I testify!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So my friend Bryan sent me a message on Facebook asking me "whyyyy woman arent allowed to to be ordained as preist. and also how the polegamy seperated from us."

How did Laura and I explain? I thought I'd share with you just in case you may have the same question:

It's not that women AREN'T allowed, but that is not the Lord's calling for us as women. Our divine role is to be mothers and bring children on to this earth and nurture them and raise them. Some people may argue that it is sexist, but God made our bodies the way they are for a purpose. In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it says "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." So back to why women aren't ordained as priests, like it says in the Proclamation to the World, women's roles aren't any less than men's, it's just different, but as necessary as the men's roles. In today's world with feminism coming on strong, people would argue that Latter-day Saint women are weak or being restricted from doing other things, but the women of the church humble themselves to accept this role and calling. It's not that women are restricted from what men can do, but we need to prioritize the divine role that God has given us. Don't forget that in our Church, people who are ordained as "Priests" are the worthy Aaronic Priesthood holders and they usually bestow that at the age of 16 or depending when you get baptized and set apart (for converts); it all really depends on your spiritual progression.  
On it says, "Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: 'Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program. Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization. It was started in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith, called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be, I think, the largest women’s organization in the world... They have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world...The men hold the priesthood, yes. But my wife is my companion. In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.'" 
See, when men are called to higher positions as Bishop, Stake President, etc, the wife is almost like a requirement. When they selected by dad for Bishop, they not only interviewed him, but they interviewed my mom too. The wife is the person who is going to support and council their husband because as a bishop or a higher calling, it is an emotionally, mentally, and physically heavy calling. 
As for polygamy, that's a really difficult thing, but this is how it is explained on"President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage: 'This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church.... If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.' 
At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1). At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things (Jacob 2:27-30). 
In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1). 
The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095)." see how it says the "early Saints" were asked to practice it? They discussed this in seminary of what possible reasons there could be that the Lord would instruct this of the Saints...(so this isn't "doctrine", but it's worthy discussion). In the early days of the Latter-day Saints, the men were often being persecuted because of their beliefs; they were being tortured, whipped, mobbed, and killed. When a man is killed, it leaves his wife and kids alone with no one to support them, especially because back in the day women were not considered as "persons". So there were certain jobs that women couldn't have (which were probably the higher-paying ones) and property couldn't be owned under the name of a women, it had to be under the name of a man. So if their husband was killed, they would have no home. So they would need that kind of support. Remember, Pres. Hinckley said above that you had to be authorized to practice the plural marriage. So the men that were authorized to do it were being directed and counselled by the Lord. However, in every circumstance, this not being an exception, there were people who disobey and take advantage of things. Some members of the church did take advantage of plural marriage for their own pleasure instead of duty. Those were the people who branched off the church after plural marriage was discontinued by President Woodruff. They separated as their own church and still refer themselves as "Mormons". As a side not, there is also another church that branched off of us after Joseph Smith died because his wife believed that the next prophet was supposed to be someone of Joseph's descendants. We believe that the Lord chooses and calls the next prophet, not someone who is specifically related to Joseph Smith (I'm just making this point because there are branches of "Mormons" but they practice similar things, but they don't have the right authority OR they're still practicing polygamy). That is why the Church emphasizes the discretion of using the term "Mormon" when being introduced to people. We are nicknamed "Mormons" because of The Book of Mormon, but we are properly supposed to be called members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

After explaining, I felt the fire burning in my heart. The impression was really strong that I had to testify what I knew to him and to his teacher, and I testify to you as well that...
I know the divine role that God has given to women is really our divine role. When you really understand how sacred this role is, there are no thoughts that come to my head opposing it. I was sent to this earth with a specific mission and part of it is to bring children to this earth and raise them with the teachings of the Gospel. In a world that is so wicked, mothers are needed to help guide and direct their children in the right direction. And I believe that this can't be done by mothers alone. Fathers have their divine role to be examples to their children too. How else can they learn to grow up as worthy missionaries, bishops, stake presidents, and maybe even general authorities if there isn't a father to show them how to live worthily of their Priesthood. Part of being worthy for that Priesthood is to know how to love and treat women with respect. Together it is just a beautiful and divine gift. And my knowledge of it is still at a minimum. I am not married and I have not been endowed or sealed in the temple to know the depth of this sacred calling. I also want to testify (in relation to the plural marriage), that when the Lord commands something, then it takes faith to follow. Plural marriage is obviously not something looked highly of, but it takes a lot of courage for the Saints to follow a commandment like that. I know that the Lord always has a good reason for why He commands certain things...all we have to do is trust him. Our Church is not just some new organization that was founded at random. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came down and appeared to Joseph Smith and told him not to follow any of the other church because non of them were true. All of the other church have some truth in them, but they do not have the fulness of the Gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fulness of the Gospel because we have the Gospel that has been restored from back when Jesus was still on the Earth. We teach the same things Christ taught when He was on Earth. We also have a living Prophet to give us modern-day revelation to continue giving us council for the challenges we have in our day. I love the Gospel, and just by testifying about it strengthens me because it's a reminder to me of WHY I do what I do everyday. And I say these things humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

...haha after typing it out to him I turned to Laura and said, "how come I can't do that in person?!" I get pretty nervous bearing my testimony for two reasons: #1, I'm not the best at articulating what I feel on the spot. #2, I always get emotional when I bear testimony and I look like a fool when I cry. But to testify again, I do know these things are true. I just realized now that as I typed up my testimony I did not stumble in my thoughts as I typed it up or even edit it before I sent it to him. That's how I know I have a testimony and that I am directed and guided by the Spirit to testify what is true and say what I feel so that it can benefit others as well. And I say this again in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

- Ariana Rae Limas ♥
live well . laugh hard . love big .

1 comment

  1. Perfectly said Ate!
    As Women we have the divine role also to grow, to get as much education as we can, to develop our individual talents, to better ourselves in all the ways possible, and to serve both our families and all others we come in contact with.
    I want to echo all that was said! I know I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father and that I have a divinely appointed mission on this earth!

    Amen :)


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