As many people are aware, Ordain Women is planning an action on October 5: attending the Priesthood Session. (Details can be found here.) I support the Ordain Women movement (see my profile here) – and I’ve been invited to attend. I’ve struggled for weeks over the decision: to go or not to go.
I have personal concerns about the action. I worry that in doing this, I will be disruptive to the spirit of conference; that I may disturb the peace of others who are attending to be enriched. I also worry that many will misunderstand the intent and/or be angry about the action (and say harsh words to me). The action is already being called a protest, so it concerns me is that I will be associated with other protesters on temple square – or other protests from the past. I want this to be a peaceful, faithful action, but I wondered if the others attending will feel the same – or act the same. Other questions fill my mind: is it too soon, is to controversial, is it the right place? Within my own family, I worry that my testimony of the church and the gospel will be devalued by my participation in this action.
These concerns have given me pause. They have created an earnestness in my prayers and a focus in my temple worship. I’ve given this much thought and had many conversations about this choice I am seeking, I am asking, I am knocking.
In the end, I have decided to attend the action. Here are my top 10 reasons:
- When I pray I feel guided to go. I feel called.
- When I go to the temple, I feel peaceful about going. I make covenants in the temple to use my talents and resources to build Zion. I have unique gifts and talents and I feel compelled to use them to work in this movement. Equality feels like Zion and I am at peace when I work toward it.
- My conscience compels me to attend.
- I love conference. I am uplifted when I attend and when I hear the words of the prophet. I know I would enjoy being a part of the Priesthood Session – in person. I go because I would like to attend this session with my brothers. And I hope when they see me there in line, they will see me as their equal.
- I love the scriptures. I learn about Priesthood there. And I feel a part of it.
- I want to be seen. When Jesus allowed a woman washed His feet, he was criticized. His response was, “Do you see this woman?” Like her, I want to be seen – for my gifts, for my worth, for my divine potential. And I want my leaders to hear my voice.
- This is the Church of Jesus Christ and I love the that. And I love Him (greater thoughts for another blog post). It is also the church of latter-day saints – and that’s me. And I’m here. And I plan to stay and be an active part of my church.
- I know this will happen whether I’m there or not, so I’d rather go than not.
- I want to go because I can. I know many others can’t go for a variety of concerns and constraints and I go for them.
- I am a Daughter of God.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.