Another fantastic week at the good ole mtc. Well, we were privileged to hear from another fantastic speaker this week… I’ll set the scene so you can appreciate this.
… OK. Sister Zollinger and I, along with our district, head over to the devotional early because lately we’ve been having a lot of really fantastic speakers. So we claim the spots in the 3rd row, front and center, so if it is anyone super ferocious speaking we will be lucky enough to feel their spit hit us if they get super passionate… kind of like how it was when Elder Holland came… But anyways… we are sitting, all of us missionaries, intently waiting to see who the speaker will be, because unlike other times they have failed to announce the speaker at dinner… anyhoo… Then the MTC president comes out and announces that we will be watching Elder Bednars Character of Christ video instead… There were mixed feelings about this because many assumed another apostle was on the way, but this is also one of the very best talks ever. So that was good. So we watch the character of Christ talk, and mind you this was my 3rd time watching it in the 4 weeks that I have been here… so I love it . Talk/movie ends and the MTC president re-enters and who do you think was accompanying him this time? BEDNAR HIMSELF. We all gasped and shot to our feet to welcome him. We all looked like kids on Christmas morning.
He shared a few jokes and we were all beaming up at him like giddy school girls. Sisters AND Elders alike! And because we had just finished watching his talk mere moments before, Bednar opened the floor for any questions people might have. But he encouraged us to ask meaningful questions, saying: ” The best questions are inspired questions- specific to person, place, or time.” And there were many fantastic questions asked.
One sister asked about the very touchy subject of why women don’t hold the priesthood…. When she asked about it, everyone in attendance kind of shrank back a bit because we all know what a potentially touchy subject this could be… especially currently. However Bednar was completely undaunted, and even after going over this topic he came back to her several times to make sure that she didn’t have anything else that was bothering her, he wanted her to understand this concept completely because it is so important. This sister wanted scriptural evidence and references and Bednar simply said: “they are living” and in response to her questioning gaze he continued on to say ” They are living. We have living scriptures- the prophet, and the apostles- you won’t find every little detail you want within the scriptures, some of the instruction we need comes from your “living scriptures”.” (somewhat paraphrased)
He then went on to equate the priesthood to an umbrella. Saying that sometimes we may equate the priesthood with the male gender, but the priesthood itself does not have a gender. It is merely associated with males because they are the ones who hold the priesthood “umbrella” if you will.
What does an umbrella do? It shields and protects all of those who are under it. So too does the priesthood function.
I wish I could draw a diagram through this email of the things that Elder Bednar said… it was all beautiful. Because I can’t draw it for you- like the one I have in my notes- and for fear of confusing anyone about this important subject, I simply want to say again what Bednar said: that there is no gender to the priesthood, however the men of the church have been called to hold the umbrella of the priesthood which shields, protects and blesses everyone underneath: including women and children. The priesthood is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It blesses all of us, and how lucky are we to have people to hold the umbrella FOR us. This does not mean women are unfit. Men and women have divine differences which, when working together and doing their part, bring beauty and blessings. As a woman (whoa I don’t feel old enough to be called that yet..) in the church, and as a sister missionary I would just like to say that I don’t feel “slighted” because I don’t have the priesthood, I don’t think it proof of the church being sexist or anything like that. I LOVE this church and there is nowhere that I feel more respected, loved and equal..And if anyone does feel that way then it is a problem with the people involved not the doctrine or the gospel of Christ…. Women are incredibly respected in the church, they run half of the church within relief society and primary and young women (underneath the umbrella of the priesthood) and though they are different from the priesthood and young men- they are equal. We are all different but equal. And in our differences there is beauty.
I am grateful to those who hold the umbrella of the priesthood- it keeps me safe and blesses me constantly. And under this umbrella I have been set apart as a missionary to represent my savior, which is the most amazing and important thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. So thank you so much to those of you who hold and honor your priesthood.
Along those lines Elder Bednar talked about spiritual gifts, in particular was love but this can be applied to every spiritual gift, and potentially priesthood.- “(love) is a spiritual gift- we never receive a spiritual gift because we want to, but because God trusts us with that gift to be in the right place at the right time.”
I wish I could send you every word that Elder Bednar was able to share with us, each word was meaningful and insightful. I hope what I was able to furiously type in this short amount of time may help any of you who might read this… This part of the talk about the priesthood made me think a lot. I love this work, and I am so very grateful that I am a missionary at the MTC at this time when so many wonderful speakers come and share their wisdom with us, it really makes all of us excited to enter the field of labor. I cannot wait till I get to Albania. I love being a missionary. I love you all wherever you may be.
Love, Motra Kollmën
ps. another good quote from another devotional with Elder Evans of the 70 : ” Every person you meet is within your purpose” LOVE THIS. We need to talk to everyone we possible can as missionaries. I am still confined to the MTC and my “investigators” here but my friends already out abroad on your missions, Talk to everyone you can! you never know who the lord has helped prepare!