Why I, a Feminist who Wants the Priesthood, Won’t be at the Ordain Women Demonstration

March 19, 2014 § 27 Comments

A few months ago, I fell in love with Abraham. You know, the prophet who almost killed his own kid and risked giving up his wife to another man? A friend of mine asked me why. She said, “How!!?!??!?? Are we even reading the same Genesis!?!?!??!?!”

We started talking about all the crazy things Abraham did as a father, husband, “not to mention a prophet.” But I fell in love with Abraham for those reasons. He did a lot of weird stuff that doesn’t make sense to 21st century me and I’m sure didn’t make much sense to him, but he did it anyway out of loyalty to and I believe an understanding and genuine love of God. At least when I asked God about it, that’s what I felt.

My friend disagreed. She disliked Abraham because his actions seemed to contradict the loving, respecter-of-persons qualities of God. In a way, Abraham’s actions offended her because they offended her understanding of a good and loving God.

I remember thinking Isn’t it interesting that your beef is with Abraham? For all those crazy reasons, my beef is with God. In a way, you could say my friend’s feelings were almost more loyal to God because she believed the God she knew and loved wouldn’t require such—what’s the word?— cruelty? Horror? Total weirdness? (At least from our current paradigm.)

LDS members who believe in past and present prophets are told, “whether it is by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). And yet, this concept has grown increasingly confusing for members since (1) We’re told our leaders make mistakes, that some of what they say is personal opinion, but that their revelation is from God, and (2) We’re told that our leaders will never lead us astray and yet a few months ago, the church told us that all that black men and their not-holding-the-priesthood stuff wasn’t actually from God. It was from prejudiced men who also happened to be our leaders? As grateful as I am for that recent statement released by the church, it has raised questions for a lot of us like, “So is all this discrimination against women, like, the same thing?” Where’s the line between personal perceptions of our leaders (which I believe most of us are more than willing to forgive) and actual revelation from God (which I believe many of us will accept)?

The issues of women and the priesthood and women’s leadership roles in the church come back to the question my friend and I had: Who is “responsible”—Abraham or God? Were Abraham’s actions toward Sarah, Isaac, and that other wife Hagar (who he sent away) a result of his cultural upbringing or mortal mind? Or was he actually doing what God asked him to do? (The scriptures do claim that God commanded Abraham to do each of these things.) Similarly we can ask: Is the church’s exclusion of women in priesthood and church-wide leadership roles a result of our church leaders’ cultural backgrounds and mortal minds? Or is all of this actually what God wants? (After all: our leaders specifically state that God has organized the church as it is—men who hold the priesthood and run the organization of the church.)

I am sympathetic to the Ordain Women Movement after having read and thought more about this Abraham/God: Who’s to “blame?” concept. I am now sympathetic because underlying the movement is a devotion to a belief in a God who loves His children equally and wants them all to receive the same blessings. To them, God would never make them feel inferior even in the way He organizes His church. In their minds, God is a God of compassion and love and concern for the one. He is a feminist. He knows and values women for their distinct perspectives. Women, to God, are not only procreators, but also creators and rulers with promised blessings of exaltation and worlds without number. Sounds like the God all of us women worship and love, right?

So then. If God would never allow this, there must be some kind of misunderstanding in our leaders, the Abrahams, right?

And so, for the OW movement, this calls for action. And it makes sense. Think about it: Just as we hope we would have advocated for blacks holding the priesthood back then, I believe the OW movement believes they are doing something noble by advocating for other women, their sisters, their mothers, their daughters, their daughters’ daughters. As a mother with a daughter, I have felt again and again that all I want is for my daughter to have a better life. That I want her to feel free and limitless, respected and valued.

But I won’t be at the demonstration supporting their movement.

Not because I don’t believe in disagreement or contention. I studied and taught rhetoric and argumentation for two years, a discipline that exists only because of differences in opinions. Deep down in me I love controversy because I believe opposing ideas make better way for truth. We chip at each other’s ideas, back and forth, back and forth, and through each other, we find out more truth, intelligence, light. Though I don’t believe this applies to all doctrinal truths (sometimes God just declares His truth and there is no “negotiating” it), I always love the Sunday School class members who raise their hands and ask contradictory questions because I believe when we address those questions, it prompts us all to better discover what we believe and don’t believe.

Not because I don’t necessarily want the priesthood either. Though this isn’t something I feel particularly pained over (as opposed to other issues, like knowledge of my Heavenly Mother), I do believe the priesthood is a gift and blessing and gives those who possess it more opportunities to serve and become better disciples. And I actually like to serve. There are times when I’ve seen my husband suffer emotionally or mentally or physically and I’ve sincerely wanted to help him in the way he has helped me so many times. I’ve wanted to help him hear what God wanted him to hear through me. Is that prideful? I don’t think so. I believe my love for my husband and for God would give my husband a unique perspective just as his blessings give me one. The same holds true for distributing blessings to all my family members, friends, neighbors, congregations, etc.

Not because I’m fine with church culture as it is. Of course I would love to see a woman help write The Proclamation on the Family and actually sign her name ;) Of course I would love to see a woman sitting on the stand and to watch my husband, brothers, father, and sons admire her leadership decisions. Of course I would love to see more male role models in primary. Of course I want my children to have men more involved in their lives and to see women more involved in decision-making. Yes, I would love the church organization to be an example of the doctrine that women are children of God and that their destinies as goddesses are similar to man’s. Yes, I would love church culture to be a sanctuary from some of the messages and views about women out there in the world. Frankly, it sucks that our church culture is in some ways worse.

But I won’t be at the demonstration because of what it symbolizes to God and my leaders and my fellow church members about my faith, devotion, and loyalty. Simply put: Our church leaders asked the OW Movement not to demonstrate. And whether or not our leaders do everything perfectly (including how they frame their PR statements) or if everything they say is directly from God, I believe God has created this church and stands by it even in all of its limitations and weaknesses. He stands by it in all of its goodness too. By demonstrating respect to my church leaders, I demonstrate devotion to Him. This doesn’t mean the OW movement is disloyal to the church or the gospel it teaches. They’re not asking to lead members away from the church that currently exists. They want to heal. But since our church leaders have asked the movement to reconsider its demonstration, the movement has evolved into a symbol of contention and strife within the church, an us vs. them—and that in itself isn’t a good thing. Even though this may be unfair because the church made this into an us vs. them by their PR statement, if the church leaders view it as such, then I won’t participate. I choose to pledge my loyalty to anything that represents God, including his prophets and apostles and the demonstration of my loyalty to them is more important to me than the demonstration of my loyalty to the questions and doubt I sometimes feel.

I won’t be there because I don’t believe our church leaders’ prayers are more meaningful to God than our own. In an article published about Kate Kelly, the leader of the OW movement, it reads, “Kelly would argue that she is not asking to make the decision — merely for church leaders to pray about it.” We have the divine power to access God on our own and in groups. We can pray and fast alone, together, even organize prayer and fasting together. Yes, the prophet receives revelation for the entire church. But we can still pray that God will work through our prophet and leaders to make things best for women and all of the members of the church, whatever that may be.

Also, these leaders have prayed about it and have told us the following very recently:

Neil L. Anderson: “Some may sincerely ask the question, ‘If the power and blessings of the priesthood are available to all, why are the ordinances of the priesthood administered by men?’ When an angel asked Nephi, ‘Knowest thou the condescension of God?’ Nephi answered honestly, ‘I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.’” (“Power in the Priesthood,” Ensign, November 2013). Here Elder Anderson implies that our leaders don’t know, just as Nephi did not know because it was not yet revealed.

Russell M. Ballard: “When all is said and done, the Lord has not revealed why He has organized His Church as He has.” (“Let Us Think Straight,” BYU Speech, August 2013.)

Perhaps, yes, they could better articulate the process in which they received this revelation. But I believe there is sincere prayer, fasting, and preparation before addressing these sensitive topics. I have felt that as I listen to their words.

And yeah, it may be a bummer that not a lot has changed since this statement from Gordon B. Hinckley:

“It was the Lord who designated that men in His Church should hold the priesthood. It was He who has given you [women] your capabilities to round out this great and marvelous organization, which is the Church and kingdom of God” (“Women of the Church,” Ensign, November 1996).

We can argue that this answer is temporary, but this is our current answer and I choose to accept it with an understanding that God’s ways, including God’s timing, are not my ways. I don’t believe it’s fair to put the responsibility or blame on our current leaders who have simply not received guidance. Kudos to those who refrain from filling in the gaps and questions with their own explanations as we have seen in the past.

I won’t be there because of what the movement symbolizes to God about my relationship to Him. In the Bible Dictionary, we learn the following:

“Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.”

Blessings do require work, but that work is not protestation, either public or private, especially when answers have been given and repeatedly. Yes, we read and see many examples of saints who pray and ask for desired blessings, but adjacent to those requests is the inward wrestle to configure their hearts to accept whatever God’s will is. That configuration is the kind of work necessary for blessings. President Eyring has even talked about this concept as a spiritual gift we can ask for—the gift to want what God wants. Like Joseph Smith, it’s not good for us or others to keep requesting God to change His answer—to let Martin Harris take the manuscript to his wife because “it would mean so much.” Faith is to ask, but it is also to accept whether God says yes or no or even, “I’m not telling and I’m not even going to tell you why I’m not telling.” Even if the result of that answer encourages pain, strife, or disassociation.

And lastly and most importantly, I won’t be there because I haven’t felt inspired or prompted to do so. Though I would love for women to hold the priesthood, I haven’t felt that women will receive the priesthood or that I must be an advocate, slowly preparing other members for this new revelation. I did recently, however, meet with a group of women who will be attending the OW Demonstration and some of them felt strong spiritual experiences pushing them to go. I can’t say that their experiences aren’t real. And I can’t explain our different answers except for maybe we have different roles in this process. Though I am not a relativist (I do believe it is possible to be wrong), I honestly don’t know that my answer is everyone’s answer.

Some may say that it is cowardly or even ineffective—that my attitude and actions won’t bring about the change that the church “needs.” Yes, I’ve even thought about how some day, if women do get the priesthood, my children might ask me, “But where were you? Why weren’t you there?” It’s a hard decision for me too. But I have carefully and critically made my decision to demonstrate my loyalty to God by demonstrating my loyalty to church leaders who have asked OW followers to refrain. I don’t believe we cannot privately work these things out with God or even discuss these things with our leaders in a respectful manner, as long as we do it with a proper understanding of God, our relationship to Him, and even our leaders’ relationship with Him. We ask and we listen to real answers and we pray to accept all the different answers we may receive along the way with patience, hope, and loyalty to Him and His cause.

 

 

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§ 27 Responses to Why I, a Feminist who Wants the Priesthood, Won’t be at the Ordain Women Demonstration

  • Katie Wade-Neser says:

    You are the best person Tara. Just the best person. So beautifully written from such a kind and thoughtful perspective. I wish we were blood related instead of just marriage related.

  • Really, really wonderful. Thanks, Tara!

  • Cleve Brock says:

    Tara:

    I am in awe at your deep thinking and eloquent words on this subject. I also respect your courage in revealing your innermost feelings about this. I’m proud to be your father.

    DAD

    PS. When you get some time I’d like you to write about a subject that has bothered me in the Church for quite some time: Why doesn’t God let BYU beat everyone else in Football (and Basketball). This has gnawed at me for years.

  • David says:

    Incredible and beautifully written. I don’t agree with everything that you said, but your logic, your prose, and your faith are all undeniable.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tara, wonderful! I read the heading with feelings of concern, what will this be and what is Tara saying? I then read the comments and responses on fb before I read your beautiful essay. I thought “what is it some disagree with?” Then I read this well though-out, personally revealing piece and thought” what is it they or I might disagree with here? I don’t know because the only thing that made me even slightly uncomfortable was

  • Stephen Powell says:

    Tara … You are amazing! Thank you

  • Linda says:

    The scripture that keeps coming back to me is Isaiah 55:8-9. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

  • Dave Woodland says:

    Wow, Tara, wow. Wonderful. I have to say that when I saw the email header announcing the arrival of a new Tara work of art, I was at once thrilled and worried by the header. But I couldn’t read it as I was driving into St. Louis at that moment.
    Then, I opened fb this evening and again worried, “what could this be and where is Tara taking us?” That grew a bit when, before I read your work, I read the comments and responses, I thought: “What is it they could be simultaneously praising and emptily contradicting?”
    With all that tension (really not so much, as I knew it was coming from Tara, but still) I got to read it and poof, the tension was replaced with peace and comfort, light and personal revelation. Thank you for your well thought-out and inspiring essay.
    So what made me a talk uneasy? I haven’t thought it through entirely, but the thing that stood out at the end that bothered me slightly was “stand admiration” (my term). I thought: whom did I admire last Sunday? I admired the person who came and sat down next to the sister who was back in church for only the second time in the past 45 years. I admired the sister who overcame fear to come back at all. I admired the wife of 32 years who spoke to the hearts of people about many kinds of prosperity and many ways the very cunning and expertly skilled adversary tries to get to us, I admired the chorister who, when the meeting was already 5 minutes over, instead of saying “One verse” said “and verse 6″ because she knew that line would touch someone’s soul which it did mine. These people are loving God and feeding His sheep.
    I have no fear of anyone reading this, you planned and wrote it so well and helped me understand my own feelings. Thank you.

    • tara says:

      Thank you, Dave :) and I appreciate your thoughts on the different ways we can and do admire. I know men admire women in the church for everything they do. I guess specifically I mean women in authority or in leadership roles. But I am learning more about “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Perhaps our perception of power is all mixed up. Hence, God’s ways are not our ways.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tara, it’s been a while since we’ve spoken, if you even remember me from good ol’ slate Canyon 11th VT days! I’ve been quietly following the articles and attacking/defensive comments going on about this matter. It hurts my heart to see such conflict within the church. Thank you for writing such a well-balanced, non-attacking/non-defensive essay on such an emotional and difficult subject. Yours is the first I’ve even responded to because … your writing makes me feel safe. I dont’ even know if that makes sense… I guess I mean that you’re not overly emotional one way or another, yet your conviction to God and His church is evident through your words. Well done.

    • tara says:

      Well, what a compliment. Thank you. And yes, I remember you. It is hard to involve ourselves in these heated and contentious debates when everyone seems to be talking past each other. I finally caved in because I wanted something more than I was getting. I’m glad I have your support.

  • RockiesGma says:

    Beautiful, beautiful expression and devotion. Thank you, Tara.

    I wish to express my devotion to the Savior by viewing OW as an organization of individuals seeking to be heard, but always denied, so they reverently seek entrance to a meeting as a representation of their denial to be heard, and as an act of devotion to what they believe God wishes to give His daughters, if only the prophets would ask, seek, and knock.

    You feel the Abrahams have asked. I sincerely feel they have too, but none express or testify that the Savior has currently spoken. They say they don’t know, or this is how it was set up and this is how it stays. So said the Brethren prior to 1978. It’s the same set of circumstances with the very same statements that are now debunked. I remember members contending over the priesthood inequality based on race. With the Lord’s help and after decades of rigorous debate among the leaders, we overcame that inequality with joy and rejoicing.

    If the leaders would sit down with OW and let them share their spiritual experiences, if they got to know them as sisters instead of an organization, if they felt their deep love for the gospel and heard their ideas much good would be garnered among one another. Hearts would be filled and softened. A spirit of inclusion would be felt, and respect would be strengthened. Assumptions and fears would be replaced with understanding and trust. Voices never heard would at long last speak for all the women of all the ages who never had a chance to say a single word to aught, but God. He, only, knows the cries and pleas of His sisters….He, only, has seen the despairing tears of His daughters.

    OW has repeatedly extended the invitation to meet together with our leaders, that all might be edified. Every invitation has been ignored or denied. Yet individual prayers and fasts roll on. But Tara, you know that individual prayers cannot have jurisdiction for the church. Only the prophet has the keys for that. This is exactly why Kate Kelly says OW desires that the prophet ask, seek, and knock on the Savior’s door to learn His will by revelation — not just inspiration — for women in 2014. If they met together and precious, dear Pres. Monson told them he’s striving with all his might to do this, but no revelation has come yet, it would help many sisters feel much, much better and we could continue to press forward in faith as we have always done.

    To me, or perhaps I should say, for me, devotion to God is shown by reverently seeking admittance to the priesthood session. It isn’t a protest, as the PR department and many members have branded it. It is a plea. It is an outward expression of an inward prayer. It is a form of worship to Jesus who is no respecter of persons. Though few can accept it, they are following the promptings they’ve received from the Holy Ghost.

    With love, I can respect and trust your method of expression of your devotion to God. I hope you can with love, respect and trust mine and those who reverently disagree with Abraham, but dearly, dearly love God.

    God bless us all to walk with God and rise to all He wishes us to be and to have. Thank you again, for your beautiful and inspired post.

    • tara says:

      Thank you for this thoughtful response. Perhaps my only response is: Because they have asked the movement to reconsider, I don’t think showing up “anyway” is the solution. It suddenly becomes rebellious simply because “they” have drawn the line, even if that line is kind of unfair (because they drew it after you all already decided). If they hadn’t asked the organization to refrain, then I wouldn’t be as opposed to it. Perhaps, though, once more followers join, they may feel meeting with your organization is worth the time, since currently they cannot meet with every minority voice. I know that sounds horrible, but currently, the purpose of the OW Movement doesn’t represent most or many women in the church. Although I believe broader women’s issues like women representation and women seeking more understanding of their purpose, including more knowledge about their Heavenly Mother do represent MANY women in the church.

      • RockiesGma says:

        I hear you, Tara. Perhaps OW could offer to refrain from reverently seeking priesthood session admittance if two or more Brethren would meet with them after conference is over. Apostle Hinckley and another apostle met with two leading Black men in the 70’s several times. These men wrote thought-provoking articles published in Sunstone magazine and gave speeches in several public forums advocating ordination of their race to the priesthood. Many in the church considered them trouble-makers on the road to apostasy and out of line for questioning current policy. So the apostolic meetings tremendously helped both sides come to a spirit-filled middle where love and respect replaced negativity and fear. I hope and pray these wonderful Brethren who lead us now will follow that example and meet with the sisters advocating ordination for their gender. I think fasting and praying together as a body, discussing this matter in great depth as Pres. Hinckley did in the 70’s would bring about much good for the church, whether that includes ordination or not. There are many areas of feminism worthy of study and discussions as we move toward becoming a Zion people.

        We may be a minority, but the Savior is big on the few….even one. He cares about their hopes and concerns as much as He does the great majority. I hope our Abraham’s do likewise.

        I thought about your inspiring post all day today. I love the way you put words together so beautifully. You express yourself exquisitely.

      • Kristi says:

        One person’s rebellious is another person’s earnest.

        :)

  • spatty says:

    What an amazing post this is. I am also a friend to the Ordain Women movement. I won’t be there, but its not because I disagree with their method- I haven’t made a decision one way or another, but beyond that I live halfway across the globe and can’t attend, so there is no use in making that decision for now.

    Your thoughts about personal prayer and personal devotion stood out to me, and reminded me of the discussion surrounding personal prayer and group prayer as well as personal fasts and “special fasts” which typically occur in groups as well.

    You write, “I won’t be there because of what the movement symbolizes to God about my relationship to Him… Blessings do require work, but that work is not protestation, either public or private”.

    While I disagree with the idea that this is a protest, I do however understand what you are saying- God is able to hear our prayers, he knows our hearts and if it is the right time then he will respond.

    So, I’d like to pose a question for you- why do we fast? What about fasting opens the heavens and calls down the blessings of God? We can also pit this against prayer by itself- what about fasting adds to our prayers, that we cannot accomplish by prayer alone?

    Beyond that, why do we hold group prayers? and then when we have a very particular poignant need we invite many people to join us and call it a special fast? Sometimes families, wards, and stakes do this for the sake of healing- emotional, spiritual or physical, sending rain, and especially for missionary work.

    This is really a long set of rhetorical series of questions, but I will continue- Does God respect the group more than the individual? Does God hear our voices more strongly when they are raised together? Is the will of God bent by the number of voices, or the act of uniting together with purpose? If not, why do we do it?

    I believe in a God that counts the hairs of my head that are lost, who feeds the sparrows that fly and leaves the 99 to go after the one. He cares for the individual’s needs and will answer our personal private prayers, but I also believe in the God whose bowels were filled with compassion when the saints gathered at the temple and looked steadfastly at him with tears in their eyes pleading with Him to tarry with them longer. (3 Ne 17:1-8)

    I don’t know if you saw the pictures of the men and women who were standing in line asking, seeking, and knocking last year, but they were earnest in their devotion and love for the savior. They began their quest in prayer and maintained an attitude of reverence throughout. Many who could not attend were fasting across the world. I fasted. The act of uniting together and looking steadfastly upon what is desired may be the very act that tells God we have sufficient faith for his blessing to be shared.

    • tara says:

      First of all, Spatty, thank you for asking some of the most important questions I’ve seen so far relating to the movement. They have made me really ponder.

      As for fasting, we’re taught in D&C 59:13: ” . . . only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.” Here it seems fasting is joy. (Which I might disagree with, haha ;) But I think it almost has to do with the way we feel when and after we fast. Perhaps because of the huge sacrifice it is (seriously!), we are blessed with an increased sensitivity in spirit. We are lightened by that Holy Spirit. And we feel joy because things seem clearer and lighter. Maybe fasting is just super prayer? Maybe it’s more for us than for God–we are edified by the process, lifted from our burdens. And I have to say when I really, really fast, miracles happen.

      Group prayers seem similar to fasting in that maybe they boost our personal prayers? But at the same time, I know that the power of a single prayer is just that: powerful and God will answer the same. Perhaps the power of group prayer is that we all receive similar answers and we become edified together by sharing that similar, spiritual experience.

      As for whether or not God feels more inclined to listen when more of us plea, maybe. That is interesting to me. And it is inspiring me with ideas.

      I would be fine with OW Movement advocating for group prayers centered on the specific question of the ordination of women. (In fact, I’ve recently debated joining/organizing a women’s issues group that advocates for specific writing and praying from members about something like “Our Heavenly Mother.”) This, to me, incorporates the power and unity of all who participate in the praying together. But this is different to me than the gathering if only because our leaders have asked us not to gather. Our leaders have not asked us to stop praying or fasting.

      • spatty says:

        Thank you for considering my thoughts and for your reply. I find it is amazing how we can be enlightened when our hearts and minds are in tune, which may be one of the greatest benefits of prayer, fasting and even singing! I am not able to attend the session both due to work and distance (I live in Africa), but I would love to be part of a group fast and prayer. Let me know if you are interested (I don’t know if you have access to my email or not)

        Shannon

  • Anonymous says:

    This is so wonderful. Thank you a million times for writing this.

  • tinychih says:

    Very well reasoned, beautifully written, wise words, Tara. Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this post. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite talks by Dennis e. Simmons called “But if not”. Read it. You’ll love it. Thank you for giving women like us a voice in all of this.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree–this is fantastic. Just what I needed to read this morning. And–like the commenter above–I too love the talk “But if not” by Elder Simmons (my old stake pres!). Once again, it has answers for me.

  • Dani says:

    You’ve said some things here that I had never thought about before, and I’ll continue to think about them. But in my heart, I am completely satisfied with my role in the church. I feel valued and respected. I am coming to understand that not everyone has had the same experiences as I have had in that regard, but I have always felt like an important part of the family/ward/stake/church team.

    The main difference in my perspective –and I know it’s only slightly different from yours –is that I don’t see the priesthood as an extra blessing to those who hold it. I see it as a blessing to those who receive its ordinances. Everyone receives those ordinances equally. Like Elder Andersen said in that talk you quoted from, “A man may open the drapes so the warm sunlight comes into the room, but the man does not own the sun or the light or the warmth it brings. The blessings of the priesthood are infinitely greater than the one who is asked to administer the gift.” I do get what you’re saying, though, about wanting to bless others’ lives in that way, and that’s one of the things I’ll be thinking about. I just feel happy with the ways the priesthood blesses my life and the way I can and do bless other people.

    The other important pillar in my thoughts about women and the priesthood relates to your comment about us having similar destinies to men’s. My view is that our destinies aren’t similar, they’re exactly the same. Our destinies are melted together. We are exalted together, as couples, as one God together. Men can’t hold higher offices in the church unless they have a wife. Seth and I are sealed together; we’re a potentially divine being together. As we cultivate that bond and strive to reach that potential, our actions and works start to come from the same heart. His priesthood is our priesthood. Together, we stay worthy and find opportunities for it to bless our lives and others’ lives.

    I could go on. Hope I can see you soon so we can talk!

  • mykle says:

    So glad you’ve written again! Wonderful thoughts. I recently came to terms with the Abraham and Isaac story as well, when we had to study it for GD. I won’t bore you with my thoughts and inept writing, but I love your thoughts on the OW movement and agree with many of them. To me your response embodies all that the Savior has taught and encouraged- soft answers, prayer, supplication, obedience, love, and empathy. I love that you have broken through the stifling norms of “Mormon Culture,” and opened yourself to “standing alone,” as we heard many times in General Conference this last weekend. You are an awesome lady!

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