Last Sunday we blessed our daughter.
Ever since she was born my mind and heart have been filled with worries about this little girl's future. The world is getting increasingly darker and and it scares me to send my perfect, pure and beautiful daughter out into a world that will hurt her. I know how hard it is to be a girl and what a rocky road it is towards womanhood, especially towards becoming a righteous woman. I know that because she is a girl the world will be a more dangerous place for her than it is for my son. I know there will be trials and challenges that she will have to face because of her gender; my heart breaks when I think I think about all the possible ways that she can be hurt, belittled, or mistreated just because she is a girl.
All these worries and thoughts were swirling around in my soul on Sunday when my husband took our little daughter in his arms to give her a name and a blessing. I had my eyes open during he blessing because I was rapidly trying to write down everything that was said. At one point I looked up towards the front of the chapel and saw our daughter held in her father's arms and surrounded in a circle by her grandfathers, her uncles and other men who cared deeply about her. As I looked at that circle it was as if I saw a big bubble wrapped around my little daughter, a big bubble of priesthood protection. It wasn't just that the men in that circle would protect and care for her the rest of their lives, but it was that they represented God's great love for her and the power of His protection. I knew that God loves this little girl as much as I do and that He worries about her too. She is His daughter, more than she is mine, and He did not send her into the world alone. He has sent angels to guide and protect her, has given her a loving family, and has surrounded her in the protection of His priesthood.
I've often struggled with baby blessings, feeling that it was somehow unfair that men were the ones to bless the baby and present it to the congregation, while the women who did all the work bringing the baby into the world didn't get any recognition at all. Yet each time I've watched my husband take our children in his arms and bless them I've heard the Spirit whispering to my soul that God loves each of his children equally whether male or female. God is not unjust or he would cease to be God (Morm. 9:15, 19). He provides each of his children with the same "bubble" of priesthood power and protection. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, black or white, if you hold the priesthood or if you don't hold the priesthood, His love is the same.
I know that there will be times when neither I, her father or any of those men in that circle will be able to keep this precious little girl safe and untouched by the evil of the world. Yet what peace it brings me as a mother, as a woman, to know that at those times God will watch over her, keep her safe, answer her questions, and heal her soul.