Wednesday, June 13, 2012

KINDLE FIRE

Brian K.
James 3:4-5
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasted great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
What does the Lord think when we “question” his commandments and ordinances? What are we doing when we “question” His authority as Sovereign God? Now the we in question is us, God’s covenant people.
Doctrine & Covenants 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
 I believe that He is grieved.
Isaiah 50:10-11 Amplified Bible
10 Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.
11 Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame!—walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from my hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment.
The Blogosphere are abuzz with the conversation of whether women should have the “office” of the priesthood conferred upon them. I find this train of thought confusing and distracting. It is slowly becoming a form of rhetoric, which can be insidious, when there are no grounds to base this argument on.
When I was investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I remember being offended at what I presumed was a “male only” situation. I imagined that the women would be separated in the congregation. I had a hard time with it. But looking back I know that it was due to my own lack of knowledge that I had perceived these things.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist church setting and in that realm, no women were preachers or pastors (at least at that time period), nor did any women hold that type of office or designation. However there was a Women’s League, a society much like the Relief Society. They were organized into officers, much like the Relief Society. Women did speak in the Church when invited by the presiding Pastor or Bishop. So there was an appearance of godliness, but lacking the power (of God’s priesthood) therein.  
I also remember struggling with the concept of “all women are mothers”. I have no children and most people assume that it was a “life choice”, not so. I really believe that deep down inside all women want to be mothers. So these two seemingly innocuous “situations” caused for a time, my heart to grow hard around the edges. My husband had been inactive before we met and married, so we came to the church at the same time. When he was confirmed as a Melchizedek Priest, I was happy for him but still confused.
So I asked a lot of questions from some of the best role models I knew at the time. I asked my Bishop, who was extremely patient and thorough. I asked my then Gospel and Principles teacher who was very knowledgeable and I would later find out that he was a good example of what God requires in men holding the Priesthood.  He was a loving husband and father, he loved God and he kept his covenants. He magnified his calling. But I realized after meeting his family that he did not do it alone. Because of his loving wife and family, he was able to be sustained in his calling.  
So what did his wife do that was so important? She is a daughter of God. She is a mother and has chosen to stay a home and raise and nurture her children in the admonition of the Lord. They are one, much like when Jesus stated that “I and my Father are one”. They are one in heart and purpose, one in the everlasting covenant of marriage, one in family. I know we have heard this all before, and to some these facts may be a hard pill to swallow in this day and age. This isn’t modern thinking is it?  Why is it hard? Maybe because some may have some hardness around their hearts, but I feel it may boil down to obedience.
Remember, the children of Israel and even the Nephites complained to God that they wanted to be “like everybody else.” The children of Israel wanted a King and the Nephites wanted Judges. The “world” has allowed women in some religious denominations to become pastors, priests and even rabbis. I feel that it is for some a form of validation, but I would ask, what does it validate? I believe that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the validation should come from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The validation is that we have been freed from the bondage of “death” and hopelessness. The validation is that we have our agency intact and we can choose whom we will serve, but it’s up to us to make the best choice.   
Hugh B. Brown
“Both priesthood and motherhood, if they are to be honored and magnified, must bear the hallmark of service—service sanctified and glorified by love. Hence, neither the man nor the woman should envy the role of the other, but recognize it as a counterpart and complement of their own rule. We must go forward hand in hand and heart to heart as we face the challenging but glorious responsibilities of life.” (Continuing the Quest [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1961], 6 - 7.)
 When my husband and I were sealed in the temple; sealed into the everlasting covenant of marriage,there is a part of the sealing ceremony where you look into a mirror, and the mirror reflects indefinitely. We are pronounced man and wife, gods and goddess, priests and priestess. I thought about that, and I realized that in this pronouncement, it is a future goal. The everlasting covenant of marriage is the priesthood. This is a shared opportunity and the responsibility is awesome and daunting. It is hard to sustain a good marriage, in the world Satan has stepped up his offensive against not only families, but on men and women and children individually. The very definition of what a family is and what is a marriage, and when does life begin has been challenged and rewritten. These issues and more are the “fiery darts” of the adversary. Why is time wasted with arguing about “the equality” of women in the church? We are equal and our prayers are heard and answered the same as men.  
1 Corinthians 11:11-12
11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.
12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
James E. Faust“The priesthood places upon the fathers the responsibility of being the head of the family and the home. What does being the head of the family mean? It is a priesthood power, and the Doctrine and Covenants, D&C 121:1D&C 121, makes it clear that all priesthood responsibilities must be exercised ‘only by persuasion,. . . by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned’ (D&C 121:41D&C 121:41). Holding the priesthood does not mean that a man is a power-broker, or that he sits on a throne, dictating in macho terms, or that he is superior in any way. Rather, he is a leader by authority of example. Paul's counsel to the Ephesians included, ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it’ (Eph. 5:25Eph. 5:25). As Christ lifts us all, so must we, rather than put down women or anyone.“Nowhere does the doctrine of this Church declare that men are superior to women. Paul said to the Corinthians, ‘Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:111 Cor. 11:11). Each brings his or her own separate and unique strengths to the family and the Church. Women are not just cooks, stewards of our homes, or servants. They are much more. They are the enrichment of humanity.” ("The Highest Place of Honor," Ensign, May 1988, 36.)
I feel that if the energy that has been spent questioning the authority of God and his Servant the Prophet could be re-directed to a pursuit that will yield better fruit, such as qualifying for and receiving revelation from Heavenly Father that will help and guide us in our own personal lives, then we will be OK. May we be hear's and doer's of the word.
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