I understand that there’s a football game tonight in Provo. In advance of it, I want to say that I won’t see much significance in its outcome for the things I care most about. (On most days, Boise State would utterly destroy any football team ever fielded by Harvard, Yale, MIT, Caltech, or, in the old days, the University of Chicago.)
Of course, should BYU win, that will demonstrate that BYU is, by indisputable light years, the foremost academic institution in the State of Utah and even far beyond.
No. Not really. It won’t demonstrate anything of the kind. Nor will a loss prove that that school up in Kaysville (or wherever it is) is the best university in the state.
Many years ago — have I told this story already? — I was at a conference in upstate New York, and my friend Father David Burrell was also there. Now retired and teaching in Africa, he was at the time the chairman of the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. BYU was playing Notre Dame in South Bend that weekend and, on Friday night, David ribbed me mercilessly about what the Fighting Irish were going to do to the Cougars the following day. Moreover, truth be told, I expected that he was right. To my surprise, though, BYU beat Notre Dame. So, when I saw David the next evening, I remarked that I hadn’t heard the final outcome of the game. Could he tell me what the score had been? “Oh leave it alone!” he responded.
Here’s another thing I don’t care about: the ordination of women.
There’s not a question in my mind that women are, on the whole, at least the equal of men, spiritually speaking. And I have no doubt that they would administer church matters as well and effectively as men do. I can think of no earthly reason for not conferring the priesthood upon them. I would be perfectly content, even happy, if they were ordained.
The only objection that I can think of is that the Lord hasn’t sanctioned, let alone commanded, the ordination of women. I have no idea why. But that seems to me a lethal objection. Moreover, I would have no interest in belonging to a church in which the decision to ordain women came as a result of committee discussions, surveys, politicking, and protests, rather than by revelation.
Should God decree the ordination of women, I’ll be perfectly fine with it. I don’t anticipate that, but it’s logically conceivable. Pending that, however, I guess I’m resigned to be called a sexist, a misogynist, and an advocate of patriarchal oppression, as well as to continue to try to treat women with respect and charity — as the Lord has, in fact, decreed.
So in what sense do I not care about the ordination of women? In the sense that I would be okay with it either way. “Whatever God requires is right,” taught Joseph Smith, “no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.”