Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pojman's Gorge

In his article, Faith, Hope, and Doubt, Louis Pojoman explores replacing faith with hope. This should catch the attention of LDS readers, who will recall the definition of faith in Alma 32. Pojman talks about the difference between trivial hope and profound hope. He gives this example: imagine you are being chased by bad guys, and come to a gorge too big for you to jump across. You notice a rope stretched from one end to the other, and a tight rope walker approaches you and tells you he can carry you across. You obviously have questions. What if he really isn't a tight rope walker? If he is, could he really carry me accross? However, Pojman argues, you would risk letting him carry you across in an attempt to avoid the bad guys.

Pojman says that this is hope; you hope so much to get away from the bad guys, so you agree to let the tight rope walker carry you, even with the risks considered.

"We might call such cases where one is disposed to risk something significant on the possibility of the proposition's being true deep or profound hope. When the risk involves something of enormous value, we might call it desperate hope."

But my question is this: What if what's on the other side of the gorge is worse than getting caught by the bad guys?

I've had to come to terms with and be okay with a lot of things regarding what my religion requires of me. I've decided that I'm prepared to forgo graduate school and a career if the opportunity for family comes along. I've decided to simply appeal to mystery when it comes to so many ways women are considered and treated inferior to men, both secularly and religiously. I've been able to bring myself to this point because I've believed that I will be rewarded for all of my gender self-sacrificing in the hereafter.

But my mind always returns to the (mythical? Doctrinal?) idea of plural marriage in the Celestial Kingdom. Nothing is more contradictory to my ideas of love. Maybe my inner 8 year-old has taken over that part of my thinking and has made me continue to believe in a fairy tale idea of love. I believe that love is when two people, two, are vulnerable only to each other. I can't make sense of having to sacrifice myself and my desires for my husband and family, only to continue on to a "reward" of eternal subservience. My husband is given 50 other women as resources for him to create worlds and universes. But I'm destined to be a perpetual baby-making machine.

Always in the background temporally. Always in the background eternally.

I'd like to say that I'd rather let the bad guys get me, but there's still this desperate hope that keeps me inching toward the tight rope walker.

So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And hoping thou lovest me,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine,
I'll be what you want me to be.