With the lowering of the mission age, the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is doing its part to help train young men for the rigors and blessings of doing God’s work. As part of this effort, Elder Kory Anton, who is hoping to clear things up and return to the mission field very soon, offers his insights to help others prepare.
Believe it or not, sometimes people ask missionaries questions that just seem so obvious that you might not know what to say. Never fear. Here are some tips for dealing with what some missionaries erroneously call “tough questions.” These are all pretty easy when you think about it. Today’s question is:
Why Can’t Girls Have the Priesthood?
Sincere investigators just know that God doesn’t want girls to have the priesthood or He would have given it to them by now. But sometimes descent investigators can seem mixed up about this issue, so here’s what you do: you remind them that men and women have different gender roles. Women get to have babies and are naturally kinder, more nurturing, more loving, and can tolerate being at home watching television while the kids nap before they make your dinner. Men are powerful fighters and warriors who are not as kind or nurturing and cannot stand kids for too long. Women are also naturally so close to God that they don’t need the priesthood, but warrior men need everything that they can get so that they don’t constantly kill everyone. These gender roles are as eternal and unchanging as the commandments and laws so that no matter what culture or time you are in they apply everywhere. Just like how Jesus actually drank grape juice because he was living the Word of Wisdom because it is an eternal law, so women have never had the priesthood, have never blessed or anointed the sick, have never laid hands on people or animals to heal them, and have never been called prophets. Never!
Insincere investigators might say that the view that men and women have essential characteristics is sexism. They claim that gender roles depend on society and that using these roles causes one to pre-judge people and could even distort how you see a man or a woman. Remember that playing the sexism card is one of Satan’s many tricks to destroy the family and the Proclamation, and those investigators are just stony ground where the true gospel seeds will never grow.
Now some missionaries may reject the eternal truths given above. Such missionaries might believe that women getting the priesthood is like blacks getting the priesthood, but those issues are totally different. Totally! Missionaries who lose faith in the eternal truth about gender roles might be tempted to say that they don’t really know why girls don’t have the priesthood. Answers like that make missionaries seem weak, making you seem like you don’t have all of the answers. Investigators must trust that you know everything if you are going to actually convince them that the church is true. Don’t fall into the trap of saying things like “I don’t know” or “I encourage you to ask a variety of wonderful women at church,” since you don’t know what they will say. To be a trustworthy, confident man, you must answer clearly and absolutely.
Taking the above approach is sure to keep you on the solid, sturdy ground of the eternal truths of gender roles and that women have never and will never do any priesthood-like things.
Best of Luck,
Elder Cory Anton