Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Rexburg Response to Pants to Church

As we approach the two year anniversary of my wearing #PantsToChurch, I asked the UVSJ editor to search and send me two of the most popular "letters to the editor" written in response to their front page article they blindsided me with. I'll be publishing a response to these two letters tomorrow over at Wheat and Tares.

I wear a skirt to church

Dear Editor,

In our culture, the strongest meaning associated with a skirt is femininity. It is not weakness or inequality. Especially not these days.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proclaimed, “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” It may not be a very popular view these days, but that doesn’t keep it from being true.
Out of practicality and comfort, I generally wear pants throughout the week, but when I want to highlight my femininity, I wear a skirt. That is why I wear a skirt to church. I believe wearing a skirt helps me pay reverence to my divine femininity and the Creator who made me. This reverence is part of my worship. The way I dress not only shows reverence, but that I embrace the revealed truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I do not believe there will ever be a revelation declaring that women will be priesthood bearers. Women already have the opportunity to participate in the priesthood and in priesthood ordinances as much as men have the opportunity to participate in child bearing and child rearing. It is equal.
While the roles are different, that’s the way it should be. God intended for certain roles of men and women to be different because each is a vital role. He wanted us to realize that we can’t do it alone, that we need each other. If one or the other gender had the ability to perform all vital roles in life, it would make it so we felt that one gender didn’t need the other.
The divine feminine and the divine masculine are inseparable. I glory in the creation and wisdom of God. That is why I put a skirt on when I go to church to worship Him.
Heather Duncan


Make the best offering possible


Regarding the thoughtful and thought-provoking Dec. 19 article regarding Ms. Anderson’s wearing of pants to church meetings, it’s always healthy to live the examined life, isn’t it?
Here are some thoughts also to be considered: as vital as love and inclusion are, scripture and prophets give at least as much weight to submission and deference to God and approaching Him His way.
There are great lessons about making our best offering to God, which specifically includes our dress. I, too, have had the opportunity to travel, and am so impressed with the love for God I see among the poor and, in humble circumstances, their wanting to make their best offering to God, expressed in their dress as they come to worship.
There is the point, making the best offering possible. People initially "come as they are" and are welcomed, then progress to come as God wants them to be. A cardinal principle I’ve found in worshiping and approaching God is that we always do so His way, as He asks.
I can only speak for myself, but if I were to approach God making anything but my best offering, reflected in my dress, that would interfere with my worship. It’s never about me.
Someone who hasn’t given the same amount of thought to issues as Ms. Anderson might make that mistake. And since Paul was invoked, he also spoke strongly to the strong in the faith to not introduce behaviors into the church that might be a stumbling block to the weaker in the faith, for the faithful who are confident in their relationship with God to cause a distraction for others approaching Him. That would be contrary to inclusive discipleship.
He also spoke specifically of customs of the day and warned, though obviously transitory, that not living inside those customs could be a distraction for our brothers and sisters.

Greg Palmer