Wow, I just read this amazing article by my friend and fellow La Leche League Leader (at least she used to be when I lived in Provo). Her name is Valerie Hudson Cassler, and I fondly call her my “grandma” in La Leche League. She was the reason that my friend Joyce Mitchell joined LLL and became a Leader, and Joyce is the reason that I kept coming back to LLL, and eventually joined and became a Leader.
Valerie is on the same wavelength as I am! She has developed a concept of “Two Trees” to explain gender roles in the plan of salvation. It is very similar to what I have written in my forthcoming book, Tree of Life Mothering. My sister-in-law Meg told me she is reading a book by Valerie called Women In Zion, Women in Eternity. So i just Googled it and found this cool article by Valerie here http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1718/valerie-hudson-cassler
Here’s some of the article:
“I am a convert to the Mormon Church from Roman Catholicism, and gained my testimony as the result of spiritual experiences that I cannot deny. In this essay, however, I will discuss instead why, as a feminist, I remain a steadfast member of the LDS Church.
It is very difficult to be raised in one of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity), as I was, and not come away with some fairly unpleasant conclusions about women. Depending on the religion and sect involved, one may be taught that the first woman was feeble-minded or a murderess and that all her daughters are marred by that fact, that a woman’s body is unclean, that God meant women to submit to their husbands and in general be subservient to men, and that divinity is male and male alone. (Of course, echoes of such teachings can be found in other faith traditions besides the Abrahamic, as well.)
“After decades of studying LDS doctrine concerning women (and carefully distinguishing it from LDS cultural understandings and practices, which in quite a few cases contradict that doctrine), I have been liberated as a woman from the erroneous and harmful beliefs about women that haunt those raised in Abrahamic traditions. How remarkable and in some senses ironic it still seems to me to have experienced “women’s lib” by conversion to Mormonism!
“…the LDS do not believe that the Fall was a great tragedy. Rather, we believe that the Fall was foreordained, that it was for our progression, and thus the Fall was a blessing. Number two, the LDS do not believe that Eve sinned in partaking of the fruit of the First Tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And number three, because the LDS do not believe Eve sinned, we also do not believe that Eve was punished by God for her role in partaking of the fruit, but rather rewarded.”
There’s a lot more so I encourage you to read it! Heavenly Father’s plan really is beautiful!