Friday, April 16, 2010

LDS patriarchy outside the Temple

Posted By on April 16, 2010, 9:11 AM

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There are two online conversations developing, right now, about how much impact official patriarchy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has on the LDS culture outside official church structures.--- As we all know, women are allowed leadership roles in the LDS Church--as general president of Relief Society, for example--but they're totally locked out of the tip-top power-centers, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12, as well as many local positions, where they are always relegated to "the Bishop's wife" rather than the Bishop herself.

How much does this official sexism inside the LDS Church effect women outside of church, for example, in Utah politics, particularly conservative politics? Blogger Holly Richardson didn't mention church sexism when referring to Utah political sexism, but check the comments, because someone else did.

How does this official sexism inside the LDS Church effect girls, whose Girl Scout troops some say are less integrated into church life than Boy Scouts? Again, blogger Stephen Dark didn't theorize on this question directly, but a commenter took the conversation in that direction.

When I see a topic being discussed on two forums simultaneously, my bosom burns a little. Did I get that idiom correct? Eh, I didn't think so.

And what would a conversation about LDS patriarchy be without a quick reference to where it all started, my favorite Doctrine and Covenant, section 132, in which "God," through the pen of Joseph Smith, commands Joseph's first wife, Emma, to accept Joseph's new/plural brides and says directly to her, "And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord." (D&C 132:54) (emphasis mine).

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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