Gender is eternal, at least from the perspective and teachings of most Mormon traditions. Whether mainstream or fundamentalist, Mormonism teaches that gender is a fixed characteristic that predates earthly existence and follows us into the afterlife. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints codified this belief in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” a 1995 document likely authored by Latter-day Saint lawyers and designed to thwart same-sex marriage advancements in Hawaii and elsewhere.3 Whether received by divine revelation or responding to perceived secular need, this proclamation reiterates key components of Latter-day Saint doctrine related to gender and family. According to this document, “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and...
Contradiction among Essentialism: How Some Mormon Fundamentalists Do Gender
Jennifer Huss Basquiat-Jones is a tenured professor of anthropology at the College of Southern Nevada. She has conducted fieldwork examining the intersection of Mormonism and Haitian Vodou in Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas and has been conducting fieldwork among polygamous communities, most notably Centennial Park, since 2010. In addition to teaching, she is currently working on a book based on her fieldwork, Underground, but in the Light: The Plural Community of Centennial Park. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two children.
Jennifer Huss Basquiat-Jones; Contradiction among Essentialism: How Some Mormon Fundamentalists Do Gender. Mormon Studies Review 1 January 2022; 9 27–40. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/21568030.9.1.03
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