In the past we’ve discussed the problem of women’s exaltation and role in the next life generally. Let’s look now at the complementary problem: women’s absence from the pre-mortal existence.
Cosmogonies around the world often make a connection between creation and procreation: female and male elements unite to engender aspects of the known universe. In striking contrast, Mormonism teaches not just that a single male God called the cosmos into existence, but that a committee of men, operating independently of any women, created the universe in concert. Women, rather than being participants in that creation, are simply counted amont the products of men’s creation.
Unlike the traditional Christian Adam who comes into being in the Garden, the Mormon Adam plays a central role in all three acts of the cosmic drama: as Michael, the archangel, Adam communes directly with the Father and the Son and aids them in their creative acts, and after his mortal probation Adam resumes this position, leading the Lord’s hosts and sounding the trump at the Eschaton.
Eve’s significance, however, is circumscribed to the Garden and mortality. While God places Michael’s eternal spirit into Adam’s earthly body, Eve is simply fashioned whole cloth from his rib. And within Mormon thought, this actually makes some sense: Eve’s absence from the pre-mortal realm perfectly parallels the even more puzzling absence of Heavenly Mother, whose status in Creation and the eternities, one might falsely suppose, should be assured. Not so. Of Heavenly Mother’s role in the cosmogonic drama we hear nary a word. One almost wonders whether Michael and Jehovah have entirely preempted her.
How do we make sense of this? Where were the women in the pre-mortal existence?
- 29 December 2009