I haven’t written in a while. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but simply because I couldn’t find the words.
Women and the priesthood. #letstalkaboutit
This subject, as my husband will attest to you, has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
It troubles me deeply, and I am highly opposed to it.
But I’m not here to fight about it. Nor am I here to convince anyone. #goodthingtoo
This blog could appropriately be renamed, 72 Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Be a Lawyer.
With that being said, I simply wish to state boldly why I feel the way I do. I have given it careful consideration for several weeks. Months, really.
Maybe something will resonate with you. Maybe it won’t.
It starts with 7-year-old Emmilie and a day I still remember vividly.
“Dad, when I get to pass the sacrament, I’m going to do such a good job,” I proudly told my father with a toothless grin.
A look of uncomfortable concern quickly crossed his face. How was he going to tell me?
“Oh, honey,” he said. “You won’t pass the sacrament. That’s the boy’s job because they hold the priesthood.”
The injustice of it all felt like the weight of the world and I dissolved into a blubbering mess, complaining in my 7-year-old way of the inequality of it all.
Why couldn’t I hold the priesthood?
Now my parents had been baptized for just a little over two years at this point. And to her credit, my mother explained that women have their own special jobs.
“That’s stupid,” I said, wanting my way and nothing else.
Now, nearly 18 years later, I am happy to report that I don’t look upon the deacons that pass the sacrament with jealously, but rather gratitude and love.
In the years that followed, a series of experiences taught me the importance and magnitude of God’s love.
Nestled in those sacred, defining experiences was the understanding that we are led by prophets, seers and revelators.
Yes, they are men. Yes, they are prone to the same weakness as I am. Yet they are called to a high and holy office, and each General Conference as I raise my hand to the square, I willingly give my obedience to the Lord to follow the counsel they give — not just the counsel that resonates with me.
This is not blind faith. This is the same faith the Savior taught in John 7:17.
I believe that the brethren I sustain with all of my heart are leading the Church in behalf of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
As women and the priesthood are concerned, the brethren have spoken.
No. Women will not be admitted to priesthood session.
And frankly, I don’t believe they will hold the priesthood.
Though social pressures are a part of every culture, doctrine does not change by the voice of the people. Rather, it is instated by the voice of the Lord.
In a world of thousands of voices pulling our thoughts and attention in a chaotic number of ways, I choose to listen to the voice of an omniscient, and loving Father in Heaven.
As a journalist, I am acutely aware of the current struggle women are facing for equality. If I had 77 cents on the dollar for every time I heard about it, I could… well, you get the idea.
But to try and convince me that God, our creator, made women less equal than our male counterparts is too far across the proverbial line of my patience.
Because I believe in the equality of our creation, I believe that God operates and governs his children under the same equality.
As a freshman in college, I woke one night to a roommate crying in her bed. After trying to speak with her, and finding her inconsolable, I offered to pray with her.
The prayer that followed is an experience I will never forget, one I have never spoken of — not even to Eric. The spirit entered our small bedroom with such power that it still brings such sweet and tender emotions to my heart to think of it now.
The Lord loves his daughters. We were not discriminated against because we were women and I couldn’t offer to give my dear friend a blessing. Being a recipient of many such blessings myself, I would make a mockery of that sacred experience by suggesting it could have been more powerful if only I had held the priesthood.
God’s love is fair. It is just.
And as for the question of equality, humanity itself teaches us that equal does not always mean being the same.
Perhaps the same question could be raised when looking at the adverse living conditions of God’s children born into poverty and suffering as opposed to a child of God born in to wealth and privilege. He loves each the same.
Now perhaps the opposing view would argue that it’s not a matter of love, it’s a matter of rights. You could make that argument.
But if the priesthood was a part of the biological make up of men, as motherhood is for women, would there still be the screams for equality? No. We would have simply been made that way.
I submit that we are made this way.
Men to be priesthood holders, and women to be mothers.
I read every article I see arguing for and against women being ordained to the priesthood. While I’m not here to judge, simply to state my opinion, I can’t help but feel that all arguments I read in favor of women being ordained to the priesthood are the doctrines of men with only the essence of scripture.
And so I cling to this instead.
“ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
“…By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
And if you’re searching for concrete evidence as to why it’s this way, I doubt very much that you’ll find it. But my faith is what I’m holding onto, and years of experiences has made it concrete. It has made it enough.
So for now, I’ll echo the words of a Book of Mormon prophet by the name of Nephi.
“I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.” (1 Nephi 11:17)
I don’t know why things are the way they are. Simply that they are. And simply that we are led by a prophet of God. And if changes do come, they will come from the top down, not from the bottom up.
For now, all we can do is press forward. We can lift where we stand, because clearly we each have an important role to play. And God, in his infinite goodness and love, will perfect us each step of the way.
Great links on the subject: