"There is a power in this organization that has not yet been fully exercised to strengthen the homes of Zion and build the Kingdom of God - nor will it until both the sisters and the priesthood catch the vision of Relief Society."
I don't know about you, but most days I feel like I could use a little extra of God's power. I believe Satan is trying to keep us from fully experiencing all the power God has for us to use. He attacks women from every side. We think men have all the temptations - but women are not exempt from the attacks of Satan and his followers.
One of the ways that I believe we are attacked is by the voices who claim that lack of ordination to a priesthood office in some way diminishes a woman's significance and ability in God's plan. I frequently hear people talk about how blacks did not have the priesthood, and then came the revelation - and many are "waiting" (some more... actively... than others) for a similar revelation extending ordination to priesthood offices to women.
What those women (and men) fail to realize is that while black women and men were actually kept from obtaining all of the saving priesthood ordinances - for example, black men could not be endowed or sealed in the temple - women can receive every priesthood ordinance. In my mind there is no comparison between the two circumstances. Moreover, women are already eligible for every priesthood ordinance and power.
But I have written that post. I just feel like it needs to be said again. Satan keeps us from the power God would bestow upon us by distracting us with feelings of inferiority or indignation due to a perceived "lack". (I will add a disclaimer here to say that I believe men - and women - in the Church cause a lot of the misconceptions and bitter feelings about the priesthood - from women who are oppressed and don't care to men who exercise unrighteous dominion, there are those in the Church who misuse and misunderstand priesthood authority (which is different from priesthood power).)
If we can allow ourselves to get past the feelings of maltreatment and really focus on what the priesthood really is then I think we will see the power of the sisters in Relief Society grow in ways that will be surprising to all of us.
Another way Satan attacks is women is by attacking and diminishing motherhood.
If we thought of our Heavenly Mother as a co-creator with God and if we understood her divine role as nurturer of our eternal souls, would we not crave to be like her?
Society and the world would reduce motherhood down to the drudgery of changing diapers and doing laundry. But God's mothers have a divine, dignified role. We are not simply nannies or child care professionals. Our purpose is much higher. It is God's purpose - "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
We are preparing covenant keeping Saints who are ready and willing to enter the waters of baptism and the doors of the temple. This is no small task, nor is it menial or dreary (although some of the mortal aspects can seem that way). I have been getting a lot more enjoyment out of the drudgery as I have come to more fully understand the sanctity of motherhood and what it really means to be a woman.
I have felt overwhelmed and inadequate as I have come to better understand my responsibility and role as a mother. To be honest, I have been scared quite out of my mind.
And then I fall to my knees and beg for help with these precious spirits. The atonement covers all pain. Including the pain of motherhood, and it covers the gaps between the mother we should be and the mother we are.
These are the two major ways I see Satan attacking women and distracting us from "catch[ing] the vision of Relief Society". Men have p*rnography and work, women have priesthood-confusion and mother-demeaning. Satan will do whatever he can to destroy God's plan.
This talk I have been studying by President Julie B Beck about quorums and Relief Societies has been really great. I especially loved this quote about quorums and Relief Societies:
We are not in the entertainment business; we are in the salvation business.
I hope that we can all remember that we do have all the blessings and powers available through the priesthood, and that we can remember how sacred motherhood is and view it with the significance and importance it deserves, and not be caught up in the drudgery.
Have you caught the vision of Relief Society? What is the vision of Relief Society to you? In what ways do you see Satan distracting women from the vision of Relief Society?
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