“The number of people who subscribe to these beliefs and values is dwindling, but you and I remain true. We have covenanted with the Savior to represent Him...
We must be bold in our declarations and testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. We want others to know that we believe He is the central figure in all human history. His life and teachings are the heart of the Bible and the other books we consider to be holy scriptures. The Old Testament sets the stage for Christ’s mortal ministry. The New Testament describes His mortal ministry.
The Book of Mormon gives us a second witness of His mortal ministry. He came to earth to declare His gospel as a foundation for all mankind so that all of God’s children could learn about Him and His teachings. He then gave His life in order to be our Savior and Redeemer. Only through Jesus Christ is salvation possible. This is why we believe He is the central figure in all human history. Our eternal destiny is always in His hands. It is a glorious thing to believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior, our Lord, and our Master.
Remember all that the Church has done, is doing, and can do for you and your family. And remember that this is not just any other church; it is the restored Church of Jesus Christ.”
Elder Perry Dec 2012 Ensign
This morning I was faced with a conundrum. Yes, it was back to the whole pants thing. Here’s what went through my head. On one hand I believe in a diverse Mormon woman- one who for instance can chose to have no children if that is what God directs her, or to have 12, to marry or never marry, to be a leader or follower in her community, whatever. I’ve never been shy about promoting this even having a forum a few years ago of diverse Mormon women firesides where we had Mormon women from the army, business, politics, medicine, education, homemaking etc speaking about their faith and relationship with God. It was inspiring and I wish it was a part of every young women’s experience. This type of Mormon woman is to be encouraged, and I believe is encouraged by the leadership, if maybe not the membership of the church.
On the other side I wanted NO part of a protest against my faith. None. Zero. Nothing do with it. You can claim it was not a protest but that feels disingenuous when nearly every article, blog and even twitter posting (ie. hashtag #pantsprotest by founder) is phrased that way. I love my church and I really do feel that women are treated equally within the doctrine of the church. That may seem crazy but remember I do not equate leadership with equality. Also there are things I learned in the temple that just settled this issue for me and I’ll leave it at that. There is no more doubt for ME.
On the other hand a friend of mine said ‘you don’t want to be seen as one of the haters on the facebook walls’ so I felt pressure to wear pants just so I could prove I wasn’t one of the death threat wielding bigots on some of the sites. This did not feel like the solution to me either.
So what should I do? I decided I needed to think of a way to challenge convention a little more subtly and not in a way viewed by anyone or especially by God as protest. I’m not judging anyone who chose differently. This was just my choice, for my faith.
I chose to wear a red dress and bright red lipstick. The whole point of this ‘movement’ was to challenge ‘cultural norms’ and that is what I did. It may not seem like much of a challenge but to me it felt like a bold choice. I normally am pretty tame in the make-up department. I was definitely the loudest, busiest person in the room and it stood out big time (in fact, I should try this in my new ward so I don’t blend in!)
Funny thing is everyone loved it! I got tons of compliments on both the dress (thank you Walmart $19) and the lipstick (although red lipstick is tough because it does get on your teeth easy. Btw, I had this bright red lipstick from when I got my superwoman Halloween costume if you were curious). When it was mentioned or someone noticed, I then had the chance to explain my reasons and every single person said some variation of ‘that’s great!’.
I was reminded today of a lesson my Dad is constantly trying to teach me- there is always a third, or fourth or even fifth solution to a problem, and sometimes that’s the best one. Far too often as human beings we put ourselves in corners where we only have 2 choices and it can feel like we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t (that’s definitely how I felt this morning). My Dad, however, always see’s the way out. I think I channeled a little bit of him today and I feel proud of my effort.
I was an original Mormon, an original woman, today, and I am always seen that way in God’s eyes, everyday.
Go red lipstick! (this could be a thing. Oh no! Don’t want that!) 🙂
Btw- nobody in my ward (aside from men) wore pants. (or my parents or most of my friends wards for that matter. I think #pantsprotest was a big dud. Now, let’s pick up the ashes and try to do something good for the dynamic Mormon women we want to encourage.