Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Ram in the Thicket: a Personal Interpretation of Abraham's Test

Once upon a time, there was a man who had been promised by God that his children would outnumber the sands of the sea and the stars in the sky. But he and his wife despaired as time and time again, his wife was unable to bear a child. They prayed and waited patiently, but still there was no hope. Eventually, his wife even gave her husband her handmaid as a concubine and surrogate, to perform what her body would not do.

Imagine the depths of her joy and self-recrimination when that handmaid succeeded in bearing a son almost immediately.

Imagine her pain when, long after once-beautiful Sarah was too old to have any more children, a perfect stranger wandered up to their home and told her husband she would bear a son.

Imagine her joy and consternation when it turned out he was right.

Her son, Isaac, was a miracle child. Not only was he born to a mother who had long since given up all hope of having a child, he was the fulfillment of prophecy. Through him, all the promises of the Lord were finally possible. He proved that God's promises would never be forgotten.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#BecauseofHim

For me, the Church's campaign Because of Him immediately evoked Kelly Clarkson's song "Because of You" which perfectly captures every ounce of my fear that my choices will affect how my children see themselves. I'm busy. I don't always give them the time I wish I could when so often I'm struggling just to keep a livably clean house and cry only when they can't hear me.

"Because Of You"

I will not make the same mistakes that you did.
I will not let myself
cause my heart so much misery.
I will not break the way you did.
You fell so hard.
I've learned the hard way
to never let it get that far.

One of the main reasons I decided to divorce was for them, because I saw that I could never be a good mother while I was scrambling to figure out how to be an acceptable wife. I saw that I couldn't serve two masters: my God and my husband. Not when one was trying his hardest to keep me from becoming anything but what he wanted me to be for himself. Trying to climb out of the emotional hole I found myself in has been hard. I have a hard time wanting to let myself love again because it makes me and my children vulnerable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Arguments Against Female Ordination That Don't Work

I do not consider myself a feminist, though I have several opinions and feelings that some feminists share. Like many political topics (and make no mistake, the action taken to ordain women is inarguably political no matter how some might wish to convince otherwise,) I have a foot in both camps. I have felt (and am currently struggling with) the sting of unrighteous dominion, of the priesthood privilege being wielded to put me firmly in my place.

But there are many arguments against female ordination being lauded by people who, quite frankly, ought to know better. Mostly in the interest of working some of it out for myself, I'm going to gnaw on them a bit.

Friday, April 4, 2014

To Those Who Know Joseph

“We both belong to the race that knows Joseph, as Cornelia Bryant would say.”

“The race that knows Joseph?” puzzled Anne.

“Yes. Cornelia divides all the folks in the world into two kinds– the race that knows Joseph and the race that don’t. If a person sorter sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same ideas about things, and the same taste in jokes–why, then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph.”

“Oh, I understand,” exclaimed Anne, light breaking in upon her.

“It’s what I used to call–and still call in quotation marks `kindred spirits.’”

“Jest so–jest so,” agreed Captain Jim. “We’re it, whatever it is. When you come in tonight, Mistress Blythe, I says to myself, says I, `Yes, she’s of the race that knows Joseph.’ And mighty glad I was, for if it wasn’t so we couldn’t have had any real satisfaction in each other’s company. The race that knows Joseph is the salt of the airth, I reckon.”


Anne's House of Dreams, Lucy Maude Montgomery


Do you ever meet people who just instantly click with you? It's like you've known them before, even though you have just met. Rarely, I have. It is a wonderful feeling, like you resonate at the same wavelength.

One of my companions was just that sort of friend. From the first hour we met, we were instant friends. We saw missionary work the same way, we were both a bit older, and we were able to pour our hearts into our work and have fun doing it. It really helped a particularly stressful time, and gave me the confidence to be the kind of missionary I felt called to be, even though it was almost the opposite of what I was being taught to be.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ordain Women and the Powers of Heaven

Last Sunday, for the first time in several months, I had to get up and leave Relief Society. It wasn't because I was upset, it was because I was angry. The well-meaning woman in the front of the room, addressing the concept of woman's ordination, chose to mock the entire idea. Met with laughter from other sisters in the room, she declared, "Who wants the priesthood? I have enough to do!" She went on to suggest that the OW movement was stupid, faithless, and foolish. I finally left when she started listing all the "access" that single women have to the priesthood.

It would probably take some who only know me online by surprise that it bothered me as much as it did. Others are probably convinced I'm a sympathizer and agree with Ordain Women, though previous posts of mine should make it clear that I'm not. But while I am no sympathizer to the Ordain Women movement, I am an empathizer. Many of the same things that have led these women to "supplication" at the doors of the Tabernacle are things that I have felt.

As a single woman, I've experienced cradling a sick child in the middle of the night with no one to ask to give her a blessing. As a married woman, I experienced asking someone to offer a blessing only to be refused. I've been summarily overridden, my perspective and revelation in my stewardship discounted because I was not one of the ultimate decision makers. As a sister missionary, I've been subjected to ever-increasingly creative verses of "Sisters are Stupid," a song set to the tune of "I Often Go Walking" because the prevailing opinion was that sisters shouldn't bother themselves with priesthood duties such as sharing the Gospel. I've been judged and rejected for not being enough of an appendage. While none of these things SHOULD have happened under a priesthood organized as it is, they all did at least partly BECAUSE of how it is organized, giving those so inclined to interpret women as less-than.

I know the sting of possessing no organized authority in the Church of my Savior.

Recently, I listened to Kate Kelly's podcast where people were invited to "ask her anything." Listening to it, I changed some of my opinions about Kate Kelly and the movement, and others were confirmed. I may have nothing more to add to the discussion that has been going on around her and the Ordain Women movement. But I have felt the Spirit prompting me to write. Even as I type these words, I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to say.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Female Ordination and the Church: Another Way

I am one who has struggled mightily with female roles in the Church and in eternity, yet I have a VERY hard time being sympathetic to Ordain Women as a movement. Most individuals who have aligned themselves with that group, I sympathize and even empathize with. I have gone to the mattresses on many of those same issues many times. I am not known for my reticence in speaking up.

There is nothing new about Ordain Women. They have organized together in direct, open, and unapologetic opposition to the Church. I'm not going to pick apart their claims to faithfulness and belief in priesthood authority while publicly opposing that authority. There is really no need, it's obvious enough. I also have no doubt that there are well-meaning people caught up in the smoke and mirrors. But I personally don't have a very long rope when it comes to that brand of deception, conscious or not. I'm all too well acquainted with it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Detracting from Productive Conversations

This is exactly how I feel.

Public demonstrations and forceful activism are exactly contrary to the principles upon which the priesthood is built. How can they ever expect to wield the power of God when they so clearly don't understand even the most basic aspect of it?

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