[Edit: Well, it appears Cobalt beat me to the punch while I was typing.]
In the last century or so, if not longer, this notion [of 'the general precept of equality'] has gained increasing importance around the world, and for some people it seems to be of paramount importance.
As this very thread shows, equity is not
a concern which has gained particularly great importance, prominence, or elevation in our collective mind in "modern" times at all. Dictionary.com
says that equity is "the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality: the equity of Solomon
disinterest, equitableness, impartiality, fair-mindedness, fairness, justness, evenhandedness, objectivity; justice, probity. Antonyms:
bias, discrimination, inequity, injustice, partiality, partisanship, prejudice, unfairness, unreasonableness; injustice."
Since it specifically names Solomon, let's start with him: King Solomon spoke his Proverbs so that his hearers would come to know Lady Wisdom and honor their Father and Mother
by keeping their instruction and perceiving the words of understanding: "To receive the Instruction of Wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity
." (Proverbs 1:3) "Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity
; yea, every good path." (Proverbs 2:9)
("Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets!" Proverbs 1:20)
As Ecclesiastes 2:21 says, "for there is a man whose labour is in Wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity
; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil."
In Ezekiel 18, the Lord asks "O house of Israel, are not my ways equal
? are not your ways unequal
? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity
shall not be your ruin."
Isaiah seems pretty concerned with equality, too; "with righteousness shall [Yahweh] judge the poor, and reprove with equity
for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth." (11:4 -- and also 2 Nephi 21:4 and 30:9)
"Our transgressions are multiplied before thee [God], and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities
, we know them; in transgressing and lying against Yahweh, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity
cannot enter." (Isaiah 59:12)
Malachi 2:6 says that "the law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity
was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity
, and did turn many away from iniquity.
Psalms 98:8 says "let the hills be joyful together before Yahweh; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity
." And Psalms 99:4 continues to say that "the king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity
, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob."
"And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity
, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers." (Alma 9:26)
"Yea, well doth he cry, by the voice of his angels that: I will come down among my people, with equity
and justice in my hands." (Alma 10:21)
"And they began again to prosper and to wax great; and the twenty and sixth and seventh years passed away, and there was great order in the land; and they had formed their laws according to equity
and justice." (3 Nephi 6:4)
"Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal
; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." (Colossians 4:)
"Neither can [people of the next world] die any more: for they are equal
unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36)
As members of the Church, we've also Covenanted to uphold certain Doctrines; for instance, we are to "present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity
and justice." (D&C 102:16)
"In your temporal things you shall be equal,
and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld." (D&C 70:14) "For if ye are not equal
in earthly things ye cannot be equal
in obtaining heavenly things." (D&C 78:6)
And as far as our public civic life is concerned: "We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity
and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign." (D&C 134:3)
So yes, correct, it's true that for some
people equality seems to be of paramount importance. "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity
." (Micah 3:9)
"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." (Matthew 20:12)
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal
with God." (John 5:18) As if that wasn't enough, He also asked Mary to "go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." For "Wisdom is justified
of all her children." (Luke 7:35)
"Let this mind be in you
, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:6)
"The saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal
with him." (D&C 88:107) "They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; and he makes them equal
in power, and in might, and in dominion." (D&C 76:94)
This is where the Radical Freedom and Equality of the Book of Abraham
The quote above from Abraham 3 excises with a tragic ellipsis the most vital part of that lesson, which comes in at verse 18: "If there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other
, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal
Utterly mindblowing. Our mere smarts are not the core part of us. The Gospel of Intelligences teaches that despite superficial gender-based biological differences, superficial differences in wisdom, differences in all
worldly things, that the fundamental spark of Intelligence which each individual fundamentally is
and self-existing and therefore no one
, not a single God, can claim that enforced inequities are just.
God is the most intelligent spark of Intelligence, and yet He doesn't use that to enforce "roles"; instead, He wants to bring us all up to inherit
all He has. He was once a man like us, growing from one small degree to another after worlds came rolling into existence, and He uses His greater wisdom to help others evolve into the best versions of themselves that they can be.
"Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity
, and truth. And thus it is. Amen." (Alma 13:9)
As humankind's advocate, Christ's work is to save our world by teaching us to become as Good as He and the Father and the Mother and everyone else in the Divine Council have already done. Then the Kingdom in Heaven and the Kingdom on Earth can blend together and unite and we can take part fully in the At-One-Ment of all Uncreated Intelligences because we will become one-in-heart by upholding the Plan of Salvation, which mission is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all
Uncreated Intelligences in glorified tabernacles, shining bodily temples. God doesn't want to enforce inequities, He wants to abolish them.
As Bushman writes, "the universe is a school for these free, self-existing intelligences. [Joseph Smith taught that] God, finding 'himself in the midst of spirit and glory because he was greater[,] saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself.' God nurtures the intelligences, giving them laws to help them progress to greater capacity. 'God has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences that thay may be exhalted with himself.' He is their teacher, not their maker. Each one is free to choose."
This is not the strict enforcement of some gender-based "role" -- the only "role" humans have is to be saviors of humanity, lest we be as salt that has lost its savor and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden underfoot. When we accept the Gospel, the Plan of Salvation, we commit to being the Saviors of Humanity in whatever way we can -- ie, we all take upon ourselves the name of Christ -- "Anointed One" -- "that every [person] might speak in the name of God the Lord ["Anointed One"], even the Savior of the world." (D&C 1:20)
There are quite enough beautiful biological differences between people to get all the beautiful dialectical symbolism of light and dark, yin and yang, right and left, alchemical marriages, opposition in all things, etc., without inventing rigid "roles" for each other that must be adhered to lest we be thought unnatural
The scriptures we have upheld by common consent do not list a single instance of the word "role". The word simply does not appear, and any "God-given" roles must therefore be inferred, and usually inaccurately. Certainly there are a lot of "roles" one could infer for men from Leviticus that we would be horrified to uphold today. There is no instance of a God-given "woman's place" or a "man's place". Zip. I know men who are "nurturing" and women who are "aggressive." I've never known a single stereotype of gender to be accurate across the board.
The principle of eternal progression means that inequities will be overcome - for instance, we have progressed since the days of Exodus from bartering women like cattle to occasionally treating each other as, y'know, vaguely equal, every now and then, when we're feeling generous. Witness the fact that Utah was among the first to grant women suffrage. It'd be nice if our communal progression wasn't so vehemently opposed from some quarters
Edited by JeremyOrbe-Smith, 27 April 2012 - 04:38 PM.