Friday, February 13, 2015

Why I Don't Believe in Eternal Gestational Birth

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post titled, "Who Gave Birth to God's Spirit Children?"  I had occasion recently to revisit a post on "Real Intent" titled, "Does Exaltation Mean Polygamy?" - and I added a clarifying comment in that thread to an earlier comment in which I said I was "appalled" by the idea of immortal pregnancy.  I am copying that comment here, along with links to the two posts I mentioned, in the hope that it will help someone understand why I feel so strongly about the belief in eternal gestational birth. 


It's not the idea that we will be creating life eternally that is appalling; in fact, I love that idea. That concept is one of my favorite in all of Mormon theology.  Eternal motherhood and fatherhood is beautiful and sublime - and, within Christianity, so unique.  To me, it is the very heart of the Restoration - the resurrection, if you will, of a murdered Divine Father and Mother (theologically)

It's the idea that creating life after mortality will be exactly like it has been for thousands of years on earth that is appalling to me (although understandable, given the inability of people in the past to imagine any other way that life could be created) - and a large part of the revulsion I feel for that idea is the wink, wink way men often talk about only having one child if we had to go through mortal pregnancy and delivery.  We joke about it, but we mean it.  We (men) glamorize it but absolutely don't want to HAVE to go through it, so we are fine and dandy, thank you very much, if they (women) are the ones who GET to go through it there and here.  (Notice the difference in the bolded words; they are instructive to me.) 

I just don't see the creation of immortal spirits as an internal, gestational process that involves "birth" in the way we understand that word here on earth.  It's that concept (eternal, internal conception, gestation and birth) that I find appalling - especially since, generally speaking, men are deeply grateful we don't have to be involved in that process beyond the conception stage.  The fun without the pain vs. (ideally, but not always) the fun and the pain. 

Yeah, I can understand why many men might tend to be totally OK with women giving birth like that forever, but I disagree - passionately.


Anonymous said...

The other thing I find absolutely stupid about this idea is that childbirth is Eve's (and one could argue by extension all women's) punishment/trial while in a fallen world. How is mortal trial times a billion a reward for righteous women?

Papa D said...

Amen, Anonymous!

I don't buy the idea that childbirth is a punishment of any kind, no matter how that is said by anyone or anywhere. It is a natural part of mortality, and the idea that it is a punishment, imo, is covered in our "as far as it is translated correctly" disclaimer. That lots of people have accepted it as literal doesn't change that one bit for me, no matter what positions they have held.

JKC said...

Right, like, "Men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression; but women will totally be punished for Eve's transgression." I don't think that's how it works.

Papa D said...

Great way to frame it, JKC. I'm sure I will be using that in the future.

Anonymous said...

I really have no idea how this works, but I don't believe for a moment that women will be called upon to suffer as they have in this life, and I never have.I don't even feel chippy about it, that's how much I don't believe in this.

Jami said...

I've always thought it odd that people believe in eternal physical pregnancy to create spirit children. I'm not sure how spirit children are created, but I'm guessing it's not with our bodies.