I first want to clear up a few facts:
- This is a terribly TRAGIC thing to happen to a person. Honestly, I cannot think of anything worse. To lose the gifts of the Holy Ghost? To not be able to enter the temple? I am constantly granted peace and comfort by the Holy Ghost and I would truly be lost in this world without the still small voice to help guide me. The truly amazing blessing of being in the temple...it's honestly a feeling and an experience I could never have the words to describe. I feel so badly for Kate Kelly that she no longer has the immense blessings that come with being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her excommunication is a very sad thing and reading the letter her Bishop sent her informing her of her excommunication broke my heart because you can feel how genuinely sad he is over all of it. I haven't talked to one person about this whose first reaction isn't sadness.
- Ordain Women, in itself, is a walking hypocrisy. You cannot be true faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, say you fully believe in the restored gospel, and then preach to others about the ordination of women. That's like saying you're a vegan but eating a hamburger. It doesn't make sense. Part of believing in the gospel and having faith in it, is following the words of the Prophet. It's believing that what the Prophet says comes from God. Our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson has said that the Priesthood lies within the men. YES, Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley did say that maybe one day women would be ordained. But has Prophet Thomas S. Monson said that day is here? No, he hasn't. So it's not here. And if it does ever come, he will let us all know about it. Things are revealed to us when we are ready to receive them, and in the Lord's time not in Kate Kelly's or society's time. The prophet will never lead us astray, he will never preach false doctrine, he will always be on the right side of things; as history has repeatedly shown, especially in regards to The Words of Wisdom and The Family: A Proclamation the World. I can say with GREAT confidence that Thomas S Monson has spent many hours praying over this issue, and I trust in him with it.. That's part of our religion; following the man we believe God has chosen to lead us, that is PART of being a FAITHFUL member! As I am sure it is in any religion. Obviously, Kate Kelly preaching to others about the need for women to be ordained is against the teachings of the church, and goes directly against the word of the Prophet which we believe to be the word of God. Of course this is apostasy!
- It is NOT about her having questions about the Priesthood. It's not about her opinion on it at all! We all have questions! Religion and the complexities of the world come with questions. We all have opinions on the gospel and our own interpretation of it. But it is one thing to have doubts, questions and opinions (which are NEVER frowned upon in our religion by the way) it is QUITE another to be teaching false doctrine and leading others astray.
- It is NOT about gender-equality. Women in our church and in life have their own divine roles that are sacred and AMAZING. Men have their own roles that are sacred and amazing! Men will never be able to do what women do. If anything, women got the better end of that deal! More on that down the line...
Now that we have cleared those facts up... Here are four REALLY big problems I have with all this hulla-ba-loo.
- The first thing I want to say is how terribly tragic it is that Kate Kelly and Ordain Women can't see their own divine worth and sacred roles in this world that they would so drastically covet a mans roles! I would NEVER ever EVER trade my roles in this life for that of my husbands. Women get to co-create with God! We get to make LIFE! Who would ever want to trade that amazing and sacred role?! Not that the Priesthood isn't amazing and awesome, but I would never want the Priesthood even if it was offered to me. Men will never be able to do what a woman can do. They are not biologically engineered for it. God made the decision that one of the many blessings for His daughters would be that they would be the ones to give life to His children. I think anyone who has given birth is grateful for that decision, at least I know I am. God also made the decision that men should hold the Priesthood. I am good with that.
- This story is being compared to the September Six, which was a time not too long ago when 6 members of the church were excommunicated for publishing works that went directly against the church, it's teachings and it's history. Kate Kelly, now has done almost the same thing. It's APOSTASY, people!!! I don't understand why you'd want to be a member of a church you don't agree with and only publicly denounce? What is the purpose of that other than to cause strife for others? How many members, especially women, have had to defend their faith over this? I am an ardent feminist and I have had to defend being a Mormon! As if I can't be both because of what Kate Kelly and Ordain Women say. I am here to tell you that women and men are 100% equal in roles and responsibility in our church. God sees us and treats us as equal. We each have different roles yes, but they are still equal.
- WHY IS THIS HEADLINE NEWS?! Churches of ALL religions, ALL AROUND THE WORLD excommunicated members for reasons FAR LESS severe than apostasy. But because it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it's a big deal? As if our members aren't excommunicated for behavior contrary to the gospel and we just made a special exception for Kate Kelly? (Not that we make a habit of excommunication because I have always known that it is the true and real last resort and that action is only taken at the end of the road and is avoided at all costs.) The double standard is ridiculous. As you can read by her excommunication letter, her Bishopric reached out to her SEVERAL times. This last conference was centered almost completely around the roles men and women have and why they are all valuable, scared and necessary. It is obviously an issue that the Church is deeply concerned about and seriously wanted to help Kate Kelly and Ordain Women understand the gospel more fully and assuage their fears and doubts. Kate Kelly did not heed the advice of the church and those who cared for and loved her. She has free agency and, of course, is free to do what she wants. But you can't be in Vegan Club and go around telling people to eat hamburgers.
- The comments pouring in over this are so disturbing and frustrating to me. I feel so much sadness for members of my church who agree with Kate Kelly and who are being led astray from the restored gospel over it. I feel anger at those who aren't members of this church and chime in about gender inequality, patriarchal societies, dictatorships, cults and other very hurtful things have been said around me and to me about the religion I hold most precious. You should never give opinions on something you couldn't possibly know about unless you were a Temple Recommend Holding Member. Don't criticize what you don't understand, what you don't know and really what you don't want to know. I wonder how many of those people who gave comment, actually took time to seek out a member and ask a few questions before formulating their opinion. These people who have made their opinion known without so much as a second glance to our church, it's standards and it's beliefs, don't want to know the truth. For some reason, our church has become a bullseye for jokes and for ridicule and it's been hard. Yet we have stood strong, kind and resilient in our beliefs. The Young Women's President released a video message yesterday regarding this issue; speaking only of love, and reminding us to reach out with kindness to those who have fallen astray. Can you imagine that?! Being, in my opinion, thrown into the Lions Den by this woman, but still saying to love the person who threw you in there! Not one word of condemnation has come from the Church. Just love and a whole lot of sadness. I aspire to be on that line of thinking, caring and understanding.
The most important thing I want you to take from this post? I am a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have never wanted the Priesthood. I have never felt less then the men our church. I have never felt like my roles were of lesser value to anyone. Since rejoining, I have always felt like a valuable member of this church. I have always felt loved and accepted. I have always been told hold valuable and how strong women are. In fact our Sunday School lesson a few weeks ago was on the strength and value of the Pioneer women! It has never been frowned upon to have questions or doubts. I am sure everyone in every religion has doubts. There has always and will always be someone (or several people!) there for those who have questions and doubts to help answer the questions and help build their testimony the best they can. I know this to be true because I have had questions before and I was treated with love and understanding. Those questions were answered with love and patience. But in the end it came down to me. I had to make the choice to have faith, the center of all religions! I am glad I made that decision. It is constantly reaffirmed to me that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I am so sorry that somewhere along the way....Kate Kelly lost her faith. I am so sorry for the others who followed in her path. Losing your faith and testimony of the gospel...it's a scary road to travel down, believe me--I know. I hope one day they will be willing to come back to the church that loves and values them.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member
Tanika Lee Rice