I'm not really one to get all political and argumentative, but this is my blog and I can say what I want. Perhaps no one will read it, but as I posted when I first started blogging, this is for me.
In light of what is going on in the media, I've evaluated a lot of my religious convictions and as I've sorted through some things, I've come up with a few thoughts.
As anyone who is not completely off the grid knows, there are several hot topics in the media involving the LDS church. I happen to be a member of said religion. I also happen to be somewhat of a feminist. How on earth could the two coexist without one eventually drowning out the other.
There is only one answer. It has been a struggle. There was a time in my life when the balance was nearly destroyed and as a feminist I was so very angry towards my Heavenly Father. It wasn't when my dad was taken from me and my kids robbed of a grandfather. It wasn't when my father-in-law suffered a massive heart attack and made the man I love most in this world fatherless. It wasn't when a child I was very excited to be carrying slipped away into nothingness. No, those would be natural times.
Instead it was while I was a missionary for the LDS church. I was reading in a book of latter day revelation give to Joseph Smith that later became known as the Doctrine and Covenants. It is section 132 and the verse that was particularly triggering was verse 64, which reads:
And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
I'm sure educated minds could argue about my interpretation of this scripture, but as I read it, what I read was that Emma Smith had to agree with plural marriage or she would be cut off and destroyed. DESTROYED???? BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T WANT TO SHARE HER HUSBAND WITH ANOTHER WOMAN?
How could a God consider himself my Heavenly Father if all He wanted for me was to become some man's wife? I was nothing more to him that a species designed to "administer" to my man. I believe the common, present, vernacular is I was nothing more that a tool for making a man great and bringing babies to the earth.
I was so hurt and so enraged. I stopped praying. I stopped working. I stopped reading the scriptures. Essentially I stopped being a missionary and spent several days home, seething. I didn't hate God exactly, but I could no longer abide by the concept that He loved me and wanted what was best for me. Clearly God was a woman-hater.
The natural course of action would have been to call my mission president, tell him about my doubts and have him help me work through it. But he was a man. And I wasn't on the best of terms with his wife because she married him (a man) and seemed so happy to be married (to a man) and to help him fulfill his role in life. She was a main supporting character, but never a lead. So instead I marinated in the juices of anger for a few days. I didn't cry. I didn't lash out. I just stopped.
Then one day, one of the other girls living in our apartment came home. She asked me what was going on. I tried to explain, but as I did, hot tears finally began to fall. Often times when I am upset I get a quavery voice and get all snotty. My voice waivers and my whole face contorts into something unrecognizable. This time there was none of that. This time I spoke with a steady, even voice and the tears that fell were of pure fury.
She looked at me for a few minutes and then said asked if I really believed what I was saying. I considered. I had never doubted God's love for me until then. I didn't really answer her and my mind drifted as she continued speaking. That night, after everyone else had gone to bed, I finally knelt down and sobbed. And I prayed again.
I didn't see angels and I won't go into exactly what happened because it isn't something I can really express logically. But I cannot doubt that my Heavenly Father is aware of me personally, not as one of his minions of righteous baby-makers/male supporters.
He loves me.
From the very beginning He had a plan so that I could get back to live with Him and others that I've worked so hard to have relationships with in this human existence. I can't answer for Him for everything, but this I do know: In order to get back to him, I don't need to be ordained to the priesthood. It simply isn't my role, not because he has anything against me. It just isn't necessary for me to become all I'm meant to be in this world.
I do not understand everything. I see good people who for one reason or another are uncomfortable with their biological gender. I also see others who want the same blessings I have of a loving, legal relationship with a partner of their choice. It seems almost counter-intuitive that a God who loves us would create us as mortal beings and would set some of us up to fail so miserably.
Some might argue that I am brainwashed by some religious cult. I find that highly unlikely. I'm well educated and have as much culture as my income could afford. I lived in the capital of the world for multiple months and was offered a variety of perspectives on God and His plan for us. I have as much life experience as a middle-aged-contributing-member-of-society could have. I work in an environment where I interact with all types of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. I do not understand the rationale for everything, but this I do know. God is speaking to the earth through a prophet. The Prophet is God's mouthpiece. If he says that same-gender marriage and women being ordained to the priesthood are not part of God's plan for us, it isn't.
I don't know, but I absolutely intended to live my life in such a way that I can go where He is and ask Him.