June 26, 2014

I'm A Mormon

Typically my posts are about things pertaining to managing personal finances and running a household. 
Today's post is not.
In light of recent publicity of Mormon women desiring to be ordained to the priesthood, I want to share my feelings as a female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also referred to as the Mormon church.
I am not here to argue with anyone's feelings and opinions. However, I do want to share mine. 

I, personally, have never felt that I am of less value than any man within the church.
I have never felt that I could not fulfill any calling I have had because I do not hold the priesthood.

I understand that I am younger than many women in the church, but in my adult life I have been a member of 5 different wards under the direction of 6 different bishops.
The attitude I have experienced has been one of respect and of gratitude for the women of the church and the things they do to teach, share the gospel, support members and lift burdens.

I am grateful for a place in the world where I feel valued as a woman. 
I am grateful that trying to be a virtuous person is enough. A successful career, a beautiful home, high levels of education, amazing gardening skills, being a excellent musician or a fabulous cook, and other worthwhile pursuits are encouraged, but not required.  
I am grateful for a church where I feel support in trying to improve myself, spiritually and temporally.

I am grateful for a religious community where I am supported in my desire to raise children, and where doing my best in giving birth to, nurturing, and raising children (no matter how many or how few, or even if it doesn't happen in this lifetime) is enough.
I am grateful for support in wanting to spend time with my children. 
I am grateful for guidance and support in teaching those children the gospel.

I am grateful for worthy priesthood holders who have administered priesthood blessings unto me and my children.
I am grateful for priesthood leaders who have supported me, encouraged me, and provided inspired direction in my callings and in areas of personal growth.
I am grateful for priesthood responsibilities which encourage my husband to be a better husband, a better father, and a better neighbor and friend. 
I am grateful to be seen as an equal partner with my husband, every bit as valuable, though our roles are different.
I am grateful that my husband is expected to be an equal partner with me, that he expected to provide for our family and that he is also responsible for the care of our children.

I am grateful for a religion where I am encouraged to converse with God, to ask questions and to independently seek answers. 
I am grateful to be taught the scriptures, as well as encouraged to read them and gain understanding on my own.
I am grateful that I am encouraged to be sensitive and emotional in a world where I often feel that tenderness is discouraged.

Certainly at times I feel very inadequate, lonely, unworthy even, but overall I feel very blessed that no matter where I have lived I have had people around me to lift me up and encourage me.

I understand that there are women who have been offended by priesthood leaders in the church, sometimes those men were acting appropriately based on their position, other times they have been out of line. 
There are men who hold the priesthood that do not live up to their calling.
I understand the desire for life to be "fair".
Sure, I've been unimpressed by priesthood leaders before, but that does not affect my overall faith in God's wonderful plan.

I am grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and the purpose and direction it provides.
I am grateful for those who serve in callings they did not ask for and who often feel inadequate in fulfilling those callings.

Kierste: Mom, Mormon.
View my Mormon.org profile here.
Download a free e-book of The Book of Mormon through Amazon here.
Request a free copy here.

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