating men and women the same. It is teaching equal but different. And I love that idea.

    I am not a fan of men-on-top sexism and since I’ve lived in a community that tries to treat men and women the same, to the great disadvantage of women, that doesn’t appeal to me either.

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  29. Hedgehog on July 15, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    are hoggbegone/hoffbegone the same person?

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  30. hoffbegone on July 15, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    yes. sorry ;( Actually, how could that have happened? It must be because I use two different computers. I’ll fix that.

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  31. hoffbegone on July 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    #28. Naismith you get a +1 (although your language is quite colorful). Comment #16 from Lonicera bothered me also. First of all, Amy did not say she needed her husband to be exalted (i see only one comment from Amy). The truth is we need each other as Winifred (#15) said. Why Lonicera wanted to take the opportunity to denigrate women and why 8 agreed is beyond me. That analogy can be used both ways and therefore it’s only purpose is to tear down make fun and cause 8 others to feel good.

    I think worms are sexless. Is that what feminism wants us to be is like worms? Let’s get out the knives everyone and let’s forget God created us this way.

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  32. Jettboy on July 15, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    I don’t believe that men are to “rule over” women with an abusive strong arm, but I do believe that the Temple teaches an order that is anti-modern feminist. It is both linear (God, man, women) and triangular (God, man and women), depending on the appropriate promptings of the spirit. MH, I don’t care for the standards of 2014, 1977, 1890, 1000 or 10,000 BC. I care for the standards of God, no matter how much it goes for or against modern ethics or morality.

    Hedgehog, I never once said I am speaking for my wife. I do, however, speak from what I have studied and know, and frankly what the spirit has taught me.

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  33. hawkgrrrl on July 15, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    “I doubt women could vote in Nephi’s era either” Monarchy, right? Nobody could vote.

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  34. hawkgrrrl on July 15, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Jettboy: “I do, however, speak from what I have studied and know, and frankly what the spirit has taught me.” Funny how the spirit has taught me something else.

    Hedgehog: “I have yet to see anything in the temple that causes me to look forward to the next life…” Ditto.

    IDIAT: “You have accepted Eliseothel’s interpretation of the endowment.” Eliseothel didn’t write the endowment. She didn’t create the inequities in what women are promised and told to covenant and what men are promised and told to covenant. Her interpretation is similar to my own observation going through the temple. However, I am old enough to have some hope that the temple is a byproduct of sexist thinking fraught with a polygamist origin. That’s not me judging the temple by 2014 enlightened standards. My own views of sexism weren’t formed in 2014. I’m 46 years old. My views on the potential of women and the harmfulness of limited gender roles haven’t changed since I was a little girl and first began to discover that many of the things I assumed were available to both men and women weren’t really. I’ve never felt my own potential was really as limited as I’ve been told it is at church, so I just have to assume church is wrong about me and other women. The statements made are not correct. They don’t ring true. The spirit testifies they are false. Say it anyway you want, that’s been my life experience.

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  35. Mormon Heretic on July 15, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Jettboy, I think that society in 2014 is coming much closer to his ideals than the discrimination of previous generations. I’d rather have full equality going forward, than the backwards standards of sexism and racism of previous generations and I think God is much happier with our improved behavior as a society.

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  36. Lonicera on July 15, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Framing the discussion on gender equality as either promoting sexlessness or patriarchal hierarchy is a false dichotomy. Nobody is saying that there is no difference between the sexes. Then stating that the only alternative to this obviously false proposition is to accept a patriarchy leaves out many possible alternatives. I don’t have a problem with a division of labor approach. But I favor that labor be divided according to personal abilities and desires. However, under the patriarchy, labor is divided according to sex and the role of males is to make decisions and preside, i.e. be in charge. The role of females is to support. That is not an equal division.

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  37. Naismith on July 15, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    Um, that’s not how I see the patriarchal order. I see the role of males is to preside, i.e. serve. When Christ was on the earth, he used his power to perform miracles that benefited others, never himself. There is a whole body of research in the management literature on the “servant leadership” model, which Christ and our church exemplifies.

    Women are not always in a role of supporting. When it comes to parenthood, mothers have the primary responsibility, and men play a supportive role. Which is huge if you believe that having children may be the most important thing one does in life but matters less if you agree with some feminists like SImone de Beauvoir that mothering is a form of slavery.

    Maybe “nobody is saying there is no difference,” but asking for the same thing that men have, ordination, does not make it clear how those differences should be acknowledged.

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  38. Sarah on July 15, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Naismith, if you’re the primary caregiver for your children and your husband plays a supporting role and you like it that way, I’m happy for you. Not all of us are happy with these circumscribed roles, though. Some mothers want the space to pursue a profession and some fathers would like to be the primary caregivers to their children. It would be more supportive of families to give parents the room to work out what’s best for them and their children, rather than dictating specific roles that just don’t work for lots of families.

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  39. Lonicera on July 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Naismith, consult a dictionary. To preside is not synonymous with to serve, though those who preside may serve (as may those who follow). To preside means to be in charge, to exercise guidance, direction or control. To preside also does not necessarily mean to be a power-hungry autocrat. But it does mean, at the end of the day, that whoever is presiding is the one who makes the final decisions. Words mean things. Having someone preside precludes an equal partnership. I work in management. Though I serve my staff, listen to their grievances and consider the advice they give me, I still preside. We are not peers. The same holds for my relationship with my superiors. A chain of command works for many organizations but I cannot think of a good reason to base it on sex, or to it as a structure for intimate relationships.

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  40. Hedgehog on July 16, 2014 at 4:48 AM

    Jettboy my apologies. Clearly I was trying to address too many comments at once.

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  41. IDIAT on July 16, 2014 at 5:34 AM

    Hawk #34- indeed, how do we account for ‘the Spirit teaching me something else?’ It is really sad that you don’t see anything in the temple that makes you look forward to the next life. Considering our emphasis on the temple as a church, you certainly must be conflicted. Maybe there is something you’re missing. Or, maybe there is nothing you’re missing and all of it is a monumental waste of time.

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  42. Mormon Heretic on July 16, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    “The ignorance of the Temple here is mindboggling,”

    “maybe there is nothing you’re missing and all of it is a monumental waste of time.”

    Jettboy and IDIAT,

    We spend so much time on “the basics” of the gospel at church, and so little time discussing the temple, that the ignorance does not surprise me at all, and I do think for many people the temple experience is a monumental waste of time. This Sunday, I’ve been asked to teach “The Gift of the Holy Ghost” in my quorum. I’m tired of “the basics” in church. How am I going to say something that hasn’t been repeated 10000 times already? I do think that the church ought to put together some lessons about the temple to alleviate the misunderstandings of the temple.

    Clearly, there are some monumental misunderstandings about the temple. The reason for this is because church members are told to avoid talking about the temple outside of the temple. Now that temple workers are told not to answer questions, and the president is so busy, answers to questions are almost completely inaccessible. This leaves many with monumental misunderstandings. Clearly Church Leaders have left a lot to be desired with temple education. When we do talk about the temple, it is in very vague terms 90% of the time. In the off chance that someone dares talk about it, we do note that temple language is symbolic and symbols can have multiple meanings.

    I am not at all surprised that by relying on the Spirit to teach leaves many with conflicting notions about the temple, because the symbolism can be taken in so many different directions, It often is taken in different directions, and misunderstanding is the primary outcome. I am surprised that anyone’s mind would be boggled by the misunderstanding of the temple. I am not surprised in the least bit, and for many temple attendance is a waste of time because the symbolism goes over their heads, or they simply don’t pay attention to the ceremony as Daniel admitted above.

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  43. Jettboy on July 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    MH, I think you overstate the case for not prepared for the Temple, often because the membership,like the general non-Mormon population, doesn’t take the time to become educated. It is easier to stay ill-informed. There are a lot of Church appropriate books and articles, including the Scriptures and non-Mormon sources, that can help.

    The first place to look is actually Church manuals that are written as introduction. This can then be followed by personal steps that can be taken after study of the Scriptures. The Temple is very thematic, so do a study of what you can pick out during each visit. Go with undertanding the purpose of the Temple.

    Like I said, there are reading sources that can help. The General Authorities talk a lot more about the Temple than we give them credit. Because of the ample amount of information if someone takes the time, I find strange so many are so ignorant.

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  44. hawkgrrrl on July 16, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    IDIAT: “It is really sad that you don’t see anything in the temple that makes you look forward to the next life.” Yes, I think so too. But that’s what is presented to me as a woman. It has very little to do with my own feelings or desires or perception of myself.

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  45. Naismith on July 16, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    “Not all of us are happy with these circumscribed roles, though. Some mothers want the space to pursue a profession and some fathers would like to be the primary caregivers to their children.”

    Since the proclamation on the family provides tons of room for individual adaptation, I am not sure why any of that would be a problem. We have lots of role models in the church of families who do just that, including Andrea Thomas,who serves on the BYU B-school alumni panel, is employed as Walmart’s senior VP for Marketing of the USA stores, and is the mom of young children (her BYU address from earlier this year is on YouTube).

    I don’t see the church teachings as “circumscribing” roles as much as acknowledging that mothering is work and dads should support moms in that work. This compares favorably to the experience of my younger non-LDS colleagues who feel that they dare not have a second child nor take any time off to be with the child they have. Who feel that if they are forced to take time off for bedrest during pregnancy or recovery from a rough c-section that they are not “pulling their weight.”

    Whereas I always felt that I was contributing to the family, just in a different way.

    And while I have a graduate degree and successful career, I am glad that I got the support I needed when we were having babies and raising young children. I didn’t live my life in fear the way these non-LDS women do. I feel that I had more choices, not fewer.

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  46. Naismith on July 16, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    “Naismith, consult a dictionary.”

    Oh, surely you could be more condescending if you try harder? I know what the dictionary says, but I prefer to give more weight to the church teachings than to what a professional editor says, when we are talking about a church setting.

    “To preside means to be in charge, to exercise guidance, direction or control.”

    I would say that it means to be responsible, to be prepared to answer at a PPI in the sky some day. And since it is the Lord’s church, not the bishop’s or whatever, all decisions are made on one’s knees, seeking the Lord’s will rather than making one’s own decision.

    “But it does mean, at the end of the day, that whoever is presiding is the one who makes the final decisions.”

    Um, no. If I believed that, I would not be married. I didn’t sign up to be dictated to. I’ve been married for well over 30 years, and it has never happened that my husband made a final decision. Like the Q12, we work by consensus. When we are stalled and a decision must be made to meet a deadline, we agree to go with the idea of whoever is most affected or whoever is more knowledgeable in that field or something. On one of those handful of times, I felt strongly that I needed to fly hours away to help a daughter give birth–weeks early. My husband tried to talk me out of it, warned me i would be stuck there waiting. But this was an area of nurturing our children, over which I have primary responsibility. So I went, and arrived just hours before her water broke, grateful for the inspiration that brought be there in time.

    “Having someone preside precludes an equal partnership.”

    Sorry, but Elder Oaks’ talk on priesthood authority in the family makes it very clear that it is entirely possible. And a lot of us live this every day. My husband’s priesthood provides a way for him to serve the family, and certain responsibilities. It does not make us less equal because our roles are different. He is every bit as dependent on me as I am on him.

    “I work in management. Though I serve my staff, listen to their grievances and consider the advice they give me, I still preside. We are not peers.”

    That’s a good example of a hierarchical flow, and clearly that works in your particular setting. But the family is not supposed to be hierarchical.

    “A chain of command works for many organizations but I cannot think of a good reason to base it on sex, or to it as a structure for intimate relationships.”

    I’m not interested in having a chain of command at all. I am interested in an equal partnership. I found it in my temple marriage.

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  47. forgetting on July 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    … and in related news the hero Thor in now a woman. Archetypes do transcend gender. Gender does transcend Archetype. It is a good lesson in applied mythos. From the announcement:

    “The inscription on Thor's hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it's time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute – she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

    Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

    I disagree with Wil Mos though. The inscription on the hammer is fine as it is, leave it alone. If SHE picked up the hammer and now holds it, and the hammer inscription said HE when SHE picked it up, then the understanding of HE must be incorrect, as SHE did pick it up, and in fact does now hold it.

    Adam is an archtype.  Eve is an archtype.  Adam and Eve is an archtype.

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  48. forgetting on July 16, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    “hero Thor is now a woman”, feel free to fix that or, please, my birthright for an edit button.

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