Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Laura Citrin

Second Advisor

Dr. Rachel Whaley

Third Advisor

Dr. Paula Brush

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Angela Moe

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


In Mormon theology, humans are believed to be gods in embryo and gender is considered an eternal part of one's identity. This project investigated Latter-day Saints' perceptions of gender as it pertains to earthly life and the afterlife by interviewing 14 adult members of the Mormon Church. All three hypotheses were confirmed by the data: (1) Latter-day Saints perceive a connection between earthly gender and Heavenly gender. Mormons perceive a link between the roles of Heavenly Father and earthly men, and likewise, the roles of Heavenly Mother and earthly women. (2) Latter-day Saints perceive patriarchy as gender equality from the perspective that defines equality as complementarity rather than sameness. (3) Male and female participants conceptualized gender in similar ways, with only a few differences. Gender is seen as an extremely important factor in determining roles and responsibilities in all stages of the eternal life cycle.

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