November 22, 2007

Life as a Goddess...or...Thankful I'm Not One

I wanted to share my response to Reformed_Egyptian's question to women on FLAK about what they felt being a goddess in the next life entailed. Here is what I think it will be like if the LDS church is teaching the truth about the nature of God...

You say you haven't given the subject a ton of thought, and I can't blame you as it's obvious that the entire focus is placed on God and Godhood, not goddess and goddesshood. I can tell you that being married to a non-member makes a woman like me keenly aware of this subject. I came to realize over time that I had a few possible scenarios available to reach salvation and become a goddess:

1. Outlive my husband and seal myself to him posthumously, and risk his saying no way again like he did when he received the discussions in this life.
2. Divorce my husband and find a TBM man willing to seal himself to me.
3. Be as righteous as I can and endure to the end, and in the next life find some stranger and become his second, third, or hundredth wife. Remain hopeful that my children will also get sealed in the temple someday to their own spouse and endure to the end so perhaps God will let their mansion be next door to mine in the celestial kingdom. Hope also that my never-mo stepdaughter will someday join as well, so I will be able to live with her in eternity also.

What does actual goddesshood mean to me? I can only guess from the example I've been given about God by the teachings of the gospel:

I will have countless children with my husband in the next life. We will love all our children very much. (I am not going to portray any sister wives in my example here, to make it easy. That is a whole post unto itself.) My husband will choose two favored sons who will be asked to outline what they think my husband requires of them in his plan for all his children…one will guess slightly wrong and my husband will banish him as well as one third of all our children who thought his guess was right. The other son will guess correctly and will be favored and blessed. Together, my husband and the chosen favorite son will create a new world where my husband will send our children after taking their memory of me and him completely away. My husband’s plan includes only telling a select few of our boy children (whom he makes prophets) to tell our other children that he expects them to do certain ordinances in the temple in order to live in the celestial kingdom with us. Those of our children who don’t get the ordinances completed as per my husband’s plan will live in a lesser kingdom which I will not be able to visit.

My children will learn a song as mortal children: “I am a child of God….and HE has sent me here….” They will be taught that they must honor, obey, and worship almighty God in all ways if they wish to live with us again. My husband will command our children to always remember him and to keep his commandments. He will command our children to pray to him always, to thank him for all their blessings, all glory to his name. I will not be mentioned in any of the important books and doctrine that my children are told they need in order to be saved. He will teach our children that it is good and right for our sons to have authority and dominion over all the earth, and they will be given the power to act in their father’s name and will be told they preside over their families.

He will teach our children that it is good and right for our daughters to have only one valid role to aspire toward: being a mother in Zion. They will be taught by my husband that in order to prove their love to him, they must embrace this one role and nurture all their children to the best of their ability. But for some reason, my husband chooses not to show our children my nurturing skills. They will have no example of my nature as a guide to follow.

But wait! There is that one song among hundreds of hymns which glorify my husband as God ~ ”O My Father” which mentions me once:

”In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.”

Not sure how that one line is helpful to my children, but hey! It’s something. And I love music, but of course my children won’t know that about me either. And when any of our children think of me enough to actually pray to me publicly…well. That’s a huge no-no. My husband doesn’t like this. My sons who have the power to act in my husband’s name will admonish any of my children who dare to pray to me openly, and if they won’t cease such a practice, they will be punished, seriously risking their chance to live in my presence again someday in the top level of heaven.

When my children finish their mortal testing, they will be made to stand before my husband and his favorite son, who will together judge each of my children to determine which is worthy to live in the celestial kingdom and which will not. I will not be part of the judging process. In all their sinning on earth, my children were expected to pray to my husband for forgiveness and mercy, I had nothing whatever to do with any of that. This is sad, since I am merciful, loving, and kind, and a good judge of my children’s hearts. I also know that my children who don’t make it to the top level of heaven will never be allowed to see me or my husband because we will not visit the lesser kingdoms. Those children will be alone for eternity. Too bad.

The truth is, if this is the way it is to be for me as a goddess, I much prefer to be single and alone in hell than married to such a man as God at my side who has no problem keeping me as an unmentionable afterthought in the lives of our children.


hm-uk said...

Brilliant post, SML. Your illustration of the whole Mormon plan of salvation seems to be my very idea of hell.
I am quite interested to know what clerical direction my parents have been given with respect to my wishes to not have any ordinances done on my behalf, even though I don't believe in anything beyond this life. It's about respect and the Mormon plan lacks this in bucketloads. Perhaps this is why you don't hear of Heavenly Mother offering counsel to the priesthood, even though her knowledge would, too, be perfect. It is easier to keep the women silent and convince them that their state of motherhood is the 'most' divine one and the only one they need to be concerned about.
I predict that when the brethren in the church become so desperate to keep the women (and men who see the flaws in the model) from leaving in droves, we'll hear of counsel given to the priesthood by Heavenly Mother or the brethren will start praying to Heavenly Mother, too. Similar to the radical but oh-so convenient change on black folk receiving the priesthood.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

As always, you brilliantly capture convoluted doctrine so succinctly and simply, it's stunning. As in, so clear and personal, any reasonable person could read it and be stopped in their tracks, then forced to say, "Whoa. That's my life!"

Honestly, I think sometimes the bulk of Mormons don't think these doctrines through to their natural conclusions. I have a hard time comprehending how any mother, let alone any father, who has loved and nurtured a child could agree to such a plan. It makes me heartsick to think that a mother would willing cast aside a child she loves and, as you point out, whose heart she knows simply because "the prophets told her so" or because her god-partner told her so. There's something so sick and wrong and counterintuitive about it all.

Anyway--excellent post again, SML!

P.S. HM_UK: You can actually stipulate in your will what you do and don't want done. Doesn't mean your family will honor it, per se, but I think the church has to. I'm not 100% sure how you convey that desire to the church, though. Anyone out there know?

Regina Filangi said...

That sounds like hell to me!! Well put SML! I always relate to what you write so much. The thing that made me stop going to church was the whole Eternal Families as long as you are all MIT B/S. The thought of all of what you wrote being what is waiting for me if my dh were to ever convert helps keep me out. It just seems extremely silly now. I am so glad I got that monkey off my back!

KingM said...

Nah, you're a goddess and you'll make your own rules. You'll make the volcanoes rumble and destroy the cities that don't worship you.

Fortunately, worshiping you will entail lots of feasting and laughter and love making and none of that miserable whiny prayer stuff or going hungry or groveling.

Oh, and if there is a god, in your universe he will stand by your side and admire your glory when he's not giving you clever ideas or convincing you to send comets and flaming meteorites through the sky because they're cool.

Oh, and he'll be hot, but not so hot that he looks at himself in the mirror all the time. And funny. Yeah, of course. Neither of you will take yourself so seriously as the father-son tandem that run this particular world.

See how much fun you'll have?

Becca said...

Wow, I have never heard it all explained before. That's some wacked out thinking. Amazing there are still so many intelligent, rational people believing or at least not questioning this stuff....

Bishop Rick said...

I could be wrong, but I thought that folks in the CK could visit those in the Ter-K and Tel-K, but not vice versa. Am I wrong on this?

This made me think that LDS doctrine is not really taught anywhere. The Gospel Doctrine class is taught as a history class using the scriptures as the text book. Actual doctrine is never taught.

CW said...

That was excellent. Thank you.

Madame said...

amen sister!

Astarte Moonsilver said...

This is what I once ASPIRED to?

This is what I gave up 20 years of my own free will to obtain?

Wow, SML. Just like your post on what Heaven is like for a Mormon, you really have put this in perspective for me. If they had presented this from the pulpit, I would have walked straight out of Sacrament meeting. Which of course, is exactly why they DON'T go through the trouble of laying it all out like that. As usual, we were left to puzzle it all out on our own.

I feel the need to shower just to get rid of the sickening feeling that I once craved this for myself and my daughters. GAHG!!

I posted a link to this page on my blog. Hope you don't mind. :)

glo said...

one of the reasons i am not a mormon!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Thanks for the compliments, guys.

BR ~ nope. Read about the 3 levels of heaven in the Gospel Principles manual (class for beginners and investigators) and it spells out that only Jesus can visit in the Terrestrial Kingdom (people will be alone there), and only the Holy Ghost can visit the Telestial Kingdom (where people are also alone). Only way to be with others in a kingdom is to get to the Celestial Kingdom. It actually is worded to help you know that God will not be visiting the lesser kingdoms. Seemed pretty clear to me, anyway.

I can't believe I taught that stuff for three years. And I taught it well. Siiiigh.

Anonymous said...

God, that is really, really depressing.


LG said...

Hi SML, found you through hm-uk who found me although I wasn't lost, and ... well, anyway. Love your blog.

I get it that there are things we're just not going to know in this lifetime, and I'm at peace with it. But I want to know why I have a mortal mother who won't shut up and a Heavenly Mother who can't speak or be discussed. Depressing.