From Here To Eternity: Women's Bodies, Women's Destinies in Janice Allred's Theology

Caroline Kline

Abstract


Early Church leaders such as George Q. Cannon and Parley Pratt, who both emphasized the importance of polygamy in God's eternal scheme, tended to see women as subordinate to men, with their main purpose in life revolving around the ability to birth children and thus add to the husband's eternal increase. God the Mother is similarly circumscribed. As the Mormon Church distanced itself from polygamy and assimilated into mainstream America, other Church leaders softened their rhetoric about women's subordination and elevated Eve. They still asserted men's presiding role, but they attributed this role to difference rather than superiority. Recent feminist Mormon theologians, such as Janice Allred and Margaret Toscano, follow the sweep of this arc to its next logical step, working with Mormon conceptions and beliefs to raise women to full equality with men, both temporally and eternally.  Throughout this article, I juxtapose the thoughts of Janice Allred with those of early Church leaders, primarily George Q. Cannon.


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