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Part One: Rumination of the Divine Feminine

Over the past several days, a hot-button topic has consumed the online LDS social media world. It all mainly stemmed from the exciting changes implemented by President Nelson in the temple. I wrote an article on the topic that got a ton of positive feedback and shares. Currently, that article has been shared over 300 times across Facebook alone. It has garnered thousands of views.

This is not me trying to pat myself on the back. It is to more fully illustrate how much this particular topic means to people. It is as if we are parched and unconsciously desire the same thing Ralph Waldo Emerson lamented about when he wrote:

"Give me truths,
For I am weary of the surfaces,
And die of inanition"(1)

After my blog post was written, other independent voices came forward to express their view about the divine nature of women. A few examples can be found here:

There is so much to unveil in our hunger and thirst after more light and knowledge about the divine role of women. This post is part one of the light intensive things I have uncovered when it comes to the divine nature of women.

For starters, it is wise to begin with what latter-day prophets have said about the divine nature of women:

"No more sacred word exists in secular or holy writ than that of a mother." - Ezra Taft Benson (2)

"We know so little about the reasons for the division of duties between womanhood and manhood as well as between motherhood and priesthood. These were divinely determined in another time and another place. We are accustomed to focusing on the men of God because theirs is the priesthood and leadership line. But paralleling that authority line is a stream of righteous influence reflecting the remarkable women of God who have existed in all ages and dispensations, including our own." - Neal A. Maxwell (“Women of God,” Women, 1979, p. 94)

"Having looked over all of [creation], [God] declared it to be good. He then created man in His own likeness and image. Then as His final creation, the crowning of His glorious work, He created woman. I like to regard Eve as His masterpiece after all that had gone before, the final work before He rested from His labors." - Gordon B. Hinckley (3)

Countless other examples can be cited, but these will suffice. Neal A. Maxwell blatantly admits that we know very little about womanhood/motherhood and how it compares to manhood/priesthood. Ezra Taft Benson and Gordon B. Hinckley both refer to women in the most sacred language one can convey. 

Let's begin the dive.

We are eternal:

“The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself.” – Joseph Smith (4)

One of our eternal characteristics is our gender:

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual… eternal identity and purpose.” – Family Proclamation (5)

“Man is man and woman is woman, fundamentally, unchangeably, eternally.” – James E. Talmage (6) 

“[Gender] is an eternal quality which has its equivalent everywhere. It is indestructible.” – John A. Widstoe (Rational Theology, 1915, p. 64)

It is a highly debated topic, because of its significance to modern social issues, about what is meant by gender being "eternal". For purposes of this post, I come down on the side that women are women because they possess feminine qualities that are co-eternal with God.


In the spirit of speculation, various LDS Scholars have suggested that women are women because their eternal ego has an affinity for the part of truth that shines (see D&C 88:7). Truth, as defined in D&C 88, is a reference to the substance of the Light of Christ that fills the immensity of space and is in and through all things. On the same line of thought, LDS theologians also suggest that men are men because they have an affinity to the substance of truth (i.e. they are concerned about the actual 'stuff'). It is, therefore, suggested that this is why women are given the nurturing quality because the part of truth that shines is a capacitating agent that increases abilities and capacities (see Moses 1:2-5). Even further, men are men because they have an eternal affinity to the substance, which is executive in nature (see D&C 88:13).

Spirit birth in the pre-earth life followed the consistencies of our gender before. In other words, women are women because they have an acute affinity towards those feminine Christ-like attributes that make up the divine nature (i.e. compassion, charity, mercy, long-suffering, patience, and so on).

 The scriptures speak of promises made specifically to women in the pre-mortal world. As I read this, and given what I just laid out about the eternal nature of female, ask yourself “Is there any question why our Father in Heaven would entrust women with this?”

D&C 132:63 speaks of a:

“promise [made to all women] which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.” 

This is where it either gets interesting or my lack of training in linguistics and syntax becomes painfully obvious. The very next verse uses some interesting wording in referring to women:

"And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him..." (D&C 132:64, bold added for emphasis)

This verse refers to keys. A casual reading of it may cause many to assume it is referring to men, but a close reading might show that it is referring to women. This precious verse gets lost in the shuffle because it is at the very end of a revelation that is somewhat painful for many women to read (a revelation that becomes more beautiful the more one understands about it, I might add). Note, it is the woman who 'administers' unto the man. The term 'administer' is a priesthood term because it means to direct or a right of presidency (i.e. keys). It is my opinion, and, therefore, suggested that women through their inherent womanhood hold keys that God gave them for the nurturing of their families. It might also be stated that these 'keys' or gifts that they possess may cover many more things that we currently do not understand. 

M. Russel Ballard uses language that is consistent with terms like 'keys' and 'administer':

"Men are given stewardship over the sacred ordinances of the priesthood. To women, God gives stewardship over bestowing and nurturing mortal life, including providing physical bodies for God's spirit children and guiding those children toward a knowledge of gospel truths." - M. Russel Ballard (7)

Even further:

"A Father Has Keys to Bless His Family" (8)

I offer it as my opinion that since fathers have inherent keys within them to bless their families, that it is no different for mothers. They have stewardship. They administer. They have keys. These keys do not belong to the conventional priesthood, but belong to what we could simply call 'motherhood' and/or 'womanhood'. Again, we do not know much about it as Elder Maxwell taught 40 years ago.

These keys from men and women take on increased power as they are endowed through the ordinances of the Holy Temple. I have found this explained in no better way than the way LDS theologian Dr. Hyum Andrus explains it here:

"The distinct thing about temple marriage is simply that it gives a man and a woman the means and the obligation to be a father and mother in two ways instead of one. Do you know what those two ways are? One is physically to multiply and replenish the earth. The second, is to be a father and mother under Christ, in that through us the living powers of the Holy Spirit—-the powers and attributes which are given to people through the Holy Ghost are developed in our children, by which they can be born again and begin to acquire the gift's, endowments, and powers of the Holy Spirit that, lead to eternal life." (9)

This ends part one of 'Rumination of the Divine Feminine'. In part two, we will discuss some of the marvelous examples in scripture of the divine feminine being present and other marvelous insights from latter-day prophets and apostles. We will also dive into insights that the very best LDS theologians have written on the subject. It can be read here.

For further reading on the topic, I recommend these books highly. A picture link is provided for your convenience:


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