CTNAHM: Michael the Prophet??

A Guest Post by Aletha

Originally posted on Yllom Mormon

Created To Need A Help Meet, pp. 71—73

In this chapter, we learn more about Mr. Visionary.

Visionary, Steady, Command

God the Holy Spirit is a prophet. He comes into the world with the mission of rectifying wrongs and moving men to repentance.  ”And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement (John 16:8)”. Some men are created in the image of the Holy Spirit, but that image is marred by the reign of sin.  Yet there is one recognizable trait that remains whether they be sinners or saints: it is the visionary aspect of the third person of the godhead-the disposition to right wrongs, seeing the world as a place that needs changing, howbeit wisely or unwisely.

I’ve always hated the dichotomy sinners vs. saints.  Because everyone is a sinner, even saints.  In fact, growing up in a conservative, outwardly perfect people religion, I’m of the opinion it’s the people who think themsleves saints that are the biggest sinners.  (Sin, of course is subjective.)  That being said, I think that most people want to right wrongs and do their part to make the world a better place. Not just “visionary men”.

Some men are shakers and changers, dreamers and makers, sometimes breakers, but always weighing the status quo against their vision of a better way.  You will know you’re a visionary if you get the entire family upset about peripheral issues like, should a Christian celebrate Christmas, should we use state marriage licenses, or should a Christian opt out of the Social Security system?  You are radical in your political views.  You think of yourself as part of the sane minority. You have a lot of ambition and big dreams of accomplishing great things, of making a much needed impact on our stumbling world.  Maybe you are a street preacher, or a motorcycle designer, or buy antique furniture and resell it.  You could be an inventor or want to be.  You are not content with anything that comes packaged.

Interesting.  Here are some links from the Pearl’s website pondering these exact same questions! And he says this about Social Security: “Real social security is a large extended family clan, but now even Christians look to the state for health care insurance, housing assistance, and food stamps. They’re used to having institutions care for them, instead of a family.”

I think we can all agree that Michael sees himself as a visionary.  But what about women that have political aspirations, big dreams and hopes?  Well, so far, nothing.  After all, this is a book for men! About men! From a man! Funny, though. While I was searching the Pearl’s website for links, I came across a snippet from Debi’s book about the 3 types of men.

These men get the entire family upset about peripheral issues, such as: do we believe in Christmas, should we use state marriage licenses, why a Christian should opt out of the Social Security system, etc.

I know many of us have wondered if the authors of both books are the same.  I’m not saying anything one way or the other, but the wording in this section is almost identical to “Created to Be a Help Meet.”

A true visionary will have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues.  Visionaries will easily pick up and relocate without any idea of what they are going to do for a living in their new location.  They are often the church splitters and the ones who demand doctrinal purity and proper dress and conduct. Like a prophet, they call people to task for their inconsistencies.  Mothers-in-law are troubled by Visionary sons-in-law.

I’m starting to get the feeling that this book is actually a love letter from Michael to Michael.  I can almost hear him telling Debi “See all these great things visionaries do and want? Aren’t I amazing? Why…I’m like a Prophet!”  How about a game? Go through this book and/or Debi’s book and point out inconsistencies.  Look! You’re visionary, too!

Strengths of a Visionary

Artists, musicians, and most actors are Visionaries.  To communicate ideas, pain, love, justice, and truth is paramount for a man with a vision.  He is the “voice crying in the wilderness” striving to change the way humanity is behaving or thinking.  He loves confrontation and hates the status quo.  ”Why leave it the way it is when you can change it?”

Call me crazy, but how is loving confrontation a strength?  The people I know that love confrontation pick fights just to watch people get stirred up.  They say scandalous things just so they can defend their views and feel justified.  Though this does back up Michael’s idea of advice “Here are the facts, like it or lump it.”  I’m sure he knows people don’t like that answer…maybe he’s just exercising his love of confrontation.

Also, it is perfectly fine to be content with the status quo.  Even for people who see themselves as visionary.  There is nothing wrong with sitting back and saying “I’ve done good work here, time for a break.”  In fact, that’s probably a good thing to do sometimes.

Today, all over our nation, the Visionaries are prominent on both sides of the political spectrum.  They are found clustered in what is called “the extreme right” and “the extreme left”.  They stir up people to join a rally or march, or gather by the thousands in Washington.  Their enthusiasm and firm belief are the conscience of any movement.  They are the men who keep the rest of the world from getting stagnant, dull, or complacent.  Most good salesmen are Visionaries, because they will press in close and personal, making the customer believe he needs this purchase.   Visionaries are not as effective as managing banks or investment firms.  They are too impulsive. They make much better attorneys, architects, spokesmen for disenfranchised minorities, abortion opponents, or robot designers.

Would extremists really be visionaries? I’m not quite sure.  I’ve always considered extremists stubborn and selfish. They want things how they want them, because that’s what works best for them.  Yes, they like fights, but that doesn’t make what they are fighting over noble.  Think of Tea Party Republicans, or the shutdown of the government. Extremists on all sides, and everyone is too busy trying to be right.  That doesn’t sound like the “go-getter” Visionary Michael spoke of earlier.

I’m wondering where he gets his list of suitable careers for visionaries. It seems a bit varied, doesn’t it?  Politics, but not banking.  Salesmen, but not managers.  Attorneys, but not investors.  And abortion opponents.  Obviously abortion supporters can’t be Visionary, because they are WRONG. Duh. /sarcasm

I’m getting a good kick out of imagining Michael being a spokesman for disenfranchised minorities.  ”Women in Africa deserve educations, too!” Hahahaha.

Though Visionaries can be obnoxious in their tunnel vision and fanatical zeal, they have saved us from mediocrity.  They have seen the toil of men and women turned into innovation, creating a better way.  They are the Galileos, the Benjamin Franklins, the Thomas Edisons, and the Alexander Graham Bells.  They designed the ships that Steady Men build and then launched into the unknown to discover and chart continents beyond.  They were the wildcatters who speculated on oil and spent their mother’s last dime to bore a well.  They built telegraphs and railroads and the space shuttle.  They splice genes and seek to cure diseases.  They are responsible for every revolution, peaceful or violent, that has occurred since Nimrod built the Tower of Babel.

What about the Queen Elizabeths?  Marie Curies?  Susan B. Anthonys? Sojourner Truths? Valentina Vladimirnova Nikolayeva Tereshkovas? Catherine the Greats? Rosa Parks? Helen Kellers?  According to Michael’s definition, all these women were Visionaries, too. But nary a mention about them, or any other female visionary.  Women can, and have been, responsible for plenty of revolutions, Michael. It’s OK for you to acknowledge them.  Oh wait.  It goes against your “women should stay at home” shtick, huh? In that case, I’m sorry for bringing them up.  Shame on me for trying to give women recognition for changing the world; clearly it’s a man’s job.

The Visionary will quit his job in Silicon Valley and move to rural Montana to raise sheep.  He will drag his family from one project to the next, sometimes as unstable as a pickup truck on a wet street with five pounds of air in the back tires.  No one understands him and he doesn’t understand himself, but he is on a mission and he will figure out what it is when he gets there.  Expect great things from the Visionary  for he expects them of himself.

Here again, we see Michael talking about himself. Who could forget the story where Michael moves his whole family to Tenessee, without a job or real money? Debi feeds her children animal-grade corn some neighbour gave them, and cabbage, for an entire winter.

I am amused at the pickup truck analogy. He used something similar, when discussing women. It’s always refreshing to see that Michael dehumanizes everyone, almost equally.  The question I want to ask, though is, why doesn’t the wife tell her Visionary husband “no”?  Where’s the self-restraint in these Visionary men? Are they not able to see that their plans aren’t good ones?

For example, my husband could be qualified as visionary (sometimes). One day he said “I think I want to quit my job and become a professional Magic the Gathering player.”  And I looked at him. “Do you think that’s a smart idea?” I asked (I was practicing restraint because my first thought was “We’re going to starve! Stop being stupid!”)  After about 15 seconds of thought, he realized it wasn’t a smart move. 15 seconds of thought.  My mind is boggling at the ego it would take to not consider your children, family, finances, and other logistical details, in a plan to move across the country and change jobs. Ack!

A woman married to a visionary is going to have an exciting ride.  His passion spills over into their relationship. There will never be a dull moment, although there will be plenty of questionable days. His drive exceeds the Steady and Command Men. Every large business hires visionaries to open up new markets and come up with original ideas.  On the upper end, some of them are paid just to think. Their ideas are worth millions…billions.

Ah, the first mention of a woman in this chapter.  Apparently she is sitting in the passenger’s seat while the husband drives to who knows where to start up some job he just thought of.  I’m glad Michael added that there will be questionable days, though his wording makes that less important.  Also, since this is a book for men, if a man can’t think of his family before heading off to start a new life, why would he be interested in “questionable days”??

While it is true there are “think tanks” where people (not just men!) get paid to think, usually these people have college education, and are masters in their field.  It is not very common that Joe Average will get invited to share his wisdom for a hefty price tag.    ”See honey, my ideas really are worth millions! I’m going to start up a company right now!”

So what have we learned? Visionary men (like Michael!) are really prophets in disguise, sent here to change the world!  There are no Visionary women, apparently.  But no fear! The ideas of a Visionary man are worth millions, billions even.  So, little lady, even if it seems your Visionary husband is really driving you to the poorhouse, keep believing in him.  Because there’s a tunnel from the poorhouse to Millionaire Row, and your man is going to find it! Aren’t you lucky?

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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