Monday, June 20, 2011

I want to attend Elder's Quorum.

I have decided that I want to start attending Elder’s Quorum. I don’t want the Priesthood. I want to be a part of the Priesthood discussions.

Let me explain.

Yesterday, my husband and I were talking about our respective lessons in RS and EQ. The topic was on Eternal Families. In RS the answers to the questions presented were “prayer, family scripture study, church attendance, service, family home evening.” These are the standard answers I have come to expect from the women in my ward. Of course these answers are accompanied by specific examples of what each family does to shine in these respective topics.

You know the answers, “For our family home evening, we each pick a service buddy for the week. Then each of us has to do an act of service for our “buddy”. We pray about what service we can offer and then go about and offer the service without complaint. It has made our family so much closer. My children are perfect angels who never disobey and they hug each other all the time. We get up at 430 every morning and the children are SO excited for family scripture study. It makes everyone’s day that much better!”

Okay, so I am exaggerating A BIT…But the answers are still the same. The women put on their perfect make-up and tap shoes and dance around the truth in their lives. They say what they think should be said, regardless of whether it is 100% truthful. As long as each woman is perceived as the perfect, righteous, Mormon wife, life in RS is good.

I disagree. Life in the RS room is a big fat lie.

Elder’s Quorum is different. I told my husband what the wives said in RS, and his response, “BULLS***! Their husbands are in EQ and the women are lying.”

He went on to say how the men talk about the fact that their families are all horrible (on different levels) when it comes to family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening. He said their discussion( yes discussions!) focus on topics that go deeper than the “Primary answers”. They briefly talk about how they rarely do FHE, and when they do, it is a struggle. They talk about how family prayer happens most of the time, but never at the same time or in the same place. They talk about how finding a time for everyone to be home to do this is nearly impossible, and that getting up at 430 am makes everyone mad! Then they stop talking about these topics. They move on.

I am jealous. When talking about Eternal Families, the men talk about things the women would never even think of bringing up. For example, when discussing how to be an example to children one of the men said, “It is important to show my children how much I love their mother. I have to show affection to my wife.” This is a standard answer. A nice answer, but what makes it great is that they took a comment and turned it into a discussion! They talked about physical affection in a marriage and why it is important. I am sure, because my husband did not deny it when I asked, that my husband commented that he does playfully grab my butt when he hugs me. My children see this, and they see us smiling and laughing while hugging. They see that we are in love. The men agreed that their children need to see a level of physical intimacy between their parents. Nothing gross: A kiss, a hug, a playful grab. They need to see their parents in love, both intellectually, spiritually, and physically!

In a later conversation the men talked about sex. They discussed the blessing, yes blessings of marriage. And one of those blessings is sex. One man said that one of the best blessings in his life is that he has only been with his wife. Another man agreed. They talked about how they married their best friends. They honor their best friends. Their men talk about how that example is what makes the biggest impact on their children’s views of families. Again, they did not go into any sort of detail about sex, but they did talk about it as a part of marriage.

In EQ they discuss, they share; they are not embarrassed to speak their own truths. They are not embarrassed to discuss their own shortcomings. In RS, we don’t discuss. One person teaches and has to pull teeth to get a discussion going. And even then the discussion centers around the “Primary answers.” Don’t get me wrong, the “Primary answers” are important, but deeper discussion beyond these answers is a pretty powerful learning tool as well.

So now, as a RS teacher, I have to figure out how to get these women to take off their make-up and remove their tap shoes, and quit dancing around the truths in the room! We are all imperfect and we can learn more from each other’s unspoken imperfections than from each other’s spoken perfection.


Kelly said...

I've had this same thought! Everyone in RS is so focused on being nice and PC that we never get to discuss. I'm alway's jealous when my dad talks about the debates they have in priesthood. I don't need to hold the priesthood, I just want to spend the 3rd hour with them.

{ T G L } said...

As a non-Mormon this was really interesting for me to read and to see how the dynamics are different between the women's group and the men's group. Acknowledging imperfect in the home as well as the importance of the marital relationship between husband and wife is key, I think. All projected 'perfection' does is raise the bar to an unattainable height and discourage people from talking about the real issue. And of ccourse, I am sure this is a phenomenon far broader than your faith community - we see it in the media everyday!

In contrast to that stand our Scriptures. In the Bible (for me, this is the Old Testament), no-one is 'perfect'. No-one. Not Abraham, not Moses, not King David, not any of the prophets. They too struggled with the priorities of their family lives. And prevailed in their honesty.

Thanks for sharing!

This Good Life

Faith said...

I am happy that our RS meeting is different.

I am in an international ward, there are people from all different countries and carrying there own culture. The Africans, Asians, Europeans and Americans all open up and talk about the real things, talk about their problems and hard times with their husbands and children. I really enjoy every meeting. There is actually always one person that open up first, then everything and all the interesting discussions would follow.

I love women without make-up, they are the true beauty,and truly confident in the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Because they dare to be who they really are! With imperfect charactor and life, they are still confident that they are dear daughters of God.They do not need the perfect make-up.

Faith said...

BTW, through your posts, I think you are definetely one of those women that is confident without any make-up. Keep it up.:)

I think maybe the sisters dare to open up in our RS meeting because they are sure that they will not be judged!:)