Unity and Atonement in Ephesians

By Amy Blake Hardison

Amy Blake Hardison, “Unity and Atonement in Ephesians,” in Go Ye into All the World: Messages of the New Testament Apostles, 31st Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002), 114–129.

Unity and Atonement in Ephesians

Amy Blake Hardison

 

Amy Blake Hardison taught at the Tempe Arizona Institute of Religion when this was published.

 

The atonement is “the act of unifying or bringing together what has been separated or estranged.” [1] We usually think of the Atonement in its ultimate manifestation, that of Jesus Christ overcoming sin and death and thereby providing a way for man to be reunited with God. As transcendent as this blessing is, it is only one aspect of the Atonement.

In His intercessory prayer, Christ asked the Father to bless all those who believed in Him “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” and “that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:21, 23). In this plea, we see that the Atonement is to operate not only vertically, filling us with the desire to be with and be like God, but also horizontally, moving us to blend in sweet harmony with the people in our lives.

This ideal relationship was first commanded of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. However, fallen, natural human beings tend to be egocentric, proud, and dogmatic—in other words, separate. Becoming at one with spouses, children, neighbors, ward members, and others who regularly irritate, exasperate, and challenge us is graduate work for aspiring Saints. It requires humility, giving up our own agendas and wills, brutal honesty in looking at our own flaws, and most of all repentance. Because of these demands, it is sanctifying. It is exactly what we need to effect the vertical aspect of the Atonement, becoming like God.

It is this very pragmatic side of the Atonement that Paul deals with extensively in Ephesians. In this epistle, Paul not only acknowledges the difficulty of living in unity but also shows how to do so in two very practical and challenging relationships: (1) as members of the Church and (2) as husbands and wives.

The Challenge of Living in Unity

In the premortal existence, we were called and elected to many things: to be members of the house of Israel, to become mothers and fathers in Israel, [2] and to fulfill unique roles in building the kingdom. In Ephesians 1:4, Paul points out one election we often overlook—to live together in love. It is likely we learned how to do this in the premortal world, [3] and we will need to so live in the celestial kingdom (see D&C 105:4). In the interim, living celestial principles in a fallen world with a fallen nature is difficult. Paul acknowledges this when he beseeches the Saints to live with lowliness (humility), meekness (gentleness), long-suffering, and forbearance (see Ephesians 4:1–2), the very characteristics needed to blend gently with mankind.

Ironically, the more separate we are, the easier it is to live in love, or at least it appears to be easier. We are usually quite polite to strangers, but then we don’t have to share toothpaste with them or agree on how to raise children or step over their dirty socks. The closer the relationship, the more our lives are intertwined. The more our lives are intertwined, the more another’s way of being encroaches on our way of being. That is why Gib Kocherhans has written: “The home is the crucible of Christian commitment. I have done a far better job of living the gospel in public and private than in the mini-society of my family. No other person or group can press upon me, demand of me, or expose me like the members of my family can.” [4] These demands are one of the reasons our close relationships are so very important to us; they teach us how to love.

President James E. Faust related a conversation he once had with Elder S. Dilworth Young. Elder Young’s wife, Gladys, had had a cruel stroke that left her as an invalid, requiring him to dress her, feed her, and care for her. President Faust remarked that he had never seen a greater example of tender kindness and solicitude than Elder Young’s as he tended to Gladys. Elder Young confided to President Faust: “It was the worst thing in the world that could have happened to Gladys and the best thing for me. It made me decent. I learned what love really should be.” [5] So it is in our lives. It is only when we surrender the self and care for someone else more than we care for ourselves that we begin to realize true love. That is why parenting is a most intensive course on love. That is why married love can be an “exultant ecstasy.” [6] That is why love “is always specific, always costly, [and] always a miraculous event.” [7] And that is why it is not easy.

Achieving Unity within the Church

The Saints of Paul’s day faced some especially difficult obstacles as they sought to live in unity and love. No groups were more disparate than Jews and Gentiles. The Jews believed that Gentiles were created to fuel the fires of hell. They were not to eat with Gentiles or sleep in their houses. Contact was to be avoided as much as possible. The Gentiles equally despised the Jews for their exclusiveness. It is not hard to imagine the social crisis brought about when God told Peter that the gospel was to go to all people; former enemies were to become one congregation, one people, one church. To teach the Ephesians about this unity, Paul uses the metaphor of the temple and the balustrade (see Ephesians 2:11–18).

The temple was composed of a series of concentric holy spaces. As one moved farther from the center, the space became less holy and more people had access to it. The innermost space was the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest of Israel was allowed to enter this most sacred space and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Outside the Holy of Holies was the Holy Place. Together, the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place composed the sanctuary proper, which towered more than 150 feet high. Priests regularly entered the Holy Place to attend to the sacred objects kept therein—to change the shewbread, to keep the golden candlestick burning, and to bring incense from the sacrificial altar to the altar of incense.

A courtyard surrounded the sanctuary. This courtyard was divided into the Court of Priests, wherein only priests and other authorized persons could enter, and the Court of Men. It may have been in this court that the Sanhedrin met and where the sacrifices were offered. Fifteen curved steps led from the Court of Men down to the Court of Women, a large courtyard nearly two hundred square feet in size. All Israel, both men and women, could enter here. These courtyards and the sanctuary constituted the temple proper, which was surrounded by a wall. Outside this wall was the Court of the Gentiles. This court was something like temple square in Salt Lake City in that all people had access to it, up to the balustrade, a four-and-a-half foot railing that surrounded the outer wall of the temple proper. This railing had signs on it in Greek and Latin warning the Gentiles not to pass this railing or they would suffer death. This railing serves as a metaphor for Paul in Ephesians 2.

Paul begins his discourse on unity by pointing out the incredible separation that previously existed between the Gentiles and God. In Ephesians 2:11–12, Paul cites four reasons for this separation. First, the Gentiles needed circumcision, the ordinance by which one entered into the covenant. Second, the Gentiles previously were without Christ. Christ is the Mediator between God and man. Without Christ and His Atonement, man has no access to God. Third, the Gentiles had been “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Gentiles didn’t belong to the corporate body of Israel. To belong to a group meant to take on the identity of that group—to take on the ideals, standards, and beliefs as one’s own. Thus, being a part of the commonwealth of Israel “implies an obligation to observe a godly way of life.” [8] Fourth, the Gentiles were “strangers from the covenants of promise.” Strangers were resident aliens or legal immigrants. They were protected by law together with the widows and orphans, but they were not brothers or members of the covenant. They were not bound by the law of Moses, except in instances where the observance was national rather than religious, but neither were they blessed by the covenant. Elder Henry B. Eyring has explained that “every covenant with God is an opportunity to draw closer to him.” [9] Being without covenants is indeed separation from God. Thus, without covenants and ordinances, without holy behavior, and without Christ, the Gentiles were “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). This separation is symbolized by the balustrade which kept the Gentiles far from the Holy of Holies, or the presence of God.

Paul states that Christ “hath broken down the middle wall of partition” (Ephesians 2:14), and they “who in the past stood far off have been brought near” (Anchor Bible Translation, 2:13). [10] This middle wall of partition has a dual meaning. As mentioned, it is the balustrade. With the balustrade broken down, Gentiles could now pass to the inner courts, even as the Israelites did. The middle wall of partition can also refer to the veil that separated the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. This veil was rent at the time of Christ’s Crucifixion (see Matthew 27:51), symbolizing that all Israel could now approach God. Up to this time, the common Israelite would wait outside the Holy Place, in the Court of Men or the Court of Women, while the priests and the high priest entered the holy sanctuary on his or her behalf. [11] But in Jesus Christ, the law of Moses was fulfilled. Paul declares that those who before stood far off are “made nigh” (Ephesians 2:13). Paul’s choice of words is significant for a priest is one who can approach God, one who can draw near to Him. [12] In Jesus Christ, all the spiritual privileges previously reserved for the priests of Israel were extended to the common Israelite and to the Gentile. All who are worthy can approach God.

As incredible as this blessing is, unity with God is not Paul’s main emphasis. Paul repeatedly mentions the image of unity between the former Jews and Gentiles. He speaks of “abolish[ing] . . . enmity” (Ephesians 2:15), making “both one” (Ephesians 2:14), making of “twain one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), and “reconciling] both unto God in one body” (Ephesians 2:16). The images of oneness and creation recall the Adam and Eve story. Adam and Eve were commanded to be one flesh. The word for “one” is the Hebrew word ehad. It does not reflect cardinal numbers, like one, two, three, and four. Rather, the word ehad reflects unity. It is like one cluster of many grapes or the two blades of one pair of scissors. The image here is of two former enemies so united in heart and walk that they enter the temple together as one, ehad, to worship God.

The sobering corollary to this is that such unity with our fellowman is not optional. We must be reconciled to our fellowman before we can approach God. This is taught in our temples today as well as in Matthew 5:23–24:

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

“Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

For the ancient Israelites, their gifts were their sacrifices. For us, it is a broken heart and contrite spirit. For either gift to be acceptable, it must be accompanied by reconciliation with our fellowman.

The image of making one new person in Ephesians 2:14–16 also recalls the creation of Adam and Eve. In the scriptures, only God has power to create. Becoming one with spouse, child, neighbor, and enemy is a creation achieved only through the power of God. This same idea is expressed when Paul states that Christ “is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). In the historical context of Ephesians, Christ made peace by fulfilling the law of Moses, the great separator between Jews and Gentiles. Today, when the law of Moses is no longer an issue, Christ is still our peace as we struggle to reconcile with those with whom we are at odds. In other words, overcoming differences, letting go of grievances, pain, and resentment, and filling our hearts with unifying love is not accomplished through sheer willpower but through Christ. This is beautifully illustrated by the touching story of Corrie Ten Boom.

Corrie Ten Boom was a devout Dutch Christian who was interred in a German concentration camp during World War II for helping Jews escape out of Holland. She suffered greatly, but unlike her beloved sister, Betsie, she survived. After the war, she often spoke publicly about her experiences. On one such occasion, a former Nazi guard, one who had actually been a part of Corries hideous experience in Ravensbruck, came to her, rejoicing at her message of Christ’s forgiveness and love.

“‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,’ he said. ‘To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’

“His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

“Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them . .. Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.

“I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

“As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

“And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.” [13]

Achieving Unity in Marriage

To the modern reader, few passages of Paul’s writings cause as much consternation as those in which Paul enjoins wives to submit to their husbands. As we read Paul’s epistles, we must remember that we are at best “eavesdroppers on another culture.” [14] As western citizens of the twenty-first century, we are living post-French Revolution, post-Civil Rights Movement, and post-Equal Rights Amendment. All of these have contributed greatly to an egalitarian mindset. We recognize and prize the innate equality of human beings. This was not Paul’s world. Paul and his Jewish contemporaries viewed the world as a highly structured cosmos where every person, place, and thing had its proper place. Requiring a wife to submit to her husband upheld Paul’s cultural perceptions. But to many people today, his counsel implies that a wife is in some way inferior to her husband. Another complication is the modern connotations of the word submit. Today it is almost a dirty word. It evokes images of being lily-livered, a Milquetoast, or a doormat. Such interpretations are incongruent with Paul’s writings and the gospel. To understand Paul’s statements regarding submission, we must understand not only these vast cultural differences but also the nature, the vocabulary, and the mutuality of submission, and we must view submission and order from a spiritual perspective.

Paul’s discussion on submission begins not with Ephesians 5:22, “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husband, as unto the Lord,” but with Ephesians 5:21, wherein he requires all—both men and women—to submit. Catherine Thomas explains: “Lines of authority belong to the pattern of the Lord for all his people. The Lord has set each of his children, whether male or female, in a hierarchical chain that requires each to listen carefully to the voice of one set above him or her. Through listening to those the Lord has placed in positions of authority and blessing, one learns how to listen to and obey the Lord.” [15] The reason for submission, says Paul, is “because you fear God” (Anchor Bible Translation, 5:21). Fearing God is not apprehensive trembling because an angry God is going to zap us with fire from heaven or consign us to the depths of hell when we err. Fear is a covenant word and a covenant requirement. In its covenant context, it means to serve God loyally. It is complete and wholehearted obedience. Thus, because we acknowledge Him as our rightful and beneficent ruler and because we love Him and desire to serve Him faithfully, we submit to His authority, even as it is vested in His earthly representatives. It is not a prospect the natural man relishes. However, it is still a requirement, from the least to the greatest in God’s kingdom. Speaking of Christ’s appearance in the New World, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland quotes 3 Nephi 11:10–11 and then writes:

“I cannot think it either accident or mere whimsy that the Good Shepherd in his newly exalted state, appearing to a most significant segment of his flock, chooses to speak first of his obedience, his deference, his loyalty, and loving submission to his Father. In an initial and profound moment of spellbinding wonder, when surely he has the attention of every man, woman and child as far as the eye can see, his submission to his Father is the first and most important thing he wishes us to know about himself.

“Frankly, I am a bit haunted by the thought that this is the first and most important thing he may want to know about us when we meet him one day in similar fashion. Did we obey, even if it was painful? Did we submit, even if the cup was bitter indeed? Did we yield to a vision higher and holier than our own, even when we may have seen no vision in it at all?” [16]

Only after discussing submission as a general requirement does Paul then state that wives should submit to their husbands. The word translated “submit” is hypotasso. Its meanings include “to place or arrange under, to assign to, to post in the shelter of.” [17] On occasion, it is used to express the taking of position in a military unit. There is no thought of inferiority or servility. Rather, the idea is of taking one’s place in an established and proper order. This was a desirable action from Paul’s cultural viewpoint, for “God expressed holiness by creating a holy/orderly cosmos. God acted to bless this creation precisely by the divine ordering and structuring of all relationships.” [18] Taking one’s place in this system meant being a part of God’s holy order.

As Latter-day Saints, we should not think it strange that God’s kingdom is a kingdom of order or that men and women each have an important, but different, place in that order. As “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” states, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness. . . . Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” (emphasis added). [19] We might compare this to a bishop and a Relief Society president in a ward. Both have important positions of leadership and responsibility. Both have valuable insights and ideas. As individuals, one is not more important than the other. However, for the sake of order, one must stand at the head. Presiding is a priesthood function. The father, as the priesthood holder of the most basic priesthood unit of the Church, the family, is given this position.

In Ephesians 5:23, Paul states that the husband is the head of the wife. The Greek word for head is kefhale. It does not mean “chief, boss, ruler, or superior authority” but “source.” It is used, for example, for the source or the head of a river. A husband stands at the head of a family, as the source of priesthood power and blessings for that family. In addition, “To say that a man is the head of the wife is to say he is responsible for the wife; he is to care for, he is to give life to, to protect, to guard, to encourage, to guide—he is her source.” [20] Again, this is stated in the proclamation on the family when it says that fathers “are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” [21]

After speaking of the husband as the head of the family, even as Christ is the head of the Church, Paul then states that “he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). Paul often uses “body” to refer to the body of the Church. As Christ stands in a saving role to the Church, so a husband should stand in a saving role to his family. This saving role is the calling of priesthood holders. They are to labor with all their souls to bring those over whom they preside into the presence of God. We see it in Moses, who “sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God” (D&C 84:23). We see it in King Benjamin, who labored with “all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul” (Words of Mormon 1:18) to establish peace in the land, “that essential condition for spiritual progress [which] is evidence of the triumph of spiritual principle and also of the preparation of the people in any size group to receive greater spiritual blessings.” [22] Those greater blessings were recorded in King Benjamin’s speech and include the promise of being “found at the right hand of God” (Mosiah 5:9). We also see it in Adam, Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph Smith, and the One upon whom all these prophets modeled their behavior, the Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, Paul tells priesthood holders to model their lives after the Savior’s, loving as He loves, ministering as He ministers, and laboring to purify, sanctify, and present their families without spot, wrinkle, or blemish before Him (see Ephesians 5:26–27). The modern priesthood holder should likewise labor with all his might to bring those he presides over (his family, his quorum, or his ward) to the presence of the Lord, or to the house of the Lord.

Paul next commands husbands to love their wives. So often we think of love as romance and roses. Mature love is far more demanding. It requires the submission of ego and the subjection of self-interest. We must sacrifice the human propensity to insist that we have the right way to live life, to drive a car, to celebrate Christmas, to discipline children, ad infinitum. To truly love, we must honor and cherish the unique and valuable contribution of the one we love. In short, the command to love is a command to submit. Thus, when Paul requires a wife to submit and a husband to love, he is asking them to do the exact same thing.

In addition, Paul demands of men the highest form of love—men are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Paul discusses the high demands of Christlike love, or charity, in 1 Corinthians 13. There we read that “charity vaunteth not itself, [and] is not puffed up” (1 Corinthians 13:4). To vaunt is “to boast, a vain display of what one is or has.” [23] Charity does not vaunt itself, or in other words, exercise unrighteous dominion or pull rank. “Charity . . . is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). “It eases another’s pain, soothes anxieties, fears and hostilities and contributes positively to the happiness of others.” [24] Thus, charity does not threaten, demand, or intimidate, for such behavior creates pain and anxieties, fear and hostilities. Moreover, most modern women would not feel that their husbands had contributed to their happiness unless their husbands had listened to and counseled with them as equal partners. Presiding in love encompasses equality between husband and wife. This is reaffirmed by our modern prophets in the proclamation on the family.

When a husband presides in love and righteousness as outlined in 1 Corinthians, a wife’s natural response is to reciprocate with honor and respect. As Paul says, the wife will then “reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33), and his “dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto [him] forever” (D&C 121:46). A wife will only be able to respond with honor and respect if she is rooted and grounded in Christlike love. “Charity envieth not” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and “[charity] seeketh not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Thus, a wife who has true charity will not envy her husband’s position, nor will she subvert it. Moreover, charity “doth not behave itself unseemly” (1 Corinthians 13:5). The verb translated as “unseemly” can refer to a kind of disorganization. A wife with charity will honor the God-ordained patriarchal order. But this order only works upon the principles of Christlike love. Whenever husband or wife violates the principles of charity, God’s order flounders.

These principles of mutual subjection and love cannot be understood from a temporal perspective. Paul calls it a great mystery (see Ephesians 5:32). A mystery is something that must be revealed to be understood. Without the divine revelation of God’s order, an order that honors, exalts, and cherishes the role and contribution of women, Paul’s statements are interpreted as sexist and bigoted. Also, without divine revelation, one thinks of presiding from a worldly perspective, which equates presiding with exercising power, ego, and control. From a spiritual perspective, presiding means serving and loving and giving one’s “self away.

Another great mystery is what it means for men and women to take different places in God’s kingdom. The world tries to tell us that different places mean unequal places. It insists that when men preside, women are placed in a secondary role. Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, men and women of God are called to the same work. This is reflected in a woman’s calling to be a helpmeet. Beverly Campbell, former director of International Affairs for the Church in Washington, D.C., explains:

“The word that has been translated as ‘help meet’ is a combination of two root words: ezer and k’enegdo. The word ezer also combines two roots: the first meaning ‘to rescue’ or ‘to save’ or ‘as a savior,’ sometimes coupled with the concept of majesty, and the other meaning ‘strength’ or ‘to be strong.’ The second Hebrew word, k’enegdo, is identified as meaning ‘equal.’” [25]

Thus, Eve and all women were created to be a majestic, saving power, equal to Adam. It does no dishonor to women that the primary sphere in which she exercises this power is the home and family. If her sphere is not as broad as a man’s, who is called to be “a light unto the Gentiles [through missionary work], and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel” (D&C 86:11) through administering saving ordinances, her sphere is more concentrated. Regardless of the differences in scope and administration, the labor is the same.

Perhaps the greatest mystery of all is that the Lord’s order fosters interdependence, or unity. A woman must depend on her husband to provide priesthood power and blessings, something she cannot do herself. A man must also depend on his wife. Jewish tradition teaches that a man is not fully a man if he is not married. There is not even a word for “bachelor” in biblical Hebrew, and the modern Hebrew word for bachelor, ravak, comes from a root word meaning “empty.” [26] Without a wife, a man is empty of the “insight, balance, and unique wisdom” [27] that is given to Eve (and all women) to allow her to perform her divine role as a helpmeet. Without a wife, a man is empty of the enabling power of grace that is given to women to comfort, inspire, ennoble, and give purpose to a husband’s protecting and providing. Without a wife and family, a man’s opportunities to use his priesthood power to bless are limited. Husbands and wives are given different roles and different strengths so they might bless each other, depend on each other, and ultimately become one.

This mutuality is typified in Abraham and Sarah. When Abraham and Sarah entered Egypt, the Lord revealed to Abraham that when the Egyptians saw Sarah, the Pharaoh would want to take her for his wife and would kill Abraham to do so. The Lord commanded Abraham to ask Sarah to save them both by assuming her role as sister, rather than wife. Human pride and independence would suggest that a husband would prefer to do all in his power to protect his wife and himself. Instead, the Lord required that Abraham refrain from acting and trust in Him to work through Sarah (and even Pharaoh) to save him and preserve the posterity promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. On the other hand, when Sarah could not bear children, she entreated Abraham to take Hagar to wife so that they might have posterity, according to Hurrian custom and law. When Hagar mocked and taunted Sarah, Abraham protected Sarah’s rights, also according to Hurrian custom and law, to the point where he eventually (and painfully) sent Hagar and Ishmael away. Both Abraham and Sarah completely submitted their egos in love and trust. Both protected each other’s rights. Both held their mutual best interest above their individual preferences. And both exerted a saving influence for the other. Such is the pattern for the righteous priesthood holder and the virtuous wife.

The Ultimate Goal

In Ephesians, Paul discusses the Atonement as it pertains to everyday life and everyday relationships. But the work is not ordinary; it is godly. And it requires some of the most difficult things one can do: forgive, let go of hurts and prejudices, conquer the ego, surrender self-interest in favor of caring, support and empower others, live with charity, dedicate one’s life to saving others spiritually, and trust in God’s perspective of order and importance instead of the world’s. When we do these things, we can through the power and gifts of the Spirit achieve unity. We can become truly holy and thus prepare to become one with God and Christ, the ultimate goal of the Atonement.

Notes

[1] Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 197.

[2] President Spencer W. Kimball stated: “We made vows, solemn vows, in the heavens before we came to this mortal life. . . . We have made covenants. We made them before we accepted our position here on the earth. . . . We committed ourselves to our Heavenly Father, that if he would send us to the earth and give us bodies and give to us the priceless opportunities that earth life afforded, we would keep our lives clean and would marry in the holy temple and would rear a family and teach them righteousness. This was a solemn oath, a solemn promise” (quoted in Barbara Winder, “Enjoy Your Journey,” Brigham Young University 1989–90 Devotional and Fireside Speeches [Provo, Utah: University Publications, 1990], 105).

[3] See M. Catherine Thomas, “Zion and the Spirit of At-one-ment,” FARMS Book of Mormon Lecture Series (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1994), 1.1 am indebted to Catherine Thomas for her writings, especially those on at-one-ment, priesthood leaders, and women and the priesthood (see “Alma the Younger” FARMS Book of Mormon Lecture Series [Provo, UT: FARMS, 1995] and Spiritual Lightening [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996]).

[4] Gib Kocherhans, “The Name ‘Melchizedek’: Some Thoughts on Its Meaning and the Priesthood It Represents,” Ensign, September 1980, 18.

[5] James E. Faust, “‘Brethren, Love Your Wives,’” Ensign, July 1981, 37.

[6] Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), 305.

[7] Markus Barth, Ephesians: Introduction, Translation and Commentary on Chapters 4–6, volume 34A of the Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1960), 428.

[8] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, Maryland: Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., 1996), 582.

[9] Henry B. Eyring, “Making Covenants with God,” Brigham Young University 1996–97 Speeches (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1997), 15.

[10] Markus Barth, Ephesians, 253.

[11] A modern equivalent of this might be if only the prophet and the General Authorities could enter the temple. The average member could only patiently wait outside the temple, praying, singing and worshiping until these privileged leaders came out to the steps of the temple and shared how wonderful their temple experience had been.

[12] See Dwight Pryor, “The Covenant and Commitment of Pentecost,” Power of Pentecost (Dayton, Ohio: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies), audiotape.

[13] Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), 238.

[14] Jerome H. Neyrey, Paul, In Other Words (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster / John Knox Press, 1990), 53.

[15] M. Catherine Thomas, Spiritual Lightening (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996), 55.

[16] Jeffrey B. and Patricia T. Holland, On Earth as It Is in Heaven (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 126.

[17] Barth, Ephesians 4–6, 709.

[18] Neyrey, 26.

[19] The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, November 1995,102.

[20] Dwight A. Pryor, “The Ministry of Women in the Church and Synagogue” (Dayton, Ohio: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies), audiotape.

[21] The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles, “The Family,” 102.

[22] M. Catherine Thomas, “Benjamin and the Mysteries of God,” King Benjamin’s Speech, ed. John W. Welch and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1998), 283.

[23] Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, electronic edition (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998).

[24] William F. Orr and James Arthur Walther, I Corinthians: A New Translation, volume 32 of the Anchor Bible Series (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1976), 295.

[25] Beverly Campbell, “Mother Eve,” Mentor for Today’s Woman: A Heritage of Honor, http://www.erols.com/jdstone/eve.html (accessed 7 July 1999).

[26] Donna B. Nielsen, Beloved Bridegroom (USA: Onyx Press, 1999), 3.

[27] Sheri Dew, “It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone,” Ensign, November 2001,13.