Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's see if this works

There has been a great deal of debate recently among Mormons on the topic of women and the priesthood. I see basically three camps: people who think it is heresy to ask the prophets to receive a revelation, people who think its perfectly appropriate for members of the church for ask for the prophets to receive and revelation and people who do not care at all.

I count myself as one of those who do not think its inappropriate for members of the church to ask for the leaders to consult with God on a topic of particular interest, though if you read this conversation on my facebook page, you'll see many who disagree with me.

One of my friends linked to the page on Mormon.org that really got me thinking. In the past I had shied away from the question about women and the priesthood for my Mormon.org profile. I didn't feel I had a cohesive answer, but after learning about this conversation between President Hinckley (our former prophet who died in 2008) and an Australian interviewer, I felt like I had something I could finally say that didn't seem to conflict with this statement shared on Mormon.org.

Below is the answer I submitted to my Mormon.org profile. I don't know if it will be approved so I'll just wait and see. I hope it doesn't meet the fate of another answer that I attempted to post to my profile (it wasn't censored but it was withheld due to a glitch). If it is approved however, I at least will have a point of reference to say that "Look, my views aren't considered false doctrine! I have the official stamp of approval from Mormon.org!"

One of the reasons why women do not hold the priesthood in the Mormon Church is because, as President Hinckley said in an interview with an Australian reporter is that "there is no agitation for that." He seems to imply that if the members of the church were interested in women being ordained to the priesthood that a number of them ought to approach the leaders of the church expressing their interest. One faithful Mormon created a website where Mormons and non-Mormons can express their interest in women of the Mormon Church receiving the priesthood. The URL for that site is: www.agitatingfaithfully.org. If the leaders take the communication seriously, they have the opportunity to show the world that the Mormon church continues to receive revelation and that the church can change its practices as it better learns the mind and will of God. It would be up to the prophet and apostles of the church to counsel and pray together on the topic of women receiving the priesthood. If they can all agree that God is telling them to extend the priesthood to women, they will share that revelation with the church and the world. It may be that God does have a reason for women not to receive that priesthood and Mormons do believe that God can reveal his reasons through the prophet.

Until that time, Mormon women have many opportunities to serve within the church. The Relief Society is known as the biggest women's organization in the world and in each local congregation there is a leader or president of the Relief Society among the women of that congregation. There is a Relief Society presidency that oversees a small number of local congregation's Relief Society as well as a presidency that oversees all of the Relief Societies in local congregations throughout the world. The women of the church oversee the youth education program (Primary) of the church as well as the young women's education program. They are actively involved in family history, temple work, emergency preparedness, and humanitarian work in local congregations and throughout the world. Each woman of the church has many opportunities to serve the members of her congregation and local area and all members of the church are encouraged to be involved in volunteer organizations in their communities as well. Mormon women also serve as teachers in Sunday School and in worship services where they have the opportunity to teach all members of the church.

As you can see, there are many ways that women can be leaders in the church. They play an active role in keeping the church going and meeting the needs of all the members of the church even without the priesthood in addition to their work as very involved mothers (generally). Some argue that because of this women do not need the priesthood for these reasons.

There's a chance that the URL won't make it through which is fine. I can edit it that out, but for those who are not Mormon and care about gender issues, it may be very useful for them to see directly the effort that is being made by members of the church.I'm interested to see what will happen and how the reviewers at Mormon.org will handle it.

3 comments:

TopHat said...

Jenne, you rock. In my profile, I didn't even touch the "hard" questions. I just answered a couple of basic ones I felt I had a good testimony of. Maybe I should go back and do some of the hard stuff.

Chelsea said...

I love your answer. I'll be anxiously waiting to hear the response!

Descent said...

Update, its still pending review. I called in a favor to see if the glitch from my previous answer is still affecting it but no word. I check every couple of days to see what happens.