This is a continuation of my list of the most common questions I encounter from people who don’t understand Ordain Women. The question for today is actually a four-part gem:
- You just don’t understand the gospel / how the church works.
- Have you prayed about this?
- Don’t you believe in the prophet / revelation?
- Why can’t you just accept the answer?
Yes, I have prayed about this and sought an answer with an open and sincere heart. But let me counter with this: Have you? So many people tell me I should pray about the question of gendered priesthood and do you want to know what they have most in common? They have not prayed about the question. I believe firmly that if more people would pray about this question—seeking a prompting from the Holy Ghost and our Heavenly Parents—that I would at least receive less hate mail.
I believe that revelation only comes from the prophet. But we have seen the responsibility of members to help move the Lord’s church forward. It is well documented throughout the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and church history. In Numbers 27 we learn of Zelophehad’s daughters, who upon the death of their father and learning that they would be disinherited because he had no sons, approached Moses with a request to change the inheritance laws. Moses prayed to the Lord and received confirmation of their request. I see this type of member-driven revelation as part of the beauty of the gospel and the way our church has changed, even more recently.
If I did not believe in these things, why would I seek change through their authority? I believe that the only way priesthood power can be conferred and exercised is through the proper channels—so I seek it through those channels. I would accept a direct answer to my request as an answer for the moment only, in the same way that the women of my family who were told by church leaders to enter polygamous marriage were later told that polygamy was not of God. We now know that members who shared a sincere desire for access to the priesthood and temple to be expanded to members of color were given multiple “no” answers, until one day… the answer was “yes.” As long as I feel prompted to continue this work, I will continue to reach out to the general leadership in any way I can.