Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender


This is a topic about which I have much more I could write and spend more time coming to understand personally — however, considering the general interest on LDS blogs over the topics of:

I thought it expedient to expound on what I currently understand the nature of these questions to be.  Each point could be illuminated on further if a reader finds any jumps in reasoning that they perhaps cannot follow.

Male/female gender vs. masculine/feminine aspects:

Every intelligence that was created from nothing by God chose a gender for itself at the point when it was made independent in that sphere in which God placed it.  This was its first “act for itself” – choosing to be either male or female in gender.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. [D&C 93:30]

Masculine and feminine, however, refer to aspects of character – not to gender.  Whether male, female, or of no gender [things] – all aspects of existence may act in either masculine or feminine aspects, and thus may be considered as male or female.

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. [D&C 88:45]

The sun is considered as a male because it fulfills a masculine role of emitting light, while the moon is considered as a female because it fulfills a feminine role of receiving and reflecting light.

A better example of the distinction between gender and aspect/role is in considering Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost:

Personal harmony:

The Eastern concept of the yin and yang is a symbol for explaining the dance that goes on between the masculine and feminine aspects within each individual person.  Whether we chose to have a male or female gender as a personage – we are all comprised of masculine and feminine particles, aspects, and characteristics.

Just as an atom – though it contains some particles called protons [positive charge], some neutrons [no charge], and some electrons [negative charge] – may manifest [over-all] either a positive [e.g., sodium] or a negative [e.g., chlorine] charge.  And it is this over-all charge that allows the atoms to interact with each other and form the molecules of life [sodium+chlorine = salt].

Every person [whether created male or female in gender] contains in their make-up the masculine aspects [yang] – or those of creation, acting upon, the left-brain-mind, the right side, etc. and the feminine aspects [yin] – those of resting, yielding, the right-brain-heart, the left side, etc.  [See also, the Split-Brain Model of the Gospel]

When in balance within an individual person, the right-brain-heart will receive [feminine/yin] inspiration and the left-brain-mind will act upon [masculine/yang] that idea and be the tool that carries out the will.

The key to harmony in this system is for masculine and feminine aspects to be in balance.  It would be improper to ask the moon [feminine] to shine like the sun – or the sun [masculine] to reflect like the moon.  Each has its proper role, power, purpose, and way of doing things.  Activity must be balanced with rest.  Contemplation must be balanced with creation.  Etc.

The two cannot be mixed together or pitted one against the other – as though “on” could ever gain victory over “off” or vice versa.  The masculine and feminine are to come together and become one – joining together, but retaining the masculine and feminine aspects undiluted, untainted, and unmixed.

Tribal harmony:

The masculine aspect pertains to males by virtue of a male birth, and the feminine aspect pertains to females by virtue of a female birth.

Humans are not born into this world absolutely free.  That is not to say that I think we are slaves to some nature that we must overcome – nor do I think we are born in any way enslaved.  I simply mean that we are all limited.  The natural completion of any one human can only be found in the joining of two humans.  The natural completion of any two humans [a marriage couple] can only be found in the joining of them to God.  Man or woman [alone] know but one part of human nature.

The male is born into this world with the symbolic wand, scepter, or sword [covered by a hood].  This is God considered as a male.  It is the will that acts to bring about something from nothing [creation].  It is the tool to penetrate the mystery.

The female is born into this world with the symbolic cup and orb [again covered by a hood].  This is God considered as a female.  It is the sacred chalice of divine compassion.  It is the fertile soil yielding to and receiving the seed.

Husbands are [by virtue of a male birth] to act in the masculine aspect of a priest.  Wives are [by virtue of a female birth] to act in the feminine aspect of a priestess.

Males must embrace and magnify their masculine aspect – while at the same time honoring feminine-ness by loving their wives.  Females must embrace and magnify their feminine aspect – while at the same time honoring masculine-ness by yielding their consent to their husbands.

For there to be true equality between males and females, matriarchy must exist along with patriarchy and gynocracy must exist along with androcracy.  There must be a balance of power, and power must be shared – not concentrated in the hands of a few.

Women are to hold the keys of common consent by which they are free to authorize, validate, and direct the work of the priesthood.  Men are to hold the keys of the priesthood by which they are to act as the voluntary slaves of all and minister the gifts and powers of the Spirit.  Though wives are to submit to or follow their husbands – this is balanced inasmuch as the priesthood of the husband cannot be handled without the consent of those it is intended to serve [the servant must hearken to his masters in all things].  All things must be done by common consent, or else disharmony and tyranny result [rather the men or the women are at fault].  Men and women are judged by God according to how they use their respective set of keys and how they treat each other.

There is no need to consider the particular aspects of the feminine nature [or the male nature] to be a burden.  Nor do we have to somehow neutralize the difference between woman and man in the quest for some androgenous equality of andro-gyn-archy where we demand the sun reflect light and the moon emit it.

What we are to understand by the division of masculine and feminine natures is that man or woman [alone] are but half of a true person – just as a person’s flesh is incomplete without his/her spirit.  However, it is being half that allows the whole to be constructed without denying each part what it truly is.

What of Heavenly Mother?

All Gods, irrespective of gender, are masculine aspects – or are to be considered as male.  When they become the feminine aspect [the mystery, that which is penetrated], they enter the passive, sleep-state of outer darkness — and we do not relate to them here in the created universe.

The exception to this is Jesus Christ during his life on earth.  For though he was God, and therefore did not consider “Godhood” to be something he needed to cling to – he gave up or emptied himself of the masculine aspect of God, took upon himself flesh, appeared in human form, humbled himself in obedience to God, and suffered death on the cross to have his bowels filled with compassion for humanity [See Philippians 2:6-11].  Thus, for that duration of time, Jesus Christ [being God] was considered as a female while being a male personage.  However, thereafter he is seated at the right hand of God [masculine] and all humanity is subject to him [masculine] – and is therefore, as God, he is currently considered as a male.

The created universe [associated with the left-brain-mind/right side] is a masculine aspect, therefore – whether a God is a priest/king or a priestess/queen, He or She is considered as a male by humanity.  We refer to all of them as Gods [rather than Goddesses] – and we must relate to them as masculine, as in yield to the Spirit and submit our will, etc.

Outer darkness [associated with the right-brain-heart/left side] is a feminine aspect.  It is the mystery [a sea of “nothing”-ness] that is penetrated by the will [expansion of the sphere of light].  It is the passive state of non-existence that is contrasted to the active state of existence.

Thus, the Gods are all considered as males and we must relate to them in that way.  The difference in the offering of Cain [fruits of the earth] and of Abel [animal sacrifice] is that Cain could not act in faith towards God while approaching him as a feminine aspect [fertility worship].

As Gods, the purpose is to begin the Arthurian quest to drown in the cup of the Divine Feminine.  Once a God [whether male or female in gender] achieves this state of progression – they return to a state of passivity and rest in outer darkness.  The cycle of creation and expansion of this created universe must be balanced with the rest and withdraw of outer darkness.

The nature of all energy is a wave.  There is no static position in nature.  The full moon will be immediately replaced by the waning gibbous.  Once the moon’s light is altogether withdrawn — a new moon phase begins with the waxing crescent.  The sun goes thru similar phases of active solar activity and more quiet periods.  The earth wobbles on its axis to form seasonal intervals.  The sun moves thru the sky from the summer solstice to the equinox to the winter solstice and back.  Etc.

Eternal progression does not defy this natural pattern by being linear.  The course is one eternal round – or that of an undulating wave.  The kingdom of God is associated with “on” [yang, creation, left-brain, masculine] and outer darkness is associated with “off” [yin, rest, right-brain, feminine].  The point at which any God [male or female] reaches the crest of the wave – they pierce thru the created universe and begin the state of rest [as was counseled to be so since the beginning].

This state is the Divine Feminine, what people call the Heavenly Mother – this is God considered as a female.  This substance is what yields to the universal sphere of light [the seed].  This substance is what the power of creation [pro-creation] uses to bring something out from nothing.  Once any Goddess [male or female] reaches the trough of the wave – they become awake to their left-brain-mind and spawn a new universal sphere of light [a seed].

Outer darkness is, in every facet, the right-brain-heart of God – it is the Mother or Goddess – the waning or sleep state.

The created universe is, in every facet, the left-brain-mind of God – it is the Father or God – the waxing or active state.

This principle – explained in three tiers:

I.  As a person [rather born male or female], each of us must seek to harmonize the feminine and the masculine aspects inherent in our person.

This is done by subjecting the flesh [feminine] to the spirit [masculine] – and by placing the right-brain and the left-brain into their proper harmonious roles.

II.  As a marriage couple [who are made up of one male and one female], the wife and the husband must seek to harmonize the feminine and masculine aspects inherent in the role each one is to play.

This is done by women acting in the aspects of the feminine and men acting in the aspects of the masculine.  Wives [feminine] must follow their husbands [masculine].

III.  As the church of God [who are made up of the foundational unit of marriage families], we are all – as the bride of Christ – to seek towards harmonizing ourselves as the feminine with our masculine Bridegroom and Father.

This is done by all believers acting in the aspects of the feminine by relating to God only as a masculine aspect [even the Gods that are female in gender, i.e. the Holy Ghost].  The church [feminine] must subject its will to the will of the Father [masculine].

Next Article by Justin:  Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons

Previous Article by Justin:  Punishment

Deep Waters: Creatio ex nihilo, creatio ex materia and creatio ex deo are all true doctrines


For background on this post, please first read Lehi’s model of the universe.  This article begins where that one left off.

creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing)

Everything originally came from outer darkness, or out of the lake of fire and brimstone, into the inner light or sphere which is the kingdom of God (the created Universe.)  Everything in the created Universe (the sphere) has agency.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.  Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.   (D&C 93: 30)

This means that everything placed by God within the sphere of light exists, while everything without the sphere of light (in outer darkness) has no existence. In other words, what exists outside of the sphere of light?  Nothing exists outside of the sphere of light. The sphere of light is all there is. There is nothing else outside of it.  And yet, it is just from this “nothing” that God created the Universe and it is from this “nothing” that He is continually expanding His kingdom, for the sphere is growing.

Existence, as used in the above scripture, does not mean life. It does not mean that within the sphere of light things are alive and outside of it things are dead.  Instead, existence means “the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence.”  A dead thing, after all, although dead, still exists. However, an empty spot, in which there is nothing there, has “no life neither death,” which is Lehi’s description of what is found outside of the sphere of light, meaning that an endless void is out there.

Creatio ex nihilo, therefore, is a true doctrine, as God created (past) the whole created Universe from that which does not exist (the “nothing”) and is continuing (present) to expand His Universe by creating more Universe from that same “nothing.”  This creative act out of “nothing” will continue on forever (future).

Note: more information concerning this non-existent state outside of the sphere of light can be found in the article Lehi’s model of the universe.  That article described the “nothing” in terms of a material or an existence.  Nevertheless, in actuality, there was nothing out there, not any substance, material or existence.  Each time you read in that Lehi article the words exist, existence, substance, material, compound or any other term that indicates some type of material or thing in regards to outer darkness, it should be read as if there were quotation [“”] marks around it.

Also, the Lord makes it plain that if there is no agency, there is no existence, therefore all things inside of the sphere of light have agency and existence, whereas outside of the sphere of light—which is the location known as outer darkness—there is no agency and no existence, in other words, there is nothing. Agency is a gift of God given to us at the moment we came into existence (when we entered the sphere of light from outer darkness.)  When the Lord states “otherwise there is no existence” it presupposes that there are things that exist (on the one hand) and that there is also nonexistence (on the other hand), in other words, that there is an opposition in all things, including the state of existing and not existing.  Not existing is just as real as existing is and by giving us His definition of what are things that exist (independent truth and intelligence placed by God within the sphere of light and given agency) God has also given us the key in determining where such nonexistence is located (outer darkness.)  For a more in-depth treatise on agency, see The role of free agency in political systems, as well as The faith of God, part ten: The relationship of faith to agency (power) and Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote? )

Lastly, all truth and intelligence placed in the sphere is independent, meaning that these are individual bits, or individuals. Outside of the sphere, the void is a single mass, with no individuality or independence.  Inside, the Universe is made up of independent individuals.

creatio ex materia (creation out of pre-existent matter)

The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth; and no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.  Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.  And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.  For man is spirit.  The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.  The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.  The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.  Light and truth forsake that evil one.  Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed  man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.  And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.  But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.  But verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, you have continued under this condemnation; you have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction.  (D&C 93: 26-42)

There are but two fundamental materials that make up the created Universe: spirit and element.  The scriptures call these two materials by different names according to what aspect of the material is being described.  And so we have fire (spirit) and brimstone (element), light (spirit) and truth (element), intelligence (spirit) and truth (element), wisdom (spirit) and knowledge (element), that which acts (spirit) and that which is acted upon (element).  We also have Spirit of truth (spirit of element) as well as descriptions of intelligence as both the light of truth (spirit of element) and light and truth (spirit and element).  (It is interesting to note that the scriptures never speak of truth of light or truth of spirit [both element of spirit], only of light of truth and spirit of truth [both spirit of element].)

The term “intelligence” throws everyone off.  For most LDS, when asked what an intelligence is, according to the scriptures, they would probably say it is the third part of us that is neither spirit nor element, that is our fundamental being, and which is neither created nor made but exists from all eternity.  This definition, of course, is an invention on their part, as the scriptures do not describe a third part of our being.  The scriptures only describe two parts of us: spirit and element.  The reason why the word “intelligence” is so confusing is that the Lord uses it to mean more than one thing, even in the above quoted scripture.

Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  (D&C 93: 29)

Intelligence, in this sentence, is referring to the “nothing” that has no existence located in outer darkness.  It is the compound-in-one, good-for-nothing “substance” described by Lehi and referred here by the Lord as intelligence.  (It is useful to refer to “nothing” intelligence as a “substance,” although a substance would technically be something.  Just keep in mind that I’m not actually saying it is a substance when I use the term “substance.”)  This “nothing” intelligence has no purpose and cannot be created or made, as it would destroy God and His purposes were He to create nothing (“something” that has no purpose according to Lehi.)  This “nothing” intelligence is also described as the “light of truth,” which allows us to understand that it is the compound-in-one substance from which the light (spirit) part was extracted from the truth (element) part, in the godly splitting operation which continuously makes an opposition in all things at the lake of fire and brimstone.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. (D&C 93: 30)

Intelligence in this sentence refers only to the spirit material that is split from the compound-in-one “nothing” intelligence.  Truth (element) and intelligence (spirit) are then the fundamental building materials, preexisting prior to the creation (formation or organization) of the Universe.  This process is creatio ex materia and is ongoing as the Universe both expands and is re-organized into its various stages of development.

There are two other uses of the word “intelligence.”  One meaning is of a spirit body, such as the spirit bodies of men, which were “organized before the world was.”  (See Abraham 3: 22.)  Another meaning of intelligence is “something” intelligence, as opposed to “nothing” intelligence:

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.  (D&C 93: 36)

Whereas the “nothing” intelligence is the light of truth, the “something” intelligence is light and truth.  To recap: the “nothing” intelligence is the original “nothing”, namely, spirit and element compounded into one “substance,” good for nothing, not existing, and found outside the sphere of light in a region called outer darkness.  This “nothing” intelligence cannot be created or made by God (or anyone else.)  Creatio ex nihilo occurs at the lake of fire and brimstone whereby this “nothing” intelligence is split into two fundamental materials: spirit and element (or light and truth).  This creates the opposition in all things.  It is now “something” intelligence, meaning, it has purpose, existence, agency and can be useful for constructing or organizing an entire Universe (creatio ex materia.)

creatio ex deo (creation out of the being of God)

There are two ways or senses in which all things were and are created out of the being of God.  One is that everything came from the same nothingness, the “nothing” intelligence, including God:

Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  (D&C 93: 29)

The “beginning” referred to in this scripture is the very first beginning, when we were part of the compound-in-one “nothing” intelligence that cannot be created or made.  We were there, in our uncreated nothing state, and God was there, too, in His uncreated nothing state.  We were all as one body. We did not exist as individuals, but as part of a single mass of nothingness, and in fact, we did not exist at all.   A portion of this mass was brought out of outer darkness before us, becoming the individual we now know as God.  Thus, God was brought out first.  Then, later, He brought us out along with all of the rest of the created Universe, so that we now all exist as individuals.  But keep in mind that originally, we all were part of the same whole, the same mass of nothingness, including God.  Thus, as the “nothing” intelligence literally was/is a part of the being of God and we were/are a part of it, too, creatio ex deo is a true doctrine.

Another way we are created out of the being of God is through the Light of Christ.  The Light of Christ is the (extended) body of God.  Through it He is able to both be in one single location at a time and also everywhere at once (omnipresent).  Although the Light of Christ is a creation of God, it has been endowed with all of His vast powers, knowledge and all other attributes in their fullness.  This is one of the reasons why the Light of Christ is indistinguishable to modern Christians from the real God that created it.  Nevertheless, as it is the arm of His power, extended throughout the Universe, it can be considered an extension of His very being, allowing Him to be both the one and the infinite at the same time.  It is the Light of Christ that has organized (creatio ex materia) and that maintains the entire Universe.  In this sense, creatio ex deo is a true doctrine:

Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.  This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.  As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; as also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; and the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.  And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88: 3-13)

God does it all

To summarize, God splits the nothingness of outer darkess into its two component parts, spirit and element, bringing the single-mass nothingness (singular intelligence) into individual somethingnesses (a plurality of intelligences), from nonexistence into existence, placing the individual spirit and element bits within the growing sphere of light (the created Universe) and granting both components agency.  This creative act occurs at the lake of fire and brimstone, is in reality creatio ex nihilo and is ongoing.  As the singular nothingness was/is part of the being of God, this creative act is also creatio ex deo.

Once inside the sphere of light, split into spirit and element and granted agency, God organizes these fundamental bits into spirit and physical bodies.  This creative act is creatio ex materia and is ongoing.  As the Light of Christ is (essentially) part of the being of God (an extension of Him) and as we are organized (created) by and of the Light of Christ, it being in us, powering us and maintaining us (and all other things), this creative act is also creatio ex deo.

Previous Deep Waters article: Deep Waters:Lehi’s model of the universe

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