I sat at a stake baptism (wearing pants, as is my wont, although I'm not quite brave enough to wear my pants to sacrament meeting) on Saturday, and the thought occurred to me:
"I could do this."
|Image via Book of Mormon Online|
With two excited little girls waiting to for their ordinance, the bishop was nowhere in sight. Did he have a good reason for making us wait 15 minutes or so? I'm sure he did. But everything was already set. The properly ordained fathers were there to perform the baptisms. The properly ordained witnesses were on hand to...witness the proper performance of the baptisms. Really, all that was needed was someone to direct and preside and make sure everything was done properly.
And I had the knowledge, even if I didn't have the authority. So I sat there, thinking about the situation, and how we were holding up the entire stake baptism (there were a lot of children waiting), and if I were allowed to preside, as the primary presidency member overseeing baptisms, we would have been done -- and we wouldn't have been holding up the entire baptism.
So I was rather excited to listen to The Cultural Hall Podcast just up today. It was recorded just before the last General Conference (remember: they "let" a woman pray), but poor Ritchie T was worried about the results, so it took him a while to decide to publish it.
But I'm glad he put it up. Because after this weekend, I really needed something. Validation. Whatever.
It's an interesting discussion, and one worth listening to. A good reminder of the history of women and authority in Mormonism, and workable suggestions for restoring what has been lost -- with interest.