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November 20, 2014

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Joanne

To say "God's ways are not man's ways" doesn't cut it for a struggling investigator, nor for many LDS women who see very real gender inequality in the church. That would imply that all policies of inequality in the church are presumably "God's ways", requiring blanket acceptance, which is not the case. We understand that many apparently sexist policies and structures are based on custom and tradition. I would emphasize to a professional woman investigator that the church embraces continuing revelation, that we are seeing changes elevating the status of women in the church (missionary age, etc.), and that we can place our hopes on these indications for continued moves toward gender equality. I would also emphasize the great value of individual revelation through the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Also, the investigator needs to get personally connected with LDS professional women who find fulfillment through their active presence and voice in the church.

Emily Adams

Thank you for these nuanced answers given from women of faith.

Kathy

This makes me sad. I have a decent testimony... But I would tell her. "Don't do it." Particularly if she's single.

Sheri

This was wonderful. Thank you.

Susan

I read this post earlier and felt puzzled by it. A line from your recent book kept echoing in my head: I'm not saying it's wrong, just that it's hard. I read the above post as repeating that sentiment, that we must have the humility to accept that God's ways are not our ways--and here is what I'm wondering, are you saying that God doesn't want women to have parity? Is this the Gospel we offer the world? I understand that there are other truths, but is it either/or or yes/and?

I'm just wondering, Do any of you think Joseph Smith was proud when he entered the Sacred Grove to pray?

What I feel is that these impassioned conversations we are having are not about a lack of humility. Perhaps women have had too much humility and it surfaces as lack of confidence, lack of responsibility for our salvation, lack of ownership as we travel the road toward Zion.

What if we as women are every bit as capable of receiving revelation and directing our beloved Church and that is what God wants and needs us to do? Is this our moment in the Grove? Do we have the humility and the dedication to God's truth to speak what is our spiritual truth even when it goes against the norm of current Church culture (and doctrine)--as Joseph did? I don't want to apologize for what feels like a revelation to me. I don't want to lower my standards for a Church unready to digest this truth. Yes, there is patience and long-suffering, but no there is not a lesser truth. Perhaps there are different truths for different people, but my God expects allegiance only to the truths offered me, personal revelation.

I would caution the investigator. I would express concern and a desire that she enter into not an idealized version of our Church, but a real version. Yes, our Gospel has heartbreakingly beautiful teachings but it also has a history that has often fallen short of those teachings. The Church is really all of us, and just as we use the Gospel and its teachings to reshape ourselves, we simultaneously are reshaping the Gospel line upon line. If your investigator is interesting in rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty, I would welcome her to the fold.

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