I can’t seem to escape this topic, so I may as well address it. I’ve thought about this a lot, and here are my two cents. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the Ordain Women website. I encourage everyone to read their FAQ because it answers a lot of questions and misconceptions that people have about them.
My first thought is that everyone needs to be kinder on this subject. It is a topic that is very personal to many people and to offhandedly tell people to leave the church or that they are apostatizing is wrong. Ordain Women does not speak for all LDS women or even all LDS feminists, but we don’t need to silence them for us to be heard.
I find it ironic that in a church founded on the question of a fourteen-year-old boy, we are so offended by a group of women asking a question. They are not protesting or picketing; they are simply asking the Brethren to ask God for an answer to a question: Should worthy LDS women be ordained to the priesthood? While I don’t agree with the answer they are seeking, I completely support their right to ask the question.
It seems we have forgotten that there is nothing wrong with petitioning God. He often will not reveal truth unless a question is asked first. He didn’t just appear to Joseph Smith and hand over the gospel. He waited until Joseph asked and then he revealed the gospel piece by piece as questions were studied and then asked.
We need not be afraid of asking, but we also need to be open to the answer, even if it isn’t the one we want. Whether the answer to the question is yes, no, or not yet, we need to be patient and trust in God’s plan for us on an individual and church-wide level.
My personal opinion is that all the proper doctrines are set in place, we just need to change the way we talk about them. Women already have the priesthood; we are just afraid to talk about it. We have access to and perform ordinances using the priesthood. We are set apart to become prophetesses and priestesses, and those are not terms to shy away from. We have stewardships, responsibilities, and divine potential that is yet untapped.
That said, we are also imperfect. It is a mistake and does women a disservice to set us on a pedestal. I’ve heard the argument that men need the priesthood to make them as good as women. Not only is this argument completely demeaning to men, it also gives women an excuse to stop trying.
I definitely don’t have all the answers, which is why I support honest, humble seeking of God’s will. If the requirement of study and humility is met and we’re willing to accept the answer given, then we should ask questions of God. But before he can trust us with more responsibility, he must first be able to trust us to show love to each other, something I think is lacking in this dialogue.