Friday, June 20, 2014

Being Able to Help Others Understand.

I probably would have taken more English in school if I had known that I might influence even a small portion of the population through writing. My mother had her Masters in English, and being the kind of English prodigy I was through elementary school, the skill quickly atrophied when I learned that I actually had to work at it to get any better. So I will fly in the face of literary and editorial snobs and use grammar and run-on sentences to please myself and to be able to get any effing idea across that I want. My circumlocution is certainly not deliberate, but it is the product of my laziness in the face of education. That being said, I do have a reason for this apology. I believe the subject that I am about to breach deserves more clarity and delicacy than I am able to communicate through this medium. THAT being said:

Women Ordination.


Ok, so you don't even know whether I'm for or against it and if you're anything like me, you're desperately hoping that I'm about to confirm and possibly develop new revelations for you that help you feel more secure in whichever opinion you hold. Obviously I want to keep your attention to the very end so maybe I won't reveal anything groundbreaking until the very end! No, I will not do this thing, because I feel that is very manipulative and even though I read all three books in the Maze Runner series, I still resent the fact that the author used this coercive device to get me to read the whole damn thing.


I am completely on the fence about the Women Ordination movement. Six months ago I knew where I stood. I was against it. I felt that a bunch of feminists wanted recognition and to win something so they got together and decided that if they finally were able to have the Priesthood, then they would feel like valid beings of the Mormon population. "What changed?" you might ask. First, let me drag you into one of my famous asides and explain the difference between something changing and something connecting.

So because I almost had enough credits from sewing classes to complete a 2nd Major in Home and Family Living, I decided to go for it. This lead me to take a child development class where I learned how the brain is basically a never ending puzzle/lego tower. Something is perceived (lego piece), a symbol is assigned to that perception(another lego piece), *click* they go together. So you kind of have all these little dual groupings of legos floating around your brain and then suddenly you see how one little dual grouping would actually fit pretty nice with another dual grouping. Well, new information keeps either adding onto that bigger group developing into your world view, or it just hangs out until it find something to latch onto. Once in awhile, you might realize that a piece that you thought fit perfectly before, actually fits better somewhere else, or that one piece isn't allowing you to add anything more to your lego-world-view-tower. That is unacceptable so you cast of the misfit information back into your brain soup and wait for it to become pertinent again.

I have recently become immediately conscious of large gap that I karate chopped out of my lego tower located in the "belief" sector of my world view. It really sucks because I had a lot of really nice fitting pieces all around that place, but there were concerns that were making me very unhappy; certain pieces weren't quite lining up.

A big issue that I am dealing with is the marginalization of women in the church. I don't care what you say, its true, its there and I will punch everyone in the face if they disagree with me (like if one person disagrees, everybody is getting punched. Do you really want to be the one who triggers that?). Of course there are certain levels of this, and at some point you can't always be focusing on this inequality because you have to like, keep living your life and your faith and stuff. But I have had seriously hurtful interactions with church leaders which I believe would have been different if I had been able to counsel with another woman.

Ryan, my husband, suggested that mothers are the male equivalent to the bishop's role as being a "Judge in Israel". Our mothers judge us, and rightly so. They judge how to teach and to guide us and try to discipline only in order to reach our full potential. Same responsibility that our bishops do. Only one catch, my mother is dead. And when it comes to questions about my role as a daughter of God and especially sexuality, why would I ever want to seek counsel from some middle-aged dude?

Do men truly understand body shaming through modestly talks? Do they truly understand the humiliation of talking about sexual sins or even the subject of chastity with a person of the opposite sex from a young age? I believe that this can and has traumatized many women leaving them guarded and programmed to believe that men have the power to condemn or liberate when it comes to sex.

And what happens when that great ability, the "Right to Bear Children", is not available? Although some men may be impotent, they would never be denied the Priesthood because it "wasn't available". And yes, Motherhood is more than just having kids, blah blah blah, but still, empathy goes a much further way with healing in these instances than does sympathy and a call for a can-do attitude.

So maybe I'm not asking for women to be ordained, but I think that maybe the home shouldn't be the only place that motherhood should have the power to judge, heal and lead. I want to feel some power or voice in the way that I am spiritually governed by mortals. If being able to give blessings or helping to make big decisions when it comes to the welfare of the churches female members means they must be allowed to hold and practice the priesthood, I would be ready for that change. Can the same be said for the male members if the Lord decided it was time to reinstate these practices?

I absolutely subscribe to the teaching that the Lord does everything in His own time and that we cannot always know the answers or we wouldn't require faith (see post "How to Stay Inside Your Own Head"). Perhaps we are the Hebrews come out of Egypt who are not ready for the higher law. I understand that, and I can be patient. But I am also sad. I feel separate because of my gender and I attribute many of these feelings to my cultural upbringing. I still hope to find answers and maybe writing about these things will resonate with someone else and we can work collectively to find them. I want to reconcile my hurt with the promise of happiness if I stay faithful to the church. I hope that I do not have to wait a lifetime.

But knowing my luck, I probably will.

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