Latter-day Saints. Specifically, she mentioned a petition that would be going down outside of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. This won't be your usual anti-LDS or anti-Christian protest, no. This comes from members of the church themselves. They are a feminist group and have decided that the church needs to stop discriminating against females and, in the name of equality, ordain them to priesthood offices within the church.
Kayla defended the church. She defended the gospel. She got a lot of support and a lot of criticism for what she said.
I am also in support of the church and the gospel regarding this event. I won't be participating in this petition, either.
But do not doubt me when I say that I know exactly how these people feel and why they're petitioning.
I know because I was on that train for a few years. I hadn't reached the point that I would have considered a petition to the General Authorities, but I was on it. I served a mission in a place where many members were new to the church and genuinely believed that "Female missionaries aren't real missionaries because they don't hold the priesthood." They learned that little phrase from some of the male missionaries that I served with. You'd better believe I was frustrated. Upon returning, I worked in the Provo temple for 2.5 years. Being in the temple for at least 5 hours/week left me questioning a lot, but I could never find answers; everyone that I asked didn't know, either.
I started to get angry. I wasn't going to leave the church, but it's hard when you have questions that you can't find the answers to because everyone you ask just says "well, that's just the way it is."
I've never accepted that as an appropriate answer. To me, that's always been a cop-out.
I was still angry. But deep down, I knew it wasn't the church's fault. This priesthood issue isn't something like women wearing pants to church or praying in a general session of conference. The priesthood is a doctrinal concern, and doctrine is part of the gospel as opposed to policy, procedure, or tradition. So, I kept looking. I prayed. I fasted. After many years of doing so, I found what I believe to be the main problem and I found the answers I sought. Here's what I learned:
There's this idea that has seemed to become unofficial doctrine among many members (I was once included in this group). It is this:
|Men are the priesthood and therefore, women have been shortchanged. |
This is not true.
But honestly, I can't blame people for thinking the church is discriminating. I mean, if you grew up in the church, you're probably familiar with at least one of the following:
In addition, I heard a story from a friend about an unfortunate conversation she overheard. A male who was struggling through an ended engagement was talking casually to his bishop. He was expressing his sadness and in doing so, stated that he still loved her and that he wanted to be able to bless her with his priesthood, but knew that it wasn't going to be his responsibility anymore...
...Excuse me? His priesthood?
No wonder there's a big problem with understanding what the priesthood is and now it really works.
God's power is just that: His power. It comes from Him and Him alone. It is realized by and through the faith and worthiness of those who seek access to it, be it from a blessing or from covenant-keeping. It is not--and I add, can not be--owned or embodied in males. This defies all reason. The young man who said that he wanted to bless a girl with his priesthood was confused when it comes to that. It's not his priesthood, it's His. The blessings that the power of God can offer to a woman are not conditional upon having a man in her life.
Just for fun, go back up to the bullet points in the scroll. Every time you see the word priesthood, replace it in your head with power of God. Does some of it sound a bit silly? Good.
Even so, I've heard a few arguments for female ordination.
But it's not just things within church itself. Many women feel that in order to be equal to their husbands in the home, they need to be ordained like he is.
I can't blame them for their thought process on this one because that's all we see in church: a very distinct and organized line of authority. Very few people have explained that priesthood authority in church and priesthood authority at home don't work the same way.
For more detailed information on that, click here.
In the end...
Can a man put his hands on his own head and give himself a blessing? No.
Can a man administer any ordinance without his presiding leader's permission? No.
If perchance he does, will the ordinance be valid just because he's a priesthood holder? No.
Are female temple workers ordained to priesthood offices? No.
Does a woman need a man to go to the temple with her so that she can make her individual saving covenants? No.
Can a worthy husband make an executive decision for his wife and family that his wife disagrees with? No.
The church has always been on the equality bandwagon. Utah was one of the first states in which women were allowed to vote; the church is all for equal employment and housing; the church supported the civil rights movement (some members may not have, but the church did).