While my husband was off at Priesthood Session this evening, I attended the Ordain Women Launch Event, which another attendee charmingly dubbed “Priestesshood Session.” The crowd was sparse when I arrived yet entering was difficult because of the large number of TV cameras to dodge. I am excited to think that someday there will be archived footage of the back of my sweater blocking a camera or two as I zigzagged through the room to attend this historic event. By the end of the speech, however, the room had filled up–with a surprisingly close ratio of male and female attendees.Read More
I love the analogy in this passage, where Paul says that the members of the Church make up the body of Christ, and that like our body parts, our individual spiritual gifts have a particular contribution to make the body of Christ live and breathe.
As a Mormon feminist, some days I feel like I live in a church full of eyes. As part of a hand, I feel like I have contribution to make with my spiritual gift–the knowledge that women are often unable to claim their own spiritual authority because of inherent inequality in the current structure of the Church.
(Let’s be clear, many days, I wonder if “gift” is an accurate descriptor of this knowledge.)Read More
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which would not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet
I heard this quote at a workshop today and it knocked my socks off. The workshop wasn’t related to anything religious, but I thought, Wow, that is what I do with my questions about the church! It was surprising and lovely to hear it described so beautifully by Rilke, and it made my eyes well up right there in the workshop.
I feel like at church arriving at the “right” answer is valued almost to the complete exclusion of valuing questions. It felt so wonderful to recognize questions as valuable, too. As part of the workshop we did an exercise where we just asked questions – no answers allowed. I learned from it. So I’d like to know, what are your questions? No answers allowed!
Here are a few of mine:
What does life outside our solar system look like?
What if patriarchy is God’s will?
What if God isn’t real?
At what point in human evolution did our ancestors become the spirit children of God?
Why doesn’t God intervene more in our world?
At what point in history did people forget about God the Mother?
What are some of your questions?Read More
Ten years ago, my wedding photographer made sure that we had all of the usual snapshots—including the traditional close-up of the couple’s hands, showing off their new wedding rings.
I look at that photo today and have to admit that it looks pretty stupid. The couples with nice hand photos show off the complementary rings they bought together. They are made of the same metal; they may have even been sold together as a set. It never even occurred to us to buy rings as a set. We were more focused on what each of us, individually, wanted from a piece of jewelry we would wear almost all the time.Read More
Back in 1996, I watched an episode about Mormonism on 60 Minutes, including an interview with then current LDS church president, Gordon B. Hinckley. The part of the program that most impacted me was when the report stated that Mormon women did not want the priesthood.
I had wondered if Mormon women wanted the priesthood. Now national television was announcing that we didn’t. But how did they know? Did they ask Mormon women? Which ones? No one had ever asked me. I had never even asked myself. Why would anyone bother to inquire? Everyone knew that Mormon women wouldn’t admit that they wanted the priesthood, so why ask them?Read More
There was a point in my life when I started experiencing a great deal of religious angst. I was desperate for an open environment where I could blab about all of my questions and concerns without someone interrupting to tell me that I would probably go to Hell. Most of my more liberal friends lived far away and I felt like I was wearing out my poor husband, since he was my only sounding board left. I was not at all interested in talking to a male authority figure, such as a bishop, because many of my concerns centered on religious patriarchy.
One day, I wrote a detailed essay at my personal blog about a religious issue that was bothering me. However, I didn’t dare to post it. What if my family freaked out and thought I was a crazy apostate? Still, the writing process had been soothing, so I started regularly journaling my concerns at my blog, always saving the products as drafts without posting them.Read More