It seems sometimes like the Mormon Church is centered on men because only men hold the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. The priesthood is called a power, but it is God’s power, not man’s power. God owns and controls it, letting those who are worthy use it to do God’s will. Some wonder why Mormon women cannot hold the priesthood. God has commanded that they do not. Though this may seem like an arbitrary command, but his ways aren’t an entire mystery. There are many reasons why women do not hold the priesthood and do not need to.
It is important for Mormon men and women to understand that, when men are ordained to the priesthood, they receive a power to serve others. They are given hard work to do, and the power to do that work; there is no inherent blessing in holding the priesthood, only in using it. A man can never use the power of the priesthood to bless himself, but he can receive blessings from using it to serve God. Women do not miss out on the blessings of service, since women are blessed with many inherent abilities and talents with which they can serve God and receive the blessings of service.
Women themselves are not without power of God from God. God’s amazing power to procreate is given to women, and the vast majority of that creative service lies solely with women. They receive blessings from providing bodies and nourishment for God’s spirit children on earth. The job is not easy, nor does it receive much recognition, but these injustices equal out in the next life. One might ask: If women held the priesthood, what would the men do? They would play a small part in the procreative power, and little else, spiritually. Men cannot do what women do, and they need a job to do in the Church, to grow and to serve, and that’s the priesthood.
God’s division of his power to work and serve on Earth cannot be completely understood. But in the Mormon Church, we must trust that God gives us the jobs we have because they are the best ones to help us grow and make us better. Men need the duties, hard work, and service of priesthood responsibilities. Women need the sacrifice, nurturing, and selflessness that come with motherhood.
It is not necessary for women to have the priesthood for them to receive all of the blessings of the priesthood. Women have the same opportunity as men to enter into all temple covenants, serve God in the Church as leaders, as teachers, or as Mormon missionaries. This week’s Youth Gem tells us:
I hope our granddaughters and grandsons grow up knowing that they are not and have never been third-party observers of the priesthood. The blessings of the priesthood, which ‘are available to men and women alike’ (Dallin H. Oaks, “Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 26), are woven in and through and around their lives. Each of them is blessed by sacred ordinances, and each of them can enjoy the blessings of spiritual gifts by virtue of the priesthood. (Julie B. Beck, “An Outpouring of Blessings,” Ensign, May 2006, 11)