There are many examples in the scriptures of men being witnesses and of seeing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I’m not a knowledgeable person and I have a simple testimony, but I feel that women are second class citizens in this church. Are women allowed to be witnesses or see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? We have to wear a veil in the temple, will it be the same once we depart this life? Will women ever be in the presence of God in the same way men are? Thanks.
Since Eve first partook of the fruit, Satan has been trying to convince the world that women are second class citizens. Don’t believe him. Women are not second class, in the church or anywhere else, this is just one of Satan’s ploys. I counsel you to study the lives of women in the scriptures, and then in church history. You will see a wealth of examples that of the love that God has for women. My suggestion would be to start with the New Testament, the Savior’s life in particular. Sometimes other people’s insights on the scriptures can help enlighten us in our search (though don’t stop there, seek the Spirit and your own understanding). A great resource I would recommend to you is the blog, Women in the Scriptures written by Heather Farrell. Women in the Scriptures
You also asked about the veil. This is something that is widely misunderstood both within and out of the church. A veil is not to hide something that is second-class. Heather Farrell, explains it this way: “The reason you veil something is because it is powerful and the veil is to protect those outside of it from the power beneath it.” To help you understand this, let’s consider some examples.
First, we are taught that there is a veil that separates us from our memories of living with our heavenly parents in the pre-existence. in the Ensign, Bruce C. Hafen said, “Not only does the veil keep us from remembering our past, which we call the preexistence, but also it keeps us from seeing many things that are going on at the present—for God, his angels, and their activities are hidden from our sight.” The Value of the Veil
Here we see that God, his angels and their activities are veiled. They are hidden from us because we are not prepared for them. This is just one of many examples we can find about the use of veils to protect something sacred and powerful. Let’s consider a few more. Heather Ferrell wrote a post on her blog about veils, she said in part:
“. . . in Exodus 34:33-34 we read how when Moses came down from the mount, after speaking face to face with God, his face shone so brightly that the children of Israel were afraid to be in his presence. He had to veil his face while he was talking to them because they couldn’t look upon him. Yet Moses didn’t veil when he talked to God, only when he spoke in front of the congregation. Verse 34 says,
“‘But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.’
“2 Corinthians 3:13 also explains that one of the reasons Moses veiled his face in front of the children of Israel, but not before God, was because Israel was not yet ready for the power and knowledge that Moses possessed. But that when Israel ‘… shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away… But we all, with open faces beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 3:16, 18)” The Spiritual Symbolism of Veils – Women in the Scriptures
Notice that Moses was veiled not because he was second class, but because Israel was not ready for his power.
Another scripture reference is Exodus 26:33. Here Moses is instructed to hang a veil around the Holy of Holies. Consider what this means. That which was most precious and holy part of the temple was covered by a veil.
I hope that a new understanding of veils is forming in your mind now. I’d like to share one more scripture:
And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. (D&C 67:10)
Here it is the Lord who is veiled. When we are sufficiently prepared and humbled, His veil will be removed. So you see K, it is Satan’s lie that women are second class and that veils are somehow demeaning. I’ll close with these words from Heather Ferrell:
“It makes me sad that so many brides today are omitting (or refusing to wear) a veil, because is really an incredible symbol of female power and authority. It has just been so corrupted that the real meaning has been lost, and with it women’s understanding of who they really are and their innate power.” Emphasis added.