One of the greatest blessings women have is the right to receive personal revelation. In fact, daughters of God are expected not only to pray sincerely, but to learn how to receive God’s reply. As we cultivate our ability to receive revelation, we will better understand our divine identity.
Recently a dear friend shared a tender experience with me. For months she had prayed about a problem of great significance. Questioning her ability to receive revelation she asked for a Priesthood blessing. The blessing contained a line of counsel that brought her immediate strength and insight, “You are a beautiful, pure, and worthy daughter of our Heavenly Father. Why would He not give you personal revelation?”
One of the great complexities of life is to learn the pathway by which we may communicate with the Lord. We know what it is to pray, to pour out our souls as we plead for answers from on high. However, revelation often eludes us, leaving us to wonder if the Heavens really are open to a loving Father who will hear and respond to our cry.
How is the world’s perception of equality confusing our understanding of the vital, but different, roles of men and women in the church? Kathryn Skaggs explains that when we focus on understanding our purpose and identity as children of God, we will better understand that men and women actually have equal roles in God’s plan.
We live in a world blindly obsessed with reinterpreting gender identity as a conniving means intended to minimize the divine nature and specific roles inherent in each of the sexes, male and female; in the name of creating a perceived gender equality. Mormon women, and men, who know their identity, come to understand that God’s work is to make us equal with Him.
The inherent differences between men and women are literally, what make us who we are and testify of God’s perfectly organized system to exalt all of His children. Today, wherever sameness between the sexes is determined, those remarkable differences will be completely disregarded, astoundingly, to the point of utter ridiculousness viewed as progress.
Robert Millet on Women and the Priesthood: Both Women and Men Have Access to God's Highest Spiritual Blessings
Bob Millet understands that priesthood holders are not the only ones with the right to ministering of angels. In his response to chapter 6, he describes how men and women have equal opportunity to pray and exercise faith, and though Priesthood is God’s own delegated power to act in his name, everyone has access to the source of that power.
First, let me say that Women and the Priesthood is a book that the men of the Church should engage; it is a superb treatment of what the priesthood is and what it is not, what it entitles a person to do and what it does not. My experience is that holders of the priesthood will find it both inspiring and instructive.
Chapter 6 reinforces strongly several points that are made throughout the book—that God our Heavenly Father loves his daughters as much as he loves his sons; that men are in no way preferred over women in the eyes of God; that the right to divine guidance and heavenly direction, communion with the Infinite, is not gender specific, and that the blessings associated with the priesthood are available to all of us, men and women alike, married and single, divorced and widowed. Indeed, the highest spiritual endowments of our faith—the fullness of the priesthood, administered only in holy temples—are received by a man and a woman together. When I read 1 Corinthians 12, Moroni 10, or D&C 46, I do not see anything within those sacred teachings that suggests that any woman who has been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost and is in the line of her duty, may not enjoy such spiritual gifts as the testimony of Jesus, faith, knowledge, wisdom, the gift to teach wisdom and knowledge, discernment, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, the ministry of angels, the gifts of administration, tongues, the working of miracles, and surely a multitude of other gifts that are readily available but not mentioned specifically.
Brad Wilcox learned from his own mother that motherhood is not defined by giving birth and staying home because women and mothers provide lasting influence in the lives of those around them. He expounds how men and women depend on each other to exercise the power of the priesthood for good and accomplish God’s will.
On the next to last page of her book, Sheri Dew responded to something written by Eliza R. Snow and declared, “I stand with Eliza” (p. 173). Now I respond to what Sheri Dew has written with the same words: I stand with Sheri.
Reviewing the chapter on motherhood (Chapter 7) brought a flood of emotions because I read it shortly after my own mom’s passing. My mom’s life was evidence that motherhood is not about who does household chores. Mom and Dad raised four sons and no daughters. There was never men’s work and women’s work in our home. There was just work to be done and we did it together. Motherhood is not about staying home. Everyone’s circumstances are unique. Mom taught school during many of my growing-up years. Motherhood is not about just giving birth. In addition to her sons, Mom mothered hundreds of children who passed through her second-grade classroom. Sister Dew pointed out that “the word mother has layers of meaning” (p. 141) and that ultimately “motherhood defines [women’s] very identity, [their] divine stature and nature” (p. 142).
Women have unique opportunities to reach out and have a voice in the church through their callings. Kathy Hughes shares her personal perspective on the role that we each have in building the kingdom on earth, as well as that Priesthood holders rely on the counsel, input, and inspiration women receive in their own callings.
Since reading Sheri Dew’s new book, Women and the Priesthood: What one Woman Believes, I have been thinking back on my experiences as a woman who has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since my baptism as an eight-year-old girl. I particularly have been recalling my experiences as I have served in multiple callings in the Church over many years. My own recollections reflect what Sister Dew’s have been, especially as it relates to a woman’s essential place in the Church.