I didn't write a letter to Kate Kelly's bishop.
I didn't join in any vigil.
The most outspoken comments I made (before writing this post) were in response to an inappropriate blog that criticized Sister Kelly's Stake President.
But, my heart felt for Sister Kelly and her Ordain Women following.
These are my family-- my sisters and brothers.
My heart also felt for her Bishop and those who were asked to be a part of her disciplinary counsel.
Contrary to public understanding, neither men nor women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seek offices of leadership.
Very few men serve as bishops or stake presidents and priesthood ordination is not something that men or women acquire because they petition, demonstrate, or are voted in.
I don't share Sister Kelly's opinion that women are 2nd class citizens in our church. As one who is married to a righteous priesthood holder, and also as one who has sat in council with many priesthood leaders, I have always felt cherished and respected. I have been called upon to lead and to govern. I have felt God's power to do this without a need to be ordained to the Priesthood.
Unlike Sister Kelly, I find great power in my membership in the Relief Society Organization of the Church. I feel this organization holds power and authority to administer and minister in God's kingdom. In recent years, I have seen many changes in administration that has allowed sisters to serve in greater leadership capacities. Public discord seems to undermine and not support these changes.
There is a fine line between inspiration and deception. Often leaders use ideas that are good to justify actions that are wrong. "Pro-Choice" for example, uses the idea of personal choice or agency (which is good) to encourage the murder of millions of children each year. They advertise actions that belittle a woman's sacred role as a creator of life under the facade of "reproductive rights and empowerment". This is not progress, this is deception.
In my humble opinion, Ordain Women uses the idea of equality for women to encourage rebellion and dissonance against ordained church leaders who have been called of God. Sister Kelly pulled herself away from her church family as she used the Internet, media sources, and other progressive thinkers to condemn and criticize local and general leaders of the Church.
In my humble opinion, one who is so publically seeking the "ordination" of women, should be able to demonstrate an understanding of what it means to be ordained. Sister Kelly doesn't respect the authority of the priesthood in her own personal life. Why would anyone seek ordination to an office she does not respect or understand? Sister Kelly is not seeking ordination, she is seeking to abolish the fundamental concept of divine authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She didn't commit apostasy because she asked questions; she removed herself from membership when she refused to acknowledge and respect those who are currently ordained to serve as her presiding authorities.
I am a woman in God's kingdom who is ALWAYS asking questions and pushing the limits of accepted tradition to understand truth. A church is not a political organization. Membership in the church is optional. We choose membership in this church, because we believe (Articles of Faith 5) that it is led and directed by those who are called of God to lead and direct His Church. Because I believe with my whole soul that God leads and directs the organization and administration of this Church on the earth today, the questions I pose are presented humbly as I seek to understand.
You can choose to believe in our church or not believe in our church, but you cannot choose to preach against church doctrine and leadership while claiming to hold sacred covenants you have made to sustain those same leaders you are protesting against. Before you seek ordination-- seek to understand what that ordination means. God will never allow men or women to be ordained to any offices they do not sustain, respect or value.
Personally, I hate the idea of excommunication. I hate it.
But, I hate more the idea of false teaching and deception.
I believe that Kate Kelly is being deceived. I believe that she THINKS she is being directed by God, but she is not.
God does inspire change. But, He does it in an orderly way. God uses those who are in authority, God uses holy men and women, Prophets, even Prophetesses, who have been given authority to rule and reign in His Church on the earth today. Kate Kelly is not one of these women. Kate does NOT have the authority to ask for changes in a church whose leaders she does not sustain.
I have had the opportunity to be in the presence of a prophet of God and apostles in our church. As I saw these holy men, a strong, humbling, joyful feeling enveloped my being. I knew then, and I know now, that these were holy men called to administer this Church in these days.
Recently, I sat in a meeting with local leaders, both men and women. I felt this same power emphasizing to me again that these men and women were called of God. I know that they are good people, I know that they did not seek the callings that they now hold to administer and minister. I also know the love and respect these men in the Priesthood have for me and other women who sat in counsel with them. Mormon men honor and respect women.
Months ago, I sat in a training meeting with a large group of women. Sister Rosemary Wixom, the General President of the Primary Organization of the Church was scheduled to speak. She walked into the room while I was talking with my friend. She stopped at my congregational pew and placed her hands on my shoulder to shake my hand. I was caught off guard, not realizing at first who had touched my shoulder, to feel a powerful confirmation envelop my being. As this humble, holy woman held my hand, God spoke to my soul confirming that she was a Prophetess in His Kingdom. This woman was called to lead in His gospel and she was endowed with great power and authority. I felt it then and I feel it still today.
I felt the same confirmation that Sister Wixom was called of God that I have felt previously about President Monson, our prophet, and my local church leaders. There are women on the earth today who are called and set-apart with great Priesthood authority. Do not let limits on your ordination distract you from your access to His power.
Women-- we have a great work to do! Never in the history of the world has God needed righteous women to lead and to govern in His church, in the communities in which we live, and at home. God needs women to lead and to let our holy lights shine. We can do much good in the world. We were foreordained to this great work. Let's start by discerning good and evil. Let's start by being able to hear the voice of God and act upon it in our lives. God does not inspire contention and discord. God is love, God is order, God is authority.
Yes!! Yes, just like we feel with every fiber of our being that women have the responsibility and RIGHT to CHOOSE, we also feel with every fiber of our being that women are EQUAL to men. Of course we feel that, because we ARE!! We feel innately that we are called to be powerful workers in God's Kingdom-- because we ARE!! We feel our ability to LEAD to TEACH to PREACH to MINISTER to HEAL to BLESS and to use the power of God for good--- because this is our calling and our mission. Do not be deceived into thinking that we are less because we are different. Our potential is limitless, eternal and divine. Kate Kelly felt this-- but she mistook power for ordination. We know better. Women do not need to be ordained to have access to God's power.
I have access to God's power. I feel it. I am called of God to minister in my home, in my community, and in my Church. My hands are full and my heart is stretched to capacity as I learn to serve as a member of His beloved Relief Society. I honor my membership in this great organization and I strive daily to be the disciple of Christ He has called me to be.
We do not need to be Elders-- we are powerful Sisters with a great work to perform.
Come Sisters-- let's serve together to build the kingdom of God on the Earth.
We don't have time for distractions, we have a great work to perform.
Today, my heart is full.
I pray for a greater capacity to serve in the callings that I currently hold.
I pray for eyes to see the hand of God in my life, in the leadership of my Church, in the lives of those I love.
I pray for greater love, greater patience, greater power to serve and lead.
Today-- I feel the sacred mantle that we hold and I am humbled and eternally grateful.