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.John 6:66-69.
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.
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.