Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

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Just This Guy
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Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Just This Guy » Tue May 12, 2020 5:31 am

The Horrifying Initiatory Story thread got me thinking. I figured it would be better to start a new thread to think this one through.

In my experience, men tend to be very unnerved and shocked by initiatory. Having a strange old man get too close to comfort is usually a big part of it. However, women tend to enjoy it. I know several women who prefer Initiatory to other temple ceremonies.

My DW found it empowering. It is women who are the holders of the priesthood there and are the ones performing the ordinance and pronouncing the blessings. This is in sharp contrast to the endowment where women commonly feel highly uncomfortable because they are little more than being placed into servitude to their husband. Men tend to not mind the endowment as much. they just think it is boring. Of course, they are also not being sworn to obey another human. It doesn't have as much of an impact when you are on the other side of that coin. So I can see how women who are 2nd class in so much of the church can latch on to the little power that they are given in initiatory.

Am I on the right track to understanding, or am I way off track?

Please note that I am trying to deconstruct the differences in perspective. If some women want to correct my thinking, please do so. I mean no disrespect in my assumptions and generalizations here. Please do not take any offense.
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Not Buying It
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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Not Buying It » Tue May 12, 2020 6:05 am

I will be interested in what women will have to say on this thread. It never occurred to me that the initiatory is the one place where women get to exercise "priesthood-like" authority.

Tell you what, though, it is one hell of a messed up religion we all belong(ed) to. Its like a fish not noticing water, it all seems so normal until you take a step back with a fresh perspective and realize how many, many messed up things there are about it. Sometimes I am dumbfounded that I just accepted all of this stuff. Never again.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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alas
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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by alas » Tue May 12, 2020 7:48 am

I personally have never talked to another woman who *liked* initiatory. I have talked to men who THINK women should love it, but never a woman who liked it. They didn’t hate it as much as the rest of the temple, but that stopped short of liking it. Compared to the rest of the temple it is less sexist, because men are not there, but women are made queens unto their husbands and priestesses unto their husbands. So, we are told that when our husband is a god, we will hold his priesthood. When our husband is a god, we will be his queen, not a goddess, but nearly married to a king. Sort of like Prince Phillip of England is married to the queen. He is NOT the king, just the spouse of the one who rules, and toss in eternal polygamy and we are just part of a harem of queens. So, no I didn’t like it. I hated it, but then I got to the rest and the whole temple package fit together in to one sexist glob that told me God didn’t love me at all, just my husband. I was not God’s daughter, just the spouse of his son, and the temple made it VERY clear that God wanted nothing to do with me.

Way way different than the men holding the priesthood of the most high God and becoming gods to rule and reign over us. And if you even noticed that women were using priesthood after being told you were an appendage to your husband, it was lost in the realization that you were nothing to God but part of his son’s harem.

I have had men tell me that I should love the initiatory because women are not told all the blessing are conditional on righteousness like the men are told. But when you examine what that means, it loses all promise. No, my entrance into the CK is not conditional on my righteousness as judged by God, but as judged by my husband who is my lord. He has to want me enough to call my secret name. If he doesn’t want me, then I am screwed. No matter how righteous I am, if he doesn’t want me, I don’t go to the CK. Wonderful. I should be so thrilled that God doesn’t give a crap about me and the only thing that matters is if my husband wants me in his harem.

As too the being naked under a sheet, yes, I was nervous, but not panicked. I guess women are not as nervous about being molested by a little old grandma, as men are nervous about being molested by a dirty old man. See, you know that assumption is there, that an old woman is harmless and an old man isn’t. And statistically that is warranted. 95% of sexual offenders are male and are almost as likely to molest a male as a female.

On the feminist blogs there are lots of old threads where women talk about their reaction to the temple, and some of the women in those discussions said they like the initiatory enough to try to use it to “adjust” to the parts they didn’t like. Some liked that women use priesthood and see it as evidence that women will be given the priesthood of God, rather than just the priesthood of their god husband. But I saw that as them telling themselves a fib, because that is NOT what they are promised. I think Oaks is correct when he says that women use delegated priesthood, so they are using the priesthood of the temple president, not their own.

In all the discussions on the feminist blogs, I found a lot of women telling themselves things to make it all less insulting, but when you really listen to the wording, and know that softening the words from obey to harken doesn’t change the intent, when other words say you are a queen unto your husband. The men are never told they are a king unto their husband, but are a king in their own right. And women would say that their husband is standing proxy for God at the veil, but that isn’t true. When they do an endowment for the dead, the temple worker stands proxy for her husband, not God. The husband is to be her God. You get a better feel of that when you get your endowment on the same day you are sealed and realize that your husband is your lord. God is not Lord for the woman, but the husband. Women tell themselves all kinds of stuff to make it less bad, so I really listened and the actual wording of the temple was that women are to obey their husbands “in the same way” that the husband obeys God. Not “if” the husband obeys God, “as” the husband obeys God.

The endowment was written FOR polygamy and you have to look at it with that in mind. Equality between spouses does not exist with polygamy. It cannot. It is inherently unequal. The man owns the women as chattel. That is the idea built into the endowment, starting in the initiatory. You can’t miss it, unless you purposely want to not see it. So, if you like being told you are nothing to God but a piece of property that belongs to his son, go ahead and like the initiatory. It starts there and gets worse as you go.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Not Buying It » Tue May 12, 2020 9:21 am

I really appreciate your response, alas, I guess I was mostly ignorant regarding what women experience in the initiatory.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by acmeist » Tue May 12, 2020 11:51 am

I am female, and I did the initiatory in 2000. The whole temple experience that day was not good for me. When I walked down the hall and saw people in full on temple garb coming from a session, I had an instinct that they looked like they were in a cult and I wanted to leave and not go through with it many times that day.

I didn’t love the naked under a poncho initiatory. Hated being touched just because I am not a touching kind of person. But, it wasn’t my worst memory from that day. I remember the veil being more traumatic and oppressive to be honest. I have probably only done the endowment 6 or so times in 12 years of being endowed before I left, and I always felt constrained and so hot especially in the prayer circle. I am getting lots of bad memories now, so I will stop. Could probably write lots more about how I hated the temple.

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by alas » Tue May 12, 2020 12:35 pm

I guess it important to say when I first went through as that is relevant. I went through in 1971, so full business with the penalties, the word obey in the promise to obey my husband, the preacher in a Roman collar who was portrayed as working for Satan. SSSOOOOO much was a problem, from the sexism, to a God who needs secret pass words to recognize his own children, to the penalties and miming slitting our throats, gutting ourselves, and the like, to the creepy prayer circle and veil, to mocking another religion, to it all being more like the Gadianton robbers than anything else I could think of, talk about your “secret combinations where you swear in forfeit of your life never to tell, to my husband being my lord and taking me through the veil, to the marriage itself that felt like an assembly line and giving myself to another person. It was all horrible and if I wasn’t getting married right then, I would have run screaming. It was not like getting married should be at all, but was .....evil.

Problems like “uncomfortable naked under a poncho” practically disappeared under “uncomfortable pretending to slit my throat.”

In 1991, I had a friend, who is British, a convert, and black. It is important here that she was black, but not American, cause the racial discrimination was different in Great Britain. So weird having a black person talk like Ringo Star in such strong Cockney. She told me that when she agreed to be baptized in 1972, the (white, American ) missionary promised her that the temple restriction and priesthood ban for black men would change. She agreed to give the promise 10 years. She saw that promise kept and went through the temple as soon as they would let her as a single woman. She basically told me, who even then was 3/4th apostate that I owed it to myself to see if the 1990 changes in the temple were enough for me. She wanted me to do the live session in the SLC temple, because that was closer to my original experience in 1971. So, I talked to my bishop and he said honestly that some of the problems were “lessened,” but that he would go with me and agreed that I should see for myself. So, I saw that set of changes where the penalties were removed, the mocking of another religion was removed, the obey was softened to harken.

I have not been back to see the latest changes because it just doesn’t matter how much make up you put on a pig, it is still not beautiful.

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by MoPag » Tue May 12, 2020 8:41 pm

I like the initiatory way better than the endowment. I was post naked touching. At the time I knew enough abut church history to know that women used to give blessings and so I was really focused on all the women blessing me. I really liked that part. Now I see it all for what it is. But at the time, I liked it.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by moksha » Wed May 13, 2020 3:33 am

alas wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:35 pm
... it just doesn’t matter how much make up you put on a pig, it is still not beautiful.
I would have thought that seen through the eyes of Kermit, beauty could be found.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by hmb » Wed May 13, 2020 5:37 am

Just This Guy wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 5:31 am
The Horrifying Initiatory Story thread got me thinking. I figured it would be better to start a new thread to think this one through.

In my experience, men tend to be very unnerved and shocked by initiatory. Having a strange old man get too close to comfort is usually a big part of it. However, women tend to enjoy it. I know several women who prefer Initiatory to other temple ceremonies.

My DW found it empowering. It is women who are the holders of the priesthood there and are the ones performing the ordinance and pronouncing the blessings. This is in sharp contrast to the endowment where women commonly feel highly uncomfortable because they are little more than being placed into servitude to their husband. Men tend to not mind the endowment as much. they just think it is boring. Of course, they are also not being sworn to obey another human. It doesn't have as much of an impact when you are on the other side of that coin. So I can see how women who are 2nd class in so much of the church can latch on to the little power that they are given in initiatory.

Am I on the right track to understanding, or am I way off track?

Please note that I am trying to deconstruct the differences in perspective. If some women want to correct my thinking, please do so. I mean no disrespect in my assumptions and generalizations here. Please do not take any offense.
I didn't like it, but didn't feel threatened by it. It didn't feel abusive, just really weird. I never thought of how much weirder it would be for a man to be touched by a man. Even if the process were honest, it would be overall weirder.

I felt more put out by the fact that the man gets to know his wife's new name but she didn't get to know his. Also the veiling of the face bugged me. I had to "shelf" those sorts of things. I did not feel any empowerment from the initiatory. The idea that a woman performed PH stuff is dumb, and in my mind I called BS. She is still under the power of men. Like a RS president making a decision is always under the bishop, which is always a man. Whatever the leadership is, men have all the final say, whether honorable or not. I just had to be patient and wait to understand it all in the next life :roll: .

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Wonderment » Wed May 13, 2020 6:29 pm

Alas wrote:
You get a better feel of that when you get your endowment on the same day you are sealed and realize that your husband is your lord. God is not Lord for the woman, but the husband. Women tell themselves all kinds of stuff to make it less bad, so I really listened and the actual wording of the temple was that women are to obey their husbands “in the same way” that the husband obeys God. Not “if” the husband obeys God, “as” the husband obeys God.

The endowment was written FOR polygamy and you have to look at it with that in mind. Equality between spouses does not exist with polygamy. It cannot. It is inherently unequal. The man owns the women as chattel. That is the idea built into the endowment, starting in the initiatory. You can’t miss it, unless you purposely want to not see it. So, if you like being told you are nothing to God but a piece of property that belongs to his son, go ahead and like the initiatory. It starts there and gets worse as you go.
Exactly right. The woman is at the very bottom of the hierarchy. -Wndr.

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by alas » Sat May 16, 2020 7:13 am

moksha wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:33 am
alas wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:35 pm
... it just doesn’t matter how much make up you put on a pig, it is still not beautiful.
I would have thought that seen through the eyes of Kermit, beauty could be found.
But she wears a wig too. So it doesn’t matter if you only put make up on the pig. But when you have a wig and people clothing, as well as the make up and earrings, that’s different. Uhhhhh, to a frog. Who has a strange sexual orientation. He isn’t gay, straight or bi. So what is the word for cross species....if there is a word I really don’t wanna know.

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Random » Wed May 20, 2020 4:05 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 5:31 am
Am I on the right track to understanding, or am I way off track?
Sounds about right to me.

No subservience in the initiatory. Just women with no man overseeing anything. And, to me, women naked around women isn't that big of a deal (I was sure, when I first went through, that it would be a man doing the ordinance; priesthood and all that. It was a relief that there were women there - and nice women, to boot).

Whereas having to obey a man and having him stand between you and God is demeaning and gives mean men an excuse to be mean and claim it is their right. ("You're not keeping the covenants you made in the temple.") Then there was the mimicking of killing yourself and, later, the man on the other side of the veil (which I didn't like, but got used to because, after all, the whole Church was men-centric and I didn't know any better).

But I liked the movie, especially the scenery shots.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Random » Wed May 20, 2020 4:07 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:05 am
ts like a fish not noticing water, it all seems so normal until you take a step back with a fresh perspective and realize how many, many messed up things there are about it. Sometimes I am dumbfounded that I just accepted all of this stuff. Never again.
Yep. Totally normal. Unquestioned. But now that I've been doing what I want for a few years, the organization looks worse and worse. The lack of freedom to act and think and speak is incredible! People accept (and even lick up) things there that they would fight hard against in government or in society.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Random » Wed May 20, 2020 4:18 pm

hmb wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 5:37 am
I felt more put out by the fact that the man gets to know his wife's new name but she didn't get to know his. Also the veiling of the face bugged me.
I didn't like having to share my new name but not knowing his, but I wasn't allowed to not like it (in my own mind), because women were second class citizens and I had to accept it. Now, mind you, I didn't see it that way on an outward level, but I've known my whole life that women weren't as good or as important as men. It's one of those things you know, but don't let yourself see that anything is wrong with it. (This was the society I grew up in. Late 1950s to 1970s.)

The veiling of the face never bothered me because brides veil their faces all the time - or at least they always did in the 1980s, as far as I knew. It wasn't a Mormon thing; it wasn't even a Christian thing because nonChristian women also had veiled faces (some every time they were in public, not just during religious ceremonies).
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Re: Temple Initiatory: Men vs. Women.

Post by Thoughtful » Thu May 21, 2020 7:28 pm

Going through in 2000, it was just awkward and weird.

My endowment made me panicky though.

I agree with everything Alas said about the symbolism of God's daughter in law, but I didn't see that right away.

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