I watched the recent television special about Mormons and have a few comments to make about it. I must first say that I was very disappointed and disgusted that someone thought it was necessary and appropriate to show sacred temple garments on television! I believe that the person or people who approved and planned this part of the program have no sense of sacredness or decency! At least now the garments can no longer be considered "secret" - but they are still sacred. I cannot help wondering if the same treatment would have occurred if we were a different religion, maybe a non-Christian religion.
I was appalled at the notion apparently held by many people that the best place to learn about Mormons is from former Mormons. As a friend pointed out, when she wants medical advice she goes to her doctor, not her librarian. When people want to know about Mormons they should go directly to active, participating members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or to Church-sponsored websites such as lds.org or mormon.org.
For any feminists out there, please do not hold your breath waiting for the Church to ordain females to the priesthood. I believe I can safely say that it won't happen. As a long-time and very active female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I do not have any desire to hold the priesthood. I believe that most sisters in the Church would agree with me, especially those who have held leadership positions and understand the doctrines, principles, and policies of the Church. Priesthood is the power and authority of God and carries great responsibility, a responsibility that is much greater than I desire or can carry.
As a wife, mother, and grandmother I already carry all the responsibility and power I desire; I am very much aware that there is no way that I could perform the duties I already have if I also had the responsibilities of the priesthood. Women who work outside their homes would have even less time and energy for the added duties. I have served in many leadership and teaching positions in the Church and have attended hundreds of meetings presided over by priesthood holders.
I know that priesthood leaders spend many hours each week serving the members of their wards and stakes - ministering and administering. Every time a family has a problem with a teenage son or daughter, every time there are marital problems, every time there are financial problems, etc. the problems are taken to priesthood leaders. While my son served as president of his Elders Quorum, he had the responsibility of giving financial counseling to numerous couples and/or families in his ward. I am perfectly happy to teach my Sunday School class and then spend my time serving my family and friends!
Another group of people who should not hold their collective breath waiting for a change are those people who think that the doors of our temples should be thrown open to everyone. Our meetinghouses are open to anyone who cares to enter them, but our temples are reserved for those who carry the proper credentials. Our temples are not the only places where certain requirements must be met before entrance is granted; there are many institutions and organizations that require certain credentials for entrance.
When I attended the Alaska State GOP Convention, I was credentialed as an alternate, and I was not allowed to enter the main convention room. My credentials allowed me entrance to the room where the alternates watched the convention on television. When my status changed from alternate delegate to a delegate, I received the proper credentials and was allowed to take part in the convention.
When I worked at
and other military installations, I was allowed to enter the bases because I
had proper clearance. Even gaining
entrance to the base did not allow me to go wherever I desired; for example, there
were places on those bases that I could enter only because I had proper
security clearances. Hill AFB
Our temples are sacred places where entrance is restricted to those people who have the proper credentials. There is no limit on how many people can obtain those credentials, but there are specific requirements to obtain them. A few of those requirements are: being a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being of proper age (age 12 for baptisms and confirmations and age 18 for other ordinances), living the Law of Tithing and the Law Chastity, being honest with our fellowmen, dealing appropriately with family members, and having a testimony of Jesus Christ.
I thought the program did an excellent job of portraying the welfare program of the Church. It seemed to be open and honest without any of the "digs" that usually take place. I also appreciated the responses of the families who were filmed in their homes and daily activities because they portrayed experiences that happen in many Mormon homes.