Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Feminism Can Impose Limits Upon The Eternal Perspective Of An LDS Woman

The women who post on The Exponent blog are, by their own admission, feminists. They are faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Commendably, they try to sanitize feminism, and have purged much of the male-bashing element from it.

But feminism still corrupts their eternal perspective to a certain degree. They try to presume how our Heavenly Father might behave based upon their own imperfect and limited mortal perspective. In short, they try to impose limits upon a limitless Father. An example of this is brought out in a post entitled "Will There Be Polygamy In the Next Life? I Think Not". In this post, Caroline suggests that there will be no polygamy in the next life. Of course, since we Mormons believe that only people who qualify for celestial glory with exaltation will have officially-recognized marriages in the next life, we are talking only about the celestial kingdom.

Here's Caroline's justification for her conclusion:

Here’s my logic. God is good. For me, a characteristic of a good God is one who appreciates and acknowledges the fundamental equality of human souls, who values men and women of various races and classes equally and who wants these diverse people to have equal opportunities to lead, inspire, direct, etc. Because polygyny makes women expendable members of the marriage, because it entails a woman being cut out from parts of her husband’s heart and life in a way that hers is not necessarily cut off from his, it is not a system compatible with the principle of equality. Therefore, my logic tells me, polygamy will not exist in the next life.

Here's where her thinking goes astray. Many of our General Authorities have opined that more women will qualify for celestial glory than men. So if this is the case, and there are more women who want eternal marriage than men, how else can we satisfy the desires of all concerned - except through polygamy?

Note that Caroline also plays the equality card. This, of course, reflects secular indoctrination and acculturation; not a day goes by in which we are not subjected to an endless cacaphony of "equality" propaganda. Equality has now been allowed to supersede liberty in so many aspects of American society; one cannot unconditionally hire, fire, rent, or sell to whoever they want any more. So totally consumed has America become in the passioned pursuit of absolute equality that we allowed the civil rights revolution to be hijacked; instead of settling merely for an end to forced segregation, we also imposed forced integration upon society. It was no longer enough merely to stop discriminating on the basis of race (and subsequently sex); it was also required that we engage in positive discrimination against the majority white community through affirmative action to "make up" for the so-called "legacy" of past discrimination. And so it is quite understandable that Caroline would try to impose this flawed, limited perspective of quantitative equality upon the Creator of this universe.

But our Heavenly Father does not limit Himself to quantitative equality. Instead, he considers qualitative equality, meaning equality in value and status. In the LDS Church, Priesthood in reserved only for men. But on the other hand, motherhood is reserved only for women. LDS women who think through a limited mortal perspective only see that men are getting something that the women aren't receiving, while LDS women who think through a more expansive divine perspective will be grateful that they get something that the men cannot have; namely, the ability to carry children to term.

The Lord Jesus Christ illustrated the Father's thinking on this issue during His earthly ministry. In Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the laborers in the vineyard is set forth. All was well - until the workers who were hired early found out that the workers who were hired later got paid the same amount:

1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

And the householder was absolutely correct - he did the earlier workers no wrong. They agreed to be paid a penny - they didn't specify a condition in which later workers would be paid less. Through our limited mortal perspective of quantitative equality, that seems unfair. But through the Lord's divine perspective of qualitative equality, there was nothing wrong with it.

I suspect that any woman who achieves celestial glory with exaltation will be so overjoyed at the prospect and so totally engulfed in the Holy Spirit that it would not occur to her at that point that polygamy might be "oppressive". It will be much like the description offered in Isaiah 4:1, where it is written "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name..."

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