Monday, March 29, 2010

The Priesthood

Life was full on new things to adjust to in our new town. There were lots of people and living in the "city" made me feel small. I had never been in a mall which I found to be overstimulating and overwhelming. The new ward we were in was also vastly different. No longer was I sitting in a small one room church with all the blue haired ladies, but was now surrounded by large young families with lots of children and loads of church activities. I started going to Relief Society on Wednesday nights with my mom and sister. There were many Sunday school rooms and a large Chapel. It kind of reminded me of the Ward we attended in Missouri.

There were church youth dances and the young boys were obtaining their Priesthood holdings.
Boys become Deacons when they are 12 and at that point are "over"  their mothers in their homes because they hold the Power and Authority of God. 

(Here is the hierarchy and privileges of the Priesthood holdings in the LDS Church if you're interested. I won't bore you with the details).

Now older members of the Church may be  able to "explain" the reasoning behind this, but 12 year old boys do not have the maturity to handle holding the responsibility of acting on God's behalf without a little ego of their own in there. Which.rubbed.me.the.wrong.way.

In Sunday school I would ask the tough questions because I was simply fed up.

WHY can't girls hold the Priesthood?

"Because you are a Daughter of Eve and have the honor, privilege and responsibility to bring spirit children to this earth who are waiting for a body. Boys can't do that".

Well... WHY can't girls get into heaven unless their sealed in the Temple and their husband "pulls them through"?

"It's time for the hymn, maybe you should talk with the Bishop".

I smugly know your ass doesn't want to talk about it and I really don't care about the dozens of eyes burning into me because I'm asking. I know, I know... When the prophet has spoken, the thinking has been done.

I feel sorry for my mom because she is single with two children in a Church that says she will not get into the highest heaven without a worthy priesthood holder dragging her up there. (Plus she said she's so sick she has to try pot to feel better. I had to laugh at her lame attempt to tell me she was just "trying" pot). She's basically busting her ass and my chops for nothing.

I'm confused about why I, as a 12 year old girl, can think enough to question religion and the existence of God when fully grown college educated men and women sitting in the pew beside me just accept without question. Faith means nothing to me. Where has God been? When my mother makes comments like, "We need to pray because I can't find my keys" and "The Lord has blessed us" I wonder what the hell is wrong with her. She seems so smart.  I silently berate myself because I'm apparently not worthy to know God's presence (sounds a lot like my mother's own voice now that I think about it). I resolve myself to live the teachings of the Church so that God will find me.

I recall my grandmother telling me she believed in God because Jesus sat at the foot of her bed during a terrible crisis in her life. To this day it is the single comment that causes me to continue to struggle.  My grandmother never lied to me and if not for hearing her words of conviction I would be done with discussions of God for good.

2 comments:

J. said...

my grandmother was my connection to religion too. We go to church but it is all pretty frickin complicated as they believe one thing and I believe really different things/ But there is a part of me that loves the community, the liturgy and the tradition. I have learned to keep my mouth shut unless I really need to speak out and then I do.

Paula, With all my heart said...

I am not sure why the mormon church teaches these things but I can tell you that there is only one way to Heaven and that is to have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and to know him personally. We are saved from our sins ONLY by the Grace of God and nothing else. We do not have to be pulled into heaven by someone else or by our works. All we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ, admit we have sinned, and turn our lives over to him. That doesn't mean everything will be perfect for christians but it does mean that he will never leave us and if we trust him he will see us through the hard times.

Not trying to preach a sermon hear it just seems as though "religion" sometimes interferes with the true relationship our heavenly Father wants to have with each of us.