Monday, March 17, 2014

Strictly Opinion: Women and the Priesthood

In the recent past, there has been much discussion in my church about women receiving what is called the priesthood. For those who don't know, the priesthood is a spiritual gift, power, and/or authority given to men to act in the name of God, usually in the instance of performing ordinances such as baptisms or blessings.

The priesthood is an outward thing- meaning you can never use it to help yourself. The priesthood will always involve an act of service- one person helping another- when it is used. So for some one to seek after this, in my opinion, is contradictory. It is contradictory because wanting something for yourself is inward, not outward, but also because the priesthood is a gift.

For something to be a gift, it means that it is being given by someone who has chosen to bestow it. The distribution is in their power. The priesthood is a gift. God has chosen to give it to men, and I don't remember God being swayed by large groups or protests.

Now, this is not to say there is no gender inequality in the church or that women don't need a stronger voice. I am all about women being equally represented and having equal weight in decisions, and I support change (as long as it's sound with doctrine). Just ask my husband, or really anyone who knows me. However, this inequality/discrimination/oppression is not just found within my church. It is a world problem. Misogyny is a real thing. But- this is my main point. In my experience, misogyny comes from man, not God. And this is the Church of Jesus Christ, not man. 

I have never felt that God loved me less than men, or that He revealed truth to me less often. If we look back to when Christ was on the earth, He was basically a huge liberal giving women credence in a time when they had none. His best friend was Mary Magdalene- she was the first person who knew He'd been resurrected. Christ had 12 (or 11, since Judas had died by then) male apostles in charge of running the church, but Christ went to her first (John 20:11-18). Women may be treated unfairly, but it's not because of anything Christ did. It's because people make mistakes.

Also, women have been given gifts from God as well. Women have made covenants with God as well. And I can't think of a higher form of service than motherhood- giving up your body for 9 months, and then all your time and energy ever after. I wonder if the attention should shift from what we don't have to magnifying and understanding what we do.

So, back to the issue at hand, the women who want the priesthood are planning a protest at a worldwide meeting the church is having. I wish they wouldn't. It's a huge disrespect to a gathering many people revere as sacred. Do it another day, and do it somewhere else. Also, if someone does have issue with not having the priesthood, the person they should go to is God, because He's the one that makes things happen and He's the one who decided who to give the priesthood to back at the beginning of the world. 

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