I substituted for two weeks in gospel doctrine…my favorite calling. The lessons were about leaving Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, B.Y. getting to the valley and about the Willie & Martin handcart company. I love making things real for everyone and in the first lesson talked in detail about the difficulties of crossing Iowa, causing the delay of going to Utah and about the Mormon Battalion. I was fortunate to be able to relate the story of my 4th great grandfather’s trip from England, conversion, and going to Nauvoo. Part of the story was his joining the Mormon Battalion and subsequent death during their march to California. The lesson went well with several comments after class.
The next week I talked about handcarts in general, the 10 different handcart companies and details about why the Willie & Martin companies left when they did and their many un-expected problems. I read from a couple of pioneer journals. One class memeber briefly shared his ancestor’s experience in the rescue party. One story I practiced several times and read to the class was about B.Y. tearful experience in seeing the frostbitten feet of a young girl and the promise he made to her. Her toes were amputated using a saw and butcher’s knife. Emotionally it was difficult for me to read. Many in the class felt and reacted to the emotion. After class several sisters came up and expressed how "spiritual" the lesson was, or them feeling the spirit there.
This got me thinking, which is always dangerous, why do we associate the spirit with tearful emotions? It seems that when we have felt tender emotions during a talk or meeting we equate that with the spirit. Very seldom, if ever, do I "feel" the spirit unless it’s in this humble, soft, emotional state. And it’s been my experience that women generally are much more sensitive to these feelings than men.
Since the connection seems to be at least partially based on emotions, and women are more emotionally sensitive, then the Holy Ghost could be a woman. If the Holy Ghost is a woman it provides a nice balance to the Godhead.