December 13, 2012

Stop it

I have decided that I want to weigh in on "Wear pants to church day."  Not so much about the cause, or the reasons or the group, but mostly on the reaction. I have spent the past few days reading dozens of articles and many more comments about the event.  I have seen some eloquently written arguments both in favor and against.  I have seen many not so eloquently written arguments, both for and against.  But there is one comment that I have seen pop up time and time again, that won't leave me alone:

If you have a problem with the church, feel free to leave it.

Well, guess what, brothers and sisters.  They are. "In droves."

But these women, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are questioning the way things are done.  But rather than leave the church, as you have so kindly suggested, Anonymous commenters, they have the courage to speak up and ask the question.  And it reminds me a little bit of a 14 year old boy who had a question about which faith was truly for him and had the courage to speak up.  Or later, when that boy's wife had a question about the rather unsightly habit of chewing tobacco.  I have a testimony that this is the true gospel, but I am also reminded that the Lord said: "I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that I will give; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." There is room for more if we are ready to receive it. 

It doesn't really matter what I think. It doesn't matter whether I think that this is the best way, the most appropriate way to bring these issues out of the darkness.  What matters is that these issues are there.  Rather than disdain, reject or mock these very real issues, which by the way is what brought this to pass in the first place, I would like to remind you of the words of an apostle of the Lord: "
Stop it!
It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters."  (Elder Uctdorf, Apr. 2012)

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5 comments:

Wonder Woman said...

YES!!!! YES YES YES YES.

Show love. Compassion. Understanding. Tolerance, if that's all you can muster. This has all turned into such a mess.

But I agree with you 1000%.

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Thank you for this!

Michelle 2021 said...

I have a limited perspective on the reaction to this, as I am not in the heart of Zion, but from what I've read *unavoidably* online, the reaction seems pretty notably divisive. I have a problem with a movement seemingly designed to be divisive on the Lord's Day, in His house, during His Sacrament, to say nothing of the issues behind the movement. But I do appreciate your thoughts. I do believe in the end that listening is the best solution.

NR said...

Excellent post. A few things I think many who have reacted virulently to this campaign tend to misunderstand:

1. There is a difference between the gospel (doctrine), the church (organization), and the culture (members). Too often we conflate these into one body of truth, information, and norms. We think that objection to culture or norms is apostasy. It is not. Questions about organization and policy is seen as weakness and misdirection. It is not. We think confusion or uncertainty of doctrines or history is to lack faith or testimony. No.

2. Mormon feminists are not a homogenous group. Some may think "Wear Pants To Church" is an effective statement about unwritten dress codes in church culture while not necessarily aligning with other assertions about women holding the priesthood. Others may believe women should hold the priesthood but that "Wear Pants To Church" is ineffective. To put them into a single group is folly.

3. As you so effectively pointed out, closing up dialog about things like this is the absolute quickest way to lead people away from the gospel. Vitriolic responses to this are un-Christ-like at best, and ineffective. I would that more of the membership in this great church could manifest the feelings in this post.

4. I tend to take think that when we believe we understand perfectly the will of The Lord about something, or we think a norm or doctrine is set in stone and the way it has to be, I think this may be a good time to pause and reflect on our history. The Pharisees are a great example of a group quite set in their ways. I think it's in our nature as humans to crave and cling to certainty. But I would suggest that that certainty has led us astray quite often.

Thanks for the great post!

TheOneTrueSue said...

I love this post. Thanks Rachel.

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