{feminine} A Response to "Let Us Think Strait" Part V

Thursday, October 03, 2013

This is part four in a series based off of Elder Russell M Ballard's BYU Ed Week Devotional, "Let Us Think Straight'', given 20 August 2013. You can find part one here, and part two here, part three here, and part four here.

We need more of the distinctive, influential voices and faith of women. Only you can show the world what women of God who have made covenants look like and believe.

"We need now for you women of the Church to know the doctrine of Christ and to bear testimony of the Restoration in every way that you can.

Sisters, your sphere of influence is a unique sphere—one that cannot be duplicated by men. No one can defend our Savior with any more persuasion or power than you, the daughters of God, can—you who have such inner strength and conviction. The power of a converted woman’s voice is immeasurable, and the Church needs your voices now more than ever."     - Elder Ballard

I think the words above really express how precious and invaluable we are as women to our Heavenly Father and to his Plan of Happiness. I want to speak for myself and tell my own story instead of letting someone else tell it for me. When you hear others tell you what women in the church feel or what is happening to us, know that those speaking are only speaking of their own hearts.

Often I think we don't realize how our perspective can change our reality. What we see is real, but the lens through which we view it colors our perceptions. If we feel downtrodden upon or hurt or angry, those feelings will color everything we see and that will be our truth. Likewise if we choose to live our life with optimism then that will become part of our reality.

It's kind of like photography. When you carefully select your exposure, your aperture, the angle of your shot, taking into advantage the light available or supplementing with your own, you are making sure the image captured really reflects the beauty you see in the physical environment around you. You are creating a real image, but adding your perspective to be able to communicate the beauty you are experiencing in that moment in that place. Two pictures of the same reality can come out very different based on that perspective. Both images are real but communicate and evoke very different messages and emotions.

The same is true with all human experiences. Within our human experience and with in our human cultures, people can share the same experiences through different lenses with different perspectives and come out of that environment with very different realities. This is evident in the contrast between vocal Mormon Feminists and the quieter majority of the sisters in the church like me that feel loved and cherished and valued and relied upon by God and the church members.

So I guess my hope is that we can all remember that what both sides experience is reality for those experiencing it, but not reality for everyone else. If we remember that then we can go a long way in understanding each other and really being able to communicate with each other and being to share experiences so that one day, hopefully, each of our realities are a little bit brighter.

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