Why I can't stand behind my sisters regarding Ordain Women...

Every so often I talk about my faith on my blog. I know a lot of you who read here might not care for these types of posts, but this blog has always been my space for my interests, passions, and thoughts. So please disregard this if talking religion isn't your thing... 
 
Growing up I have always questioned. My father and I used to stay up into the wee hours of the morning discussing faith, the universe and the eternities. I am sure we would have stayed up all night long if it hadn't been for my mother eventually making us go to bed. Being raised Mormon added a lot of questions to my conversations with my father. I have never been the type to blindly follow anything or anyone. If I don't know why I am doing something, or if I don't have a strong conviction of it, it is difficult for me practice something let alone believe in it. Oh how I have tested the waters and my faith.
 
Being a woman in the LDS Church you often get met with several remarks. I must not have a mind of my own, how can I be apart of my Church that treats women so badly? I have often wondered what Church these people are talking about? Over the last year we have seen women in the Church come forward upset. My heart does go out to them, but to be perfectly honest I can't relate. Oh yes, I agree there are many things I think the Church could improve upon. We as an organization are far from perfect. I can empathize with a lot of what my sisters in the Church say, and we could go into a deep discussion about those I am sure... yet I can't wrap my mind around the Ordain Women "movement" if you will.
 
I consider myself a feminist. Yet with that said I can acknowledge that there will always be differences between men and women. Heck, there are such vast differences between us women, how could I expect all of us to be the same? I think that is the problem here. People are so set on things being equal when I think what they really want is everything to be identical. I am all for equality when it comes to human rights, but there are grey areas where things just never will be equal or shall I say be identical. There is a reason they often separate women and men in sports. It isn't that there can't be women who are just as fast and strong as men, but that more often than not, a man is just genetically going to be bigger and stronger than a woman.
 
Ordain Woman believe there is not gender equality in the Church. Like I said, I have some opinions on things we could do better. In fact, I have an ever growing list of things we could be doing differently and most of them derive from our behavior and the culture that has grown and taken over our congregations. Yet, when it comes to doctrine and the core beliefs of the Church, I can't get on the same page with my sisters. I consider myself open minded, and progressive, and have thought long and hard about why this whole thing has rubbed me the wrong way.
 
 
There are two reasons I can't get behind my sister's on this one...
 
Without getting into too many details, as we like to keep what we do in the Temple sacred... any woman who has been through the Temple, knows where and how women hold the priesthood.
 
and secondly,
 
The LDS Church is NOT a religious democracy. It is a fundamental aspect of the faith to believe in a Prophet, seer, and revelator. While I do believe we can approach our Heavenly Father and our Church leaders with questions and concerns, we do not demand, petition, or push our own way of ideas to make change when it comes to doctrine or the Prophet's revelation.
 
  
Maybe someday when the time is right, the Lord's timing, there will be the power of the priesthood for women in the same way men hold it. Or maybe it is something for us to practice more fully in the after life. I don't know? I don't have the answers. But I do know that when it comes to the LDS Church, there is a fine line between culture and doctrine. Until then, I believe there is nothing stronger than a sincere prayer to my Heavenly Father, and don't feel like I am missing out on any kind of blessings because I don't hold the priesthood in the same capacity as men do at Church. What matters to me is knowing that man and woman, though different, are equals before the Lord.
 
While I may not agree with the way Kate Kelly has handled herself, no member likes to see another excommunicated. I truly hope she can find solace. I fully understand how difficult it can be to cope with a religion that has been such a huge part of your life while having questions with fundamental values of that faith. It is a feeling that can truly be the weight of the world. From experience, I recommend prayer. So much prayer. Focus on your relationship with God, first and foremost.

33 comments

  1. Bah, thank you for wording this in a way I couldn't. I couldn't stand to read the articles on that woman purely because of the comments that were made. LDS or not, I think that the worst thing you can do is attack someone's faith. Drives me crazy. Anyway, being LDS as well, I am with you 100 percent on this. I haven't gone through the temple, but I do understand where and how we hold the priesthood and that is enough for me. It is completely unfortunate the consequences she has to deal with and I hope she doesn't harden her heart.

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    1. Just wait until you go through the temple for the first time and do the Initiatory, for me that was really, really eye opening.

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    2. I'll add my voice to Alycia's on this. I was writing my first comment as you were publishing yours and I was giddy just thinking of the first time I went through. The blessings are HUGE and the promises are real and very empowering - I hope you get a chance to go :)

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  2. This is a tough subject--so hats off for writing about it. Thanks for your thoughts on this, I really think they needed to be said. At the end of the day, there are a lot of blessings that come from simply putting our trust in God and His prophet, and knowing that it will all work out the way that it's supposed to.

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    1. That is my approach as well, just having trust in God, and knowing it will work out the way it's supposed to.

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  3. Thank you!! Your first reason is mine as well and I only went through a little over a year ago but that right there makes me feel like maybe they aren't paying attention or haven't gone in awhile. It is very clear how women have a huge role and do, in a sense, hold the priesthood. I'm finding it very hard to find a balance between making sure it is known that I don't understand or support the cause, but that I do support my sisters who are grieving so I've chosen to avoid social media as much as I can. Thank you for posting this.

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    1. Exactly Gina, I wish I could ask them what they aren't paying attention to! Maybe a refresher to the first time they went through. A lot of people don't know you can do initiatories just like we do baptisms for the dead.

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    2. For our first anniversary the hubs and I took my grandparents names through (my brother and I had done their baptisms when we were younger) and so going through the whole process again while this is such a hot topic... yes, yes and yes. If its not very clear when you go through the endowment, the initiatory makes it almost painfully obvious.

      What I think she might be confused on is the gospel vs. the church. The gospel is not sexist but I won't call every bishop or male leader perfect and she may have encountered a few along the way that made her feel like she is less. There are imperfect people involved in a perfect gospel.

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  4. I love when you speak your mind on your blog, it shows who you are and what you really care about. This topic has always bothered me as well... I feel that these women with these complaints are paying to much attention to the things they don't have rather than all the blessing they receive daily. They are missing the whole purpose and greatness of the LDS faith, they need to change their perspective and learn to simply just be grateful for what has been given to them.

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  5. I loved this response from the church the other day:

    “Tonight, our prayers are with those who have to decide these difficult personal matters," Ally Isom said in a statement Sunday night. "We also pray for those whose choices may place them outside our congregation. In the church, we want everyone to feel welcome, safe and valued, and of course, there is room to ask questions. But how we ask is just as important as what we ask. We should not try to dictate to God what is right for His church."

    I also liked this comment that was made in the same article:

    "I think there are a lot of possibilities for women in the Church that can be explored. But I don’t believe OW’s approach is faithful to scriptures or prophetic counsel," wrote Katherine Morris, an LDS member who writes the "Sacred Quotidian" blog. "And, more tellingly, I don’t think their approach is even consistent with their proposed aims (i.e. they’re undermining the authority they’re asking to be a part of)," she said.

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  6. I have thought about posting about this on my blog, but wasn't quite sure how to word it. you did it perfectly. As an active member of the church who holds a temple recommend, I just can't even fathom where the reasoning has come that we are not equal with the men and that women need to hold the priesthood. Us women in the church have responsibilities and expectations of our own to worry about that the priesthood is the last thing I am worried about. I find that it is such a blessing to me that my husband holds those keys and can do what he does in a moments notice to nurture, strengthen, and bless in a way I will never be able to. And I am okay with that!
    thanks for this post, I LOVED IT. SPOT ON!
    April
    aprilh1692.blogspot.com

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  7. Thanks for being brave to post this. What you have said is so true and I agree with both of your points entirely on why you can't support it. I feel the blessings of the priesthood in my life and I am so grateful for that.

    kirstyandseth.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Just like the other comments thank you for posting this! For the last several days, I have anguished if I should post anything on Facebook. I have dear friends and family that are angered by the decision of Kate Kelly’s bishopric. Your words are what I have been praying to be able to communicate and truly have understood by those that believe in OW cause. I totally agree with you.
    There are some things that I have wondered if those that are part of this movement know and understand. Being of which do they understand the difference in doctrine and principle between priesthood authority and priesthood power?
    I had the opportunity months after getting married to work in the Provo Temple under President Merrill Bateman and was able to be taught by him in prayer meetings numerous times (yes it was a truly amazing experience). I, like you, had tons of questions and even the first time I went through didn't really understand women's roles (I did but the doctrine was deeper than I could understand at the time). Through the experience of working there, asking questions, studying/memorizing the words that are said, and paying attention to the emotion of words in temple there is no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love women!
    That being said there is a difference between priesthood authority and priesthood power. Priesthood authority is to give orders and decision by and through the power of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Priesthood power is to have the righteous influence and control that comes from personal righteousness. I don’t understand nor see what exactly more these women would like. True are there more men in priesthood authority roles? Yes, but that does not mean that God thinks any less of us. It is essential part of the Plan of Salvation that men in this life learn to become more spiritually in tune and nurturing as women. Whereas women need to learn and understand the Priesthood power that we have and influence that we have all around us.
    When you see this work together in a celestial marriage, there are no words to describe the love, beauty, power, and influence that couple has; great example is President Gordon B. Hinckley and Sister Marjorie Hinckley. We ALL receive these same blessings! It is through our personal choices, obedience, and actions that we choose to use and have this power; which is not given to by getting ordained. Like you said participating in doing initiatories is a great starting place to learn that. As you go on to participate in the Endowment and sealings it just adds and grows in understanding. I love how last priesthood session Elder Oaks said that priesthood authority enlarges and limits. “It enlarges by making it possible for priesthood authority and blessings to be available for all of God’s children. It limits by directing who will be given that authority of the priesthood, who will hold its offices, and how its rights and powers will be conferred.” Ordaining just gives it more order but it does not limit us as women. God works and has to follow order.
    Sorry if this is too long. I just wanted to add and say how much I appreciate that you have the courage to post this. I am glad that I do not stand alone and even though I haven’t met you, those that have posted comments, or those that are part of Ordain Women movement how grateful I am that we are sisters in Zion.

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    1. No such thing as too long! I love, love, loved reading your comment and your insight. I really appreciate you taking the time to do it. Very insightful and so on point. I feel like you helped shed more light on the priesthood itself, I know I learned something. Thank you!

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  9. I agree whole heartedly! I miss seeing you, doing your hair, and our chats! Love you girl!

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  10. Thank you for posting this. I have been a member my whole life. I actually really have never questioned anything...I have had many of those special experiences in my life that really have bond me to this gospel. I would not say that I follow blindly, but I follow in faith. I have never posted anything like this on my blog- in fear that I would not know exactly how to say it- so i commend you! You said it perfectly-without having reason to offend anyone. I agree with Kayla. You have to put your faith in our beloved Father in Heaven- who knows best and ultimately has a plan and design for everything! Thank you for your insight :)

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    1. It can be hard to put your feelings out there and have it really represent your thoughts. I try! Yes, I was really using the phrase "blindly follow" as words that others use to describe members of most faiths. It isn't called a faith for no reason, you have to have a lot of it :) and agree it is the better and more accurate way to describe it. Thank you!

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  11. Thanks for having the courage to post this.
    I have been thinking about this constantly. Mostly, I have been researching and trying to figure out exactly why our sisters of OW feel this way. I have never struggled with my place in the church, and I have never felt oppressed or less important than boys or men that hold the priesthood. And yes, I wonder how some can feel this way especially after going through the temple. Although honestly after going through the temple for my first time I had to take a bit of a breather and ask myself if all of this is true. All of the new information that is taught during initiatory and endowment can be soooo overwhelming and confusing, at first. But going back for sessions has always been a pleasure, and it's amazing the amount of love I'm able to feel after doing so. Anyway- my misunderstanding of the OW movement makes me feel guilty. (It makes me feel too many emotions, honestly.) Guilty because I feel like I am missing a huge component as to why these women feel this way. "Am I naive for 'blindly following' my religion?" "I don't feel naive..." I would consider myself a feminist as well, so why don't I feel the same? And then I feel guilty for questioning the testimonies of these women. "If they had more faith, this wouldn't be happening." We should never question someone's testimony- I don't know the stories or experiences of these members, and even if I did, I have no idea how it has impacted their lives spiritually.
    So while I don't fully understand them, I feel compassion towards them.
    I hate that people are actually rejoicing in excommunication. Terrible.

    Thanks again. It was a relief for me to finally talk about this.

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    1. My friend wrote a really great blog post about the feminist part of all of this. You should read it :) http://www.meginprogress.com/an-open-letter-to-kate-kelly/

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    2. Thanks! I like the part where she mentions the quote from Kelly about all mormon feminists being put on trial.

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  12. I posted my thoughts about it on my blog a couple months ago, and it was terrifying to write. So many women have talked about opinions in favour with Ordain Women, but I didn't see anyone else writing about the way I felt about the topic. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs in the blogging community :) This was put beautifully!

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  13. I think you expressed yourself really well in this post, so thanks for sharing! I also really appreciate how you emphasize the fact that these women are still your spiritual sisters even though they are involved in a movement you don't support. I admire that attitude and I hope it sets an example for other members of the church.

    I t upsets me that many people rush to judge this ladies even though they have no understanding of the movement or why Ordain Women pursue change in a very public way. Even if you disagree you should gather knowledge before you make up your mind.

    If you or anyone reading here in the comments is curious the frequently asked questions page on their website is a great resource, it sums up their platform up really well. I also did a post over on my blog about the context behind the Ordain Women movement: http://hmrants.blogspot.com/2014/06/ordain-women.html

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  14. Thanks for writing about it and being brave. Such a hard subject, but you said it well!

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  15. I really really appreciate this post. I feel like it is one of the only things I have read regarding this issue that I really connected with. Thank you thank you!

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  16. Exactly how I feel. my mom interviewed kate kelly tonight for her job. It makes me so sad to see kate and how differently her life could have been if she had seen life similarly to you. I seriously feel bad that her whole life is now public, this is a very personal matter. but she has left it open for many to judge good or bad. Many many women feel the same way you do. you just put it in perfect words. Thanks for speaking out for those of us women that aren't exactly sure how to say it.
    my mom's article.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58110298-78/kelly-church-women-mormon.html.csp

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    1. Thanks for sharing Karen! Off to go check out her article now :)

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    2. Thanks for linking to the interview! I thought it was really interesting.

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  17. Thanks for posting. However, there are a few things that women need to understand. 1: the church is perfect, but the members are not. 2: God's laws will not change. Ever. So no, women will never be ordained. However, 3: Women receive all the blessings and powers of the priesthood without being ordained! Women still already have all of those blessings that priesthood holders do! 4: Women have a different role than men in the church, and neither can achieve exaltation without the other. Men cannot go to the Celestial Kingdom without women, and women cannot go to the Celestial Kingdom without men. 5: think about this. If women received the priesthood, then men wouldn't be needed. Because then what would the men do? Have babies? Yeah, no. Not possible.

    Thanks for reading. I appreciate your testimony. :D

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  18. I couldn't have stated it better myself! AMEN!

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  19. I came and read but can't think of anything to say on the matter so I will say nothing

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  20. I love when you are open and honest! I agree 100% with you!

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