Commenting on my controversial/popular (also tedious/stultifying) post “Does Gender Matter?” — asking if it’s reasonable to claim both that gender matters enough to make all sorts of exclusions and that it doesn’t matter enough to require more equal representation — led me to describe a long-held frustration:
Men create worlds, men direct the work of the gospel, men bring to pass immortality. Whatever we see God doing are things men can anticipate doing should they be exalted.
What will women do? Will we still be in the Relief Society room asking the bishop for permission to get someone to teach a lesson? I have no idea and know of no doctrine that gives any clarification on the issue.
Given our penchant for avoiding discussion of Mother in Heaven and the historical absence of recorded female role models, I’ve always been unclear about which gospel principles apply to “mankind” and which only to men. Answers to these questions are often on my mind as I listen to counsel.
Last week in our stake conference, our visiting area authority seventy, Christopher B. Munday, called a new stake presidency. In his initial remarks he told us that there was a plaque on his wall at home in England, that said this:
She who sits and waits, also serves.
He followed the quote by saying, “And we also acknowledge the wives.”
Past experience tells me that many women will not be bothered by this. In fact, some will run to make a similar plaque to hang in their own halls. But my spirit just dropped. Having been wondering for years what eternal role women really do have, to hear the implication from one of my leaders that sitting and waiting was a pretty darn good way for a woman to serve just left me empty.
I’m sure many of you see this in a more positive light. What are your thoughts?