In 1879 (corrected), Thomas Edison developed and patented the practical carbon filament incandescent light bulb. Leveraging the work of others, he tried 3000 different types of filaments before he found that a carbonized bamboo filament would last for 1,200 hours.
Had he focused on all the failures that he had in the past, he might never have succeed in becoming one of the most successful inventors of all time.
The General Electric Company (Founded by Edison in 1890 as the Edison General electric Company) used the slogan ‘Progress is Our Most Important Product” for many years and now it is a trivia question. But it has a very important message. Progress IS important and needs to be recognized..
One of the things that I observe here on the Bloggernacle is that progress, especially where the Church is concerned is heavily played down. Whether it is the role of Women in the Church, Blacks and the Priesthood, the Church’s position on Homosexuality, etc, some find it difficult to give the Church any credit for making progress in any of those areas. or, any progress will be noted by a heavy caveat of “remember when?’
Typically, comments will be made about progress the Church has made, let’s say in Africa, where the Church is growing very fast. Someone, invariably, will remind everyone that up until 1978, Blacks couldn’t hold the Priesthood or that some Church leaders held what is perceived by today’s standards as very racist views.
Yes, we know.
And that thinking has clearly been repudiated by the modern Church Leaders time and time again since 1978. But it that enough to stop reminding us and living in the past? No, it must be brought up over and over again. As if it serves any real purpose.
What about Women in the Church? There are women in the Church and some men who feel there is not equality in the Church. Men and women have different roles to play and every role is important. But there is equality where it really matters: in our access to God, in the eternities and in our roles as eternal companions. Now, not everyone treats others with the proper respect and equality that each person, man or woman deserves and is entitled to, but we are all equal in the sight of God.
Some like to harken back to the good old days where women may have given blessings or ran their own semi-autonomous organization as some golden age of women’s equality in the Church. But they forget to mention that women could not give prayers or talks in sacrament meeting, go to the temple without their husband’s permission or even hold a calling without the husband being asked first.
They fail to mention that progress has indeed been made to be much more inclusive and respectful of the value of women in the Church. Certainly, the new handbook and the training given made it clear how church leaders feel about the women in the Church and their contribution. But, the complaining still goes on. The progress is ignored.
Those two examples are probably enough to begin our discussion. I expect quite a bit of blown back to what I have written. So, let’s discuss.