I would like to address a sensitive topic.
The topic of women and the Priesthood. I hope to do so with love and understanding.
I have no desire to get "political" in this blog, but my audience for this blog is full of women who may be personally struggling with the effects of pornography addiction on the worthiness of their husband to perform priesthood duties.
I feel that I have valid opinions on this subject as a convert to the Church, as a woman who was single and did not have a priesthood holder in her home, and as a woman who sometimes has to look outside of her own home for priesthood help even after marrying a priesthood holder.
I have read some very thoughtful and beautifully expressed views by women who seek the priesthood and I respect these women greatly. From what I have seen they are faithful, loyal, good women who are frustrated with some aspects of their current circumstances. I love these women.
Some concerns raised include giving children blessings in time of illness, and having someone to bless and prepare the sacrament. These are extremely valid concerns that are even more of an issue when you get to areas of the world that have very small Latter Day Saint populations.
If the question is that of priesthood power, then it is vital to recognize that when a blessing is pronounced, it is predicated upon the faith and worthiness of the one receiving it. Wherein lies the true power then? Not with the one who is the conduit of the power, but rather with the one who receives it and acts upon it.
If I take the sacrament and then do not act upon that covenant that I just renewed, what value is the sacrament to me and my eternal progress?
With these thoughts in mind, where does this path of logic lead us? If the power is in the individual who is claiming promised blessings, where is the lack of power? The power of the priesthood is in me, it is in my life and it is fueled by my own faith. If I feel the need to be blessed or to ask for blessings on a loved one, I can do that directly with Heavenly Father. If I were to have to miss the sacrament due to the failings of priesthood holders around me, would I be any less worthy of its promised blessings? The sacrament is an outward symbol of an inner covenant driven by faith.
I have had some very tender, personal, sacred experiences calling upon the priesthood power in solitude with my Father. I know a good man who knelt in prayer and pronounced a blessing upon his sick daughter who was thousands of miles away. The priesthood cannot be contained if one has true faith. Think of the brother of Jared. Think of thousands of African saints who waited patiently, in faith.
I am reminded of a story I heard, that I wish I could locate, regarding a faithful man who lived in a country that would not allow the Church access. This man kept his tithing until the day that he could deliver it to a priesthood bearer. Was he not considered a full tithe payer in the Kingdom of God until that day? Certainly not. He was a faithful man who did all he could to keep the faith in his individual circumstances. And I am certain he received the blessings of Heaven as he waited faithfully.
Another aspect I'd like you to consider is that of the men. I do not want to sound sexist or condescending, but I have often thought that the men hold the priesthood because they need to. I believe there are many men who would not follow the right course if they were not required to by their priesthood duties and responsibilities. If women were to hold the priesthood, many men would fall away thinking they were no longer needed. And let's face it ladies, we would take over and do everything, wouldn't we? Who makes most of the decisions in the homes and keeps everything running smoothly? It is our natures, our instincts to do so. We need to step back and allow our dear men to serve and to lead. They need to hold fast to their responsibilities and do what is required of them. This is their right in order to grow and learn. Perhaps our desire to receive the blessings of the priesthood for ourselves and our children will be the motivation that our husbands need to seek for righteousness. We must not take that opportunity from them.
I do not believe that my Heavenly Mother holds any less power than my Heavenly Father. I know what I have been promised. I have felt great power personally and I have watched amazing women fulfill every possible role and requirement that the Lord has seen fit to put upon them. My patriarchal blessing tells me specifically, "You
will have the opportunity of realizing and completing everything that Heavenly
Father has for you to accomplish here upon the earth." What more could I possibly ask for? Perhaps the Lord wants us to seek more diligently for that which we want and need and then when we do so, we will find that we had it all along.
The ultimate faith in the power of the priesthood is to understand from where this mighty power comes. One of the things that appealed to me the most when I converted was that to accept the Gospel meant to accept it in its fullness and not pick and choose which doctrine I agreed with. The Savior is our High Priest and His decision is good enough for me.