A Critique of “The Two Trees”

I would indeed be ungrateful if I didn’t acknowledge the contributions of my co-bloggers; Petra read an earlier draft and made a lot of great observations, many of which are included in the footnotes, and Kiskilili and Melyngoch kindly allowed me to quote them.

Many of you are probably familiar with Valerie Hudson’s talk, “The Two Trees.” (You can go read it here.) In this talk, Hudson explains that one of the things that she values about the church is its feminism. In her words, she seeks “to review the main points of LDS doctrine that make this a revolutionary religion from a feminine perspective.” I can see why people are drawn to the talk; it has some powerful imagery. I have to give her credit for arguing for an equality that in some respects goes well beyond standard Mormon apologetics about women’s roles. I like how she emphasizes roles for both Heavenly Parents, and is not shy about bringing Heavenly Mother into her scheme. I also like that both men and women are explicitly connected to spiritual power.

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