Sunday, June 29, 2014

This Mormon Woman's Take on "Ordain Women"

Kate Kelly and the "Ordain Women" group.
Usually my blog posts are more thought-out and well planned. But today I decided to just write something that's been weighing on my heart. I've been hearing a lot of news coverage concerning Kate Kelly, the leader in the "Ordain Women" movement. This group of women have been protesting to receive the exact same types of callings and positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the male members have in the name of "gender equality." I know that many people may read this and disagree with what I have to say, but it simply must be said. I am an active and faithful member of the LDS church and I wish to warn everyone that this group is not only WRONG in what they are telling the press, they are being completely DESTRUCTIVE. 

Before I go any further I must put out a disclaimer. I am the BIGGEST believer in equal rights between men and women that you will ever meet. No act of sexism can get by me, and that includes sexism toward men just as much as it would toward women. I feel that if there are any efforts being made in the world for gender equality, the efforts should be aimed elsewhere than in the LDS religion. How about putting all of that effort into having women be paid the same wages as men for doing the exact same job? Yup, we're still waiting on that one in most of America. Or how about the other day when my mom went to buy a new car; they refused to let her name be on the paperwork, and insisted that it go under my dad's name, and it wasn't even his car! Or better yet, how about we stop the biggest factory of misogyny known to man; the SEXIST MEDIA?! If a large group of people were to rise up against making women look like crazy objects and men look like stupid gluttons, perhaps we wouldn't be bombarded with these kinds of paraphernalia EVERY SINGLE DAY:

Like I said, men are not exempt from sexism in the media either:

And even though I'm a vegan,  I DON'T support Peta, just because of their horribly sexist ads. 

I apologize for these images because I know they are disturbing. But that is exactly the point. There is so much more sexism going on in the world that could be stopped, but instead we're pointing our fingers in the wrong direction.

Yes, that's where Ordain Women comes in. I love everyone and if you truly know me, you will never know the word "hate" to even be part of my vocabulary. I see everyone as my beloved brother or sister and I understand that everyone is on a different walk in life than I am. That's OKAY! That is exactly why we're all here! Life is a test to see if we will use our agency wisely and I am definitely imperfect. That being said, while I don't hate others, I do often experience great frustration at the things they do (as I'm sure is true for everyone). All of those things aside, let me just say this. If you are someone who was unacquainted with the LDS church before hearing about the Ordain Women movement, some things need to be seriously cleared up, so I'm here to set the record straight. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a religion in which the clergy are not paid and instead the church members are given callings to which they volunteer to help in various ways. The Ordain Women group keep telling people (falsely) that men ultimately preside over the women in the LDS church because they are the only ones who "hold the priesthood." The reality is, the women of the church have a calling that is parallell/hand-in hand with the male priesthood of the church and it is called the Relief Society. defines this group as "the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need."

Here are the leaders of the Church's current Relief Society Presidency. Linda K. Burton is the Relief Society general president, Carole M. Stephens is first counselor , and Linda S. Reeves is second counselor.

Here is the general Young Women's presidency of the church. Carol F. McConkie, Bonnie L. Oscarson, and Neill F. Marriott. 

And here is the church's general presidency over the Primary children. They are
Jean A. Stevens, Rosemary M. Wixom, and Cheryl A. Esplin.

Saying that women have no position of authority in the LDS church is just a flat out LIE. 

I am so grateful to be a member of the Relief Society because I feel that every member truly is someone's answered prayer. We do countless service projects, offer help wherever it is needed, and work to uplift everyone, church member or not. On Sundays The men and women all have a meeting together in which the sacrament is blessed and passed, then we have Sunday School together, and the third hour of church is where the men go to their priesthood meeting and the women go to their Relief Society meeting. One is not more powerful than the other. To be honest, when I heard that women were pushing to be admitted to priesthood meetings, my first thought was "but I don't want men coming to Relief Society!" Heck, I can't even imagine a man being our next Relief Society president. He just wouldn't be able to handle it! LOL. 

All silliness aside, both women and men are equally yoked in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are two sides of the same coin and I believe that without each other, they cannot reach their fullest potential. 

I've been doing a lot of studying lately on the spiritual subject of the "divine feminine" and the "divine masculine" that exist in every human being. This simply means that as a baby, we are each born from part of our father and part of our mother that form into one new creation of life. It's a miracle! Our body and spirit are either on one side of the coin or the other; male or female. Such is what we always have been and always will be spiritually. However, because we are born from both male and female, both energies exist within us. This may sound a little strange, so let me explain with some visual aids.
Here we see the different characteristics of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. Both of which exists within each of us:

As it says in the description, we need a balance of both energies in order to be complete and at peace with ourselves and with others. For example, if I, as a woman, were leaning too far on the feminine energy side, I would be something like the image of a barbie doll (relying too much on appearance and possibly not in full control of my emotions). Unfortunately, this is how much of the world views women, when in reality, that is just the stereotype based on an INCOMPLETE woman! If I, as a woman, were leaning too far into the masculine energy, I might be too strict, overly practical, aggressive, and rejecting my own feminine nature. This should not be confused with being a "tomboy," however, which just defines little girls who like being girls, but also like to go outside, dig up worms and climb trees. They are probably more in balance than most adult women in this day and age. 

Female and Male Pheasants 
Going along with the subject of the divine feminine and masculine, both have very important roles in the human existence. Women have what amounts to nothing less than a SUPER POWER! We can grow humans with our BODIES! Sometimes two or more at a time! But without joining with the masculine energy, this miracle of human reproduction would not be possible. Likewise, the men, who are born on the side of the divine masculine, have a natural tendency to feel needed. They wish to protect the divine feminine at all costs because of this miracle of life. In nature, this is done through the male of several species (such as types of birds) to be very bright and noticeable in color compared to the plain, dull appearance of the females. This way, predators are drawn to the male as a distraction, so the female and babies can be protected. 

Nowadays, women have a lot more power and influence in the world, which is FANTASTIC!! I wouldn't have it any other way. Yet, because of this, many women have come to feel offended if men show any act of chivalry toward them. Personally, if I'm on a date and the man I'm with opens a door for me or pulls out my chair for me, I don't feel like he's trying to say I need his help. He's saying that I'm special. I'm worth looking out for. Likewise, I know that I should try to help him too.

Overall, we are divine beings with a divine purpose. I fully believe that as a woman I am blessed with the divine power to give life, and this power does not end after mortal death. Men's power does not just include "helping make the baby," which would be fairly pathetic if that's all they got. They are the other side to the coin. Fathers are there to help guide and protect their families, and also to bless them. To do this, the power of the priesthood is needed in the home, and it is given to the man so he will be equally yoked with the woman, and she with him.

It's okay if this is not what you believe. But for me, it makes perfect sense. We are not this way by accident. Our Heavenly Father loves us each individually and knows that the worth of one soul will never outweigh the next.

So should our church ordain LDS women? I say no. That would imply that I feel a lack in who I am just for being a woman and that is definitely not the case. Being a woman means I'm powerful, and so does being a man. Together we are the yin and yang; water, fire. Hot, cold. He is within me and I within him. Why change something so beautiful and perfect?

To close, I would like to suggest reading a wonderful article from another latter-day saint woman about her positive take on the Ordain Women movement and how it allowed her to grow.

1 comment:

  1. This is great. I especially like the way you discuss the divine masculine and divine feminine. I don't like the modern feminist movement that rejects femininity. There is great power in it!