I Loved to See the Temple

Encouraged by Primary, I grew up imagining God like my father: brilliant and impressive, but with a lively sense of humor and a deep affection for me; he could alternate easily between interviews with distinguished newspapers and a chatty phone conversation with me about whatever was on my mind. I felt close to my dad, growing up, in part because he was a loving father who dedicated time to his children and in part because we are so similar in personality—we make the same jokes, have the same competitive streak, and geek out about some of the same topics. I’m lucky in this, but I was comfortable and happy with the idea of a heavenly father, thanks to the example of my own. “Divine nature” made sense to me, and it was easy for me to take my concerns to God in prayer, in the same way I’d take my thoughts about an interesting math problem to my earthly father.

Then I went to the temple.

I was 23 and not going on a mission or getting married, but I was eager to go to the temple and had been preparing for nearly a year, reading everything I could get my hands on, studying temple-related passages of scripture, and following instructions from present and former bishops as to how I should ready myself. I was in graduate school and finding my faith challenged at every turn, and my patriarchal blessing promised that in the temple I’d truly understand my relationship to God. I was excited about that and anxiously awaited the promised spiritual support.

I can’t and won’t deny that my initiatory was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life; as the women put their hands on my head and pronounced their authority to bless me I felt shivers of all that was good and right and true. And yet, when they pronounced the final words of the blessing it felt like a sudden power outage, the Spirit shuddering to a stop and darkness descending. Going into the endowment only led me further into blackness, as it felt like I was promised an eternally secondary position to my (non-existent) husband, covenanted to obey my (non-existent) husband, watched my female role model pushed to the side and silenced, and was told to cover my face during the true order of prayer. The veil over my face felt like a potent symbol of all the temple was teaching me: in true prayer, I was to be neither seen nor heard. The veil felt claustrophobic and dark, and my father’s grip on my arm felt not like reassurance and love but a controlling power.

*****

I married a few years later. My father-in-law is a good man, devoted to his work and his family, and I can see in him some of the things I love best about his son: a wry sense of humor, a passion for the outdoors, a strong work ethic, and a certain stubbornness usually expressed without anger. I respect and like him, but we are not close; we don’t have much in common besides his son and we don’t know what to say to each other. I think he spoke his first direct words to me more than a year after I married his son; while we were visiting their house, he called me into the living room to point out a deer in the front yard. When he calls and I answer, we exchange a few polite words before I pass him over to my husband so they can talk about their shared interests.

In the temple, God went from being my father to my father-in-law. I could see nothing in the temple, that supposed source of the true and pure gospel, that indicated I could have a direct relationship to God, or that I might take after him directly. My covenant of obedience was not to God but to my husband. At the veil I clasped not God but my husband, representing God again. During the most true and powerful prayer I felt covered and cut off, held firmly in a patriarchal grip. The promise in my patriarchal blessing went from being an exciting blessing of power and spiritual joy to a curse: what if this really is my true relationship to God?

*****

After the temple, I did everything I could to find peace. I cried on the phone to my parents, who both love the temple and couldn’t quite see where I was coming from; they could only tell me to focus on the good and ignore the parts I didn’t like. I visited the temple matron, who hugged me as I cried and told me that I should talk to her husband, because “he is so much smarter about these things.” I visited the temple president, only to be told that this was all justified because “men and women are different.”   I dove into research and read every essay I could find, historical or apologetic or personal, and found no answers, only more questions and dark, hurting confusion. I attended many more times, listening for redemption or relief from my interpretation. I read the scriptures, only to see repeated, over and over, “sons of God” and D&C 132 talk of women being given to men like so many baseball cards.  I spent a night in the desert pouring out my heart in tearful, begging, pleading prayer, asking first for answers and then just for comfort, but got only the stars silently glinting back at me.

*****

I wanted to wait to write this until I had something more to offer but raw hurt: some conclusions or comfort or call to action. I want to be the person who works through this, who finds answers and wisdom, and who can comfort others. I’ve got nothing. I’m still active in the church, attending regularly and holding a calling, but everything feels different. I pray regularly, but my prayers feel like polite words to a near-stranger, and I don’t know how to rebuild a new relationship with Him when I feel so betrayed, distanced, ignored, and mediated.  I am perpetually one gentle breeze away from falling off the tightrope into the oblivion of my own cognitive dissonance.

I’d love to be able to share this hurt openly with my sisters and brothers, to give and receive solace in my community, but I still can’t bring myself to be fully vulnerable in that way; I’m lucky to have a supportive family and an understanding ward and stake, but when we talk about the temple I have to stay silent. It feels like I’ve had to build a hard shell around this experience just to protect myself, to scab it over with silence in fear that I can’t stanch the bleeding. Fear, that’s right. I’m afraid that I will cry. I’m afraid that I won’t phrase it well and I won’t be understood. I’m afraid that my words, my hurt, my experience will devalue or damage someone else’s—many people experience the temple differently and that’s valid too. I’m afraid that someone’s dismissiveness (“you just don’t understand the temple”) will be the nudge I can’t handle, the bruise I can’t take. I’m afraid that I’m wrong, that all of this is my fault. Most of all—because I take it seriously, because my religion means something to me, because I want to dedicate myself to the gospel and receive its promises—I’m afraid that I’m right.

*****

It’s been nearly six years since I was first endowed, and yet when I write this I am weeping still with the sting of it. I believe in God still, whether as father or father-in-law, and I desperately, passionately want to believe in Mormonism; many of the teachings of the gospel—human potential; agency; personal revelation; the loving, weeping God—thrill my soul and fill me with hope, and I’ve felt the spirit in prayer, in listening to prophets, and even in the temple. And yet, how do I make Mormonism work for me when its highest rite, its most sacred place, its most eternal promise holds no joy for me, only terror?  Lord, I believe, but how can anyone help this my unbelief?

69 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This is beautifully written and brave.

    Can you get any mileage out of the idea that the temple ceremony is truth clothed in culture? That the parts that seem distancing to you (and: not just to you) reflect the sexism of this culture and can therefore be, to an extent, dismissed? Can you take any solace in the fact that the last two rounds of changes to the endowment have diminished some of the sexism? That, perhaps, the arc of history is long but bends toward equality?




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  2. Petra, your words so closely match my feelings. Thank you for writing what I could not express.

    Julie, maybe, if the church actually did something to reduce the sexism that remains. It had the opportunity to with the new films, but the damaging words remain. The church’s continued silence is troubling.




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  3. So many of us hold these same feelings in our hearts. This is what led me to mormon feminism. I’ve been searching for answers for 11 years. I love Julie’s comment above- it is what gives me hope, but, wow, that arc of history bends very, very slowly.




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  4. I was first endowed 2 months ago, and at first, with a dear friend of my family calling down blessings upon me, I felt the light and increased capacity I was searching for – until the last few words, unexpected in that place. Like you experienced, it did more than affect that blessing. It made me seriously consider that it’s true. That I will eternally be a second class citizen, and it was just a mistake (or possibly a sin?) that I have the desire to be a powerful, glorious being in my own right.

    I’ve been once since, and I still hope I might work it out. Right now, I’m stuck on trying to figure out the difference between the Law of the Lord and the Law of God, and who might have asked/commanded me to follow the latter, given that I have no husband. Will it be retroactive, if/when I do have one? Does the Lord stand in for my husband, like my future husband would stand in for the Lord? Are they the same thing, and just a formality that I’m required to accept it at his request?

    Mostly, I hope that we’re missing something, and heavenly mother is real. I guess one day I’ll know for sure.

    Thanks for sharing this, Petra.




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  5. Thanks for sharing so openly and beautifully your feelings about the temple. I can also relate to that feeling of disappointment after being taught to have such high expectations. One thing that has helped me a bit is to view the endowment experience as a story of a journey through time and spiritual maturity.

    We spend time in the telestial kingdom with all its problems, including the way women are treated in the world. I think it was Valerie Hudson who noted that Eve turns into a potted plant when she leaves the garden. Eve began as an actor in her own story but all of a sudden she became an object. I think that fits the status of women in the telestial kingdom/current earth/current church pretty well.

    Then in the terrestrial kingdom it gets a little better–OT references to the symbolism of veils come to mind. But not until the end of the journey do we come to a place where things seem right again. We, as individuals and as a community, have to grow spiritually enough to get out from under our current cultures and expectations, so that we can enter a celestial culture where we–finally!–can see that all truly are alike unto God. What was obvious to God all along is at last manifest in our own behavior.

    Who knows how accurate this temple-as-story point of view is, and it’s certainly not a perfect fit in every detail, but it does make me feel a little better. And here’s to hoping we get to that celestial culture sooner rather than later.




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  6. Sorry to be so verbose, but I left out an important point in my #5 comment. The thing that triggers our becoming a celestial culture is when we each individually start communicating with God directly (as we did in the garden) instead of having a human leader standing in as an intermediary.




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  7. Wow, Petra, this is so powerfully expressed!

    I had a thought about this point:

    “my patriarchal blessing promised that in the temple I’d truly understand my relationship to God”

    I’m guessing this is a common thing for patriarchs to say. I hadn’t ever thought of this before, but this is yet another point where having only men in a position is harmful. The male-only patriarchs are unlikely to notice the sexism in the temple, so they think nothing of telling women they bless that the temple will clarify their relationship with God, not realizing that they’re telling you to pay particular attention to ceremonies that tell you that you have no relationship with God, only with your (at that time hypothetical) husband. This is beyond discouraging.

    Thanks again for a beautiful and heartbreaking post!




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  8. Thanks for sharing such a heartbreaking post, Petra.

    My first time through, I went with my parents and grandmother (and my grandfather was waiting in the celestial room at the end). My gma was the temple matron and got to give me the instruction and participate in my initiatory. The initiatory was so wonderful, and I felt like I could do anything. The session that followed was off-putting and strange in every sense of the word. It was just over seven years ago now, and I still remember thinking, “Well, when I’m married this will make more sense.” I’ve been married for nearly 4 years, and I still have the same questions. Why do I have to obey my husband? Why the strange ritual? Why doesn’t temple prep actually prepare you for the temple? Why do the women cover their faces? When will it get better? Will it ever?

    Sigh.

    Again, great post.




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  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It expresses so well how I feel. I’ve taught RS and gospel doctrine classes for many years, and teaching temple topics leaves me conflicted. I love the parts of the temple that teach us to seek God, but so much is wrapped in the traditions of our fathers. I just feel like so much is missing, too, especially with respect to our Mother. I pray for greater light and knowledge will be bestowed on us all.




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  10. Thank you. This is beautiful. My experience has been almost identical. I spent more than a year after I got endowed going to the temple twice a month, desperately trying to find redeeming value in an ordinance that had promised great joy but for which, once it got past the generic creation act, I felt the spirit completely leave.

    I’m now in a place where I’ve separated the trappings from the meaning. The actual covenants, which I will only make to God in my heart, I’m fine with — love, service, obedience, consecration, etc. But everything else is, in my mind, a terrible rendering of those covenants, trapped by culture and a refusal by our leaders to closely examine whether its truly divine.

    The best experience I’ve had with the temple is when finally I went to the celestial room after an endowment and sat in a corner and cried. “God,” I said. “I need help, and I’m here because I’ve always been taught that this is the holiest place on earth. I don’t believe it anymore. The temple is a source of pain. But I’m here because I want to follow you, and this is the only way I know how.”

    I felt an incredible outpouring of love, and the deepest spiritual empathy I’ve ever known — like God understood perfectly, and it was ok.

    I haven’t done an endowment session since. But the feeling of reconciliation — that God loves me far more deeply than the rituals of the temple make me feel that he loves me — that has endured.




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  11. I have similar concerns, but instead of hitting me upfront they have slowly grown until now my concerns weigh so heavily that I can barely bring myself to go. My first time through was a very powerful experience, especially the initiatory. But even from the first, the sexist parts bothered me. I’m at the point now–16 years since I first went through–that I strongly dislike most aspects of the Endowment and don’t feel peace when I go except for fleeting moments. Mostly I feel terrible sorrow and angst. And it’s not from a lack of going to the temple, or not having prepared enough or read enough. If the temple is supposed to be the culmination of our spiritual life here on earth and a glimpse into the eternities, then I definitely don’t like what I see.




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  12. Rixa, you describe my experience exactly.
    The first time I went, I was actually really excited about all the ceremony and symbolism because it was something I had felt lacking in my religious experience. And the sexist stuff…I didn’t really notice it at first. I was 19 and getting married and very in love and anything that made us two seem as one felt romantic and wonderful, but gradually the meaning behind the words and ceremonies began really sinking in. And as I became troubled by other things (particularly polygamy) the words in the temple started to feel like a knife in my heart–like a horrible omen of my eternal destiny and my position in God’s esteem.
    Like Petra, I want to have a happy ending, but it has been 16 years since my endowment. About 10 years since I really began questioning. And nothing improves. I sometimes wonder if I am only here because leaving feels like a failure. Because I was so well trained by my parents, that even now that I feel worthless in the sight of God, I feel that leaving would be giving up on “the truth.”
    I have let my temple recommend lapse. The bishop asked why, and I told him in complete honesty. It felt wonderful, except that he had no words to fix it. He was at least sympathetic. Every morning I wonder if I should stop wearing my garments.

    It is comforting to read that other people feel the same way, because it’s something I have never encountered irl. It’s just not something we can talk about. I feel like my thoughts and feelings about the temple are a dirty secret I have to keep carefully locked up inside.




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  13. This mirrors my own experiences. I very much looked forward to go to the temple. I had loved doing baptisms for the dead. I expected the initiatory and endowment to build upon the positive temple experiences I had in the baptistery.

    I was sorely disappointed. The format of the initiatory (pre-2005: nude under a poncho, workers touching various parts of the body under the cloth shield) was traumatic and triggered memories of sexual assault. I could not really hear the words. I completely shut down emotionally so that I could go through the motions of what was expected of me. After all, I was getting married shortly and if I didn’t complete these traumatic temple rituals, I would have to face the shame of having a non-temple wedding.

    I tried the endowment again a week or two later. I started to hear the words instead of being so distracted by the strange ritual and clothing. I blamed myself for my negative experiences. The temple is the most holy thing on earth, so obviously I was the reason why I had only soul-crushing experiences instead of uplifting ones.

    Right before my sealing to my husband, we did a short veil ceremony so he could learn my new name. In that moment I was shocked and horrified that he was *literally* standing behind the veil as my Lord. It wasn’t Jesus. It wasn’t Heavenly Father. It was my husband god. After that gut-wrenching realization, we were shuffled off the sealing room for an awkward, impersonal, disappointing ceremony that joined us as husbandgod and firstwife.

    Every few years I tried the endowment again. It became less traumatic over time, but the words and their meaning became more clearly problematic. God was not in the temple for me. When I went, I felt a distance from God and that he hated me and all women. After fourteen years, I determined that maintaining a relationship with God was more important than maintaining a relationship with the temple (or the church). So I stopped. I felt such a huge burden slide off my shoulders once I made that choice.

    Lessons on the temple are still triggering for me because I have a feeling that many other people (especially those under 40) don’t have the glowing, positive experiences, either. It’s so taboo to mention anything remotely specific about temple rites and it’s even more taboo to suggest that some people find pain rather than joy in the temple because the temple rituals are consistently, blatantly sexist.

    We need to share our stories. Thank you for sharing yours.




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  14. This was a really great post and I too have the same problems in the temple as you did. I got my endowments out a month before I got married and while the initiatory was okay, I panicked during the endowment and sobbed through the entire thing. I was especially upset that the one place I thought we’d be able to candidly talk about Heavenly Mother, she was never mentioned. It broke my heart. I was also (and still am) worried that I could be eternally punished for covenanting or agreeing with or doing something that I didn’t believe was true.

    It has by far been my worst church experience ever and I almost called off my temple wedding b/c I didn’t want to do it again. I sucked it up for the sealing and just had to blank it all out. I haven’t been back to the temple since. I knew I wasn’t ready for my endowment despite doing all the preparations and if I had the chance, I wouldn’t do it again.

    I know that the temple is going to be a life-long struggle for me and I’ll probably never be comfortable with it until after I’m dead, but I don’t feel in any rush to be comfortable with it. It is hard when we have temple lessons and everybody expresses how much they love the temple and go as often as they can. I wish I was one of them, but I’m not. And I’m afraid to speak up and say that I don’t enjoy the temple b/c then I’ll have ladies galore come up to me after and try to explain the temple to me. That’s not what I need nor does it work b/c everyone has different interpretations for temple symbolism.




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  15. Yes, and amen to everything that had already been said. I don’t like the temple, and I have spent a lifetime as the most faithful, active church member you could imagine. I hated garments for over a decade, but wore them without exception. You are supposed to say that you love the temple, it’s an incredible experience, and that you learned so much and can’t wait to go back. I remember reading lessons and giving talks about the temple for the first few years, and going over and over again, not because I truly loved it in my heart, but because it was a commandment and I was showing God that I loved him and would be obedient. I didn’t understand it, but I thought it was necessary and that I was doing something important and good.

    Now I’ve come to question the whole thing, and find myself relieved to be able to let it go of an unnecessarily painful part of my life. I talked to my bishop about my concerns, who talked to his parents-a recent temple presidency member and assistant to the matron. They had no answers, and said they had literally never heard anyone ask the questions I had before. That, and the fact that the new temple movies had come out with zero changes, put the nail in my temple coffin. These things are so off the radar if the people running temples, that I have no hope for change soon.

    I also recently learned that the temples lack enough names to accommodate the patrons, and so the same name will be used over and over, and sometimes they just make up names. They never want to turn someone away from the temple who had come, so they give them am old name rather than send them home. I understand the reasoning behind that, but the idea that I was struggling through a painful endowment session while paying babysitters and experiencing turmoil on behalf of absolutely no one, was ubearable.

    Thanks for your post.




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  16. It’s wonderful that your spirit was so sensitive that you easily detected falsehoods and evil when 1st encountered. Many don’t detect it as easily as you did.

    I understand you’re wanting Mormonism to be true, but I believe it’s only because you don’t really understand what Mormonism really is built upon and you probably haven’t studied Christ’s words found in the first 4 Gospels of the NT.

    It’s probably more the “Gospel of Christ’ that sounds good to you, not really the workings of Mormonism, though the Church does teach and do many good things, like all churches do.

    You will understand more of why you felt as you did in the temple as you study how the temple ceremonies were started and by whom, which was Brigham Young. When you study him more closely you will realize he did not respect or honor women and their equality, nor did he teach or live according to Christ.

    As you study you will find out that it appears that Joseph Smith was about to discipline or excommunicate Brigham Young for his adulteries in living polygamy, along with many other church leaders who were secretly living polygamy, which Joseph always taught was adultery and never sanctioned by him or God.

    I realize that polygamists, and those who believe in polygamy, since Brigham Young, have always said that Joseph Smith preached and practiced polygamy, but it appears that they only said that to make their whoredoms seem ok. For there is no real proof, just hearsay, that Joseph ever lived polygamy, but we have tons of real proof that Joseph constantly fought against polygamy his whole life. His enemies were constantly trying to accuse him of living it or condoning it. Why would they stop accusing him of it after he was dead? Especially if it worked to their advantage.

    But everything Joseph ever did and said and printed was completely against polygamy. Everything that Christ said and taught was also against polygamy. So it’s impossible that polygamy could have ever been a righteous thing or from God, thus Brigham Young was just another false prophet who promoted whoredoms and the abuse of women.

    It is also vital to go and read about a pamphlet that circulated Nauvoo in Joseph’s day, called ‘The Peacemaker” by Joseph Utley, Many started reading it and liking it’s precepts, which taught that wives should submit to and obey their husbands and give him all the wives he wanted. Well, Joseph condemned this pamphlet and warned the Saints to not read or heed it, he called it evil trash.

    But it seems that many of the church leaders including Brigham Young, like the idea of controlling, abusing and demeaning women and collecting wives or women and thus after Joseph was out of the picture he took over and incorporated such vile doctrines into his teachings and especially into the false temple ceremonies that he wrote.

    I believe BY wrote D&C 132 not Joseph Smith, (it was added many years after Joseph died) we only have the hearsay of mostly adulterous abusive men who claim that Joseph wrote 132 or that he preached polygamy. And they of course had every reason to lie and write things in Joseph’s name or to doctor old journals.

    Only those who like the sound of polygamy and abusing and collecting women will believe in men like Brigham Young and all other leaders up to today. Righteous people find polygamy disgusting and revolting and evil, and thus will have nothing to do with a person or church who promotes it or condones it past, present or future like the LDS Church does, as it promises polygamy in the next life to men.

    And many women too had every reason to lie and say they had been married to Joseph. It is sad to think they didn’t have more self-respect and instead went along with the abuse of polygamy.

    I’m afraid there is no way to believe in Christ and in the LDS Church too or Mormonism for that matter, for even the Book of Mormon has far too many false doctrines and false prophets in it to ever think it was from God or from true prophets. And Joseph didn’t follow Christ either to think he was a true prophet.

    It appears Joseph just made up the BoM too, though he did a good job, for it does teach many good things, but just too many falsehoods and evils to think he was inspired. Did you know that Joseph’s father had the dream of the Tree of Life? Funny how Joseph or no one since him as ever admitted that, it would be front page news. But it seems to be where Joseph got the idea and made it appear that Lehi was the one to have the dream.

    But even though Mormonism isn’t true, Christ is, and Christ is all you need. His few and simple teachings will be all you need to know how to live a righteous life and gain eternal life. 🙂 Don’t be deceived by anyone who teaches different then Christ. For Christ said you can tell his true followers and disciples and prophets because they will preach and keep the commandments of Christ and nothing more or less and they will have Christlike love and use all their excess time and money to take care of the poor and fatherless (single mothers).

    Trying to find anyone who really keeps Christ’s commandments is next to impossible today, let alone finding anyone in the church or church history or even the Bible who does or did.

    Prove all things and people before you believe in them, by comparing them to what Christ actually said, not to what someone said Christ said. Christ spoke for himself.

    Search out his words and search church history to find that though Joseph was not a true prophet either at least he tried to create a church that taught many good things, which was completely contrary to the church Brigham started and took out west.

    Search about Joseph Smith fighting against polygamy. Then go read what Christ taught about it too Matt 19:9, etc. etc.




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  17. Petra, my heart to you. This is such an important post. I remember asking my YW leaders about original sin because it seemed that the scriptures (Genesis and Moses) we were blaming Eve for the Fall. I was told I’d understand it once I went through the temple. I accepted that because I was able to figure out ways to read Moses and Genesis that got Eve off the hook. Then I went to the temple and the script really does blame her and I couldn’t get around that. It was devastating. The veil was also very perplexing to me. I’ve stopped veiling.




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  18. TopHat,
    I’m fascinated by your last sentence. Do you mean you attend the temple, but do not veil when everyone else does??? I’m intrigued by the possibilities this presents.




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  19. Yes, some people have real concerns and having concerns doesn’t make people faithless, it just makes them concerned.

    I’m commenting anonymously since I don’t want to identify anyone in any way, but I recently heard a temple matron express — unasked — concerns about the gendered structure of the temple endowment. She expressed them in a context of faith, but she did mention them.

    If you have concerns, make an appointment with your local temple matron and sit down and have a talk with her. (Don’t feel like you’re interrupting her duties. Counseling with sisters is one of her responsibilities.)

    The matron may have never considered these things and may not know how to take your concerns seriously, but be kind and patient and explain, and since there are only 100-or-so temple matrons in the church, if every temple-attending sister with concerns would talk to the local matron, the temple department would hear about it soon enough.

    Also, I will take issue with a comment above. I know Moonshadow is trying to work things out, so please don’t take this as an attack in any way.

    The concept of the endowment creating a “husbandgod” is pretty strange and contrary to our scriptures. Temple ceremonies cannot be understood in a vacuum. They have to be understood in the context of scripture, both ancient and modern. The scripture that applies here is Second Nephi 9:41: “…and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there…”

    No one else who will stand at the gate in eternity. Not the Apostle Peter, not an angel, not a father, not a husband. The keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel. Since the temple is symbolic, someone else has to stand as a proxy and perform that act of service in the temple.

    Whatever was necessary to create an endowment in the mid-1800s (refer back to Julie’s comment #1) we know that we each stand equally before God.

    “…there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

    “…he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God…” (2 Nephi 26:33)

    We each, every man and woman, need to repent of our sins and rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ to overcome physical and spiritual death and return into the presence of God. And that’s the most important message of the temple.




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  20. Anarene Holt Yim- yes, that’s exactly what I do. I’ve had workers motion to me to veil, but I just shake my head and mouth “I can’t.” And they leave me be after that.




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  21. I could have written this blog post. I’ve been struggling since I was endowed and married 5 years ago. I spent the first 4 years of my marraige going to the temple once a month and reading anything I could get my hands on. Then a year ago I read the mormon priestess essay on fmh and it was the best explanation of the temple I’d ever read and also the worst because it confirmed my worst fears. I haven’t been back since, except for a wedding where i had an anxiety attack sitting in the sealing room. I dont have answers. I dont know anyone who does. But it’s nice to be reminded that I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing your story.




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  22. One more comment. I’ve been participating in the blogs long enough that I’ve heard the concern many times that the temple teaches that a woman can only access God through her husband. That is a false understanding.

    There is one person, and one person alone, who stands between us and God. We cannot approach God without him serving as a mediator. That person is Jesus Christ. We do not even pray to God without doing so in the name of Jesus Christ. His atonement allows us to approach God, now and in the eternities.

    We each have direct access to God through Jesus Christ and no one else.

    However, when we are sealed we enter into a covenantal relationship to approach God together. We approach him together with husband or wife, parents, children, ancestors, descendants. Salvation is a gift we receive separately, working out our own salvation before God, but it is also something we receive together as families and communities.




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  23. Am I allowed to post here? Far more female presence to add my male-ness to.

    I happened upon this blog and post and wanted to thank you for the perspective. I have my own conflicts with the temple ceremony, in which I hadn’t yet considered the sisters’ experience. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Also yes, on the promised blessings of the temple being so great, and yet the experience of it simply being …. odd. I am glad others apparently find such great joy serving in the temple. It is a sacred place, and yet for me personally I find more sacredness in nature.

    Thanks also for the post about The goal being individual communion with God. I believe that connection is huge.




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  24. I understand that some people view the subjugation of women as symbolic rather than literal, but I believe that the people who wrote the ceremonies intended a literal interpretation. Under an internally (to the ceremonies) interpretation, the man is set up as the wife’s god. This essay further explains my understanding of the temple (husband as wife’s lord): http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2014/04/the-mormon-priestess-the-short-version/

    I certainly do not believe that my husband (or anyone else) actually does stand between me and God as I do not believe in a sexist God. Because this belief in an egalitarian God contradicts what is taught throughout all three higher temple rituals, I reject the temple’s sexist hierarchy (God > man > woman).




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  25. Seventeen years for me. I expected, was promised, such peace in the endowment. Instead, it was like cold water splashed union my soul. It took me sixteen years to find out that I was not the only woman to feel this way. I wasn’t the only one who thought that surely they didn’t understand the symbols, because they were so awful, and surely that was not what God wanted for me. Sixteen years of isolation. So heartbreaking.




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  26. Someone said above:
    “I’ve heard the concern many times that the temple teaches that a woman can only access God through her husband. That is a false understanding.”

    I agree with this. I think those who sense the wrongness of only accessing God through a husband should trust their instincts. Trust your instincts. I believe there is more than meets the eye with all of this.

    My heart hurts for you. I have had many questions about the temple and in my personal study and have gotten what I feel are answers, so I believe it’s possible when you go in boldly knowing that women aren’t second-class to God. I believe we can find that truth but we have to look for it differently than we might elsewhere in our modern world. I think the temple invites us to suspend cultural lenses in ways that can feel almost impossible.

    I also tend to think that sometimes patriarchal blessings are as much about warning us about what is going to hurt the most. My blessing mentions things that relate to really important gospel stuff that has caused me no small amount of pain. I thought at first that God had cheated me or that I had missed something. But when that pattern showed up several times, I started to feel that He was letting me know that He knew what would be hardest in my life and was giving me reassurances that in His time and way the blessing would be there.

    Not trying to force you to go back (your journey with all of this is your own and I believe God does empathize with the pain), but just wanted to share my experience with seeing my blessing through those eyes and how much it has helped me when things have been so very different from what I thought my blessing meant. fwiw.




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  27. I know I’m not a second-class citizen in the eyes of God–but in the church that claims to be his, and in the temple, I definitely am. It doesn’t sting any less knowing that God & Goddess are no respecter of persons, male or female. It hurts all the worse when I see sexism and subjugation of women in their church and in their temple. We should know better. We should do better.




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  28. Coming back to this discussion with fresh eyes. Please forgive my typos and sharp tone. Petra told about her experience with the temple matron. Although it may have sounded like it, I was not suggesting that Petra didn’t do it right. She did do it right, even though that brother and sister couldn’t help her. I meant to reinforce that action as a positive one.

    If faithful temple patrons ask gently and patiently and the temple matrons and presidents start to hear these concerns regularly, at some point they may realize that they need to approach the concerns with sincere and open hearts and with empathy and not dismissiveness. That has the potential to start the revelatory process.

    Moonshadow, thanks for the link, but I have no desire to read it. I am familiar enough with that narrative. Once again, I will repeat that the content of the temple is symbolic. We are participating in a play illustrating the plan of salvation. The language and symbols are based in scriptural and ancient symbolism. If you try and interpret the temple through the lens of modern symbols and gender roles, or even through the lens of Mormon history, you’ll miss what it’s teaching about the plan of salvation. Instead of assuming that the God > husband > wife narrative means exactly that, consider how the marriage relationship is used symbolically in the scriptures and what it teaches us about the role of Jesus Christ in our lives.

    And, very importantly, like anotheranon said, don’t dismiss your feelings. There may be something you need to learn, or an experience you need to have, maybe an experience of approaching God and relying on him alone, like the one Carrie mentioned in comment ten.

    But as I suggested earlier, these are not always individual questions. Sometimes salvation needs to be worked out as families and communities. There may be something the Church needs to work out, and that would suggest that women like Petra or myself or any others, and men who understand or share the concerns, express those concerns to the temple staff, and the temple staff and Church work together to learn and progress.




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  29. Thank you for talking about this openly. It’s been 14 years since I received my endowment, and it was probably the most testimony-shaking experience I have ever had–the complete opposite of any feelings I expected to have. But who could I talk to about my feelings, only a month before I was scheduled to leave on a mission? I have struggled to find peace in the temple ever since, trying to understand what I must be missing that gives everyone else such a great experience there. Lately I feel more alone there than ever, acutely aware of the almost complete lack of women in the scenarios portrayed and left wondering what becomes of faithful women when they die.




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  30. I hope it’s not too repetitive to say thanks, this was my experience too. Commenters above have noted that it’s hard to talk about these things in real life, so it’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

    I appreciate the reframing comments by Julie and anons (not meant snarkily), and it’s great if they’re helpful for someone. But frankly those remarks always come across to me as purely wishful thinking – like, “if you squint really hard, and use a meaning other than the words’ explicit meanings, and pretend that the whole thing is different than what it is, it’s great.” Well, OK, but…




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  31. ATC, why is it wishful thinking to interpret the temple ordinances in light of scripture rather than through 21st century cultural understandings?

    The people of the scriptures had their culture; the early members of the church had theirs; we have ours; yes, it takes work to see the meaning through the cultural symbols, but the meanings are there, and there is no reason to believe that they contradict scripture.

    Are culturally-dependent symbols hindering the experience for some people, particularly women? Yes, they are. It’s a serious issue. We should take it seriously. We should discuss it with church leaders, particularly temple matrons and presidents. They might not be able to provide much help to individuals, but certain parts of the temple ceremony that were very culturally dependent have already been changed, so why is it a stretch to assume that other elements cannot be adapted over time?




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  32. Honestly, I’m not sure that a “scriptural interpretation” is more comforting in a lot of cases. I think a lot of women (people?) go to the temple hoping for clarification of troubling scripture – for example, Top Hat’s comment about the role of Eve and original sin above.

    I think you’re right that people can often find workarounds for symbols. Julie Smith (I think?) has written about her interpretation of veiling; while I don’t personally subscribe to it, I think it’s a useful reappropriation of a troubling symbol. But a lot of what bothers people about the temple isn’t symbolic, it’s explicit. Covenants aren’t symbols. Eve turning into a “potted plant” isn’t a symbol.

    I hope elements of the temple adapt over time. But that’s another way of saying “if it was different than it is, it would be ok!”




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  33. Thanks for all the perspectives (Julie and Anon, thank you for your fresh viewpoints). I went through the temple one month ago with my Fiance (now husband) for the first time. The best advice I got on the temple before I attended was from my dad. He said that there were a lot of ways we could be taught the truths in the temple ceremony, and this way was chosen for us by God, filtered through our early church leaders and informed by their cultural viewpoints and limitations. So even though I am bothered by the sexism in the ceremony, I try very hard to focus on the doctrines being taught about the atonement and our divine origin and our eternal families. It is the same way I try to read the new testament – it too can be seen as very empowering for women, particularly for the time period, and yet there are passages that are deeply hurtful (I’m looking at you, Paul) when read with modern sensibilities. But to throw out the New Testament because Paul didn’t like women speaking in church would be a tragedy.

    Rather than throwing out all the husband-intermediary stuff, I like to think there is just some language missing on the mens side about the importance of listening to their wives. But I confess that is just idle speculation 🙂




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  34. This is exactly what I’m afraid I will experience when I finally go to the temple. But I have a question I hope all of you can weigh in on (and it is one I ask people irl too). I hear that women covenant to their husbands in the endowment even if they are not married. Do any of you, or could you, consider this as a symbolic covenant to Christ, as the scriptural Bridegroom? Does that work in the context in which the covenant is made? I am hoping that I can think of it that way to reduce the trauma I may experience when I finally go.




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  35. What a tough post to read. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a man’s perspective that mirrors your own.

    Not being the most avid temple goer (I love the idea of temples in theory, but the execution as it is just doesn’t cut it for me), I hadn’t been
    to an endowment for 2, perhaps 3 years. I went with my wife a couple months ago. I enjoyed the fresh coat of paint they put on the presentation.

    But as I’ve spent the last few years reading and thinking about women’s issues in the church (and becoming the father to a daughter!),
    those issues were prominent in my soul. Your post sure dredged up the feelings I had that day. It was possibly the most immensely negative
    spiritual experience I’ve had in a long time. The fresh realization of women’s submission hit me like a ton of bricks as that part in the presentation
    came up. I wept silently as I huddled forward in my seat, feeling as if all the heat in the room had been sucked out of the room. My
    skin turned to goose-flesh.

    I often enjoy the illusion that the gap between my own beliefs and the church is smaller than it really is. That day in the temple
    served as a stark reminder that my illusion was just that: an illusion. Worst of all, it happened in the temple, the place where
    the presence of God is supposed to be closest. So why did I feel so cold and alone?




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  36. Thankful for everyone sharing their perspectives. It has been 20 years since I went through for the first time. The dominant feeling I had was betrayal. How could these people bring me here knowing it would be like this? I was angry that the only opportunity to withdraw/escape was given before you had heard enough to know that you wanted to! I almost cancelled my wedding but was heavily pressured by family to go ahead (what will we tell people?) Fast forward twenty years of attending the temple when appropriate and just focusing on making it to the last room. Now my daughters are getting older. All of my anger and frustration has resurfaced. I am willing to subject myself to all this, but I can’t imagine doing this to my daughters! Anyone have any success stories to share?




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  37. So beautifully expressed, Petra. Thank you a million times. This issue has weighed heavily on my soul for the past few years, despite the fact that I haven’t been to the temple yet. Does it sound silly to admit that I’m afraid to fall in love with a Mormon man because I don’t want my wedding day to feel like my execution? I’ve heard some moderate Mormon feminists describe the temple as an Abrahamic sacrifice. For me, it would be. And I don’t know if I could ever possibly be willing to sacrifice my dignity, self-worth, and direct connection to God. And I despair of ever finding a Mormon man who would understand what it cost me.




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  38. As sisters, we are clothed with the garments of the Holy Priesthood. The endowment points towards a patriarchal order, which is an order of the priesthood. Some sisters don’t want “a mere man” between them and God, yet all of us, male and female, have a “man” and fellow spirit brother between us and God — His name is Jesus Christ. If we are to inherit the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom as couples, what difference does it make if my husband holds the priesthood by way of ordination if I hold it with him and am a goddess and priestess? I think most sisters don’t fret about the language because in the end, if we do inherit that glory, we’ll both be joint heirs with Christ and kings and queens.




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  39. Hedgehog, #39, that was delightful! I’ll make sure my husband reads it too…

    not there yet #35, I think that is a very interesting perspective, and may make more logical sense than the alternative in certain parts of the ceremony. (And if Jesus Christ is intended, perhaps this is an example of language missing from the mens side rather being superfluous on the women’s side). I will definitely be returning to the temple with this in mind. Also remember, God is not the author of confusion but of peace. I think sources of hurt and confusion (in the temple, scriptures, and elsewhere) are far more likely the result of the human lens they have passed through than anything else. Nothing humans have touched is perfect, and that includes the temple ceremony.




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  40. Here are suggestions. I don’t claim certainty or completeness; so before each statement, I’m inserting an invisible “perhaps.”

    First consider the historical Adam and Eve. They both transgressed, resulting in their exclusion from the immediate presence of God and being placed into a telestial life. Their transgression included partaking of the fruit, but it also included making that choice without first consulting God for enlightenment. In Eve’s case, her choice was based on her (beguiled) acceptance of Satan’s sales pitch and her strong desire for knowledge–failing to confer with God first. In Adam’s case, he did not accept Satan’s sales pitch; and he did confer with Eve before partaking; but he did not confer with God for enlightenment.

    As between the two, Adam’s transgression was less serious. He transgressed one commandment (don’t eat the fruit of that tree), which came with a caveat (you can choose for yourself), and he made that choice in order to obey commandments that were without a caveat (cleave unto Eve; multiply and replenish the earth).

    In their telestial condition, God decided to appoint a human intermediary for the family of Adam and Eve. God had two choices for the intermediary: Adam and Eve. Because Eve was the first to transgress, she was not selected for that role and Adam was.

    What would have happened differently if Eve had resisted Satan? Was their another way? What if Eve would have resisted Satan and prayed together with Adam, asking God for enlightenment? Would their covenant have been different?

    As suggested by #35, the covenant relationship between Adam and Eve also might be a type of the relationship between Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church (men and women) as the Bride. In this setting, Eve (as the mother of all) is a type of the human family.

    The ceremony removes intermediaries once a person enters into the celestial world. “Grace for grace” and “grace to grace” through Christ an individual can return to God’s presence (D&C 88; D&C 93). The temple ceremony also is a type of that journey.




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  41. Stan, I appreciate how you’re trying to make things better. But when I read your interpretation of the temple, it makes me feel loads worse, not better!




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  42. In other words, Stan: “men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression. Women, on the other hand will be punished both for their own sins in the next life and in this life will suffer for Eve’s transgressions as well.”

    Honestly, in light of the temple, scripture, and pretty much the whole of human history, I have often wondered if that Article of Faith is gendered very much on purpose. That when it says “men” and “Adam” it really does not include “women” and “Eve.”




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  43. Stan, in the first part of your comment, you summarize the interpretation that is so troubling for so many women. The next step in that line of reasoning has historically been (and often continues to be): therefore men have the right — even duty — to subjugate, work, enslave, and ignore women.

    You don’t personally go there, but most people will assume that’s where you’re going since that line of reasoning is so pervasive in our culture. As a result, if you don’t note that you’re not attempting to justify the subjugation if women, and perhaps share some reason why, you’re going to get disturbed reactions like Rixa’s.

    Personally, I don’t accept interpretations which violate the scriptures I quoted before:

    “…there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

    “…he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God…” (2 Nephi 26:33)

    All are alike unto God. There is a time when we approach God singly and on our own merits (relying, of course, on the word of Christ and upon the merits of him who is mighty to save) but consider what it means that God and Jesus Christ only speak to Adam and Eve together. Perhaps we shouldn’t ask what that means about our historical gender roles, but what it symbolizes about the plan of salvation and atonement.

    And another question: why did Joseph Smith take the radical and unprecedented step of bringing women into this ritual? What does it mean that women and men are participating and covenanting together? To me, this question overwhelms the questions associated with gendered language.




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  44. The jump from Adam will preside to all women are under subjugation is a feminist leap to an unwarranted conclusion. You know we (male and female) will be judged by our own sins, not by Adam or Eve’s transgression. That has been preached unambiguously since the early days of the restored church. Not everything is race related, nor is everything gender related. When offered the fruit, Adam chose obedience over knowledge. When Eve was offered the fruit, she chose knowledge over obedience. The Fall could have played out in any number of ways, but the way it proceeded was according to God’s plan as part of the plan of salvation. I don’t know of any prophet who’s ever said men can treat women poorly, that’s it’s men’s right to abuse women, all because of what occurred in the Garden. Although there are some deep thoughts about how all that plays out in mortality, it’s not the basis for claiming The Fall is the cause of all female suffering. It doesn’t matter what history is. After all, how much of the world is Judeo-Christian? Yet, across almost all cultures, males have been in dominant positions more so because of their physical strength, not because of some reliance or poor interpretation of what occurred in The Fall.




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  45. “The jump from Adam will preside to all women are under subjugation is a feminist leap”

    Nice try, Manspainer, but that’s how the story has been used by men for millennia.




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  46. Anon – what men? When? In what culture? The Judeo- Christian narrative is minute compared to the rest of the world population, especially over time. What did the billions of people who’ve live in Asia, Africa, and in the Americas know about “The Fall”? Absolutely nothing. Some guy in 1000 BCE China wasn’t sitting around thinking “I’m the ruler of my wife because she was first to eat the apple.” I’m calling it all baloney. “Men” have not used the story of The Fall for millennia. Most “men” weren’t even aware of the story.




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  47. Manspainer, That’s where (for me on my dark nights) the horrible thought creeps in that maybe women really ARE being punished for Eve’s sins. That it is God who has cursed us not men. And that’s just a horrible, keep me up at night, thought.




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  48. And that’s where this temple discussion comes back in. Because if the subjugation and mistreatment of women was a manmade aberration before God you would think that His church would be at the forefront of correcting those wrongs, not one of the last institutions in the developed world to be clinging to them.




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  49. Nona – is that our doctrine — that women are being punished? Have you ever read that in a clear and unambiguous statement by the church in any official material? I don’t think so. So, no worries. Many women are looking at the temple ceremonies through a 21st century lens of feminism. If (at least we claim) these ceremonies were set forth a couple of thousand years ago, then perhaps they need to be understood through a different lens or spiritual perspective. Why does my wife love going to the temple while some (on this thread) do not? Does she know or understand something other women don’t? No one puts a gun to her head to go twice a month. She has plenty of other things she could be doing. instead, she reports positive experiences. It’s like the position of Mormon Heretic over on Wheat and Tares when he wrote a post wherein he complained that he didn’t really understand the symbolism of the temple, he didn’t learn anything when he attended, that to him, the temple experience was mostly a waste of time. Is it a problem with the temple ceremonies or is there something he’s missing? I can’t answer for you or him or others commenting that it pains them to attend the temple, that they essentially wish they had never received their endowments or been sealed. Something is wrong with the picture, and though it could be the ceremonies, it could also be with the complaining member. The church is in the forefront in trying to make good men even better. I would put a righteous male member of the church against a righteous male member of another denomination any day of the week. Our standards are much higher than most other religions. The fact that you are seeing only the failures does not mean the church isn’t on the forefront of making better men.




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  50. It’s not doctrine, but let’s see YOU cramp and bleed for 1/4 of the prime of your life and try to believe you’re not being punished for something.

    Sorry, everyone . . . but it had to be said.

    For the record, I had nothing but positive experiences in the temple until the man I married chose to be abusive, now the one place I once felt safe is pure torture. So . . . there’s that.




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  51. I don’t know Manspainer. I honestly wish I could get inside the head of women who love the temple and see it through their eyes, because in discussing it, the only way to make it not hurt is to say that the words don’t mean what those words actually mean. So…I don’t get it. Maybe I need a new dictionary.




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  52. Also, for the record, Manspainer, there is very very little “clear and unambiguous” anything about women anywhere in doctrine.




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  53. Recently I went to the temple full of concerns and questions and doubts, and at that troublesome part of the beautiful initiatory, I clearly felt Heavenly Mother say, “Don’t worry about it.” I’m counting that as a “success story.”




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  54. Wow, this is a lot of comments; thank you, everyone. I would apologize for not keeping up with the thread, but it’s been fascinating and thrilling to hear from other people instead, and, like I said in the post, I have a hard time talking about it. Interpretations of the temple are often so personal, and so deeply felt, that we likely won’t persuade each other with our words, and, for the people who interpret it the same way as me, mere words on a screen are a poor consolation for the hugs I wish I could give.

    Julie, yours is the approach that, in the end, I have to take if I am to remain in the church, but unfortunately it’s still only small comfort; the fact that the last two rounds of changes haven’t touched what I perceive to be the biggest problem (“to your husbands”) means I have to wonder whether that really is the order of heaven…or whether nobody at the top is even thinking to question or change that. Both hurt.

    Brooke and paws, thank you for sharing. I haven’t been blessed to receive such assurances, and I dearly envy those who have, but it still helps me to hear of others’ experiences. Maybe it will be given to me to believe on your words.




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  55. Pardon the late entry–traffic was tough.

    Rixa, Thank you for correctly discerning my intent to help. I was blind to this sensitive issue until my wife educated me a year or so ago; and I’ve wrestled with it since then.

    I recognize the gap in my prior comment: I offered an explanation for the historical arrangement between the historical Adam and Eve, but no explanation for why that same arrangement might be used in our covenants today (if it is so intended, rather than just being a type of the relationship between the Lord and the human family).

    Is it possible that the apparently negative pronouncements upon Adam and Eve ( earning by the sweat of the brow; the earth’s resistance to cultivation; the woman’s relationship to the man; pain in childbirth; and the return to dust) offer us potential benefits and for that reason are passed down to us through the generations? I don’t know. But I’m going to think about it next time I’m in the temple.

    Genesis 3:16 characterizes Adam’s role as “ruling over” Eve. That concept and wording are troubling. I believe the temple clarifies that this does not mean doing whatever the man wants—but rather doing only what God wants. As I understand it, the covenant is structured to give the woman the right to decline if she concludes the man is asking something that is not God’s will.

    The covenant–when carefully considered and properly applied–leads Adam and Eve to communicate with each other; seek to discern God’s will together; seek to agree on what is God’s will; and then if they agree, act accordingly together. We might wish that it was worded differently, but the way it is supposed to function impresses me as inspired and as a good solution for what went wrong in Eden (Adam and Eve not talking together AND not talking to God before acting). Striving to be as “one” to discern, agree upon, and then do God’s will is very different than behaving as a ruler and as a servant.

    That’s the best I’ve come up with. I hope it helps.




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  56. See, I don’t think anything went wrong in Eden at all–it went RIGHT. Eve was supposed to choose knowledge over obedience. It was an essential act to get the whole plan rolling. Not something Eve did wrong at all.

    What’s really tricky is that the LDS church as 2 parallel and conflicting narratives about Eve going on at the same time. The first is the idea that Eve is the heroine of the human race, that the fall wasn’t a fall but an ascent (see the Givens’ writings in particular). There are a few glimpses of this in the temple drama, where Eve does her “it is better for us to know the sweet from the bitter” speech.

    The other narrative is a carryover from earlier Christian interpretations of Eve as the sinner, the one who messed things up, thus the one who gets punished…and the temple definitely portrays that aspect of Eve more strongly than it portrays Eve as the heroine.

    I can’t see any good solution to the harmful wording and portrayal of Eve except to take it out. It can be done, since the temple ritual has changed many times in the past. What’s so wounding for me, and probably many others, is that it still hasn’t changed. We’re told that women are wonderful! amazing! Then we’re told that we’re auxiliaries and that we shouldn’t speak to much or assume a role that isn’t ours. Guess which message speaks louder to me? The one giving lip service to women’s awesomeness? Or the one that actually defines our roles and responsibilities within the day-to-day church organization?




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  57. Rixa – if it will make you feel better, I’ll say it. Women aren’t awesome. They’re just as evil and conspiring and manipulative as any man on the planet. And, if they had the biology men have with respect to raw physical strength, they would be dominant and abusive. Except my wife, mother, daughters and sisters. They’re awesome!




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  58. Thank you for this. Count me as another female who struggles with the temple. It becomes increasingly difficult for me to reconcile what I have felt abt my relationship to God from personal experiences to what I experience in the temple. Attending the temple feels like a violation of my integrity – in particular when I covenant (non-reciprocally) to hearken to my husband. I don’t believe that is right and I don’t function like that in my marriage.
    The last time I did an endowment session I did not veil my face. Nobody said anything about it to me. I was just sick and tired of feeling heartbroken in the temple and I couldn’t add to those feelings on that day.
    Reading all of tees experiences is both difficult and encouraging.




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  59. Petra, thank you for writing about this. It is heartening to know I am not the only one disheartened, or the only one anxiously hoping for new revelation that brings unequitable aspects of the church (and all other religions) into alignment with the accessibility of Christ’s atonement for all. I haven’t found much to comfort me in my searches, yet. This article has helped some, and I will attach it, in case it brings you any relief: http://66.147.244.190/~dialogu5/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V27N02_197.pdf




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  60. Will you–all of you–please go back to the temple and get your inheritance — the universe! Gosh, who cares if you have to get it through some dude. Compromise your principles, man. Once you’ve got the whole shebang who cares.




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  61. Ha ha, I was just thinking that this thread seems susceptible to trolling. Jack’s comment seems a potential seed for that.

    I appreciate the comments and thoughts shared here. Thanks, all.




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  62. I find it very interesting that members of the church often wax poetical about how beautiful it is that we have direct access to God instead of mediation through Saints. We also love to talk about how glorious it is to know that we are made of the same stuff as God and have an eternal destiny to become like him. These are things that set us apart from other Christian churches.

    And yet we offer women, in our holiest rite, mediation through a husband. An eternal destiny of being his priestess, not God’s, and a shadowy destiny at that.

    It is no wonder many sensitive souls cry out against such a thing that goes against the impulses toward freedom and glory that led us to earth and to the church.




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