One of the things that attracted me to the Mormon Church was their stand on the equality of women and men before God.
If all men and women were children of God, it seemed logical that both should be held in equal esteem with God and with His laws. However, many churches teach that men should 'rule' over women. This had always disturbed me a little, and made me hesitant to join any organized religion.
The Mormon church teaches that men and women are equal before God, and that they are (or should be) partners in marriage.
This equality is seen very vividly when a person—man or woman—becomes worthy to enter the Temple of God.
In the Temple both men and women wear white clothing—there are no more rich or poor, no nationalities or other barriers, all come before God equally.
In the Temple both men and women receive and dress in identical Priesthood garments, and both are anointed and are given eternal blessings.
In the Temple both men and women receive Priesthood ordinances that prepare them to live with God.
In the Temple both men and women have the opportunity to actually participate in Priesthood ordinances for themselves and for their extended family.
Once sealed as husband and wife, a man and woman truly become one, and hold the Priesthood and power of God together.
When a man and a woman go to the Temple to be married for time and eternity, they kneel across the altar and hold hands as equals: having both dressed in white Priesthood garments, having both received Priesthood blessings, having both taken covenants and committed their lives to God.
They kneel at the altar in the Temple of God as equals, and then they, and eventually their entire family, are sealed by a Priesthood ordinance to be together for eternity.
This equality is not just window dressing, it is taught at every General Conference by those in authority. For example, recently an Apostle of the church gave a talk on this subject to a group of men.
Here was one of the highest authorities of the church giving specific counsel to the men of the church. I quote a few points of interest:
“As we share these moments together, I ask you to ponder your personal worthiness to use the sacred authority you hold…
“If you are divorced, do you provide for the real financial need of the children you have fathered, not just the minimum legal requirements?
“If you are married, are you faithful to your wife mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another woman that you wouldn’t want your wife to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your own wife and children? Do you assist your wife by doing some of the household chores?... Do you tell her you love her?
“If any of you feel uncomfortable with any of the answers you have mentally given to the questions I have asked, take corrective action now…
“The family proclamation states that a husband and wife should be equal partners… Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.” (Elder Richard G. Scott, Priesthood Session, 10/4/2008)
I came to religion in general with lots of doubts and questions. Since joining the Mormon Church, all of my questions have been answered, and my doubts have turned to faith. If that isn’t proof of the truth, I’m not sure what is!