man oh man.

Two posts in one day? Are your minds blown? Good. Because who knows when this will happen again.

First of all, I'd like to start by admitting that I love being a girl. I love doing my hair and wearing high heels and playing with little kids. I love sappy stories and I love knowing that one day I'll be able to create a new little life and take care of it. I love nurturing and teaching. I think all of those things come naturally with being a girl. And call me crazy, but I don't think there is anything wrong with it.

I grew up in a home where equality was supported, where I was taught that I could do anything, regardless of gender. My mom made it a point to vote at every election, to teach me the value of gaining a good education, and of always sticking up for women if they were ever degraded. My dad is always very supportive of everything I want to do. However, I never felt that I had to prove that I knew these things by making a statement and playing on a boys' football team. Somehow I was just very aware. 

Which is why things like this bother me. Have you seen it? An invitation by a group of LDS women to wear pants to church this Sunday as a statement of equality in the Church. Huh???

For some reason, the word "feminist" has always scared me a little bit. Not because I don't think I am one {I do}, but because it comes with such negative connotations. As a member of the Church, I fully support equality between men and women, but I also completely agree that we have specific roles. If you understand God's plan for His children, you know that. But at times I feel like we look at the word "feminist" as women who want to be exactly like men. And for me that just isn't the case.

I've been a member of the Church my entire life, and I've never felt unloved or loved less by God because I'm a female. Yes, there might be a few insensitive people who don't see the equality or grew up in a generation where this wasn't a huge issue, but I believe my standing with God is much more important than my standing with any of them anyway. 

And I firmly believe the times, they are a-changing. Sister missionaries can now leave around the same time Elders can, eliminating the stigma of "Oh, you're 21 and not married? Guess you should go on a mission." I'm currently serving as a Relief Society president in my ward, and I've been amazed at the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders because I am trusted. No one believes I can't do it because I'm a girl. 

I love how C. Jane puts it: "I do think my prayers are being answered, I do think the Lord wants to hear me...express my concerns along with my gratitude. I think He does hear me. I disagree with this statement I heard this summer from a family member, 'The last thing the Lord wants to hear is a bunch of women tell him how unequal everything is'--it's my belief there is no end to what the Lord wants to hear, about anything, from anyone. It's not the subject matter that matters, it's our willingness to communicate with our loving Heavenly Parents. Our entire religion was born because one boy with a torn, confused, frustrated heart decided to ask a question. And God respected his heart, like He would equally respect mine.

And I simply don't believe we are done learning about any of this. I don't think we have all the revelations, all the changes, all the pieces. That's why I will continue to pray for more information--offering gratitude for answers when they come, both to our general church and in my heart. And as I said before, I am committing to waiting upon the Lord in His own time, in His own way." 

I know there are things in the Church that many don't see as equal, and there are things that can be changed, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that wearing pants on Sunday to make a statement isn't the right way to do it. What I think we can do is teach those who don't understand this need for equality, and raise our children to believe in it, like my parents taught me. 

And while we're at it, why not teach equality among everyone, not just men and women? I specifically remember babysitting some Primary children a few years back while their parents were at the temple, and a little boy, no more than 3 years old, came crying to me because another little boy made fun of him because he was not wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt. Where's the equality there?

I really think it can happen, but we have to remember, while the doctrine is perfect because it came from God, the people are not. We are all trying to learn and grow together.

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