This week I will write about women and the priesthood. One way I like to approach topics that are difficult either for me or for others is by starting with truths I am certain of, and then seeing what blanks still need to be filled in. Sometimes with an understanding of the right truths, everything makes sense, and the blanks take care of themselves. Above all other truths, seeking and growing into an increasingly more sure knowledge of God has the effect of establishing a firm foundation and answering all questions.
First, God is perfect, possessing all good in ways that are to lesser or greater degrees foreign to imperfect man and woman. God is perfectly aligned with truth and perfectly loves all His children. Christ lived His mortal life in a way that demonstrates truth, in what he taught, and in what is important to Him and what is not. Material things, honors of men, and worldly power, for instance are not important, and so Christ was born in a manger and lived outside a structure of honor, power, and material things all His mortal life, even to the point of subjecting Himself to rejection, scorn, false accusations, suffering, and death, all for the purposes of living truth completely and loving all, even His persecutors and executors, infinitely.
Second, God is no respecter of persons, meaning He loves all without distinction. Class distinction is anti-Christ. Christ spent time with children, publicans and sinners, and lepers in a manner that was unusual in the eyes of the powerful and honorable in the culture and even in the eyes of His own disciples. Christ spent a lot of time with women in very meaningful ways and circumstances, in a way that was unusual within the existing culture of the world. Christ’s perspective of and interactions with individuals was and is completely anti-culture, but the culture is so pervasive in this world that people predominantly see through its lenses. Christ saw, loved, and acted in truth, and so He associated with people in a revolutionary way, which is the eternal ideal.
Third, God possesses all knowledge, and in comparison with that knowledge, the knowledge of imperfect man and woman barely registers, somewhere much closer to 0% than 1% of God’s knowledge.
Fourth, a key requirement for progression in knowledge and in all good things is the willingness, humbly and submissively, to sacrifice all things in the similitude of Christ. This sacrifice of all things places imperfect man and woman in the position to receive all that the Father has. The principle Christ taught that we must lose our lives to gain our lives applies in all cases. Living without this willingness to sacrifice all things is like living in a dark cave, holding onto possessions of whatever kind in the cave, jealously guarding them, unwilling to leave them behind, when outside the cave is an infinite endowment of light. As one example, living in this life with an expectation of fairness or even decent treatment from other imperfect people, rather than looking to God alone for salvation is fruitless and limiting, keeping a person in darkness to one degree or another.
Fifth, man and woman cannot receive all the Father has without each other, but together as equal partners they can eventually receive all things as they exercise faith. Eternal lives, is most correctly understood as a plural term, and the promise for each man and woman who exercises sufficient faith in Christ is to live in the eternities with a companion who has through the grace of God become like Christ, meek and lowly of heart, and full of perfect love. This blessing is provided by God whether in this life or in the next as a result of our faith and His grace alone.
Sixth, as stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. Ideally and eternally man and woman are beautifully complimentary. Gender differences bless a man and a woman with the capacity to bond fully—physically and spiritually, and to exercise true power and influence in creating life and in sacrificing for and serving numberless others.
Seventh, true power can only be possessed paradoxically by those who are meek and lowly in heart and whose desires are to serve and bless others, acting without deception, manipulation, and control. Priesthood power includes the power to create, nurture, and bless life with the end objective of blessing posterity with a fullness of joy. The fullness of this power can only be held and these purposes fully and eternally accomplished by man and woman joined together by God’s sanction and authority acting in a complimentary and unified way as they grow in love for each other and for their posterity and others they serve.
In conclusion, this issue as everything else, comes down to faith in Jesus Christ. Can we place ourselves fully in the hands of Him who is perfect and look to Him alone for salvation which, if we are willing to sacrifice all things to obtain and humbly follow Him, will be infinitely beyond anything we could have otherwise imagined?
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9