Guest Post: Parenthood and Godhood
In less than a year of interaction on the bloggernacle, starting with Feminist Mormon Housewives, I’ve learned a great deal about how other Mormon women feel about feminist issues in the church. From what I can tell, there is a huge variation in comfort with the patriarchal leadership, the definition of roles for men/women and mothers/fathers, and even scouting’s place in the church.
I’ve read and participated in countless threads that have resonated with me, or infuriated me, and sometimes both. Still, I don’t feel like I have a solid stand on many of these issues. There seem to be so many doctrines and emotions that complicate my understanding of my importance in the church, and in God’s plan.
This weekend’s General Conference was an example of how confused I feel by what is taught about gender roles in the church. My unsettled feelings are sometimes put in words by various church leaders, although I’m not sure that’s what they expected. For example, the issue of parenthood was a focus of a few talks during conference. Although I didn’t hear all of Sister Beck’s controversial talk, she allegedly focused on the importance of parenthood, but did not mention fatherhood. In contrast, I heard several talks about the Godhead, and specifically God the Father. These talks reverently sought to help us understand the love of our Heavenly Father, his divine Parenthood, and how we are his children. Neither of these doctrines are new, but they came together for me in a new, confusing way today.
Although my concerns are pretty broad, today’s question is:
Why is a mother the ultimate parent in this life, but God the Father is the heavenly parent we should know and emulate?
Sometimes I feel like there is some big piece of this puzzle that I am missing. Does anyone else feel this way? Maybe you did, but you located the missing puzzle piece, or rearranged other pieces to create another image? I think many of you have come to terms with this idea and don’t see it the same way I do, so please help me understand the peace that you have found, or the hope that you have.
I honestly don’t think I’m looking for a feminist fight here, but I see such a contradiction in these doctrines that I’m really struggling in what to believe right now.