Now and again I hear someone ask when women will receive the Priesthood, which I spell with a capital P to denote that I mean the Priesthood expounded in the D&C as a whole package, including all the covenants. The Priesthood is incomplete without the covenants.
It is true, that a woman does not receive ordination. On the other hand, even if a man has had hands laid upon his head, he has not received the Priesthood, or fullness of it, unless he is endowed and sealed. “There is no man without a woman, nor woman without a man in the Lord,” says Paul. Alone we are not fulfilled, regardless of what some people say…
But we will not understand Priesthood if we don’t grasp what it is and what it is not. First of all, many of us, if we’ve been brought up in the culture where everything is evaluated and rated and assigned to segments, think of the Priesthood in terms of Authority, as in commanding authority.
True, the President of the Church holds the keys to direct the work of the Priesthood, and it is always a he. On the other hand, he will not be called into this position, unless he is sealed to his spouse, who is also his most important counselor. Unless he has been able to create a lasting relationship with his wife, he has not learned the most important lessons in life.
Furthermore, when we say that the man is the head of the home, and at the same time he and his wife should be equal partners, some people say the equation won’t work. On the other hand, if we look at the Priesthood as a duty rather than a privilege, we’ll get closer to what it is.
To me, it is a very serious and persuasive call for me to look after my own spiritual wellbeing to the extent that makes it possible for me to discuss our life and relationship with my wife; it is a duty for me to look at my spouse as an eternal companion and equal in all things, and counsel with her–talk, talk, talk, you may say. Also, it is a way to insert the absent father back into the family. Too many children have fathers, who live in the same house, but whom they don’t know and who doesn’t know them; not to talk about fathers who are completely absent physically, too.
The Church is not what we have the Priesthood for. Family is what the Priesthood is for, and the Church is just an auxiliary to that. The Church doesn’t exist for itself. Teh GA’s have explained over and over again, that everything we do in the Church, we do to support the Family. The family may even be just one person, but that person has opportunities in the Church s/he wouldn’t have in many other places. So-called “hierarchy” is in our minds, if you ask me.
Okay, so now I’ve committed the crime of de facto calling men and women “equal but separate” in a way, and that seems to be pretty much anathema. But there you have it: Wome are different than men (vive la différence!) both physically and emotionally (although the variation from one individual to another can be greater than that of the “typical” characteristics of the groups, this is still generally true).
In the home no strict roles need be assigned, really, because both husband and wife hold the Priesthood, together in the home. Neither could “go it alone”.
I know there are both men and women, who disagree with me about the roles, but I’d say whatever works in the home is okay, as long as you take care of the spiritual well being of yourself and the family. You have equal “authority” and equal duties, when it really comes down to the nitty-gritty; furthermore, the “roles” can change, too!
For background, read the foundational revelations from the D&C, such as 20, 42, 84 and 121. The quote from Paul you can find in his first letter to the Corinthians, chap 11 verse 11. In the same chapter, btw, Paul expounds the equality of woman with man, so read around, not just the one verse.
With the invaluable blessing of the Atonement, which “fixes” everything; all that is unfair will be set right, every tear shall be wiped away and our joy will be full–but not alone it won’t be!