Thursday, June 19, 2014

My One “Cents” Worth

Everyone is writing about their thoughts and such down about this whole Ordain Women stuff and usually I stay far away from “hot topics”, because well they eventually simmer down, go away and we all move on. But since I write this blog as part of Denis and I’s family history (I make our blog into books) I thought it might be very interesting to look back and remember how I felt during all this. So I’m tossing my one “cents” in.

John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”

1 John 4:7- “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

Mosiah 18: 21- “And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.”

I start with these few scriptures because as I’m sure you’ve figured out they are all about the LOVE baby. Me too. I’m all about the LOVE. I love, love…ask anyone who knows me or has experienced any of my “squeezes”. In fact, my siblings nicknamed me “Squeeza” when I was little….I like to believe it was because I was constantly squeezing/hugging/cuddling them whenever I could and less to do with the fact that I squilled, screamed, and whined.

So love. Yes, that is the word that constantly runs through my mind when I read things from women that are involved in Ordain Women and women who are “against” or opposed to Ordain Women. When I think “love” everything falls into place for me. I have friends on both sides of this issue. Friends who are part of Ordain Women and friends who are vehemently opposed to it. Here is a little letter I wrote to each of them:

My friend (involved in Ordain Women)-

I love you. I respect you and I want you to know that I’m here for you. You are kind, faithful, compassionate, and a wonderful example to me. I don’t know what you’ve been through in your life, I don’t need to, but I want you to always feel like you are WELCOME and LOVED. I hope you feel that love from other friends, family, and ward members. I’m always here if you need me!

My friend (vehemently opposed to Ordain Women)-

I love you. I respect you and I want you to know that I’m here for you. You are kind, faithful, compassionate, and a wonderful example to me. I don’t know what you’ve been through in your life, I don’t need to, but I want you to always feel like you are WELCOME and LOVED. I hope you feel that love from other friends, family, and ward members. I’m always here if you need me!

Interesting. It’s the same letter. Cray. But fitting. And I mean it with my whole heart.

Now, from what you’ve read so far, can you tell what my own personal views are about all this? Probably not or maybe a little. That’s the point. My job is not to force my opinion down someone else’s throat and try to change them. Nope, I don’t want that job…sounds nasty. For me, I’ve learned that my job is just to love no matter what. I want that job…I like that job. Makes me and everyone around me so much happier.

Since this is for our family journal, I will share my own views about this issue…because I want to remember how I felt and what I thought right now and see if it changes or grows into something else in the future.

For me personally, I don’t feel the need to hold the priesthood. I believe we should all explore and answer the “why” to that if that’s your view (or if you hold the opposite view). We should have good, solid reasons that mean something to us. We should know why we feel the way we feel about something. Soap box over.

Why then do I not feel the need to hold the priesthood? I’ve prayed, studied, and thought A TON about it and this is what I’ve come up with…because that’s the way God wants it right now. You may think that’s pretty simple, but I’ve been through so many, many difficult, hard struggles in my life and through it all I have to believe that God knows what is best for me. This life, these experiences are making me like Him. And I want that. I want that so much. So if God says that right now women should not hold the priesthood then I have to trust completely in that and I do.

Here’s the other side to that coin. I do feel like the Ordain Women “movement” or whatever you wanna call it, has helped all members have meaningful discussions about the roles of women in the church and home. That’s good. I appreciate that. I know what it is like to serve under a bishop that you feel doesn’t give a care in the world about what the women in his ward think, suggest, or need. It was so frustrating. It made me so angry too. Since then, I’ve realized that this particular bishop may have unconsciously had a weird thing against valuing the women in his ward OR and more realistically, I think that was simply his personality. He didn’t care about what anyone (a man or woman) thought other then himself. I think he was trying his best and believed that the choices he was making were for everyone’s benefit. I don’t think he was trying to be sexist, but instead maybe a little too controlling of everything going on in the ward (micro-manager to the max). I didn’t treat him or some of his family very well when I was in that ward because I thought he was doing it personally against me (and other women). I’m truly sorry for the way I behaved. When getting a little distance from the experience, I can see now that this bishop was really just doing his best. His best is different from mine. I’m sure if I were in his shoes I would make a truck load of mistakes and annoy, probably even offend members of the ward. LOVE. There’s that thought again. See, that thought truly does help me in all things.

Lastly, I would just like to mention two other thoughts.

First thought is that I don’t believe the means and tactics Ordain Women uses is helpful to their “cause”. I believe that this should be a personal journey for each of them individually. They should take their questions and struggles to the Ultimate source and talk with God and if they feel it necessary and/or helpful their local priesthood leaders and/or Relief Society President. I don’t see the need for making it a public organization. What does that really do? What will that accomplish? Certainly it won’t force the hand of God.

Second thought is that I find it offensive, un-Christlike, and downright wrong to tell someone who agrees with or is a part of Ordain Women that they should “leave the church” or anything of that nature. That is not for you or me to decide or judge. President Uchtdorf expresses this thought perfectly in his talk, “Come, Join with Us”:

“The search for truth has led millions of people to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, there are some who leave the Church they once loved.

One might ask, “If the gospel is so wonderful, why would anyone leave?”

Sometimes we assume it is because they have been offended or lazy or sinful. Actually, it is not that simple. In fact, there is not just one reason that applies to the variety of situations.

Some of our dear members struggle for years with the question whether they should separate themselves from the Church.

In this Church that honors personal agency so strongly, that was restored by a young man who asked questions and sought answers, we respect those who honestly search for truth. It may break our hearts when their journey takes them away from the Church we love and the truth we have found, but we honor their right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, just as we claim that privilege for ourselves.”

Here’s some other questions that have been mulling around in my mind,

“What if someday God decides women should have the priesthood? How would I react?”

and

“What if I had a daughter who was active in the church and part of Ordain Women and after many discussions with her local Priesthood holders was going to be excommunicated? How would I feel? How would I want people to treat her?”

I congratulate you (and my future self) if you actually made it through this post. Now I can see why people write about “hot topics”, it really does feel good to sort it all out for myself and throw in my one “cents” worth.

1 comment:

Deborah Kress said...

It's so funny to me when people write that this is a hot topic- it hasn't made it's way internationally or even really nationally as far as I can see. I only see it pop up from a friend every once in a great while. I suppose it has to be more openly talked about in the west. Just a couple months ago I finally looked up what Ordain Women was all about. I read a few of their stories and thought, "yep, I have seen that happen." But like you, I saw it happening to the men as well as the women. Some bishops just weren't meant to lead. I don't know if I question the inspiration of those calling them or whether it was a endure to the end thing for the ward. One ward I lived in, the ward partied after the bishop was released! He got up the next Fast sunday and started out with "For those who I have offended..." I thought, wow, is this guy really going to apologize? Then he finished in typical style, "you just need to get over it." Classic!