Recently a friend told me about an article written in a local paper about the desire of one young BYU woman to petition the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to allow women to hold the priesthood. Much of the controversy came after a push for women to wear pants to church to signify their desire for more equality in the church.
I am a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, served a mission in Germany, a wife, mother of 3 and currently a young women leader in the church. As I have contemplated this move towards a so-called equality, the issue should resound deeper in believing members of the church.
We have a living prophet on the earth today and it is his job to oversee the church. It is our job to follow his counsel. Do we truly understand the magnitude of having a prophet of Jesus Christ himself, one who holds all the keys necessary to administer on the earth today, guiding the church? For me, that alone is all I need to accept the church the way the Lord has set it up.
Did you know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the longest standing women's organization in the world? It is known as the Relief Society. It's mission and goals encompass serving others, keeping a watchful eye out for all women, administering to the sick and needy, learning and teaching the gospel. "The Relief Society has been established by our Heavenly Father to
organize, teach, and inspire His daughters and prepare them for the
blessings of eternal life by helping them increase faith and personal
righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help
those in need." (lds.org)
Did you know that just as there are all male leaders over certain aspects of the church, there are also all women auxillaries.
Yes it is true.
We have 3 separate organizations boasting all women leadership: the relief society, the young women's program and the primary program. Women are called into positions to lead these organizations, make decisions and report to the bishop of the ward about what is needed. The presidents of these organizations meet together oft in ward counsels to counsel about needs within their organizations. Women hold callings as sunday school teachers, gospel doctrine teachers, visiting teachers and many other positions. The church holds a plethera of opportunities for women to serve, to grow and to learn.
I have never felt and currently do not feel undervalued in the gospel. It is taught that we are daughters of God, that He loves us and we love Him. That we are of infinite worth and that neither man nor woman alone can be exalted. Only together can we be exalted. We are never belittled. Women in the scriptures are spoken of highly. The bottom line is that we have different, not less important roles here on the earth. Read about those roles here in The Proclamation on the Family.
The priesthood is the power to act in God's name and is used only to serve others. The priesthood is never used to bless the one holding it. That is how God has chosen to bless us with His power. Just as men are called to use the priesthood to bless the lives of others, women bless others through kindness, charity and love. Both means are needed.
So, no pants for me thanks. I choose to follow our modern day prophet and see all the great opportunities the church offers women. The encouragement to get more education, to fulfill the measure of our creation. The relief society is the most diverse women's group there is with membership from most countries of the world, speaking more languages than I can count and watching out for each other with love and concern.
Embrace your womanhood. Embrace the gospel and find peace and happiness.
I whole-heartedly know the gospel is true and that I am an important daughter of my Heavenly Father. I gladly not only follow, but seek counsel from our modern day prophet and the apostles of my Savior Jesus Christ happy to know that the responsibilities included with the priesthood are not mine to bear.