Family: isn’t it all about chattel?

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I was looking for info on what Mr. Hinckley had said about his health at conference and I found this article with the following quote:

Husbands, love and treasure your wives. They are your most precious possessions.

I’m sure that will go over like a lead balloon over at FMH .

How do the ladies that post here feel about a statement like that?

Was he mis-quoted?

27 thoughts on “Family: isn’t it all about chattel?

  1. This doesn’t bother me. I understand the spirit it which it was given. I know Pres. Hinckley doesn’t see us as objects, as possessions. He wants all men to treat their wives like he treated his wife all the years of the marriage and from the beginning of their courtship.

  2. The first thought I had when I heard him say that—and I’m absolutely not kidding here—was, “I’ll bet rick is going to try to make real hay with that word on Our Thoughts.”

    My second thought was of 2 Nephi 27:32, regarding those that make a man an offender for a word.

  3. ltbugaf -I’m sorry to hear that our online conversations have invaded your private times.

    It’s good to hear that you were actually listening to the Pres rather than just basking in his spiritual glory. ;)

    The title has been fixed too – my browser crashed when I was authoring and I forgot to put one back in. Bad me.

  4. Did the old boy really say that? Cause doesn’t that kinda’ go against that whole being reunited with your family in heaven belief, and the idea forsaking your earthly possessions. Sounds like the church may require a younger sharper mind at the helm soon.

  5. I’ve thought about this for a couple of days now, and I don’t understand how he could mean this any other way.

    Specifically, I can not envision a scenario where he would say “Women, love and treasure your husbands – they are your most precious possessions”.

    That’s usually my test to see if something sounds biased – turn it around and see if it makes sense.

    This quote doesn’t make sense when turned around, to me.

  6. Words have power.

    “…the sentiment was good so I don’t mind.”

    So if he’d have said,”the niggers are a good people and should be welcomed into the church.” you’d have been fine with it?

  7. C’mon Rick elaborate man . . . ’cause I am sitt’n on the edge of my seat waiting to read an etymological explanation of the power of words described, which will be accepted without an argument here.

    You have wandered up my alley, and you certainly have my full attention. I won’t interfere!

  8. It didn’t bother me. Had my husband said to me you are my possession I own you he would have been picking up his head in the back yard. But I never even noticed the Prophet saying it and yes I was paying attention. Obviously my mind knew that he meant it in the nicest possible way. We all belong to our Father in Heaven. We are His. He created us therefore we are His possessions. Why should it be any different with the Prophet saying it? You should be concentrating more on why the Prophet felt the need to tell the men to get their acts together in the treating of their wives.

  9. >You should be concentrating more on why the Prophet felt the need to tell the men to get their acts together in the treating of their wives.

    Actually, I never heard him speak. Like I said I just read it in an article.

    Now, after the fact, I have had an opportunity to read more of what was said this year, and I felt overall it was a rough year for wives.

    They certainly were spoken to more than the husbands this year.

  10. I don’t have any trouble at all imagining President Hinckley saying to a General Relief Society Conference, “Love and treasure your husbands; they are your most precious possession.” Like the other sensible people on this thread, I appreciate that when he used the words “most precious possession” he meant “most precious thing you have,” or in other words, that the marriage relationship is more important than most of the many forces that often compete with and tear it apart.

  11. “most precious thing you have”

    So more important than your children?
    Or your testimony?

    Would those things be subordinate to your wife in preciousness?

    …I mean as long as we’re talking about things you ‘have’ as opposed to things you cherish or appreciate in and of themselves.

    You’ll have to spell it out clearly since, as you have stated, I am not very sensible.

  12. No amount of spelling it out clearly will suffice for someone whose only goal is to dig up more controversy where none really exists.

  13. Why don’t you just admit to your own personal bias as I have already done.

    **Anything** the prophet says is okay with you.

    You will not find fault in any word uttered from his lips.

    Don’t paint me as being irrationally critical when you are being just as irrationally accepting.

  14. Rick makes a good point about spouses being possessions. In the early days of the modern women’s lib movement this was a big deal in the Church and much was made about the issue of spouses and children as possessions, as opposed to helpmates and cherished stewardships.

    It is a matter of semantics in the end,and I have to admit that I was surprised by the comment as well.

    If I were to rephrase, in the manner that I think that President Hinckley intended, I would say that there is no possession that we have on earth that can have anywhere near as much value as that of our spouse.

    We then remove the chattel argument and put it into a value category.

  15. I’ll have to be careful next time someone asks if I “have a wife,” to answer no. I’m sure rick does.

  16. Yes Rick “has a wife”, as I am not anyone else’s wife, and as far as I know he only has one wife.

    But…I am not his “possesion”, he, nor anyone else owns me.

  17. Dar, rick attacked me for “talking about things you ‘have’ as opposed to things you cherish or appreciate in and of themselves.” Yet he’s just as likely as I am to refer to other people as things he “has.”

    President Hinckley’s use of the word “possession” didn’t mean anything more than that. It simply doesn’t make sense to interpret that one word as going against everything he has consistently preached for decades. about our attitude toward, and treatment of, women. You already know that President Hinckley doesn’t think of women as mere chattels. I rather think rick does, too. But he’s determined to make President Hinckley and offender for a word.

  18. Well, I don’t think that Rick has ever “attacked” anyone.

    That is the beauty of individualism. We all have different opinions, that doesn’t mean that one is personally attacking another if they don’t agree. It would be a rather boring blog if everyone had the same thoughts.

    I quite enjoy hearing other peoples veiws, even though they are sometimes very different than mine.

    I can’t speak for Rick, but, when you say that “he’s just as likely as I am to refer to other people as things he ‘has'”, you really don’t know Rick yet at all, even after your blogging relationship.

    He isn’t just saying this stuff to get people going,(even though he does enjoy a good debate) he really believes it. He would never refer to a person as an object that he owns..not me or our children.

    It isn’t about making Pres. Hinckley look bad, or how he meant to use a word. It is about how he interpreted the use of the word, and I am sure that there are other politically correct people out there who feel the same way.

    Sometimes there are people who take what is said, by whatever leader, and follow like zombies without thinking about how it may sound to the rest of the world. I think that is what Rick was trying to get across, is that everyone needs to open up, and see it from all sides.

    When you are in a position of authority, in any religion, you need to be careful how you word things.

    Of course people in the church are going to see it one way, a genuine comment (that will be repeated to husbands multiple times I’m sure)… but is the rest of the world????

  19. I can’t speak for Rick, but, when you say that “he’s just as likely as I am to refer to other people as things he ‘has’”, you really don’t know Rick yet at all, even after your blogging relationship.

    Perhaps you’re not understanding me: Rick is as likely as anyone to say he “has” a wife, or he “has” a child. You also said it yourself, above. That’s language of possession. But rick condemned me in comment #13 for “talking about things you ‘have’ as opposed to things you cherish or appreciate in and of themselves.” Yet he does the same thing, and so do you.

  20. I don’t believe that the word ‘have’ is being used in the same way as Mr. Hinckley was using when one would say,”I have children.”, for instance.

    When the prophet used the word it was distinctly possessive, whereas when I say,”I have herpes.” it clearly does not connote ownership but rather something along the line of “is possessed with the quality of”; which is more along the lines of ‘having’ a wife.

    It really doesn’t matter how I define it, though.
    See #15

  21. It really doesn’t matter how I define it, though. See #15

    If you really think conversing with me is pointless, then I wonder why you keep doing it.

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