“And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
—Abraham, on becoming a priest; Abraham 1:2
I rocked, helplessly alone in a house as silent as a house can be in the middle of the city. A faint pool of streetlight fell over the face of my restless ten month old. Her fevered body could only find rest in my arms until the Tylenol soothed her symptoms. Even though there was no one to see, I furiously held back tears. It was 2 a.m. and I wasn’t going to call a house in the middle of the night to try to find some priesthood holder to wrest himself out of bed to give my daughter a blessing. So, instead, I offered a pleading prayer of faith.
Months later, I sat again. This time I was surrounded by people, watching a tribute to a prominent woman in my company who was retiring from her career as a minister in her church. I was happy for her, but mostly I was fiercely jealous. She had a fulfilling life: businesswoman, minister, mother, and wife. People loved her. She had made a difference to them, brought God to them in a way I never can, as a Mormon.
They say that we Mormon women don’t want the Priesthood. Maybe for most, it is true. But for me, a woman who has gone toe-to-toe with Church detractors in its defense, who has gone to Church almost every weekend of her life (sometimes more than once,) and many weekdays, too, who has internally, silently, dedicated herself to the service of God, I would dearly love to have the chance to represent Him in truth, and not just in deed.
I don’t pine after the Priesthood. Most days, I don’t feel much of a lack. But there are times when I feel how my service is not authorized, how my dedication is less meaningful to others. I can only serve indirectly, by example. I am patient. I believe there is further light and knowledge yet to be revealed on women and woman’s place in the great and Eternal Plan of the Father. I don't know that it is the Priesthood, exactly. But I feel that there is more, and the Priesthood is all I have to see what that place may look like.
And when they say I don’t want it, they are wrong.
But I am willing to wait upon the Lord and His timetable. I don’t feel angry because that opportunity is not now open to me. I know it is His power, His to give when and how He wishes. And until then, I will be the best silent, internal disciple I can be.
“I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done.”
—Jesus, to Peter; D&C 7:5