Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Ordain Women Movement and why I don't care whether or not you're a part of it.

I've seen a lot of different posts about the "Ordain Women" movement within the church lately. Posts on both sides of the fence. They're all about why they are or aren't joining the movement. And so whether you're for or against, we all have something in common. It's something most of us have thought about.

Because let's be honest, we are all at different places in our "faith journeys" if you want to call it that. We all will/have come across something in the gospel or the church that we have to make peace with. For some it is women and the priesthood, for others it may be church history, blacks and the priesthood, homosexuality, tithing, word of wisdom, whatever. We all have different challenges, hang-ups, questions.

But here's the other thing. We all have access to prayer, fasting, the Holy Ghost and personal revelation. Does that mean our personal revelation on these topics should be new church-wide doctrine? No. But it does mean that the Lord cares enough about us to help us find peace.

And the most important way He does this is through the Atonement.

And honestly, that's the only thing I care about.

Do you wear pants to church, want to attend the Priesthood session of General Conference and hope that one day women will be bishops too? Okay. Do you believe in a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and in the power of grace and the Atonement? Great! There's room for you here.

Do you not give a whiff about holding the Priesthood and don't understand what the big deal is? Okay. Can you help others find the peace that the Atonement brings, lift burdens and strengthen faith? Wonderful! There's room for you here.

Are you a fence sitter who thinks certain things wouldn't hurt to change and other issues with the priesthood you're mostly ambivalent about? Okay.  Do you have faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know you personally and love you? Perfect! There's room for you here.

Because that's the thing about the gospel. It's all about the Atonement. In fact, it was Joseph Smith who said that everything else in the gospel is simply an appendage to the Atonement.

Are these things still "important"? Yes.
Does it make me sad when women leave the church over the priesthood? Yes. It makes me sad whenever anyone leaves the church. Not because I think they are terrible people, but because I wish they could have the joy and peace that I have in the gospel, and it makes my heartache when they don't find it here.

But to everyone out there who feels like they don't have perfectly "orthodox" views about certain gospel principles. I can tell you from talking to a lot of people, that most of us have a few thoughts about one thing or another that someone else will say are "unorthodox". We each make our own peace. We each have our own questions. Our testimonies are unique, special, personal.

And there is room for all of us.