The role that women play in anything that involves the priesthood can sometimes feel confusing. God allows priesthood authority to be used through His worthy sons; however, it benefits and blesses everyone. As women, do we stand by and wait for the blessings of the priesthood to come to us? Do we get to take part in this important work? We absolutely get to take part!
When talking about the restored priesthood keys, Elder Quentin L. Cook called them “divinely appointed responsibilities.” He said that the key of the gathering of Israel is missionary work, the key of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham is a preparation for the Kingdom of God, and the key of the sealing power is family history work and temple ordinances for the living and the dead. Elder Cook said,
“As individuals, we should do well to evaluate our effort in pursuing missionary work, temple and family history work, and preparations to meet God.”
Do women participate in missionary work? Yes! Starting at age 19, single sisters may choose to serve a proselyting mission. At age 40, single sisters may choose to serve a non-proselytising mission (temple missions, family history, etc.). Married sisters may choose to serve a senior couples mission with their husband. And sisters of all ages are member missionaries to neighbors, family, and friends.
Do women participate in temple and family history work? Yes! Starting at age 12, young sisters may perform proxy baptisms for deceased sisters. Adult sisters, when ready, inspired, and worthy, may receive a living ordinance recommend and make personal covenants with Heavenly Father. After we have gone through the temple for ourselves, we can return and perform proxy ordinances for deceased women. Women do temple work for other women! Women may also be called to work in the temple. Family history work can also be done by women and should be done by everyone. (Here is a great Ensign article about Family History and the resources available to us: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2018/01/family-history-at-your-fingertips?lang=eng)
Do women get to prepare to meet God? Absolutely. This is the most personal and individual of the three keys that Elder Cook talked about because it deals with our own personal salvation. As we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Chris and prepare to enter God’s Kingdom, we deepen our personal relationship with Heavenly Father. We are able to receive personal revelation for ourselves through prayer and scripture study. We can be inspired in service to others. We can pray for our children, our spouses, and other people in our lives. As we serve as missionaries, serve in the temple, and live worthily in all aspects of the gospel, we grow closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
What kind of missionary work have you participated in? How did that bless you? What have you learned from doing family history work? How has that blessed you? How do missionary work, temple work, and other aspects of the gospel help you to prepare to live with Heavenly Father?