Monday, April 20, 2015

If the LDS Church Ruled the World

I'm letting you in on a little secret.

The LDS church wants to rule the world.

Oh, I'm not saying this is something that anyone says outright from the pulpit. As far as I know there's no madman sitting in a room of high tech computers plotting with his sidekick how they're going to take over the world while they eat funeral potatoes and green jello.

Nope. It's far more subtle and long reaching than that and actually, they aren't the only church that has the dream.

There's a phrase - "Every member a missionary." It means that every LDS member is obligated to find "investigators" so they can be taught the gospel. Not just any gospel. But the gospel of the LDS church which they believe to be the only true gospel of Jesus Christ.

They want to "flood the earth" with the gospel so that each person will bow when Jesus comes - however, to them it doesn't just mean each Christian, but that every person will be a Mormon when Jesus comes.

I remember telling a sister missionary (the LDS church sends out young people to convert the world) that I thought that a pastor of a church becoming LDS might not be right since he might be needed in his congregation. The look on her face showed horror, as if I suggested that we start dancing naked in the moonlight around a sacrificial fire.

Oh sure, they know it won't happen. They know there will be other religions on the earth at the coming of Jesus, but they believe when that happens they will all come to realize that the LDS church is the one true church and the world will be divided in two, between Latter-Day Saints and bad people.

Again, this is not different from what other churches believe about themselves.

So let's just pretend. Let's pretend that the LDS church rules the world simply because the great majority of the people are members. What would that mean?

All you have to do is look at how the church is currently set up to understand how it would work in the real world.

It would mean that there would be no woman leaders. There would be no women doctors, lawyers, police officers, politicians or women in any other career.

Women would be in the home.

Women's voices would not be heard.

When women would be allowed to speak it would be to confirm what men have told them to say.

Don't believe me? In the 1980's then prophet Ezra Taft Benson counselled every woman to return to the home. Every woman. Not just women with small children, but every woman who had a husband no matter her age, should stay home. Single women and single mothers were exempt since they needed to support themselves.

And although currently most of the women I know in the church work outside the home, the counsel of Ezra Taft Benson has not been rescinded. It is still advised that women stay home but because we live in the real world, the church recognizes that this may be unrealistic for now.

So if the church ran the world, every woman who had a man to financially care for her, would not be in the work force. Furthermore, it would be hard for single women to get decent jobs because why would you invest in a woman who might get married one day?

The church would only allow men to be leaders - it's that way right now. They may allow a single woman to have some leadership keys in an area, but that would merely be for show, to say that they do see women as equal.

They would tell women that they are so special that they do not need to work. They would tell women that men needed to learn the skills that women naturally have. They would tell women to be happy in the home and if they wanted other work, to volunteer in their community. They would tell women that if they don't like cooking and cleaning then they better pray to like it because that's what women are meant to do.

They would tell women how to dress, how many children to have (as many as you can physically have), and encourage them to marry the first worthy man to come along even if it means giving up their education to do it.

They may even reinstitute polygamy to take care of those single women so that they aren't in the workplace.

Sounds bizarre? That's the way it is now within the church. Women do not lead (except under the leadership of men - even the women's church group is run by men), women do not handle money, women do not make decisions, women do not baptize, women do not even write the manuals that are taught to women and young women. Women are encouraged to marry young and have babies right away even if it means putting her education and career on hold. Women do not even hold their own babies during blessings. Women hold no authority in the church. Women have been told that if they don't like being in the home that they better pray to like it. When women speak, they only say what men have said before. Women who have different voices are excommunicated.

Even when women speak of something that has been taught, they may face excommunication like Margaret Tuscano did for writing about Heavenly Mother.

And although women are treated decently in the church for the most part, if men are given the power of the world and the power to completely control women, then that power would only become abusive. What little rights women would have under LDS leadership would be taken away, perhaps gently at first so that no one would notice much and it would be done in a way to make it sound loving.

The car keys would be handed over and her drivers license would be taken away so that she doesn't risk her life.

Laws would be passed requiring her to wear clothing that completely covers her so that she doesn't tempt men.

She would be told that her husband must accompany her on outings so that she can be safe from other men. Even if the whole world is LDS, there are LDS men who can't control themselves when they see women - at least that's what we're told in church. That's why we're never supposed to be alone with a married member of the opposite sex - because men and women can't control themselves. Another reason not to allow women in the workplace. They might have to work with married men thereby leading to adultery.

She will be told that she doesn't need to worry her pretty little head over money and let the men have the headache. Her bank and credit cards would be taken away. Her bank accounts would be handed over to her husband. Only single women would be allowed access to money out of necessity.

She will be told that she is higher and more righteous than any man and is to be worshipped and not have to deal with earthly things - other than child care and cleaning house which is the most noble and fulfilling thing that anyone can do and that's why men are so eager to help do the dishes and scrub the toilets - oh wait. Scratch that last part.

Hmm, I think I have a dystopian novel in there somewhere.

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