'Ordain Women' would prefer reverence over backslapping

Friday , March 28, 2014 - 12:49 PM

Contributed, Douglas Donaldson


Yesterday, the leadership of my church released a letter written by Jessica Moody. The letter turned on the idea of “a majority of women.” There was a time when one rather common meaning of “majority” was “maturity.” People entered into their majority when they stopped being minors. I think “Ordain Women” is a faithful group of Latter-day Saint women fed up with being kept in the minors and would like to be recognized for the mature people they are.

A good first step would be for the church to stop trying to put women in their place——those set-aside areas for people who want to nag.

This letter was a cynical attempt to classify these sisters as being outsiders. Ordain Women is composed of caring, contributing members of the church. Many are wives and mothers doing their best to raise children faithful to the teachings and doctrines of the church. Some are returned missionaries and many have dedicated their lives to the cause of Zion. They have a point of view——defensible and well articulated——that deserves profound and prayerful consideration and I’d like the leaders and members of my church to honor that simple request.

If our sisters-in-Christ were able to exercise the priesthood alongside their brothers, sacrament meetings would be more reverent and to the point. Our Lord’s church would be far less supportive of aggressive military violence throughout the world. (Yevgeny Yevtushenko said it best: “Every bullet is aimed at the heart of a mother.”) Reverence would be emphasized over back-slapping during the prelude music. Indeed, I foresee nothing but a vast improvement in the spirituality of the church and a deeper concern for the poor and oppressed in our society.

So, once again, as in the matter of race and priesthood worthiness, my church is coming late to the celebration of equality and inclusiveness that other, less “revelatory” churches have been enjoying for some time. Three cheers to these thoughtful Latter-day Saints and all men should be open to the revelation given when the church was first being organized. “If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.” That’s a gender-less requirement.

Douglas John Donaldson


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