Representation Matters: Naming Women in the Book of Mormon

This guest post is by Mette Harrison, whose many books include The Book of Abish, which was published this week by BCC Press.

A male friend of mine asked me a few years ago, when I complained about how few women spoke at General Conference, why it mattered to me. “If you believe the message is from God, then surely it’s the same message no matter who gives it.” This is, in a nutshell, what I think many men believe about male leadership within the Mormon church, and to be honest, about male leadership at work, in government, and in the media.

I tried to gently explain to my friend that representation matters, that seeing women speak matters to women because the message, from God, does change slightly depending on who speaks it. We all experience the divine through slightly different lenses. We translate things differently. We emphasize different things. Sometimes that may even go to the point of not noticing some things that maybe God meant to be spoken, and talking about things that God only barely touched upon. If you are willing to admit, and I think even very traditional Mormons have to admit this, that prophets are also mortal humans who sometimes get things wrong or just slightly tilted to one side. That’s why the restoration is an ongoing process. And for me, it’s why we need many voices to help us to understand God.

Sadly, I admit that I’ve been as guilty as anyone of thinking that the male apostles’ talks, even in Women’s Conference placed last as they are, often feel as if they have more “gravitas,” as if they’re tackling the “deep, doctrinal” subjects and the women with their Primary voices sometimes seem like they don’t matter. And that it’s fine if they speak, but we’re not going to have lessons on their talks in regular church because they’re “minor.” (This reminds me of grad school when the Dean taught a German Romanticism class, and I looked at the syllabus to complain there were no women in a time period in which there were so many women writers and the Dean said, “We only have time for the major writers.)

If you’ve ever wondered why there are only three named women in The Book of Mormon, I think it would not be blasphemy to say that someone might have just thought somewhere along the way that the women’s voices were minor. Was it Moroni? Joseph Smith? I don’t know. But they aren’t there, and as a woman who sometimes has to consciously seek out other women writers so that I can see how others write about women as important subjects and not just as the support figures in men’s stories. I started with The Book of Laman and added women to it, but this time around, I wanted the woman to be front and center, so I’m trying hard not to mention a certain Nephite missionary who might seem to be more important than the minor woman Abish who appears in the same story.

In The Book of Abish, it is Ammon who is the after-thought, the minor character who appears in only a couple of scenes at the end of the book. Abish is the heart and soul of this book. Her birth begins the story, and though she is born in a world in which women are not valued, in which her father nearly kills her for the sin of being born a seventh daughter, in which her mother is accused of being a witch, in which many people take Abish aside to tell her that her father is lying when he says he loves her more than he could ever love a son, Abish is the star of this story.

God comes down to tell her father that she is beloved, that she will save her people. She gets married, but that’s not the point of this story. She has children, but that is also not the point of this story. She is a sister who is both hurt by and loved by her sisters, but that is also not the point of this story. This is a story about a woman who saves a whole kingdom because she has faith that God has a plan for her, specifically for her, and that she is so loved that God tells her father and then her in vision what she needs to do. Abish doubts her importance for many years, but the love of God keeps reminding her that she doesn’t have to do anything other than be herself. That is enough. God will use her. God has sent her for a specific reason, and she will be there to do what is needed.

I love Abish because I believe with all my heart that God loves all of us this way, men and women, that we all have a specific purpose, and that we are all here to save each other. We don’t have to do anything special, just wait for the moment when we see the chance, and remember God in that moment.

Comments

  1. Thank you. Well done.

  2. Kristine says:

    This is so well said, Mette. And it’s such a hard thing to articulate–I don’t know exactly why it feels different to hear a similar message from someone who shares my experience and someone who doesn’t. But it does. And I always think that if LDS men could have just a few weeks of hearing lessons and talks and scriptures and hymns that consistently force them to read themselves in, instead of having maleness/masculinity treated as the default for “human,” things would change pretty quickly. My only experimental test of this theory has been programming “As Sisters in Zion” for a congregational hymn when we talk about the Relief Society in Sacrament Meeting. My purely anecdotal evidence suggests that a great many men dislike having to regard themselves as included in pronouns that refer to the opposite sex…

  3. Scott Abbott says:

    Ted Z.

  4. CynthiaW says:

    I have tried to explain to other women why it matters that I am represented at the table in leadership and at the pulpit and sadly many women don’t even care. I think as lds women we are taught to defer to men so often that we minimize our own necessity outside the home and like you said, if someone has the Spirit, what difference does it make who leads or speaks? Breaks my heart.

  5. Kim Siever says:

    I like to interpret the phrase “vision of her father” was a vision she had of Heavenly Father, rather than a vision her earthly father had.

  6. Well done.

    I’m just enough older to not remember _anybody_ asking the “where are the women” question. I’d like to think I learned better a few years ago, but I continue to be surprised by blind spots. For example, from an article I just read about the Library of Congress subject headings system:

    “There are 4,065 subject terms containing “women” and only 444 containing “men.” One example of bias is subjects containing the word “astronauts.” Women are designated with “Women astronauts” and “African American women astronauts,” but there is no subject heading for male astronauts. A book about astronauts who are men would have the general subject “Astronauts,”

    I am curious about what “even very traditional Mormons” believe? I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a ranking system, where the prophet/president is thought to be essentially channeling, the rest of the Q15 (or whatever group it is who pick their own topics) are thought to be second but close-to “word of God” speakers and certainly in the “never lead astray” category, and everybody else–that would include all women, of course–is working in the mortal realm that may get things wrong or tilted.

  7. Another Roy says:

    @Cynthia the LDS women that I have talked to (in general) seem to feel that wearing pants to church, or taking a leadership role, or priesthood is all tied up in usurping the role of their husbands, fathers, and sons.
    Where I have had some small measure of success is in asking if it is fair and right that no woman in our church, no matter her talents or gifts or God given purpose can have any leadership role over men in our church.
    Most modern LDS women that I have spoken to are (in general) fairly content with their lot in life. They do not have any desire to go to meetings, make decisions, and lead people. They feel a little less certain about restricting the ambitions, hopes, and dreams of all women everywhere simply because they were born as women. I guess it is somewhat akin to a woman choosing to be a stay at home mom and loving her choice. It is another thing entirely to say that all women everywhere should be stay at home moms.

  8. christiankimball,

    “Women are designated with “Women astronauts” and “African American women astronauts,” but there is no subject heading for male astronauts.”

    You’ve nailed it.

    We do this all the time at church and it makes me crazy. All women in the church, regardless of calling, are referred to as Sister even if said woman is the president of an organization. And adding women (or woman, probably just one) to a top leadership council in the church required a name change to add “and Family” because we couldn’t possibly let anyone assume that a woman belongs on a Priesthood/men’s council, even after Oaks talk about women having priesthood authority and power.

    I remember an article about the impending breakup with BSA, and the statement said something about Scouting being unavailable to fully half the church’s youth. What they meant was half the boys. Girls are roughly half the church’s youth, but weren’t accounted for at all.

    https://www.deseretnews.com/article/765678271/LDS-Church-statement-responding-to-Boy-Scouts-of-America-policy-change.html

  9. A couple of thoughts on women and men and the priesthood that Another Roy’s comment (10:48 AM) brought back to mind:

    Another Roy says that women do not desire to go to meetings, make decisions, and lead people. I observe that I, as a man, also do not desire these things. In another conversation elsewhere, someone noted that according to PEW statistics, something like 90% of LDS women do not desire the priesthood. How much of women’s alleged desire to not hold priesthood is because they do not want to do these kind of “Church government” sorts of things? If a desire to not be in Church government is enough to justify not ordaining someone to the priesthood, why am I ordained to the priesthood? How might women’s responses to “do you want the priesthood” change if the question was asked in a way to emphasize the ability to give your family and others in your circle blessings? For example, at 2AM with a sick child when you desperately do not want to call your ministering brother to come anoint/seal, how nice would it be to wake your spouse (if he/she was not already awake) and simply ask who is anointing and sealing this time? Priesthood is more than Church government, though Church government can be a big part of priesthood. How would the results of the “do you want the priesthood” change if the survey could separate out those two sides of priesthood?

    On a different note, I have heard it said (usually in jest) that the desire to be bishop should disqualify someone from being bishop. What does that suggest about the potential for that 90% of women to serve in Church government?

  10. I’ve had some success in asking men to imagine how they’d feel if the lion’s share of our scripture were basically Relief Society manuals. Sure, it’s all inspired; a lot of the text would apply; but a lot wouldn’t, and you’d clearly feel that you are NOT the intended audience.
    Yet the converse is exactly what women are expected to do, seemingly since time immemorial. It’s a lot of mental and emotional and spiritual effort that I don’t think men can really fathom.
    And that’s why I personally am in desperate need of more female stories, more female role models, and more female leaders.
    With all due respect to Mette and her talents, it saddens me that we have to turn to fiction to hear our own voices.

  11. Ardis’ comment from this Juvenile Instructor post sums it up perfectly.
    https://juvenileinstructor.org/for-your-consideration-a-brief-musing-on-the-categorization-of-history/

    “Weird, isn’t it? Work that includes women’s voices along with men’s voices is classified as women’s history, when ironically what you are doing is demonstrating that women have been there in our history alongside the men from the very beginning, sharing the same experiences, reading the same scripture, responding to the same spirit. We really ought to classify the old history, the type that overlooks/excludes women, as “men’s history,” leaving the title “history” for the inclusive kind.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 1, 2019 @ 9:49 am”

  12. it's a series of tubes says:

    On a different note, I have heard it said (usually in jest) that the desire to be bishop should disqualify someone from being bishop. What does that suggest about the potential for that 90% of women to serve in Church government?

    Given that, historically, the men who didn’t want to be bishop were, based on their gender, actually eligible to be bishop, I don’t think it suggests anything. After women have had a couple centuries to serve in those same roles, then perhaps it might.

    Until then, statements along the line of “you can’t have it, but you really don’t want it anyway” are disingenuous at best.

  13. I wish it were recognized that women generally don’t want to lead for the sake of “being in charge” or especially for bossing men around. We generally want only to make use of our gifts, and to act rather than to always be acted upon.

  14. Your food allergy is fake says:

    Tubes, I think you misunderstood McShorty.

  15. Another Roy says:

    @MrShorty yes. I agree. LDS Priesthood is very much tied into gender roles. If a woman says that she does not want the priesthood then it is seen as appropriate. If a man says that they do not want the priesthood then there is something assumed to be wrong.
    Mette Harrison says “God will use her. God has sent her for a specific reason, and she will be there to do what is needed.
    I love Abish because I believe with all my heart that God loves all of us this way, men and women, that we all have a specific purpose”
    I agree and I love this premise. Where I believe this goes wrong at church is because we teach that men have purpose A and women have purpose B pretty much exclusively.

  16. pamelaweste says:

    Maybe most Mormon women don’t want to hold the priesthood because it’s never existed as a possibility. I’m 60, and it’s strange for me to think about it for myself, but I believe it should happen. A boy knows from the beginning that he will be ordained at age 12. A girl knows from the beginning that she’s mostly only a spectator –for the rest of her life– and she should be happy about it, because isn’t everything wonderful. In my perfect world, any worthy YW, woman, YM, or man could be ordained if they desired.

    I loved Bonnie Oscarson’s final conference address in which she pleaded for men to recognize that the YW need to serve too. (I was listening while weeding, and I just cried.) The YM’s lessons are very leadership focused. The YW’s aren’t – at all.

  17. GEOFF -AUS says:

    I don’t know what is being shown in USA of how Jacinda Ardern the PM of New Zealand is uniting her country, and embracing all. You probably know she was mormon till her 20s. Could a man do what she is doing? Female leadership looks different and a lot more loving and uniting, if she’s anything to go by. We in Australia have leader envy.

  18. Melinda W says:

    Representation does matter. I’ve long thought that if women’s voices had contributed to writing scripture, there would be some important additions. The sin of unrighteous submission would be paired with the sin of unrighteous dominion. A woman who enables and excuses a man abusing his authority would be cautioned about that sin. Women would be a check on abuses of patriarchal authority, rather than being taught that they’ll be blessed for their obedience, even if the priesthood leader is wrong. I heard that concept preached just recently (again) in a sacrament meeting talk.

    Another place a woman’s voice would have mattered in the scriptures would be in condemning sexual violence. I was appalled to learn that the penalty for rape in the Old Testament is that the rapist has to pay the victim’s father, and then marry the victim. Deuteronomy 22:29. What a horrific aftermath for the victim.

    There are women’s issues that are simply missing from the scriptures.

  19. RockiesGma says:

    We’ve done good, and maybe even better, but best is still waiting for us or the restoration wouldn’t be ongoing. Change makes us leery. We often abdicate our own responsibility to seek the fullness by saying I’m fine with things as they are and if the Lord wants a change he’ll tell the prophet. Many, many faithful members said that pre-1978. Yet the change came only after Pres. Kimball pleaded with the Lord for a long time—he asked, he sought, he knocked. But honestly, it seems for the past 3 years Pres. Nelson and Pres. Oaks have been preparing us to sees things on this particular subject with fresh eyes. And now one is the prophet and the other is his counselor. Have we prayed and prepared for whatever is coming that we have been told to buckle up for in the continuing restoration and the hastening of the Lord’s work on any subject? Line upon line the Lord leads us along, but only as we think to earnestly ask, seek, and knock, and not be afraid of the answers nor the changes and sacrifices those answers will require. Nor attribute them to pressure from feminists or the PC police. (Many said similar things in 1978.) But whatever changes and sacrifices the Lord asks, he doth immediately bless us. I hope we have great faith in that sure promise.

    PS: “Primary voices” is rude and derogatory and sexist. Glory, even when women do get to speak, women cut them down. In the words of then Pres. Uchtdorf, “Stop it!”

  20. RockiesGma, I agree and am looking forward to increased understanding concerning women’s opportunities to become more Christlike as they are allowed to fully express their God given talents.
    I was a student at BYU when Dallin Oaks was BYU president. He called a female English professor to speak to the entire student body on feminism and why we should be feminists way back in the mid 70’s. I was so impressed with him for taking such a position at the time the controversy regarding the ERA was raging. From that day forward I identified as a feminist. I believe the Lord has prepared him and President Nelson, with his obvious love and respect for his wives and daughters and their intelligence and talents, to teach these important truths to the members. I am sorry it has taken so long for these matters to be addressed so directly and for some of the falsehoods regarding women’s place in the gospel both in mortality and in eternity to be corrected. But the Doctrine and Covenants did warn us specifically that sin comes because of false traditions of the fathers. Being immersed in a culture means we have a difficult time realizing exactly what in our culture constitutes false traditions and which traditions are worth preserving.
    As an older person I also can see the wisdom in counseling mothers to stay at home when possible, particularly during my lifetime, when so many false ideas such as having sex outside marriage and breaking the Word of Wisdom, became an accepted part of our culture. Now that the destructive consequences of these ideas are clearer, perhaps women can have a wider role, even with small children at home, without endangering the welfare of their children. I guess I am saying that no one can have it all at any given time in mortality and still love and care for others. As I grow older I realize that men also sacrifice the time and experiences with their children that they crave in order to financially support the family.
    I do feel that many women who are immersed in the endless time demands of motherhood do not wish more responsibilities put on them. But before and after these crushing times, I believe they would enjoy serving more fully. And at all times I believe they would like to have their experiences respected and their voices heard and their votes counted, no matter who holds the leadership position.

  21. RockiesGma says:

    Gail,I didn’t know that about Pres. Oaks when he was President of BYU. That’s pretty cool. You made some excellent points. A lot of commenters have also given abundant food for thought and I’m grateful for the feast. Good post! Good discussion!

  22. I am a woman and a life-long feminist. But looking back over the cost of some of my beliefs, I would modify them.
    The truth is that life is short and the years available to give birth to children is limited. I just finished reading a biography of President Nelson. His medical studies and research took over a decade. If his wife had had the same goals, they could have had only a small family, if any. Her twenties and thirties would also have been consumed with classes, research and establishing a medical practice. She could not have quit work even when the children were born because her income would have been needed to pay her educational expenses and for the cost of setting up a practice. By the time these items were covered, the years to have children would have passed. They would have been an extremely well paid and well respected couple, but at what price?
    I am watching my niece, a highly educated engineer, face these very problems. And I am sorry to realize she can barely find time for her only child, because of the demands of work and commuting and household chores.
    Somewhere in our attempt to include women and allow them space to achieve, we need to accept that mortality is short, has extreme time and energy limits and we can only accomplish a small portion of our dreams and goals. If these goals include children, we cannot have it all. Neither can men who wish time with their children.

  23. I moved to San Francisco as a young married woman in the late 70’s. Women were visible and being promoted at work, not like men, but paid well and respected. Women were proud of the strides they had made and the barriers they were breaking.
    The truth was seldom fully spoken, however. Many families found the cost of childcare excessive once the second child arrived. It no longer made financial sense for both to work and pay for their children to be cared for. The cost of childcare for a third child was not even contemplated; there must be no third child. Women missed personally caring for their homes and families. Both spouses were overly tired when they arrived home. Household chores consumed Saturday and church Sunday, leaving little relaxed time. Truthfully, the cost of achievement was loneliness and despair, not freedom and exhilaration. And children were resentful, desperate for more time just to talk with their parents. The constraints of a single family income also disallowed the wanton consumerism that has overrun our culture.
    I have come to appreciate how traditional role definitions protected men, women and children. Women were not pressured to reenter the workforce immediately following the birth of a child. Men, freed from the expectation of a more equal share of household chores, could devote more time to their careers, usually leading to greater financial stability for the family. When both were at home, the order brought by good home management skills practiced by the wife, led to peace and satisfaction, not competition and strife.
    I realize I am speaking of a reality that no longer exists, but I am disturbed by what has replaced it.

  24. Chadwick says:

    It really irks me when people make the claim that the message is God’s message and the messenger is therefore irrelevant. If that is true, then why not just have President Nelson speak for 10 hours at General Conference and let everyone else off the hook?

    The messenger does matter. Bednar’s voice is not Holland’s voice. Oak’s voice is not Uchtdorf’s voice. Christ chose an entire crew of individuals to be his disciples. If we can recognize such a wide diversity among men, just imagine the value in adding in the female voice.

    This book sounds fascinating and I look forward to reading it.

  25. cjonesey1981 says:

    I love the story of Abish as well… For one, it teaches about the love of the savior that even people among “unbelievers” have – as she did. It also teaches that even no-namers (like her father) can have miraculous visions and blessings and process that the Lord isn’t a respecter or persons… We can all have those experiences even though we aren’t a prophet or apostle. We don’t even know his name but clearly he was good enough to warrant an amazing vision from the Lord. I’m not a woman so I about that I can’t completely understand how it must feel for some, as you, to feel the way you do. At the same time, I do feel that people’s (in general) preoccupation with people’s gender and race can keep them from using that same energy to focus on the general basic teachings of the gospel. Why not use that same energy to focus on becoming closer to Christ, find someone to serve, etc? Do these questions really bring you closer to God and Christ? Life is short. Ok, no more unsolicited advice. Have a good day.

  26. lehcarjt says:

    I generally don’t understand all the comments implying that something is wrong just because a woman and her husband choose a smaller family so that there is space for both of them to pursue their careers and passions. There are soooooo many options for families today.

    And I get the rat-race, exhaustion factor (I currently live in it). But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

  27. Owen Witesman says:

    For me, Alma 7:11-13 expresses why it’s so important to hear gospel messages from people with similar life experiences. I look forward to reading the new book, Mette!

  28. I once observed a counselor in Bishopric announce a sacrament meeting program:
    President Billy Jones of the Deacons Quorum
    Sister Mary Brown, Relief Society President
    President Mike Smith of the Elders Quorum
    The 13 year old boy rated a title but the woman did not.

  29. cjonesey1981 says:

    May I say one last thing? I feel that church is all about ultimately improving our relationship with God so that we can return to Him someday. We won’t be judged on whether we heard a man speak last or first in sacrament meeting. We will be judged on OUR works and OUR thoughts regardless of who or what speaks in church or whether. We choose whether we allow these things to affect our personal relationship with God and others. “Common Consent” doesnt mean that the Lord needs buy-in from all 16 million members of the church before He does something in HIS church. This isn’t “The Church of Frank, Sally, Kristin, Tom and all other 16 Million People…” This is”The Church Of Jesus Christ.” Since May take this as arrogant or even self righteous. But I’m simply stating facts. We do ourselves no good by simply stewing over things that seem to bug us. There are lots of things that have bugged me about the church. But it isn’t my church…I don’t set the rules, and I chose to willingly go so that I can learn things that will help me prepare so I can do well, personally, at judgement day.

  30. keepapitchinin says:

    cjonesey, it seems to bug you that others seek representation. I suggest that you not be offended by our need, and that you not stew over our discussion, but instead focus on learning things that will help you prepare so you can do well, personally, at judgment day.

  31. cjonesey–it’s pretty easy to not be bothered by things that work to your personal advantage… Not worrying too much about common consent is easier when you get extra votes.

  32. pamelaweste says:

    I was bothered that not one sister leader was invited to the Rome temple dedication. I was told that the apostles wives were sufficient as representation. But they are not called. They are companions.

  33. cjonesey1981 says:

    Wow, keepapitchinin, you really turned the tables on me! I honestly don’t know how having some man or woman (I barely even know) speak at church gives me an advantage… I don’t get richer, don’t have a better lifestyle as a result. I honestly don’t understand how Mormons have such deep problems with the church to the point of writing huge blogs and books, yet they still stay. When I stopped looking my former church, like most people, I simply quietly left and find a church I liked. Done. If you have such deep problems with the way the church has always been, you couldn’t possibly believe that it’s led by prophets, in which case, why in the world are you still members? This sounds like heresy to veteran members, but just leave. You aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any good by staying in it. Truly…. You’re not. They’re is no mystical quality to sitting in a church building listening to talks, when you’re so distracted by the fact that it’s a man versus a woman who said this or did that. The only blessings that come from this religion are ones that come from actually applying what’s learned (regardless of who the teacher was). I didn’t learn calculus less well simply because my teacher was a woman instead of a man. Maybe that’s not a good parallel. The point is, learn the concepts the best you can and apply them. Are the concepts truly completely unrelatable and completely unlearnable simply because someone from a different gender taught them? If you truly believe the leaders are so flawed, just leave the church… You truly aren’t doing yourself any good at all (in my opinion). There are other churches that will give you the representation you want and will also tech you how to serve and love others. The only true difference between it’s and them are continuing Revelation from prophets (which you clearly don’t believe in) and saving ordinances (which were set up by those same leaders). Other then that, there aren’t a while bunch of differences in my opinion… You can still be a member of the church and struggle with the word of wisdom. Just get the hell out of the church. It’s easy.

  34. cjonesey1981, Respectfully, your comment shows that you don’t have a clue on these issues. Calling out someone as not believing in continuing revelation because they would like more representations reveals a black/white and elementary understanding of revelation and other people. Especially after you preach to them to focus on stuff that matters. Work on the mote my friend. Work on the mote.

  35. Owen Witesman says:

    cjonesey1981, are you maybe new to the Church? Do we need to cut you some slack for not understanding our history? You’ve heard of the Word of Wisdom, right? You might want to learn how that revelation came about. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pleading from the membership of the church prompting revelation. I mean, men and women asking God for further light and knowledge is kind of how the whole revelation thing works.

  36. cjonesey1981 says:

    Owen Witesman Thank you for your very generous cutting of slack. Brian, we’re friends?

    Owen, so you’re saying we need to pressure the prophet to get new Revelation, specifically the type that says that we need to put woman into more positions of leadership. Once that happens, that will validate any questions I have as to where the prophet gets his Revelation, as it will for any one who struggles with whether he’s a legitimate prophet in the first place.

  37. Wow, cjonesey1981, “you really turned the tables on me!”

    See, anyone can play that game. But, you see, I think I could be your friend. I don’t feel the need to tell others to leave the church. There’s room in my life for people I disagree with. And I believe there’s room int he church for people who think differently than myself without assuming they are apostate. It’s the generous thing to do.

    No one here is questioning the legitimacy of the prophet. You are seeing something that isn’t there. You are attacking people based on this apparition of yours. Perhaps you are doing so maliciously, perhaps naively. I’m being generous by suggesting it’s the latter in your case. So, yeah, I’m actually trying to be friendly. I’ll cut you so slack. Why do you cut the other commenters here some? Maybe?

  38. “I’ll cut you so slack. Why do you cut the other commenters here some? Maybe?” Should read “I’ll cut you some slack. Why don’t you cut the other commenters here some? Maybe?”

  39. “I’ll cut you some slack” should read “I’ll cut you some slack.” And “Why do you cut the other commenters here some?” Should read “Why don’t you cut the other commenters here some”

  40. cjonesey1981 says:

    Wow Brian, I hit a cord, didn’t I. Is it mean to suggest people leave the church if they don’t believe? Do you feel that their salvation is better off if they remain in the church but don’t believe and are constantly criticising the church than if they simply leave?
    I disagree with you.
    There is so much negative talk and criticism on BCC about how the church is run. I think everyone knows these guys are just men doing their best to lead. For me (and others), it seems that if you know someone is doing their best and are truly just as much of a prophet as Moses, then little remarks about whether they had someone of this or that gender do this or that take the backseat in ours minds. I know I sound like the arrogant, close-minded old school church member stereotypes that people try to shun, but think about what I’m truly saying. You know I’m not minimizing women. I don’t make the rules. I’m simply saying, let’s stop criticising the people who do make the rules and finding every little thing we can wrong with them. And no, I don’t support them simply because I’m a man. I’m not sexist. I would say the same thing to anyone criticising the female leadership as well. They’re just sweet, wonderful, hardworking women doing the absolute best they can. I think the ocean of criticism on BCC is bad for the culture within the church. It doesnt help anyone. It’s simply gossip about how the church isn’t doing this or that. How does that change anything or help anyone?

  41. cjonesey1981,
    Respectfully, go to hell.