Friday, August 29, 2014

Female Ordination: How to Stop Hurting

This is not my typical feel-good, soft post. I'm going to say something very harsh here. I am truly sorry to further wound those who are already in pain. But I have been wrapped up in a cycle of pain regarding the Church myself, and from that position I feel that I need to speak up, say what I need to say, even if I'm not loved for it.

You're looking for justification for women not having the priesthood. You think that, if the Church doesn't ordain women, there has to be a reason, even if that reason is just because God says so. You are frustrated and upset because you haven't gotten a "clear answer" that satisfied you. You don't feel valuable in the Church because you're not getting the answer you want.

And that is why you are missing the entire point. Because you assume that the prophets and/or God have to answer to you, give you what you want how you want it, you are causing yourself nearly unbearable pain. The justification, the only answer that you're going to get is that the leadership hasn't implemented it. Full stop.

The reason you don't understand the prophets' actions, or the stance of those who follow them is because your underlying assumptions have already taken you to a mode of thinking that is incapable of comprehending them. Take a step back from your assumptions for a moment—I know it is very, very painful and difficult, but try.

Demanding a revelation, a "thus saith the Lord" is hubris. There is no way to do that faithfully. If you are demanding that the leadership do something, holding your loyalty to the Church as hostage by pitting your feeling of worth in the Church against their answering you, you are throwing a temper tantrum just like a toddler holds his good behavior hostage over getting what he wants. There is no other way to put it.

Just for a minute, imagine that women are supposed to be given the priesthood, or at the very least there is a great deal of revelation pending about women's roles and who they are in eternity. Imagine that God is poised and ready to give you what you want. But He can't, because you are throwing such a temper tantrum that giving it to you now would do you far more damage in the long run than not having it. There are many reasons why ordaining women might not be possible right now. You've heard most of them, though you haven't really listened because you're too tied up in your own demands.

There is only one way out of this problem, and I know it because I've experienced it myself. You have to sit yourself down and ask yourself what you truly care about. You have to ask yourself if you really believe that the Church is truly directed by God, with His authority, and whether that is more valuable to you than getting the answer you want so badly.

What do you want? The answer to women's ordination or your membership? Make the choice.

And then you have to let it go. Either let your membership go, or let your demands go.

Yeah, I know. It kind of sucks, but there it is. You can't control other people, even the leadership of the Church. Ultimately, you only have power over yourself. I really, really, hope you stay. Because I chose to stay, and I have seen miracles from it.

But, either way, it isn't until you make that decision of what is most important that you can move forward. Right now, the path of female ordination and the path of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are diverging. You can't follow both. You have to choose. Set your pain aside for a moment, as much as you can, and make that choice prayerfully and humbly. Then, follow that path with all the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that you can muster.

It may be that some day those two paths will converge again. But, if they do, what will you have learned in between? That is what matters, and what you have to determine.

I give you all my prayers and love, whatever you decide.

1 comment :

  1. I feel like what started out as an honest inquiry as to what was up with the women not having some sort of priestesshood thing turned into something so extreme that I couldn't support it. I felt and feel sad for the pain of others, but why are they demanding anything? Let alone priesthood? We're priestesses before God, not priests. I mean come on, right? Anyway, I agree that acting like petulant children is going to get humanity nowhere. We shouldn't cower in corners, but neither should we scream and yell when we aren't getting what we are demanding. There is a middle ground that will allow for progress.


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