Monday, December 2, 2013

How I Feel About Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On Sunday, I listened to a fabulous talk at a fireside by two of the Church's foremost scholars.  Claudia Bushman suggested that we write how we feel about certain issues or things that people wonder about for future generations to read.  So here you go!

I know that all, each one of us, is an individual child of God.
I know the Lord has a plan for us and that where we are planted we can bloom, or in other words, we can reach our potential if we honestly seek it out and strive for it.
I know that women, and men for that matter, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have access to the supernal gift of personal revelation in our own lives and for the lives of those whom we support, namely our family with whom we live.

I believe that the Lord has set up an organization of the Church through the Priesthood, or the power of God.  I believe that those who head the church, namely our Prophet and the First Presidency and the general and area authorities in the Church are given the ability and power to be guided to know where people are needed the most and have the greatest ability to serve the Lord and strengthen his kingdom here on the earth, meaning the Church and the members thereof. 

I believe that if the Lord needs something to be done, man or woman, male or female can and will have the power to do it.  I believe that the Priesthood can be ordained upon women that work in the temple to aid in giving the gifts (baptism, endowment and sealing ordinances) therein to both men and women. I believe that Priesthood bearers cannot bless themselves directly through the Priesthood, but are able to receive the blessings of the Priesthood from righteous use thereof and Priesthood blessings (as in by the laying on of hands by those who have authority) and bless their families through hands-on blessings and by striving to live worthily to bear such power.  I believe that we as sisters and women are able to wield great power, if not called the Priesthood, a similar gift that can strengthen and even, if no Priesthood holder is available, through great faith in God, heal or comfort those in need.

I know that the Lord expects us to use what we have to accomplish what needs to be done.  If we need a blessing I think the Lord wants us to use the Priesthood, if we can, to bless our families and children.  When I have personally received a blessing, I have felt a pouring out of love for and from our Heavenly Father. The Priesthood is a wonderful blessing to everyone.  Get a blessing when you can.  If you feel worried, get a blessing. If you have a big test and need a little boost of confidence, and you have studied, get a blessing.  The first day of school is a great time to get a blessing because God can calm anxieties.  You can be healed.  It works!

President Boyd K. Packer said in the April 2013 General Conference, "I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother."

I know the Lord loves us dearly. I see this in every aspect of my life.  I see proof of it when I look into your eyes and see love and light.  I know the Lord put us on the earth at this time for specific reasons. I know that the Lord is aware of us, of you.  You have amazing potential.  

My dear ones, my dear girls and my dear boys--do not let petty people pressure you into thinking that somehow what gender you are determines your worth.  What determines your worth is you, how you live your life and your determination to make the world a better place--while realizing the worth of every being you meet. The Lord loves you no matter what!

Elder Wirthlin in 2005 said: The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.

I love you!  Always remember that!

"Your Heavenly Father loves you--each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you deserve love. It is simply always there."

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