Wanting Women to Receive the Priesthood is an Inherently Misogynistic Idea

“No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah

When I initially approached the thought of sharing my opinion on women receiving the Priesthood, I wanted to reply with one word: NO. However, after more consideration, I thought I should explain why I, a very adamant and active feminist, am beyond annoyed with the idea.

Thinking that women need the Priesthood is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of doctrine, but it also demeans the position and influence that is held by women within the church. Because we live in a world where strength and power have always been defined by men, many think that they must be the same as a man to be strong and powerful. The idea implies that only what a man does is of worth, and therefore, if a woman wants to be of worth, she must become like a man. This is wrong. Women should be valued for what they contribute based on their own individual and differing strengths, not based on how much like a man they may have become.

First, let’s talk doctrine.  What is the 4-fold mission of the church?

  1. Perfect the saints.  While it is true we need Priesthood ordinances to eventually attain perfection, the necessity is in the receiving of the ordinance, not the giving.  We, as women receive all necessary ordinances for the attainment of salvation.
  2. Preach the gospel.  Don’t need the Priesthood to preach.  I’m preaching now!
  3. Redeem the dead.  Again, we don’t need to hold the Priesthood to do our genealogy.  The research I have accomplished while in college is huge, and puts my mother to shame (She told me to say that).
  4. Care for the poor and needy.  Yeah, we have that one nailed.

Women have been called of God to lead his people for a long time. If you are having a hard time recalling examples, then I suggest you campaign to have better Sunday School teachers. There’s Eve (that’s a whole other blog), Esther, Mary, for whom I need not expound, Anna, who prophesied of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, and the list goes on.  Perhaps my favorite example is Deborah, a prophetess, judge, and military advisor in Ancient Israel. “Known for her wisdom and respected as a leader, Deborah is introduced in the biblical record with no indication that the fact of a woman’s holding of such influence was inappropriate or surprising.” Camille Fronk Olson, Women of the Old Testament, pg. 107. Women are not denied title or rank because of their lack of Priesthood. This is as true in modern times as it was in Ancient Israel.

Eliza R. Snow is probably my favorite example of a modern day prophetic woman. To quote her official church profile, “A profoundly wise and revelatory woman, she left behind some 500 poems—many of which provide tremendous comfort as well as doctrinal insight.” Go learn more about her if you don’t know about her contributions to doctrine.

Next, may I direct your attention to a picture from a campaign by UN Women.

UNWomen-4-520x736

Hey. Look at that last one. I’ve been speaking from the pulpit since I was 12 years old. In General Conference, women preach doctrine as well as men. Their words should be heeded with as much respect and reverence as the men’s. If you are ignoring the multiple talks from women every General Conference, that is a problem I suggest you quickly reevaluate. Women are to teach, lead, and serve alongside the men in this church. In fact, there are callings in the church requiring a man to be married; however, there exists no such requirement for women.

Recently, female leaders (The General Relief Society, Young Women’s, and Primary Presidents) have been making major innovations in the church and how it functions as a worldwide entity, becoming the first organizations to have international boards. I will not be surprised if all other organizations in the LDS Church will soon follow their new changes. The general boards of the church have women sitting on them, and many organizations are run by women. Beverly Campbell, author of perhaps one of my favorite books, Eve and the Choice Made in Eden, was the head of the church’s International Affairs Department for 12 years. Sheri Dew is the CEO of Deseret Book (owned by the church). Oh wait… did I just mention Sheri Dew? Time to listen to the woman herself.

Women are powerful forces for influence within the church. Insisting that women go about making change or being leaders in the exact fashion of a man is ridiculous and frankly degrading. Women do not need to become as men to have value added to what they do. There may be instances of unrighteous dominion happening within wards or stakes, with a male leader not listening to female leaders, or allowing them to function properly; however, this is not true to how the church is supposed to run. If this is the problem, it is a local problem, and the answer is not to give women the Priesthood, but to evaluate the leader in question, so that all may lead and contribute to Zion.

This was recently made by the church.

These are all amazing women who have followed the example of the women who came before them, and are leading in God’s church and in the world. Now tell me again why I need to be more like a man to be of worth? I intend to shape this world I live in for the better, and I shall do so as the woman I have become, a woman who knows she need not become like a man in order to believe in her own inherent worth and power.

UPDATE: I love discussion, and I love hearing people voice their opinions, so I don’t wan’t to shut of the comments on this. However, the last time I had a really popular post I got a little exhausted from moderating and responding to so many comments. So with that in mind, I will be mostly be doing quick skims of comments to make sure they don’t contain profanity, and then approving them. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond. But keep up the discussion! It’s always good to lear from other people’s perspectives. 

CLARIFICATION: Based on some of the comments I’ve seen here and other places I just wanted to say a few things.

One: While I clearly do not agree with the desire to ordain women to the Priesthood, I respect the Ordain Women movement, and their desire to start this discussion. I do think there is sexism in the church (I wrote a post called Modest Is Not Hottest calling out some of the sexism I’ve seen.) but I do not believe the gospel is sexist. I think there are changes that should be made, I have simply never seen anything to make me think giving women the priesthood was the answer. But however much I disagree with that idea, I do not think it is acceptable to condemn these women for making their voices heard. Calling for their excommunication is not ok (in reference to the members, as this is not a matter that random people who do not know these women get to weigh in on), and I would ask those of you who are, to try and take a second to at least understand where they are coming from. You don’t need to change your mind, but all sides could do well to see each other with more empathy. Disagree with ideas, but do not condemn people. 

Two: Some have felt this is a straw man argument, but I would like to remind you that this is an opinion piece on my personal blog. It is shaped by my experiences and dealings with others. This was written based on very real issues I have personally dealt with, however I realize they are not a perfect example of the whole church, but neither is any one experience. In response to my post about modesty, I had similar comments, those saying that they have never dealt with any of the issues I brought up, so they must not be real. As I said, I think this is a good discussion, and this is my contribution to it. If you have have different ones, feel free to write about those.   

 

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339 thoughts on “Wanting Women to Receive the Priesthood is an Inherently Misogynistic Idea

  1. I got tired about halfway down but in all the comments I actually read, I didn’t see a single mention of shadows. Hopefully I can explain myself coherently, if not too bad, I’m not coming back to reiterate or clarify.

    My point basically is that Jesus is a Man. Why was the Redeemer not a woman? I don’t know, but I can accept that the Saviour didn’t have ovaries. Why didn’t He ordain female apostles, bishops and priests? I don’t know, but I’m happy to take my cue from Him until His prophet changes the guidelines under His direction. I am comfortable with the idea that being a man, I hold the priesthood as a shadow of Jesus (another Man) holding it (it being after His order). Perhaps it’s naive and spiritually idealistic of me to expect to find consistency in God’s words and practices, and even in the names He gives sacred things (if He can manage multi-layered scriptures, I’m sure he can manage symbolic consistency in places other than the temple). So what is this priesthood called, which certain women want so desperately? The Holy Priesthood, after the order of the *Son* (not Daughter) of God.

    And lest anyone think I speak out of ignorance, I have weighed this up in my mind as uncritically as I could for quite a few days, including deliberations on shadows and divine consistency, I have prayed about it, and I still don’t see why women should receive the priesthood. If there are issues of sexism in the Church, they are man-made issues, not priesthood-made issues, and I suggest that women holding the priesthood would have very little effect on the attitudes of sexist men.

    “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

    And from a little earlier on in the same revelation:

    “…the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and…the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.”

    I hope I will accept it if the revelation is ever made that women should receive the priesthood, but whilst some (but by no means all) of the grievances of Mormon feminists are perfectly understandable I wonder whether they are not experiencing something akin to a woman with poor body image thinking if only she could get thin she would be happy only to discover when she got thin that it wasn’t the panacea she was expecting.

    Ramble, ramble, ramble. Whim of a madman.

    • I can’t help but think some of this is created by Priesthood holders not doing their due diligence to serve and magnify their priesthood within the home and as home teachers, as I myself have sometimes been guilty of. All of us are capable of calling on the blessings of the priesthood and where possible, we should seek the administration of those blessings via a worthy priesthood holder.

      But if we do not seek to bless the lives of others, what recourse is a person left with other than to seek the power to bless themselves? And while I don’t agree that is a solution to the singular issue I am illustrating I believe our leaders have been clear with us as of late when calling us to give service and take full advantage of the potential to bless others lives. Perhaps if we did so more fully within our capacity, then the desire for change might not have come up in the first place.

      Let’s be better tomorrow than today. Heavenly Father’s children are worth it.

      • I don’t know about it being the cause of the dissatisfaction, but I do agree that the priesthood is what men were given by God to be able to serve in a way that is uniquely theirs. I think the fact that it exists only as a vehicle for men to bless others should be the first thing on a woman’s mind when she is worrying about feeling important, or just as important. The priesthood isn’t what men have to make them more important. If women want more authority, more visibility, more recognition in the church, then things can be changed to provide for that without challenging basic doctrine. Meanwhile, it can’t hurt to get to the root of the problem for each of these women who are craving such things. Some inner light is missing from your life if you feel the need for the spotlight. That isn’t an accusation- it’s an observation. If something is missing, it needs to be filled… best acknowledge the hole is there and figure out what it has been made by.

      • I appreciate your recognition of men’s part in the issue. I do not mean to say “uh, yeah, its the guys fault”, but I do agree with you. I also believe that many women (I include myself) have neglected our errand of angels (at least just enough) to forget our own worth in our unique roles. It can be so easy & so tempting to take on the victim role & then mask it with “action” that manifests as demands that will likely not solve the root problem. Any problem in our world or in the church can simply be solved by following the gospel of Jesus Christ more closely & with more diligence & faith & enlightenment. I hope to do this, for myself, my sisters, my daughters, & also to support & sustain the Priesthood holders in my life.

    • “And lest anyone think I speak out of ignorance, I have weighed this up in my mind as uncritically as I could for quite a few days, including deliberations on shadows and divine consistency, I have prayed about it, and I still don’t see why women should receive the priesthood. If there are issues of sexism in the Church, they are man-made issues, not priesthood-made issues, and I suggest that women holding the priesthood would have very little effect on the attitudes of sexist men.”

      I’m sure you took into account the promise to women in the temple that they can become queens and priestesses when you decided you could see no reason women should receive the priesthood? It is true that women holding the priesthood would not change all sexist attitudes, just as blacks holding the priesthood did not change all racist attitdues. But women holding the priesthood would change sexist policies, and that’s the starting point. When sexism is institutionalized, people can become blind to it, and state, as you have done, that it isn’t a problem, even when it so obviously is.

      • You assume in your statement that the roles and/or titles of “queens and priestesses” require an ordination to the priesthood in the same manner as a man. I do not believe this is so.

      • A sentence I never thought I’d ever say–I agree 100% with the frogman. Institutionalized inequity is bad news. Always.

      • Yes I know I said I wasn’t coming back, but I like banging my head against proverbial brick walls (as does everyone here, apparently.

        The promise in the temple does not relate to this life, or else we would also be inundated with women clamouring for a coronation as well as an ordination. I think it’s important to note to whom these wonderful sisters will be priestesses though (not the same Person to Whom the brethren will be priests). I notice all many people do when people make doctrinal or scriptural points is pick holes with some other thing they’ve said. Well that’s ok, but it does your cause no good.

        I do not recall stating that sexism is not a problem, you are putting words into my mouth there. Not extending the priesthood to women in this life is not sexist, it’s doctrinal (for now…I do not know the mind of God on this matter, so can’t say for certain that it will never happen). The sexist problem will not be solved by giving women the priesthood, and to state that it will is speculative at best, so you digress somewhat from the discussion about women and the priesthood.

        Let’s be clear though, if this was a group of women whose sole objective as to rid the Church of sexism I suspect they would get a completely different reception from the one they do when the objective they make most of (the name of their group) is so pointedly contrary to (current) Church doctrine. And just because GBH said that it could happen doesn’t mean to say that it will, I suspect he was being diplomatic and adopting the attitude that if the Lord wills it then who would he (or anyone else) be to disobey?

      • Thanks for your comments, jozefos2013. You are right to chastise me for misrepresenting your statements, You did not say that sexism wasn’t a problem in the church; merely that it was not caused by priesthood. But now you say that the policy to exclude women from the priesthood is not sexist, but rather doctrinal. This reinforces my point that because your particular form of sexism is institutionalized, it is easy to be blinded to it. Sexism is discrimination based on gender. It doesn’t matter if it is doctrinal (which it isn’t). It doesn’t matter if it’s god who said it (which he didn’t). It matters if something is held back from someone for no other reason than that person’s gender. You would immediately agree that it was sexist, for example, for the rotary club to allow men to become grand high poobahs but exclude women from that exalted office.

        I’m not sure why you feel it important to point out that men become priests to god, and women become priestesses to their husbands. Are you saying that men should ordain their own wives through their own authority rather than waiting for god to do it? Or are you just trying to muddy the issue? Nor am I sure why you think that these two vastly similar phrases, one given to men, and one given to women, should apply to men in this mortal life and to women only in the next life. If men can achieve part of that promise today, why aren’t women allowed the same privilege?

        Are you saying that Gordon B. Hinckley wasn’t being honest with his fellow men? That for the sake of public relations, it’s okay for the prophet of god to provide statements that appease the masses but that ultimately are against the doctrine of the church? I take him at his word. There is no reason that the prophets could not receive a revelation allowing women the priesthood.

        The problem is that we haven’t learned from history. The ban on blacks wasn’t doctrinal, either. That didn’t stop members of the church, including prophets and general authorities, from trying to reason it out in their minds and invent plausible-sounding explanations for the reason the church was discriminating. These reasons turned out to be false doctrine. They were made up decades later.

        The same thing has happened with women and the priesthood. The “doctrine” that men have priesthood and women have motherhood and that these are separate but equal roles was invented beginning in the 1950’s, and not by prophetic revelation. It’s time to learn from history, discard the philosophies of men we’ve adopted, and go to the Lord through the prophet and ask for clear and direct revelation.

      • Frogman, that definition of sexism is true, but incomplete. Take a look at this definition from Merriam Webster: unfair treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women.
        This is followed by two other definitions: :
        2. prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
        3. behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
        You would use the second definition (shortened to be only discrimination based on sex) to qualify this issue as sexism, and then address the issue by the other definitions without qualifications.
        By this logic women are women because of their sex. Thus women being women is sexist. That is a little confusing (as it should be), but to drive home the point here is another example:
        Only women can go into a woman’s restroom (to use it). That is so sexist!
        Technically these are sexist due to the use of sex to determine something, as you have loosely used the definition. However, they are not sexist in the sense of being unfair to women or fostering stereotypes.
        It appears to me that in order for the priesthood being with held from women to be truly sexist (meaning unfair), they must have a right to it. Now we are really getting to the center of the whole issue. Are women being treated unfairly by not being allowed to receive ordination into the priesthood? This would only be true if women could be so allowed.
        If revelation is required before this could occur (which is the case) then they cannot be allowed at this time. It is not unfair to them. If the revelation does come and then it is with held based on sex, THAT would be sexism.
        You mentioned the ban on blacks, was the church under Spencer W. Kimball racist in with holding the priesthood until revelation came? No, their decision to continue the policy was based not on race (policies do not have race) but on the doctrine that this is Christ’s church. Any change in it must come from Him. [There were mistakes made in the past, which might qualify as racist in the technical sense, but this does not change the fact that a change in how the church does things requires revelation]
        So while you do seem to be arguing from the viewpoint that women should have the priesthood (as in you assume that is the truth first, and base your arguments upon that assumption), even so it is not sexism to continue to do as the church has done for years. It is a non-discriminatory policy of not changing anything in the church until and unless the Lord so commands (by revelation).
        I posted a different comment touching on the ban on blacks, so I won’t repeat what I posted there. However, I will add that another difference between that ban and the current issue is that all doctrine on the priesthood refers to men. There is a word for men and a word for women, and the doctrine never mentions women receiving the priesthood. So since black men are men the doctrine was there for them to receive the priesthood. As you mentioned any explanation for the ban was found to be un-doctrinal. Yet there is no doctrine for women to receive the priesthood.
        I can understand that last statement might sound disagreeable considering the above discussion. I don’t want to touch on the sacred ordinances received in the temple outside of it, but I will emphasize that those are ordinances, not doctrine. The doctrine that I am referring to is the word of God taught by Jesus Christ and by his Prophets in their role as prophets. So I only include as doctrine the standard works and what the Prophet says in the name of the Lord is doctrine.
        Looking back historically you will not find a single ordination of a woman to the priesthood, even if you go back past the 1950’s. Thus the policy of not giving women the priesthood is much older than that time. If you meant that the explanation of men got the priesthood and women got motherhood started in the 50’s, then I suggest you revisit the account of Adam and Eve. Women have had motherhood since then; that is not a new doctrine. Or perhaps you meant that the womanhood of women and the priesthood of men were not compared directly by the church until the 1950’s. We could only check for this dispensation due to a lack of records, but that is the only way I can see your statement being true.
        The statement made by Gordon B. Hinckley that has been mentioned a few times is the doctrine of revelation. So there is no doctrine that women can receive ordination into the order of the priesthood; the prophet was stating that for that to occur there would have to be doctrine (brought by revelation).

      • Thank you for your thoughtful and reasoned reply, Spencer.

        You are correct in noting that I feel it is unfair that women are denied the priesthood and that is why I feel the word sexism is applicable. Your argument that “if we allowed them to have it, then we would be sexist if we didn’t let them have it, but since we don’t allow them to have it, it’s not sexist, since obviously they can’t have something we don’t allow” is way too circular for my brain.

        In the case of restrooms, the sexist practice of having separate facilities is fair. Let us provide a fair alternative to women. If priesthood is the male bathroom and motherhood the female bathroom, then let women be called as bishops and stake presidents as an office of their motherhood. Otherwise you have unequal (and hence unfair) bathroom. Until the church either grants women the priesthood or separates priesthood from leadership, the Mormon church is a sexist institution.

        You speak of the lack of female ordination in church history, and I agree with you there. I know of no female who was ordained to the priesthood–except in Mormon offshoots like Strangism. Yet there is substantial evidence that Joseph Smith and other early leaders felt that women received the priesthood through the temple ceremonies, and exercised it with the approval of prophets outside of the temple until the 1940’s and continue to exercise it today inside the temples.

        So let’s admit that all the revelations speak of priesthood in a decidedly male voice. Should we discount all scripture verses that include only the male form from applying to women? Should we assume that the early leaders of the church weren’t being biased by society when they first initiated the structure of the church? I can see how that would be a valid argument if there weren’t evidence against that idea in other areas where the church got things wrong and required subsequent revelation to correct it. But even if the church were perfect, I don’t think it would hurt to ask the prophet to ask god for clarification. Do you? We have a strong history of asking questions. Joseph Smith started the whole thing because he asked a question when he was 14, right? If we receive truth line upon line, precept on precept, then why should we not want to continue to ask questions when things don’t seem right?

        You speak of motherhood being given to women in the garden of Eden. Was priesthood also given to man in the garden? Or was the motherhood / priesthood equivalency an invention of the 1950’s? If I recall, Eve’s gift for eating the forbidden fruit was to bring forth children in sorrow, while man’s was to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. If we somehow found ourselves in a world where priesthood were seen as feminine, would we argue against the request to extend the women-given right to priesthood to men because, well, they are workers, and it wouldn’t be right for them to be priests, since that’s a more refined and delicate role that doesn’t fit in with their god-sanctioned sweatiness?

        And I hesitate to be so direct, but you are wrong to try to excuse away the church’s racism. It was indeed racist from the early 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The church has finally, in December 2013, admitted to and unequivocally condemned its past racism. If you are unaware of the particulars, I encourage you to read their essay on the subject, found at https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood.

        I think we both agree on one thing, though. We really need to hear the voice of the prophet on this issue. Until we do, we can’t know which way the Lord wants this issue to go. Let’s just hope that when he asks, he doesn’t get the wrong answer, like President David O. McKay when he supplicated the Lord in prayer whether or not to lift the ban on blacks holding the priesthood, only to be reversed less then a decade later by President Kimball.

      • Priesthood is not the male bathroom, nor is motherhood the female bathroom. We have separate bathrooms because of privacy concerns, but both types of bathrooms exist for the same primary function. (I am not going into details on that one)
        The priesthood is not leadership. You will notice that the relief society president is not a man, nor does she hold the priesthood yet she leads. There are many men who hold the priesthood who are not leaders in the church.
        You talked about separating the priesthood from leadership, but how do you separate priesthood from the priesthood? Once again the argument you are making is that things are not how they should be, and so they must change. Not because they are wrong, but because they are not the way you imagine they should be. (An argument that uses its conclusion as its reason is hollow)
        Concerning the reference to women receiving priesthood or exercising it, I can say with certainty that you are mistaken. I have heard of several such stories, but all the recorded ones (I hope we can agree that if it can’t be checked it is not evidence worth mentioning) which I have looked up have been misconstrued. If you start with the conclusion that women do have the priesthood and are exercising it then the phrases sound like that. However, if you read them from the opposite view the phrases do not take that meaning. Never, never is there a direct statement supporting the idea that women receive ordination to the priesthood or exercise it.
        I can understand confusion concerning what goes on in the temple. We go in to serve our dead ancestors, and we do not have special classes there about what is going on. Yet let us be clear on this; women in the temple do not exercise the priesthood. Looking at the guidance offered by the church on priesthood ordinances you will find that for every ordinance is done by the authority of the priesthood (the priesthood holder states this). [Referring to the Melchizedek priesthood] I notice that you didn’t mention anything about the sacrament. You see the doctrine and covenants enumerates what the Aaronic priesthood duties are, and Deacons are to pass the sacrament. Yet when passed down the rows we do not require that each person who passes the tray have to hold the priesthood. We aren’t saying that everyone who passes the tray holds the priesthood, rather it is a necessity given the circumstances.
        Concerning this comment: “Should we discount all scripture verses that include only the male form from applying to women?” I answer there is no discount if you already have full value. Your use of the word discount is a little confusing, but it sounds like you are saying we should take it to mean less than it does. Perhaps you are referring to how mankind is referred to as man in some scriptures. If this is the case, then we don’t need to limit our reading. However, in reference to receiving the priesthood the terms of men are exclusive to men. They never include women. That is what it means and we must never wrest the scriptures.
        Next comment: “Should we assume that the early leaders of the church weren’t being biased by society when they first initiated the structure of the church?” At first I thought you were referring to the Savior, and I was thinking of course He was not biased. Now that I think about it I realize you were probably referring to this dispensation. Thus I’ll reply that history seems to lend evidence that the church was not biased by society. At that time women had close to no rights. Yet Joseph Smith recognized the need to organize the relief society (when it was brought up to him by women).
        I’ll also refer to the 6th article of faith, we believe that the church is organized in the same way it was when Christ created it. Furthermore this is how the church was organized in the days of Adam, prior to any “societal pressures.” We call this dispensation the restoration because all things are restored. The meaning of restoration is not to create something that never existed before. Rather it is the remaking or bringing back of something that was lost or destroyed.
        I hope this isn’t news to you either: Adam was Michael the archangel. He helped the Savior create the world, and the world was created by the power of the priesthood. So I don’t know when exactly Adam received his earthly ordination to the priesthood, but he definitely had it before he came here. On the other hand there is no mention anywhere of any woman holding the priesthood or exercising it in this world or the prior one.
        I can see that you didn’t understand the point of the garden of Eden comment. No I am not stating when the doctrine of men receiving the priesthood originates. It is an order without time, so it is actually eternal. My point is that womanhood is not a new concept; you seem to suggest that womanhood was invented in the 1950’s.
        Your comment about what if the priesthood were seen as being feminine was rather confusing. No one is saying that the reason women can’t have the priesthood right now is because they bear children. Neither do we say that men receive the priesthood because they are manly. There is no qualification of manliness or vision that priesthood holders have to be manly. Instead the qualifications for men are that they be worthy. We don’t know why men may receive priesthood ordinances. Any explanation is just that, a vain attempt by we mortals to explain why things are the way they are. It is truth and has been revealed to be so.
        This comment: But even if the church were perfect, I don’t think it would hurt to ask the prophet to ask god for clarification. Do you? This brings to my mind the story of the OT prophet who was asked to curse Israel by the leaders of another nation. Mind that they didn’t ask whether Israel was God’s chosen, they bartered for what they wanted. The petition I keep hearing about and which I disagree with is the one demanding the church to give women the priesthood. This isn’t asking a question (which is perfectly alright), it is demanding that the church bow down to a man made demand.
        You also suggested that we should ask questions when things don’t seem right. I guess the part I find difficult to understand is how the church can be considered imperfect, but the movement doesn’t give itself the same handicap. Or another way of putting this is, do things look off because of the mote in their eye or the beam in mine? I guess I feel strongly about this point because the church has always been this way, so there is no basis for suggesting that it [church in the current dispensation] has gone awry. The way you argue things you’d think that like the black ban there was evidence of women receiving ordinances before 1950. And suddenly and inexplicably (no revelation) it stopped.
        This comment is rather funny: And I hesitate to be so direct, but [as in I won’t really hesitate, because I chose to write it so here it comes] you are wrong to try to excuse away the church’s racism. Oh, when did I do that? I must have missed the part where I said it was ok for the church to own slaves and have bathrooms for the blacks separate from the whites. Or was it that it was really ok for the church to separate the congregations between white and black? Because I don’t remember ever saying those things.
        Lets revisit; the church looked at a policy it had and decided (correctly) that to change this church policy revelation was required. The church leaders don’t get together and cast ballots on proposed bills. Change comes from revelation. Now this is the thing that I said was not racism; rather it was doctrine.
        I looked over that link you sent and saw nothing new. The church has always acknowledged what their policies were. I will also note that you twisted their words, they condemned racism, but did not state their racism. I really don’t like saying racism because it is a charged word with lots of extra baggage. Were there people in the church that were racist with all of the extra baggage of hate? Yes indeed. But the church itself did not hate blacks. The priesthood was with held because of race, and this is a technical racism [discrimination based on race]. However, the church also promised that all the blessings, including priesthood ordination and temple ordinances, would be available to ALL faithful members in the eternities. You won’t find any such belief among those hideous racists of the 1960’s who believed blacks were less than them, body and soul. There might not be a different word to describe the church, but you can see that there was racism and then there was real dirty racism.
        We also do not know why the ban was started, we just now that it did. Why did it begin? Was it just a hate move? Or was there a reason? We don’t know. As I pointed out at the end of my longer post on the priesthood ban the revelation ended it exactly when the Lord intended for it to happen. Do not assume that man can prevent God from doing his work. You stated that President McKay got the wrong answer. I’m not sure which way you were going with that, but either way you got it wrong. On the one hand God will not, cannot give the wrong answer. It is part of his perfect nature to do only that which is right and good; though we may not understand why. On the other you need only read Wilford Woodruff’s explanation on the revelation ending plural marriage that God will not let his prophet lead the people astray.
        Here’s one final thought to mull over. Lamoni wanted Ammon to see his father, the king over all the Lamanites. Ammon was directed instead to go and free his brethren. The revelation was not to meet the King. Yet right after what happens? They meet Lamoni’s father, the king of the Lamanites. Oh, no was Ammon mistaken? Did he get the wrong answer? No, he got the right answer for what they were doing at that time.

    • There are apocryphal extra-biblical texts that refer to Mary Magdelan being ordained as a disciple of Christ so there is evidence contrary to your claim that he did not make any woman disciples. It just a matter of whether you accept those books that were removed by a cadre of male priests or not…

      • You contradict disciple with apostle. Anyone who follows Christ, male or female is a disciple. Apostles are called and ordained (usually only 12 on the earth at a time) to assist Christ in leading His church. I have been “ordained”, or set apart for a ministry to lead the Primary children in my ward. I do not haven nor do I need to hold the Priesthood for that.

      • But Frogman – it never said Mary Magdelan was an Apostle of Christ. If it had, you may have an argument.

      • Kathy, Benjamin Hansen said, “There are apocryphal extra-biblical texts that refer to Mary Magdelan [sic] being ordained as a disciple of Christ.”

      • Let us not forget that the standard works contain a fullness of the gospel. We know from revelation that we can find truths taught in the Apocrypha, but they will be found in the current works. We will not find new truths in the Apocrypha.
        There is a way to receive new light and knowledge, and that is revelation. It will come from God by the prophet and it will not come by any other way.

  2. A couple of years ago on a cross-country flight I overheard the conversation two women in the seat in front of me were having. I was on my way home and perked up when I heard one woman say she lived near me. Then she told about being a “deacon” in one church that she attended and also being a “deacon” in another church that she didn’t attend because they needed leadership so badly and begged her to help them out. Then she mentioned that it is really hard for them to get men involved and to fill leadership roles in their church. I have thought about this conversation a lot when I hear about this push to give women the priesthood.

    I have never felt oppressed or unheard in my roles at church. I think the current system works beautifully. If it ain’t broke, I say don’t fix it.

    • This is exactly what I think every time this topic comes up! We need to be logical and honest about the fact that if we give women the priesthood MOST men will walk away and let the women do EVERYTHING.

      • I agree – now take this one step further. Suppose women did get the priesthood. So now, all things being “equal”, a woman can participate as a member of the Bishopric, and a man can participate as a member of the Relief Society Presidency. In all “fairness”, it would not stop there. A woman could potentially be a Priest Quorum advisor and go on High Adventure Camp with the testosterone loaded 16-17 year old boys. Likewise, a man would go on girls camp or even be an Activity Days leader to a group of hormonal girls. For obvious reasons, this would be not only pointless but dangerous as well. I have no clue what it’s like to be a 17 year old boy, how could I possibly hope to be an effective advisor to one? Of course it would be foolish to say that all men are pedophiles or have evil intent, but if a man were called to be the Activity Days leader over my 11 year old daughter, I think I’d have to leave the church! The same is true in the reverse of Women leading the Young Men. You may argue “2 deep leadership”, but what parent would want to subject her daughter or son to that risk?

        It just is the wisdom of God that He has designed and organized His church the way that He has. “My house is a house of Order”. The ramifications of women holding and exercising the priesthood in full “equality” with men would be a pandora’s box, fraught with chaos. The structure in our church is the way it is for a reason. I am grateful that a kind and loving Father in Heaven does all things for our good, and I choose to trust that and not question it and I will go along with it until through His Prophet I hear otherwise.

  3. One time on a cross-country flight I overheard two women talking in the row in front of me. I started listening when I heard that one woman lived near me. I heard one woman tell the other that she was a “deacon” in the church she was attending and also a “deacon” in a church that she didn’t attend because they begged her to help them out. She also mentioned that they had a really hard time getting men involved in the leadership at church. I think about this conversation a lot when I hear women wanting to get ordained to the priesthood.

    I have never felt ignored or oppressed in the church. I enjoy all my callings, leadership or other. And I think things run beautifully. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  4. I know that these women who are demanding the priesthood just don’t get the plan of salvation.
    Why do you think Christ, a man, came down as our Saviour? Why do you think he physically showed us the way to behave, to think, to love, to care, to be committed and kind? Why do we have the word of wisdom? To protect the weakest among us. The same goes for the reason why a man was sent down to save us. An example to the weakest.
    Men need obligation, they need responsibility, they need purpose in life and need to be shown opportunity and how to get there. Women, are blessed with a myriad of divine gifts. There will be more of us in heaven.
    Women, please understand your role! It’s the most important one! To be patient, to uplift, to support, to not roll our eyes when we see something we could organize better ourselves (because they are learning, they are human and need the opportunity for growth!) and not to completely misunderstand our role, as the strength in the church.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condescending to men. I just understand how they work. I also know the power of the Priesthood and the gift of it is a big wake up call to these men who, having the priesthood will be called upon to serve others with it and grow spiritually with it.

    We already know how to serve, we grow spiritually in so many ways, we have the gifts we need to get to heaven. Don’t begrudge men of theirs. What place is there for men if they don’t have the office of priesthood? Next you’ll be saying we don’t need fathers, that women can do it all. We yes, mostly but NOT that of replacing a Father, a developing leader (with our help and love) and growing example to our kids.

    • I think it is a bit harsh to say that just men need obligation, responsibility, purpose and responsibility to find the way to salvation. My husband is a bishop in the church currently, and while he has his flaws, he is one if the most hardworking and responsible people that I know (more than I am sometimes). I think these are traits that women need to learn and have guidance with just as much. And to say that women already have the gifts they need to get to heaven, but men don’t without the priesthood, is a doctrinal error. Both men and women need the power of the priesthood to receive all the blessings of salvation, but it is something men and women have to do together. Men can’t give themselves the priesthood power, nor can they use it on themselves, so they are just as dependent on other priesthood holders as women are.

    • I completely agree. Go back and read Elder Oak’s talk “No Other Gods”. In it, he quotes frightening statistics about the decline of the family and adds, “The role and perceived necessity of Fathers is diminishing”.

  5. This is v-e-r-y good. Intelligent and insightful. Would I rather be feeling I lack something in this world and get militant about it? This piece emphasizes women’s power, our wholeness and that our strengths are needed as equal partners to men. We are not lacking. We add to what men can do and we need to act like and use the unique gifts our heavenly parents endowed us with. We are no more lacking than men are. Together we have a fullness that will last eternally. I dont think we fully understand this concept yet. But why wallow in this world’s shallow reasoning? Rather we should be looking forward and seeking God’s perspective. That will provide the only answer that will give joy and peace.

  6. This article would be a good point if women in the church had even the smallest amount of influence instead of having to rely on men for everything. Also it takes the entire movement out of context, but making a point is always easier when you just strawman the whole thing.

    Also the ammount of hate and vitrol from people within the church against the ordain women movement is sickening.

    • Hahahaha, I was sitting around with a group of LDS women talking about this issue. Our conversation may have been interesting to you, because of how wrong we all feel you are, in our experience. All of us have quite a bit of influence, thank you. We lead large organizations that we would never have a chance to lead outside the church, and we minister to other women in a very satifying and charitable way. You’re pretty inobservant if you don’t see the myriad of ways that women influence and shape every part of this church, it would absolutely grind to a halt if we weren’t there. And by far no LDS woman I talk to says otherwise. Only one LDS woman (and one 11 year old) has expressed wanting the priesthood. Our reaction to her was a laugh and, “You want to do more?” No hate or vitriol ever. That comment is unfounded and ridiculous as far as my decades in the church indicate.

      • “Our reaction to her was a laugh and, ‘You want to do more?'”

        So you demean her desire to be anxiously engaged in a good cause and use social pressure to make her conform? I guess that explains why more Mormon women don’t speak up when you ask them about their desires for the priesthood.

      • In the context of our continued relationship and the conversations we have that was not demeaning. We went right on to discuss other things and got her opinion on all those, too. “You want to do more?” is a perfectly normal reaction from a Mormon woman who have MANY responsibilities, and was lighthearted. It’s hard to believe that you can’t imagine that kind of conversation based on your own experience, and that you think it discourages anyone from expressing their opinion. But I guess a man knows better than this woman.

      • Of course it was lighthearted. If you had taken her seriously, you may have been able to have an actual conversation on the topic. But by dismissing it as a trivial thought, you disempowered her, discounted her opinion, and reestablished the prevailing image of what it means to be a woman in the church as the only viable option. It’s hard to imagine that you think people aren’t influenced by intimations of rejection by their peer group.

      • You thought that a laugh would be an acceptable response? I’m a woman, and I can’t imagine how that could ever be acceptable. Of course *you* think it was lighthearted, because you’re not the one who was being laughed at. And I’m sure that if you asked her about it, she’d blow it off and say it was fine, never wanting to admit how it made her feel.

      • I don’t presume to understand your relationship with the woman in question after only reading a few lines about one interaction you had with her. It’s entirely possible that she is a strong, opinionated woman and that your relationship with her is such that she could tell you anything, regardless of your reaction to it.

        However, I would just like to point out that there are possible indications that you may not fully understand her thoughts. The reason I say this is that the question of women and the priesthood is a somewhat sensitive topic in the LDS community, for a number of reasons, not least of which is that anyone who is seen as speaking against the prophet, even in small things, is a potential apostate. If someone has thoughts that contradict the prevailing notions, they may be very likely to approach those subjects very tentatively and cautiously, and not discuss them with people who give subtle indications that they would not be receptive to such ideas.

        Thus while I can’t pretend to know her thoughts on the subject, I don’t think you can, either. What if you had responded differently to her? Imagine this conversation instead of the one you had.

        Her: “I think women should have the priesthood.”

        You: “Oh. That’s an interesting subject I haven’t given much thought to previously. I’m really curious. Why do you think that?”

        Do you think the conversation might have gone differently? You said that in your decades of experience in the church you haven’t heard many women asking for priesthood. I don’t know you, and I am not saying this to be judgmental, but do you think it at all possible that a woman on the fringes of the church might be afraid to approach someone she perceives as dismissive of her concerns?

      • You know you have a good point if someone was a shrinking violet. But my friend is not, she gives as good as she gets, and she has never shrunk from speaking her mind, in class, wherever. I worry that you guys seem to want to encourage people to feel like victims and that they don’t have power. In all areas of life, that is a handicap.

      • Thank you for clarifying, anniebwanny. As I said, I don’t know the personalities of the people involved. I’m curious, though, why she thought the priesthood was something that would be beneficial to her. Did she ever tell you?

        I found this interesting quote from Chieko Okazaki during her interview with Greg Prince:

        ‘When girls ask me some questions about some pretty tough topics, sometimes I say, “You know, that’s an interesting question! Tell me more about it.” And they do. I say, “Oh, so you find yourself in that dilemma? How would you change that? What would you like to see happening?” As you ask them, they become a lot more honest, and they just say it. If I said, “You shouldn’t be thinking like that,” that would be the end of the conversation.’

    • Hallelujah, brother. I’m surprised you’re the only one to say this. This blog post failed to address most of the issues OW has brought to light.

      Rebecca says that women already have influence. That’s true and good. OW doesn’t claim they don’t. OW claims that the influence women do have is insufficient. For example. during the writing of the Family Proclamation, not once were the Relief Society Presidency even notified of it’s existence, let alone actually consulted for a women’s perspective on the content. The proclamation was and is not a revelation, and it is not codified doctrine. It’s an explanation of the church’s view of family and it’s importance. Families are supposed to be governed equally by a man and a woman, but for some reason men were the only ones who were consulted for the writing of Proclamation of what the church thinks about families.

      I don’t know that ordaining women will solve imbalances such as the above, but I support the idea that a new centerpoint needs to be achieved.

      I was super excited when I read the title, as it was a perspective I’d not thought of before, but when it became clear the argument was: “Women already have some influence; thus asking for the same quality and quantity of influence men have demeans the influence they currently have” I felt profoundly disappointed. The latter does not necessarily follow from the former :( Also, the women already have influence argument is old hat. It’s been addressed sufficiently elsewhere in the blogosphere.

      • “The proclamation was and is not a revelation.” You don’t know this…none of us can speak for the Prophet and what he does or doesn’t receive as a revelation.

      • When Elder Packer at GC, said that the Fam Proc qualified as revelation, when that same talk was published the entire sentence was reworded and revelation changed to counsel. If it was meant as revelation, it would have been don’t you think?

      • pattimcb – In October 2010 General Conference, President Packer said “It qualifies according to the definition as a revelation and it would do well that members of the church read and follow it.”

        That was deleted and replaced with: “It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and follow.”

        Why would they take out the part about revelation unless it is not revelation? Maybe it is really revelation, but they want to keep it a secret?

      • I guess then the rule of thumb then is ‘if its a revelation do it, if its a guide disregard it’. The way I see it, fifteen imperfect men, who nonetheless are called as Prophet, Seers, and Revelators, agreed to and put there name on this document. Now part of following the prophet I believe is following their guidelines as well as Gods revelations to them. (Few of the Prophets or Apostles statements are said with ‘thus saith the Lord’. The kind of logic that seeks to disregard the Family Proclamation is opening a Pandora’s box of faith where the church and its teachings are a buffet table where we can pick and choose what to follow.)
        Essentially those who seek to discredit the Family Proclamation of the world say, ‘thanks for the input, but because it doesnt say REVELATION in bold font in the first sentence then my definition of how a family should be run is as valid as yours.’ Id like to see the editors of OW get together, talk and publish there own version of Family Proclamation. Lets run the Hiram Page litmus test. Ill gladly read OW document and the Prophets and see which one seems more inspired to me. Atleast Hiram Page tried to replicate what the Prophet was doing, sometimes I feel like OW is just trying to dilute, disregard, or diminish what the prophets have done.

  7. I don’t know what church you go to but the women in my ward and in the lds church have tremendous influence. The hate and vitriol? Do you have an example? It seems to me that their is frustration on both parts. I know that the ow people keep saying that 80 percent of the people are good lds returned missionary people but I found out after a lot of conversation with one women that she doesn’t believe in God. This is puzzling to me? I don’t really mind that she doesn’t believe but I don’t see how this is her fight? Obviously, if she doent believe in god she is not interested in his priesthood. Do you think it’s hateful just because we disagree, or that I think you are going about it the wrong way?

    • Maggie. I’m right here. I can hear you. :) First of all, thanks for misquoting me and judging me. That was awesome.

      Let’s take a look at this statement:

      “I know that the ow people keep saying that 80 percent of the people are good lds returned missionary people.” First of all, I’M the one who gave you the statistic, and I told you I’m not affiliated with OW, so that’s incorrect. And no one “keeps saying.” I’m likely the only person on this damn thread who has bothered to listen to the podcast and extract the statistics that were given in it, and then share them with you. Second, the 80% was NOT in regards to how many of those involved were “good lds returned missionary people,” but about how many of the participants at the Priesthood Session action were under the age of 40. Remember? The only person I referenced directly about being a member in good standing was Kate Kelly, the founder of OW. I paraphrased her in part before, but here is the full quote of what she said when requesting entrance last fall:

      “I understand that all men, even men who are not members of the church and have no investment in Mormonism are permitted to attend. I am a returned missionary and a faithful Mormon woman and I would like to listen to the prophet in person.”

      Here is the full quote from the Mormon Stories Podcast (Ordain Women Spring 2014) about the statistics (so that you cannot misunderstand a second time):

      (Numbers from Nancy Ross): 95% of respondents were members of the church, 72% said that they go to church regularly (2-3 times a month), 14% said they no longer attend church, but they still identify as Mormon, 80% of the participants were under 40, and 22% of the participants were men.

      You’re welcome. Let’s go back to your comment.

      “I found out after a lot of conversation with one women that she doesn’t believe in God. This is puzzling to me? I don’t really mind that she doesn’t believe but I don’t see how this is her fight? Obviously, if she doent believe in god she is not interested in his priesthood.”

      Oh, you mean me? You saying that I cannot possibly be interested in this subject because I’m no longer a member of the church and don’t believe in God is kind of like me saying to you, “You’re not from Africa, or even African-American, so obviously you are not interested in helping the starving children who live there.”

      Like I said, I have family members (including my mother and sister), and close friends who are exploring this issue, and struggle with it. Also, if I may quote from that same podcast:

      John Dehlin: “Is there a role for someone in Ordain Women if they don’t really believe that the Church is what it claims to be, because there’s kind of an argument that says, ‘Hey, if you believe, then engage–but if you *don’t* believe that we’re led by God and prophets, then it’s kind of disingenuous of you to be asking us to change, because the Church believes they are led by God.’ Who wants to tackle that one?

      (Though she did not identify herself at this point, I am fairly confident in attributing this quote to Debra Jenson. It is only an excerpt, as the full answer was very long): Now, I will go out on a limb and say that I am no longer active or believing. But I was for forty years, and I come from a very, very Mormon family. All of my siblings and–my Mom recently passed away, but she was active until she did. My Dad continues to be active, and was recently released from his second stint as a bishop. My brother is a bishop. All my nieces and nephews are involved in the Church, very actively. I’M CONSTANTLY ENCOURAGING PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN WHAT WE’RE DOING, EVEN IF THEY NO LONGER ATTEND AND/OR BELIEVE IN THE TRUTH CLAIMS OF THE CHURCH to put up a profile {on the OW website} and to stake their claim there because I DO IT BECAUSE OF MY FAMILY THAT’S STILL INVOLVED–my little nieces and nephews…

      John Dehlin: So, for those who aren’t believing or active, it’s simply done out of concern for the women and girls who remain. Is that pretty fair to say?

      Debra: Well, that’s fair to say of me. Now, as I said before, when I WAS believing and active, I felt that women should have the priesthood. I should say that. Or that women should have the *option* of having the priesthood. My belief in women being ordained has absolutely nothing to do with my belief in the Church. Those things have not dovetailed at all. I’ve always–as long as I can remember thinking about it–believed women should be able to have the priesthood. My exit from the Church has been pretty recent–within the last couple of years. I’m not going to ditch that position just because I’ve changed my relationship with the Church. I’m still, as I said–I feel very Mormon. I was raised in it for forty years. I have forty years of on-the-ground investment in it, and it’s still important to me, and I’m not going to give that up because somebody tells me I should go somewhere else.”

      So, you see: I feel that I was made to feel welcome to have an interest and participate, if I want to, in this discussion. I didn’t attend the action, and I don’t even have a profile up on their page. And yet, you make it sound like I’m on the front line. I’m only reading articles, and correcting false ideas and information where I see them.

      I also gave part of my life to the Church. I also have family members still active. I, too, am concerned for them. But even if I didn’t have any of that background or reason–it’s okay for a human to have compassion and concern for other humans. It’s called being a Humanist. Makes me wonder what being a Christian means to you.

      Shalom.

      • Shanteel, I didn’t realize that posting on here is the only way in wich to help your family. I am sorry that I have offended you. As far as what it means for me to be Christian, it means that when I go to work and I have friends of other faiths no faith, people who are completely opposite of my beliefs I don’t bring up in conversation or demonstration how THEY should change. Likewise I have a hard time with the WAY this whole ow or supporters like yourself are going about this. The lds church does not change for people. People change because of Christ. What sexism is in the church and I have heard women belittle their husbands also, is unperfect people. Does it make it right? No it doesn’t, but it is not the priesthood! Their are men who hold the priesthood that have major issues and if they are using it to punish families ect… They no longer have the power. I have known such men and eventually, they are found out and disaplinary action is taken. By the way I have less toxic conversations with people at work than here and it’s because there is no agenda on the part of the atheists that I talk to at work, who ask me questions. I have family members who are atheist and I love them the same as my other siblings, they are good kind people who probably don’t like that I have been baptized Mormon, but they keep their options to themselves and I don’t preach to them. Thanks for asking me what it means to be Christian. It means to follow Christ and repent every week because I am not perfect and I need his help to do better!

      • Maggie,
        Shanteel took offense on purpose so she can feel justified in her opinion, It’s a common tactic to those who can’t accept other’s opinions are different from theirs. That’s very kind of you to apologize though, because you said nothing wrong.
        Shanteel,
        I’ve noticed one thing about this ow movement, anything that goes against what they want is trite, vitriol or hateful, or just wrong to them and blown off. Then, they attack you on a personal level. Such as after calling you names, like judgemental, they then call into question some aspect of your faith, like what being a Christian means to you. They can’t defend their position without it, which means they are insecure in their opinion. People don’t attack others personally (especially those they have never met and are reading something they wrote without even knowing the voice in witch it was written. In such cases they put their own voice to it and that is why it is more often than not perceived as vitriol.) when they’ve never met them. They aren’t in anything to just voice an opinion, they are out to force the rest of the church to do as they want. It helps them feel justified in their insecurities.
        It’s okay to question, but don’t attack those who don’t or have a different opinion about it. I know you’re going to take offense at this post, you can’t see my face and know how I’m saying it. I won’t be surprised at what else you write, because after seeing what else you’ve written you will definitely respond. You always feel the need to justify and react. I promise this : I won’t take anything you say personally because I’m adult enough not to do that, especially from some comment on a website from someone who knows nothing about me.

      • Wow, Kandy. That was quite a strawman you just defeated. Congratulations. Now, how about actually responding to any of the well-stated and well-documented data that Shanteel provided instead of reacting to things she didn’t say? (PS: When you say that Maggie said nothing wrong, does that include her misattributions and misconveyance of information that Shanteel provided previously?)

      • It’s me you are refering too so have at it or don’t use me in your conversation? I find that half of my questions go unanswered and people change the subject. I wonder why?

      • Maybe you can explain your question better. Perhaps I have misunderstood you. I don’t mean to make insinuations and back away from them. Are you saying that you didn’t misconvey the information that Shanteel gave you?

      • Frogman, I am saying that miscommunications are on both sides of this ridicules conversation! I think you all need to go to all of the Confrence that you can. but you only want to argue with people like me who can’t and wouldn’t want to change the Lords ways. I think hate and attitude is comming through loud and clear from you. Statistics are not the way to change policy.

      • Not intentionally misrepresenting you were quoting Debra and as much of your monologues as you wrote attributed it to you. You are very easily offended.

      • Not at all. A little more punctuation would’ve aided me in not having to guess at part of your comment, but I’m pretty sure you were saying, “Oops–I mistook Debra’s comment about 40 years for your comment.” You’ve apologized for your initial misremembrance, and I thanked you for it. I’ll interpret your last comment as an admission of having made another mistake, and thank you for it as well. And heck–if you want to point fingers at me and say I’m easily offended, go for it. Attention given to faulty memories has to be diverted to *somewhere*. :)

    • It seems as though you are intent on misunderstanding me. I said that my interest in the issue stems from the fact that I gave part of my life to the Church, and I feel for the people I love who struggle with this and other issues. I never said that I feel I need to be involved *in order to* support them. The best way I can help my loved ones is to understand what they’re going through, be a listening ear, and show compassion and sympathy. If one of *them* wanted to be involved in the Priesthood Session action, I would go stand beside them in support of THEM.

      Also, it is demonstrable that the Church does change from time to time as a direct result of the actions of the people in it.

      You never bring up in conversation how other people could/should change? Ever done missionary work?

      If you feel that your conversation with me has been toxic, I am sorry. And I appreciate your apology. I usually have a very deep store of patience for people I disagree with; I was very annoyed at having been misquoted, and felt like my motivations were being judged.

      • I get your issue, but have been trying to disagree with you not “intent on misunderstanding you. I would feel very different and understand you being on here if one) you were trying to get answers or two) your loved ones had been on here and you came to thier Defence. I get it! And hats off to you to supporting your loved ones, but you seem so passionate about the issue yourself. It seems to me like you are not used to people disagreeing with you. I am sorry that I have misquoted you. Now, as for your comment ” you never bring up in conversation how other people could/should change?” I was spacifically talking about work, or did you intently misunderstand me? I don’t think it is appropriate to prosalite at work. “Ever done missionary work?” I told you I was a returned missionary. I’m not sure what you have been exposed to as far as missionary work goes but it doesn’t really go well if you start off telling people they need to change? How many people have changed their life to Christ over those people who holds signs saying ” your a sinner and need to repent”with all those scripture references all over it? I don’t think anyone even talks to them. It’s a lot like your family that you talk about. Love compassion sympathy and if they are truley searching for a way to make thier life better. All in all the spirit converts not me or any other missionary. Now your last lovely little slam to me, “I usually have a very deep store of patience for people I disagree with” really? That doesn’t sound a tad self-righteous to you?

      • Shantell, I laugh a lot! But thanks for calling me uptight is this a direct comment at me calling you self righteous? Or you just couldn’t comment when I showed you how you come across. It’s funny that’s the only post you didn’t comment of mine

      • Um…Are you trying to reply to this comment:

        “She’s a friend, and we talk a lot. And yes, we laugh in our conversations, you should try it sometime. It makes you less uptight.”

        Because it wasn’t mine. If you scroll up quite a ways on the comments page, you’ll see that AnnieBwanny was the one who said that to you (under Brian Devine’s initial thread). ;)

      • You’re right–I apologize. Your comment was not directed towards Maggie. (I am at a loss to understand why she was replying to you, and especially why it was directed at me.)

  8. I think many people in this world forget that we have what might be termed “the preistesshood” by Divine Right, and that is to create entire people within ourselves. We have, built in, the endowment given to only US by God. He gave us this power, and we are to use it wisely. Doesn’t that sound just like the priesthood? One power is for men, and one is for women. Some parts of this power are only for men who are married, and to exercise ours, we are to be married, as well. In fact, it’s only the most powerful and sacred of callings that require marriage.

    The power of God is in both man and woman. They are used differently. Why should women have to have additional power of God, which is really only to help humble men, in the end, when we have our very own power of God that is used by God for good and to humble us already? Are we so wicked that we need both? I say nay. We are to be humbled by our endowments and duties, and we will use them to build the kingdom of God on earth. Men should do the same in their own way.

    To boot, we never have to be endowed by another human using God’s power to have our priestesshood. We are born with it. Now THAT is trust from Heavenly Father of His daughters!

    I almost feel sorry for my husband that he will never know what it’s like to feel another human growing inside him. It’s surreal, bold, powerful, and sacred. Only we women get that. That’s ours to cherish and use properly. They have different duties and powers. I don’t envy them, but I also don’t degrade or belittle what they have. It’s for them, for their good, just as our powers are for us.

    Are there times when a body doesn’t work correctly? Sure. But, there are men born whose brains never allow them to attain a maturity level above 12 years, and thus never get the priesthood in this life. That’s life, and the Lord has a plan for each to attain the highest levels of the Celestial kingdom, if they are but faithful as they can be in this life.

    I totally agree that the “same” is totally different from “co-equal.” Let’s not belittle our Heavenly Father’s plan by saying He got it wrong. He got it gloriously right, as always. :)

  9. I’m not sure this is a new explanation. The whole idea of a woman’s role as being holy and divine is not a new concept. Using the word misogyny, to describe a movement to allow women to hold priesthood office is not only an incorrect use of the word, but a downplaying of the reality of misogyny within the Church. Yes, men who practice their priesthood as a declaration of superiority aren’t honoring their priesthood, however the movement for women to have priesthood authority is about changing the balance of power. Most men believe that if “God” revealed it to them the argument or disagreement is finished. Our modern day patriarchal structure engenders this by promoting the idea that a man intercedes on behalf of woman in prayer, anointing and covenants. Anyone who has attended the temple can see that predominately played out through prayer and covenants made there.

    The issue of authority is far more complicated than understanding the holiness of the woman’s role. The fact that a woman’s role in the church is associated with her physiology is antiquated. And I’m not altogether sure it is accurate to put forth that the original church operated in this manner, who’s to say there weren’t women who were anointed as priestesses. Separating culture from religious practices is impossible. To be a worthy latter-day saint woman, on must buy into the idea that men have the ultimate authority over their households. That a woman’s power lies in her influence and her ability to use her feminine characteristics to influence her husband to honor his priesthood. This leaves many women without recourse, when a man chooses to rule his home unrighteously. Without women holding office in the priesthood, men are given the ultimate decision making power over any group, based on the line of authority. Due to the nature of power, it is natural for those in positions of authority to exercise unrighteous dominion over others. By leaving the priesthood authority strictly in patriarchal hands, the Church leaves itself without opportunity to consider matriarchal authority in balancing it’s actions in general and inspiring a more healthy family model.

    I’m not saying that giving women the priesthood is the only answer, but I do think the idea deserves a more intelligent debate, than given here.

    • “who’s to say there weren’t women who were anointed as priestesses.” Sure, I mean there is no evidence to support it, but what evidence exists that refutes it? I mean if it never happened there would be no evidence, but no evidence is no evidence so the proof is also not the proof.
      “To be a worthy latter-day saint woman, on(e) must buy into the idea that men have the ultimate authority over their households.” The only list concerning worthiness I’m aware of is the temple recommend interview. I don’t remember that being one of the questions.
      The only thing I’ve heard on the subject of leading in the home is that the man and woman walk together as equals. The man does not walk ahead of the woman, neither does the woman walk ahead of the man.

      Maybe you meant that there are sexist men in the church. Reading your post though it sounds like you’re saying the church teaches sexism. That is not the case.

  10. It all comes down to the answer to one question.
    Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hold God’s priesthood authority?
    If No, then what are they withholding from women? Nothing but a man made idea.
    If Yes, then who has the authority to say who holds it and when? God.
    It really is that simple.

    • And what has god said, Jeremy? So far as I can tell, the heavens have remained silent on this issue. Lots of men and lots of women have said a lot of things. But where is god’s will made known?

      • My question here is “if the answer is NO not now.” will you drop it? I think not. Then you would say the prophet is false. I don’t think you will quit until either you get your way or you throw such a fit you give the church a very big black eye.

      • I think if the Lord is silent in this issue, it is because He has already made His will known – since before time began – “the same as has been done in other worlds”. Often the “answer” is, “I already sent you the answer, why do you choose to keep asking?” (Someone help me with a scripture reference here, please.) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      • Wendy: if the answer is “No, not right now,” then the obvious next question is, “When?” If the answer is, “No, never,” then there will be clarity on who is a faithful member of the church and who opposes the prophet. Right now we have people accusing women of being unfaithful, when perhaps they are merely the impetus to allow god’s prophets to seek his will.

        I have to admit I find it amusing that you think this gives the church a black eye. There have always been dissenters from the church, and there always will be. That causes no blemish on the church. The black eye comes when the church continues to promote inequality as god’s will, only to realize later that they were wrong. This happened before with race. Let’s learn from the past so that we don’t have to repeat it.

        Kathy: if he has already made his will known, please provide the scripture reference, or a quote from a prophet. We have gotten confused, as a church, and started trying to explain away inequality by inventing philosophies of men instead of seeking god’s will. We did this with blacks and the priesthood, too. Let’s not embarrass ourselves further by continuing to assert something is true when we have no real doctrinal basis for it.

      • Case in point.. you just showed you won’t drop it. Furthermore if you don’t get the answer you want, then the church is “in the dark ages” for “equality.” Then you claim people will have to “chose sides” as “for or against” the prophet. That is not exactly building up the kingdom. It is dividing it and certainly seems like a black eye to me. In case you haven’t noticed we are in the dark ages on most social issues including abortion, same sex marriage, premarital sex just to name a few. The negative media attention this is receiving is not going to change the policy. Revelation can, but popular opinion can not. Inequality is a dangerous political word to use when you say the church “promotes” it. Women and men are different. Where will you stand if the answer is “no never?” Or if the answer is “perhaps in the future,” already you are demanding WHEN. It seems the Lord rarely gives us those kind of definite “dates” for forthcoming revelation. I see you believe that since blacks eventually received the priesthood, you believe women will have the same result. You seem to believe this revelation came as a result of political pressure. If that is the case, then this whole “modern day prophet” idea is a sham. I’m not sure if women will receive the priesthood. I am not the prophet who is the ONLY one to receive revelation for the church as a whole. But at this time I am ok with not having the priesthood and I am choosing to follow the prophet (I interpret the answer to be NO not now). It should be noted that if the answer is “yes” I will still follow the prophet, however I would predict most men would sit back and have the women take over and we would become a church composed of 90% women. So be it, if that is Gods will…..

      • I find myself largely agreeing with your assessment, Wendy. The prophet is the only one who can change the policy for the church, and if he does it due to political pressure, well, that’s pretty sad. He should do it because it’s the right thing, not because the church will have a black eye if it doesn’t. And as far as there always being some people willing to call out inequality, even if it means disagreeing with the prophet should he say that he has received revelation indicating that the kingdom of god is sexist, I can only refer to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words on the subject: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      • It seems like you really won’t take NO for an answer. You seem to be putting words in President Monson’s mouth when you say “He should do it because it’s the right thing, not because the church will have a black eye if it doesn’t.,,,,,,And………. should he say that he has received revelation indicating that the kingdom of god is sexist,” In my opinion this issue is NOT about “Justice”… this is not injustice or inequality, just different roles. Accept the answer for now and realize our faith my be tested for not getting things to be our way. CAN YOU ACCEPT THE LDS GOSPEL IF THE ANSWER IS “NO THE PREISTHOOD IS NOT AVAILABLE TO WOMEN NOW, AND WE DONT KNOW IF IT EVER WILL BE?” That is all I am asking.

      • I apologize, Wendy, for my failure to communicate my position adequately. I don’t mean to imply that I know god’s will. Nor do I mean to insinuate that a revelation, either way, would force members to choose to support or reject the prophet.

        I am perfectly willing to accept the idea that people would choose to disagree with the prophet, or desire a different outcome, and yet still choose to remain faithful to the church and to put their doubts and their concerns second to their loyalty to the church. I think there are lots of examples of Saints doing that throughout history, and I for one do not fault them for making that deliberate choice.

        As you have noted, you and I view this issue in different ways. You have accepted the explanation that this is a matter of gender roles. Because of that, you are able to dismiss the possibility that this is a matter of sexism. I think a lot of Saints used that same approach with blacks and the priesthood, asserting that it wasn’t that the church was racist, but rather that god just didn’t want blacks to hold the priesthood.

        I personally do not subscribe to the idea that priesthood is burdened with gender. Obviously, historically it has been that way in the church. But there is no overt reason that I can see to convince me that eternal doctrine assigns priesthood solely to males. If females can hold the priesthood in heaven (as they are promised in the temple) why can they not hold it here on earth?

        If god wants to be sexist on earth, then that is his prerogative, and I would admire anyone who has the faith and the loyalty to remain true to him if he declares that this is his will. However, if god’s nature is eternal, if he loves all his children equally, if the order of heaven is that women hold the priesthood there, and if we are only living in a sub-optimal world because we have failed to ask in faith, then I think it would be really sad to continue to champion sexism merely because we are blind to the possibilities.

        Remember when the blacks received the priesthood? What did Elder McConkie say? Something about how new “light and knowledge” was erasing a previously “limited understanding.”

        If priesthood is available to women in heaven, then wouldn’t you say we are currently living in limited understanding? Should we reject new light and knowledge that the Lord desires us to have?

        You ask if I would accept no as an answer. My honest answer is that I would accept such an answer as the church’s position, but I would still assume that they were continuing to operate in error, and I would eagerly await the day when the next prophet would take up the question again. After all, it took more than one prophet to ask about reversing the ban on blacks holding the priesthood.

        So what about you? Would you accept yes as an answer?

      • So your view is that while no revelation seems to exist concerning women being ordained to the priesthood, and there is only any evidence of doctrine that men receive ordination to the priesthood, you KNOW that women should receive the priesthood. Everyone else is wrong and for you it is only a matter of time until you are proven right.

        I could understand this view from a parent talking to a child about something, and the parent knowing that the child will come to acknowledge it in the end. So you are setting yourself as above the church, or at least that is how it appears to me.

        Compare this approach to saying, there has been no direct revelation concerning this issue. Sure there is all this doctrine that seems to not mention it, but there hasn’t been a direct Q&A on the issue. So it seems very unlikely, but it is possible if revelation comes. [See there is no assumption that leaders are erring and we’re right. And the proper respect is given to revelation.]

    • That is a perfectly logical response if somebody where to believe there are no prophets since Jesus and the Heavens are closed. The LDS church however, claims to have divinely appointed men who are Prophets and can speak the will of the Lord. When we want to know the will of the Lord, we can listen to what the prophet has said.
      I think Jeremys comment was pretty clear on where he believes God has spoken.

      • What about when two different prophets from the same dispensation say differing things on a subject? What criteria is used to determine which one is more correct? Is it the most recent, or the living one, that should be heeded more than another? Just curious.

      • I agree with you. I thought that Jeremy’s comment was pretty clear, but I wanted to be sure that I hadn’t misunderstood him. I understood him to be saying that he feels god has spoken against female ordination. But maybe he was saying the opposite? That’s why I asked for the quote.

        Assuming that I didn’t misunderstand him, though, please feel free to give me a quote from a prophet that says, “God told us that women may not have the priesthood.” Then, assuming you can produce that, please take a moment to explain how a similar quote, “God told us that blacks may not have the priesthood,” relates to this discussion.

        I’m not sure why you think that god has spoken against female ordination. I have a quote from the temple endowment that says that women may become priestesses. I’ll quote it here for you if you want, but some Mormons get offended when portions of the temple ceremony are quoted, and it is not my intention to offend.

  11. I find it extremely interesting that the OW movement always likes to pick and choose what was revelation and what was not from the prophets (or at least speculate). Or when they were acting as a prophet and when they were not. So if the prophets are not God’s mouthpiece, why are you asking them for permission to receive the priesthood? If they are fallible, then why not go and “receive” the priesthood for yourself? If they can be wrong about doctrine, then the priesthood they hold ceases to be, and it is of no worth anyway. Go and ask Heavenly Father for yourself. Don’t you realize you are giving the men the power by asking permission? I do not ask my husband for permission to go out. I simply inform him I am doing so. The problem I see is that OW has a fundemental misunderstanding of how revelation works. Either the prophets are God’s mouthpiece or not.

    • I think the question, Sharel, that the OW women are asking is not whether or not the prophets are the Lord’s mouthpiece, since, as you pointed out, if they aren’t, why would they bother? My understanding of the issue can be summed up in these two questions: 1) Are prophets infallible?2) Have the prophets really asked of god, or are they simply being led in their decisions by the current cultural understanding of gender roles?

      These are not idle–nor easy–questions, since history has shown that the prophets were indeed flat out wrong about blacks holding the priesthood. Given the LDS Church’s own history, how can faithful members not ask the question? If the prophets can assure the women involved in the OW movement that they have indeed asked of god and that he has reaffirmed the current doctrinal practices of the church through direct revelation, then I am certain that the majority of them will be satisfied. Until then, though, I think scripture and history supports the idea that god’s children continue to ask questions and seek answers.

      • To the first question I will addend the qualifier of are they infallible in how the church is led? Sure they can make mistakes (like Joseph Smith misspelling a name), but in leading the church they do not. Why? Because they do all things according to God’s will.
        My answer to the second question will seem lacking to a non-member, but the decisions the leaders make are aligned with God’s will. They do not make decisions concerning God’s kingdom based on current cultural views.
        I view your last comment as unrelated to these two questions, and I agree with it. Case in point: neither the brethren nor I had noticed that we always ask men to say the prayers at general conference. Was this really important? In the eternal perspective no, but to someone it was important. They asked about it and the leaders of the church realized that this was the case [that it was statistically occurring, even if it was not policy]. I thank the ones who brought up this question.

      • I’m curious, Spencer, how you can say that Brigham Young was infallible in how he led the church when he instituted a policy banning blacks from holding the priesthood. Are you saying that it was god’s will that blacks not hold the priesthood? Or are you saying that making church policy is not “leading the church?”

        And I’m not sure why you can’t see the corollaries. If you and the brethren didn’t notice that women weren’t saying prayers in General Conference, why can you not accept that the overt sexism of the church may have also made you and the brethren blind to other inequalities as well, such as priesthood ordination?

        Did the temple ceremony come to Joseph Smith because he made it up one day? Or did god reveal it to him? If god revealed it to him, why do you not believe that it was revelation that women will become priestesses, as they are promised in the temple?

        Members point to a lot of excuses to explain away possible reasons that women do not currently hold the priesthood. Members did the same thing to explain why blacks didn’t, too. Yet in neither case do they back up those reasons with revelation. So why do you “know” that although they were wrong about blacks, they are right about women?

        Don’t you think it worthwhile to go to your prophet and have him ask of god? Or have you decided you already know god’s will, just as your parents knew that god’s will was that blacks shouldn’t have the priesthood?

    • I feel sorry for you Frogman. Either the church is true or it is not. Every time you bring up the priesthood you argue that the church was racist. Then if the church be true God is a racist. You thus are stating that the church is not true. Then you continue to argue that you are looking at this issue as if the church were true.
      The ordinances in the temple are sacred. You should know this, yet you continue to bring up these sacred things in this forum, knowing that those of us who believe in the Church do not trifle with sacred things. I have posted before only one comment with respect to the temple, and it is the most I will say outside of the temple on the subject: we receive ordinances in the temple, we do not receive new doctrine.
      I guess you also can’t see that you took an observation about the need to ask questions, twisted it well beyond its context to use in your own argument, and then asked me why I don’t see the need to ask questions. So I tell you we should ask and you respond in the end by asking me why I think we should not ask. What a perfect example of arguing only for the sake of arguing.

      • Spencer,
        The Church has already told us in the recent Blacks and the Priesthood essay that there is no known reason behind the priesthood ban. This would lead one to believe God is not behind it. Therefore, God is still not a racist.

        It’s not ‘trifling with sacred things’ to talk about them. We only covenant to not reveal a few very small things in the temple. I believe it actually diminishes the sacredness of the temple for members to refuse to ever talk about these things outside the temple.

      • Katie, I can understand your view. There is no known reason. However, the assumption must be made one way or the other for the whole time-span. To say that God is not behind it is still an assumption.
        The question raised, however, is as to whether the church is not true because of this. Were questions never asked until Spencer W. Kimball? No the question was asked before that time. Frogman is insinuating that if the church is true then God is a racist for not removing the ban earlier. Since we know God is perfect and is no respecter of persons, the conclusion Frogman would then reach is that the church is not true.
        I agree that speaking about things alone is not enough to “trifle” with them. But I do think it is trifling to take words of the ordinance and twist them to be used in an argument. If I was in gospel doctrine class I would feel comfortable in discussing more of the doctrine and that we see it also in the temple. However, it is inappropriate to bring up the temple in an internet forum, and not because you are discussing doctrine but because you would have others believe an argument that could not be understood by any but those who have been to the temple.
        Imagine those who have not been through the temple reading this. Will it in any way help them see the temple as sacred? No, it might instill interest to see what Frogman is talking about, but it in no way holds the temple endowment sacred.

      • I am not insinuating that god is racist. I am saying quite clearly that despite god *not* being racist, his church instituted racist policies contrary to god’s will. Eventually, thanks in large part to the blessing of modern revelation, the church got back on track. But it raises interesting questions. Why did the church err for so long? Is it possible that there are other things that the church might have gotten wrong? If so, how would faithful members recognize that the church is wrong, since all the leadership seems to agree with the error until it is corrected? If a member prays sincerely to god about something the church has gotten wrong, and is able to receive personal revelation (not intended to guide the whole church, but just information for that member), is that member seen as more “worthy” for being close enough to god to get the answer right, or less “worthy” for having doubted the prophet in the first place? That is to say, what is more valued in the church: truth or loyalty?

      • Concerning the “contrary to God’s will” part I will point out that we don’t know. Kathy pointed this out in her post above, and I need not repeat my reply. We don’t know if it came because of revelation or if it was a policy created by Brigham Young. So going back to his time, when that policy was started, it was either a mistake by a man or a revelation from God. We do not know which.
        Then we continue onward, with different leaders over time. Do they have the question of whether to start this policy? No, it already exists. Do they ask about it? Maybe, we do not know (until much more recent times). Did they make a mistake then? No. You have to do something (or not do something you must do) in order to make a mistake. Suppose that they did change things, not because of revelation, but because it “didn’t seem right.” Then they would have made a mistake. You can change things in your church, but this is not your church.
        Going to the Book of Mormon, after the initially split of Lehi’s family there was a commandment to the Nephites that they mix not with the Lamanites. The Lamanites became like unto a separate race which for a time had the fullness of the gospel withdrawn from them. Later the Nephites started missionary efforts among them. The church in those days did not “get off track.” And it is the testimony of members today that the church is not “off track,” but rather that the Savior is at the helm.
        Concerning a church member asking God in prayer, of course a member can ask for understanding, light, and knowledge. I guarantee you they won’t pray that they can “know what the church has gotten wrong.” A faithful member of the church wouldn’t be starting from the point of assuming error. So what is more valued, truth or loyalty? I can’t separate them. We are loyal to God first, but He is Truth. If a person truly doubts the prophet, they would not be getting truths not related to what they need; that the Prophet is called of God. So the situation you suggest would be impossible to reach; getting truth with no loyalty to it. And like I said before, I can’t fathom how to separate them.
        Perhaps it would be helpful to look at the revelation on the priesthood. This is not well known, but prior to the revelation there were many patriarchal blessings to black members promising temple blessings in this life. (Which the men would have to receive the priesthood in order to receive) They didn’t know how this blessing would come to them, neither did they doubt the prophet. They had faith that the Lord would see fit to reveal his plan to them in His time.

  12. Shantell, the first time you don’t put into quotes something some one else has said, very interesting? I knew it would get to my grammar that’s an obvious and easy fault to blame. However it continues to point to your self-righteous tendancies. I was saying how I got no response from my last message to you? Doesn’t it feel great to have every word you say examined? You a frog boy’s true colors are comming out just fine. I am not misrepresenting when I can ask it you both hail from Utah am I ?

    • If you look carefully, you’ll see that beginning with John Dehlin’s first statement, there are open quotation marks, and at the end of Debra’s last remark, there are closing quotation marks. Thus, the entire exchange between them from the podcast is in quotations. (Is it really my fault you weren’t paying closer attention?) It’s not any of my business if someone uses poor punctuation (I never said anything about grammar), but the person doing that should recognize that they are making it more difficult for others to understand them clearly. Note that I wasn’t name-calling. Just stating a fact: It was a challenge for me to understand exactly what you were trying to say, because it was in a run-on sentence. There is nothing I want to address in any of your other remarks. If you see me as self-righteous because I said I am usually more patient–well, sister, go right ahead. Our exchanges have taken on a very laughable tenor, IMO. If you have anything of substance you wish to respectfully discuss, I am happy to. If you would like to name-call, misquote, or pass judgement, I am much less interested.

  13. The word of wisdom was revealed when Emma asked Joseph to pray about the drinking and smoking. Is it so wrong to ask for an answer that has been asked of god instead of just saying no. I think that’s all ow is asking for.

    • Not at all make an appointment with the Prophet and ask him yourself. Oh wait your not married to him? Mike make a difference and who says woman in the church don’t have any influence?

      • The women of the Ordain Women movement have sent multiple letters requesting a private meeting with church authorities, and the church has, to date, refused to respond to or even acknowledge those letters.

  14. Easy to name call with someone else’s words that were not directed at me. Talk about mis-representing!you mis quoted yourself! This is what you said to me scroll up! “I usually have a verry deep store of patience for people I disagree with.” Talk about sounding condisending and you play it off as “If you find me self righteous because I said I am usually more paitient- well then sister, go right a head” you go girl! You my dear are self righteous if you can’t see your own distain and name calling yourself!

  15. well, im only 19 and ive had many issues with some of the logic and ideas of the mormon church. but women holding the priesthood is never one of them. i personally do not think that women could hold the priesthood and be able to use it well, for the simple fact of how we are hardwired. some priesthood blessings that the men have to give are not easy, and we become to emotionally attached to things. would you be able to lay your hands on the head of someone and say its you time to go? i know people that have had to do that. a dying ten year old, got the blessing of peace in his passing away of cancer, not the blessing of healing. and as women, agree or not, we have the urge to comfort rather then fix. and those who are going against the church and what the prophet of God has said, clearly does not believe in the gift of revelation, or that our prophet receives revelation. i think that God doesnt allow us to hold the priesthood, to protect us for the pain and heartache of some of the blessings youd have to give. like the father that had to bless his son, not saying that he would be healed, but everything would be made clear? and his wife became so angry with him, because he didnt heal their son. i know not all women are the same, but honestly i dont think that we would be able to handle the duties and responsibilities of the priesthood. and who are we to question God?

  16. I agree that the wanting of the “Priesthood” by women is founded on a misunderstanding of doctrine. And I’d dare to say that a good 95%+ of Church members probably do not fully understand the doctrine of the Priesthood, even the men and myself included. Much of that understanding will likely come after this life.

    I think a great misunderstanding comes from not knowing the difference between actual Priesthood power and the “offices” of the Holy Priesthood. We women DO have Priesthood power; that is made clear through participating in temple ordinances. However, as women, in mortality, we do not hold Priesthood “offices” set forth for the order and organization of the Savior’s Church on the earth.

    Another misunderstanding regarding the Priesthood is the idea/philosophy that Priesthood power is somehow ONLY connected to the offices of the Priesthood. Holding Priesthood offices is not a prerequisite to exercise “Priesthood power.” I repeat: holding Priesthood offices it NOT a prerequisite to exercise “Priesthood power”; however, making and keeping covenants is.

    From my personal study of the scriptures on the topic, whenever a servant of God (male or female) acts in behalf of the benefit of God’s children (the purpose of the Priesthood), to do so, he/she first seeks the “authority” to do so, which authority and power comes from the Holy Ghost. In many instances in the scriptures it even appears that the power of the Priesthood and the power of the Holy Ghost are one and the same. (It’s a really neat study topic, actually).

    So if the “Ordain Women” group or any of us are sincerely seeking to do some real good in this world, no matter our calling or “office”, it seems the first place to start is by seeking the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost.

    Physiologically speaking: just because the heart is not the brain (and vice versa), doesn’t mean it’s role and function in maintaining life is any less important. Take either (or any vital organ for that matter) organ out of the picture and you have a dead women/man. Why would a heart want to be a brain, or a brain a heart, when fulfilling its intended purpose is where it really shines and does the greatest good?

    • I think you have historical precedent on your side in your analysis, loveisreal. I appreciate your approach to the subject and would find a large measure of comfort in it if the prophets declared that to be the doctrine. However, it raises a few questions for me that I would struggle with. Why would the prophets ask women to cease exercising their priesthood power in the 1940’s? Why doesn’t the church teach women that they have this power even today? Why aren’t men instructed in the particulars of the association of the priesthood with the Holy Ghost in as clear a manner as you have presented it?

      Please don’t read my questions as accusatory or contentious. I seek only to understand. Gospel truths are simple and elegant, and you have detailed a simple and elegant approach to the priesthood that for some reason isn’t how the church teaches it today. How do you reconcile that? Have you misunderstood the priesthood, or have God’s prophets?

  17. I’m not going to read all of the replies so maybe the points I’m going to bring up have already been discussed. However, there were a few things stated in the blog that I disagree with.

    I don’t think that most OW proponents feel “that they must be the same as a man to be strong and powerful.” I suspect that it’s merely a question of not being allowed to fill a role based on gender. Most women I know don’t seem to want the priesthood. However, I have met some that do and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with wanting to be more like men. Some women simply like the idea of being able to perform ordinances. Some simply like the idea of certain priesthood related callings.

    There was a time period when most professions were associated with men. If a woman wanted to be a lawyer, for instance, she might have been accused of trying to be like men. It might have been said that she was demeaning her role as a woman by implying that women have to participate in jobs normally associated with men to be “strong and powerful.” In reality, perhaps she just likes the idea of being a lawyer.

    It was said in the blog that, “Women are not denied title or rank because of their lack of Priesthood.” This sentence is completely false. What about the title/rank of President of the Church? Or a member of the quorum of the twelve? Or of the seventy? Or stake president? Or bishop? Or branch president? Or mission zone leader? Or district leader? Or even ward clerk? It could be debated that these might not be interpreted as “ranks”, but they are certainly titles and they are certainly denied to women because of a lack of priesthood.

    I’m not even going to say what I think ‘should’ be done in the church. If the church is true then it’s up to God anyway to determine its direction. I would simply advise to not jump to conclusions as to why this hasn’t happened or why it shouldn’t happen. Because it’s very possible that this change ‘could’ happen in the church.

  18. When men get to have the babies, then it will be equal. If you really want the priesthood as a woman, then give up your rights to God to carry a child. Tell Him you don’t want it anymore. Tell Him what is best for you and what is best for a male. Pray that He gives you what you want (but put aside what you need) and pray that He takes away the need of males to want to be Priesthood holders. They will not have a way to feel close to Christ, but now you wont either….You cannot go through sacrifice and the nurturing moments for carrying a life inside you, doing things differently to ensure the survival or seeing the amazing moment when all that work and change you went through lay in your arms, looking up to see the new experience here on Earth. It belongs to them now. It’s their right.

    Men and women were designed different, by God, for a reason. For that same reason, they are given charge differently. Men don’t have the opportunity to bear children, for a reason. They cannot experience it the same way, just like women cannot experience the Priesthood the same way. It is, by design, the way a Man can come close to Christ (just like women, in their nurturing design, become close to Christ and understand His sacrifice better through bearing a child. Even for those women who cannot, still, by nurturing design, feel the same spiritual instinct.) The sacrifice, time, keys and covenants are for growth and understanding of what it means to Be like Christ.

    The Priesthood holder is ultimately in charge for what happens to his family, come the day of accountability… ..among MANY other eternal things. It is a heavy burden, when not supported by a woman who is willing to bouy up, care for and respect the truth of what her eternal companion must do, every single day. Certainly, a woman is quick to point out when the man is not compassionate to her needs, eternal tasks, little time and feelings….

    But, when a woman wants to belittle sacred ordinances with the “anything he can do, I can do better,” mindset, the foundations will crumble as the eye is no longer single to the glory of God, The Father…but wandering, looking at greener pastures the Adversary planted with a grin. The Adversary, also wanted things a certain way, in his eyes, the best way , so everyone came home, equal and without sin. Not a single brother or sister lost…and he could say, he did that. He made that possible.

    We were told how receptive both men AND women were to that. Over half saw the flaw in that idea. While it made many sad and angry, a third, still fight for that idea today. If you truly think that a woman should hold the priesthood to be “equal” then you know nothing about why we are blessed to be women and unaware of what the priesthood actually is…therefore, you should not be given charge of it…it would be irresponsible.

    • If motherhood is equivalent to priesthood, Willhamina, then you have an argument. I posit, however, that there is already a natural equivalent to motherhood. It’s called fatherhood. Bearing a child requires the active use of a womb, which men do not have. Does exercising the priesthood require the active use of a penis? If so, then anyone who excludes women from exercising the priesthood is justified. Otherwise, your argument is fallacious.

      • I thought it was funny that you ended your comment by saying the argument was fallacious because you used a fallacious argument to challenge it. You used the “False dilemma” fallacy, arguing that there are only two possible answers. Male reproductive organ required for priesthood use and thus no women priesthood possible, or it is not and women can have the priesthood.
        There is no revelation stating anything about the man’s body part you refer to being in any way connected to the priesthood. You know this already, it is a fact. You basically just said that given the facts we know I am right without those facts having any bearing on the issue.
        You also seem fixated on the idea of comparing womanhood to the priesthood in the sense of the Supreme Court’s ruling concerning Separate but equal which was later reversed by that same court. Know this; for those who believe that this is God’s church we do not believe that God makes mistakes. Christ is the head of this church, and the policies that are in it come from Him.
        If you want to assume that is not the case in your quips, please state it.

      • Willhamina did compare motherhood and the priesthood because they are each something that appears to be given to one sex and not the other for reasons unknown. She did not state that they were equal. However, in your reply you did show that this was your interpretation (of what Willhamina said). Thus it seems that you look for that particular interpretation, as I described in my reply, and attach it to comparisons that are not meant to be interpreted as a is equal to b.
        You have also mentioned in other posts that you believe this comparison is an explanatory doctrine of some kind invented in the 40’s or 50’s. It is not doctrine, it is a comparison of something we generally understand more to something we understand less. It is not a perfect comparison. Comparisons do not need to be perfect.

      • Spencer, Willhamina said, “When men get to have the babies, then it will be equal. If you really want the priesthood as a woman, then give up your rights to God to carry a child.”

        If you want to argue with me that priesthood is not associated with gender, then you are arguing the exact same point I am arguing, and thus I am certain that you also agree that Willhamina’s argument is invalid, since she said that carrying children or holding the priesthood is an either/or proposition. Why do you accuse me of advancing that theory?

        And yes, I agree with you that it’s not a perfect comparison. Except I go further and state categorically that it’s a misleading comparison and utterly invalid. Motherhood and fatherhood are equivalents. Motherhood and priesthood are not.

      • Willhamina obviously does not have that viewpoint. She is arguing that there are differences between men and women. Womanhood for reasons unknown seems to be given to only women. Priesthood is only given to men. She does not suggest that you have one and not the other because it is an either or. She is pointing out that demanding the priesthood is similar to revoking motherhood (in the opposite direction).

        The flaw in your reasoning could be stated in math terms easily. Triangle A is similar to Triangle C is the question. Triangle A is congruent (means equal to) triangle B. You are trying to say that because we know that triangle A = triangle B then triangle A can not be similar to triangle C. Rather we find that if A=B and A is similar to C, then B is similar to C. So are you saying that fatherhood is not similar to the priesthood? Because that is what your logic is stating.

        Now I will agree on one point. This comparison can mislead someone who thinks it is an equal to instead of a comparison. That would lead to false conclusions about what is true for one must be true for the other. This is why it is important to acknowledge that they are similar ideas, but not a perfect (equal to) comparison.

  19. I think that the whole mindset here is that those women feel it is a “boy’s club” mentality, and they don’t feel they should be left out. This is a mentality that is based upon earthly values, and a mindset that is more in keeping with mans ideals, then Gods.

    The priesthood is not a blessing. It is not a way for men to be “better” then women. It is instead a way that we men are given to serve. We are to use our Priesthood to serve others in and outside of the kingdom. Women are given equal, but different callings within the church that is not given to the men. It is our responsibility, and our burden.

    Each and every calling within the church has the exact same responsibility. And the same criteria of judgement by our father in heaven. “Did you magnify what you were given as a responsibility and sacred trust?” For the sisters to feel they are not equal within the church, it is either a direct problem by those in charge of the branch or ward, or an earthly value that sees a position of responsibility that they can’t have, and thinks it is about power and privilege.

    Many, if not most of the positions within the church are given to both men and women. There is no qualification that goes along with it, except “are they worthy?” There are just two aspects within the restored gospel that has the criteria of “are they a brother or sister?” One is the Priesthood, the other is the Relief Society. What is forgotten within this pushing, or vying for “privilege,” is that ALL callings are equal in the eyes of the Lord, and ALL callings are given as much responsibility for the ones given the calling. Both organizations are required to provide comfort and service both inside and outside the church. Both are given as a sacred trust. However, the Priesthood is given a greater burden of responsibility, and in the end, judgement, by our Heavenly Father. As a member of the Priesthood, I am to give a greater level of service, then my sisters of the gospel. Not because I am better, but because I need the reminder of being of service more. If there is inequality, it is because I am in more need to prove my worthiness, then the daughters of our heavenly father.

    In the end, it is my burden to magnify my calling, so that I can be with my Elder Brother, and my Heavenly Father after this life. Just as it is the burden of all members of the restored Gospel. If I have the burden of the Priesthood, and I am given the responsibility to give council to our members as we all do for the perfecting of the Saints, then my council is this. Give service to all within the callings you are given, and do not try to put earthly values on gods callings. There is no inequality. There is only need for giving service in the manner that we are to give it. To try to gain power for the sake of having it, is not service. To try and force the church to change policy, and not to live within the framework that our Heavenly Father built the Church, is instead telling our Heavenly Father that you feel you can do better then he can. It is not our place to change the framework, nor is it our place to try and force change. To do so, is saying that the Church is ultimately a man made creation, and not led by our Father in Heaven, through our Elder Brother Jesus Christ.

    It IS our responsibility to question the policies and criteria for the framework of the church, true. We are also given the burden of learning as much as we can in this life about the Restored Gospel, and by doing that, we magnify our callings. We learn the responsibilities we carry as members of that Gospel, and we also learn about our place within the framework of that Gospel. We are not to blindly follow the scriptures, or the words of the Prophets. We are even to question the teachings that are given by our Elder Brother. However, I believe that many within the restored Gospel are forgetful of WHY we are to ask those questions. It is not to effect change. It is instead so that we may more fully understand WHY those policies and beliefs are there. We are given this so we can either accept, or reject the teachings. We can either accept the plan as has been laid out for us, or reject it. We are given our free agency for the sole purpose of proving our worthiness of becoming who we can become. We learn these things so we can become the best person we can.

    Again. We are not to be blind to the Gospel, but instead we are to have as full a knowledge as we can have, before this life is over. We are to gain an understanding of the gospel, and in the end, ourselves. That knowledge is to be in place so we can provide service to each other, not so we can say we are better then someone else because we have this knowledge.

    • “I think that the whole mindset here is that those women feel it is a “boy’s club” mentality, and they don’t feel they should be left out. This is a mentality that is based upon earthly values, and a mindset that is more in keeping with mans ideals, then Gods.”

      I have a crazy idea, Johnathan Jarrett. Rather than deconstructing straw man arguments, how about if you actually take a moment to find out what these women really think? There is a recorded interview in which they explain their desires and their reasoning. http://mormonstories.org/ordain-women-spring-2014/

      After you listen to it, if you find you still disagree, at least you will be able to speak to the concerns they actually raise rather than finding fault with your supposed shortcomings of their views.

      • Frogman Johnathan’s view is not a straw man argument. It certainly is not comprehensive since there are many reasons. He is just stating that in his opinion the general feeling is that of comparing worldly organizations to the church. Incidentally the first woman in the podcast you posted a url to said that she saw women being ordained in other organizations and that led her to write an article on having the same occur in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So I guess you didn’t notice that, but you gave supporting evidence that justifies (in at least one case) the opinion Johnathan set forth.

        The one point I think we should take away from listening to their viewpoints is that they feel pain. They feel something that is unpleasant and they are trying to do what they feel will end this feeling. So somehow (different for each person) they believe that things will be better if this change occurs.

  20. As I’m seeing the people who feel so strongly about this topic, it makes me wonder if this is one more avenue for some men to take less responsibility in their lives. Women’s sexual liberation gave some men less responsibility to get married and be good fathers, maybe this is the church equivalent with some wanting less service responsibilities. Just a thought… cough (Frogman)cough…

    • I’m not sure what to make of your confusing way of directing your comments to me, anniebwanny. But since you did, I assume that mean you want my opinion.

      Your argument is called a straw man. You take the other person’s goal, and you put your own interpretation on their motivations, and then you can easily deconstruct their supposed motivation and in the process cause others to view them in a less favorable light. It’s an effective approach to winning an argument by appealing to emotion, but it’s called a logical fallacy because it doesn’t actually aid in understanding where another person is coming from or finding a solution that meets the needs of all involved. If your goal is to “win” and be “right,” then by all means continue.

      If, however, you want to understand what actually motivates these women to believe that priesthood has not been eternally denied to them and to desire it during this life, then I would respectfully suggest that you listen to their reasons for their actions rather than supposing you already know.

      • A straw man begins as you said, representing your opponent’s stance in a slightly different light that is easier to argue against. But the straw man argument also has the argument piece. Anniebwanny’s post is not a straw man ARGUMENT.
        She didn’t even try to make the stance seem plausible. It is obviously a witty comment, try to think of it as a joke. I laughed out loud the first time I read it. I saw your response, but I didn’t realize it was to this post until now.

  21. This blogger seems to be saying that the Ordain Women movement want priesthood so they can be like men, and that they don’t understand fundamental doctrine. That is just plain false. OW do not want to be like men. They want to be like God. We should not equate priesthood with maleness- we should equate it with Godliness and holiness. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but if you want to know what the Ordain Women’s group believe- listen to their stories. Get to know them. Directly. Not through someone else’s opinion on what they believe. I personally know many fabulous, brilliant women who relate to this group. I am one of them. I am also one of you. A child of God. I read my scriptures daily, served a mission, married in the temple, go to church every week and serve faithfully in my calling.I have a testimony. I’m not going anywhere. I still have questions and that’s okay. No one has the right to question my worthiness or my understanding of the gospel when I’m doing everything I can to be faithful and true. I’m not saying you are doing that by posting this, because your opinion is valid too. I just want others to know they are not alone if they have questions. You are not alone if you want to know more about Heavenly Mother and more about your role is as a woman in the next life. I want to know too! Much love to you all !

    • Lis – just curious – would you be satisfied not knowing it right now? Some things are not for us to know while in this earthly state. Some things we have to wait and find out when a) the time is right on earth or b) the time is right in the next life. Demanding to know now, reminds me of a kid who can’t wait for Christmas morning to see what’s in the presents. Patience is one of those Godly virtues. While it’s fun to wonder what things will be like in the next life, and sometimes we talk about it, I’m OK not to know all there is to know about those things right now. I am worried less about becoming God-like in this life, and more worried about just becoming Christ-like. The one precedes the other. “Line Upon Line, Precept on Precept, here a little, there a little ….”

  22. First, I’m an atheist, my mother occasionally made me go to church at Christmas, but gave up fairly soon, seeing as she only kind of believes in a god, and my dad doesn’t at all, and my school had a church of England chapel which I had to go to every Monday. Secondly, I’m male, and a feminist. I get these things out the way so people know where my unconscious biases are hidden.

    Isn’t the point about woman having the priesthood in any church (and indeed, any position of power and influence within modern society) not about them having the power, or being more like men, but instead about choice? Feminism, as I understand it, is about giving every women (and indeed, person) the right to do what they want to do, without fear of being judged because they have mammary glands. No, women don’t NEED to be priests, but some, clearly, WANT to be, yet they aren’t allowed, purely because of their gender. It gets harder when it comes to religion, with ways of living being handed down in texts which are considered by some (not all religious people think this) to be written by their god, or maybe just the interpretation of their will. But, in what can be described as the more liberal churches, rules about gay marriage, appropriate clothing for both men and women, dietary habits, and even women’s priesthood, are not taken literally from the text, rather the approach is that as long as you love your god(/s), they’ll love you. If we take out the instruction of scripture, the idea that women can do all the stuff a priest does anyway, so why would they need to be a priest, seems to me like hiding behind a circular argument, and it comes back to my mantra of choice. If a women wants to, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her being a housewife for her whole life, that’s her choice. If a women doesn’t feel the need to become a priest, no-one should force her. But if she wants to be a priest, that is her choice, and the blocks put on her are, to me at least, artificial.

    • In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we believe that God calls prophets and speaks to them directly. That we are not guessing at what he wants, but rather that he has made his gospel known unto us. “We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (Article of faith: 8). We read the scriptures to treasure up his words in our hearts and listen to the prophets to hear the words of God directed to us in today’s day and age.
      “We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” (Article of faith: 5) This priesthood authority was given by God to man. And God has given agency unto man, that they may accept or reject it.

    • In a way you are right. If a woman wants to be a priest now a days then she can be in many different religions, and any woman who wants to can join those religions.
      In our religion we believe that we don’t get to decide to be a bishop(our equivalent to a priest) or any other calling. The Lord calls whom he will. That means a man that is called to teach the 12 year olds and instead decides he wants to be a bishop can’t be. In the same way, priesthood power is the Lord’s power. I’ve heard it compared to the sun and those that He shares that power with are like the ones that he allows to open the shades and let the sun in. They don’t own the sun, they don’t control the sun, and they certainly can’t give the sun to someone else. The shades only open when the Lord wants them to even when the cord is being pulled by a priesthood leader. Women will have the priesthood when the Lord wants them to and not one second before. It is His power.
      Why has He asked us to wait? (Yes I do think it is a timing thing for this life) I don’t know, I don’t feel less because of it though. We have to wait for many things, and we will be judged on our patience and faith.
      As a side note I have felt personally the anger and disdain of radical feminists for those of us who have chosen to stay home. They see their way as the only way and have taught society to see strong women as women with jobs outside the home.

  23. I have to say that it is refreshing to have someone see it as it is. Let’s celebrate womanhood! I am a strong wonderful talented person, and I don’t have to be like a man to be so. The choice that I have made to do the most valuable things possible in my life and affect the future by not only raising my children but influencing and mentoring others is not a cop out. I could have gone to work and made money, I believe I could have been very successful at it. I think that if that is your idea of what is important and what defines success then go for it. Don’t look down on those of us who have different ideals. I am blessed to have a husband who has similar ideals. He supports me and knows what I do is important, as I support him in our division of labor. Too many times I have heard woman who would like to spend their time creating the future, but their husbands don’t value the role of mother and have told them, “it’s time to start pulling your weight”. This is what our society has created. A belief that if women are not like men they aren’t good. If they don’t do what men do, then what they do is not valuable. Ironically, This is what radical feminism has gotten us.

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