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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 1:57PM #1
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
Elsewhere on the thread, "Respectful Question",  "Tameless Heart"  posted the following quetstions on Heavenly Mother; i thought it would be best to addfress these quetions in a thread devoted to and named with that topic, so those interested in the topic could find it --


Quote:
Originally Posted by tameless_heart 
A friend of mine is an LDS member. He mentioned something to me about God's wife. I asked why they do not mention her at all. He said that his Elders told him that it was because God did not want her name tarnished as his had. Who is God's wife? What is her "purpose" so to speak? Why don't they talk much about her if family is very important? Just curiosity, please don't take this offensively. Thanks for you help guys. ^_^
[/quote]



Here was my reply:

GAIA:

Hi There and Welcome, Tameless heart!

Yes, LDS certainly do have a doctrine about the existence of a Goddess - Heavenly Mother -- but you may be surprised to hear that so did Early Christianity, and Judaism, as well as many other religions --

If you don't mind, i would like to move this thread to one that would have the title of "Heavenly Mother", since there are many who ask questions and have a keen interest in this doctrine -- But the title of this thread won't notify them of its actual topic, which i think they will regret missing *smile* --

So, Please join me in that thread, where i will answer your questions and provide more information, quotes, resources and references, and links to more information -- for you --
http://community.beliefnet.com/forum...ewthread&f=173

Blessings --
~Gaia


Hi there, Tameless Heart - What a great ID btw *smile* --

OK, let me first address the issue of the Goddess in LDS history and doctrine, then in OTHER religions, such as Judaism -- I realize this is a LOT Of material, and in fact, you may not be interested in so much of it -  But since this is the first real opportunity to address the issue as such in the new B'Net site, i thought it might be appropriate to do so, thoroughly --
This section will help address the question of "Who is She" in some real depth -- but i could understand if you don't want quite this much depth *g* - so  feel free to pass on by and go to the next page, where i will (try to!)  address your (other) questions, ok? *smile*


I.  THE GODDESS/ HEAVENLY MOTHER IN LDS CHURCH HISTORY: 

1.  Yes, LDS do have such a doctrine about the existence of Heavenly Mother -- not Mary, you understand, but a full-fledged, Mother Goddess who is the equal in power, authority, glory and such, of Heavenly Father --
After all, as Joseph Smth (the founder of Mormonism) said, "Where was there ever a Father, without a Mother?"

In fact, Joseph Smith and three of his companions,  had a (simultaneous) Vision of Her:

The Mother was revealed as a personage of the Godhead in 19 April 1834, when Joseph Smith and others simultaneously shared a vision, in which [ub] they together beheld the Father, the   Mother , and the Son. [/b]

This vision was given while Joseph Smith was travelling from Kirtland to New Portage, Ohio, with Zebedee Coltrin and either Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery (or possibly both).

Though not reported in the _History of the Church_ (2:50), where mention was made of the New Portage trip, Zebedee Coltrin gave several accounts of this vision later in his life, one of which was recorded under the
date 3 October 1883 in the Salt Lake School of the Prophets minutes:

"Once after returning from a mission, he [Coltrin] met Bro. Joseph in
Kirtland, who asked him if he did not wish to go with him to a
conference at New Portage. The party consisted of Prests.

Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdry [sic] and myself [Coltrin].
Next morning at New Portage, he [Coltrin] noticed that Joseph seemed to
have a far off look in his eyes, or was looking at a distance, and
presently he, Joseph, stepped between Brothers Cowdry [sic], and Coltrin
and taking them by the arm, said, "lets take a walk." They went to a
place where there was beautiful grass, and grapevines and swampbeech
interlaced. President Joseph Smith than [sic] said, "Let us pray." They
all three prayed in turn-- Joseph, Oliver, and Zebedee.

Brother Joseph than [sic] said, "now brethren [sic] we will see some
visions." Joseph lay down on the ground on his back and stretched out
his arms and the two brethren lay on them. The heavens gradually opened,
and they saw a golden throne, on a circular foundation, something like a
light house, and on the throne were two aged personages, having white
hair, and clothed in white garments. They were the two most beautiful
and perfect specimens of mankind he ever saw. Joseph said, They are our
first parents, Adam and Eve. Adam was a large broadshouldered man, and
Eve as a woman, was large in proportion."
[note 24]


Another version of this vision was recorded by Abraham H. Cannon in his
journal under the date 25 August 1890:

"Pres. Petersen told of an incident which he had often heard Zebedee
Coltrin relate. One day the Prophet Joseph Smith asked him [Zebedee
Coltrin] and Sidney Rigdon to accompany him into the woods to pray. When
they had reached a secluded spot Joseph laid down on his back and
stretched out his arms. He told the brethren to lie one on each arm and
then shut their eyes.

After they had prayed he told them to open their eyes. They did so and
they saw a brilliant light surrounding a pedestal which seemed to rest
on the ground. They closed their eyes and again prayed. They then saw,
on opening them, the Father seated upon a throne; they prayed again and
on looking saw the Mother also; after praying and looking the fourth
time they saw the Savior added to the group. He had auburn brown, rather
long, wavy hair and appeared quite young."

[note 25]

This may be the first recorded vision of the Heavenly Mother in
Mormonism. In the first account she is identified as "Eve". In the
second account she is identified as "the Mother" and is given status
with the "Father" and the "Son." This vision raises some theological
questions about the nature and number of the Godhead which are beyond
the scope of this essay, but the point here is that the Mother is
mentioned in conjunction and on an equal footing with the Father and the
Son. [note 26]

- Toscano, Margaret Merrill. "Put on your strength O daughters of Zion: Claiming priesthood and knowing the Mother." In Maxine Hanks (ed.),
_Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism_ (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), 411-437 (this excerpt 431-432).



Notes:

24. Located in archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ  of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

25. Located in Archives and Manuscripts, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

26. See Margaret Merrill Toscano and Paul James Toscano, _Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology_ (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990), 60-70.


B.  Joseph Smith's Assurance Women About Heavenly Mother:

Joseph Smith also assured a woman (Prescendia Kimball)  who was  mourning the death of her mortal mother, that she would see that mother again --
"And not only that, but you will also see your Heavenly Mother" he told her. 
"And have i then a Heavenly Mother?"  She pressed --
Joseph assured her that indeed she -- and all of us -- do.


3.  The Hymn:  "O My Father":

Many LDS historians believe that It was most likely this exchange that prompted Eliza R Snow Smith (on of Joseph's plural wives) to write the beloved LDS hymn, "O My Father", whose last verse says:

"In the heavens are parents single?
No, the thought makes Reason stare;
Truth is Reason, Truth Eternal,
Tells me I've a Mother there.

When i leave this frail existence,
When i lay this mortal by -
FAther, Mother, may i greet you
In Your royal courts on high?"

(Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, 1985], no 292 .)



II.  OTHER RELIGIONS & THE GODDESS: 

A.  The Hebrew Goddess(es):


The LDS Church is definitely NOT,  and by no means,  the only Church to postulate a Divine Feminine; in fact, She was known and worshipped in  both Judaism and early Christianity.

THE HEBREW GODDESSES:

Many "mainstream" or conservative Christians object to the LDS concept of a Heavenly Mother, claiming that there is no such thing in Christianity or the Bible;

HOWEVER, the truth is that both Jews and early Christians worshipped the Divine Feminine ; and there is a great deal of information about that -- which might help us begin any exploration/ discussion on the LDS
Heavenly Mother -- if they knew where to look and were serious about wanting to know.

There are of course, many reasons why they might *not* be so serious....More on that later.


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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 2:49PM #2
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
OK,  let's address who the Goddess is, according to the BIBLE --

First, here's a statement from a friend:

Re: BIBLICAL REFERENCES:

References to Heavenly Mother are replete throughout the Old
Testament. For a scholarly approach I suggest Raphael Patai's
book "The Hebrew Goddess." For a more mystical approach I
suggest studying the Jewish Commentary on the Tanach called
the Sefer ha Zohar. Reading the first ~50 pages of this text will
completely remove any misconception that references to
Heavenly Mother are sparse within the scriptures. In fact
references to HM are so profuse throughout the scriptures
that it would amaze you.

A.  Let's look at just a few of those references:

Genesis 1:26-27.

  ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: ....
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he
him; male and female created he   them .


As another friend said:

".... as Leloup mentions, "let us make man in our image . . . male and female"
means that the image of God as includes the Divine Feminine. What do you
think Eve is a reflection of?  "God's image cannot be one or the other, alone."



A wonderful article on the Goddess HIDDEN in the scriptures, is: [i] ELOAH: THE GODDESS HIDDEN WITHIN THE SCRIPTURES 
  by David Bruce Clark, which may be found here:
http://www.lionofgod.com/view_article.php?id=20


".... the Goddess has been ever-present within the pages of the Bible.
The Goddess to whom a growing number of individuals feel drawn is
included in the Hebrew Scriptures. Her presence is one of the many
mysteries of the ancient Israelite texts.

For a combination of reasons, scholars and theologians have masked
profound truths about Elohim, the God of Israel. The existence the
Divine Feminine has been deliberately obscured by mainstream religion
for a multitude of centuries.

In the original Hebrew of the Bible there is one word, Eloah, which
literally means "Goddess". Eloah is the feminine form of God. Other
words describing God are also distinctly female.

...translators have almost universally chosen to suppress this,
being unwilling to use the feminine word "Goddess".
... This has resulted in most Christians and Jews holding to the view that
God is exclusively male.

The Goddess is an enigma, a mystery, and a marvelous work and a wonder.

As I learn more Hebrew, and as I practice gematria further, I find ever
more deepening and delicious views of Her. She is the "Almah" - the
Hidden one, though right in plain sight in our scriptures. It just
depends on which language you read. Do you read the English translation
which loses her, or rather hides her from us, or the Hebrew/Greek/Gematria
angles where she has been all along, and which we find her in full glory?
I personally prefer the earlier Hebrew, and/or Greek of the Old Testament Septuagint."


For more of this article, please see:
Eloah: The Hidden Goddess of Israel by David Bruce Clark --
http://www.lionofgod.com/view_article.php?id=20


2.   OTHER HEBREW GODDESSES:

The book, "The Hebrew Goddess" by Hebrew scholar Raphael Patai is an
exploration of the *several* manifestations/ representations of the
Divine Feminine among the Hebrews:


1. ASHERAH -- 

"...Yahweh's consort, the Great mother-Goddess Asherah...extremely
popular in all segments of Hebrew society...She Promoted fertility
and ....facilitated childbirth."

Asherah was worshipped as the consort of Yahweh alongside Him in Solomon's Temple for over half of that Temple's existence.

The Old Testament is full of references to Asherah as a demon, idol or false god (although *her* gender is frequently hidden -- in fact, it's difficult to find such a reference with or to Her gender, in the King James version.

Asherah was a vegetative Goddess and as such, was represented as a stylized tree or pole, and was worshipped in groves of trees.

There is also archaeological evidence as to the importance of Asherah as a household Goddess, a variety of the Teraphim [the "gods" that Rachel took from her father in Genesis 31:19]

"These were small clay figurines of nude females,.... found all
over Palestine and can be dated with confidence as deriving
from all ages of the Israelite period.....the small
clay counterparts of the larger wooden Asherah poles which
were set up by implanting them into the ground.

Judging from the frequent occurence of these female figurines,
not matched anywhere by images of male gods, the worship of
the goddess must have been extremely popular in all segments
of Hebrew society."

Raphael Patai, "The Hebrew Goddess," 38-39.


The Levite Priesthood was absolutely shrill in their denuciation and relentless in their effort to destroy Asherah and her influence:

Exodus 34:13-14.
"But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut
down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the
LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deuteronomy 7:5-6
" But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars,
and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn
their graven images with fire."

Dr. Daniel Ludlow, former Dean of Religion at BYU, writes:
"The Hebrew word Asherah translated as "grove," has reference
to a fertility goddess who was supposedly the wife of Baal. Some
English translations use the word shrine for this Hebrew word, since
shrines and pillars were usually erected in the groves where
fertility rites were practiced."
(Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Old Testament
[Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 242.)

The same author elaborates elsewhere:

"The Asherah poles of verse 8 are the idols, images, or symbols of
the pagan fertility goddess, Asherah. The female counterpart to
Baal, she was notorious for the prostitution cults associated with
her temples."

(Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet [Salt Lake City:
Deseret Book Co., 1982], 200.)


Gaia's NOTE:
It is important to note here how the sacred sexual practices of this Goddess' priestesses are perverted and MISrepresented as "prostitution"
--

*WE* may not view them as sacred or appropriate ways to worship -- but THOSE people did; and we do them a gross injustice when we condemn them by our standards and then misrepresent them.

"These customs go back to a time before Christianity was introduced ...
before the Church took its anti-sexual pleasure stand. For we know that
these persistent "pagan" customs were "abominations" to the "men of God"
who believed slavation comes through bodily pain rather than bodily
pleasure, and who sometimes slept on beds of nails, and flagellated
themselves in efforts to come closer to their flagellated and crucified
God.

However, to our ...ancestors, for whom sex was integral to the cosmic
order -- and for whom the body of woman was NOT -- as the medieval
Church proclaimed -- a source of carnal evil, but an attribute of the
Great Goddess Herself;

--Erotic rites would have had a very different meaning. For them, erotic
rites would have been rituals of alignment with the life-giving female
and male powers of the Cosmos, ...For them, partaking in the pleasures
of sex would not have been sinful, but on the contrary, a way of coming
closer to [the realms of the HOLY and] their Goddess. 

(Riane Eisler, "Sex As Sacrament" in "Sacred Plasure", 56-57.)


This misrepresentation is everywhere in "Christian" discussions of [what was understood by those who practiced them as] sacred, HOLY sexual practices of Pagan religions -- 
NOTE too, that these Pagan religions are seldom referred to as "Religions", but usually denigrated and trivialized as "cults".

The word "prostitution" is totally inappropriate to these practices. The PRIESTESSES, *not* prostitutes -- received NO "remuneration", in fact what they did was considered a sacred, life-affirming practice that
celebrated the joy, beauty, delight and wonder of life, especially manifest through psycho-spiritual sexual practices. It was especially seen by warriors as a way to purify themselves and re-connect with the
powers of life, after engaging in battle and taking the lives of others.

Please understand: I am NOT suggesting that LDS should adopt those practices; i am saying that we need to learn to understand, respect and accurately represent another culture in terms of ITS values, not our
own, or we will never be able to appreciate or comprehend, let alone explain them.


"......There can be no doubt about the psychological importance
that the belief in, and service of, Asherah had for the Hebrews.
One cannot belittle the emotional gratification with which She
must have rewarded her servants, who saw in her the loving
motherly consort of yahweh-Baal and for whom she was the
Great Mother Goddess -- giver of fertility, that greatest of all
blessings.

The Hebrew people, by and large, clung to her for six centuries
in spite of increasing vigor of yahwist monotheism. From the
vantage point of our own troubled age, ....we can permit
ourselves to look back no longer with scorn but with sympathy,
at the Goddess who had her hour and whose motherly touch
softened the human heart, just about to open to greater things." 

(Patai, 50-52.)

It is interesting to note also, that one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel was named "Asher" --


Continued --
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 3:42PM #3
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
CONTINUED -- On the HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN GODDESSES:

3. SHEKHINAH: 

Defined as the "Glory" of "Presence" of God, Shekhina is the Talmudic term denoting the visible and audible manifestation of God's presence on Earth.

"... In its ultimate development in the late Midrash literature, the Shekhina
stood for "an independent, feminine Divine entity prompted by her compassionate
nature to argue with God in defense of man." 

(Patai, 96)

Lip-service, to be sure, was paid by all to the time-honored orthodox
Jewish concept of the Oneness of God. On the logical level, many were
even able to assert that the Shekhina and the other elements discerned
in God were merely symbols which helped in comprephending the mystery
of His nature, or emanations issuing forth from Him, but in no way affecting
His fundamental Oneness.

Yet on the deeper level of emotion and imagination, the image of the wifely
and motherly, passionate and compassionate female divinity met with
immediate, spontaneous and positive response. Especially to popular
imagination,  the Shekhina was NO mere symbol or emanation, but a great
heavenly reality  whose shining countenance shoved the theoretical
doctrine  of the Oneness of God into the background.


The Deep emotional attachment of the simple, unsophisticated followers
to the Shekhina was comparable to the relationship of the Italian or Spanish
villagers to their Madonna. In both cases it cannot be denied that one is faced
with the  veneration of a Goddess   , and it is impossible to dispute that She
meant more for the satisfaction of deep-seated religious emotional needs
than God Himself." 
 

(Patai, 115-116)

Regarding the relationship between God and His Shekhina, please see  part  II.

The Shekhinah is still part of Jewish worship (though [perhaps not  always outwardly acknowledged), -- she is present on the Sabbath as the Bride of the Sabbath.   A prayer is recited in all traditional Jewish
household at the commencement of the Sabbath, which welcomes Her.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

3. HOKHMA - WISDOM: 

Hokhma ("Wisdom", known to early Christians as "Sophia" or "Hagia Sophia" - "Holy Wisdom")

Wisdom was understood as a personage :

"Whose way is understood and place known only by God Himself,  while the Book of proverbs asserts that Wisdom ws the earliest creation of God, and that ever since those primeval days She (Wisdom) has been God's Playmate.

In the Apocrypha, this role of Wisdom is even more emphasized --

"She [Wisdom] proclaims her noble birth in that it is given to Her
to live with God, and the Soveriegn Lord of all loved Her..." 


It was observed by Gershom Scholem that ....Wisdom was regarded as God's wife; and Philo states quite unequivocally that God is the   husband  of Wisdom."
(Patai, 97-98)

What has long been called the "Wisdom Literature" can be found throughout the Old Testament books of Psalms and Proverbs; Experience now the difference of reading it with the (perhaps new) understanding that this is a Feminine Divinity or aspect of God, speaking:

Proverbs 1:20-23:
"Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the
gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
'How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the
scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit
unto you, I will make known my words unto you." 



* * * * * * * * * * * *

4. THE CHERUBIM:-- 

-- These were the winged figures which were an integral part, and according to at least one Rabbinic opinion, the most important part -- of all the Hebrew and Jewish sanctuaries and temples.

"The Cherubim were, by any criteria, "Graven images" and yet they continued to figure prominently in the Temple ritual down to the very end of the Second Jewish Commonwealth (70 CE). "... the Cherubim depicted a man and a woman in sexual embrace -- an *erotic* representation so vivid, it was considered obscene by Pagans when they at last glimpsed it! ...
(Patai, 67)

The presence of the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctuary of the Temple, and the ritual significance attributed to them, are invariably referred to as a most sacred mystery.....(See below and
Part 2, on God and His Shekhina)

Thus, many portray such Hebrew Goddesses as Asherah and Ashtoreth as demons or evil pagan idols, but since one of the Cherubim was a human female figure -- However, "the Temple of Jerusalem contained a
representation of the Female principle which was considered *legitimate* at all times."
  (Patai 68)

* * * * *

5. YHWH: 

The Tetragrammaton, the Holy name of God, so sacred it was never spoken aloud, and was always replaced in written material by "Adonai" - Lord), or "Elohim" (judges, leaders, Gods" -- plural!) -- from which Yahweh (and later, Jehovah) developed --

According to the Kabbalah (the Jewish mystical system) it is said to be an anagram composed of the first letter of FOUR of the sacred names of God -- TWO of which (the "H's") are FEMININE.  The "Y" refers to "the Supernal Father" and stands for Wisdom. The first "H" is the Supernal Mother, called "Understanding", who gave
birth to and crowned the Son (the "W") and the Daughter (second H)...."   
(Patai, 116-117)

For more on the symbolism of YHWH, please see Part II (below) on the Relationship of God with His Shekhinah --

* * * *


7. LILITH: 

According to Hebrew folklore, Lilith was   Adam's  first wife , created simultaneously with him, as his equal. When Adam demanded that she "lie beneath" him during sex, she objected. Adam complained to Yahweh who
sent an angel to "straighten it out," but Lilith uttered one of the sacred names of God (a Word of Power), and flew away to the shores of the Red Sea, where she supposedly became a demoness and began copulating
with thousands of demons.

In later Jewish myth, to dramatize the social stigma attached to women who rebel, (and as a cautionary tale for women who might be tempted to do so) Lilith was turned into a dreadful hag who threatened innocents
and stole babies from their cribs; Jewish mothers would hang specially constructed magical charms over their babies' cribs to protect them from Lilith.  Lilith was also said to be the mother of the Lilin -- vampire-like
demons.

For many women, Lilith symbolizes feminine independence and self-determination, sexual freedom and expression, and the dreadful prices women must often pay to assert themselves in this world. 


These are just a few of the many Hebrew/ Jewish Goddesses -- for more information, please see:
- "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai --  www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Goddess


*      *      *      * 

PART II: The Relationshp between God and His Shekhina:   
(from Patai's "The Hebrew Goddess") --

[i] The Creator endowed Adam with the power of influencing the condition of the Godhead On High...Adam MISunderstood the identity of the Creator, and by doing so, Adam caused a fissure to occur between God and the Shekhina. Ever since this first orignial spiritual sin, man has erred repeatedly -- a mythical event that is bound to be repeated, re-enacted, continually, and thus reintroduced, and made even more painful, the separation between God and His Spouse, the Shekhina.

When, in the course of history, the People of Israel came into being, the Shekhina became in a mystical way the Mother of Israel as well as the personification On High of the Community of Israel. As long as the Temple of Jerusalem stood, it served as the sacred bedchamber in which, every midnight, God the King and His Spouse, the Shekhina, celebrated their joyous, sacred marital union. ...The loving embrace of the King and His Queen the Shekhina secured the wellbeing not only of Israel but also of the whole world.

[GAIA's NOTE:
This is very similar to the idea of the   "HIEROS GAMOS" or "SACRED MARRIAGE"    which symbolizes not just the Union of God and Goddess, but of ALL Dualities:

light-dark, spirit-matter, mind-body, heaven-earth, logic-emotion, order-chaos, linear-wholistic, male-female, etc etc -- in one great, beautiful Whole, which helps bring about the fulfillment of Creation....]

[I]"The divine coupling was, and is, profoundly influenced by human
behavior, or to be more exact, by the comportment of Israel. When Israel
sins, these sins force the divine couple to turn away from each other;
when the people repent, God and the Shekhina turn back to each other and
unite in love. When a pious earthly, human husband and wife perform
the great "mitzva" of marital union, the mystical power contained in and
issuing from this act enables, and more than that, induces, the
King and Queen on high to do the same, and thus to become restored to
their pristine unity.


When Israel departs from God, the Matronit-Shekhina is said to depart
from Her beloved, God, and go "into exile" -- when this happens, HaShem
- the Name (ie the Godhead) is not complete, but consists only of 
'YHW' 
...and the whole world, but expecially Israel, suffers.    Only
when reunited with the Shekhina will God again be   YHWH (Yahweh) 



Continued --
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 4:31PM #4
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
The Relationship Between God and the Shekhina, Continued :

Lest anyone erroneously imagine that this teaching of God and His Shekhina , is irrelevant to modern Jewish practices --

The "Yihud" (unification) are special rituals -- one of which is a simple declarative sentence, prior to reciting a prayer or performing any mitzva (commandment), to the effect that the intention of the person doing so is to bring about the unification of God and the Shekhina. Thus, a pious Jew might say, "I do this in the service of uniting God and His Shekhina".
(See Patai, 117-165)



III.  Now Let's discuss the CHRISTIAN GODDESSES --

They were  likewise known by several names, including;

1.  SOPHIA - WISDOM 

The Greek Sophia (English "Wisdom") was understood to be an actual Goddess, related to the Jewish "Hokhma" discussed previously.  There was even a Church named after Her -- See:

Hagia Sophia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia -

Hagia Sophia - Mother of Churches: www.byzantines.net/epiphany/hagiasophia.htm


For more information on the Christian Sophia, please see --

  -  www.crystalinks.com/sophia.html

  -  Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom:  www.goddessgift.com/goddess-

  -  myths/sophia-goddess-wisdom.htm

  -  www.northernway.org/sophia.html

  -  www.amazon.com/Sophia-Goddess-Wisdom-Br … 0835608018

  -  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_(gnosticism)


  2.   MARY MAGDALENE: 

Mary Magdalene has been receiving quite a lot of publicity in recent years, as the wife of Jesus (proposed in such historical books as "Holy Blood, HOly Grail" and such fictional adaptations as "The DaVinci Code" --

But there are many who beleive that if we examine the life of Mary Magdalene closely and without prejudices and (espeically sexist) biases, we find that she was truly the "Apostle to the Apostles" --

Go back and re-read the accounts of those women, and if you REMOVE the obvious BIASES against women, it is obvious -- any *man* who would have behaved as they did, and would have been given the close, personal access to Jesus as they were, would certainly have been considered an Apostle -- the only reason she is not is because of a bias against women.

For example, she followed Jesus around the countryside at a time and in a culture in which it would have been absolutely scandalous for an unmarried woman to do so -- and for an unmarried man to allow it.

Mary behaved every bit as an Apostle.

A particularly interesting feature of her work is that she *anointed* the Christos ("Christ" *means* "Anointed One").   It had been a feature of both relgious and political life throughout the MIddle East for a very long time, for a male leader to be both a King and a Priest, and he only received such authority/power through the administration of a woman, acting as a Priestess of the Goddess (for only the Goddess, as Creatrix of the Universe and as Mother Earth Herself, could bestow the right to rule).   

It was traditional for the sacrificial God-man to be anointed by the High Priestess in preparation for his ritual sacrifice -- precisely what Mary does in the New Testament, John 12:3-8 and  Mark 14:3-7.

I have heard -- though i've not yet got any good refernces to support this notion --- that Mary Magdalene's name may have been  a corruption of a word for "Priestess", and that she is beleived to have been an initiate and
Priestess of the Goddess (possibily Isis).

Remember also that it was the women (including Mary Magdalene) who remained faithful and devoted to Jesus, even throughout the very dangerous time of his passion and crucifixion, when his male followers all deserted him and even denied him.

Furthermore, Mary acted as "apostle to the apostles" -- the one specifically chosen by Jesus to be the first to bear witness of the Resurrection -- at a time and in a culture in which it was not even LEGAL for women to be witnesses (the word "testimony" comes from the word "testes" -- males sexual organs).   And Jesus specifically charged her with the responsibility (and honor) to go "tell the (male) apostles"!  This could not have been coincidence.

Jesus chose this woman to be the very first person in the entire world to *testify* of His resurrection -- demonstrating His confidence in her and her position and "rank" of responsibility and leadership, in his entire group of followers.

Furthermore, there is also evidence that Mary and Jesus had a special private, *romantic* relationship --they may have been married.

NOWHERE in the bible itself is Mary referred to as a "fallen" woman, let alone a prostitute. It has been strongly suggested that the Catholic church eventually (perhaps very deliberately) confused her with another female character of the New Testament, who *was* a prostitute, to try to strip Mary of her very real, God-given power and authority -- to limit her influence; while retaining and *using* her as an image of a reformed *penitent*.


There is also considerable evidence that Mary may have been pregnant by Jesus, and even have borne a child of the marriage. After the crucifixion, she is supposed to have been smuggled out of the country (by the wealthy follower and kinsman of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, to the south of France; and to have borne a daughter
(named "Sarah"). The "Holy Grail" or "San Gral" (a French phrase) may actually be a corruption of *another* French phrase, "Sang Real" (meaning "Blood Royal") -- iow, Mary Magdalene may have been the bearer of the *true* "Holy Grail" or blood of Christ.

Mary Magdalene was in fact WORSHIPPED throughout the Middle Ages, as just that -- the bride, wife and holy consort of Jesus, and earthly manifestation of the GODDESS, as Jesus was considered the manifestation of God; and the two of them, together, symbolized and modelled  a "HIEROS GAMOS" or "Sacred Marriage" (ie, Eternal Marriage).

It is beleived by some historians that many of the poems and songs of the MIddle Ages and Renaissance troubadors to "The Lady" were actually addressed to/ intended for Mary as the Lady Goddess.

For more on this, please see:

- "Jesus and the Lost Goddess" by Freke and Gandy,

- "The Templar Mysteries," by Picknett,

- "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Leigh and Baigent,

- "The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalene and the Holy
Grail" by Margaret Starbird)


ONLINE RESOURCES:

http://www.magdalene.org/contents.htm
http://members.tripod.com/~Ramon_K_Jusi … alene.html
http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospel-magdalene.htm



3.  I can tell you that  a few years ago, i attended an International Women in Religion Conference, at which there were delegates of all different religions, spiritual paths, and philosophies, who were all anxious to discuss the many issues related to women in the world's relligions..  And about the "hottest" topic on the formal agenda as well as on everyone's mind, was that of the Divine Feminine - the Goddess, Heavenly Mother -- and how to incorporate Her into worship, devotionals, hymns, artwork, etc.


Continued --
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 4:32PM #5
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
First, I just want to say thank you for the very insightful and well educated response. I'm still reading through a lot of it, and appreciate the source material. ^_^

Thanks,
TH
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 5:45PM #6
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
Now, i'd like to address the question you raised regarding the LDS Church's position on the Goddess- Heavenly MOther --

At one time, She was a very popular topic.  In fact, during the (too-brief) "Renaissance" in Church History, during which a lot of new resources had been discovered, were being catalogued and researched by historians -

There was a great deal of interest in Her, and people were writing hymns, poems, essays, etc on Her with great affection and interest.

One example of this is the beautiful  "Song of Creation" by Linda Sillitoe:

Who made the world, my child?
Father made the rain
silver and forever.
Mother's hand
drew riverbeds and hollowed seas,
drew riverbeds and hollowed seas
to bring the rain home.

Father bridled winds, my child,
to keep the world new.
Mother clashed
fire free from stones
and breathed it strong and dancing,
and breathed it strong and dancing
the color of her hair.

He armed the thunderclouds
rolled out of heaven;
Her finger flickered
hummingbirds
weaving the delicate white snow,
weaving the delicate white snow,
a waterfall of flowers.

And if you live long, my child,
you'll see snow burst
from thunderclouds
and lightening in the snow
listen to Mother and Father laughing,
listen to Mother and Father laughing
behind the locked door.



However, for various reasons (some of which i'll explore below) the Chuch realized that there were HUGE potential problems with people exploring and discussing the Goddess -- and they put a very definite, very emphatic STOP to it.  Members began to be strongly DISCOURAGED from even discussing  Heavenly MOther in public LDS meetings, or even thinking about Her in private, personal devotionals.  Some were brought up before Church courts for being just a bit too interested , or from even being SEEN to advocate discussion of or interest in Her.  See for example what happened to Lynne Whitesides when she merely gave an address MENTIONING Heavenly Mother -- http://www.lds-mormon.com/controve.shtml . . . ..

And/ Or,  the   LDS September Six:  -- A group of   six Church members who had been leading experts in LDS history and doctrine, and were all "disciplined" for either publishing material  or speaking out on issues the Church leders considered "troubling" or "not faith-promoting":

   -  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_Six
  -  www.lds-mormon.com/sepsix.shtml
  -  youtube.com/watch?v=oke2qJM_nPo
  -  YouTube - Understanding the Mormon September 6 -- Paul Toscano Pt. 2SEPTEMBER DAWN and the Official LDS Response. 00:32 From: provoguy57. Views: 2151. The Mormon September Six, 10 Years After: Lavina Anderson ...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNy8chACGQ
  -  supportmikequinn.net/september_six/
  -  www.mormonpodcasts.org/
 


Many LDS were confused by this "veil" that was drawn over Heavenly Mother/ The Goddess, and tried to create plausible explanations.  One very popular such "explanation" that arose -- which has actually NO scriptural or doctrinal support, but has been accepted by many LDS because of it's appealing sentimentality  and romanticism  --

-  Is that God discourages us from knowing or talking much about Heavenly Mother/ The Goddess, because "He doesn't want Her name profaned the way His is, so he "protects" Her by withholding information and not having us discuss Her much" --

Again, this is a popular notion, but there is absolutely NO scriptural or doctrinal support  whatsoever, for the idea.

And in fact, the idea that God is "protecting" his "bride" may be a nice, sentimental, romantic one - - but -- with all due respect to those who beleive it -- it's also a crock.

First, we're talking about a Divine, Exalted, Glorified All-Powerful Goddess, equal in power, glory, might and jajesty with God the FAther,  here --
-  whose glory is such that were someone exposed to it without being "Transfigured" (ie, changed by the Holy Spirit) to be able to bear it, they would be instantaneously burnt to a crisp.

She needs "protection" from a few nasty words????

We all remember the very well known tendency for most merely mortal, human, flawed mothers to literally move heaven and earth, when called upon or needed by their children. Now if a merely mortal, flawed mother would go to such lengths to answer the needs of her children, --

How much sense does it REALLY make to suggest that an Exalted, Divine, Glorified, All-Powerful Goddess Mother is going to sit back and NOT answer the cries of her human children, who so need Her in so many ways and for so many reasons, right now at this point of our history --
Out of fear of offense over a few nasty words?


Secondly, Is it the kind of thing a Husband and Father would do -- would any truly loving father and husband deliberately withhold information and forbid a child from communing with their mother -- for *any* reason??? Would any reasonable, loving father or husband DO that to his children, or to his Wife?
If any merely mortal human husband displayed such behavior, we would (quite rightly) call it presumptuous, abusive and dictatorial.


Thirdly, Do you know of a single earthly, fallible, flawed, human mother who would stand for such a setup -- Who would actually permit herself to be shut out of her children's lives, on the "excuse" that they might disrespect her? -- especially if the majority of those children were yearning, even praying for contact with Her? Does it make sense then, that a GLORIFIED, EXALTED, perfected, all-powerful, Universal Divine Heavenly Mother, who is EQUAL to Heavenly Father in power, might, glory, wisdom, strenth and majesty -- would stand for such a setup???


And, What kind of respect would God -- or any of us -- have for a Mother who would PERMIT herself to be a stranger to her own children, -- children who were yearning for and needing Her -- out of fear of a bit of insult???


4. Fourthly -- Apart from romantic sentimentality, does this idea hold water in any other way --
In terms of the true values of Eternity:

- The value and need for good parenting;
- The value of love;
- The value of courage and persistence in the face of opposition and challenge,
- The value of standing for and doing the Right no matter the cost....
- The value of (even the Divine, Eternal) Family Unit --
- The value of providing a good example ---
   (What would we think of mothers who "excused" themselves from their motherly responsibilities/ duties, because their children just didn't respect them, or their  "stress" was just "too much" ???)


When you look at this "exxplanation" realistically, it seems almost silly, doesn't it.


I think it's pretty clear, that it's NOT God - -Heavenly Father or Heavenly MOther -- trying to create distance between Them and their human children --


Furthermore, in fact, it is simply NOT TRUE that we have "no information" on Her --
As i think my VERRRRRY long posts have proven, there is considerable information in the historical and sacred records, which should give us at least a starting point from which to explore and learn about Her.   She was known, loved and worshipped by a variety of names, to both Jews and early Christians.....
But LDS know virutally NOTIHNG about that information -- NOBODY tells them it's avaiable, and NOBODY is allowed to include it in any lessons, classes, lectures, or addresses.


Even if it were true that we had "no information" -- isn't "revealing Divinity" supposed to be part of the JOB of a "Prophet"?

Joseph Smith taught:

"... it is necessary to understand the character and being of God. ....The first principle of truth and of the Gospel is to know for a certainty the character of God, and that we may converse with Him the same as one man with another, ...."

(The King Follett Discourse: a Newly Amalgamated Text by Stan Larson Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 18 (1977-1978), Number 2 - Winter 1978 201.)


Now, isn't part of the "Character and Being of God" -- His Wife, Companion, Partner??  And if we "don't have much information on Her" -- Isn't that something a Prophet should be working on OBTAINING?



The next question, of course, is WHY --
WHY would Church leaders avoid obtaining or withhold information on Heavenly Mother, and FORBID us to so much as MENTION Her, let alone actually discuss, let alone worship Her? --

And imo, the answer is fairly obvious if you think about it a minute:
A Female Divinity justifies, validates and affirms feminine Spiritual power and authority;
- And in a church where women's spiritual power and authority have been gradually but surely and systematically diminished and then withdrawn over the years, the idea of a Divine Feminine who AFFIRMS such power and authority would present the leaders with huge and uncomfortable, awkward problems.

Mormons of course do not even realize that LDs women have little power or authority -- they're so used to hearing it so adamantly denied from the pulpit, that unless they are forced to recognize it, they can hardly beleive it.

I can post something (a single message!) on that, if anyone is interested.




Continued --
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 5:55PM #7
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
CONTINUED -- ANSWERS To the LDS Church's Position on the Divine Feminine:


But here are just a couple of significant questions:

a)  WHERE do LDS women exercise ANY real, authentic, formal, autonomous authority or power in the Church?

b)  Where, when and how are LDs women allowed meaningful input and decision-making authority within the GOVERNING bodies of the Church?

c)  From childhood, ALL LDS are exhaustively educated on the responsibilities, duties, offices, callings, and exercise of the (male) Priesthood in nearly EVERY meeting, lesson, talk, and Conference address ....
So WHERE, when, and HOW are the LDS in general, educated on the responsibilites, powers, authority, duties, offices and callings of a Priestess ?

d)  Joseph Smith vigorously defended Mormon women's right to exercise the Gifts of the Spirit - which are supposed to be available to all faithful members of the Church - especially that of Healing.
But women are no longer allowed to exercise all of these Gifts.  Now, women may no longer freely exercise those Gifts . 


LDS leaders cannot possibly begin acknowleging a Heavenly Mother, because She opens up too many issues that a thoroughly Patriarchal, paternalistic church that has grown MORE sexist, MORE misogynistic in recent years, cannot comfortably address.


It is, then, NOT God , but our "Brothers" -- who supposedly "loooove" us Sooo much" --
who forbid us to so much as MENTION, let alone discuss, let alone *commune* with -- our Mother; who in fact PUNISH us for doing so   --- even in individual, private, personal, meditation.
It will be interesting to see how these "Brethren" "explain" all that to HER, when they make an accounting of their Stewardship, as they eventually must . . .

*    *    *

FINALLY, in Conclusion --

Here are some  RESOURCES ON THE DIVINE FEMININE: 


(NON-LDS) BOOKS:

- "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone
- "The Once and Future Goddess" by Elinor Gadon
- "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai
- "The Goddess in the Gospels" by Margaret Starbird
- "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels;
- "Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God" C Matthews;
- "In Her Name" by Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza.
- "The Politics of Women's Spirituality" Charlene Spretnak, ed
- "Beyond God the Father" by Mary Daly ( and several other books).
- "Religion and Sexism," by Rosemary Ruether (and several other books).
- "changing of the Gods" by Naomi Goldenberg;


LDS BOOKS:

- "Women and Authority" edited by Maxine Hanks.
- "Strangers in Paradox" by Paul &Margaret Toscano
- "God the Mother and Other Essays" Janice Allred ed.
- "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View" by D. Michael Quinn
ONLINE LDS RESOURCES: - Websites:
http://www.greaterthings.com/MormonGoddess/
- " God the Mother in Mormonism" by Amber Satterwhite
- "Shekinah the Presence of Diety" - discusses the Mormon Heavenly Mother
- "The Common Origin of the Ancient Hebrew/Pagan Religion and the Demise of the Hebrew Goddess" by Fred C. Collier
- http://www.greaterthings.com/MormonGoddess/
- http://www3.eu.spiritweb.org/Spirit/god … erman.html
- http://www.lds-mormon.com/ja1.shtml


YAHOO GROUPS:

- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goddesschristians/
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jesusandt … id=6029923

* * *

I hope that answers your questions; i hope it's length DOESN't  discourage you from asking any more! *g*


Blessings --
~Gaia
Quick Reply
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 5:45PM #8
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
Now, i'd like to address the question you raised regarding the LDS Church's position on the Goddess- Heavenly MOther --

At one time, She was a very popular topic.  In fact, during the (too-brief) "Renaissance" in Church History, during which a lot of new resources had been discovered, were being catalogued and researched by historians -

There was a great deal of interest in Her, and people were writing hymns, poems, essays, etc on Her with great affection and interest.

One example of this is the beautiful  "Song of Creation" by Linda Sillitoe:

Who made the world, my child?
Father made the rain
silver and forever.
Mother's hand
drew riverbeds and hollowed seas,
drew riverbeds and hollowed seas
to bring the rain home.

Father bridled winds, my child,
to keep the world new.
Mother clashed
fire free from stones
and breathed it strong and dancing,
and breathed it strong and dancing
the color of her hair.

He armed the thunderclouds
rolled out of heaven;
Her finger flickered
hummingbirds
weaving the delicate white snow,
weaving the delicate white snow,
a waterfall of flowers.

And if you live long, my child,
you'll see snow burst
from thunderclouds
and lightening in the snow
listen to Mother and Father laughing,
listen to Mother and Father laughing
behind the locked door.



However, for various reasons (some of which i'll explore below) the Chuch realized that there were HUGE potential problems with people exploring and discussing the Goddess -- and they put a very definite, very emphatic STOP to it.  Members began to be strongly DISCOURAGED from even discussing  Heavenly MOther in public LDS meetings, or even thinking about Her in private, personal devotionals.  Some were brought up before Church courts for being just a bit too interested , or from even being SEEN to advocate discussion of or interest in Her.  See for example what happened to Lynne Whitesides when she merely gave an address MENTIONING Heavenly Mother -- http://www.lds-mormon.com/controve.shtml . . . ..

And/ Or,  the   LDS September Six:  -- A group of   six Church members who had been leading experts in LDS history and doctrine, and were all "disciplined" for either publishing material  or speaking out on issues the Church leders considered "troubling" or "not faith-promoting":

   -  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_Six
  -  www.lds-mormon.com/sepsix.shtml
  -  youtube.com/watch?v=oke2qJM_nPo
  -  YouTube - Understanding the Mormon September 6 -- Paul Toscano Pt. 2SEPTEMBER DAWN and the Official LDS Response. 00:32 From: provoguy57. Views: 2151. The Mormon September Six, 10 Years After: Lavina Anderson ...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNy8chACGQ
  -  supportmikequinn.net/september_six/
  -  www.mormonpodcasts.org/
 


Many LDS were confused by this "veil" that was drawn over Heavenly Mother/ The Goddess, and tried to create plausible explanations.  One very popular such "explanation" that arose -- which has actually NO scriptural or doctrinal support, but has been accepted by many LDS because of it's appealing sentimentality  and romanticism  --

-  Is that God discourages us from knowing or talking much about Heavenly Mother/ The Goddess, because "He doesn't want Her name profaned the way His is, so he "protects" Her by withholding information and not having us discuss Her much" --

Again, this is a popular notion, but there is absolutely NO scriptural or doctrinal support  whatsoever, for the idea.

And in fact, the idea that God is "protecting" his "bride" may be a nice, sentimental, romantic one - - but -- with all due respect to those who beleive it -- it's also a crock.

First, we're talking about a Divine, Exalted, Glorified All-Powerful Goddess, equal in power, glory, might and jajesty with God the FAther,  here --
-  whose glory is such that were someone exposed to it without being "Transfigured" (ie, changed by the Holy Spirit) to be able to bear it, they would be instantaneously burnt to a crisp.

She needs "protection" from a few nasty words????

We all remember the very well known tendency for most merely mortal, human, flawed mothers to literally move heaven and earth, when called upon or needed by their children. Now if a merely mortal, flawed mother would go to such lengths to answer the needs of her children, --

How much sense does it REALLY make to suggest that an Exalted, Divine, Glorified, All-Powerful Goddess Mother is going to sit back and NOT answer the cries of her human children, who so need Her in so many ways and for so many reasons, right now at this point of our history --
Out of fear of offense over a few nasty words?


Secondly, Is it the kind of thing a Husband and Father would do -- would any truly loving father and husband deliberately withhold information and forbid a child from communing with their mother -- for *any* reason??? Would any reasonable, loving father or husband DO that to his children, or to his Wife?
If any merely mortal human husband displayed such behavior, we would (quite rightly) call it presumptuous, abusive and dictatorial.


Thirdly, Do you know of a single earthly, fallible, flawed, human mother who would stand for such a setup -- Who would actually permit herself to be shut out of her children's lives, on the "excuse" that they might disrespect her? -- especially if the majority of those children were yearning, even praying for contact with Her? Does it make sense then, that a GLORIFIED, EXALTED, perfected, all-powerful, Universal Divine Heavenly Mother, who is EQUAL to Heavenly Father in power, might, glory, wisdom, strenth and majesty -- would stand for such a setup???


And, What kind of respect would God -- or any of us -- have for a Mother who would PERMIT herself to be a stranger to her own children, -- children who were yearning for and needing Her -- out of fear of a bit of insult???


4. Fourthly -- Apart from romantic sentimentality, does this idea hold water in any other way --
In terms of the true values of Eternity:

- The value and need for good parenting;
- The value of love;
- The value of courage and persistence in the face of opposition and challenge,
- The value of standing for and doing the Right no matter the cost....
- The value of (even the Divine, Eternal) Family Unit --
- The value of providing a good example ---
   (What would we think of mothers who "excused" themselves from their motherly responsibilities/ duties, because their children just didn't respect them, or their  "stress" was just "too much" ???)


When you look at this "exxplanation" realistically, it seems almost silly, doesn't it.


I think it's pretty clear, that it's NOT God - -Heavenly Father or Heavenly MOther -- trying to create distance between Them and their human children --


Furthermore, in fact, it is simply NOT TRUE that we have "no information" on Her --
As i think my VERRRRRY long posts have proven, there is considerable information in the historical and sacred records, which should give us at least a starting point from which to explore and learn about Her.   She was known, loved and worshipped by a variety of names, to both Jews and early Christians.....
But LDS know virutally NOTIHNG about that information -- NOBODY tells them it's avaiable, and NOBODY is allowed to include it in any lessons, classes, lectures, or addresses.


Even if it were true that we had "no information" -- isn't "revealing Divinity" supposed to be part of the JOB of a "Prophet"?

Joseph Smith taught:

"... it is necessary to understand the character and being of God. ....The first principle of truth and of the Gospel is to know for a certainty the character of God, and that we may converse with Him the same as one man with another, ...."

(The King Follett Discourse: a Newly Amalgamated Text by Stan Larson Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 18 (1977-1978), Number 2 - Winter 1978 201.)


Now, isn't part of the "Character and Being of God" -- His Wife, Companion, Partner??  And if we "don't have much information on Her" -- Isn't that something a Prophet should be working on OBTAINING?



The next question, of course, is WHY --
WHY would Church leaders avoid obtaining or withhold information on Heavenly Mother, and FORBID us to so much as MENTION Her, let alone actually discuss, let alone worship Her? --

And imo, the answer is fairly obvious if you think about it a minute:
A Female Divinity justifies, validates and affirms feminine Spiritual power and authority;
- And in a church where women's spiritual power and authority have been gradually but surely and systematically diminished and then withdrawn over the years, the idea of a Divine Feminine who AFFIRMS such power and authority would present the leaders with huge and uncomfortable, awkward problems.

Mormons of course do not even realize that LDs women have little power or authority -- they're so used to hearing it so adamantly denied from the pulpit, that unless they are forced to recognize it, they can hardly beleive it.

I can post something (a single message!) on that, if anyone is interested.




Continued --
Quick Reply
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 5:55PM #9
Gaia-j
Posts: 636
CONTINUED -- ANSWERS To the LDS Church's Position on the Divine Feminine:


But here are just a couple of significant questions:

a)  WHERE do LDS women exercise ANY real, authentic, formal, autonomous authority or power in the Church?

b)  Where, when and how are LDs women allowed meaningful input and decision-making authority within the GOVERNING bodies of the Church?

c)  From childhood, ALL LDS are exhaustively educated on the responsibilities, duties, offices, callings, and exercise of the (male) Priesthood in nearly EVERY meeting, lesson, talk, and Conference address ....
So WHERE, when, and HOW are the LDS in general, educated on the responsibilites, powers, authority, duties, offices and callings of a Priestess ?

d)  Joseph Smith vigorously defended Mormon women's right to exercise the Gifts of the Spirit - which are supposed to be available to all faithful members of the Church - especially that of Healing.
But women are no longer allowed to exercise all of these Gifts.  Now, women may no longer freely exercise those Gifts . 


LDS leaders cannot possibly begin acknowleging a Heavenly Mother, because She opens up too many issues that a thoroughly Patriarchal, paternalistic church that has grown MORE sexist, MORE misogynistic in recent years, cannot comfortably address.


It is, then, NOT God , but our "Brothers" -- who supposedly "loooove" us Sooo much" --
who forbid us to so much as MENTION, let alone discuss, let alone *commune* with -- our Mother; who in fact PUNISH us for doing so   --- even in individual, private, personal, meditation.
It will be interesting to see how these "Brethren" "explain" all that to HER, when they make an accounting of their Stewardship, as they eventually must . . .

*    *    *

FINALLY, in Conclusion --

Here are some  RESOURCES ON THE DIVINE FEMININE: 


(NON-LDS) BOOKS:

- "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone
- "The Once and Future Goddess" by Elinor Gadon
- "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai
- "The Goddess in the Gospels" by Margaret Starbird
- "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels;
- "Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God" C Matthews;
- "In Her Name" by Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza.
- "The Politics of Women's Spirituality" Charlene Spretnak, ed
- "Beyond God the Father" by Mary Daly ( and several other books).
- "Religion and Sexism," by Rosemary Ruether (and several other books).
- "changing of the Gods" by Naomi Goldenberg;


LDS BOOKS:

- "Women and Authority" edited by Maxine Hanks.
- "Strangers in Paradox" by Paul &Margaret Toscano
- "God the Mother and Other Essays" Janice Allred ed.
- "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View" by D. Michael Quinn
ONLINE LDS RESOURCES: - Websites:
http://www.greaterthings.com/MormonGoddess/
- " God the Mother in Mormonism" by Amber Satterwhite
- "Shekinah the Presence of Diety" - discusses the Mormon Heavenly Mother
- "The Common Origin of the Ancient Hebrew/Pagan Religion and the Demise of the Hebrew Goddess" by Fred C. Collier
- http://www.greaterthings.com/MormonGoddess/
- http://www3.eu.spiritweb.org/Spirit/god … erman.html
- http://www.lds-mormon.com/ja1.shtml


YAHOO GROUPS:

- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goddesschristians/
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jesusandt … id=6029923

* * *

I hope that answers your questions; i hope it's length DOESN't  discourage you from asking any more! *g*


Blessings --
~Gaia
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 11:28PM #10
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
Outstanding, Gaia!

I'm encouraging my child to include Heavenly Mother in her bedtime prayers.  ;)
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