Sunday morning at our house varies from rushed to completely chaotic. It depends completely on me and how prepared I am. Many Sabbaths will find me with an iron in hand, frantically flattening a pair of little boy slacks (or my own blouse, depending on how many times I change my mind). Sometimes, my boys have worn jeans to church because we can't find their church clothes. It isn't the end of the world. What we wear isn't is as important as being there.
Tomorrow, it seems, there is a group who believe what we wear is as important as being there. There is a 'movement' within the Mormon faith that I was completely unaware of until this week. Mormon feminists. I learned about this through CJane's blog. I then clicked my way around the internet trying to understand what it was all about. (I'm not going to try to explain it here, lest I be accused of getting it wrong. If you're interested in more of the full story, you can read here, or here.)
The group called All Enlisted has asked Mormon feminists to wear pants to church tomorrow. They are doing this as a sign of solidarity. I really don't get it. I guess because I didn't grow up feeling that I was looked upon as 'less than' because I was a girl. I never felt slighted because I didn't get to pass the sacrament or because I had to wear a dress. (Our church does not require women to wear dresses. They only ask that we wear our 'best dress'. I've seen women in everything from prom dresses to jeans at church. No one is turned away.)
I didn't write this post though, to disagree with these women. If they feel they've been oppressed, I can't argue with their feelings. And, now, I've read that there have been ugly things written to/about them. They've received actual death threats. This makes me incredibly sad. While I may not agree with them, we belong to a church that teaches charity and love. How our members can say such things while professing to be disciples of Christ is dumbfounding.
My testimony of the gospel is firmly rooted in the belief that our church is Jesus Christ's church. It is not President Monson's church, or Joseph Smith's church. I believe in revelation and that our prophet is led by revelation from the Savior. Because of that belief, I also strongly believe that the decisions made by our leaders are made not by them, but by Him whose church this is.
So, if the men get to serve missions earlier and longer than the women, I have to believe that there is a reason. And, I believe it is Jesus Christ's reason. I do not doubt our leaders or their motives. I have heard them time and again express their love for women, their respect and gratitude for them. I believe they are sincere.
Yes, women are treated differently. That's because we are different. We have very distinct, yet, divine roles. I do not ascribe to the idea that 'men have the priesthood, women have motherhood and that makes it even'. I do believe that we have very different instincts and natures that began long before we were born and which will continue forever. Do we understand everything about these roles? I don't think so. That's where faith comes in. I embrace the fact that I am a woman. I have complete confidence in my place in the church. I love being a daughter and sister and mother. I cherish the sisterhood I feel with other women. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Our church, as any, is made up of human beings. We are mortal, we are imperfect. I do understand that there are leaders out there that may treat the women poorly. I don't doubt that these women have been made to feel that they are counted less because of their gender. It breaks my heart, no one should feel like they aren't valued for any reason. If they think that wearing pants to church will somehow validate them and their cause, then more power to them.
As for me, I'll be wearing a dress.