Recently, the demands from some church members for women to “have the Priesthood” have gotten very vocal, even vitriolic.
Personally, I am baffled by this agenda and I wonder if these women have been hanging around the Protestant churches to the point that they don’t know what the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS Priesthood even is.
Let me start my diatribe with some truths I know about LDS (Mormon) women and women of God in general: Women (of God) can do almost anything (that doesn’t take physical strength) better than men. When we aren’t trying to act like men in order to appear strong, we manage people better. We organize better. We are more likely than men to get up in the morning with a checklist and a pen and have that list looking like a Senior Thesis outline with lines branching off in every direction with little mini tasks attached to each branch running off the page like some crazy leaf chart -All marked COMPLETE by the end of the day.
We have vast resources (especially those of other women) at our disposal that we can set into action by even the shortest of texts or phone calls. The text “Sister Smith’s mother died” will set into motion a whole flurry of events to mobilize a crew to concentrate on such tasks as feeding Sister Smith’s cat, watering her plants, mowing her lawn, watching her children, and perhaps even helping her newly widowed father move in with her. It is quite spectacular to behold.
Can you imagine if women “had the Priesthood” how efficiently the church would run? At least for a time? Primary callings would be filled quickly. There would always be fresh bread for sacrament. There would be even more pointless merit badges that scouts hate. Trains would run on time. There would be no wars. And the men would stay home on Sundays. “Goodbye, Honey. Have a good time running the church! I know it’s going to be better off in your hands. I think I’ll just stay here and watch the Dallas game. Maybe get some important stuff done.” like another level in Halo.
But women can’t do it all. They just can’t. No, they can’t. Don’t argue. You can’t win this one. Without steroids and weight training we can’t perform even half of what your average 50-year old, reasonably muscled man can do. Unlike what modern gender theory tells us, you can’t just dress up like the opposite sex to become the opposite sex. If gender wasn’t a “thing,” an important thing, Adam would have been left by himself or had been given a Bro to give him someone to compete with in alter building. Love them, hate them, or both, MEN, in spite of their gross habits, insensitivity, and stunted romantic instincts…. are important. Necessary even.
Consider this situation as a mild example. “Sister Smith is moving on Saturday.” So why don’t women show up in droves to help move people? Because we are physically weak. It’s hard enough for men to move a king-sized mattress. It’s worse when a bunch of women wearing slip-on shoes try to move one. The Relief Society ladies of the church are happy cleaning the house after it is empty, bringing food, watching the kids, or even making the flyers for the move. And the men are happy when they know that they are expected to move a couch, some mattresses, and a few boxes and can then go home to the game.
But these musings only make sense if you believe the Priesthood to be something it is not. These pro-Priesthood LDS women can get fellow Americans who look at the world through Gloria Steinem-tinted glasses all riled up when they point out that LDS women can’t hold the priesthood. OMG! There is something in this world that remains the exclusive province of men! O the oppression of the patriarchy! Ignore childbirth, WIC benefits, and the ability to fake orgasms and wo(man) the barricades!
To those who aren’t in the church, and even to those within the church who don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about, the male-only priesthood policy can sound so – Fifties. A headline like “The Movement to Ordain Women” can get anti-LDS women’s panties in a wad faster than a masculine indefinite pronoun. But the idea of a male-only priesthood is oppressive only if you think the LDS Priesthood is like being a priest or pastor in other churches where anyone with a certificate and some charisma gets to take the podium (and the offerings from the collections plate) every Sunday. The LDS Priesthood is NOT like that at all. I repeat, NOT AT ALL. They are not remotely similar. Like Pole vs. pole or fault vs. fault. They sound the same but are not.
And this is why I’m confused about why some LDS women are so uptight and demanding in their push to “ordain women.” It feels like they haven’t been going to the same church as I have. What Doctrine and Covenants have they been reading? Or could it be (and you know how I hate it – see: Doctrinal Bullying: Don’t be a Victim) that they are pulling out some obscure passage from Brother So-and-So’s diary from 1887 that said “women in our generation will be equal to men in temperament” and they read that as meaning women have to have the Priesthood?
In a nutshell, (‘cause I know you have laundry to do) the Priesthood is the power to do the will of God on Earth. The lesser Priesthood of Aaron is a divine spiritual gift given to Young men at aged 12 that allows them to – well, mostly pass the sacrament, though they can perform Baptisms later on at age 16, as well, if they are worthy. At a later date men receive the spiritual gift of the Melchizedek Priesthood which is spoken of by Paul and in Psalms and other texts outside of the official canon. Your Biblical scholars can find more references to this Old Testament tradition through study. It’s not a made-up-LDS-thing. It’s biblical. No, really. But in traditional Bible study at most churches, it is not mentioned.
The Priesthood power allows men to give special blessings and to have special discernments that they can use to help others. They CANNOT use this gift on themselves. It can only be used to affect blessings on other people. But if the boy/man doesn’t pursue the necessary worthiness and faithfulness needed to fulfill and magnify this spiritual gift, it is a worthless gift, like a butter curler. Don’t most women already seem inclined to help others (when we aren’t being jealous of each other? or feeling victimized?) We ladies already get asked casually to move mountains and we do it daily. For men who approach their days very differently in manner than the majority of women, is it so difficult to see how Heavenly Father has carved out this special gift specifically for men to allow themselves to separate from the world, if only briefly, in order to connect to a gift singularly different?
Why don’t women receive this special spiritual gift? Is it because God likes men more? LOL, this is the BS of the modern feminist mind. If you can escape from the philosophies of People Magazine and Disney for just a few moments, read the scriptures and listen to revelation of the modern prophets. Then allow yourself the luxury of prayer and meditation in order to receive your own revelation from God. Yes, THE GOD. Then you will gain an understanding of the divine nature of women and the special spiritual gifts that we already hold, albeit without the pomp and circumstance of being set apart. You will smile, perhaps even giggle, when you receive that reassurance from above.
Why aren’t these special spiritual gifts of womanhood discussed much? Perhaps it’s because in this modern world seemingly everything surrounding the lives of women eventually becomes either politicized or profaned and vulgarized in some way. And, let’s face it, women are trying to become more like men in temperament and manner so much that those original woman specific spiritual gifts are being marginalized and demeaned. Is the LDS Priesthood really something women NEED because it will allow them to do good and without it they are somehow powerless? Here you should recall one of the scenes in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf insists that he would use the power of the Ring only for “good” and later on Boromir pleads with the Fellowship that the ring is a gift to be used! Of course, this desire to do good using power is corrupting. Women don’t need the ring of power or the Priesthood to do good. Remember that men and women walk side-by-side and hand-in-hand on this Earth. Neither is the better of the other. That is the brilliant plan of our Savior and of our Heavenly Father.
See also: I Love Men Who Aren’t My Husband, and What to do if Your Husband is a Lousy Priesthood Holder