Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Not About the Priesthood: What LDS Women Really Want

"And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries"   D&C 6:11 


Last Saturday was the General Relief Society meeting for the LDS church. I was moved by each of the talks but the part of the meeting that really touched my soul was the end. The closing prayer was given by a member of the General Relief Society board. Usually I don't pay much attention to what is said in prayers (sad, but true) but the tone of her prayer was so heartfelt it caught my attention. Her last petition pierced my soul.
"Help us gain a greater understanding of our mission on this earth as thy daughters in these Later-days."
As she spoke those words my soul shouted, "Yes! Yes! Yes! That is the prayer of my heart too." 

It almost made me cry to think that here, in front of the whole world and in front of our almighty God, this sister was praying the prayer of my heart.

But I don't think it is just the prayer of my heart. I think it is the prayer of hundreds of thousands of LDS women around the world. As I have listened to women I have felt that many of us are hungry-- ravenously hungry-- for more understanding about who we are and what our mission is on the earth. It isn't that we are dissatisfied with our faith, it isn't that we feel unequal or left out, and it isn't that we want to be ordained to the priesthood. We are just ready for MORE.

More light. More understanding. More truth. 

I think this hunger is what is driving things like the Ordain Women movement and other religious feminist movements. They clamor for the priesthood thinking that it will fill the hungry void, but it won't.

Priesthood is something that is given to priests. A priest is a man. We are not priests.

We are priestesses, and what we really want is priestesshood.

In Daughters in My Kingdom it reads,  "As President Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth President of the Church, stated, “It is within the privilege of the sisters of this Church to receive exaltation in the kingdom of God and receive authority and power as queens and priestesses.”

Also, Bathsheba W. Smith, the fourth general president of the Relief Society, who was present at the organization of the Relief Society taught that the Prophet Joseph Smith,  “wanted to make us, as the women were in Paul’s day, ‘A Kingdom of priestesses' ” Source

The truth is that the Lord has already given women a great place in His kingdom. He has given us priestesshood. The thing is we don't fully understand what it is that we have. We don't fully understand or comprehend our power.

Nor have we yet caught the vision of what the Lord really needs His daughters to be doing on this earth. As Julie Beck, the former president of the Relief Society, said, "What the Lord envisioned regarding... Relief Societies has not yet been fully utilized. Many... Relief Societies are at present much like sleeping giants waiting for you to breathe new life into them."Source  We have much knowledge and much direction, but we still don't fully understand the magnitude of who we are and what we are capable of.

And that is what we are hungering to know.
 
So how do we get it?

By protesting? By writing letters? Through agitation? By shows of solidarity and social media? 

I don't think so.

The sister who prayed in the General Relief Society meeting laid out in her prayer what it is we need to do if we want to gain more. She petitioned the Lord to, "Bless us with a greater desire to understand and keep our covenants, a greater desire to not only read but search the scriptures, to have the confidence to ask thee with greater intent and greater faith, knowing that an answer is sure." 

If we want more understanding we need to be using our energy to understand-- really understand-- and keep our baptismal and temple covenants. We need to be reading and studying our scriptures everyday, and we need to be asking God, with greater intent and greater faith, for more light and knowledge. Revelation only comes to those who ask.

Still, we need to remember that God knows what we need better than we do. Sometimes I think He laughs when we get worked up and ask Him for something that looks like this


When He is just waiting-- and wanting-- to give us this


He can fill our hunger, more abundantly than we ever dreamed, but it takes work on our part. To gain a greater understanding of our mission on this earth as daughters of God we must constantly be working to align our wills with the will of God. We must be willing to let go of what we think we need and what we think we want and let Him feed us.

The additional light and knowledge so many of us hunger and thirst after is coming-- to us as individuals and as a church--we just have to be ready to receive it.

40 comments:

  1. Heather, I appreciate your thoughts here- but I'm confused because the minutes actually quote Joseph as saying a "kingdom of priests" -- not priestesses. As you point out, there's an important difference. And the actual minutes, as presented by the church, say "priests." Does that affect your position at all? Because it seems to rest on the fact that he prophesied "priestesses." I look forward to your thoughts! I'm trying to work through all this right now.

    http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/nauvoo-relief-society-minute-book?p=19

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    1. Kels,

      It wouldn't change my position at all. You are right the RS minutes say "kingdom of priests". The Bathsheba quote was given in the Women's Exponent around 1905, so much later than the minutes. I don't think that the difference between the word "priest" and "priestess" in this situation make a difference (though it would be nice if things were more clear!) I think they are both referring to the same thing. Both Eliza R Snow (who kept the minutes) and Bathsheba were at the first relief society meeting. We also don't know if Eliza's notes are complete, perhaps he used both words and she only wrote one down and Bathsheba remembered the other one? Regardless of what word Joseph actually used I think that Bathsheba's quote gives us more understanding as to what context he used it in (the temple) and what his intent was. It is interesting too that Eliza R Snow often referred to herself as a "priestess" . It seems like those early sisters understood their power in the gospel better than we do today because they understood that it was something different than the type of priesthood ordiantion that was given to men-- but just as important and powerful.

      Also, It is sort of like Phebe (in Romans 16) who is called by a word that could mean "deacon" or "deaconess". There is a lot of debate among scholars about if that means she was ordained to the priesthood. Yet when we understand that she was a member (probably leader) of the ancient Relief Society and that she would have either had (or was preparing to receive) the temple ordinances than I think her role is more clear. The Relief Society really is a society or kingdom of priestesses who are organized after the pattern of the priesthood and who are a part of the great priesthood work of the earth. I think we are slowly coming to gain a full understanding of the power and the blessings that the Lord has given us!

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    2. I think that the word priest applies to woman as preistesses as well similarily to how men as in 'all men are created equal' applies to men and women or the word 'guys' applies to both men and women. Although there are variations pertaining to gender, they are not always addressed and often times the one for men is generalized to apply to men and women alike.

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    3. Thanks for the reply Heather! I guess it's tough because we really just can't know for sure if these instances whether male words are are referring to the same stations that men have, or if they are meant to refer to a female complement. All the more reason for us to pray for inspiration, and to pray for our leaders to seek and receive additional revelation on this subject.

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  2. Love you Heather! And that is interesting, I also felt joy as she prayed that prayer. She must have been inspired to say that. I'm glad we both noticed it! Great post!

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  3. Looking to clarify:

    So if priestesshood is the key, do you believe women need to be ordained to priestesshood? It seems like you are inferring that women already inherently have it.

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    1. No, I don't think that women need to be ordained to priestesshood. I do believe that we inherently have power as women. I am working on another post that will hopefully explain more about I feel about this. But I will say that I that women's bodies are AMAZING and we have so much more power tied up in our bodies than we realize. Which is one of the reasons that Satan attacks women and their bodies in so many ways, and why the power of the body is one that is dismissed as not being "real" power.

      I do think though that women NEED the temple and we need to claim and understand the power and the blessings given us there. The purpose of the Relief Society is SO SO connected to the blessings in the temple and I don't think we can fully understand the RS or the temple without understanding how they connect. God has given women priestesshood-- which includes their membership in the female "quorum" of the church, which is the Relief Society (see Julie Beck's talk "Why we are organized into Quorums and Relief Societies) I don't fully understand all of it, but I know that women do have power that they can access without ordination. Why, I'm not quite sure and this is one area that I feel it would be wonderful to get more light and knowledge about! So I'll keep asking :)

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    2. Amen to what you've said about the body. There are multiple reasons why we absolutely had to have one in order to become like our Father, and it goes way beyond just for the sake of having one. Fantastic post! I really appreciate the deep thought you put into your posts.

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    3. Wow, I had never thought of it that way but it makes complete sense. Thank you so much for your insight. I loved your post and this comment!

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    4. We can have great power without the priesthood. We can be given AUTHORITY without being given the priesthood. When I was set apart to be a temple worker I was not given priesthood power to perform the ordinances for initiatory (washing and anointings) in the temple, I was given Authority. I was ordained - or given special power and authority- to administer these ordinances to the sisters who came to the temple. Now just because I wasn't given priesthood power doesn't mean that all the ordinances I assisted in are void. We as sisters can have the same effect (the ability and right to perform eternal ordinances in the temple) as the brothers have with their priesthood. But all things must be done in wisdom and the order of God. We may not have the priesthood but we are endowed with Godly powers from on high.

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  4. i agree. i think the movement is not about the priesthood, but more a yearning for attention. i think if those women truly focused on what we have and can be, they wouldn't be searching so desperately for attention.

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    1. Yikes! There is a whole movement of women feeling less than and instead of seeking to understand and truly love them, you are simply dismissing their ideas as a need for attention. I am sadden that many people have the same attitude. Luckily for me the gospel isn't the people because the attitudes would have me grabbing my family and heading for the door in a hot second.

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  5. The outside world tells us that women deserve the exact same as men because we are no different from men. They see men being ordained to the priesthood as inequality when, in all reality, they NEED women (their wives, mothers, sisters, friends,etc) in order to fulfill that priesthood and reach their full potential. It is true that this movement may be driven by spiritual starvation or a mis-understanding (or not understanding) covenants, the Gospel, etc but we all need to shake the notion that the world has for women and embrace who we are inherently. I don't think we need to be ordained to the Priestesshood because God made us awesome already. Maybe it is inherent. We just need to find it in ourselves and embrace it AND the truth of the Gospel. =) Thanks for the amazing thought, Heather. God bless!

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  6. Her last petition pierced my soul.
    "Help us gain a greater understanding of our mission on this earth as thy daughters in these Later-days."
    That is my prayer also, to know if "I am doing it right", If I am fulfilling and magnifying my callings in life and in church. I was struck at the "tone" of the Conference, it seemed to be "speak softly", and carry a big message, and that was concerning how we "keep" or "guard" our covenants that we have made with Heavenly Father. At first I had a struggle focusing because I was waiting for the "bells and whistles", so I had to review later. I went back to the last conference and I noted that the message was the same even to the Sisters saying some of the same things, and then I reviewed the last 2 conferences before the sustaining of the new Presidency; the message is the same; The blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ; how this affects our ability to honor our covenants, obey those covenants and then fulfill those covenants; specifically our baptismal covenants that tell us how to serve the Lord by serving his people, how to love the Lord by serving his people, how to show obedience and love, by serving his people.
    So for me, the aha moment was the answer to the prayer of "what is our mission"? Almost like the conversation the resurrected Savior had with Peter: Do you love me Peter? "Yea Lord,thou know that I do", "Then Peter feed my sheep, feed my lambs.
    But most of all and you might not agree with me and that's OK, I felt in my heart that this conference messages and those that preceded it was a call for obedience, a call for repentance, and a call to love. Only through obedience can we please the Father, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
    Thank you Heather, you are a bright light. xoxoxo

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  7. Amen to everything you said! !! It's not about holding the priesthood, it's about discovering who we really are. The early saints were wonderful examples of not letting worldly distractions blind their eternal perspective. Why do we have such a hard time with that? My Bishop is always quick to remind us that everything will work out in the end. Heavenly Father is perfectly fair and so is His plan. We need to exercise stronger faith and focus more on how we can improve ourselves here and now. Thank you for your comments and testimony! Love your blog!

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  8. Thank you for taking the time to compose your thoughts and share them. I feel uplifted and will be following.

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  9. Watching this Ordain Women movement has honestly confused my soul, and though my testimony has not faltered, I have wondered once or twice, What if they are right? Reading this brought so much clarity to my mind, and peace to my soul, as did the broadcast! The prayer that sister gave stuck with me as well, and throughout the entire Conference I was enlightened regarding my role as a woman and sister in this Church. The Lord does seek to bless us with blessings unmeasurable, and He will, if we are patient and humble. When it's time for the fulfillment of our light and knowledge, we will know. Right now is the time to continue to follow the commandments set for us already, and focus on things of the present, while praying for that additional truth.

    Heather, I love you. :)

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    1. To my mind, it doesn't matter if women who want to hold the Priesthood are "right" or "wrong" in that desire. What matters is, are we willing to do the Lord's work with the tools we already have? If we have not received further light and knowledge, it is because we aren't using the light we already have been given to it's fullest potential.
      We don't get to choose our tools. Some people are born with incredible intellect and physical strength, others not so much. God gave men and women different but equal tools to do his work, the world has just persuaded us that our tools are less than. but how dare the world tell me that motherhood, womanhood, and priestesshood isn't enough? Those are the highest callings in the Kingdom of God.
      Spiritual gifts often are not paired with recognition or success in the world at large. One of the most inspirational and spiritually influential individuals I have ever met was a young woman with Downs Syndrome and Leukemia. Her every action testified of Christ. She didn't need the Priesthood to bless the lives around her, her every words and deeds spoke of a Heavenly Father's love for His children. Her funeral was attended by hundreds of people who she had touched with her pure, innocent love.

      If that isn't the power of God on the earth, I don't know what is. She who seemed to be so weak, who seemed to be the least of God's children, was full of His love and power. If we would stop seeking recognition, we might find that we also possess the greatest gifts, that of charity, compassion, faith, love, and the power to teach by the spirit.

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  10. In the restored Church of Jesus Christ, the Holy Priesthood Is conferred, as an individual bestowal, upon men only, and this is accordance with Divine requirement. It is not given to woman to exercise the authority of the Priesthood independently; nevertheless, in the sacred endowments associated with the ordinances pertaining to the House of the Lord, woman shares with man the blessings of the Priesthood. When the frailities and imperfections of mortality are left behind, in the glorified state of the blessed hereafter, husband and wife will administer in their respective stations, seeing and understanding alike, and co-operating in the full in the government of their family kingdom. Then shall woman be recompensed in rich measure for all this injustice that womanhood has endured in mortality. Then shall woman reign by Divine right, a queen in the resplendent realm of her glorified state, even as exalted man shall stand, priest and king unto the Most High God. Mortal eye cannot see nor mind comprehend the beauty, glory, and majesty of a righteous woman made perfect in the celestial kingdom of God. (James E. Talmage, "The Eternity of Sex" Young Woman's Journal 25 (October 1914):602-03) I received this quote during church education week in Dallas, Texas. This quote helped me through a rough marriage that was sealed in the Temple. I since have divorced and married a good, honest, loving, kind, gentle worthy man of the Priesthood. I once believed the celestial kingdom for me was a room with a small window and a chair. My husband would beckon for me when it was my turn to come out. Yes, woman is desiring more understanding where we stand spiritually in the Kingdom of God here on earth.

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    1. Amen Sister
      I love this and look forward with an "eye single to His Glory".

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  11. You are one of the coolest people I know..

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  12. Love you, friend. Have I told you I'm related to Bathsheba Smith?

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    1. No Way! That is awesome. I knew you had some good blood running through you :)

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  13. I'm glad this discussion is positive. I was a little worried before I started reading them.

    The beautiful thing is that each of our missions is so different! In a very general sense I think our whole mission as sisters is to do all we can to share our women of God-ness, our mother hearts, our love, service, charity in whatever way that God directs us individually. I've been very blessed to watch women doing exactly that.

    I have a good friend (with 10 children, nonetheless) that created an educational group for youth to inspire them in their individual education that started out with 12 youth 5 years ago and now includes 5 different groups of about 20 youth each. I have a friend running for mayor and another running for city council (SO not my cup of tea, but grateful it is theirs!). I have a friend that keeps a ward map in her kitchen and marks off the homes where she's delivered a loaf of bread. I have a friend that has worked as a nurse in a care center for years that has given that talent to people in the ward that needed her care, a few during the last months of their life. I have a friend that is musically talented that could charge a lot more to teach her gifts, but charges less because she wants it available to "regular families" (even under the pressure of others that teach the same method). Just yesterday I met and got to listen to a women speak on her service with the group Mothers Without Borders (love that name!). For whatever reason (and I've wondered), I seem to constantly be directed toward scouting. It's an inherently male thing, but through those leadership opportunities I've been thanked for sharing my mother heart with these guys. While I don't work directly with the older scouts, the leaders I get to instruct and inspire do. I have two sons and four daughters, and I feel like I'm helping not only to strengthen scouting for the boys in the world, but doing what I can to strengthen all the potential dates and husbands for the girls in the world. I have to also add you, Heather, sharing your testimony through this blog.

    Even better, each of these women's influence begins and is centered with her home and family. They are great examples to me every time I watch them with their children or visit their homes.

    It makes me sad and frustrated when women don't realize the power and influence they have, wasting that power on trivial pursuits, gossip, negativity, "woe is me I'm just a mom," dogging their husband, etc. When you see all the trash in the world, we need the influence of women of God everywhere.

    Rise up women and understand your mission. Know your gifts, seek for personal revelation, and be who God needs YOU to be. Just like the priesthood, our gifts weren't given to us to serve ourselves. We need to look outward and intentionally find ways to build and lift those around us.

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  15. Heather, great post. Bruce and I were talking about this issue and he asked me whether I wanted to be ordained to the priesthood. I said, "I'm not sure how to explain this but...no, because I believe I already have it." And you have articulated in this post exactly what I was trying to express. I feel I already have the rights, roles, responsibilities, and access to the blessings associated with priestesshood. I think I felt it the moment I joined the Relief Society, and it was confirmed (maybe literally?) for me when I went through the temple the first time. I feel no sense of irritation at all toward the Ordain Women movement. I think their aims may be slightly misguided - my MBA reinforced for me the idea that a sense of ownership and a division of labor are essential to the progress of almost every organization (well articulated in the economic principle of the Tragedy of the Commons). But in the end, I agree with you that they want more, and I applaud that as a righteous desire.

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  16. I love this so much. Reading the some of the thoughts of some OW members and supporters I get so caught up in the vision of women as more active participants in the church, taking more ownership for our own spirituality, and like you say; realizing to far greater extent who we are and what we are made of and I just can't help but get caught up in the beauty of that possibility, but reading what you said; the priesthood will not fill the void ... and it is not the answer ... I agree, I can get behind that too. Oh to wake up ... what would our RS look like and could it be something we will see in the near future? I wish we were friends because it would be the raddest to be able to talk to you all the time about stuff like this.

    But alas, I will remain an internet stranger who admires you and appreciates your blog, and really wants to live on a farm with chickens and a goat, homeschool my kidlets, and give birth in my house ... for reals.

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  17. I like this! I just wanted to add my thoughts. The priesthood has always been about serving the Lord and doing His will here on earth. It has never been about men or about women, its never been about power or authority, its about humbly serving the Lord with all your heart. And I don't think that I need the priesthood to serve Him. If one day He decides to ordain women to the Priesthood, I will work my very hardest to be humble and worthy of that responsibility. But right now, we shouldn't be arguing over who has the priesthood and who doesn't, we should be happy and profoundly grateful that it is even here on earth, in the hands and hearts of very flawed people. The priesthood should be talked about with much more reverence than it does in circles demanding the prophet ask God if women can be given His holy priesthood (which, by the way, its ridiculous to think that the prophet isn't asking this very question). Proponents of woman ordination talks a lot about equality in authority and decision-making roles in the church, like the church is a business to work your way to the top in. But its not, serving the Lord isn't a competition. Its not about esteem or "having your voice heard". Its about *seflessly* giving all you have to Him, in His way, and in His timing.

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    1. SO True! I think we are so use to wordly models of power we forget that God works the other way around-- his is a model of power where the greatest is at the bottom-- the servant.

      And I VERY much think that the prophet is already (and has been) asking these questions for a long time. They are NOT new ones. Paul even had to address them to the Corinthians in his epistles. The prophet and God are VERY aware of what the church is struggling with.

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  18. I really liked the comment about the woman who are serving in their community and using their talents in and out of the church. I don't want the Priesthood. I have enough to do already. When i was passed over after a bunch of auxillaries were reorganized in my ward, I was feeling a little disappointed. But, I got a very strong impression in which I was told you don't need a "calling" in order to serve people or do good and great things. Why are we looking for power when it has always existed within us. We have the gift of the Holy Ghost. If members of the church fully utilized our gifts and privileges, what we could accomplish individually and collectively would be amazing. I think our leaders just want us to stop living below our privileges and really access the powers of Heaven.

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  19. Your post is very much in line with Sis. Julie Beck's counsel from BYU Women's Conference 2011. This is the talk that this snippet, which makes the internet rounds, is taken: "

    "The priesthood duty of sisters is to create life, to nurture it, to prepare it for covenants of the Lord. Don’t confuse the power with the keys and the offices of the priesthood. God’s power is limitless and it is shared with those who make and keep covenants. Too much is said and misunderstood about what the brothers have and the sisters don’t have. This is Satan’s way of confusing both men and women so neither understands what they really have."

    This "snippet" is just that however, a snippet, and becomes even more meaningful when read in it's full context. Her focus was also on covenant making and keeping. Sis. Beck was always counseling to get us to raise the bar on ourselves, which left her open to much criticism, and yet I would be the first to agree that women, unfortunately, can live far beneath their privileges simply because of their own lack of understanding and inspired vision. Sis. Beck was always trying to help us open our eyes, as it were.
    Obviously when one is so focused on what she doesn't (seem to) have, she cannot focus on what she (truly) has...


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  20. Great post, with lots of "food for thought." Thank you for posting.

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  21. I prayed something very similar recently, wondering what my role was in standing up against the tide of evil in this world. I was immediately directed to Elder Scott's talk from last conference For Peace At Home. I have read and re-read that talk and shared it with my children. I think we forget that home is where we have the greatest ability to impact the world.

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  22. I always love the things you post. You words resonate with my spirit. :) I have recommitted myself to not just reading, but searching and studying the Gospel. :) Thanks!

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  23. What if the Ordain Women's movement is correct? What then?

    I see people justifying their feelings in a public forum (this blog) often with no regard for other people's opinions or feelings, and while doing so those people are chastising another group of individuals for justifying their feelings in a public forum ( social media, news outlets, etc.)

    Open your minds, have a little compassion. and try to be understanding. Just because an idea shakes your preconceived notions/ beliefs/ justifications for how the church has traditionally done things, doesn't make that idea wrong.

    If people believe that change in the church hasn't begun with social movement within the church, they may want to read more about it. The two declarations that the church has released in the last 100 years began with strong social movements.

    Having been someone who often has opinions on the opposite side of the church majority , I know how alienating these types of conversations can be. I commend those that have strong enough testimonies to continue as active, participating members while speaking out to try to make positive changes in the church. They are stronger than I am.

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    1. Drew,

      I dont' feel any animosity towards the Ordain Women people, nor those whose opinions are different than my own. If anything I hope that my post expresses how much I can relate to them. The hunger is real. I VERY much relate to that. What I did want to express was a belief that their methods are flawed, and tend to lead people towards anger and discouragement with God, the church and the prophet rather than to a place of peace, faith and joy. I don't think it is wrong they are expressing their ideas, but I don't think that trying to get Gods kingdom to resemble a worldly model by using worldly methods is going to work. They are asking their and sending their petition to the wrong person :)

      Besides, as I expressed in my post I think that the majority (and even probably most of the ordain women people) REALLY don't want the priesthood like it is given to men. It wouldn't satisfy the hunger. It would make us look more "equal" in the worlds eyes but I don't think it would go very far to really appeasing the hunger to better understand who we are and what our power is as women.

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    2. Agreed. I have great love and empathy for the women who are petitioning through Ordain Women. I also think that Heather has hit the nail on the head. The hunger, sometimes, I feel as though I'll starve to death of it. I want to know more. I pray to know more, to BE more, not for myself, but for Christ, for HIS work. It seems to many that the only way to do so is through the priesthood. Since I don't have and probably will NEVER have it, I am choosing to focus my energies elsewhere. I believe fully that MY gifts come from my Father AND my Mother. Heavenly Mother's power and love is greater than any earthly power, than any petition, than any letter-writing campaign. She is in my heart. I pray to be like Her. And I hunger. All the time.

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  24. Heather, you are allowed to have your opinion. I agree with you. I know by reading your post you are not saying anything against the women who want more. You are a respecter of opinions. You have a calm philosopher, meaning you are not angered by what people believe. But you are allowed your opinion. I think people need to sit back and realize what they do have in life. They have different blessings. We may not have the Priesthood but we are still blessed with it every single day of our lives. We do not know why we do not have the Priesthood and the men do, but that isn't my place to question Heavenly Father's decision. When you question the Prophet (and thereby questioning Heavenly Father) you are following the steps of Apostasy. I am not saying they will, but it is a step in that direction. I know women want to be heard. I know that they hunger to be "equal", but I am equal. I am equal without holding the Priesthood. I am equal because I have the responsibility to be a mother and bring spirits into this world, and hopefully teach them properly to return to Heavenly Father one day. Morgan discussed Heavenly Mother. I think that people need to see that Heavenly Father has a reverence for Her. That is what men need to do to us. And as a woman, I want to be treated by my husband with the same reverence. I want to be revered as a woman and I feel that is more important for me than holding the Priesthood. In fact, I do hold the Priesthood....when I hug my husband!

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  25. I have thought a lot about this over the years, since I began following your blog. I too, am a "feminist". I was raised by a "feminist" mother who married a man who was not a member of the church (but converted 4 years after their marriage), but whose own mother was a "feminist". I guess you could say it runs deep in my blood.

    I like how you refer to it as Priestesshood. Having recently gone through the temple for the first time, my understanding of roles in this earth life has been enhanced so much as I have returned a few times (and I know it will only continue to be clearer). As I have followed your blog for a while, whenever the subject of priesthood "inequality" comes up among social circles, I usually refer to your blog about the 2 trees/2 veils. In that post, you make reference to the possibility that as women, we had/have more charge over the first veil. Perhaps the pre-mortal life is where our ordination occurred since it would be such an important role of ours from the very beginning. I also agree with you that giving birth (our role with the first veil) is very physical while we as women are usually more emotionally inclined. The Priesthood which is given to men to become more in tune with emotional and spiritual needs of others, where men are more physically inclined. We compliment one another, and ultimately we do need each other to obtain the highest degree of glory. I am not married, but I do know that although I am a confident, educated, and self-sufficient woman, I still need a man to fill an important role in my life as a help-meet, husband and father to my children.

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