I’m not usually this speculative in my interpretation of scripture, but I thought I’d send this out as something of a trial balloon. I am intrigued by this idea but not necessarily convinced by it.
(1) Matthew 9:14-15 reads:
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
I interpret this to mean that, in some way, the presence of the Savior creates a special circumstance under which fasting is not appropriate because it is a celebratory time.
(2) Today, pregnant women and nursing mothers do not fast. Is this merely an accomodation to a temporal condition? Possibly. But consider:
D & C 29:35:
Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.
One might conclude that pregnant women and nursing mothers don’t fast because the Savior is present with them in a way similar to that described in Matthew 9:15. In what ways might this be true?
(3) I like this idea, and I think that, combined with some of Ebenezer Orthodoxy’s thoughts (standard disclaimer: there’s a lot in this essay that I didn’t agree with) about the atonement and childbirth, we might be on to something here.
My hesitation is this: I don’t like giving any theological significance to childbirth or other biological processes (see Luke 11:28-29). I think it leads to the worst kind of gender essentialism (not that there is any good kind).