Overthrow the Monarchy of Heaven!

Western religion as a whole is structured like law, most specifically like a monarchy. The LDS church is no different and will be the religion I focus on today. At the end, I will suggest an alternative model for a religious experience.

God/Jesus is often referred to as the King of Kings or the Lord of Lords, and sits on his golden throne of righteousness in his mansion while wearing a crown of glory. Whether you believe this or not, it gives a strong imagery of how you are to treat the divine: like royalty. When addressing this royalty (prayer), you use very formal language. Lots of “thee”, “thou”, and “thy”s. With some prayers, if it’s not done exactly as has been commanded, it is repeated. This royalty is often depicted as jealous, wrathful, and needing praise and worship.

How leaders are treated are very much modeled after this royal formation. Even in Joseph Smith’s day he wanted to restructure Mormonism into a theocracy with himself as a king. How the LDS Church today treats its leadership exhibits some traditionally European monarch-like traits, such as:

  1. If there is ever a male they take authority over females.
  2. When someone of nobility (G.A.) enters a room, it is expected that you stand until they sit.
  3. Leaders partake first (sacrament)
  4. Leaders are divinely appointed
  5. The position at the top is a life-time position
  6. The person at the top dictates what is and isn’t ok
  7. The person at the top is a figure head
  8. Different eras are defined by the figure heads
  9. Strict rules for succession
  10. Leaders are often viewed as infallible
  11. Widespread nepotism
  12. Closely ties religion and state

There is a reason why the world isn’t ruled by monarchies today: the system doesn’t allow for the common person. We, as a society, have not addressed how the divine is often treated like royalty. We should do away with the spiritual monarchy as we did with the temporal monarchies for the same reasons. We should replace these monarchies with a better system.

I propose a new way of viewing the divine: like a family. This would include:

  1. Give Heavenly Mother an equal role as creator. Mormonism is unique in that it recognizes the divine feminine. Equal importance should be placed on the divine feminine as the masculine.
  2. Give women equal roles in all ways. Part of recognizing the divine feminine is giving them full equal access. No more of the subservient, “separate but equal” bullshit. Women have full access to anything having to do with priesthood.
  3. See Jesus not as a Lord, but as a big brother. Mormonism is also unique in how it views the parentage of souls. The concept that all souls, holy and evil, are siblings, is a pretty unique one. The oldest of these souls is Jesus.I am a big brother to 3 siblings. I try to be an example to them, talk to them, and listen to them when they want to tell me something. I cannot fathom demanding the level of respect that Jesus traditionally seems to demand. It goes above and beyond seeing him as a brother.
  4. Don’t feel like you’re indebted to the divine and have to worship it, treat them like loving family members. If God/Jesus, as they are traditionally viewed, were real family members, it would be a classic case of pointing people to¬†r/RaisedByNarcissists. I don’t think that this traditional view is healthy. I am choosing to reinterpret the stories in a healthier way. In doing so, I also give myself much more responsibility and control over my own story.
  5. Have church be structured as a discussion among equals and siblings. I have more life experience that my siblings by quite a bit, so they learn a fair amount from me. I give them a fair amount of advice based on my experience and they earn from it. However, I still learn a lot from my little siblings. She is a different gender and in a different generation. She has had many experiences that I simply have not and never will have. I should learn from those experiences because I will never have the opportunity to do so firsthand. Having a frame of mind that models this would be a healthier way to talk about spirituality.