Last night I read about the 200 women who asked to attend the General Priesthood Meeting at church. Most them were part of a group called Ordain Women. Their website shared pictures of the women and their families. These women seemed to genuinely love the church.
Their website made it very clear that they would not be staging a protest. They were not to bring signs or to “use sarcasm” or “speak contemptuously of the church.” They were to wear their Sunday best, and respectfully ask if they could attend the priesthood session. If they were turned down, they would quietly leave and meet at City Creek Park.
|My husband and son on a fifty mile hike
These women’s desire to have the priesthood seemed sincere. One of the prevailing themes I noticed as I read through their website was that these women are seeking equality. To some extent, I identify with their views, but ultimately I do not agree with them.
I have always wanted things to be fair. I am the oldest of eight children and was constantly mediating their little squabbles. I was especially protective of my younger sister, and whenever she started wailing, I immediately came to her aid, chastising her brothers for their “cruelty” and wiping away her tears. I read a lot in high school, moved by such books as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Les Miserables, and I felt that the world need to treat God’s children with more dignity. Perhaps this is what attracted me to law school as I found satisfaction when things were set right.
After the captain and I were married, he was immediately called to church leadership positions. It seemed his meetings were long, and it became harder when we had children. He would have to leave after dinner on Wednesday nights, and I would be left to clean up and put the kids to bed. Often he had meetings on Sunday mornings, leaving me to wrestle with the children and get them ready for church.
I also saw the Lord’s wisdom as my boys got older. Since we’ve been married, the captain has almost always served with the young men and the scouting program, and now I recognize that the church probably faces a problem of supply and demand.
Sure, many times I wanted to be the one going out on Wednesday night, laughing with the young women, making cookies with them and delivering them to people in our ward. But there’s a lot of very good women that are willing and able to do that.
I would not be willing to give my snow cave to a scout after his fell in on him and then spend the rest of the night freezing in the cold. I would not be willing to drive a van loaded with boys up the canyon, build a fire, make peach cobbler, only to get pelted with rain. I would not want to lead a fifty mile hike and find that my new hiking boots rubbed against my skin, creating painful blisters right from the onset of the hike. I would not keep my cool while trying to set up a tent with a bunch of rowdy scouts only to find that a scout had sprayed an entire bottle of Axe in the tent when I finally went in to get some rest. If I were sick with a cold, I would not drive up to a yurt, get trained on how to use it, and chop a bunch of wood so that I could bring a bunch of scouts up later in the winter.
My captain has done all of these things. Not only that, but he loves it. His skill set, his calm demeanor, and his passion for scouting are in short supply. And now I have three boys in the program who need him and need other men like him. I want him there with our boys so he can keep his eye on them. They need it. Here is a funny link to one of his scouts dancing.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m wondering if perhaps the gospel is less about equity and more about grace. There’s so much injustice in the world, and yet I feel peace knowing that when we turn to the Savior, he can make up the difference. He can give us the strength we need, and He can send angels to help us.
The Lord has taken such very good care of me, and I’m finally discovering things about myself that He’s always known. I’ve learned that I love to be home at night, and my favorite time of the day is reading to my children before they go to bed. I’ve learned that I love to write, and now I’m wishing I had more time at home to do it. I appreciate the sacrifices church leaders and teachers have made so that I can be nourished spiritually. The spirit helps me become more aware of those that might feel isolated and forgotten, and those times when I find them and truly connect with them is so precious. I often find that they are my angels.
I have so much more to write. And I’m realizing I will need to finish this next Sunday. Thanks for reading.
What do you think about women and the priesthood? What are some experiences you have had that have shaped your views?