Dreaming About Women Exercising the Priesthood
by Kelly Ann
I am a dreamer . My mind imagines many things. Flying. Achieving Goals. Sci Fi Characters. Family Drama. Being an animal. Science experiments. Time Travel. Church-related themes.
Triggered perhaps by recently participating in the Catholic Eucharist at a family funeral, as described in my post last month,
Being asked minutes before the start of the Mass, I did not have time to think about the honor of carrying the bread and wine forward for Communion. As my brother and I walked to the front of the chapel with the bread and wine in hand, I welled with emotion to offer this sacrifice to the Priest. And yet, the irony struck me that I would never have had such an opportunity to do this in my own church.
or by reading blog entries about how a feminist feels about baby blessings , questioning authority, mormon feminist activism , and blessings administered by women , I have had several odd dreams that I still vividly recall wide awake.
The first: After tripping while passing the sacrament, I see myself passionately conducting the sacrament meeting (imagine fire and brimstone) with a mix of men and women sitting on the stand.
The second: I have a bird’s eye view of a circle of people in the chapel. I can’t see any faces but it becomes evident they are half way through giving a blessing to a baby. No one seems phased that the tight circle alternates men and women and that the mother and father are kneeled in the middle together jointly giving the blessing.
The third: I am called to be a special representative of the high council assigned to be a female voice in a disciplinary council for a woman that I know. In the bird’s eye view of the sea of short male haircuts, while I appreciate the possibility of a woman’s voice in the decision, something not part of the current structure, it pains me that an even number of men and women aren’t counciling together or that better yet, there is no all women’s council for such a sensitive trial of a woman.
Apparently, my subconscious, and elements of my conscious, envisions a completely different Mormon world then the one I am re-immersing myself into. I don’t claim that my dreams are inspired (and would rather state that they are not), but I do wonder how what the church would be like if there was more gender equality in various church affairs.
Even as a little kid, I had much tamer dreams about passing the sacrament or being a minister but knowing that those ideas were preposterous for a good Mormon and still are, I’ve always dismissed them. As my mind has become alerted to a number of other issues, I now consciously imagine more balance and even some of the luxuries that early sisters in the church had blessing others.
My subconscious goes for the extreme but even minor changes would make me really happy.
Although the recent guest post regarding how women still participate in blessings , helped me remember some of my own experience’s that I treasure.
On my mission, as a way to find families, the mission president encouraged us to offer a “bendicion de hogar” on the house with the whole family present before we invited them to listen to the first discussion. This way the introduction to the church included everyone in a non-threatening manner. A lot of people wanted a blessing on their home even if they didn’t want to learn about the Book of Mormon. He emphasized that it was more than a prayer, that the elders should use their priesthood to pronounce the blessing. This begged the question from the sisters (a quarter of my mission) as to what they should do. He told us that as missionaries we had the power to bless the house and families just the same. And not to worry about that we couldn’t say “by the authority of the priesthood which we hold.” I am not sure how effective these “bendiciones de hogar” were in terms of finding families to teach but the sisters were blessing many in so doing. Thinking about it now, I am grateful for the experience. I felt like I could offer them something on the principle of faith that could bless their lives and give them a good impression of the church.
That is probably my most pronounced experience I have had (other than also loving the initiatory and temple as described by G ).
So I’ll continue to dream.
What do you dream? Or how do you think we can achieve balance in the church now?