Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Women and the Priesthood, What One Mormon Woman Believes; Sheri Dew
For some reason it's getting harder and harder to find image URLs that will imbed in my posts. Anyway, luckily I found this really nice one someone somewhere staged :-)
Obviously a religious book. It focuses on the Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints and the not new but fairly re-invigorated movement of women not being eligible for Priesthood Ordination through the organization Ordain Women.org...
Needless to say it's considered a "hot topic" and while I personally have never had the desire for official ordination, I do have friends who feel conflict or confusion over this matter. I have been to the group's page and read their FAQs and feel I have a fairly decent understanding of the main body. I also, however, feel there is a sub-group who don't fully support all that the O.W. group do and are simply riding on their coat tails but have their own agenda, which is unfortunate.
Anyhow, I have far too many quotes from this book that made a HUGE impact on my understanding to be legal to post on a blog, I'm sure. But what I will say is that I learned a LOT. I learned a lot about what the Priesthood is, how to understand it more fully, and how as a woman who has been to the temple, I actually have SO much more than I ever realized in terms of Priesthood access. I had personal revelation given to me while reading this book. I feel that Sheri Dew, as usual, does not sugar coat anything, but gives enlightenment with many, many references and examples to illustrate her point. She is very candid in her approach, yet also sensitive. I have been inspired to do a lot of my own searching for understanding, because as one quote illustrates: Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: "This doctrine of priesthood-unknown to the world and but little known even in the Church-cannot be learned out of the scriptures alone. It is not set forth in the sermons and teachings of the prophets and Apostles, except in small measure. The doctrine of the priesthood is known only by personal revelation. It comes, line up on line, and precept upon precept, by the power of the Holy Ghost to those who love and serve God with all their heart, might, mind and strength.....Priesthood is power like none other on earth or in heaven." Page 104
And just a couple more quotes that had a large impact on my perception and understanding:
When all is said and done, as stated earlier, people of faith must have faith that the Lord has organized His Church according to His will, that He knows best what will lead all of us toward exaltation, that He is the one who determines those who will hold priesthood keys, and that He is the one who inspires them to use those keys according to His will. Page 124
If the Lord's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man and it is; if His entire purpose is to help us ultimately live where He lives and become as He is, and it is; thens surely in His infinite wisdom and perfect love, He has given His children-both men and women- the gifts, privileges assignments, and challenges they need to learn to walk by faith and to eventually become exalted beings. (82)
This post is not a start of a debate. It is a book review of one woman's perspective and my reaction to it and how it helped me come to my own understanding of things. I am neither condoning nor condemning the ordain women movement. Should the doctrine ever change for women's formal ordination, I would support it. Should the doctrine NEVER change for women's formal ordination, I would fully support it. I have faith and a testimony that the Lord is in charge of His church and that what Sheri said about having all the necessary components of life needed for exaltation are available to me right now. I also have faith and a testimony in the Living Prophet, Thomas S. Monson and feel that he is a loving man of God who has heard many petitions from various members of the Church and society and does not simply ignore anyone, no matter how "silly" anyone may view their plight (the guy in England who wanted to sue him? I have a pretty strong personal opinion that President Monson was most likely aware of it and most likely prayed for that individual when the rest of us just called him crazy for attempting to bring such a flimsy case to a court system).
Part of the reason I feel this way is because of the pattern of previous revelation-usually when policy changes are announced, it is met with surprise-like the changing of the missionary age. I bet there have been people who have written letters about it (particularly women who didn't want to wait until 21 and wanted to have a better chance to serve a mission AND get married at a younger age so they could also start a family with less of a time table ticking-just my personal thoughts), but we NEVER heard mention of any such letters. There was never an on-going update such as "Yes, we're just letting you know we've received several letters about such and such issue and we are still praying about it and waiting for an answer, we haven't forgotten or ignored you." It just happened. Without much fanfare. Based on this, I am confident in our leaders and in the Lord and will continue with faith to live my faith.