Walter Williams has written another brilliant article this week about equality, and as there is much in the blogosphere about gender equality in the church I think it is good reading.
When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence with the phrase We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, they were responding to the fact of their life that the King and Parliament held themselves above the law (much like Congress today) in that they would enact laws for the rest of the subjects but exempt themselves from obeying the laws. Our founding document declared that all men are created equal under the law, no one is above obeying the law.
How appropriate for our day. We are all under the law of God given through his prophets. No one is above or beneath the law, all equal. Now when we talk about assignments, responsibilities and authority, also understanding of which is given to us through the prophets, that is a different matter. Who am I to tell God what to do to fulfill His plan for His children? Who am I to whine and beg (something I taught my children was fruitless) when my will doesn't match up with His?
I heard a member of the Relief Society General Board tell a story about her family that has instructed me to this day about accepting no for an answer from God. Her married daughter desperately wanted children. She and her husband did everything they could to conceive but to no avail. Eventually they asked the family to join in a special fast for them. They plead with the Lord to grant them this righteous desire of their hearts. They were so excited to have their prayers answered with pregnancy and to discover it was twins. Until the babies were born prematurely and with such enormous genetic physical defects that the medical costs have beggared the family and shattered their dreams of having beautiful, healthy children. The sister telling the story (forgive me for not writing down her name at the time) tearfully counseled her audience to trust in the Lord's will, to know that His perspective is greater than ours and that He knows what is best for us.
What does this have to do with women wanting to be ordained to the priesthood so they can be equal to men? Everything! It is God's priesthood, He has a plan, He knows what He is doing and we can trust Him. The prophet is not an old, out-of-touch male who needs to get with the times. President Monson, just as all the other prophets before him, knows better than any of us God's plans for His church and kingdom. Those who whine and beg, complain and murmur, and worse, throw a negative light on the church show their lack of faith and trust in God and His Plan.
I've always believed that the feminists lost their way and clamored for the wrong things. Instead of lowering themselves to the level of the natural man, they should have demanded that men rise to the level of spiritual women, in chastity, compassion, peacemaking, and such. How much better the world would be if that had been the case. "Clean-up your act guys!" "Keep your pants zipped!" "Instead of using your strength in gladiator sports, let's build something useful!" "Can we spend more time with our children, rather than so many hours at work?" "Can we keep an Eternal Perspective?"
I've been told that I am handicapped at understanding others because I come from a good family. My parents and grandparents were good examples of righteous partnerships. It never entered my mind to want to be ordained to the priesthood because of their examples of equality. Sadly that is not the case in many homes, but we must continue to look to the ideal and change ourselves to fit it, not attempt to change the ideal to fit our dysfunction, or the isolated problems encountered in individual wards. As our family reads the Doctrine and Covenants this year I'm reminded that the most oft repeated commandment is to repent. Perfect counsel for today.