Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Priesthood and Gender Relations: part 2

This is a follow up to a post I wrote last October, right around General Conference. Conference is this Sunday, and once again I've been seeing lots of posts about the priesthood and men vs. women. Since it's a topic I do feel strongly about, I thought I'd post some more thoughts on the subject.
As I've stated before, all faithful men AND all faithful women get to participate in priesthood ordinances. If we as women see the issue as "They have the priesthood, so we should, too" it's like we're forgetting that we already have access to the blessings of the priesthood in our lives. It's not a toy that only one person gets to play with at a time. It's a gift from Heavenly Father given in order to bless ALL of His children. We all have opportunities to serve in the Church, which is organized by the power of the priesthood.

A bishop doesn't (at least he shouldn't) feel less important or marginalized because he's not a stake president. He's serving in the Church where God has called Him to serve. I understand that it is an imperfect comparison, because women don't get called to be bishops, but the point is still valid. God calls women to be Relief Society, Young Women's, Primary presidents, teachers in Primary, Sunday School, Young Women's or Relief Society, Visiting Teachers, etc. The power of the Spirit felt in the room at the General Women's meeting was no less than the Spirit felt during priesthood meeting. EVERY organization in the Church is organized by the power of the priesthood. That doesn't mean that some man or group of men organized the church and we have to do whatever they say, because they're men and hold the priesthood. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being organized by the power of the priesthood mean that God, our Heavenly Father, organized the Church as He saw fit. He has always called imperfect men and women to serve in His church. We simply do not know all the reasons that He chose to organize it as He did, but we can trust in His love for us and we can do our best to follow His teachings, which we receive through righteous, though imperfect, men and women. All of us can also receive personal revelation, directly from Heavenly Father.
These are my latest thoughts on the subject of priesthood and gender. I said at the beginning that many posts deal with "the priesthood and men vs. women". I think that's part of the problem. We somehow see each other as competing entities rather than as brothers and sisters. I talked in my previous post (See the link at the top) about how all of us need to develop charity. I think that is key to understanding our relationship to God and to one another. Well, I think that's all for now.

Oh, one last side note: I really don't like hearing that women are God's highest creation, because men and women are all God's children and He loves all of us equally. I think it's just as wrong to praise women over men as it is to scorn women in favor of men. We are equal. We're not all identical, but we are all here on the same level. Women aren't better or more worthy or more precious than men. Again, we're all brothers and sisters. And now that really is all.