Friday, July 20, 2012

The Church and Sexism

This has always been an interesting topic for me.  When I travel around the country for my speaking events, one of the questions I get asked quite often is, "How can you belong to a church that is sexist against women?"  I always answer the same way, "Because I know it's not." 

Let me explain to you why I don't believe the church is sexist.  I know my role in this world, I know my role in my family, I know my role in my church, and most importantly I know my role as a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me, and it's not less than a man.  My role is just different then a man's role.

I was sent to earth as a divine daughter of God.  He sent me here with strengths and weaknesses that no one else on this earth has.  He sent me here as an individual; a very unique individual.  My strengths and weaknesses have nothing to do with my sex.  They have to do with who I am as a Child of God.  

The church has roles for men and women, this is true.  They have leadership positions for men, just as they have leadership positions for women.  People struggle with the fact that the women of the church can't hold the priesthood.  That is a power that is only for the men, and that doesn't bother me 1 bit.  It doesn't make me mad, angry, or frustrated.  It also doesn't make me question the truthfulness of my church.  The reason why is because I believe the teachings of the church.  I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the most perfect church on the planet, FOR ME.  In me believing that, it helps me understand that women not having the priesthood is not a punishment or a way to make the men better.  It's just a way for my Heavenly Father to let me know that he has great things in store for both men and women.  

Each of our roles in the church are completely different.  Quite frankly, I don't want the same responsibilities as a man.  I enjoy my responsibilities that are uniquely mine, as a woman.  I don't want to be the patriarch of my family.  I want the responsibility to stand by my husband, encourage him to make the right decisions, and be his cheerleader when he does.  It doesn't make me less than a man in my eyes.  It makes me equal to any man, just in a different way.

I love being the woman I am.  I love being a homemaker.  Does that mean that I'm not supposed to learn and grow and gain an education?  Of course not!  I am supposed to do all of those things.  The church even states that everyone should gain an education, not just men.  Women should take full advantage of every opportunity on this earth just as men should, but when it comes to family our roles as women are different, and I like that.

I am a very educated, hard working, smart, and passionate woman.  I graduated from college, I graduated from a trade school, I have my real estate license, and I worked until my health didn't allow me to anymore.  I have never once felt like my husband was better than me.  We are equal partners working towards the same goal.  That goes for our callings inside our church too.  We both of distinct, and individual callings in our church, and just because they are different doesn't make one more important than the other.  We both have our roles, and I am thankful for them.  

I am thankful that when I need a blessing for strength that my husband has the priesthood and can do that for me.  I'm glad I don't have the priesthood, because I have other responsibilities that are just for me, and that my husband doesn't have.  Just like he can give me a blessing, I can be his comfort, support, and level head.  I can get on my knees and pray for him in a way that no other person can.  I have a relationship with my Father in Heaven that no man will ever understand.  I am a righteous, faithful, daughter of God, and because of that I receive blessings that no man will ever get.  So even though I am not the head my home, I am the glue that keeps it together, and I'm very grateful for that.

In conclusion, I don't believe the church is sexist.  I don't believe that men are more important then women.  I know too much to say that God loves his son's more than his daughter's.  That is absolutely false, and anyone who says that the church thinks that men are more important is wrong.  Men would not be where they are in the church if they didn't have the love and devotion of a faithful daughter of God by their side.