(I hope you havenâ€™t discussed this before, at least not in this way.) At the height of national debate over the Equal Rights Amendment, Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that all LDS women should look to Eve: â€œEve, the mother of all living, is truly the perfect pattern for all her daughters. Oh that all women would follow the path laid down by the first woman of all women and do the things that she did that all might be saved!â€
I have done some preliminary research and realized members of the church interpret the Eve story diverselyâ€”seeing Eve as a lesson on everything from working mothers to education, from eternal marriage to the duties of wives and mothers, just to name a few. One of the most interesting arguments Iâ€™ve run across is the notion that the trial and sacrifice of plural marriage is part of the price women must pay for Eveâ€™s curse, that polygamy will â€œmore quickly free her [woman] from that bondage and curse which fell upon her through transgression than any other . . . â€
Though Danny L. Jorgensen in â€œThe Mormon Gender-Inclusive Image of God,â€ argues persuasively that Joseph Smith â€œthoroughly rejected the doctrine of original sin and the related descriptions of women as inherently weak and sinful,â€ many historic interpretations of Eve relied on the conception of a curse(s) from which Eve and her daughters must redeem themselves. Otherâ€”especially modernâ€”interpretations skip the idea of a curse altogether, consider the curse to be a â€œblessing,â€ or label it a statement about the â€œrealityâ€ of this world. A development of the last fifteen or twenty years is the use of scholarly exegesisâ€”by both educated members and General Authoritiesâ€”as a method to decipher this pervasive story.
I am not really interested in anyone telling me the â€œrightâ€ way to view Eve and the transgression; clearly the story is malleable and able to be â€œlikenedâ€ to many a situation. I am interested in the variety of ways that Latter-day Saints have seen and continue to see Eve, especially in differing views on the curse. Historical references would be wonderful, but contemporary stories/folklore work, too. What do you know and think about Eve?