I thought I’d follow proxfm’s lead, and talk to some missionaries. My chat was about Ordain Women…
Spencer: Hi Alan! How are you doing today?
Alan: Pretty good.
Spencer: Glad to hear it! How can we help you?
Alan: I’m just curious about the Ordain Women movement in Utah…
Kedric: ok. We honestly know very little about it. But we can try to help
Alan: Well, do you feel that women should be given more power in the Church?
Spencer: Well, women do hold leadership positions in the church. The church wouldn’t be successful without women. You look at our prophet, the 12 Apostles, etc. They often say how they are only able to fulfill their calling because of their wives and the other women in their lives. As far as the priesthood goes, God has established that men are to hold it. That being said, it doesn’t put men above women or give them more power. We are all still equal in the sight of God. The priesthood is there to bless everyone, men are just the ones that have been asked to hold it. Does that make sense?
Alan: So, it doesn’t bother you that in other religions, women can hold the same leadership roles as men, but Mormonism they can’t?
Kedric: Why would that bother me? I follow Jesus Christ, He runs this Church. If our personal opinions or social views contradicts what He commands, we need to address those views, not attempt to change His commandments.
Alan: Okay, well, let me reframe what I’m asking….because I understand that Mormonism has the idea of “Heavenly Parents”
Kedric: Yes. Heavenly Father and Mother
Alan: What is the role of Heavenly Mother?
Kedric: Outside of Her existence, we know very little about Her. (…types more, but doesn’t post it)
Alan: hey, you looked like you would say more
Alan: Okay, well from where I’m standing, Heavenly Mother’s role seems to represent how the Church treats its women….they “exist,” but their roles in influencing the Church are kept at an arm’s length.
Kedric: Well, that is fine, Alan. That’s where you are standing, I suppose. That hasn’t been my experience at all. We are warned in the scriptures several times not to counsel the Lord. This Church is His Kingdom. As a Kingdom, we do our best to carry things out in His way. It is up to us to make our opinions in line with His, not try to change His. We need to be going, Alan, but have a great day.
Alan: Now, wait a moment. I though missionary service was not just about teaching, but also learning
Alan: not learning to “counsel the Lord,” but learning about how people view the Church
Alan: anyway, bye
I opened another window and got a female missionary, but that conversation went weird, but was rather informative about how technological proselytizing is really problematic for the Church:
Holly: Hi Alan, how are you?
Alan: Pretty good.
Alan: I just talked to a couple of male missionaries…about Ordain Women in Utah
Holly: Okay, and how can we help you?
Alan: Well, I guess I’m just interested in how younger Mormons think about the issue
Holly: So if you already chatted with missionaries, what made you come back?
Alan: Because the first ones shut down the conversation pretty quickly
Alan: I asked whether they thought women should have more power in the Church
Alan: and then I asked about the idea of Heavenly Mother, and suggested that the Church seems to treat women like it treats Her
Holly: Okay, well yeah, the church treats them sacredly, just like they treat Heavenly Mother sacredly
Alan: If you’re interested, I can give you some perspective about myself
Alan: I was raised Mormon, and my mother is quite Mormon
Holly: Nah, We aren’t interested in that
Alan: Really? lol
Holly: but we would love to help answer questions you have
Holly: and provide an opportunity for you to learn more for yourself
Alan: how can you answer questions people have without knowing where those questions are coming from…lol
Holly: Well we feel that we know you enough to answer your questions
Alan: how can you know me? i’m text in a chat window…
Holly: because we have been chatting now for ten minutes, we have learned a lot. So how can we help you?
Alan:should i close the window, or are you still typing?
Holly: Why would you close the window? Sorry this new chat system says that we are typing even when we are not sometimes
Alan: well, i don’t ask about women’s power in the Church to be a nuisance…I’m just curious if the Church is going to move in a different direction.
Alan: and I see the perspective of young people as an indication of that
Alan: but i suppose missionaries are the wrong young people to ask, because they’re not allowed to talk about their own perspectives
Holly: This church is Christ’s church that He established, it holds the authority that He held. That authority can only be held by worthy males, so no, the church is not going to move in another direction.
Holly: We are all equal, we are all promised the exact same blessings
Alan: All equal in heavenly terms, but at the end of the day, men hold the ropes, and that has real-life consequences
Holly: See, and that is where you haven’t done your “research” because that is not true. You said you were raised mormon and your mother is mormon, are you not mormon anymore?
Alan: well, my mother would agree with you, lol
Alan: and now you’re asking about my background….i thought you knew me, haha
Holly: you know, this isn’t a place to argue, this is why the other missionaries ended the chat. We are just trying to help you.
Alan: all right, but surely you understand that people are dynamic creatures, and they don’t just come in here as empty vessels
Alan: you say i’m “arguing,” but you’re the one who said you “know” me when you don’t. how can you not expect me to be defensive?
Holly: I am sorry you feel that way. I just said that we knew enough. You know, the purpose of this chat is to receive answers to questions pertaining to basic beliefs of the church, and to provide opportunities to learn more. But you know, that is not what you are doing, so we are going to have to end the chat unfortunately. We hope that you will just ponder this issue yourself, and ask God, because coming here is not appropriate. We hope that you will ask God about this issue, and trust His answer because we know He will answer you. Also feel free to watch General Conference, I am sure that there is something that we be said that is specifically for you. Have a great day.
Alan: then maybe you all should change the interface, cuz it says: “Do you have a question, want to know more, or just want to talk about the gospel?”
Alan: i’ve talked to missionaries before and talked to them about these issues more deeply
Alan: it seems like on the internet, there’s less willingness to do that
Holly: But this isn’t the Gospel, this is a human-interpreted issue that doesn’t pertain to salvation. Please refrain from coming back, have a wonderful day. Also feel free to go to lds.org. Thanks, bye!
[The chat session has ended.]