What is Moderate Mormon Feminism?

"I have developed a more refined understanding of the feminism spectrum, and I have come to the following conclusion: If you care about the spiritual, emotional and intellectual development opportunities available to you, your wife, your sister or your daughter, you are a feminist. Period. Based on this definition, the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inherently feminist. The Lord cares about women, our leaders care about women and we as a people care about women. But if we are going to honor this inherent doctrinal feminism and add our gospel-driven perspectives to the greater feminist dialogue, we Mormons must be comfortable entertaining a broad spectrum of feminist convictions so that we enlarge our embrace to include any person who feels comfortable working on behalf of women." Neylan McBaine, A Moderate Mormon Manifesto

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Faith, Hope, and Love

There have always been disputations about doctrine amongst believers, even back to the New Testament.  That's okay. But let's not elevate ourselves above each other -- what can we learn from this?  How can we stretch and grow?
FAITH
I do know I feel prompted to share and speak.  I have faith that there is a reason I'm being prompted to share (regardless of the outcome).  So what if changes I want to see never happen in this life?  Well, I know God loves me and I also know that God is not a jerk.  I have faith that all will be right in the end.  I have faith in the atonement, to heal all hurt and pain.  I have faith that He knows more than I do.  I know that I don't know everything, I am human.  We all are.   I know that there is no human alive that can comprehend the works and power of knowledge of God.  We earnestly make a lifelong effort to do so, and we are commanded to try to pattern our lives after our Savior.

HOPE
Sure I want to see incremental changes I am seriously stoked to receive more light and knowledge regarding women's priestesshood and Heavenly Mother and all that jazz, whenever it comes.   I know that we have very little knowledge about how things work in the next life (other than spread the Gospel, we do have that scripture).  I do know I will be happy, and I need to trust God.  I need to follow His plan for me.  I need to respond to promptings of the Spirit.   And other people need to respond to their promptings, and I have no idea what theirs look like.

I need to bring others to Christ.  Because I hope that's what I'm doing here.  Making a place that is safe to have questions, and leave it in the Lord's hands.  To trust Him.  I hope that's what I'm communicating.  And also to acknowledge that it is HARD.   Hard to live in this culture that tells you not to question, to be silent, to go away.   And also to show: have hope!  Change is trickling down, even if it took years to decide to put up a portrait of women, they did it!  Change is slow, especially in our organization.  So cling to your hope - and if you can't find a space for yourself, make one.  You belong here.

LOVE
It is okay to question, to want things to change, and usually we are brought to these views by something that hurt - that changed our minds and our hearts.  God has a role in these things.  We can feel our sadness and hurt, we can mourn that what we have now is not more - but we must bury our anger and bitterness at that funeral.  We can feel those feelings - but we must let them go.  Don't lose your passion and don't be silenced, but anger and hurt are never good motivations.  Love is.  In all things act in love, and find God's love in your life. 

I know that everyday I find happiness.  I find God's Love for me.  I find it in my expanding group of friends (yes this introvert is making friends).  I find it in tender mercies.  I find it in the budding flowers and the sunshine and the cuddles of my daughter and holding my friends' babies and warm socks.  I find happiness in my green apple carrot juice and my husband's five o'clock shadow and his kisses when he gets home from work.  I feel happy when I study my scriptures, I even feel happy struggling with messy topics and questions.  I feel happiness when I meet a friend online who has questions like mine, and we can strengthen each other and lift each other. 

And we all have a shared goal:  Zion.   We can't have Zion without each other, and we have got to give each other room to exercise our Agency, and work out our salvation before the Lord.  I know how to help people do this:  love them.  Commandment 1:  Love God.  Commandment 2: Love others.....not just those who are easy to love.  Those that are HARD to love. I need to soften my heart to those whom I find hard to love.  This is my challenge. 

 FairMormon, These Are Our Sisters
President Uchtdorf explains, “[W]hen it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and exclusively appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.” The Merciful Shall Obtain Mercy
I think we shouldn't apply this quote to others but to ourselves, I cannot see another person's heart when they say things online to me or stand in line at temple square - I need to let go of anger and bitterness towards others for their actions and words.
Church leadership has provided a number of examples of Christlike approaches, particularly that of Ruth M. Todd (Church Public Affairs) in her interaction with OW last October as they attempted to gain admission to the Priesthood session of General Conference.8  First, Sister Todd was clear in stating the Church’s position. She said, “This meeting is all about strengthening the men of our church, so this is no surprise to you, that we won’t be able to offer you a ticket or a place to see it…Millions of women in this church do not share the views of this small group that has come and organized this
protest today…And some of the members feel this is very divisive as well.”  Sister Todd then reached out with charity, saying, “Even so, these are our sisters, and we want them in our church. And we hope they find the peace and joy we all seek in the gospel of Jesus Christ.” She spoke directly with everyone she could, going down the line and taking them by the hand. She engaged them as individuals rather than as opponents or outsiders with the assurance, “I am so happy to know you…
Kylee Shields, sister to an Ordain Women member; I Am My Sister's Keeper
I understand having a difference of opinion (I have 5 fiercely opinionated sisters). I understand feeling content as a Mormon woman and not understanding why other Mormon women aren't. I understand being uncomfortable with what the Mormon Feminist women are feeling, doing, talking about, organizing, etc. What I don't understand is the hate.  I am my sister's keeper. It is my responsibility to hold her heart and be aware of her concerns. I may not understand why she decided to wear pants to church or why she wants to go to the Priesthood session, but I can certainly learn about her cause and concerns before I demonize her.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post, Kristine. You have a wonderful blog here, with ideas that need a voice. You're awesome!

    ReplyDelete

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