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Everything posted by Maidservant

  1. We are at the point of view of history and religious thought thousands of years from when passages were initially thought, believed, and preserved. What we know or think we know about the Garden of Eden story is a mix and match and full of add-ons (warranted and unwarranted, who am I to say) beyond what is there. For example, if you take the OT story as we have it in King James Genesis, Satan is NOT there. The serpent is there. To say that the serpent is Satan is an add-on. (Again--warranted? unwarranted? I think a NT add-on.) Also the idea that Satan is the lord of evil is not a Hebrew idea, but a Greek-informed one, when we started mashing Hades (lord of the underworld) and essentiality of evil (see Greek thinker Plotinus and others--later Greek philosophy that coincided with the establishment and cultivation of Christianity was convinced of absolute essences like evil and good) in with old testament stories. For ancient Hebrews, Satan, or the Accuser, is a servant of God. He is always doing God's work. And to say Accuser is not so much a tempter (again--that is later Christianity) but the one who administers the test. That's like calling the LSAT proctor the devil incarnate. (Oh, wait.) The LSAT is the test, yes, but the test to greater gifts and a gate to another world. Metaphor earth life/eternal life. To come to earth to receive challenges and the treasure from them IS God's work and Satan actually embodies that great work, so that work is very sacred. To say 'opposition' is not to say 'evil'. These are different things. I am not advancing these things as LDS but I think this is what the original OT is going for when Satan is brought up. Later writings (Christianity and then Joseph Smith's movement) continued to engage with the material and ended up in a different place. So as you will.
  2. I love this interpretation. But I do think there are many things to be found in the symbolism of the sacrament. The one I see the most is that "partaking of the bread" is coming to earth. One carries their kingdom with them. What you have prepared your body to be is true at whatever point you arrive there. We were once taught, for example, that our homes could be heaven. These "levels" are not places as much as they are US . . . or not. Just because one played a basketball game and got a final score doesn't mean that one never plays another basketball ever again. And this scripture is less about destiny and more about the correlation between what you choose becomes who you are . . . a repeat of what I said above. ====================================== And to the main question . . . We are now in the process of progressing from one 'kingdom' to another as is made plain in the temple and in the gospel entire; and are being ministered to by those from higher realms. So . . . yes?
  3. Not in the case of my younger brother circa the 1980s. He was born after one of his natural parents was excommunicated, even though his other natural parent was continuing to keep their covenants. And they both had been sealed in the temple earlier and had three children in the covenant before the excommunication.
  4. Tithing settlement has to be one of my favorite meetings. I rarely attend Sunday services anymore, but I joyfully went to my tithing settlement. I looked forward to the bishop praying over me especially that the windows of heaven would open for me. That prayer is, for me, the main reason for the tithing settlement. and P.S. I will likely never be in a temple recommend interview again. That is more Melchizedek priesthood territory. Tithing settlement is more Aaronic priesthood and related to my baptismal, but not my temple, covenants.
  5. I haven't read the entire thread, so sorry if this is a repeat or has been hashed. But it caught my attention because I am in the middle of reading Fiona and Terryl Givens' book All Things New: Rethinking Sin, Salvation, and Everything in Between and they suggest that the scriptural meaning (New Testament) of natural man was not about how we were born nor our base nature but how we find ourselves in the world--the paradigms we are born to and which have bound us away from God.
  6. Our living is also the fruit. If we live according to integrity, our blessing IS integrity. If we live according to love, our blessing IS love. If we live serving our family, our blessing IS our family. If we choose to cultivate a firm mind that sees what is good and God, we will be surrounded by good and God. Blessings are not meted out by someone outside of ourselves. We are given the principles and invited to participate in our own planting and our own harvest. The love and the blessings are always there--always accessible by our own recognition and preparation.
  7. Thank you, my dear. Yes, I make it round here occasionally :). Good to see you.
  8. That woman is my mother and myself. It's not someone other than myself. It's not about the assessment of that woman. It's that there is betrayal in it according to my experience and my current assessment of my own experience and of my mothers'. P.S. I doubt my mother would agree with my assessment, being much more traditionally faithful. But I hate seeing how she has ended up after giving her faith. Although she is a naturally positive person, so again, I don't think she would agree with how I see her circumstance. And she really did want to be a stay at home mom. For that matter, so did the girl I used to be. Because as near as I can tell she and I (who both wanted to do that) have had the bottom drop out of the order of our lives because an element of that paradigm is being taken care of by a man, by God. And my mom doesn't have that and lives in poverty and instability as a single woman at the end of her life. She had to back to school in her 40s and 50s to survive the newer paradigm. She had to learn to stand up for herself and learn that priesthood doesn't mean doing everything your husband tells you. That the tradeoff of being home means that another human being (a man) determines how much income you live on and that if he decides not to, she has no other dignity than to find another man or just live like that. And you might have to stick around even if he has no respect for you (like how he talks to you) because chances are not that you will find another man, so it's better to obey the format and raise the kids and die inside, because at least you get the obedience points. It's not only about the children and a parent being home. It had so many other things twisted up in it, like decision making based on who makes the money. So much. It was never just about parenting, it was about the sovereignty of the woman. And I think you can separate those out as we have done better in these days--a woman choosing to parent from a home base without abrogating her sovereignty. I had to learn that I am whole without having the God-loves-the-traditional-nuclear-family white-Mormon-picket fence paradigm which was shattered away from my life. I am barely in my 50s now pulling myself up out of poverty. I think I'll make it. But, gee, I wanted to get right on having babies and being an at home mom, that obedient, age 19, that I didn't even get a college degree when I was young. I went back when I had five kids. So I had to do both anyway. Actually, I wouldn't have been able to without my mother living with me at the time. I love my children. But I am deeply saddened that they had to come to a home that was more concerned about obedience to checked off boxes (mine, in my 19 year old head) than to the home of a man and woman truly prepared to provide financially, spiritually, emotionally, which might have been the case with more time, more education, more mutual decision making regardless of gender, deeper questions and ponderings and practice about how to choose a partner, a coparent, and create a family than just a set of external criteria. Yes, I was foolish and naive as all young people are. I would say this is not about taking the word of a prophet but of taking the word of anyone other than myself (and partner) for what needs to happen in my life and in my family's life. I apologize for sounding a little intense. It is very triggering for me on a personal basis. I spent years of mental, spiritual, does-God-love-me, what-does-it-really-mean-to-follow-Christ energy on this as my own life changed and progressed. It's very very real and not some academic gospel. I watch my sons and my daughters. I also don't think most of them are ready to be parents. I think a couple never will be. They are whole as they are (barring the journey we all have to more wholeness). They will contribute the gifts they do have to their friends, their world around them.
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