Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Response to Ordain Women

It has only been a year since my last post!  One of these days I will actually get this updated with the family minutiae that you forget so quickly.  For today I am posting on a matter of Church politics, if you will. Obviously I don't work for Church headquarters, so nothing I say (or write) on the topic should matter to anybody, but maybe my kids will think it is interesting one day.

To sum up: A group of LDS women known as the Ordain Women  Movement has requested tickets to attend the upcoming Priesthood Session of Conference.  Six months ago the group tried to gain admittance to the session by waiting in the standby line at the Conference Center - they were denied entry.  Yesterday, a Church spokesperson (spokeswoman, incidentally) issued a reply to their request. Here is the reply I wish they would have received:

TO: April Young Bennett, Debra Jenson, Kate Kelly, Hannah Wheelwright
FROM: Just some LDS woman
SUBJECT: Ticket and Meeting Request
DATE: March 18, 2014

Dear Sisters,
Thank you for your letter.  Please understand that while I am writing as a representative of the Church, the words are mine alone.

The Brethren are aware of your concerns, specifically your concerns regarding the role of women in the Priesthood.  They appreciate your openness about the topics that trouble you.  They know that too many women in the Church have had experiences involving Priesthood leadership that have caused them to feel demeaned or degraded in their role and identity as women.  Some of these experiences are the result of cultural traditions and practices within the Church that are not illustrative of Church doctrine.  You have seen the efforts to correct some of these non-doctrinal practices.

At this time there has been no additional revelation that would lead to the ordination of women to the Priesthood. The reasons for this are known to God.  We believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God - the shape and substance of which we do not yet know.

Some things we do know.  We know that men and women were created by a perfect Father who loves and esteems His children equally.  We know that He sees his children, not as the world sees them, but with a perfect love and with a perfect understanding of the intents of their hearts.  We trust that one day we will more fully understand His purposes for His children.

Your request for tickets to the Priesthood Session has not been granted.  The meeting focuses on topics and teachings which the speakers feel are of special importance to the male members of the Church.  Therefore, the tickets are distributed to the intended audience.  We know that some of you plan to wait in the standby line to gain admittance.  You will not find the doors locked to you, sisters. However, we ask you to consider allowing the seats available to be used by men who may be in need of the messages that will be delivered and that all the men attending may benefit from the feeling of unity and mutual responsibility they share as men in the Church.  You are welcome to participate in the session via live broadcast.  Certainly there are lessons applicable to everyone to be found in any meeting of the Church.

Of course, the free speech zones surrounding Temple Square are open to you as they are to everyone.  You can find these areas delineated on the attached map.

Whatever you do, sisters, please don't leave.  The Church needs you, and more importantly, the Lord needs you.  Your voices of faith are welcome.  Your contribution to your wards is essential. Your influence on your families and communities is vital.  There is a place for you and all who seek to follow the Lord.

Not a Church Spokesperson

At any rate, that's what I would have written if it were my job!  Personally, I don't think there is sexism in the true doctrine of the LDS religion, but there is plenty of it to be found in the LDS Church.  Just read the comments on any news article covering this topic and you will find a lot of superiority, judgment, unkindness, and 'if you don't like it then leave.'

My two cents, okay maybe more like fifty cents, on the topic.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. I like this answer better; it is certainly more... gentle? inclusive? empathetic?

For the record, I do not want the priesthood, but I think the Ordain Women movement could be treated with more empathy than hatred.

Just sayin'.

Thing 1

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Ronan said...

I love reading these topics! It doesn't bored me. You're such a great writer... you can write anything under the sun!

Keep it up!!!

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