Zelophehad’s Daughters

Spiritual Authority Figures and Spiritual Role Models

Posted by Beatrice

I am going to start out with a couple of thought questions. First of all, in general do Mormon women see Mormon men as spiritual authority figures and spiritual role models? I would say, yes.  Many Mormon women look up to their Bishops and Stake Presidents and listen carefully to the insights that they share […]

Most Quoted Parts of the Proclamation on the Family

Posted by Ziff

A recent discussion at fMh turned, as so many do, to a discussion of whether Church teachings about marriage emphasize more that the husband should preside or that the husband and wife should be equal partners. Given this question, I thought it might be interesting to look at whether the “presiding” part or the “equal […]

The Problem of Eve’s Submission

Posted by Lynnette

From a feminist perspective, Genesis 3:16 is one of the more difficult passages in scripture.  The last phrase, “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” sets up a hierarchical model of marriage in which men lead and women follow.  Though the terms have shifted (rule/preside for the men; obey/hearken […]

When Filthiness Was Next to Godliness

Posted by Kiskilili

The decaying infrastructure that marked late antiquity left Roman baths–once a popular site not only for physical cleansing but also for social intercourse–in ruins. At roughly the same time, a new ethos began to blossom in early Christianity, one that placed an odd value on filthiness as part of its larger program of asceticism. In the first […]

Fathers are Just Irreplaceable; They Don’t Need to Preside to be Important

Posted by Kiskilili

One popular way of slashing through the Gordian knot that is the term “preside” in Mormon thought is to assert that it is merely ceremonial and thus utterly insignificant to the power dynamics of marriage. In this model, specifically in order to be consonant with a system of equal partnership, “presiding” by definition must entail the fulfillment of tasks […]

Women and the Priesthood, Fifteen Years Later

Posted by Eve

Maxine Hanks’s 1992 anthology Women and Authority includes a chapter by D. Michael Quinn, provocatively entitled “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843.” Quinn makes it clear that he’s not arguing simply for what I’ll here call “soft” claims about women’s priesthood status, for example, that women hold the priesthood only “through temple marriage […]

Renouncing the Philosophies of Women, Mingled With Scripture

Posted by ZD

We at ZD are pleased to announce that we’ve made a surprising and delightful discovery: our radiant inner femininity is a true blessing to the world, and, in light of this ephiphany, we’ve begun embracing our divine gender roles in earnest. We’ve long felt there was something sadly lacking in our lives, and we’ve found […]

Presiding and Providing

Posted by Kiskilili

In what may be the most oft-quoted sentence in the Proclamation on the Family, we are told that “by divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” How do we parse this compound sentence? Are “presiding” […]

Follow-up on Huckabee and “Chicken Patriarchy”

Posted by Seraphine

As a follow-up to ECS’s post on Huckabee and “Chicken Patriarchy”, I thought I’d link to this post which explains in more detail how “submit” is discussed in evangelical circles and how Huckabee’s recent explanations do seem to be either a substantial revision of evangelical beliefs or a deceptive way of making evangelical teachings more […]

Secular Usage of “Preside”

Posted by Ziff

In a discussion last year at T&S about what it means for a husband to preside, Jim F. argued that it doesn’t really matter what preside means outside the Church because the word just isn’t much used outside the Church (and perhaps court). Kiskilili disagreed, saying that she thought that secular usage was more common. […]

Secrecy and the Economics of Religious Devotion

Posted by Kiskilili

Religious secrecy is nothing new; ancient mystery religions enjoyed a long history and vital following, and even some early Christian groups apparently did not reveal key doctrines to catechumens until after baptism. A number of instantiations of institutional secrecy in the Church can be identified, among them the veil over the handbook of instructions and […]

Obedience and Blessings

Posted by Lynnette

In sacrament meeting last week, one of the speakers in my ward quoted in passing some verses from D&C 130 which have often perplexed me: There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is […]

Endowed Before Mission or Marriage: Discuss and Enlighten Me

Posted by Vada

On Ziff’s recent thread the subject of the church discouraging people to get their endowments before a mission or marriage was discussed (a little bit). Since I’m very interested in the subject, I thought I’d start a post where we can discuss it. I’m going to share my experiences with and impressions about this. I […]

Amen to the Priesthood or the Authority of that Man

Posted by Ziff

That they [the rights of the priesthood] may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens […]

Memories of Family Council

Posted by Lynnette

When I was growing up, my family had two regular Sunday activities. The first was going to church. The second was the weekly ritual of family council, a meeting which all family members were expected to attend. (It helped that there were usually treats at the end.) Family council could go on for hours and […]

History and Faith

Posted by Lynnette

A couple of recent discussions have gotten me thinking about the relationship between history and faith. Not every person takes the same approach to navigating the challenges posed by historical problems, of course, and I respect that there are a variety of ways of conceptualizing the interplay betwen the two. What I can’t quite make […]

Running from God

Posted by Lynnette

I’m rather fond of the story of Jonah. Partly this is just because it’s so funny, what with the cattle of Ninevah repenting in sackcloth and ashes, and Jonah melodramatically announcing that he would be better off dead after God kills his shade plant. But I also like Jonah because there are ways in which […]

Lost Things

Posted by Lynnette

I don’t know quite what I think about petitionary prayer; once you raise those sticky questions about God intervening in the world sometimes but not others, it all gets so complicated. But I’m more than a little skeptical of any theory of prayer that treats God like a vending machine who dispenses blessings if only […]

The Names of My Wounds

Posted by Eve

But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. –3 Nephi 12:22 And the fire shall try […]

Presiding Over Semantic Shifts

Posted by Kiskilili

Why allow ourselves to be buffeted about by the accepted meanings of words when language is under our collective control? If we all agree that, in our community, “defenestrate” means “smile,” and “moon rock” means “phonebooth,” what’s the big deal? Of course, outsiders might scratch their heads in befuddlement, but every religion employs its own […]