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There is nothing wrong with working to make things better within the culture of the Church; learning to work with each other, expressing and recognizing the value of men and women, and listening to the concerns of women in the Church are worthwhile pursuits. There are not (yet) answers to everything, but as we work toward a more harmonious and equal relationship between men and women, we can choose to keep our faith and remain steadfast in our testimonies as we prepare ourselves to receive more truth and light.
Patricia Holland articulated it well when she said, “We should seek diligently and prayerfully the light that would quicken our hearts and minds to truly desire the outcomes we make in righteous decisions. Our prayers ought to be to see as God sees, to flip the switch in our minds so we may see things eternally. If we listen too often to the voices of the world, we will become confused and tainted. We must anchor ourselves in the spirit and that requires daily vigilance.”
There are no shortcuts, only the old-fashioned method of toil and labor: the expended effort of learning the gospel and the challenge of living it. So we search and ask the right questions from the right sources. Then what? If even after that open-minded process, certain events and policies continue to cause consternation and confusion, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland offers comfort: “When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.”
This is the choice we face. Do we stay with what we have felt and been taught by the Holy Ghost? There are not always immediate answers to everything. Not in this life. But the Holy Ghost is real. God is real, and so are His servants. The bottom line is that there is one man who may receive revelation regarding the entire Church as a collective whole, and that is the prophet. In the Old Testament we read: “If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him. . . . With him will I speak mouth to mouth.”
While it is healthy and normal to engage in respectful dialogue, there must be caution with the intent of that dialogue. False ideas can and have been confused with the Holy Ghost, as Miriam and Aaron attempted to convince Moses he needed to share his authority with them. But through obedience to the commandments and keeping covenants, we will not be deceived. Discernment will be gifted so that the precepts of man can be distinguished from those of God. It is Jesus Christ who is the head of this church, with the prophet as His mouthpiece. It is possible to trust in the plan and still seek for answers.
There is an eternal nature of our individual identities, and our gender plays an integral part of our personalities. Spencer W. Kimball lovingly counseled, “You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our Father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths, especially in those moments when (in the stillness of such anxiety as you may experience as an individual) you might otherwise wonder and be perplexed.”
God gives us time to make shifts in our thinking, to rearrange how we think the puzzle pieces can and will fit together. God’s ways are better than our ways. His time frame is different from ours. Faith is moving forward with patience as we wait for the continuing revelation to unfold.
Male or female, married or single, all must increase in their knowledge of the Savior’s teachings and in their testimony of the Atonement. All are equal in that quest and responsibility. It affects how we perform our duties and our partnerships. “Sometimes to be tested and proved requires that we be temporarily deprived,” Spencer W. Kimball has said, “but righteous women and men will one day receive all . . . that our Father has! It is not only worth waiting for; it is worth living for!”
Elder Uchtdorf said, “Obedience is not so much the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not. Instead, it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of.”
Keep working. Keep serving. Keep faithful to covenants and ordinances. All questions will be answered, and puzzles will be worked out to reveal a marvelous, awe-inspiring mosaic.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Let us know in the comments!
The following was taken from the book We Are Adam by Ramona Siddoway currently available at cedarfort.com.The opinions and views expressed herein belong solely to Ramona and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of Cedar Fort, Inc.