Thursday, December 11, 2008

Silly girls. Revelation is for boys!

I don’t mind that men hold the priesthood. I just went through a whole tirade on a private level and I get it. I don’t want the priesthood. I get it. I get why men have it. I’ve been going to church long enough to understand the reasoning behind it all.

Here’s my problem:

What I mind is that it is the end-all-be-all. Worthy members receive revelation. Worthy members receive revelation over our own stewardship. While counsel and discussion should be made, that person who has stewardship should have the final say. If those above that person feel the one with their “final say” is off their rocker, than there should be a process by which to deal with it. Period.

My problem lies in the idea that men have clearer revelation than their women do, in the idea that God speaks more truth to his sons than He does the girls. The girls are either misguided or just getting partial truth. Silly, silly girls.

We can talk about it all we want, but in the end it’s his decision. And we do emphasize that guy being worthy in his position – there’s no room for unrighteous dominion – but Father Knows Best. He’s got that really awesome Y chromosome and all. Should I have picked one up? Naaaaaah. I like being a girl despite all the crap.

I don’t want to be a guy. I don’t want the priesthood. I don’t want to be bishop, I don’t want any of that. But if as Relief Society President (which I’m not) I truly feel that my Relief Society needs to go in a certain direction and my bishop comes and puts on the breaks despite my very strong revelation, than what? I am to defer to him and just let whatever happens to happen.

Why? Because he’s the man. We can say “because he’s the priesthood holder” but the real, fundamental thing is because he’s the guy. We can be equal in spiritual strength and knowledge, but according to church structure, I am inferior to my priesthood (male) leaders.

We are left back to an earlier question: If I pray with real intent and get an answer contrary to that of my leaders, what then? The Church would say my answer is wrong. If we are one in purpose, after all, than we should be getting the same answer from the Lord.

But it does not work that way all the time. You cannot dismiss me so easily. Call it pride, call it a gateway to the road to apostasy, whatever. I was told when I joined that I should know everything for myself and go according to that. I’m taught that through the years…until I think differently from my leaders. Until I think differently from my husband. I’m certain my leaders would absolutely counsel us to talk about it, pray about it, etc. The fact is that doctrinally and what is taught in the temple is that I am to defer to him if he decides differently than what I think. Period.

This is not a strictly LDS issue, either. Like I mentioned before, it happens in other churches. It’s not even a matter of Pauline politics. It is in the scriptures; it is canonized. It is doctrine. We teach and practice a doctrinal patriarchy. I’m beyond talking about in-house ward matters here like who is bishop and who is not. This is more fundamental than that.

I don’t want the priesthood. I understand that there are priesthood holders who have to go through other priesthood holders to get permission, too. I’m not necessarily pissed about the priesthood. (annoyed at my repetition yet? it's only because I've learned some have selective "hearing" and I want to make myself clear despite the stereotypes about women who speak like this)

Here's the crux of it all: I just want to have the right as much access to God as my bishop or even my husband. I want the right to unique revelation that may go against what the Church teaches because I am unique and only God knows me and my situation nearly well enough. I want to still be in good standing if this happens.

But we don’t teach that. It’s too hairy, it’s too itchy, and it leaves far too much wiggle room. It goes against the whole “one in purpose” thing. We are to teach the doctrine and leave the exceptions up to the individual…except for in larger matters where the Church has authority and have taken an official stand. They know better despite it all – even though history proves they did not always know better despite it all.

We are not to criticize our leaders, even if it is justified.

And as a person who, doctrinally, biblically (as taught), has less authority than all but my own children, I have to sit back and let it all happen because I wouldn’t want to create confusion or contention. And I don’t.

It goes back to Adam. Eve, justified or not, took the fruit and was punished for it. Adam just did what he had to do, damn that woman. He initially told the serpent no, but since his wife went, he had to follow since he was commanded to always be with her. If she goes to hell, he should follow.
That is the inference. Hell, the men today joke about this. The girls complain, and the guys just placate them. Give them the 9 o’clock church instead of the 8:30, what does it matter. It’ll keep the girls happy, and as everyone knows: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Ha. ha.

This original act of disobedience slash obedience also suggests that Adam recognized Eve’s greater insight. She saw what he could not, despite the fact that God forbade it. She was able to look past that. But by initially being more obedient to God, he is now given greater access to God. No matter what she thinks now, though we teach she was right, she has to listen to Adam who would have counseled her to reject the fruit. Apparently she’s only allowed to be right in that one thing. Lucky for her she wasn’t taught beforehand to listen to her husband. Lucky for her she didn’t even ask. She didn’t have to. No covenants had been made yet.

Ahhhh, innocence.

Though Eve did what had to be done, she was punished anyway – and not just by exile from Eden, either. Now she has to follow Adam because he was apparently more righteous in refusing the serpent’s temptation. The idea that he knew better is inferred and is passed down to every man since. Since Adam knew better, all men know better. Eve just did what had to be done.

Is anyone else following?

That’s all. I don’t care about having the priesthood. I love my man, I love him being the man – he is absolutely everything I am not. I love taking care of him and our children – but he takes care of me and our kids, too. We complement each other rather nicely. Nothing we decide is ever because “I said so” – we talk about it until a conclusion is made between the two of us. Our lives are not separate, they are one and, to him, I’ve just as much right and access to God as he does.

And that’s how it should be anywhere.


Amanda said...

May I ask where in the Bible it says that the serpent tried to tempt Adam first? Or was that revealed outside the Bible? I know it's not in the first chapters of Genesis. In there, the serpent goes directly to Eve, who doesn't even have a name at that point.

My husband tells me that all that about Adam needing to follow Eve and such was revelation on Mormon terms, that it's solely a product of Mormon revelation and isn't relavant to other Christian religions. I'm not sure, but Adam and Eve have disappeared by where I'm at in Genesis, and there certainly was nothing like any of that in there.

And in the Bible, Eve's also cursed with painful childbirth, and having to bow to Adam for the rest of her days.

Lisa said...

As far as I can remember it's not biblical - I believe its in the Pearl of Great Price if its anywhere scripturally.

I'm skimming Moses chapter 3 and 4 right now...interesting. Itseems the commandment to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (breath) was given before Eve was created.

It seems she knew of the commandment though by 4:8.

So yeah, Moses chapters 3 and 4. That would make it exclusively LDS doctrine. I always did appreciate the new insights into the Fall. I never liked the idea that we're born into the world destined for hell unless we proclaim Christ as our Savior (seriously, so many problems with that) in that way the LDS explanations appealed to me.

But it isn't without issue either.

For doing something so good and something we revere today, she sure was cursed, wasn't she?

Amanda said...

Yeah, I don't remember ever reading the PoGP. In Genesis, though, God gives the commandment not to eat of that tree to both of them together, so it's not the same as Moses. Actually, from the Genesis point of view, the Catholic "original sin" idea actually makes a lot more sense. I mean, God actually does curse the two fo them and says that curse will be on every one of their descendents.

The Faithful Dissident said...

I wish I had more time to write a serious comment but I just had to say that the title of this post totally cracked me up. :) I'm sitting here at the library trying to be all quiet and "serious" and I'm trying so hard to stifle a laugh because I have this picture of the Trix rabbit and some of the RS sisters I know. Silly girls, indeed. LOL.

Laura said...

"But by initially being more obedient to God, he is now given greater access to God. No matter what she thinks now, though we teach she was right, she has to listen to Adam who would have counseled her to reject the fruit."

I don't believe that the story of Adam and Eve perpetuates the idea that "he knew better so all men know better" and we must therefore follow them. The submission of women to their husbands did not begin with Adam and Eve but was planned before the world was.
Remember that God himself is a man.

You know as well as I do that the LDS church paints a much more forgiving picture of Eve than most other churches do. "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." If Eve initiated the fall, then really her choice brought joy. I have never heard a derogatory talk given on Eve - in fact, just the opposite.

I guess this has never really bothered me because both my husband and I receive revelation for our family. Remember that we are only told to obey our husbands if they are obedient to the Lord. Because he is righteous, he does not dismiss my ideas, but we discuss them until we reach an agreement. (The G.A.s have given plenty of talks on unrighteous dominion during preisthood sessions.)

Within a marriage, there is room for disagreement, discussion, and even compromise. Within a church comprised of millions of people, there is very little. We are told to pray to gain a testimony of the prophet. If you believe that he's a prophet then you believe that he receives revelation for the entire earth - just as prophets of old.

"They know better despite it all – even though history proves they did not always know better despite it all."

I'm not sure where you're getting at here. Are you talking about the world's version of history or the Lord's? What has been right in the Lord's eyes is rarely viewed as politically correct by secular history (i.e. ERA).

This idea of receiving revelation that is contrary to the prophet seems confusing to me. I think in certain situations, the Lord allows us to break from the pattern to fit our own individual circumstances. (marrying a non-member, having a civil wedding,or not serving a mission). But even if we choose not to partake of these things, we still recognize that they are good things to strive for because the prophets have counseled us to do so.

When you say that you receive revelation that goes flat out against prophetic counsel, I just have a hard time believing that it comes from the Lord - not because I believe you are wrong - but because I don't believe the Lord creates relative truths. If your revelation is right, then the prophet must be wrong. Both of you cannot be right when you ascribe to such opposing ideals.

Anyway - this isn't meant to offend. I know that you've been questioning this for a while.

Lisa said...

Amanda: Yeah, I'll have to do a bit of study. The Church's view of the fall always appealed to me, sounded right, like "duh" - the fact that I'm responsible for my own sins just resonated like a few other things.

FD: haha, I laughed too :D

Laura: I get that and your (and everyone else's) skeptisms. I can't convince anyone but just know for myself and allow other people to know for themselves. *shrug*

I, too, have never heard a derogatory talk given about Eve - this is quite probably the most Eve-friendly church I've ran into. In a lot of ways our church is very cool regarding women.

But I have a hard time understanding and being cool with why it's set up the way it is. Why am I inferior somehow because I'm a girl? I know not everyone feels ths way, and I didn't for a long time, but I have for the last few years.

"I'm not sure where you're getting at here. Are you talking about the world's version of history or the Lord's? What has been right in the Lord's eyes is rarely viewed as politically correct by secular history (i.e. ERA)"

I've been studying a bit into topics such as blacks and the priesthood (very interesting. Joseph Smith ordained a black man to the priesthood...) and even before then have found that the GA's have admitted on occasion, such as with sealing families to Joseph Smith, that they were acting on the knowledge they had. Of course we don't seal families to the prophet today, but that was the understanding back then.

"Remember that we are only told to obey our husbands if they are obedient to the Lord. Because he is righteous, he does not dismiss my ideas, but we discuss them until we reach an agreement."

This is how it works with my family too :D But it's the idea that's just...I don't know how to explain it.

I'm going to move away from this topic for a spell. Thanks for your feedback, though. Know I've thought of those things as well - it really does help me to get them down on "paper" and hear other people's feedback.