Spiritual Authority Figures and Spiritual Role Models

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 over the pulpit.  Many Mormon women listen carefully during General Conference and later study and highlight the words of the male General Authorities.  When they attend council meetings, most Mormon women will agree that the Bishop or Stake President gets final say and will do everything they can to support the leader’s decisions. Read More

Most Quoted Parts of the Proclamation on the Family

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 partners” part of the Proclamation on the Family had been quoted more.

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The Problem of Eve’s Submission

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 for the women) over the years, the general model remains in LDS teachings and liturgy–providing a topic of endless discussion for Bloggernacle feminists. In grappling with the contemporary arrangement, in which women covenant to hearken to their husbands, I have encountered a number of arguments which attempt to deal with the apparent sexism.  The most commonly cited, at least in my experience, are: Read More

Renouncing the Philosophies of Women, Mingled With Scripture

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 it in the most surpising of places: patriarchal authority. We feel strongly (and the men in our lives concur) that there’s no more reason to worry our pretty little heads over things of the world, so the single among us are moving back in with our fathers where we can hone our skills as full-time homemakers and practice submitting to male jurisdiction, “learn[ing] in silence with all subjection,” while the wives on our site have committed themselves to renewed effort in surrendering to the presiding wills of our husbands. Read More

Follow-up on Huckabee and “Chicken Patriarchy”

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 palatable to the masses:

http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2008/01/huckabee-called.html

Here’s a quote that Majikthise takes from the official SBC website: Read More

Secular Usage of “Preside”

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.

At the time, it occurred to me that this would be a relatively simple question to get data to answer, but I put the thought on the back burner, so I am just now getting around to trying to answer it. I chose to search newspapers to attempt to answer the question, given that they tend to have a very broad target audience and are fairly widely read (although I know they aren’t read as much as they used to be).

1. Is preside ever used in a secular context? Read More

Secrecy and the Economics of Religious Devotion

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 the lack of public information on how tithing dollars are spent. But what interests me here is the significance to community dynamics of the conducting of secret ceremonies. Read More

Endowed Before Mission or Marriage: Discuss and Enlighten Me

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 hope that the rest of you will share yours as well. Read More

Amen to the Priesthood or the Authority of that Man

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 withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. –D&C 121:37

So why do I so rarely see “amen” being said to someone’s priesthood or authority?

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Memories of Family Council

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 hours. The length of the meeting was at least partly due to the fact that so many of the members of my family (including myself) find it rather difficult to stay on-topic for even five minutes at a stretch. Read More

History and Faith

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 sense of, however, is the idea that they can be completely separated, that one can talk about faith without reference to history or dismiss history as being irrelevant to faith. (In other words, the “if you have a testimony, then history doesn’t matter” line of thought.) Read More

Running from God

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 I see myself in him. In particular, I’m quite sympathetic to his decision to flee in the opposite direction when God calls him. That’s frequently my reaction to God, too. Read More

Lost Things

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 you can come up with the correct combination of change. Rather, I’m drawn to the idea that the point of prayer is relational, that it’s not so much about coaxing stuff out of God as about developing a relationship with him.

That’s how I like to think about prayer in the abstract, at least. But to be honest, I don’t necessarily live that way. Read More

A Year of Blogging

Well, Christmas break is (sadly) over, and I believe all the ZD bloggers have made it back to their scattered homes. Perhaps this will mean that we’re going to be blogging a little more again– though I suppose the more ambitious among us might have other plans, such as (gasp!) studying.

As of this past Thursday, January 4, Zelophehad’s Daughters has been in existence for a year. I was going to post something to mark the occasion (because what’s the fun of blogging if you can’t indulge in occasional navel-gazing?), but I ended up spending the day driving multiple times through the snow to the Salt Lake airport to get various sisters to their planes, and then squeezing in a few last games of Settlers of Catan with the sisters who were still around before I left the next day. Read More

the last 5 Decembers

There hasn’t been much going on around here the past few days (I know, the end of the semester), so I decided to follow Bored in Vernal’s example and reflect on what I have been doing for the past [5] Decembers (yes, she did 10, but that would be a lot longer, and besides, my husband gets sad when I talk about old boyfriends in nostalgic ways). And unlike her, I’m going to go forward instead of backward. So here goes: Read More

Sisters

I’m sitting in my bedroom, and thinking about the fact that all five of my sisters live hundreds (and in the case of Kiskilili, thousands) of miles away. Looking around, though, I can see traces of them everywhere. On my wall hangs a giant poster of Aragorn–a recent surprise gift from Amalthea (who personally prefers Frodo). Over my desk is a calendar of “Nuns Having Fun,” courtesy of Melyngoch. Read More

My Journey into Apostasy

It’s now been almost two years since I received my endowment, and these have been, without question, the least religious two years of my life.

I was not a closet feminist before my temple experience. I was quite upfront with my bishop about the fact that I think there’s no good reason for women not to hold the priesthood, and how I pray the Proclamation on the Family is uninspired. I took the temple prep class four times over the course of several years, and drove a series of teachers crazy with questions. (Why are ordinances necessary, anyway?) Read More