I attended a stake conference recently, in which a general authority was visiting. Listening carefully to his message along with the message of my stake president made me more certain that ever of two things:
- The worthy women of this faith should hold the priesthood.
- The only reason they are not now allowed to hold the priesthood is because those in authority are failing to ask Our Heavenly Father the right questions.
How did this set of meetings lead me further in that direction?
First, the general authority preached on Abraham 1:2, in which Abraham expresses his longing to hold the priesthood of God, to be a high priest. Abraham’s desire was for both himself (so he could be righteous and knowledgeable about God’s will) and for others (that he could be a prince of peace). As the general authority related, this was a righteous desire and one which led to great blessings for Abraham and ultimately all of us through the Abrahamic covenant.
Second, the stake president shared a direct story of how holding the priesthood blessed his life. It wasn’t about receiving an ordinance from someone else. It was like the experiences I have shared in which the desire to be a righteous priesthood holder shaped his actions and – in his case – led him to a deeper appreciation and practice of repentance.
If wanting the priesthood is a righteous desire and holding the priesthood is a “great blessing” in our lives (as the stake president testified that it had been for him), why would the Lord desire to keep this blessing from some of his worthy children?
I do not – cannot – believe that the fault lies with the women of the Church. They are as qualified as the worthy men. Nor can I believe that God desires to keep his sacred power from those who would wield it with reverence and compassion. I therefore must conclude that the fault lies with those who do not yet see the potential of an army of women bearing more of God’s power.
So I will pray that our leaders gain more of the vision of Moses, expressed when it was reported to him that Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp. Joshua, jealous of their power, called upon Moses to constrain them.
And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them! (Num. 11:29)
I, too, look forward to the day when all God’s people are prophets, speaking with the full authority of His holy priesthood.