I grew up being taught that men have the Priesthood. That is why we get chewed out during Priesthood session to be more righteous, living to be worthy of it, etc. We are conferred and ordained to an office, etc. The Church has lately done all of this “clarifying”, one topic is women and the priesthood. This new language is confusing to me because if all endowed members have equal Priesthood power, what is the point of being conferred and ordained? Men’s role as Priesthood bearers is now moot.
All things of God are done through Priesthood Power. To try to deny that God can, has and will work through women is to deny facts clearly in front of our face. In fulfilling the works of God, women have always had access to Priesthood Power through their faith, even if that has not been so clearly taught.
To better understand this we need to understand how God works. God’s house is a house of order and God works thorough small and simple things. One of the smallest and simplest things He does is call men to be holders of His Priesthood. This does not give a man more power. Power comes through faith and obedience. Rather it calls the man to organize the efforts and in many cases be the first responders to meet the people’s needs for Priesthood Power. Sometimes the holders of the Priesthood will fail. This does not cause God to fail or the Priesthood to fail, but it does mean less simple things are required.
Let’s take an example: a father who holds and honors the Priesthood with the help of his wife should be seeing to all the needs of his family. This includes giving blessings and performing ordinances related to the priesthood. Should for whatever reason the father be unable to do so, the family is not left without the blessings of the Priesthood, but it becomes less simple. The mother also has the responsibly to see to the needs of her family. This can and should always include prayers of faith for her family. It also includes the seeking out of Priesthood holders through extended family, friends, or the Church for blessings and performing ordinances related to the priesthood when needed. There can be no doubt that a faithful sister trying to meet the needs of her family is acting in the power of the Priesthood even if she is seeking out a holder of the Priesthood to give a blessing or perform an ordinance.
In the Church the priesthood holders continue the Lord’s requirement to organize the efforts and in many cases be the ones to respond to the needs of the Ward and community. For this to work effectively it has to include the women. Otherwise we are wasting at least half the inspiration, knowledge sources and labor forces. I can’t imagine God would call that a wise use of our stewardship. After all, God does and will continue to work through women as well and men.
So BG, the bottom line is that priesthood holder’s true responsibilities and roles have not changed. Only misunderstanding and falsehoods have been countered. So to close this by following the traditions of priesthood meetings that you pointed out I would like to end by paraphrasing a statement President Hinckley’s father told him when he was serving a mission. “Forget yourself and get to work.”