Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Reason Tells Me I’ve a Mother There

June 09th, 2014 by Adam G.

Gapi's wedding 23

Reason tells me I’ve a Mother there.” But reason isn’t enough. I also listen to the heart and the bowels, and they aren’t talking.

I feel the need for a heavenly father. My heart and my bowels tell me He’s there.

My father was the decision maker, the judge, the provider, and the authority for my family. His writ didn’t run beyond us, though, so I felt and feel the need for a father of the world at large. There needs to be somebody in charge out here.

Theorists of natural religion belief that this felt need is what brings people to a basic belief in deity, however else that belief may be elaborated by their corporate experience, revelation, and sins. God is the universal father.

My mother and my wife supply the domesticity in life, the hominess, the grace notes. There is a family circle that they create. But because they supply it, I have no need for it elsewhere. By definition, the outside doesn’t need to be the inside. There needs to be universal rule. There does not need to be universal domesticity. I do not experience the need for a heavenly Mother.

There is a role for the Father in my life. He has created the world I live in. The truths I learn are His. The commandments I follow are His commands. He is my punisher and my rewarder.

Christ also has a role. He is my savior. He led an earthly life that I can know and imitate. He is my companion and rescuer.

The Holy Ghost converses with me.

Between them, all the needs I have for divine compassion, comfort, healing, feeling, and sympathy are supplied.

All this is personal to me. Others may have a MiH-shaped hole in their heart. I don’t.

My absence of a felt absence is not proof that there is no Mother in Heaven. You may believe a doctrine in this church for reasons other than it fitting a human need or filling a necessary role. A revelation may state it or it may be a logical extrapolation from some belief that does matter to you. Unless these are of the strongest, though, you will not believe very firmly until you ahve that sense that the doctrine fits into life like a piece in a puzzle. That’s where I’m at. I have suspended judgment on the doctrine of MiH.

My personal feelings aren’t interesting in themselves, so all that is by way of introduction. The meat of this post is speculation on what role a Mother in Heaven could play in life. It is not speculation for speculation’s sake. Trying to understand the possibilities here is a roundabout route to understanding the meaning of the sexes. Thinking through possibilities is also preparation that makes personal revelation on the subject easier and more likely. Speculation—call it pondering—often plays John the Baptist to the Holy Ghost.

I first ponder the possibility that MiH may not play much role in this life. If womanliness is what makes a house into a home and a group into a family circle, then her relative absence here is what makes our return to heaven a homecoming. Her role is to make heaven a place we can go back to. She is not wanted here anymore than mothers should tag along with their children to summer camp.

Second, I mentioned earlier that I relate to God through His creation. I see the things He has provided and I am grateful to him. When I am grateful for people, though, I am usually grateful to the people. I think that I’m sure glad for my friends, and in my heart I’m grateful to my friends for their existence. But suppose that a MiH has a special role in creating human souls (the means and methods don’t matter for our purposes; there is a lot of ill-thought speculation out there). If so, then I can relate to her in gratitude for people and their works the same way I relate to God in appreciation of earth and wind and stars.

Third. Gratitude to the creator of the person wouldn’t prevent me from continuing to feel love and gratitude to the person themselves. Gratitude, like responsibility, can add up to more than 100%. In some very tentative speculations about where the eternal feminine is in the cosmos, some have seen creation itself as being in the feminine mode. It is even said, at the very limits of possibility, that mother earth may be more than metaphorical. If so, then feeling gratitude to the Father for the works of His hands would not prevent me from feeling love and gratitude directly to that maternal being that is the sum of those works.

Fourth, nobody can quite enter in to anyone else’s domesticity. Every happy marriage is a separate civilization. For all God’s love, I feel something opaque about Him. I feel there is a part of him I cannot know. Likely this is just an artifact of my current limitations. But it may reflect that God is paired. That opaqueness I experience, directly or indirectly, could be an experience of His wife.

Fifth, remember that Wisdom is personified in the Bible as a woman. Wisdom is more intuitive than knowledge is; is it a coincidence that women are generally more intuitive than men? I personally put a very high value on wisdom, on intuitive knowledge, and things that have been learned from experience but that can’t be expressed or formalized, on knowledge that is so inherent and organic that maybe not only can’t you express it, maybe you aren’t even fully aware that you have it. I believe in the Tao. If so, maybe I already believe in and venerate the MiH.

Finally, there is the theological problem about whether we are created by God or are eternal. If we are created, its hard to see how we can truly be separate from His will. Created things are made with intent and purpose. But if we are eternal, there has yet to be a satisfactory account for our connection with Deity; we end up being one of those artificial families that are all the rage these days among people who want to deconstruct actual families. Motherhood is a model of creation that avoids both difficulties. The mother makes the child in a real sense, but she does not determine the child. She doesn’t plan the child’s specs. Thinkers will object that there is no way a divine being could be involved in making something without knowing exactly how and for what purposes it was being made. Thinkers are probably right, its just the barest glimmering of the beginning of an idea. But if the idea stands, and MiH plays a part in creation analogous in some sense to the role mothers play here, then acknowledging her role lets me be confident that I am both free and a real son of the Highest.

Mesa, AZ Queen of Heaven SG Mary & Child Faces

Comments (24)
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June 09th, 2014 05:06:46
24 comments

Bruce Charlton
June 9, 2014

Thanks for this – it is very valuable. For a while I have I had a feeling you were brewing something on this theme…


Nathaniel
June 9, 2014

If womanliness is what makes a house into a home and a group into a family circle, then her relative absence here is what makes our return to heaven a homecoming.

Yes, I’ve had exactly this thought myself. Life seems to be structured as an archetypal adventure. We know that well-adjusted children (especially very young) use the security of their mother’s presence as a base from which to launch out on their own adventures of exploration and learning. So it would make sense that we, as children of Heavenly Parents, experience mortal life in much the same way. As an adventure. Which necessitates the absence of home. And home, fundamentally, is wherever Mother is to be found.


Bruce Charlton
June 9, 2014

At points you hint at what, I feel, must be the truth – which is that the male and female roles are not symmetrical but instead of a different nature, different the one from the other.

The way the complementarity of the sexes is usually described is very ‘masculine’ – that The Man is in charge of X and The Woman in charge of Y – but this never even rings true even wrt humans.

And even less so with gods – since any such division seems to invite unification as one being.

But if the reality is that the complementarity is of natures and qualities rather than domains of jurisdiction, then that seems closer to reality for humans, and more comprehensible for deities.

If a being is of a certain nature (character) and another being of a different and complementary nature – then these natures cannot be united in a single being – because they are incompatible.

If you think of the character of the perfect mother and the character of the perfect father – these two simply cannot be combined in a single being; because many of the perfections of the one are opposed to the other.

A hybrid mother-father is not, in fact, a combination of mother and father but necessarily something else altogether (most likely an averaged compromise – inferior to either individually; or something which oscillates from one to the other nature – and therefore partakes of the inhuman).

An androgynous being does not combine the man and woman but is an intermediate average; and neither does a hermaphrodite. There is, in fact, nothing that combines the male and female in a full and real sense.


Arakawa
June 9, 2014

I find that my intuitions on this point are diametrically opposite to Bruce Charlton’s, and am curious to figure out why.

The main point of intuition that I have, is that I have no innate knowledge of how to be a man. Any masculinity I have is not innate, but painstakingly assembled by observing and imitating behaviour, and figuring out how to govern particular biological impulses so that I am a functioning human being and not an inert jelly. Some persons with whom I raise the question say something like that the modern deconstruction of masculinity has deprived me of father-figures whom I could learn to imitate naturally, absorbing masculinity from the surrounding culture, which (if plausible) further detracts from the notion that my soul is originally male.

So, from this I can conclude that part of the _purpose_ of my incarnation is to learn how to be male, something which I originally lacked (either as a created soul starting with a body which lacked sexual differentiation, or in some pre-mortal existence where the conditions of my present body did not apply). So, that is an understanding in which I can understand my position, obey, and comprehend why it is difficult, rather than being confused why, if I was supposedly male from the start, I am having such a difficult time figuring it out.

Bruce’s argument that motherhood and fatherhood are incompatible and that a being that oscillates between male and female partakes of the inhuman, reminds me both of the common canard that justice and mercy are somehow conflicting qualities (fallen human beings are generally not able to realize both qualities, but that does not mean they are incompatible), as well as the argument in some Orthodox circles in Russia that acting and theatre are inherently sinful, because an actor feigns a different persona and thereby makes obeisance to the father of lies (to wit, partakes of the inhuman by oscillating from one persona to another, whereas a human being, it is explicitly assumed, should have exactly one perfectly integrated persona). Likewise, beardshaving is sin, and a slippery slope to transsexualism, as men who shave their face are affecting an intrinsically female characteristic — turning themselves into an intermediate average between a man and a woman, which they should not be doing.

The main question I have with the notion that male and female souls are two distinct non-interconvertible species is — where, precisely, is the distinction located? Is it a matter of preferring certain (incompatible?) things, or reacting differently in terms of actions to the same situations, or thinking in different ways?


Arakawa
June 9, 2014

I would point out that, potentially, there could be many incompatible intuitions on this point. I observe there are men who do seem to have an intuition and grasp of masculinity, to the extent that they plausibly might have been intrinsically male all along (in whatever sense); needing to develop their masculinity further is not an issue in the purpose of their earthly life, compared to other things. That is most certainly not my personal experience.


Zen
June 9, 2014

I would like to emphasize Adam’s point regarding Wisdom. That is often what is referred to, in place of the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament. And in the New Testament, the Holy Ghost is treated as female. None of that is absolutely definitive, but it is worth thinking about.

Arakawa’s idea about learning to be male or female, is an interesting idea, but we should be careful about being too absolutist about what we are learning. We knew Good and Evil in the Pre-existence as well, even if we didn’t understand it in the same detail we do on Earth!

It is worth mentioning, that an early church member named Mosiah Hancock, had a vision of the Pre-Existence. I am NOT establishing this for doctrine, but it is worth thinking about. http://mormon-chronicles.blogspot.com/2007/12/mosiah-hancock-vision-of-preexistence.html

In any case, he saw us as men and women, and even in the pre-existence, we lived as couples.


Arakawa
June 9, 2014

One issue with the vision being described is how very specific it is in some of the details, and inconsistent with observation. A certain proportion of the male spirits rebels, and none of the female spirits, so that at the end there are more female spirits than male spirits, and some of the surplus female spirits are assigned to the virtuous male spirits, so as to have a chance at exaltation.

This would imply that, over time, many more female than male children would have to be conceived, for everyone to get a chance at mortal existence with the biologically correct body, but human genetics is so framed that the actual proportion hovers around 50-50.

I’m not sure what the proper way to square that circle would be. Perhaps there are female sons of perdition, or perhaps the pre-mortal spirits were entirely genderless, or perhaps the surplus female population had to switch to being male, to maintain the balance, or perhaps ‘pre-mortal human spirit’ is a thing only tentatively divided into individuals, so that the actual population of spirits choosing one way or another would have to be measured out by the bucketload rather than by number of individuals. In the latter case, part of the purpose of incarnation is obviously to form people as stable individuals.


Arakawa
June 9, 2014

*just to clarify one of the scenarios listed, which is a hypothetical

If the number of spirits starts at 50% male, 50% female, and (let’s say) 3 out of 5 males rebel (30% of total pre-mortal population, about a third of all spirits in total), losing their chance at incarnation, then 3 out of 5 females (30% of total pre-mortal population), about half of whom have to turn male to maintain the 50-50 gender ratio (the rest of the 30% stay female).

Thus, out of the original pre-mortal population:
- 30% male rebellious spirits / demons
- 20% male, eligible for incarnation as male
- 35% female, eligible for incarnation as female
- 15% female, forced to incarnate as male to maintain population balance

Which means that in this hypothetical scenario a given man would almost equally likely have been female as male in the pre-mortal existence.

So, that’s probably not the real scenario.


Bruce Charlton
June 9, 2014

@Ara – In my understanding of Mormon theology, things like the number and sexual ratio of spirits are ‘given’ – since they have existed from eternity – they are a constraint which must be worked-around (like it or not) in the great scheme of creation and salvation – as other constraints (such as matter, the laws of nature, time, free agency) must be worked-around.


Bruce Charlton
June 9, 2014

@Ara “I find that my intuitions on this point are diametrically opposite to Bruce Charlton’s”

The first question I would ask is whether you have specifically prayed for an answer to this question – or set of questions – and if so whether you received an answer.

I ask this of you ‘rhetorically’ and not expecting you to answer in public – but because this is what you would need to do, and perhaps until you felt you had a clear answer.

It is possible that the situation is different from how you sincerely feel it to be – so far as you are aware of your own feelings; and that therefore this is a ‘trial’ for you – what is important would then be how you respond to this trial, the choices you make.


the Junior Ganymede
June 10, 2014

From Bruce Charlton:

“An analogy would be a Great Man – a great political or religious leader, a great creative genius – someone who had personally vastly influenced public life … Imagine (as sometimes happens) that the Great Man always insists, and with perfect truth, that ‘I owe it all to my Wife’, that he ‘could not have done it without my Wife’.

. . . .

Typically, it is not possible for an outsider to know what is meant by the Husband’s truthful statement ‘I could not have done it without her. The Wife’s work is outwith the public domain, hidden from external view – it is absolutely real and solid and yet at the same time somehow covert, implicit: a Wife’s work is a mystery in a way that the Husband’s work is not a mystery.

My guess is that something very similar applies to Mother in Heaven. The role and function of God the Father is primarily understandable because it is public, outward, creative; but the role and function of Mother in Heaven is solid and yet mysterious.

*

Mother in Heaven’s role is fundamentally and intrinsically mysterious but not for any esoteric or difficult to understand reason; but ‘simply’ in the same way and for the same reason that any Wife’s role may be mysterious in relation to the attainments of any Great Man: real and absolutely necessary – yet opaque to the external eye.”


Adam G.
June 10, 2014

Nathaniel Givens, Bruce Charlton,
interesting to see that our ideas are converging. Hopefully we can develop this further.

Zen, I’m with you. I don’t know what it means, but its worth thinking about.

Arakawa,
I’m with you on the male/female percentages. If the number of souls is infinite, as I believe, then the ratio can still be 1:1 even if a greater percentage of male souls fell away.

On the other, I don’t think that your intuition that masculinity is something you are learning (a destination, not a starting point) is contrary to Bruce C.’s intuition that manliness and womanliness can’t be integrated into one personality. In any case, its an error of the modern cult of authenticity to think that your essential nature is about what you innately started with, not about what you are headed towards. I do not see that I have an inner holy man, but the scriptures still say that is my identity, because it is who I am becoming through the grace of God. You are correct that justice and mercy are compatible, but this actually strengthens Bruce C.’s argument. It required another divine Person, Jesus Christ, to make them compatible.


Arakawa
June 10, 2014

I think Bruce is astute in focusing on whether motherhood and fatherhood are compatible or not, which are actual roles and virtues divided among the sexes (with a substantive impact on the world) rather than affectations. (A person with an androgynous appearance ends up coming across as masculine or feminine — or neither or both — depending primarily on behaviour.)

I would be interested in discussing/understanding specific instances where motherhood and fatherhood are incompatible in the same person, without conflicting in the same family: so, cases in a family which specifically require both a father and a mother to act, without one of the parents being able to do both things.


Adam G.
June 10, 2014

In my house my wife does not enforce respect for herself, just like my mother didn’t in my father’s house. My wife and my mother were sympathetic and yielding to children, who in the course of things take advantage by being disrespectul, until I or my father brought down the hammer. That way they still get the experience of unconditional love without limits (from their mother) but they still get the benefits of limits and conditional love (from their father). I hesitate to generalize to the heavens, but its certainly an earthly example of complementary roles that cannot be usefully combined into one.


Zen
June 10, 2014

I can speak from experience that trying to be the mom and the dad is a pain in the neck. I make a pretty good dad for my daughters (I am a single dad and have been for most of their lives) but I make a terrible mother.

With regards to M/F ratio of mortality and pre-mortality, a few things we should keep in mind. First, world population during the Millennium could easily dwarf the accumulated population of earth over thousands of years.

Next, we are assuming that the ratio in the future, will be the same as now.

Last, don’t forget Hilbert’s Paradox of the Infinite Hotel, which Adam was alluding to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert's_paradox_of_the_Grand_Hotel

In any case, I think it a red herring to get too fixated on ratios. For one, it is been debated if it means a 1/3 went with Satan, or if it was merely 1 group out of 3 groups that went with him.

It has been seriously debated, even among prophets and apostles, if there is such a thing as daughters of perdition. And honestly, we don’t know the answer to this one. It has not been revealed to the church at large. Just another odd fact to throw in.


Arakawa
June 10, 2014

Yes, the example came to my mind along those lines, with the scenario of a transgressing child being punished with absolute sternness by the father, and then comforted by the mother (in a way that does not conflict with the terms of the punishment). Thus the child experienced both sternness from the father (in the form of cold treatment and definite limits and punishments), and unconditional love from the mother (in the form of affection).

One key thing I want to clarify is the difference between being loved by one’s parents, and receiving affection from them. A good father and a good mother both love their children unconditionally, but in this model a mother can express that love unconditionally as visible affection, whereas the father must place conditions on that expression in order to produce intelligible limits (and prevent the children from abusing the unconditional affection of the mother).

So the model makes sense; it also has absolutely zero resemblance to the dynamic I experienced from my own parents while growing up, with my mother combining the father and mother roles, as described above, to the best of her ability. My father, when he was not busy providing for the family, ended up coming down on average on the “motherly” side of things by providing encouraging words of advice when my mother erred too much towards sternness.

Thus I can speculate, only partly from experience:

(1) Human beings are noticeably differentiated into genders, but are also somewhat more androgynous than this neat model would suggest. In practice, a mother’s affection has its limits, and a father’s sternness cannot be kept up under all circumstances. Each gender needs to understand the perspective of the other to _some extent_ in the sense of being able to supply the corresponding virtues, at least to _some extent_, when they are called for. A father has lifelong experience cultivating masculine virtues which aid in acting as a father; a mother who is suddenly forced by circumstances to act as a father, may or may not, and often ends up having to learn the hard way, too late, or not at all. If my understanding is correct, then far more often, a mother pushed to her limits (in the absence of a father to restrain the children from abusing her affections, as Adam G. describes) will suddenly discover a stern, masculine response in herself which she does not understand, control, or wield effectively. This has destructive results, which lead observers to the conclusion that women are intrinsically unsuited for fatherhood.

(2) It is in fact possible to express sternness and affection at once, nor is alternating between them somehow “partaking of the inhuman”. Of course, it is incredibly difficult to find the balance in a fallen condition — but just like justice and mercy, this is not an incompatibility between the qualities themselves, but an inability specifically by fallen humans to perfectly combine both qualities. The fallen male and female conditions both have their characteristic vices which cause them to overemphasize one or the other aspect of the expression of love. This is where the division of labour between father and mother significantly aids in raising a family.

(3) In general, the differences between the genders in a spiritual or psychological sense seem to be founded as much on a set of characteristic vices, as on characteristic virtues. Since these vices will not obtain in Heaven, Heavenly masculinity and femininity may be significantly different from Earthly masculinity and femininity as we understand them. It is therefore possible that, while there may still be a division into genders in Heaven, the genders will be far less dissimilar, as all of the gender distinctions that obtain on Earth as a result of characteristic vices, will no longer obtain in Heaven.

(4) The Father in Heaven does not seem to have any problem combining fatherhood and motherhood in the particular sense discussed by Adam G.; He will punish a sinner by driving him from all peace of mind and making his works to crumble in his hands, and then, wandering abroad, the sinner is suddenly sent the sight of a flowering tree, or the heady smell of spring, and suddenly knows he is not abandoned. It is the same divinity that sends both signs, and I don’t see how the combination of these signs displays incoherence in the nature of God. (Moreover, the post above discusses how a Mother in Heaven does not appear to influence affairs on the Earth in any visible way.)


Adam G.
June 10, 2014

*(1) Human beings are noticeably differentiated into genders, but are also somewhat more androgynous than this neat model would suggest. In practice, a mother’s affection has its limits, and a father’s sternness cannot be kept up under all circumstances. *

True.

*It is in fact possible to express sternness and affection at once*

Not at the limit. By definition, it is not possible to show the kind of affection that disregards a fault while at the same time not disregarding it. The same person can in measure be both indulgent and not indulgent, but not in the same response to the same act. No one, even God, can say A and not A.

I don’t know what, if anything, this says about the eternities. But I am certain that the complementariness of roles in this life is not solely reducible to mortal incapacity.


Arakawa
June 10, 2014

I suppose these things really are resolved at the limit, which fallen humanity has difficulty approaching even in imagination. (What is a form of affection that is not indulgent?)

Rather than further metaphysical discussion that inevitably goes nowhere (Bruce is right that this sort of argument ends up revolving around conflicting assumptions), the only sensible answer to the ineffable is to postpone discussion until further evidence arises.

With utmost seriousness, I would like to propose a gentleman’s wager to Adam G.; if it turns out the sexes remain distinct and immutable in the eternities, I will get him a beer (or the nearest Heavenly equivalent to one), and Adam G. could get me a beer if the converse turns out to be the case.


Bruce Charlton
June 10, 2014

@Ara – “metaphysical discussion that inevitably goes nowhere”

The reason it does, in the end, go nowhere (especially once we get to talking about the sociology of families) is exactly because it is metaphysical – it comes before evidence.

I was trying to illustrate what was meant by ‘complementarity’ of sexes by a mortal human example – but mortal human observations are (strictly) irrelevant to the metaphysical structure of reality – they are not ‘evidence’.

This is why metaphysical assumptions are primarily a matter of revelation (of one sort or another) – and why metaphysical assumptions are completely unavoidable and intrinsic to all discourse (but, of course, the metaphysical assumptions in use may be inexpressible, or wrongly expressed – and will always be incompletely and distortedly expressed).

The assumption that reality is structured by sex is an assumption, and so is the the idea that sexuality disappears at some higher level of divinity.

What we can do is trace out the consequences of one assumption or the other.

As I have said elsewhere, my feeling is that secular Leftism (driven by Satan) has been probing for weaknesses in traditional mainstream Christianity – by trial and error – and has now located the currently obvious ‘wobbliness’ about marriage and family – because traditions of the primacy of ascetic celibacy, and the Heavenly transcendence of sexuality, are ‘interfering’ with clarity and resolution in mainstream churches.

When the chips are down (as now), mainstream Christian churches can (and do) give way on the abolition of marriage and family, and the erasure of sexuality; because the individual soul is regarded as primary and wholly sufficient – and marriage, family and sexuality are regarded merely as mortal expedients.

The unique strength of Mormonism on these linked issues comes directly from its different metaphysical basis. For Mormonism; marriage, family and sexuality are not optional aspects of earthly mortality – but permanent and core parts of the story of salvation.


Adam G.
June 11, 2014

Arakawa,

there is no doubt in my mind that I am a man forever and my wife is a woman forever. I won’t take your debt because I don’t see that there’s anything to bet about.

Not to mention my girls and my boy. They were born different. All children are violent willful little cusses, but parents will tell you, yours probably would too, that they noticed differences between the boys and the girls at a pretty young age. My daughters as babies were equal opportunity babies. My son wasn’t. He flirted with women, making eyes and cooing and flailing his arms around, while for men he went still and watched them warily. When they got old enough to toddle, all my kids liked Dad to pretend to be a gorilla or a dog chasing after them. When the gorilla scared my daughters too much, they cried. When my son gets too scared, he goes kamikaze. He gets a desperate look on his face and charges at me with his fists going. Death or glory. It’s pretty winsome.

Yes, we’re seeing through the glass darkly. For all that it’s still a glass.


Adam G.
June 11, 2014

**He will punish a sinner by driving him from all peace of mind and making his works to crumble in his hands, and then, wandering abroad, the sinner is suddenly sent the sight of a flowering tree, or the heady smell of spring, and suddenly knows he is not abandoned.**

I do this with my own children. Joseph Smith taught this method as a characteristic of priesthood, i.e., of authority derived from God: “reproving betimes with sharpness and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love.”
In Mormon terms, priesthood is male.
I have noticed that I have a much easier time turning on a dime from punishment to hugs and kisses than my wife does. She is slower to wrath. But she is also slower to let it go. I see the same tendencies generally in the men and the women I know. I don’t know if my observations hold true beyond my circle, and if so how far they extend. I especially don’t know if they extend all the way to the eternities.


Adam G.
June 11, 2014

The most important thing I’ve got out of this discussion is Arakawa’s distinction between love and affection and what I’ve learned from it about indulgence. There’s a common Christian polemic that indulgence isn’t really love or affection. I’ve probably mouthed it before. But the polemic isn’t very convincing. I now see why. Indulgence is a form of love and affection and everybody knows it. It is probably often misapplied love or untimely love, but heck yes its love. You don’t heap up gifts and goods and forgiveness on someone for no reason.


Arakawa
June 11, 2014

All right, the bet is not taking place; that was merely a friendly-but-serious suggestion on my part. Although, if what I am putting into question is a self-evident thing to everyone else, it’s possible that I owe the good gentlemen of the Jr. Ganymede Club a round of beers even without any bet, for wasting everyone’s time.

At least there were interesting points that came up regarding love vs. its various expressions. I also think indulgence is a valid and important expression of love, but most often the easiest one to apply where it is inappropriate — which is where the polemics come from. Sometimes it is the opposite, where indulgence is the necessary response, and it requires great effort to resort to it.

(Another point to compare is Jesus forgiving the adulteress who “loved much”. So, a person’s love may be genuine, but they take the path of least resistance with respect to sexual temptation, just like some people take the path of least resistance with respect to temptations of hard treatment or indulgence.)


Zen
June 11, 2014

Friendly wagers I see nothing wrong with. And the similarity to the Church of the Subgenius amuses me. By way of clarification, they are the only church with a built in guarantee, that if they are wrong and you accidentally go to eternal hell, they will buy you a beer to make up for it.

Bruce, that last post was simply divine. Excellent. Yes, those metaphysical assumptions do matter.

Priesthood is male… yes. Yet we know that such a thing as Priestesshood also exists, even if know almost nothing about it. What would it be like? I would not bother to ask the Ordain Women people. They demonstrate no evidence that they really understand Priesthood as it is.

Regarding Heavenly Mother… How do you know she has not interacted on Earth? If you received a divine blessing, could you definitively say it came from an angel, or the Father or the Mother or the Almighty’s cocker spaniel? I, at least, do not feel the least confidence in being able to distinguish by whom, when or how my blessings come.

And yes, my eldest daughter, even as an infant, was a flirty little girl. How can someone that young flirt, if it is not a memory or behavior learnt elsewhere? The more I learn of the Pre-existence, the less I think it was a simple place, but I KNOW we were distinct personalities, with distinct gender. I could see that in my newborn children.

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