Once my dad asked me who I thought the *main* character of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was(this was when the first movie was released). My first thought was to say "Frodo. He carried the ring, and without him all of middle earth would have fallen under Sauron's power." Then I remembered the end of the story, how Samwise had literally carried Frodo, and went without food and water to keep Frodo strong. I especially recalled how at the very end, within Mt. Doom, Frodo went mad with power and intended to keep the ring to himself, and all that saved Sam from having to push Frodo and the Ring into the pit was the fact that Gollum who was more mad than Frodo stole the ring from him and fell into the pit on his own. So rather than saying that Frodo was the main character, I said that it was Samwise. He was the true hero of the story, though I couldn't quite put my finger on what he did that was so heroic. I just felt it, though I couldn't understand it. My dad answered, "I think so too, and I don't understand why everyone is making such a big deal about Frodo, while they keep forgetting Sam."
I don't think my dad was getting at anything other than what he said, but this conversation hit home to me in other matters, and it's recently come to mind again. It's a fuzzy and mushy glob of thoughts that seem to be related, but I haven't been able to put it in a rigid and obvious form. Anyways, here they are.
The One Ring, is the Priesthood. (Probably not a metaphor you'll see discussed in Priesthood meetings, but bear with me for a while). It's a real power that can be used for good purposes, but it is real *power,* or *authority.* And as D&C tells us, as soon as man gets a little authority unrighteous dominion enters into the picture. The anitdote? Humility, this is why the little unassuming hobbits were given the task of carrying the Ring. This is also why pride is such a potent vice.
Frodo is the Priesthood bearers. Assigned the task of carrying the ring for no obvious reason, he was given the task of leading the fellowship to Mt. Doom and back. So the Priesthood bearer is given authority for no obvious reason and is assigned the task of leading his family through mortality and back. Frodo is given companions to assist, protect, and comfort him, and is also given instructions by Elves and Wizards, just as the Priesthood holders are given family and church quorums and guidance from prophets and the Holy Ghost.
Samwise is the Women of the church. Samwise was "caught listening at the window" by Gandalf and then was given the assignment of never leaving Frodo's side, and being his companion. So it is that Eve was "caught" partaking of the fruit and was thus assigned to never leave Adam's side and to be his companion, and to let him rule over her.
Gollum is... yep he's Satan. Gollum had a taste of power, then it was taken from him, and he's mad with trying to get it back. He knows the only way to do so is to separate Frodo and Sam, then kill Frodo. He knows the Ring has weakened Frodo, and does his best to make Frodo suspicious of Sam. Satan strives to make men and women suspicious of eachother. He tells Men that they are special, or better and have been given the Priesthood for a good reason, or that the priesthood is a horrible burden to bear and they shouldn't have to make that sacrifice while the women do nothing. He tells women that men are evil and they have been keeping the priesthood from women.
It's obvious that if Frodo and Sam agreed to carry the ring together, it would be problematic because of the nature of the ring. Frodo carries it for a day, then Sam the next day, and eventually the Ring would have worked it's power on both of them and they would have killed eachother for it. Gandalf knew the ring, and it's history. I think he knew that only one person could carry it the whole way if he had a companion that would never carry it, and would never want to carry it. That way Frodo could go mad with power, but Samwise would be there to see that the task of destroying the ring gets completed.
So here's the thing, women were not given the priesthood and were told that men should rule over them so that the men can go mad with power, but the women will still be there to see that the task of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of Man (through raising righteous families) gets completed.
We're all so decieved by Satan that we no longer see the heroism in being like Samwise, and we feel disconted at the tasks we've been given. It's as Rosalynde Welch said at this discussion that "When it comes to the competition between needs of individual women and the needs of stable social formations, as we so often find, there’s no win-win scenario. " Perhaps we are so flawed as mortals that we can't share the One Ring and remain righteous. And even though I can't *understand* how what I'm doing as a women is 'heroic' or righteous perhaps I'll have better luck just feeling it, the way I feel that Samwise really is the hero of the story even though it's not obvious why.