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In fact, I think it is fair to say that, apart from the CES and a few hundred octogenarians scattered along the Mormon Corridor, the entire LDS Church rejects the Baptist view of submission.

OK, glad I wasn't drinking orange juice or Coke or something when I read that....

Bruce, I'll start posting warnings. But I'm not sure if your reaction was based on your sympathy for CES, octogenarians, Baptists, or the doctrine of wifely submission. Or maybe all of the above.

For a very up-to-date take on how present LDS leaders view the role of women and how they reject conservative stereotypes such as those embraced by the Baptist view, see this summary of Pres. Hinckley's remarks last week at a 90-stake Southern California conference.

Now, where do you live Dave? This hardly seems my experience of LDS family culture.

And this statement . . . (I don't know where to begin.)

"That's the formal statement. I suspect in practice that graciousness is optional, but submission is mandatory."

I guess these same evangelicals are throwing out the other verses in the Bible about love and kindness and dwelling with understanding.

Dave, you should call on all LDS to cleanse their shelves of any evangelical book on the family and marriage because the last thing those heartless evangelicals talk about is kindness and respect in the family.

Destroy all the historical, evangelical theology on the family because the historical evangelical husband is actually a terrorist to the marriage structure.

I think the Bible speaks of Christ-like submission. But of course, many postmoderns think the apostle Paul is a terrorist or even better, a male chauvinist pig.

I do like talking about submission, Dave.

And now, you have me thinking about "equal partners" among the Trinity.

Even though Jesus submits Himself to the Father, do you think He is equal to the Father in every way.

And I don't believe in a Heavenly Mother. But if I did, I would start proclaiming her equal voice a lot more than LDS people do.

Todd, I was hoping you'd share more details on the Baptist view. Did I misquote the actual Baptist document? Did the New York Times misreport the fact that attempts to soften the wording were strongly rejected at the 1998 convention? Feel free to give your view of the Baptist view of submission.

Rereading the full text of Article XVIII, it also includes the following statement: "The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image." So, like the Proclamation (which was issued before the Baptist statement was authored), the Baptist statemetn also includes both "equal" and "submission" language. My impression is that the present rhetoric of LDS leaders stresses the "equal" theme, whereas the public statements of Baptist leaders (at least those I run across in the media) stress the "submission" theme.

Heh. Good post, Dave. Keep it up. Make 'em squirm.

I don't know what the SBC Baptist document says (there are all kinds, conservative and liberal), but I do know what the Bible says.

Dave, the media loves to bring up the apostle Paul's instruction about wives submitting to their husband because they think these words are so stupid.

But I believe the words to be given to us by the apostle Paul through inspiration. So I share these words to others even though today's western enlightenment mocks them. I will trust scriptural inspiration and bias over New York Times' bias, any day.

And I do know that when the husband is operating as a head for the family as Christ ministers as the Head of the Church, the dyamics are incredible to watch.

The problem is that most young husbands don't even want to lovingly lead their families. No wonder wives don't want to follow. They are disgusted by the religious vacuum or hypocrisy. And no wonder teens could care less about the words of the Lord in the Bible.

And then the notion for spiritual leadership for families and church families in America is under seige. Submissive wives that love mothering are mocked. And the godly men that do seek to lead in God's ways are the enemy.

Ok, Dave, you can tell that I am grieved by the continual heartache in American families.

R.W., I don't even bat an eye.

Put me squarely in the whole submission context of Ephesians as powerful fruit of the Spirit in one's life, to the glory of God.

I am not too interested in SBC's statement of faith, but I do enjoy a rousing discussion where we are seeking faithful exegesis to the apostle's words.

Todd, I agree that it's more nuanced than a mere fiat for male-domination.

What kills me though, is when these same Baptists turn around and accuse the LDS Church of being chauvinist. The arguments they use against us, are almost indistinguishable from the arguments used against Baptists on this score.

That kind of blind, clueless hypocrisy just tends to make my blood boil.

Same thing when they rag on polygamy, but never bother to explain themselves on the stories of Jacob and Abraham.

Talking to people like that is like talking to a pile of mud. No matter what you point out, they JUST DON"T GET IT.

Sorry for the rant. It's been bothering me.

Sometimes Baptists are ignorant. There are plenty in America.

I think a core issue of separation between conservative LDS and Baptists is universal priesthood of believers.

Currently, our church family is studying Genesis. And we will be learning the heart issue errors of Abraham, Jacob and their spouses. Greed, selfishness, pride, etc. abounded in the patriarchal families.

In one Genesis chapter, the daughter is defiled, two sons are murdering, the wife dies, and oldest son is fornicating. What a mess.

The patriarchs weren't properly leading their families. And sometimes the wives were submitting to that which wasn't right.

Hypocrisy is to make the people of Genesis the real heroes. They weren't.

The real hero is God.

Seth-I don't think it is really the Baptists who call us chauvinistic. At least not in my experience. As has been pointed out, Baptists are even more devoted to the man having the leading role. They rail against us for polygamy, works, godhood...a whole slew of things. But not sexism. I think that particular attack mostly comes from the non-religious and more liberal Protestants.

Like usual I don't like Todd's tone, but I have to agree with some of his points. Other things you have said in the past about Evangelical hypocracy has been well deserved I feel. In this case, I think the Baptist and Mormon positions are nearly identical. From a worldly standpoint they are identical as Brett points out. The emphasis on equality doesn't take away the emphasis on different roles for shared partnership. For critics of the LDS ideals on marriage the seperate and equal are considered sexist and illogical.

The poligamy thing is what I consider the more hypocritical stance. Assuming that polygamy was wrong, patriarchs and prophets in the Bible were not perfect and therefore people's mistakes cannot prove one way or another who is or isn't a prophet. Now, if they do interpret the lives of the patriarchs/prophets the way Todd then that goes beyond ignorance and becomes willful hypocracy. That is where the true evangelical sin lies; they believe in Grace, but judge by works.

When the issue of wifely submission is raised, the most common repsonse from defenders of the practice seems to be to remind us we're also directed to treat each other with compassion and charity. The only way this makes sense is if we collapse hierarchy into abuse of power, and I think it's helpful to separate these issues. The question is not whether men should treat their wives kindly--I think most people are in agreement that they should (and of course vice versa). The question is whether husbands have ultimate authority in the home.

It's a kinder, gentler patriarchy, but it's still patriarchy, and it still entails women's subordination. Some of us are opposed even to friendly patriarchy.

Now we just need Correlation to do its job and make sure all LDS materials reflect the "equal partners" view announced by the Proclamation.

Especially if Correlation has control of the wordings of our ordinances.

Dave, I think this post is unfair. I really don't get the need some of us seem to have to go after evangelicals. We may not agree with the SBC statement, but why can't we just recognize that it represents their best collective effort to understand and affirm biblical teaching? Are you really going to criticize people for trying to understand and live according to their best interpretation of the Bible?

In a recent interview, can't remember by whom or which apostle was interviewed, but one of the twelve (BKP?) was asked a question by a reporter about the hostility or bad feeling between LDS and evenagelicals, and he said something like if there is it is only on one side. I know you may feel that you are responding to their attacks, but I think the better attitude is to return good for evil.

On the contrary, I have had evangelicals play the sexism card in criticizing the church.

Some of the them seem to ascribe to the school of thought that any stick will do to beat a Mormon with as long as it's handy.

Whenever people ask me about submission in marriage and my religion (LDS) I tell them [that] we are counseled to "hearken to the counsel of your husband as he hearkens to the Father" (I hope I quoted that right). Afterwords my husband jokingly elbowed me and said, "So did you pay attention to the part about hearkening unto me?" And I quickly responded, "Ah, but I have a loophole. I only have to do what you say if you are doing what Heavenly Father says." So, really I'm not submitting to my husband, but to the Lord. If I don't like what my husband says we pray about it and work together till we find the right answer.

In this manner I have no problems with "submitting." But I would have BIG problems if it were put to me the way it is to the Baptists (To submit to your husband as the church submits to God) because there is no divine "loophole" there.

[edited 1/23]

Lizzy, I appreciate that sentiment, and I do believe it makes the whole thing a bit less unpleasant. But let me ask you this:

Why isn't the husband asked to "hearken unto his wife as she hearkens unto the Father?" What message does it send that the husband is not required to make that promise?

[edited 1/23]

Good point, Seth!

In addition, if the goal is for the wife to follow God, why have her following the husband when he is following God--why shouldn't she just follow God directly? I think it's quite clear that "as" means "in the same way that"--the wife stands in the same relation to the husband that he stands to God. (She's a priestess to her husband, not to God, and she gives herself to her husband, not to God.) Which, as Jettboy points out, is not so far off from the Evangelical stance. And which is why this is one of those "Things Mormons Don't Like to Talk About."

These discussions remind me of the discussions in the Middle Ages where great scholars debated how many teeth were in a horses's mouth. The obvious answer is emperial observation. The way to tell how many teeth are in a horse's mouth is count them. No uninspired man is going to treat his family right, LDS, Baptist, or whatever. My observations over 50+ years are when men and women are living worthy of the holy spirit, practicing kindness, humility, and industry; when spouses aren't trying to get the other one to be the grownup, women and children are treated better. The universal priesthood of the Mormon church is a shcoolmaster to teach us how to use power. The point is, as the New Testament clearly teaches, to get and keep the spirit of God which will soften our hearts, and teach us to use power to control ourselves and serve others, rather than control others and serve ourselves.

I do sympathize with your perspective, Kiskilili. While I agree that the Proclamation quietly endorses traditional gender roles, it also counsels that husbands and wives be "equal partners." And the vast majority of present counsel given by LDS leaders in Conference and by LDS bishops at the local level stresses the "equal partners" line of thinking, not the dated "submission" line of thinking.

Be careful when you characterize Baptists. Yes, I do see LDS as a mysogynistic religion. However, as a Baptist, I also see the SBC as mysogynistic. HOWEVER, the SBC is not the definition of Baptist but rather one group of Baptists.

I should also say that I used to defend LDS until I found feminist mormon housewives.

Sandy, I wouldn't take FMH as representing the LDS mainstream. But it does show how surprisingly diverse the scope of LDS opinion is. I somehow don't think a Feminist Baptist Housewives site would be as viable as FMH.

I disagree with an impression of FMH showing diversity.

Further, I'm not a housewife, so the idea of FBH does nothing more for me than FMH does. And a FBH would probably be just as protective as the mysogynistic institution of the SBC as FMH is of the LDS.

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