Guest post by Corrine Christison
Corrine discovered yMf through Twitter (follow her
@SomeCallMeJoni) and submitted two posts to us. This is the first installment.
In my twenty-five years on this planet, I have never heard a man tell me that I am less of a person because I do not hold the priesthood. I have never heard any prophet tell me that I was not given the priesthood because of some inadequacy on the part of my womanhood. However, I have heard women tell me this. I have heard righteous women speculate, and attempt to explain what they see as unequal. My Young Women leaders (thankfully!) were not some of those women. They rarely talked about the fact that we didn’t hold the priesthood, etc but instead, they taught me how to have a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven. They taught me that I mattered to him not in spite of my womanhood but because of it.
So years after I graduated from YWs, I had what you may call a “feminist awakening”. I began to struggle with some things in the Church. It was never too bad but I struggled to understand how I could be SO important to my Father yet “unequal” in the eyes of the world. For example, I believe that the Proclamation to the World was written by inspired men of God; I believe that what they wrote was what God wanted them to write. But, I would read and reread that one single sentence about a woman’s role and struggle to understand. I couldn’t come to peace with what I wanted for my life and what I thought this was saying. Is this sentence telling me that I will only be true to God if I stay at home? Is this sentence telling me that people have the right to judge me for wanting to work? Is this sentence telling me that what I thought was an inspired passion given to me from God to help others might not actually be from God?
Luckily, instead of talking it out with my girlfriends—which let’s face it, only allows you to spiral more and more to the extreme and irrational—I remembered what my YW leaders taught me and I went to God. God tells us himself that his ways are not our ways; his time is not our time. I wanted to understand. I wanted to hear what God had to say for himself. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of patience and a sincere desire to know before God granted me the eternal perspective to see things the way He sees them. I still struggle from time to time when I hear people speak in Church or when I discuss my “feminist” attitudes with my peers who disagree but I no longer get mad. God knows how I feel and I know how He feels. He has given me an assurance that I am doing what He wants me to do. He has let me know that even though I want to work, I can still be a good mother—and a righteous Latter-day Saint. And even more importantly, He has given me the knowledge that all will be made right in due time, that if I have patience and do my duty, I will come to see just how equal women can be in the eyes of God.
So the next time you are struggling with you own feelings and what you see happening in the Church, try taking it to God. Be sincere. Be honest but most importantly, be open to hearing what God has to say. And if you listen hard, He will help you see what you can do to change. Maybe He will tell you to stop being prideful (Lord knows he’s told me that several times!), maybe he’ll encourage you to speak to your RS president about spending one Sunday a month learning about the Relief Society sisters of old, or maybe He’ll simply tell you “Be patient my Child, you are worth more than you can possibly imagine and do not let anyone—man or woman—tell you otherwise”.