Sunday, January 20, 2013

Who Holds the Power?

I know this is a way old topic now, but within a day or so of hearing about the whole "pants" episode, I went to do my nightly scripture reading and happened to be on 3 Nephi 14.  The words in verses 13-23 flew out at me like a 3-D movie:
Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat; Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.   Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; departfrom me, ye that work iniquity.
After reading that, I felt it confirmed that supporting pants-type movements was not for me.  Now maybe some women have that "calling" to lead an participate in movements like this, but I'm not one of them.  

The other day I heard about the petition by the pants organizers to write letters to Church headquarters to ask the Church leaders to allow women to pray at General Conference.  I have nothing against women praying in General Conference; I think it would be great, but an organized movement to write letters?  Sorry, I think I'll stay away.  I believe the leaders of the Church are already aware of the praying discrepancy, and if it is supposed to change, it will.  I can't imagine that Church leaders are deliberately conspiring to hurt anyone in this situation, and I don't think a mass of letters coming their way is going to help things.
Image: Wikipedia
When Jane Manning James (a black pioneer woman) had concerns about her husband not holding the priesthood and about not being able to attend the temple, she DID question.  She even questioned the prophet, but she didn't gather up a band of people to petition for her cause (as far as I know).  She made it personal and plead for understanding in her own way.  I can't imagine the hurt she felt in her situation, but she did not cause a rebellion.

What concerns me the most is the premeditated organization behind these movements.  If there's a concerted effort to organize pants day, then letter-writing, what's next?  I also feel that by petitioning the Church for change, it implies that the power is in the Church itself, when really, isn't the power in us?  Aren't we the ones who can receive direct revelation for ourselves from God?  That does not require the Church.  What influence can I have on those around me?  It does not take the Church telling me what to do to serve others.  What is my personal ministry?  I find that out for myself.  The Church is just an institution to keep Christ's church orderly and to provide temples, meetinghouses, organized missionary work, and other great things. A sometimes imperfect Church structure does not need to cause me undue angst. I control my own microcosm.

No comments: