This is not a new topic, but as I have come to learn about more women approaching the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and requesting their ordination into the Priesthood, I can no longer remain silent. For the second General Conference in a row these woman, whose ticket requests to attend the General Priesthood Session and have been denied, are organizing an "event" where they will be drawing attention to the earnestness of their request.
I come from a rich heritage in the Church, where most of my grandparents and great-grandparents were taught the gospel by missionaries, traveled great distances to join the Saints in America, and have lived righteous lives in service to their families, Churches, and communities. My own parents were tirelessly serving both in the Church and the community where I grew up in Southern California. I watched my father throughout my entire life as he served honorably in leadership positions in our area to bless the lives of those in whose stewardship he took great joy while serving.
As a single mother, I looked to my Priesthood leaders for these same blessings and received them over and over again, with no judgment or thought of anything other than the needs of me and my children. I remember too having my own personal spiritual experiences in being a blessing to my children both figuratively as well as literally. However, the world has now evolved to a place where some demand that all things must be equal -- as it relates not only to race and culture, but the demands have now increased to include professed rights of gender and religion.
If I am to be a disciple of the Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, then I can no longer hide my light nor deny that I choose to follow Him and seek to have His light within me. He has asked that we “hold up [His] light that it may shine unto the world” (3 Nephi 18:24). President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “Each time you choose to try to live more like the Savior, you will have your testimony strengthened. You will come in time to know for yourself that He is the Light of the World. … You will reflect to others the Light of Christ in your life.” Even more timely, as Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “We need to protect our families and be at the forefront together with all people of goodwill in doing everything we can to preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities. So...here I go!
While I usually don't comment on political things, this is not...it is a sacred calling to be a disciple of Christ, and it is HE who calls those who are worthy to hold His Priesthood...not a right, but a privilege given to worthy men to perform His work on this earth, and to lead their families back home to Father in Heaven. I love that I can follow my father's line of authority all the way back to the Savior, and feel the strength of the Priesthood in my home through my husband and my sons, who bless me, my children, and my grandchildren through their righteous exercise of this power.
However, as is with all things gender related, Women have powers too -- they are derived through their virtue...and together with these righteous men, who magnify the Priesthood they hold, provide the opportunities for our eternal families. Few understand this power, which is why more seek for power that is not theirs to receive.
I hold no regard for women who seek to be equal in all things when it is clear that the Lord intended us to be who we are and to magnify the powers already available to us. As we witness the challenges from within as well as without, we see the path becoming narrower and the mist becoming greater. Each of us is urged to obtain our own individual testimonies of living Prophets who lead with love and are here to provide direction in these the latter days. I love their humility as they do so, and find great strength in following such divine direction. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, which includes supporting and following the living Prophet today -- in this there is safety, in this there is peace.
The alternative does not come from light. That does not mean that we stop loving each other, but we must choose with whom we raise our banners, and to whom we look for direction. It is not an easy world, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is built on love and obedience to the Lord's commandments to help guide us through these worldly challenges.
This life is but a short span when considering the eternities, and I would be very sad to see one of my sisters lose her way in attempting to find "equality" here in this life, when she already has more powers than she is aware that will provide all she desires. But we must find our own testimonies and our own way -- not through contention, but through charity. I plead for these women to not detract from the sacred spiritual experiences of those of us who look forward to General Conference as a time to feast upon the word of the Lord, not the words of men/women.