LDS View of women verses worlds view

If you read the quotes from the prophets about women, their roll, their place, and contrast that with the currant world’s views of the same most woman would choose to be offended  by the words of the prophets.  The 2 view points are polar opposites.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Admittedly, even though I was raised in an active LDS family, I was taught to think of the world’s way as higher, more exalting, more ennobling, freeing.  I went through a transformation a few years ago.  I was re-born.  I finally understood what the scriptures meant when they refer to being “born again”.  In the midst of this re-birth I learned the real, higher, more noble ways of God and my views of woman, wife, motherhood, daughter of God all changed drastically.  Suddenly being a woman was desirable to me, a wife equal to queen, motherhood ennobling, daughter of God actually meant something.

I am left to ask myself, “How does someone go from exalting the worlds ideas of the ideal woman to rising up and viewing woman the way God does?  The 2 view points are so different, it is impossible to experience them simultaneously.  And for the women locked away in the confining views of the world it seems nearly impossible to break free from the chains.  So how?

I’ve referenced Sister Holland’s talk before but will again. It is in the October Ensign 1987.  Here is the link.

http://lds.org/ensign/1987/10/one-thing-needful-becoming-women-of-greater-faith-in-christ?lang=eng

Sister Holland has some great suggestions for coming out of the world and getting in touch with God’s perspective.  She also has written a book, “A Quiet Heart” that I highly recommend.

In addition to her suggestion I’d like to make a few personal ones.  Before I could experience my personal spiritual re-birth I had to first “come out from among her”.  For me this meant moving from Utah to Alaska.  I needed to distance myself from my parents and siblings.

I had to quit “working”  or rather running my own business (this I did 2 years before we moved to Alaska).  I needed to be a full time mother and stop trying to split my time between the world and home.

We chose to homeschool our children which helped to insulate us from the world and their ideas.

I pulled up all my stakes in Babylon and went home.  I changed the way I dressed, I stopped wearing makeup, and I immersed myself in the gospel, in the words of the prophets.  My husband, Jeremy, and I went through this side by side.  We usually studied together.  He read to me as I prepared meals and did dishes or vise versa.  The children were apart of our discussions as much as they could be, but they were young and usually involved in their own studies and activities.

A great help to me was reading a talk by Elder F. Enzio Busche titled Truth is the Issue. Here is a link.

http://lds.org/ensign/1993/11/truth-is-the-issue?lang=eng

“The issue is truth, my dear brothers and sisters, and the only way to find truth is through uncompromising self-education toward self-honesty to see the original “real me,” the child of God, in its innocence and potential in contrast to the influence from the other part of me, “the flesh,” with its selfish desires and foolishness. Only in that state of pure honesty are we able to see truth in its complete dimension. Honesty may not be everything, but everything is nothing without honesty. In its final state, honesty is a gift of the Spirit through which the true disciples of Christ feel the force to bear testimony of the truth in such a powerful way that it penetrates the very core of our existence….

“One of the great tragedies we see in our lives is that the adversary, through the influences of our “flesh,” can cheat us into establishing images of truth or perceptions of truth. Our brain, the great computer where all the facts of life’s memories are held together, can also be programmed by the “flesh,” with its self-centered ideas to deceive the spiritual self. Without the constant striving through prayer and contemplation to reach the ends of self-awareness and honesty, our so-called intellect can, therefore, based on look-alike truths, play many games of reason, to impress, to get gain, to intimidate, or even to manipulate truth with the vain results of deceit.”

I had never been honest with myself.  I had convinced myself to believe the “look-alike truths.”  I was abused as a child in my home by family members and I had never told anyone the truth about it.  After 8 years of marriage and after spending 2 of those years together all the time studying the gospel the spirit worked upon me and finally convinced me that I needed to tell Jeremy the truth.  It was hard to tell him, but his immediate response was so supportive he said, “That explains a lot.”  He immediately got on line and began to show me what had happened and why I had responded the way I did to the abuse and to life since.  He was able to walk me through the mechanisms I’d created and talk me through the why’s and hows.  I wasn’t able to understand it all immediately, it took time but Jeremy was there to help me through it.

As I began to shed the old view points and the clouded perspectives I began to walk into this beautiful place.  Even though life was still a struggle I began to experience real joy for the first time and the joy never left me.

Elder F. Enzio Busche stated: “The adversary’s greatest power is to give us fear, to tell us that what the Lord requires will be too uncomfortable, too impossible to do. But as we obey, the Lord will fill us with love and inexpressible joy. Until we subdue ourselves to the Lord, we can only experience frustration and pain. When we do subdue ourselves to his will, we are filled with peace and dignity in all circumstances, no matter how challenging. This, to me, is the greatest victory we can achieve.”

He also said, “Many members of the Church are starving spiritually. We must feed the spiritual part of our being by learning to distinguish and search for the Spirit in all matters of our daily lives. Life is not meant to be easy, but when we are filled with the Spirit that Heavenly Father gives us when we live according to our covenants, we will be full of joy no matter what happens. We will have happy marriages, good relationships between parents and children, and an ability to live with peace and dignity.”

My family moved into a tent on our remote property for a summer after I had gone through my re-birth.  We spent the summer living completely out of the world.  We were amongst the animals, we were apart of nature and felt close to the angels.  After this experience I felt like I had woken up in a new world, I was a completely different person and I was never going back.

I think my journey may have been more dramatic than needs to take place for others, but everything I went through was worth it.  During the three years of intense study I came to know the character of God.  I came to trust Him.  As I came to know Him I was able to begin to truly fashion my own character after His.  I now understand how divine a righteous woman is and how ennobling her inherent calling (Motherhood) and characteristics (nurturing and femininity) are.

One of the quotes that caught my attention many years ago and helped me through my transition was one by President David O. McKay.

“To make home the most pleasant place in the world for her husband and children was her (his mother) constant aim, which she achieved naturally and supremely. Though unselfishly devoted to her family, she tactfully taught each one to reciprocate in little acts of service. . . .”  This quote he said when speaking of his mother but in “Secrets of a Happy Life” he said this is how a woman would go about achieving really happiness in this life.  (See what I mean about women being offended by the prophets words?)

He also said, “… The most worthy calling in life is that in which man can serve best his fellow man. … The noblest aim in life is to strive to live to make other lives better and happier.” So often when people hear “service” they think of going outside themself, going outside the home, VT or Home Teaching or the food bank etc.  But, the greatest service is rot within the home.

President David O. McKay also stated, “The noblest calling in the world is motherhood. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece, or who can write a book that will influence millions, deserve the plaudits and admiration of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose immortal souls will exert influence throughout the ages long after paintings shall have faded, and books and statues shall have decayed or been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God.”

I know this is not popular doctrine in the world today.  But, he is right.  If we want to be happy, if we want to truly emulate the Savior then we will come to understand serving those around us, especially our family members.  We must learn to truly make being a wife and a mother our aim, that is how we ennoble ourselves.  That is how we rise up and exalt ourselves.  Of course to do that we must be educated, we must develop our talents we must learn to be tender and kind and feminine.  This is how we exalt ourselves.

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