Friday, December 14, 2012

It's not about the pants

Front View - Kelsey - Navy

After hearing about this wearing pants at church day.  It has bothered me enough that I need to say my two cents on the issue.  Hear Goes:
This Sunday a new feminist group has made an event called "Wear Pants to Church Day."  They believe women should wear what they would like and feel compelled to wear a dress or skirt.  Stephanie Lauritzen is the founder of a a new feminist group called "All Enlisted".  She claims women are not treated equal in the church and changes need to happen.  This event is only the beginning of events according to Lauritzen.  She says in an interview, "We planned “Wear Pants to Church” Day to raise awareness and visibility: to allow Mormon feminists to say, “We’re here, we’re all in this together, and we’re ready to work to make the Church better. We’re faithful. We’re serving. We’re ready to work.” We also wanted a gentle first step—the action doesn’t even break any LDS Church rules."  Later she says, "I am amazed at just how eager Mormons are to profess their faith and their hope for a better Church at the same time. There are so many really earnest, very devout people who do see room for improvement in how our religion is run"

The comment that we aren't even breaking any LDS Church rules,  Does that mean the next action will?  I find the comment that she sees that our church needs improvement on how the religion is run a dangerous statement. Dangerous in the sense that when we make actions to prove that we are right and the church is wrong we could be heading down a spiritual downward spiral.  

As a member of the church I have a testimony that the church is run by our Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus, who I believe has the best in mind for all of his children, men and yes even women.  Women and Men are different and the more that women try to take over men's role the more they lose the divine part of us that makes us unique, beautiful and special.  Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” Eternal principles are the scaffolding the Church provides. These eternal principles are embedded in the doctrines of the kingdom of God and are reflected in His eternal plan of happiness. We meet as members of the Church to teach and learn from each other the principles of righteousness and to receive saving ordinances so the scaffolding is steady and stable as we build our eternal families."  (as quoted in Elder L. Tom Perry's talk) Our leaders of the church are only following Christ and as a church member I am so grateful for that knowledge that they have the keys to lead and guide us.

Sister Sheri L. Dew, who served as a counselor in the general Relief Society presidency, counseled, "Sister, some will try to persuade you that because you are not ordained to the priesthood, you have been shortchanged.  They are simply wrong, and they do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and woman.  We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge 'armed' with power.  The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all the righteous against the powers of darkness.  Most significantly, the fullness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can be received only by a man and woman together."  (pg 128 of Daughter in My Kingdom)

I am so grateful for my knowledge that I am a child of God who is loved and important.  I know that any calling in the church I have is very valuable.  Just as women have the privilege and responsibility to rear and raise children and serve in the church, men have the privilege and responsibility of the priesthood.  I'm grateful for that!  The Priesthood is the sacred power of God given as a gift to bless and strengthen us.  The Proclamation of the Family states clearly the individual roles of men and women as they pertain to our existence here on earth.  When I read that, the spirit confirms my importance of my role.  I am equally important!  Two more quotes to end on that are awesome:

President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) said, “Without the devotion and absolute testimony of the living God in the hearts of our mothers, this Church would die.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled the women of the Church:

“It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord. …

“We call upon the women of the Church to stand together for righteousness. They must begin in their own homes. They can teach it in their classes. They can voice it in their communities.” (both quoted in Pres. Uchtdorf's talk "The influence of righteous women."

I pray we will stand strong and immovable in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That this strength will encourage our children and all around us to be more like Christ.  What will I be wearing to church this Sunday?  I will wear my most feminine dress I own and that's for sure!


  1. Amy Titensor Esplin via facebook: Good for you Heather.

  2. Brittany Carmichael Titensor Great post Heather. I completely agree.

  3. Melissa Keeler West via facebook: Excellent, Heather!

  4. Allyson Hyldahl Tarr via facebook: Read your post and I appreciate your thoughts. Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents and defend this group (of which I have been involved with in discussions and dialogue). I support the pants to church. I do because in an interview with a reporter, Pres. Hinckley was asked about the discrimination against women in our church. Pres. Hinckley's response was that women were happy and there was no agitation for change. That that was why things are as they are. This particular group has decided that letters and petitions and prayers and fasting and discussions and dialogue and articles and interviews with leaders (which Mormon feminists have been doing for 50-60 years now) has not done anything. They are hurting and are pained. They have testimonies and love the church, love their heritage but are hurt by some of the discriminatory doctrines. They've decided to take the next step. They want their voices heard and acknowledged as it hasn't been for decades. They have decided to do as Pres. Hinckley stated and will agitate for change.

  5. Daniel Esplin via facebook: If the women are going to wear pants, then I am going to wear a dress! (and nobody wants to see that)

  6. Dawn Beckstead Bezzant via facebook: I agree with you complete. I am not going to wear pants to church but if there are LDS women out there that feel that they need to wear pants then okay. I just won't be doing it. What I don't understand is that this time of year we should be focusing on the birth of our Savior. I question why this group of women feel that this is the appropriate time to make a stand. Why could they not let this time of year be focused on Christ and being with the people that we love? If these women have been questioning this for the last 50 years then why can't they wait a month to make their point?

  7. Scout Miller via facebook: The problem I see with this movement is that they have not stated any particular things they want changed. They state in generalities that they feel unequal or discriminated against but have not stated in what ways or proposed any definite means to correct the problems they see. They want to raise awareness through this simple demonstration but they don't state any specifics about the issues of which they want people to be aware.

  8. Crystal Topham Coston I think we women are only discriminated against when you look at it from a worldly standpoint. Meaning, the way the rest of the world would view discrimination within any organization. Luckily we know that the world is wrong and Heavenly Father loves us. Equally.

    I used to suffer from many of the same feelings that these women are expressing. I look back on it as a very dark couple of years in my life. After years of soul searching and endless prayer, I came to find peace with these issues. I understand the thoughts and feelings they're having because I once had them too. I feel sad for them because I can empathize. I know without a doubt Satan uses these types of issues against some of us women. He's smart. He knows what can get to us. how to deceive us, and unfortunately for many, he's succeeding!

    I hope these women can find peace and realize how much they are loved, needed, and valued in the church. The concept that equality means sameness is a completely erroneous way of thinking. By feeling slighted because of different roles in the church, they are denying the divinity of their own role. They're letting the world's definition of power and importance define their role in Heavenly Fathers plan.

    So either they don't believe our Prophets actually are led by the Lord, or they believe our Prophets have received direction to make the changes these women wish to see and are just choosing to ignore it. Which is it? Either way, they're not sustaining him. And not by wearing pants...that doesn't even matter. By pushing for the priesthood (just watch..that's where it's heading for many).

    Great blog post Heather.

  9. Heather Titensor Overly via facebook: Thank you Crystal Topham Coston I love your comments. I completely agree. We do need to support and sustain our Prophet and leaders of the Church. These are the last days and if we are divided among our own it will only create sorrow and more contention.

  10. Heather Titensor Overly via facebook: Allyson Hyldahl Tarr Yes I do think there are women that are unhappy but there will always be people who want things to change to fit their lifestyle. I hope that these women can find peace and realize how important they are just as Crystal Topham Coston expressed above. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not going to change to fit the world. We need to decide personally if we are for or against the gospel and it's true church.

  11. Allyson Hyldahl Tarr via facebook: Many of the changes to the church's doctrines and policies have come about because of the influences of people inside and outside the church. The WofW came about because of the Emma Smith's desire to change the tobacco habits of the male members (the men wanted tea restricted for women if tobacco was restricted for men). The manifesto to abolish the practice of polygamy was brought about due to pressure from the US gov't and Utah's desire to a part of the Union. The doctrine of blood atonement and Adam/God as preached by Brigham Young was recinded. The church's most recent position on homosexuality from being a choice to being biological (all this within a few General Conferences!) as well as it's more compassionate stand comes from the growing data regarding homosexuality as well as the sad and frightening increase in bullying and suicides among gay and lesbian members (and non members). The church has changed it's policies on birth control, IVF, and, recently. surrogacy. Blacks were not allowed to have the priesthood until 1978 but that changed too. There was a time when women weren't allowed to pray or speak in Sacrament meeting. Yet, there was a time when the women of the church gave blessings. These issues have touched me closely and I've followed them. These things change as knowledge and voices in support of them increases. I think the church changes and it grows and it learns just like it's members. I think the women of All Enlisted saw Pres. Hinckley's statement as welcome to stand up and let the leaders and the people know what their feelings are, what they would like to see happen...we have more knowledge. The ultimate goal is the priesthood for women and a voice in the leadership--not just women, but for all who wish to participate and serve. It doesn't change the divinity of motherhood or fatherhood or the blessing and sanctity of families. Thank you again Heather for engaging me and allowing me to defend and support my views.

  12. Megan Lewis Peterson via facebook: Thank you! It's not about the pants! Women have a divine roll in God's kingdom and Satan is trying his darnedest to make us question or doubt that. Men and Women's rolls are different but equally important and dependent on the other. This is another reason why we have the Family Proclamation.

  13. Claire Christensen via facebook: Claire wrote: "The priesthood, really? Wow. Does anyone find the word "feminism" ironic? Shouldn't it be called "masculinism"? And here's another question, if both sexes take on the role of the man, who is going to play the part of the woman? I personally think we, feminine women, do a mighty fine job. We have power and beauty and grace and an ability to make miracles happen with our God-given talents and abilities. We don't need to be exact replicas of our male counterparts--doing the same things they do--to feel and KNOW our contribution to family and society as a whole is worthwhile...even significant and profound! I'd like to applaud the true "feminists" out there."


I appreciate your comments!