I noticed that when the discussion of the possibility of women being ordained to the Priesthood arises, suddenly it seems to create this picture of a half woman, half beast with long and thick horns, blistering foul-smelling breath-fire coming out from her mouth and a long, strong whip ready to be used to lash anyone who doesn’t submit to her unrighteous power and dominion.
Of course when we talk about men exercising the same Priesthood, the picture seems to be different. Radiant beings from on high (*Gregorian songs playing in the background*) ready to exercise that Priesthood for the sake of giving selfless service, honor and the blessings and upliftment of mankind. Go figure.
But the heated discussion going on presently (online and offline) about women holding the Priesthood didn’t start recently. It started right after Joseph Smith’s death when Brigham Young dissolved the Relief Society and he declared that women can never hold the Priesthood apart from their husbands. He also said:
“When I want Sisters or the Wives of the members of the church to get up Relief Society I will summon them to my aid but until that time let them stay at home & if you see females huddling together veto the concern “¦ and if they say Joseph started it tell them its a damned lie for I know he never encouraged it.” (Seventies Record, 9 Mar. 1845).
I’m curious, why do we attach such a negative purpose to those women who wish to be ordained? Why when we talk about the Priesthood and men we talk about how wonderful and amazing it is and how many lives are blessed, changed and saved through it but when we talk about women holding it, we suddenly change the tone and we speak about women wanting to be like men, and using the Priesthood authority to put men down and for their own self-gratification?
It’s funny though, because for one side we hear the rhetoric about women being inherently more spiritual, more sensitive, more everything than men (yeah yeah yeah, sounds terrific but heck no, I don’t buy it). I suppose those qualities are all true as long as they are not looking to become Priestesses?
My favorite line of all: “You all have Motherhood!” (In other words, be happy and stop complaining for crying out loud!) And you all have Fatherhood andddd? Priesthood and Motherhood are non-equals. Motherhood and Fatherhood ARE equals and as the Family Proclamation dictates:
“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives-mothers and fathers-will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
I do not know if the Church would ever ordain women to the Priesthood during my lifetime, but I do get a feeling that it will eventually happen. Whether the Church is ready for that change or not is a different issue altogether. Personally, I do not seek it but I know of sisters who do and I don’t see anything wrong with that wish. It’s actually pretty logical to me.
For those who think we shouldn’t pray or ask about these things I say why not? Think about it, a lot of the revelations we have received are the product of questioning and praying ( Word of Wisdom, Plural Marriage, Ending of the Priesthood ban, etc).
President Gordon B. Hinckley said in an interview about the possibility of women holding the Priesthood:
“RB: Is it possible that the rules could change in the future as the rules are on Blacks ?
GBH: He could change them yes. If He were to change them that’s the only way it would happen.
So you”d have to get a revelation?
GBH: Yes. But there’s no agitation for that. We don’t find it. Our women are happy. They”re satisfied. These bright, able, wonderful women who administer their own organisation are very happy. Ask them. Ask my wife.”
Now, I do understand that there could be many interpretations for that statement but for me, it indicates that sometimes revelations come through simply asking”¦specially when a large number of people are seeking and showing interest in receiving a specific blessing and perhaps the aid of a little “Agitation”?.
It doesn’t mean it will automatically result in a revelation granting such wish, it doesn’t mean the Church will bend on social pressure, it means that our leaders are willing to pray and seek for a revelation on that particular issue. It just simply means that.