There is great division in the world of today – sexual, racial, economical, etc. I can understand most of the divisions – why they are there and why they should not be there – except one. I cannot understand why there are so many women who are so upset about the fact that only men hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their arguments simply do not make sense to me.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently wrote an article entitled “Men and Women and Priesthood Power” in yet another attempt to help everyone understand an important principle. Heavenly Father created His sons and daughters with different capabilities and different responsibilities but gives all of them access to His priesthood power.
In his article Elder Russell explains “give key points” about the sons and daughters of God and how He feels about them. (1) The Father and the Son desire the exaltation of both men and women. (2) The Church is governed through priesthood keys. (3) Men and women are equal in God’s eyes. (4) All of God’s children have access to priesthood blessings. (5) The Church needs the voice and faith of women.
Elder Ballard repeated a statement he made in his April 2013 general priesthood address: “In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. … In the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife.”
Heavenly Father told Moses that His work was to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Pearl of Great Price – Moses 1:39). It was God – not man - who established that men would administer the priesthood and that women would use their capabilities to support the efforts of priesthood holders. Heavenly Father has not yet revealed why He organized His church this way. Men and women are created equally and are equal in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the Church, but being equal does not mean being the same.
Even though men and women stand on equal footing with God, they are given different gifts, strengths, responsibilities, and points of view. Man and woman were created as two equal but different halves of a whole; we are meant to complement each other, not copy one another. Both man and woman are necessary to create a family; both are necessary to do the work of the Lord. Each has the responsibility to fulfill their duties in their own sphere of influence. Each has the responsibility to study and learn the doctrines and principles of the Church and to testify of its truthfulness.
Contention and divisiveness come from Satan. He seeks to destroy liberty and freedom by dividing Americans on racially, sexually, economically, etc. Satan seeks to destroy the work of the Lord dividing the sons and daughters of God through contention on the priesthood.