Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Women Are Dispensable

August 30th, 2012 by G.

Square Two has a response to Taylor Petrey’s attempt to imagine a Mormonism without the central Mormon doctrines of eternal marriage, descent, and ancestry.

The best response is that his arguments make no sense and show even less understanding of Mormonism than I would expect from an ex-Mormon Unitarian like Petrey. The second best response is that stripping the central truths from Mormonism is an act of desecration. But the third best response is Square Two’s mounting feminist indignation. I am congenitally adverse to mounting feminist indignation but as I read on despite myself I grudgingly had to agree. Petrey is faking up a pretend Mormonism where there is no need for women and where all the messiness of child birth and mothering, all pains and blood and snot, everything that C.S. Lewis associated with Ungit in Till We Have Faces, is done away.

If I were going to make the same point in my own terms, I would say that Petrey is really attacking embodiment and mortality. He sees this mortal mess as at best a distasteful necessity to be discarded in toto as soon as can be. He misses what is true in Steven Peck’s poem My Turn on Earth. But we Mormons see it as an experience that will shape us forever, a pattern for eternity, and ineradicably an essential part of our being, our relationships, and our happiness. We glory in its weakness. We worship the God who fully entered into mortality and was born of a woman. Like Him, when we are weak, then we are strong.

Comments (14)
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August 30th, 2012 13:40:46
14 comments

Vader
August 30, 2012

“He sees this mortal mess as at best a distasteful necessity to be discarded in toto as soon as can be.”

I find that very believable.

But, curiously, the only Unitarian I have known at all well denied there was any immortal soul at all.

I understand there is considerable variety in that community.


Zen
August 31, 2012

A recent discussion at BCC illuminated to me, for the first time, the doctrine of the New Name. It was a discussion of disability in the plan of salvation. A point was made that our final end will be vastly different from our present. What we think of ourselves now, is in some senses, tied to our mortal and fallen form. But what happens when we no longer have either mortal frailty, or fallen weakness?

I had a conversation a month or two ago, with a gay member who could not imagine being anything other than gay. Likewise, I have heard of disable people, who can likewise, not imagine themselves otherwise, and who even resist change.

Perhaps, those gay members have a bit of a hidden blessing. They can’t avoid the idea that exaltation will not involve a very fundamental change without fudging the doctrine. The rest of us just imagine heaven as extra clouds and life without death or taxes.

I am forgetting for a moment exactly the connection here, but I feel, just under the surface, we have some extremely profound doctrine here for us to tease out, and which will probably not be revealed until we have made an effort to understand it.

I do not think we yet know ourselves, but we have the promise, that if we are faithful, we shall know our true selves (name).


Vader
August 31, 2012

I have long believed we have a true inner self we’ve only forgotten.

I know that I feel like a different person when I’m in the temple.

Had a glitch with the suit yesterday. The alarm light on the recirculating pump kept going off, though all indications was that everything was being recirculated normally, and I wasn’t experiencing any (unusual) pain.

I suppose these little reminders of my mortality are supposed to make me think a little more about the life to come. But I admit I still fear death. I feel like I’ve accomplished remarkably little with my ilfe.


Bookslinger
August 31, 2012

Long ago, much of the bloggernacle devolved into speculative theology, which meets the exact definition of “looking beyond the mark.” Anything beyond faith, repentance, baptism (covenant making), and enduring to the end (commandment/covenant keeping) is dangerous for several reasons.

The Holy Ghost reveals all truth, including higher truths, to those who are ready to receive them. But if those higher truths haven’t been taught by the Brethren, we aren’t supposed to discuss them with others unless directed to do so by the Spirit.

The “Advanced Gospel Doctrine clsss” that many clamor for is this: You reading/studying/searching/pondering the scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. That’s it. You’re the only pupil in that class, the Holy Ghost is your teacher, and the scriptures are the textbook. Prayer and personal revelation are the dialogue between teacher and student.

Speculation of what goes on in future lives/worlds takes away focus and precious time from learning, and carrying out, what we need to learn and do in this life in this world.

In other words, it’s better to make efforts to increase our compliance with faith/repentance/baptism/enduring-to-the-end than to learn those things which do not concern us at this time.

Much -has- been revealed about conditions of the resurrection, millennium, heaven, etc. For instance, we’ve been told that all illness, sickness, handicaps, etc, physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional, will be cured or taken away in the resurrection of the body. That was likely the basis for Elder Oaks’ statement that homosexuality will be “cured” in the resurrection. (… as much as homosexuals may hate to hear that.)

But if God will cure other tragic things (such as all psychoses, neuroses, all mental retardation, all paedophilia, sociopaths/psycopaths, addictions) then He can “fix” homosexuality, regardless of whether it is genetic or otherwise inborn, or due to any external factors, or even choice.

Those who are looking to cook up a theological “solution” to how homosexuality fits into the next life have already rejected the basic doctrines given in scripture. If you think homosexuality fits into the overall Gospel plan, or continues on into future lives/worlds, then you don’t yet undestand, or accept, the pospel plan as it has been revealed so far.

It’s exactly the pattern of the pharisees, rejecting the plainly revealed basics, to construct a system that allowed their own wickedness. And therefore, in their mind, it was no longer wicked.

Today, we do something similar, refusing to admit something is wicked, out of a misguided sense of compassion.

The “problems” that speculative theology tries to solve are mostly answered by the scriptures or modern teachings of the prophets. Or at least the building blocks of the answers have been given, and we only need sufficient trust in the revealed doctinrs to construct the answers out of what we’ve alrady been given.


Macbeth
August 31, 2012

If speculative theology must be done, twere well it were done competently.


A. Nonny Mouse
September 4, 2012

Is Taylor Petrey really a Unitarian?

That would be fascinating.


Taylor Petrey
October 11, 2012

I was just alerted to the existence of this post. My response to Hudson is now included on her website. I note that her representation of my argument is problematically selective and certainly a misrepresentation. She takes my description of an LDS ritual as if it is my own view for how the cosmos works, and ignores the variety of options that I present from LDS texts and rituals for no other discernible reason other than stating, “alas…Petrey is a man.” I have more to say about the problematic feminist arguments that Cassler puts forward, which both deny lesbians as women and reduce women’s significance to reproduction. While I am certainly open to critique, I advise caution about taking her argument too seriously.

But, what I really wanted to comment on is the absolutely baseless statement that Adam puts forward here that I am an “ex-Mormon.” It is absolutely false, and I implore Adam to cease spreading this outright falsehood both here and in other fora.


Vader
October 11, 2012

Taylor,

Honest question, since I know next to nothing about your background, and your final paragraph was a bit ambiguous.

Which is it that is false — that you are not now a member of the Church, or that you ever were?


Taylor Petrey
October 11, 2012

Vader, thanks for your question. I am a baptized and fully active member of the church and have been my entire life. I have always and do currently hold a temple recommend and serve faithfully in my ward and stake.


Adam G.
October 11, 2012

I was misinformed. My apologies to the gentleman.


Taylor Petrey
October 11, 2012

Thank you, Adam.


Zen
October 11, 2012

Well, I am no great fan of feminist ideologies myself, but I do think she brought up some good points, in spite of using arguments like “he is a man”. That seems to be some kind of ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card for some feminists.

As the doctrine currently is, men and women need each other and enrich eachother. A union of genders is essential for exaltation.

But if I take your (Taylor Petrey) philosophy seriously, then I just generically need someone, anyone.

Gender would become irrelevant, and unvalued, and worthless. It would have nothing unique to contribute, and certainly not anything that you couldn’t do without.

As I referred to earlier in this thread, I think we underestimate the magnitude of the change in the next life, or even in the previous one. “It does not yet appear what we shall be” Paul said.

And likewise, “the lusts of this world pass away”.

Now, if we don’t yet completely understand what is essential, and what seems so pressing in this life is going to pass away, then why fixate on what is temporary? And especially do it at the price of something that we do know is an essential and eternal part of us, namely gender.


Taylor Petrey
October 12, 2012

Zen, I discuss the issue of “gender” and its relationship to a post-heterosexual theology in the third section and conclusion of my article.

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