First of all, I want to be clear where I’m coming from. I would call myself a faithful member of the church. I pretty much go along with all the “orthodox” Mormon stuff. I’m not cafeteria. I’m not New Order. I’m stereotypical, boring, Happy Valley Mormon — except that I despise scrapbooking.
Second of all, I think asking questions, searching for insight, and being uncomfortable with parts of Mormonism don’t make me, ipso facto, unfaithful. Nor do I think doing so is bad, wrong, or problematic. In case you haven’t noticed, I have problems with church gender issues and polygamy. And leaders who micro-manage. And serving in Primary. But not too much else.
Third (of all), I would like sincere feedback. Hold back on snark, please. I’ll censor freely.
In my last post, “Shunning the Unbelievers“, a subject came up on which I’d like more input. The idea was presented that if we want “things to get better” we have to insist that the status quo is not acceptable. In my case, for example, if I want gender issues to “get better,” I need to demand that the current situation is wrong.
Here’s my problem. I don’t know that it is wrong.
It feels wrong to me in some cases. It seems unfair. But I’m not convinced that my feelings are really relevant. No, it’s not that as a woman I’ve been beaten into submission, have no confidence in my ideas, or can no longer think straight. (Although I admit there may be other reasons for my muddled thinking.) It’s just that I simply am not convinced that God is prohibited from making rules that bug me.
Rather, I think it’s actually possible that:
- God can appoint prophets who actually do speak his will
- Women can’t have the priesthood
- Men can be sealed to lots of women and women have to share the man
- Having a bad temper isn’t acceptable for disciples
- Men can only marry women
- Women can only marry men
- A sense of humor is good, sarcasm not so much
- Sundays are for worship, not recreating
- Journal writing is important
- Girls “don’t need” the resources boys need
Rather than insisting that our particular hobby horse — or even genuine concern — can only be resolved the way we want it resolved, I think disciples of Christ must be open to the idea that their way is not God’s way. We must recognize the possibility that God can actually proscribe behavior — even if it’s behavior we want to engage in. We must accept that our feelings and desires may not be the ultimate indicator of what is actually good and true.
What are your thoughts on this?