When I was a little girl, I knew I’d be a working girl. I walked around in my mom’s high heels, my tiny feet barely filling the toes of them, a huge purse dangling from my shoulder. I’d pretend to go to the office, writing stories that I’d staple together, all the while holding a baby doll under my arm. Sometimes three baby dolls.
I had it right all along on how a woman works. Some women choose to stay home and have a family. Some women choose to have a career and devote all her time to her work desk. And then there’s crazy chicks like me, who want to do EVERYTHING under the sun. *insanity*
Everything except hold the priesthood. No thanks.
And I’ll tell you why. I’m a woman. And that is NOT meant to come across as a sexist remark. That little girl I was telling you about grew up and did the same thing she’s always wanted to do (minus the fact that my husband and I are trying for children, but aren’t yet blessed with them :)). I’m working a full time job in a busy news industry, keeping up a home, blogging, writing novels, serving as a primary teacher, and praying that at some point in the day I still have time to eat and maybe, just maybe, paint my nails. I know a lot of you are nodding your heads about right now. Especially the Mamas. Whether you work a job outside the home or not, if you’re a mom, you have it MUCH more challenging than the rest of us. Props to you.
Being a woman comes with SO many responsibilities, and blessings no matter what religion you are or ethnicity. So when I heard that a group of feminists are planning to protest outside the LDS church’s General Conference center during General Conference because they want to be ordained with the priesthood, I became infuriated. Yes. Even a workaholic, women-are-equal, I-want-to-climb-the-ladder-of-success girl like me.
And it doesn’t just have to do with my religious reasons, although I’ll share those first. The priesthood is something we can all exercise. I use the priesthood all the time when I ask my husband for a blessing or I have faith in ordinations enough to fulfill tough callings. I use the priesthood when I attend the temple and when I read my patriarchal blessing and see things coming to pass. I use it all the time because it’s intended for me to use. Heavenly Father thinks I have great worth, and intended the priesthood to be used so that I can benefit from it.
But as a woman, it’s not my gender role to be given the priesthood in the same way that a man is. It’s not sexist. It’s not a superiority complex. It’s just the difference between responsibilities that Heavenly Father wants us to have, no matter who we are or where in the world we live. Because Heaven knows that the Lord has given us many responsibilities that men don’t get to have. I won’t even try to count all of those. *my head would hurt*
But like I mentioned, my biggest beef isn’t even religious reasons. It’s the fact that in today’s world, Mormon or not, whether you be Catholic or Atheist or Protestant–whether you be liberal or conservative– parts of the women’s rights movement is moving past the “equal” mark and taking it to the “We’re even better than men” mark. And furthermore, some even go as far as not wanting to even be considered a woman. A child was born some time ago (and I heard it through the news) and the parents of that child refused to disclose its gender. That makes me sad. Because for some reason the world tells us that being a certain gender will block off opportunities or back us into a corner. But that couldn’t be more of a lie. Your gender is a blessing, and a huge framework to who you are.
Being a woman is a blessing. It is a gender that is inherently gentle and nurturing. It is a gender that gives you the power to bear a child or be a mother figure for a child. It is the gender that empowers you to step into a workplace with a unique, and sometimes more analytical or creative perspective. It is the gender that has changed the world, just as the male gender has. So why be ashamed of it to the point where we don’t want to be unique–we just strive to be the very same?
Femininity is something to be proud of, and I am proud to say that my Heavenly Father has endowed me with gifts that my husband doesn’t have, and has endowed my husband with gifts that I don’t have. But all those gifts benefit both of us. It’s an eternal principle that cannot be changed, even as the world changes. Even as extreme views pronounce that gender means nothing anymore because we’re all the same. But we’re not. We’re very different, and that’s what keeps humanity moving forward.
God’s law doesn’t change just because the world’s opinion does.
When it comes to women in the workplace, even in managerial and leadership positions–I’m on the front lines. When it comes to women voting, and having a say in every single part of government–I’m on the front lines. When it comes to women being treated with respect and dignity and equal opportunity to reach dreams and goals–I’m right there on the front lines.
But when it comes to the world professing that gender isn’t a factor anymore, even if it means changing doctrine or naming baby girls gender-neutral names all for the sake of “making her equal to men”–I take a step back.
Because I’m a woman. And I’m proud of that. You should be too.
1,801 thoughts on “The Mormon feminist protest: And why I won’t be there.”
When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
Thus that’s why this paragraph is amazing. Thanks!
I love this post. I hope you don’t mind I have a link to it along with this post: http://morethanamormonmom.blogspot.com/2014/06/should-women-hold-priesthood.html
I had bookmarked this post a few months ago and have finally sat down and read it. I completely disagree.
To use the author’s own words, “We’re very different, and that’s what keeps humanity moving forward.” I agree, and because every woman is also different from this one particular woman/author, she should also appreciate that another woman may be passionate about nurturing others through priesthood, not through genetic motherhood.
It takes a strong soul to rock the boat and think outside of the pulpit shaped box. That’s precisely what the women who fought for voting rights in America did. THOSE were the women on the front lines of THAT battle, not this author. I appreciate what this author feels her role is as a woman, but no two women share the same destiny.
I have to disagree, Tonya…
ALL women share the exact same destiny, so long as they are faithful. As do men.
This whole “equality” thing has been taken out of context, as “equality” is not “the same as”.
One pound of meat is equal to one pound of grain. But meat is not grain.
I know many women in the OW movement. I have been told, many times, that this isn’t about anything but “getting the priesthood power”.
Priesthood is the Power of God.
Seeking for Power is NOT in harmony with Gospel Teachings.
Women have access to Priesthood Power in more ways than men do. They, when needed, can give blessings, perform miracles, and much, much more. (read up on Joseph Smith’s mother)
The only thing that I can see, from all the women I know in the OW movement, is they want to “be like men”, they want “power and authority”…
But, in our Church, and in Life, women and men are different for a reason. They are equal, in the sight of God, but they are different.
Seeking power, as I said, is not in harmony with the Gospel… because we are CALLED to serve, we don’t get voted in, we don’t aspire to be bishop or prophet… and we don’t compete for a place in the “hierarchy” of the Church…
We are CALLED TO SERVE.
When it is the Lord’s will, he will CALL US TO SERVE… and we should serve in whatever capacity he calls us, be it a priesthood office, or other leadership position… and then we should serve with all our hearts…
In this way, we all receive the very same reward, equally.
Why is it okay for a man to “get the priesthood power”, but not a woman?
I feel that this line of reasoning is similar to the reasoning that was used when women first fought for the right to vote in America. Were women just looking for power at that time? If so, how is that a bad thing? Did God frown upon those women for wanting something that belonged only to men? Were the women being selfish, because it was clear in scripture that God had a different calling for them?
Tonya – your argument lacks credence as you are comparing things of an earthly/human nature to things of an eternal/spiritual nature. Votes for women was effected by democratic rule, whereas women in the priesthood or not is effected by monarchy – in fact the highest monarchy. You can’t change God’s plan, no matter how you like it or not. There are many churches who do believe women can hold the priesthood. The LDS church is not one of them.
A righteous woman has access to the Priesthood in several ways:
Through her Righteous Father.
Through her Righteous Husband.
Through her Righteous Church Leader.
A woman is NEVER without Priesthood.
A righteous man, however, must be ordained to the Priesthood.
How is that fair?
And yes… believe it or not, the Church was against “equal rights”. Not because they believed women to be inferior, but because they knew it would bring about greater and greater changes, taking today’s “modern woman” further and further away from the teachings and focus of the Gospel.
When it becomes more important for a woman to work outside the home, just to have a career and be equal to a man, her focus isn’t on her family and the eternal plan of God.
I’m not saying women shouldn’t work outside of the home… and sometimes it is necessary… but there is a focus that we all must maintain, equally: upon God and his will for us, as found in the Gospel and via modern revelation.
So, yes… a woman seeking something other than what God wants is being selfish… and that goes the same for men… equally.
This life is not about “what can I get for myself”, but “how can I best serve God”.
Woman= Servant & Man= Authority. That is not equal.
Exactly. Not all women share the same destiny because this woman and many others refuse to accept that paradigm.
Reply to Marlyn’s comment:
What color is the sky in your world ?
My husband works to help provide for our family. So, I guess that makes him the “servant” and I am the “authority” – since you have “defined” the roles.
the issue is that women have access to priesthood power–only through a man. this suggests (and is in line with lds doctrine) that women cannot reach God without a man functioning as a mediator. and that–that is a godforsaken lie and holds women in incredible contempt, as well as effectively demeaning them by virtue of having a vagina. that is NOT God’s work; that is man’s doing.
“the issue is that women have access to priesthood power–only through a man”
I believe you are wrong, Corrina. PRIESTHOOD is not MAN’S power… PRIESTHOOD is GOD’S power.
Women have “access” to that power, the same as anyone. Women, simply, are not ORDAINED to a Priesthood Office.
This is why I maintain that many women do not understand the true nature of Priesthood. And, because of that, are not ready to be ordained to any offices…
@ Rebecca & Corrina I guess it depends what you mean by Access to God or reaching God. It is a mistake to assume that we need the priesthood to pray or be heard by God or to get needed blessings. It is also a mistake to assume that the priesthood grants any extra measure of the spirit that we don’t already have access to. Lastly it is a mistake to assume that men and women are treated unequally in eternity. Yes women can’t reach the highest degree of celestial glory without a man but neither can men reach it without a woman. The priesthood is just a calling to officiate, and a measure of the priesthood is included with every calling upon being set apart.
@ Rebecca & Corrina I guess it depends what you mean by Access to God or reaching God. It is a mistake to assume that we need the priesthood to pray or be heard by God or to get needed blessings. It is also a mistake to assume that the priesthood grants any extra measure of the spirit that we don’t already have access to. Lastly it is a mistake to assume that men and women are treated unequally in eternity. Yes women can’t reach the highest degree of celestial glory without a man but neither can men reach it without a woman. The priesthood is just a calling to officiate, and a measure of the priesthood is included with every calling upon being set apart
So, go ahead. Rock Heavenly Father’s boat. I hear you. I guess you assume He isn’t bright enough to know what is best & he needs your imput to know what to do. After all, it really isn’t His decision. It’s the Apostle’s decision & hopefully you can convince them that listening to Him isn’t in your best interest. Good luck! 👎
Wow!!! Whether you agree or disagree, whether you’re right or wrong, your nasty sarcastic answer is very unbecoming of the graceful feminine Mormon lady whims image you’re trying to promote. Wow!!!
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I stumbled across your blog today and have spent the better part of the afternoon reading various posts. I can’t tell you how relieving it is to have someone perfectly articulate how I feel about this and so many other issues. You have a way of putting difficult issues into perspective in such a intelligent, thoughtful way and for that I thank you. And on this particular topic, I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
Can’t we all just get along? Women will have the Priesthood, let’s just get that part straight. It’s just not going to be on our time, as much as some wish it could be. Do we forget we are promised this in temple? For those for OW, may I suggest lowering the demands to something we can change? Like fair trials in disciplinary courts? Or the secret callings thing. Who cares who gets called to be the next Sunday School Teacher?! Why is it a big secret till Sunday?
We’ve made a lot of things part of our culture that’s not necessary. Deacons can only wear white shirts to pass the sacrament, women can’t wear pants!, tank tops are slutty even though we all grew up wearing them, no facial hair if you hold a high calling….etc. Let’s focus on what’s really important folks, being disciples of Christ. We make so many rules that just don’t matter in the eternal prospective. Stop judging everyone. We are all sinners and my sins won’t keep you from going to heaven. Neither will Kate’s.
#1 – You may or may not be right about having the Priesthood eventually, although I do not recall receiving that message in the temple. There are a few things you are not correct on, though. Disciplinary hearings are fair. In fact, there is a member of the court appointed to represent the accused to insure fairness. I sat on many of these & the only time I heard accusations such as yours were from members that were already antagonistic against the proceedings. Every other time, members expressed their surprise at the spirituality of it. The whole purpose of a church court is to assist the person in the repentance process, not to punish them. In fact, it is much easier for a person to repent if excommunicated or disfellowshipped because they are not under the same level of responsibility as one who is. In almost all the ones that I was involved with, the above mentioned few that were antagonistic being the exception, the disciplined member returned, & at their baptisms expressed profound appreciation for the assistance that they received in their journey back.
#2 – having served in 3 Bishoprics, I know of no secrecy requirement, once the person called has accepted the calling. The next Sunday is the next opportunity to bring up the person’s name for common consent.
#3 – There is no requirement for a Deacon to have to wear a white shirt (although perhaps it has come across that way). It is strongly encouraged & after all, serving in the duties of the Aaronic Priesthood are to prepare young men (& men) for the Melchizedek Priesthood, higher callings, & the temple.
#4 – I wouldn’t say that sisters can’t wear pants, because I have seen women wear pants on many occasions. It’s just discouraged for similar reasons as in #3. We encourage all to wear their BEST. After all, if we start to erode standards, where do we draw the line? Do we ok shorts (I’ve actually seen them) in church? Is it ok to wear pants in the temple? It boils down to encouraging our members to take the high road
#5 – see #4 above. I have heard it expressed that the reasons we do discourage tank tops, & do not want them at Youth Conferences, church, & YW events are again, because the purpose is to prepare for future opportunities & blessings down the road. Again, if not, where DO we draw the line? Bikini tops? The only difference is the belly showing? It boils down to standards.
#6 – There is no taboo on facial hair for any calling in the Stake. It could be something that an individual Bishop or Stake President prefers. I used to have a mustache when I served in Bishoprics & no one ever told me I had to shave it off (I shaved it on my own because I saw myself on camera speaking to a group & was horrifies that it made me look like I was frowning all the time. My current Bishopric has a bearded member, as did my previous Bishopric in a different Stake (he looked a lot like Col. Sanders!).
Again, it boils down to standards, & who’s standards do we really want to seek after? Part of me doesn’t understand why these are even an issue. After all, Brethren, for example, aren’t seeking to wear knee length shorts to church, & what’s wrong with those? Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the above, but I believe that we are far more prepared to be a vessel of God’s Spirit if we just follow our leaders & the Church’s teachings.
Thank you for expressing your thoughts so well. I find one of the problems that some people have is distinguishing between Doctrine and Tradition.
White Shirt for Deacons, is traditional not doctrinal, but some Bishops do make it a requirement, others don’t.
Some traditions come from “Because that’s the way is has always been done.” Which are usually the ones that get confused with Doctrine.
Some traditions come from other religions through converts. I saw a grandmother slap the hand of her 5 year old grandson because he was about to take the sacrament with his left hand.
On the Secrecy in Callings, I have been asked not to say anything to anyone, other than my wife (if she wasn’t with me) when I got a calling. However, I personally believe that tradition has the benefit of stopping any rumors as to why the other person is being released from the calling.
Traditions can change and sometimes should be changed.
Doctrine does not change unless God decides it should, and even then I think it is usually an expansion of, or a moving from a lower law to a higher law.
Thank you Tod for clarifying my point.
For starters, as for women receiving the priesthood, are we not promised to become queens & priestesses? If we are going to be called a priestess it makes sense that we’ll have it.
Sir, you didn’t read my post very carefully. I specifically said we make up our own rules. I never said they were doctrine. We need to abandon these man-made ideologies and focus on the gospel. Worrying about frivolous things only slows our progression.
Draw the line in your own home. Do not force personal opinions upon other members. I know too many people who do this. I’m not your mother so I’m not going to ask you to shave, change your shirt or wear sleeves. In sure members in Tonga, Africa, etc. don’t even have a building to meet in let alone white shirts.
@jennifer We can only go by previous revelation. Yes exalted women are promised to be Queens and priestesses, but because the revealed knowledge on that principle is so small, we have no idea how God will fulfill that concept. We don’t know if a woman needs to be ordained to be considered a priestess in the celestial Kingdom or if her sealing to a Mechizedec high priest is sufficient. Just because priest and priestess come from the same derivative doesn’t mean they imply the same activities or roles. This all has to so with the revealed word. Without more revelation, no one can say with any certainty how priesthood ordination will look by the end.
Wow that was unusual. I just wropte an extreemely long
comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
Grrrr… well I’m noot writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!
i find it interesting that you claim God’s law doesn’t change, given the church’s current stance on polygamy and african americans men holding the priesthood. those laws changed. why not this one?
Corrina, God’s law DOES NOT CHANGE. Policy, on the other hand, is mutable and ever changing.
For instance, the Priesthood… The LAW of the Priesthood is that you must be worthy, it must be used according to God’s will, and it is God’s power.
WHO USES IT or WHO IS ORDAINED TO A PRIESTHOOD OFFICE is POLICY.
The original “Sons of Aaron” and the “Levites” were, to begin with, the ONLY ONES who could hold Offices in the Aaronic Priesthood.
Now, young men from 12 years of age can be ordained to offices in the Aaronic Priesthood.
At one time, and possibly for a good reason, Blacks were denied the Ordination of the Priesthood. Again… Policy…
Today, that policy is, again, changed.
One must understand the difference between Doctrine and Policy.
@ Rebecca There is one distinction between law and policy that you missed. Policies can be changed by the brethren as in why weren’t women praying in conference. Well the apostles changed that right away because it didn’t violate doctrine and didn’t require new revelation. While who can be ordained to the priesthood has changed through out the millenia, it isn’t policy but doctrine. Revelation defined how it is administered and only more revelation can change it. What I think you are getting at is that God’s laws or rules can change but His principles don’t. Animal sacrifice is one example of law changing. It was required for 4k years and then abandoned for 2k years, but it will come back in this dispensation to fulfill all things. The principle that hasn’t changed is that vicarious sacrifice is a core principle to salvation in the gospel thru all generations of time.
So what God plans to do to equality between men and women with the priesthood is up in the air, but for anyone to say with certainty that women will definitely eventually get ordained outside of a first presidency address, is not only putting the cart before the horse, but is the definition of a false prophet and is flirting with apostasy. Personal revelation on an undeclared change can always be had, but not for the purposes of public discourse or pressuring the leadership to make changes.