By MARK GRAY
At dinner last week, I overheard a couple – the woman a non-practicing Mormon, the man an evangelical Christian – taking opposite positions on the issue. Similarly, my wife and I view the movement differently.
The LDS Church obviously wants and values female participation – but only in certain roles which have a long tradition in the organization. There is something comforting about tradition and there is no indication that the current policy will change anytime soon, despite the women’s ardor.
In a spiritual sense, The Ordain Women followers should feel free to fast and pray for a change. But showing up at the doors of the all-male priesthood session and requesting entrance is an “in your face” tactic sure to fail.
(Before the LDS Church changed its stance on black males being eligible for the priesthood, we didn’t see civil rights protestors hoisting signs at Temple Square. Historically, dissent on church positions has not yielded major change in policy.)
The man discussing the issue at the dinner table told his wife, “If these women are not happy with their status in the church, they should leave and form their own religion!” While simplistic, I understand the sentiment.
However, I do disagree with one statement made by church spokesperson Jessica Moody. In a public letter to the Ordain Women movement, she wrote that women in the church “by a very large majority, do not shareЙadvocacy for priesthood ordinationЙand consider that position extreme.”
Unlike a business corporation, a church is a special entity and should not base its position on what a majority of its members want.
By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY
The eleventh Article of Faith of the LDS Church states, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
One of the beauties of the LDS Church is the belief that God still speaks to a living prophet, that He is not silent and that the Gospel is still evolving. Faithful Mormons surely believe that President Thomas S. Monson can receive revelation from God to lead the Church.
Why then is it so difficult to understand when faithful LDS women believe that God can speak to Pres. Monson and grant women priesthood authority? Many of these women cut their spiritual eyeteeth on the premise that it is worthy and acceptable to pray for the righteous desires of their hearts.
Some could argue that showing up at the doors of Priesthood meeting is not the appropriate way to advocate for change, but sometimes a visible show of unity is necessary for a movement to gain strength.
Others may say that these women should seek another religion if they are so unhappy and oppressed in the LDS Church. This is akin to telling suffragettes seeking the vote that if they didn’t like the current system, they should have left the U.S. and taken up residency elsewhere.
The Ordain Women movement is not made up of unbelievers and malcontents. It is made up of faithful LDS women who