Our Relief Society and Priesthood lesson for this week came from the Spencer W. Kimball manual and is entitled, “The Women of the Church.” President Kimball expressed his appreciation for the way his mother created a home where service was central to all they did, and explained that his wife created a similar home as well. He then goes on to discuss the role of women in the church.
First, men and women have equal roles, even though those roles are different. We are not to compete with each other. The man does not walk in front of the woman, and the woman does not walk in front of the man – rather, they walk side by side, in partnership, each overseeing their own stewardships. Just as men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks, women were asked to take on certain assignments as well. We all came to earth having made promises to serve in different ways, and just because we can’t remember just what those promises were, we are not exempt from fulfilling them. We are to discover them through fasting and prayer.
Because God is wise, He made men and women different, and He made them to depend on each other to round out our differences. We are to treat each other with respect and not envy.
President Kimball goes on to tell us that to be a righteous woman is a glorious thing, especially at this time in our history. As the earth reaches its end, the righteous woman’s influence can be tenfold what it might be during a more peaceful time. Women have been called to enrich, protect, and guard the home, which is a sanctuary for those who live there and may be the only sanctuary some persons know.
He goes on to explain that Eve willingly partook of the fruit, knowing that her life would be harder, but also knowing that she would be able to have children and to enjoy the blessing of motherhood. It is a choice calling, one we should enter into with joy. There are, of course, women who for whatever reason are not able to have children, and that sorrow is recognized. All these blessings will be poured on your head in the eternities.
President Kimball also encourages women to develop their talents, to become educated, to seek out the skills they have and magnify them. He also encourages us to become “sister scriptorians” so that we may teach those around us the gospel, particularly our children. One quote that struck me particularly – “children may not recover from the ignorance of their mothers.”
He also tells us as women of the Church that much of the growth we are seeing in the Church today is because of the example set by our women. As we go forth and serve, we are setting an example that others desire to follow. We are truly of great worth in our Father’s sight and He values us as choice, precious daughters.