Monday, December 26, 2016

Garden Equity Lesson

2 Nephi 26:33 and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

I am a proud father of 5 girls.  While modern LDS women are among the most blessed and free of any women, I recognize there is not complete equity in all things in the Church. When it comes to priesthood, God has designated different groups to hold and exercise His authority.  Before Moses, the priesthood was passed down from father to eldest son. After Moses, priesthood authority was reserved exclusively to the tribe of Levi.  During the time of Christ, the priesthood was given first to male Jews and later Gentiles.  Then following the Latter-day Restoration, the priesthood was extended to all worthy males. But if "all are alike" unto God, why still exclude women from some priesthood duties? 

While, I do know that God loves men and women equally, and I don't doubt that the current Church could do better to foster a more gender-equitable community, we should take care how we go about suggesting and making changes. The recent policy change to involve the entire Ward Council in planning sacrament meetings was definitely inspired. Our Relief Society, Primary and Young Women's leaders have made awesome and inspired contributions. 

While additional policy changes could be made, we should be careful about how we go about advocating for those changes. I was reading and pondering on the Adam and Eve story and was thinking the issues of gender-equality might parallel the garden story.

God put Adam and Eve into the garden both naked and forgetful. Satan was also placed in the garden to tempt Adam and Eve.  Ignorance is bliss, and Adam and Eve were no doubt enjoying the garden until Satan promptly pointed out their shortcomings.  The problem in the garden was how Adam and Eve responded to their criticism.  Instead of turning to God for help, Adam and Eve heeded Satan 's dietary and fashion advice. As we contemplate policy changes in Christ's Church, we need to similarly take care who we are listening to, and correct any shortcomings God's way and in God's time.

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

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