There are several thoughts, questions, and ideas going through my head that I’m just going to pour them out in this post, and think about…publicly.
Recently, I have experienced moments where I feel like a message is being forced into my head. I just have to think about it and let it stir my conscience into a higher level of understanding. Maybe I’m just a little scared, resistant, and slow to act.
First, and foremost, I do not have a problem with the men holding the Priesthood. This is their Calling from the Lord. I do however believe that women hold equal power through their own Calling of Woman of God. Yes, equal. The power of the Priesthood is not only a Calling, it is fueled by the power of faith and righteousness. Women can fulfill all of their duties through these same powers of faith and righteousness. I just don’t believe women realize it.
So, first questions: Why doesn’t the Church explain this better to women? Are women too caught up in the world to see it? Are we not worthy enough to grasp the concept? Is the “Power of Woman” to be manifest only at certain times on earth and again sometime in the future? Maybe we’re just not listening?
In my ward, we were talking about Priesthood Blessings, and a former Stake President proceeded to tell us about two experiences he had where a husband, a Bishop, a Patriarch, and even an Apostle blessed a woman who was going through a serious depression. Her mother felt strongly that she had a blessing to offer, but questioned if it was appropriate. She asked her Stake President (the man telling the story). He said that if she felt that impression, then it came from God, and she should follow it. The blessing was not given “in the name of the Priesthood”, but by the faith of a mother. The daughter was back on her feet shortly after.
He told another story of a Bishop who kept getting calls at 3:00 in the morning, to give a blessing to the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, George F. Richards. It was difficult to find someone to anoint at that hour, so one time the Bishop showed up and suggested the President’s wife help with the blessing. The President agreed it was appropriate, given the circumstances.
More questions: Is this option available to us? Do we know about it? And is it really okay? Should we be participating more actively as counselors to our husbands, and stewards to our children?
I am preparing to teach about Hannah this coming Sunday. What a good and faithful woman. Finally, she received this great blessed child and gave him up unto the Lord, no questions, excuses, or compromising in her. Could any of us do that?
Then there’s the High Priest Eli, a lax father, raising two worthless sons. Because of them, Israel is wiped out by the Philistines and the Ark of the Covenant is stolen from them. (I have to laugh when the Ark gives the Philistines so much trouble they give it back).
But, this is the part I don’t understand: Samuel, who was really raised by the Lord (not Hannah, and not Eli), grows up righteous, and righteously performs the works of the Lord, but he has unrighteous children.
Is it his fault? Is it Samuel’s wife’s fault? Were the sons born this way and it is no one’s fault, but their own? And what about Eli and his sons? They are killed off by the Lord. Everyone’s unrighteous behavior influences those swirly twirly Israelites and the Lord stops fighting their battles for them. The Israelites are so adamant to lead themselves that they beg for a king.
The way I see it; Hannah made out good. She was truly a Mother in Israel. Did she luck out having a righteous son? Or did her influence carry over and affect her son’s life? And I’m just going to throw this out for good measure: Maybe when she delivered her yearly coat to Samuel, she offered him a blessing as well, which strengthened him to do his work for the Lord.
This past conference we heard at least nine talks warning us to raise our children in righteousness, for they are the rising generation that will fight the final battle and welcome the Savior to the World. Those talks were geared toward the mothers. Certainly to the fathers as well, but the mothers carry that burden because of our Calling as Women of God, Mothers in Israel. And we need to understand this includes ALL women, because we ALL influence the children around us.
This is our Calling, just as the men are Called to hold the Priesthood. Together, we are responsible for returning Heavenly Father’s children back to Him. Together, we can have enough faith to save; enough righteousness to influence; enough power to call children to Come Unto Christ.
So, where do we stand? Do we understand enough? Is our faith strong enough? Do we bless our children and/or help our husbands bless our children? How are we to fulfill the responsibility that is on our shoulders? What are we going to do about it?
I don’t know about you, but I am feeling an urgency in the voices of our leaders. They are steering us upon a path and we are acting much like the Israelites. Short of destroying us, like He did so many others, the Lord is depending on us to unite, keep fighting the war, and ultimately prepare for the final battle, by preparing ourselves, as well as our children.
Yes, I still have questions. But they are questions searching for my responsibility, not questioning my worth, or accountability. After all, I am a Woman of God.