not in Primary anymore

there is room

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As a supporter of Ordain Women, I was saddened by the letter sent from the PR department of the church in regards to the ticket request made by event organizers for the upcoming priesthood session of general conference. I was not saddened because the answer to the ticket request was No, as this answer was not surprising, but my heavy heart was onset by seeing how the Church has misunderstood Ordain Women supporters and poorly represented my intentions of attempting to attend the priesthood session. The most disheartening thing about the letter was that many individuals seemed to take it as an invitation to start their attack of Mormon feminists.

In the letter, Jessica Moody stated that “Activist events like this detract from the sacred environment of Temple Square and the spirit of harmony sought at general conference.” Unfortunately, this statement does not at all accurately reflect the experience that I had as I stood with Ordain Women last October.

Most of the individuals I encountered that day were not familiar with Ordain Women, and I had several people ask me what we were doing. Obviously a group of 150 women standing outside of the tabernacle is noticeable, but it was not distracting. Men who wished to enter the tabernacle were able to do so easily and without hassle, and many of those men failed to notice the line that they had passed by. After we were turned away we quietly left.

If the spirit of harmony was broken last October, it was not at the hands of Ordain Women organizers or participants. It was broken when hopeful daughters of Christ were denied entry one by one. That harmony was broken when a garbage truck was parked in front of the entrance. That harmony was broken when fellow members of the LDS church spewed vile hatred at participants– myself included. While these things may have happened in response to Ordain Women, honestly seeking female ordination is not the blame. The church chose to turn us away one by one, and members continue to choose to react with excessive negativity towards feminism within the church.

I doubt that I will ever forget when I member of my ward (thinking they were anonymous) sent me a message saying “Some people need to learn to sit down and shut up.” I know that I will never forget what it was like to be turned away from the priesthood session because of my gender, or how it stung to hear that I deserved to feel that way and was stupid for even attending. Despite this, I push on because there are things I believe that I cannot deny.

It is exhausting to constantly answer the same questions about my beliefs over and over again, and it is disheartening to be constantly invited to leave the church. I’m quite baffled by the response from many members of the church because I can’t help but feel as though the reaction is not at all what Christ would do. I welcome discussion and debate, but much of what I have seen and experienced has only caused me to question my faith even further. I cannot recall a single verse of any scripture where we have been instructed to treat our brothers and sisters the way that open supporters of Ordain Women are regularly treated.

If you oppose Ordain Women, that is fine. I do not expect you to agree with me, as I know many do not. However, I would ask that you refrain from telling me or anyone else that we are unworthy, uneducated, selfish, or telling us to leave the church. Please do not try to discredit the lived experiences of those who are different from you. Please stop and consider what you are saying.

—————

If you are tempted to give up: Stay yet a little longer. There is room for you here. I plead with all who hear or read these words: Come, join with us. Come heed the call of the gentle Christ. Take up your cross and follow Him. Come, join with us! For here you will find what is precious beyond price. – President Uchtdorf, October 2013

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9 Responses to “there is room”

  1. Scoopy

    beautiful. I am not someone who feels the need to be ordained as a woman, but I want you to know you can sit next to me at church any time, hold my hand and know I feel frustration and confusion there too sometimes. Church can be a lonely place. You have friends who maybe don’t share your experience but don’t resent you for your experience. There is room for us.

    Reply
  2. Brantley Scott

    I’m sorry you have had a negative experience with this. I don’t believe that woman should be ordained to the Priesthood. I feel that men and women are different and we should celebrate our differences and work together.
    Individuals in the church are not perfect and will not respond perfectly to you. We all should strive to be more Christ like and understand one another. I do agree that woman and the priesthood is a discussion we should have. However like many other things it is sometimes better done in private than in public.
    I think of the words of Paul talking about meat offered to idols and then sold to the public. Sorry I don’t have the exact words, but he said basically meat is meat. There is nothing inherently wrong with it. However if buying it and eating it offends some of the other saints don’t do it. It is not worth the risk of driving people away from the church or causing internal conflict. I see a similar reason for why we shouldn’t have woman standing in line to go to priesthood meeting. There is nothing really wrong with it. However some may get offended or let Satan distract them from the point of going to priesthood meeting. So it is better to not go than risk offending someone else. Even if it may be silly for them to do so. I don’t have all the answers or reasons way things are the way they are. I just know that God lives and loves us. This is His church and one day everything will be clear. Good luck in the journey! I hope we will all hold fast and meet again the God’s courts above.

    Reply
  3. Miranda

    I want you to know although I do not support the Ordain Women movement, I still want those who do to feel welcome and loved in our church. We may have different views, but we are all still children of God. I’m saddened by the response of some members of the church, telling Ordain movement supporters to leave.

    I hope you know there are many of us members out there who want very badly for Ordain Women supporter’s to stay. But there will be those who are cruel and ignorant. I think of Jeffery R. Holland when he says “So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.”

    I personally have never felt the need to hold the Priesthood, because I receive all the same blessings from it that a man does. I’m content with that, though I know not everyone is. And you know, I CAN support asking God “Can women hold the Priesthood?”, but Ordain Women really isn’t asking, are they? They already have their answer, “Women should hold the Priesthood.”

    I don’t think it’s effective in my prayers, when I approach God with something that is troubling in my life or some question I might have, to be adamant I receive the answer I want to hear. Rather, I think I feel more close to Him and receive greater personal revelation when I approach him humbly, asking what He thinks or what He should have me do. (An attitude of “Thy will be done” rather than “My will”)

    That’s why I can’t support Ordain Women. The question in and of itself is not bad. It’s the approach to that question. If women were asking our prophet, Thomas S. Monson (the only person on Earth who can receive revelation for the entire church) to ask God in prayer and fasting what He thinks, then we might receive an answer. Our prophet then might tell us God’s answer was “yes”, “no”. Or it might be “not yet.” Whatever it was, I would choose to accept it, because it would be God’s Word.

    Sorry this is such a long comment, but my parting words to you are to remember that you aren’t alone. God loves each of us, and I’m sure He wants you to stay in His church of imperfect people.

    Reply
  4. Samuel

    As long as you women insist in seeing everything through gender colored lenses you will be disappointed. The word “feminism” denotes a defensive, combative attitude and In my experience feminism is simply reverse chauvinism. Feminism in my opinion is really social manifestations of female homosexuality. It’s really this simple; you either beleive that The Lord has spoken his will through prophets, or you disregard their words because they are male and your pride doesn’t allow you to accept that it is not the will of God that women are to be ordained.

    Reply
    • meganhoefflin

      “As long as you women insist in seeing everything through gender colored lenses you will be disappointed.” Yes, this is true. There is a good reason for it: gender equality does not currently exist in the church or in society. (By the way, addressing us as “you women” is really condescending.)

      “The word ‘feminism’ denotes a defensive, combative attitude and In my experience feminism is simply reverse chauvinism.” Please, tell me more about the social theory to which I ascribe, Mr. Expert. I love to be mansplained to. This critique assumes that “combative” and “defensive” are automatically negative, and I contend that they are not. When someone dismisses Feminism by calling it things like “combative,” what I read is, “Please don’t point out injustice to me, because it makes me uncomfortable. Please just sit down and shut up. My peace of mind/lack of social awareness is more important than you fighting completely real social injustice.”

      “Feminism in my opinion is really social manifestations of female homosexuality.” Well, at least you tempered this by saying it’s your opinion. That’s good of you to do, because it’s a load of bull. And you’re homophobic. Congratulations!

      “It’s really this simple; you either beleive that The Lord has spoken his will through prophets, or you disregard their words because they are male and your pride doesn’t allow you to accept that it is not the will of God that women are to be ordained.” It’s really this simple: you either stop being a judgmental, condescending, mansplaining ass or no Young Mormon Feminist is going to respect what you think.

      Reply
    • meganhoefflin

      Also, I actually hope you are a troll (even though I don’t like trolls) because that would at least it would mean your comment was manufactured to be willfully ignorant. The fact that you might be serious, and that you are a sample of people in the church, disgusts me.

      Reply
      • Samuel

        Megan clearly you don’t assume I’m concerned what a few angry, pridefull women think about what I’ve posted above do you? You didn’t address any of my statements but mirrored what your small group has done as a whole when the church has addressed your silly cause by attacking me and labeling me intolerant. What I find most amusing is that it’s the faithful, prophet obeying women of the church who are the most outspoken adversaries to your attention seeking cause you few unhappy women have taken up. I don’t beleive vitually any of you really want the priesthood, as a matter of fact I don’t think you actually beleive in it. You’ve simply found an avenue to draw attention to your shill, man-hating, pridefull views in the guise of “equality”. If the prophet announced tomorrow that women were to be ordained you’de find another reason to feign outrage and seek another notch in your bra straps. Feminism has no end game or outcome, but it’s just a never ending circle of self loathing, complaining and selfishness by characters who seemingly have underlying homosexual tendencies or who feel unwanted by the opposite sex.

  5. Samuel

    Megan clearly you don’t assume I’m concerned what a few angry, pridefull women think about what I’ve posted above do you? You didn’t address any of my statements but mirrored what your small group has done as a whole when the church has addressed your silly cause by attacking me and labeling me intolerant. What I find most amusing is that it’s the faithful, prophet obeying women of the church who are the most outspoken adversaries to your attention seeking cause you few unhappy women have taken up. I don’t beleive vitually any of you really want the priesthood, as a matter of fact I don’t think you actually beleive in it. You’ve simply found an avenue to draw attention to your shill, man-hating, pridefull views in the guise of “equality”. If the prophet announced tomorrow that women were to be ordained you’de find another reason to feign outrage and seek another notch in your bra straps. Feminism has no end game or outcome, but it’s just a never ending circle of self loathing, complaining and selfishness by characters who seemingly have underlying homosexual tendencies or who feel unwanted by the opposite sex.

    Reply

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