Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why I Stay

Sorry for the lack of blogging. Finals really swamped me this semester. (I'm done, thank goodness.)

This post is a response to a thread on Feminist Mormon Housewives. A non-member wrote in asking what concerns feminist LDS women have with the church, and a lengthy thread ensued. One commenter, also a non-member, asked what makes feminist LDS women stay active in a church with such a patriarchal structure. Since the thread got long, and people started talking past one another, I decided to respond on my blog instead.

In the New Testament, Christ preached many things to the people. At one point, many people became offended and stopped following Him. Christ's exchange with his apostles as a result is instructive.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
John 6:66-69.

I have received a witness from the Holy Spirit that God's authority, the priesthood, is contained within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although the people who make up the church are imperfect, the church is still authorized. In the words of Peter, "to whom shall [I] go?" I have faith that all of the things that are wrong with the patriarchy will be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

When the priesthood was extended to all worthy male members of the church without regard to race, one of the things that stuck out to me in Official Declaration 2 was that the revelation came about in part because of the "faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld." Today, my sisters and I are those from whom the priesthood has been withheld. I can't expect change if I'm not faithful. My faith can be a driving force in preparing the way for God to continue to fix man's errors.


C.J. Stutz said...

I remember, years ago, pointing out to a friend (I think I was 6 or 7 at the time), "girlish doesn't mean less". Now, as an adult, I think back on that comment and realize, "how right I was". I think we live in a culture that equates "equal" with "same" and "different" with "less". The idea that men and women might, in fact, be different, or blessed with different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities is offensive to many people.

No, women can't hold the Priesthood--but so what? I wish that, instead of focusing on what women can't do, we spent more time focusing on what women CAN do. There are a lot of things women can do that men can't; there are blessings reserved specially for women.

Too many women, I think, see denial of the Priesthood as this hidden, negative message that we're all supposed to stay home and be Mollies--that women, at least in the church's eyes, have no power and no individuality.

Barbara said...


First off, congratulations on finishing your semester!

Secondly, I almost missed your response! I figured once the fmh thread got so long, no one would be responding to my specific question, made so early on. Thank you for your response. My mind is reeling from all my reading of late, so all I can say at the moment is thanks, I'm sure I will have more in the future once it has all been a little more processed :)


Anonymous said...

I think this is a great answer as to why you stay. It ought to be one reason why we all stay since we are confronted with human imperfections—none of which justify us in casting off our witness. I say this and I don't even think the male-only-priesthood is a human imperfection. Even if God has more in store for us, if he is predicating it on our faithfulness (as you pointed out) we can't blame human imperfection of the administrators.