The Sisters and the Priesthood

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune came out last week about the attempt by a small LDS feminist group* that sought tickets to this April’s conference of the Church. Specifically, it was for tickets to the Priesthood Session of the conference. The Church’s response was that it would not issue such tickets. I understand the need for feminists in general to confront what they perhaps see as an outdated patriarchy. I also understand the feelings of those who may have doubts about the faith or even leave it for this reason. It is one thing to speak about the joint leadership of Relief Society and the Priesthood, but see the practical aspects of traditional leadership fall most heavily to one side.

Despite this, I believe that these sisters are seriously damaging their spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father. I do not think this because I feel that God is a big supporter of patriarchy but that we are given adversity to test our faith. As always, my stand dictates that I will stand with God’s prophet on Earth. If it is God’s will that women should receive the Priesthood, then eventually they will receive it. If it is not his will, you build a foundation on shaky ground by demanding that He change to your moral stance. God has shown through many different issues that his ways are most definitely not our ways.

At this moment, however, I also look at my thinking on the issue. I sincerely believe that Priesthood is a male purview because that is what our Father intends and it is what he needs. Priesthood session is often not pleasant as we gather to bond as Brothers in the gospel and hear the warnings of the Lord. Traditionally, they are in sincere need of it. Yet, if Thomas Monson were to tomorrow deliver the news that this group desires, the impetus would then fall on me. Would I have doubts conflicting with my current self, or would I continue my efforts in following the Prophet? My understanding of their struggle stems, no doubt, on what I would be going through if the positions were reversed. It would then be my trial of faith.

*The article notes that 90% of women and 84% of men oppose allowing the Priesthood for women.

*Update – June 14th* – It seems that both Kate Kelly of Ordain Women and John Dehlin of Mormon Matters were excommunicated. A good friend of mine wrote a great article on punishment and its place in the LDS Church. I hope that their path becomes clearer and that this time apart will be a teaching moment.

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