Abstract and Keywords
Mormon doctrine states that “God” means an exalted man and an exalted woman married in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. Women are created in the image of the divine feminine, and gender (sex) is an eternal characteristic of every soul. Church doctrine also preaches that a sincerely equal and loving partnership between men and women is necessary to the Great Plan of Happiness. This chapter examines the Garden of Eden story and finds in it not tragedy but a powerful expression of the symbolic stewardship roles of male and female. These revolutionary doctrines are accompanied by a traditional emphasis on heterosexual marriage and childbearing, chastity before marriage and fidelity after marriage. Spouses are exhorted to partner in family decision making, rather than insisting that wives are submissive to husbands. Furthermore, LDS doctrine urges women to become educated, and to help shape the larger world in which they live.
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