One of my most recent posts was an attempt to honestly explore (or at least ask) the question: “How do faithful members collectively petition our prophets to petition the heavens?” The scriptures and the early days of our church are replete with faith-inspiring examples. How do we do it now that we’re millions strong? The answer – as the events of the last two weeks have thrown in dramatic relief – is that we don’t have one.
Many others have noted the fact of Kate Kelly’s disciplinary council arising from (as many think) her aggressive tactics courting media and engaging non-Mormons on this issue. She has done so (many think) because it’s the only way she was able to actually engage Church leadership. Again, if staying quiet or staying local is not a practically effective means of knocking (and it’s not), and if going public is effective but off-limits (as tonight’s council seems to say), then how do we collectively knock and gain further light on these huge issues? We do not have an institutional answer.
I don’t know if tonight’s vigil was an answer, or if it will ultimately become a kind of solution to our current institutional lack, but it was beautiful. And it was beautifully Mormon. We collectively gathered – an incredibly diverse mix of folks, a poster event of “Big Tent” Mormonism – on the lawn outside of the stake center where Kate Kelly’s membership was being reviewed. Like any event of Mormons I’ve ever attended, everyone was very social, embracing one another, even strangers. There was a violist playing in the background and as we sang – The Spirit of God, Be Still My Soul, Lead Kindly Light. We said prayers, heard devotionals, scripture, the words of Joseph Smith, the words and stories of past pioneers and family, poetry. There was a short opportunity for those who wanted to explain why they were gathered. We tied handkerchiefs to a rope which will be sent to a Mormon quilter and turned into a piece of art.
No picket lines. No media (or at least, a member of the local ward allegedly on assignment to interview folks was all I noticed). An incredible outpouring of love and anguish and faith and mourning and hope and determination. A collective, Mormon petition.
I’m grateful to have joined with my sisters and brothers. I hope that not only the heavens but also our leadership and our fellow saints who disagree with us, nonetheless hear the petition. I hope they hear the faithful testimony that this action was. And I hope that this was a constructive move toward a future means of knocking together.
“Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead thou [us] on. . . . And with the morn, those angel faces smile, which [we] have loved long since and lost awhile.”
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 Not that this is news. But it’s a critical and oft overlooked point.
 I feel the need to give some rather important disclaimers. First, I was not there representing Times & Seasons. Nor am I writing this as a post representing Times & Seasons. Times & Seasons is an almost absurdly diverse group of bloggers (at least in the context of the bloggernacle). Our opinions on the Ordain Women movement specifically and women’s issues more generally are just as divided as our opinions on politics, BYU sports, the three hour block, and jello. Next: I’m not a member of the Ordain Women movement, nor do I plan to become one. This is an important point for me, and is part of why I was so moved by tonights event and the array or souls who gathered. Among other reasons I was there to mourn with those that mourn – as we all strive to do – and to honor the righteousness of those I see striving as Abraham to obtain the greater happiness and peace and rest and blessing and right and knowledge and instructions and heritage of their fathers.