Mormon Women Hold the Priesthood

by: Graceforgrace

January 20, 2013

I teach a class at our local Mormon church called Gospel Principles.  It is a course designed for people who are not familiar with the Mormon faith who are wanting to learn more, or for those who need a “refresher” course.  This week’s lesson is on the Priesthood.

According to the lesson manual, the definition of priesthood is: the eternal power and authority of God.  The lesson continues by sharing that God has a certain order and delegates this power and authority for people to act in his name.  It also goes on to share the in God’s church only those who have been ordained to the priesthood by the laying on of hands can lead God’s church.

As I read through the lesson, I became distracted by a certain phrase that kept popping up in various ways.  I’ll highlight some of them:

Our Heavenly Father delegates His priesthood power to worthy male members of the Church.

If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs

Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A worthy male member of the Church receives the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority..”

Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.

When a man uses the priesthood “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (D&C 121:41), he can do many wonderful things for his family and others.

Men use priesthood authority to preside in the Church in such callings as branch president, bishop, quorum president, stake president, and mission president.

…every man who uses the priesthood in righteousness that he “will find his life sweetened, his discernment sharpened to decide quickly between right and wrong, his feelings tender and compassionate…”

As you can probably see, the word “man” or “men” was mentioned with almost every paragraph.  There was one mention of women in the whole lesson, which is:

Men and women who hold positions in the Church as officers and teachers work under the direction of priesthood leaders and under the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Women Still hold the Priesthood

Mormon Heretic points out that the original intention of Priesthood (the power to act in God’s name) was that men and women have a share in the priesthood.  Priesthood has evolved into meaning hierarchical positions in the church, but that wasn’t it’s original intention.  As pointed out in the article, women received the priesthood when they received their endowment in the temple.

Today, women still receive endowments in the temple and they perform priesthood ordinances, so they have the priesthood but only use it in the temples (to my knowledge).

Is that enough?

Although technically, Mormon women have the priesthood, they do not use it to give blessings, perform ordinances, and function in leadership positions such as pastor for a congregation.

As a Mormon male, I can not speak in behalf of Mormon women.  I just know that if I were a Mormon woman, I’d have a lot of questions about why men run everything and how it evolved from leaders talking about both men and women sharing the priesthood to where it is now discussed that only men have the priesthood (although that is technically not true).  It appears that many women from the Mormon Woman Project feel that way as pointed out in a recent Salt Lake News Tribune article, in that they want to see greater equality in the church.

If you are a Mormon woman, please share your thoughts about the priesthood.  If you are fine with how things are, please explain why.  If you would like some changes, why and what would you change?

50 Responses to Mormon Women Hold the Priesthood

  1. Kris on January 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I am satisfied with my role as a woman in the church. I believe I used my agency to choose my sex in the pre existence. I enjoy my role as wife and mother. I am blessed by Heavenly Father who answers my prayers.

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  2. Mormon Heretic on January 20, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I went to the temple this weekend, and it struck me that both men and women are clothed in the robes of the holy priesthood. There is little distinction with how men and women participate in the ritual part of the ordinances. I wonder why the distinction comes when we leave the temple.

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  3. Moss on January 20, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Not to thread jack, but If we chose our sex in the Pre-existence, then we were something before we were female- something identical to whatever the males were before they chose to be men. Are you saying that in our original states we were genderless?

    Because that raises all sorts of interesting ideas concerning equality…

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  4. hawkgrrrl on January 20, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Kris – There is no doctrinal basis for the idea that we chose our sex. We were told that the “intelligences” have always existed, although male and female are not referenced. You are entitled to your belief – I just wanted to point out that it’s not backed up by doctrine. You could be right or maybe not. You are speculating.

    Aside from that, I find your response to the question to be evasive and nonsensical. You seem to be equating motherhood with priesthood. Motherhood equals fatherhood. Both sexes are parents and spouses and receive answers to prayer and personal revelation.

    G2G – My view is that I’d like to see any non-doctrinal inequalities stripped out. If there is a doctrinal (not mere policy) justification for it, I can live with that. The status quo creates cognitive dissonance for those who are used to women being equally respected and valued for their intellect and leadership – that particularly includes the rising generation and American converts, two groups where retention is difficult right now. This is one reason.

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  5. Jon on January 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    I know I’m not supposed to post here anymore, but I was doing some searching for something else and came across this post.

    I think it is interesting that in the temple women perform ordinances (initiatories). So that would say they do have the priesthood. Some say that it is because they act under the directions of the priesthood holders. But that doesn’t make any sense because, by the same logic, a priesthood holder could have a woman baptized or a kid perform a baptism.

    So the question should be, during BYs reign as president were women ordained to the priesthood and later this practice stopped? Or do women magically get the priesthood some other way? Are the born with it like John the baptist was born with the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

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  6. Jon on January 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Oh, I guess MH addressed that in his post. Got to read it all first before commenting :)

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  7. LDS Anarchist on January 21, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    #4 hawkgrrrl,

    There is no doctrinal basis for the idea that we chose our sex. We were told that the “intelligences” have always existed, although male and female are not referenced. You are entitled to your belief – I just wanted to point out that it’s not backed up by doctrine. You could be right or maybe not. You are speculating.

    What about this:

    Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; and God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

    And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him:

    1. This he/him intelligence that stood among the other intelligences, that was like unto God, is spoken of in male terms. Could that not be taken as a gender reference?

    2. If we assume that intelligences come in two varieties, male and female, how can we assume anything other than choice, considering the foundational principles of agency and common consent in the kingdom of God? If gender were forced upon us, without our consent, without our agency-based choice, would that not make God like the tyrant, Satan, who desired to force all things to do his will?

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  8. hawkgrrrl on January 21, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    LDSA: “how can we assume anything other than choice” The other alternative is that biological sex is inate, like natural law. Also, since we were “intelligences” we didn’t get to choose our own IQ. We got what we had, and it’s ours to build upon. Not everything is choice. Some things pre-date choice. All I’m saying is that it’s speculative.

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  9. Roger on January 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    This discussion re pre-mortal sex selection begins to approximate the debates over the volume of angels occupying pinheads. How we ended up with gender, abilities, disabilities, skin pigment and national origins has been the fodder for raving speculation for generations.

    We do know that there has been unrighteous dominion, abuse and a patronizing approach toward women. In the corporate world it has been chiefly the specter of draconian fines and punishments that initiated some of the changes. I really don’t know whether GC prayers, pantsuits, or priesthood ordinations will make any difference in people’s daily interactions.

    Personally, wanting to see my wife and daughters get a fair shot and just treatment was the impetus for revamping my attitudes, beliefs and actions.

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  10. Will on January 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    “but If we chose our sex in the Pre-existence’

    Where did you get that. This is not true.

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  11. Will on January 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I like the kid in a primary sharing time many years ago when the primary president asked the kids: “what do men have that women don’t in the church – I’ll give you a hint it starts with a P.”

    One of the kids on the front row blurted out “Penis”. That got everyone’s attention and got to the real issue. Men and women are different. They are made differently, have different hormones and respond differently to situations; thus, God clearly intended for us to have different roles and a different purpose. It doesn’t make one side more important or more worthwhile in the site of God, just different. And, we will be judged on how we handle those roles.

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  12. graceforgrace on January 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Will,

    I laughed out loud at your comment. That is awesome!

    Regarding roles and priesthood, please elaborate more on what you think a woman’s role in the priesthood is. You mention they have different roles, but clarify what you mean exactly.

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  13. graceforgrace on January 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    #4 hawkgrrl,

    You mention wanting to see non-doctrinal inequalities taken out. From your perspective, what are some non-doctrinal inequalities that need to be removed?

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  14. LDS Anarchist on January 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    #3 hawkgrrrl,

    LDSA: “how can we assume anything other than choice” The other alternative is that biological sex is inate, like natural law. Also, since we were “intelligences” we didn’t get to choose our own IQ. We got what we had, and it’s ours to build upon. Not everything is choice. Some things pre-date choice. All I’m saying is that it’s speculative.

    And all I’m saying is that you are making some very broad, speculative assumptions here yourself.

    1. You are assuming we didn’t get to choose our own IQ as intelligences, in light of the fact that in the kingdom of God, agency reigns supreme. Consider D&C 93:31, which indicates that a choice was given to us from the beginning.

    2. The physical, fallen world in which we live in has coercive forces in it, which reduce or eliminate one’s agency. But are we justified in taking these same fallen conditions and applying them to the heavens? In other words, my comments were not directed to this earthly condition, but to our pre-earthly condition.

    To be plainer, if the war in heaven was fought over agency, with God on the side championing it, how can we view heaven as a place where things “are what they are because that’s just what they are” (forced to be, by innate, natural, heavenly law) and not things “are what they are because that’s what they chose to be”?

    Can you not see the absurdity of saying God champions one’s agency while forcing all things to be something they had no opportunity to choose? The principle of agency must be applied throughout the entire system, from beginning to end, otherwise, God becomes a tyrant.

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  15. LDS Anarchist on January 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Btw, sorry for the threadjack.

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  16. hawkgrrrl on January 21, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    “Can you not see the absurdity of saying God champions one’s agency while forcing all things to be something they had no opportunity to choose?” I don’t believe God forced it either. He is also subject to natural law. That’s just my view. If we got to choose our intelligence (which contradicts my reading of the POGP), then why would anyone choose to be average intelligence or less? This sounds like the middle school insult “When god said brains, you thought he said trains.” That is what sounds silly to me.

    Grace, here are a few examples:
    – Women should be able to be stake auditors. Instead, a woman who is a CPA will be passed over for a man with no qualifications.
    – Women should be able to serve on Sunday School presidencies.
    – Men should be able to serve in Primary presidencies.
    – Women should be quoted equally in talks. Which they would if they were asked to speak equally and actually had given talks that could now be quoted.
    – Equal budgets for YW and YM.
    – No need to have men present to oversee it when women meet.
    – Manuals for YW that aren’t written in the passive voice or with the assumption that women aren’t active, athletic, interested in the world around them.
    – Eliminate the inordinate focus on modesty that makes women sex objects, not independent thinkers acting for their own reasons.
    – No focus on so-called modesty for children who are pure before God.
    – Refer to “Heavenly parents” almost everywhere we talk about our Heavenly father.
    – Quit telling women to adjust their ambitions downward to homemaker only. Realize that women also have intelligence and creativity and ambition, and that those things can be used for the good of the world and the church.
    – Focus equally on the responsibility of men and women to serve missions. Quit giving women the easy way or a pass. Challenge women like men are challenged. We can take it.
    – Focus equally on the need for men and women to finish their university education. See above.
    – Equate fatherhood with motherhood.
    – Do not make adult women dependent on men. Foster self-reliance and independence to unlock the potential of women.

    Those are just a few ideas for starters.

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  17. Moss on January 21, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Will, Please elaborate on what you mean when you say we will be judged for how we execute our gender roles. The only instance I can think of, scripturally, that is directly instructive as to evaluating ‘women’s roles’ is the story of Mary and Martha. And in that story, being a disciple of Christ is much more important than fulfilling some sort of gender specific role (in this case homemaking- not to knock homemaking, but being a true disciple of Christ trumps pretty much everything).

    I think, that like in the Parable of the Talents, we will be judged on how we use the gifts we have been given, and those don’t fall neatly into categories by gender.

    And even the Proc allows for individual adaptation as necessary. (and says “Gender is an Eternal Characteristic” BTW, FWIW)

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

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  18. Moss on January 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Will, to answer your #10 about my #3, I was quoting/responding/ making a case to Kris when I said “but if we chose our sex in the Pre-existence” off of her assumptions that we did. You can see from my post above that that is not my opinion, although many here are making a case for it. But I think that Roger, #9, has the best response of all.

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  19. hawkgrrrl on January 22, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    I have heard Will’s gender-related pontifications enough before to know that he believes women should be domestic servants defined by their childbearing function. Studies show that women who are SAHMs, even by choice, often experience an identity crisis later in life, especially if they mainly live vicariously through their children and husbands. Women who feel restricted from making a meaningful contribution in the world beyond their biological function should be aware that taking the easy way in your youth doesn’t pay off later. Things that pay off are difficult, not because you have to sacrifice your ambitions for everyone else around you, but because you have to work hard to achieve them. Strictly defined gender roles with no individual adaptation lead to resentment, depression, and marital woes.

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  20. LDS Anarchist on January 22, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    #16 hawkgrrrl,

    I don’t believe God forced it either. He is also subject to natural law. That’s just my view.

    This statement is also a speculative, non-scriptural assumption. The scriptures indicate that God isn’t subject to anything, period. He does according to His own will and pleasure in all things.

    Now, we know that there is a law given in heaven and that He is the one who gave it. And we know that His law is based upon agency, not coercion. So, we have a law (created by God) based on agency, and a God that preceded the law (since He created it), who champions agency. And we also know that God is all-powerful (omnipotent.) To say, then, that there is a different law (a separate law) which preceded God, and which is not based upon agency, but upon coercion (the opposite of agency), to which God is subject, contradicts both His omnipotence, His rule of agency and His jealous nature. Such a doctrine simply is not found in the scriptures, anywhere.

    God’s dominion flows unto Him “without compulsory means forever and ever” (D&C 121:46), right? So, does it make sense to you that an omnipotent God of agency, giving an agency-based law, is “subject” to some coercive law that preceded Him? And also that all the things which He created are likewise subject to this other law (which our jealous God did not create) which is more ancient (and also more powerful) than the omnipotent God? Does any of this make sense to you?

    We know that the things of the Lord “must be done in [His] own way” (D&C 104:16), which is agency, so we cannot be justified in this thought that an all powerful God of agency and His own subjects started out obeying some (anti-agency) law of coercion more ancient than God Himself, for this would not be “in His own way.” It would be in someone else’s way, whoever created this imaginary law of coercion.

    Perhaps you will say, “Well, couldn’t it be possible that this other law exists, which He is not forced to obey, yet He does so anyway because it is His will and pleasure, and He also wills that His own subjects be subject to it?” But this cannot be either, for God is omnipotent, right? Therefore, He has power to grant that His creations have agency from the very start, apart from this imaginary coercive law. Therefore, if He voluntarily chose to submit Himself and us to this imaginary other law, forcing us to be this and that, “naturally,” without our consent, it would still make Him a tyrant, like Satan.

    The truth of the matter, of course, is that such a “natural, heavenly law,” which bypasses one’s agency in the instant of one’s creation, doesn’t exist. It is nothing more than a vain imagination of men, perhaps begun as a misunderstanding, such as from speculative readings of the King Follet Sermon, which misconstrued Joseph’s meaning, and then multiplied throughout Mormondom via false traditions handed down.

    If we got to choose our intelligence (which contradicts my reading of the POGP), then why would anyone choose to be average intelligence or less? This sounds like the middle school insult “When god said brains, you thought he said trains.” That is what sounds silly to me.

    It may sound silly, but there’s actually scriptural precedent. See, for example, D&C 88:32-33. Everything we get, from the very start, is according to what we are willing (or choose) to receive.

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  21. Hedgehog on January 22, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Just wanted to throw in that what we see of ourselves in this life isn’t the full picture. We all of us experience physical limitations of one sort or another that we have to deal with, and learn from. There is no reason that wouldn’t include limitations on the expression of our intelligence here in this life.
    At school I found learning came relatively easily. After the birth of my first child I was severely anaemic. That did have an effect on my brain function, which was quite terrifying at the time. I went from being able to swiftly and accurately run through complex patent documents, to not being able to make head nor tail of the even the most basic instructions for straightforward baby equipment. It was a salutary lesson. I had a lot more sympathy then for those classmates who had complained that trying to understand something was doing their head in. I don’t believe we can make any judgement on a persons intelligence by what we see of them in this world.

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  22. Hedgehog on January 22, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    My thoughts on the Priesthood GraceforGrace..
    I’ve read you post, and the MH link and several other things and… I’d like to understand how it came to be so heirarchical, why different offices are so important when its all apparently the same Priesthood… I’d like to know why we have to use the titles Elder and President (not at all ecclesiastical) instead of Brother… I’d like to know why RS and Primary, organisations originating with women had to be subsumed under male authority…
    As to whether I think women already have the Priesthood, I don’t know, but it all feels like things got screwed up somewhere…

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  23. hawkgrrrl on January 22, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    It is speculative. I agree. But that means both sides are speculations. I happen to conceive of God as being bound by natural laws that originate outside of him.

    I googled it, and there are many others who see it the way I do. Are we right? We’ll find out eventually. Here’s a link to one such post on this topic: http://mormontalk.com/article/our-god-may-not-be-perfect

    Here’s a quote: “In mainstream Christianity, God is considered an eternal being who created the world and the universe in which we reside. Furthermore, he is a perfect being who cannot be controlled by any part of creation. However, in Mormon thought, we see God not as this platonic ideal but as a being subject to the natural laws of the universe who does not have power to overcome free will.” This is my view also. My speculative view.

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  24. Anonymous on January 22, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    Are we ready to serve in these capacities? Some of us surely are. Would we strive harder if we knew we were to be called to serve in priesthood offices? Would we be willing to accept a call of Bishop, Stake President or General authority with our children still in the home? And, for many of us, the need to contribute to our family’s income. Are there enough men in the church of significant humility and patience to tolerate their wife’s service in these capacities? And what about the children and society who already blame mothers for everything? I think I may have just made the argument for paid clergy.

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  25. Will on January 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Given Hawk’s comments, I will take a different path on gender roles. This is my perspective:

    I was a senior in high school when President Benson stood before the church and gave the divinely inspired counsel that women should be at home with their children. I remember the strong impression I received that this was counsel from God. I knew then I wanted to follow this counsel and made a covenant with God that if he looked out for me financially, I would find and marry someone with the same ideals. At the time we got married I was in school and my wife was working full time making about 42K a year, which was really good money at the time. I made ½ that if I could get the hours.
    When our first son was born, we made the decision to keep her at home. It was the hard path, especially with respect to finances. I wondered about that covenant then. We had to move in with parents to make our financial ends meet. Here are the blessings I see from following President Bensons counsel:

    1)I make a lot of money. A lot. I am 100% convinced the reason I make a lot of money is because I had to – I had to develop the skills to generate the revenue to cover our expenses. Had we taken the easier path and kept her big salary (she was extremely good at what she did and I am certain they would have promoted her had she stayed), I would not have had to put forth as much effort.

    2)She has been there for all the meaningful crossroads of our kid’s lives. She has been there to help them make the right choices at the right times in their lives. It is my experience working with youth, that their addicting and long lasting choices of porn, drugs, alcohol or experiential sexual experiences start when they are alone when the parents are at work; or when they are pressured into a situation at a friend’s house when the parents are at work. Also, she was there to inspire them to do productive things rather that mind numbing (and mind altering) video games.

    3)Most importantly, our decision instilled in them the knowledge that they were more important than things.

    I look at the rise of this great nation and attribute most of that to mother’s being the center of the home. As the great president Lincoln said ‘everything I have I owe to my angel mother’. I believe our down fall started (about the time President Benson gave they great talk) when mother started leaving the home in mass.

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  26. graceforgrace on January 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    #22 Hedge,

    I have the same questions that you have about titles and I think what you bring up is a valid point.

    I remember when I was an Elders President in a large singles ward back in the day and when I was ordained and set apart in front of all the elders, the guy doing it told everyone that they needed to refer to me as “president” from that point forward out of respect for the office. I felt very uncomfortable with that because I felt that it was elevating me and the office too much. When people called me “president”, I told them to call me by my first name. It broke down that barrier right away.

    I don’t have an answer to your question of why it evolved into that, or how it did…perhaps someone else has written about that?

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  27. Anonymous on January 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Will…my husband and I also made the sacrifice for me to stay home while the children were young and not in school, also living in in-laws’ basement to save money. My husband worked his butt off, only to be let go during a significant downsizing when the economy went south. We have always been faithful tithe payers, served in our church callings, and done everything else by the book. He won’t be able to make up from that hit, ever, in lots of ways. I am now working full time to make a dent in the income gap, and had to take a crappy lower paying job because I had not been in the workforce for a while, and was encouraged in college (BYU) to take a less demanding path of study to “benefit” my family. We are both extremely stressed in ways that I won’t bore you with. So why does God bless you with making tons of money, while we, who made similar choices, are really struggling?

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  28. Will on January 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Anonymous,

    This is why I hate discussing this issue. I clearly look upon this as pearls. Again, this is my experience. It has worked for my family. It wasn’t easy and the final chapter has not been written – I could lose everything tomorrow. All I know is what I experienced when I followed a Prophet’s counsel. I know blessings have flowed from heeding this counsel.

    Hawk definitely offers good, practical advice. To me, however, it is not the right path.

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  29. ji on January 22, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Hawkgrrrl (no. 23) — I really appreciate your characterization of your belief as speculation. I say that because I know that some Latter-day Saints would agree with you, but others wouldn’t, but they can all be good Latter-day Saints and find a place in the celestial kingdom of our God if all else works out. For me, in my present frame of reference, God is an eternal being who created the world and the universe in which we reside. Furthermore, He is a perfect being who cannot be controlled by any part of creation, but instead is One who speaks and creation obeys.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I hope never again to hear anyone say, “The Church teaches…” I wish it were always instead “Brother ___ teaches…” or Elder ___ teaches…” or Sister ___ teaches…” or even “Presidents of the Church have consistently taught…” or maybe “some Mormons believe….” The Church is every one of us who has made a covenant to be called by the name of Christ. Even in our manuals, I wish each lesson were a sermon with an author’s name.

    Hos did I get here? Oh, yes, when you say what you did, I can accept it as part of the diversity among us. When someone else says exactly the same thing but without the speculation caveat or some other note of personal belief, and paints a picture of speaking authoritatively for all Latter-day Saints, I sometimes have to disagree. I know what I believe (sometimes it changes over time); I wish others wouldn’t speak for me.

    Thanks!

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  30. Mormon Heretic on January 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Hedgehog, the reason that the Relief Society and Primary presidency was subsumed under the priesthood is a direct result of the correlation movement under Harold B. Lee. Daymon Smith did a 4 hour podcast that discusses correlation. If memory serves me, I think that it occurred in part 2. I’d like to transcribe it, but haven’t had the time. See http://mormonstories.org/149-152-daymon-smith-on-correlation-the-corporate-lds-church-and-mammon/

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  31. hawkgrrrl on January 22, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Correlation is also described in Greg Prince’s book David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.

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  32. Roger on January 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    The most readily accepted changes are, sad to say, the ones that seem almost imperceptible. I have pondered Hawk’s list of initiatives (while restraining myself from responding to Will’s discoures on The Prosperity Gospel). Quite a few of them could happen at a stake level I surmise. I don’t think it would necessarily give the visiting GA apoplexy like walking into a meeting with women sitting behind the sacrament table.

    The narrow band of qualified candidates for certain positions I would surmise is due to reluctance or lack of desire than lack of qualifications. The CPAs I know would rather have abdominal surgery than wade thru ward records after a week of crunching numbers in their real jobs.

    The most important thing that could be imparted to the rising generation of women is that they can achieve their full potential and be self-reliant. My conversations with my BIC nieces unfortunately persuade me that they are still hoping to find/trap Daddy Warbucks. Hawk, what is in those YW manuals?

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  33. hawkgrrrl on January 22, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Roger: “The CPAs I know would rather have abdominal surgery than wade thru ward records after a week of crunching numbers in their real jobs.” True enough. However, when my DH who is a CPA was called as a stake auditor, it was very apparent that most of the ward financial clerks sucked at it.

    Roger: “My conversations with my BIC nieces unfortunately persuade me that they are still hoping to find/trap Daddy Warbucks. Hawk, what is in those YW manuals?” Relics of the post WW2 feminine mystique, unfortunately. I hasten to clarify that I don’t teach YW (just Sunday School which is joint YM/YW). Based on a side by side comparison of the new manuals, though, the girls’ version is written with a passive voice and the assumption that they are not going to be out actively participating in the world around them. The boys’ version is more active and focused on leadership. Both have infusions from the Proclamation on the Family which relegates girls to the nursery and boys to “presiding” whatever that is. Here’s a great side by side comparison at Doves & Serpents: http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/10/manuals/
    Interestingly, a lot of the scriptures used to browbeat Emma into submission over polygamy are used in the girls’ lesson.

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  34. Roger on January 22, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Well, jeez, Hawk.

    Thanks for the link. That was fairly enlightening, so to speak. Years in self-imposed exile has insulated me from the time-warp that you occupy. No wonder y’all are so ticked off. I try to envision my NM DW or the sharp female managers who worked for me finding any sense of acceptance, fulfillment or community within this kind of environment. Kinda hard.

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  35. hawkgrrrl on January 22, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Will: I really do appreciate your tone here. You & I have always been able to get along, so thanks for the civility, even when we are in disagreement. “I look at the rise of this great nation and attribute most of that to mother’s being the center of the home. As the great president Lincoln said ‘everything I have I owe to my angel mother’.” One comment on this. Mothers with careers are still mothers. Being in the home or not doesn’t make one less effective as a mother. In fact, studies show benefits to having a working mother: more independent children who are innovative and creative in their future careers, men who don’t feel burdened and put upon, and women who are not nagging and resentful. I am simply saying it’s a false dichotomy.

    Roger: The good thing is that those who have fulfilling lives they’ve chosen don’t care as much about community acceptance. I do at times find it hard to relate to some of the women in Relief Society, but not relating to them doesn’t preclude making friends.

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  36. Hedgehog on January 23, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    #29 Ji, “I wish each lesson were a sermon with an author’s name.”
    That would be wonderful. Seeing some individual responsibility for the lesson material could have a positive effect on the quality.

    #30,31 MH, Hawkgrrrl
    Thanks for the references. I am of course aware of correlation, but did it really need to be so drastic as to strip out the female authority? My observation is that the really get up and go sisters are the aging generation who got to experience the pre-correlation RS, then there’s a younger group who just don’t seem capable of independent thought (I’m probably judging too harshly) so intent are they on ‘following the priesthood’, and the group who rave about RS based on its history without any recognition that this picture is long vanished. Either I’m viewing the past with a rose-tinted hue, or it’s become a shell of what it was. Almost everybody seems to have been crushed one way or another.

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  37. Rigel Hawthorne on January 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    #26 the guy doing it told everyone that they needed to refer to me as “president” from that point forward out of respect for the office.

    I’m not fond of that practice either. It was never that way when I was growing up. It seems to be something I’ve observed since the mid 1990s. Of course, in my calling as High Priest Group Leader, I don’t have to worry about this. If the early church prophets could be “Brother Joseph” or “Brother Brigham”, then can we just call our ward members in this manner except for our Bishop?

    For some reason, our daughters have been learning in primary the song, “When I grow up I want to be a mother.” It doesn’t appear that this is on the 2013 Primary Program, so it must be our Primary Chorister’s choice. Ugh. My wife finds it double ugh.

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  38. ji on January 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Rigel (no. 37) — I tend to agree with you thoughts on titles, but I would even include bishops. Even so, I do appreciate the appropriate and respectful use of a title in some more formalized situations. The problem with titles, though, is the we hide behind them thinking we’re high or low in a hierarchy, when in reality we’re all brothers and sisters.

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  39. graceforgrace on January 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    hawkgrrl,

    You’ve mentioned frequently in this thread that children benefit in certain ways by having mothers working. Do you have a study that you are referencing when you make these claims, or are you basing this off of personal experience?

    Will, you are on the other side of the debate with supporting women staying in the home. You’ve mentioned your personal experience, but I would ask you the same question I asked hawkgrrl, which is do you have a study that supports your claims?

    Not that a study is the end all, but I’m just curious.

    With the quick Google search I did, I found studies supporting both sides of the issue.

    Personally, I lean more towards supporting a stay at home mom and have a similar experience as Will with making a lot more money after my wife decided to stay home.

    However, if she told me she wanted to work I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I am supporting her in what she wants to do. She has a sister who went off the deep end and she feels that had her mom been home rather than working, she wouldn’t have done the things she did in high school (sleeping with boys, drinking, etc…all at their parents’ home)which led her down a dark path in life.

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  40. hawkgrrrl on January 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    G4G – I too have seen studies that go both ways. The ones I’m referencing are those cited by Betty Friedan in the Feminine Mystique. You know how studies go; you can prove anything you want! I have seen studies aside from that show that less parental interference and oversight is what causes creative, innovative adults.

    I cry BS on the idea that a SAHM prevents kids from getting into mischief as teens. Sounds like a nice theory, but you can never actually show causation. I had a SAHM, and of 7 siblings, 5 experimented with drugs and had premarital sex (based on an informal poll of my sibs). Teens have to follow their own path at establishing their independence, and some teens have to learn things the hard way. Before I would believe your SIL’s theory too much, I’d take a long hard look at her own temperament and personality. And would a mother in the home who felt trapped and unfulfilled be better than no mother at all? That might be worse. Besides, just because you work doesn’t mean you can’t know what your kids are up to (any more than the reverse is true). Your MIL could have had a neighbor check in on her or could have enrolled her in after school activities.

    I think the notion of creating less pressure on the male to step up and provide is an interesting idea that I haven’t really read studies about. Both models are essentially social experiments. However, studies do show many women don’t find motherhood to be the panacea to human fulfillment. Most people frankly don’t find their careers to be that either; it’s just the lesser of two evils. Have you or Will ever tried being the SAHP? I haven’t, but I did pray about my path and got what I felt was a clear answer about what was right for me.

    If we define it in economic terms (which are more objectively measurable), I bet it’s not conclusive. Double income households obviously have a leg up in one way. Also, there are factors like education levels that will draw the samples in other directions.

    Women not living up to their potential because it’s a whole hell of a lot easier at 20 to get married, have kids and not take yourself or your education seriously or find out what your own dreams and identity are – to me that’s a real issue for real women. Eventually they will have an identity crisis and have to deal with that. And I know boatloads of women in the church who do in fact feel that way, especially once the kids are less dependent or have moved out. Raising children is a 20 year enterprise. Life is often 80+ years.

    I think human beings of both sexes who don’t feel that they have an identity and make a contribution to society that stretches them and gives them a chance to use all their talents are not going to be happy in the long run. Lots of people see their “roles” in terms of economic concerns or child-centric decisions. We can’t get so tied to our roles that we are lost in the process.

    Aside from that I often worry that making an adult spouse fully economically dependent on their spouse creates needless inequality, feelings of being a burden or being burdened, and a lack of real choices to escape abuse or neglect. I believe, as Covey laid out, that to be able to be an equal partner you have to first be independent. Otherwise you are just co-dependent which is not healthy.

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  41. Mormon Heretic on January 23, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    I am of course aware of correlation, but did it really need to be so drastic as to strip out the female authority

    In order to really answer that question, you need to listen to the Daymon Smith interview. As correlation expanded, it became evident that all auxialiaries needed thier budgets streamlined. It used to be that RS, Primary, Sunday School, YM/YW were their own separate entities. As a result there was a lot of duplication. In order to correlate the duplication, then each entity could no longer be “stand-alone”, so each of these organizations were essentially decapitated. It wasn’t anything against RS or Primary per se, because Sunday School and YM lost autonomy too. Daymon explains it much better than I.

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  42. Hedgehog on January 24, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    I agree with Hawkgrrrl that on this subject you can can probably support anything by careful selection of studies. All parents are different, all children are different, and the circumstances they are in are different as well. There cannot possibly be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We all of us receive divine guidance in our lives, and that won’t be the same for all of us. Will’s approach may well be the correct approach for him and his family, I don’t know them, how can I say, and Hawkgrrrl’s the correct approach her for her family.

    My own particular story: My parents married young. I’m the eldest of 7 and my mum was a sahm (she did work part-time during school hours once we were all in school out of necessity). My father did not have a good education, and worked jobs he mostly didn’t enjoy to support the family, and that were not especially well paid. I developed independence very early on, because my mum was always busy with my younger siblings. The extra curricular things I did at school (mostly music related, I was blessed that at the time instrument tuition and loan of instruments was provided for free) I did because I took advantage of those opportunities. I found and still find socialising very difficult, but music provided a structured social experience. My parents did buy a piano very cheaply. My mum taught me the basics she knew when I was 7, and I was left to my own devices from there, though she did buy the books for me to learn from. She also taught me dress-making skills. Skills I took advantage of from about age 14, (there was no way I was going to wear my cousin’s hand-me-down coat for school for instance, it was deeply unfashionable by the time it fitted me, so I remade it). Necessity made my siblings and I creative, not the presence or absence of a parent. We all took part-time jobs as soon as we were legally allowed in order to have income of our own, with which I was able to pay for exchange visits to places in Europe that the local youth orchestra I was part of participated in.

    Both parents were sometimes out in the evenings when we were teens. This was not my mother working (though sometimes my father was). It was church meetings and callings that took them both away from the home in the evenings.

    I am now a sahm, and have been for 15 years. However, I attended university, got the education I wanted and worked a few years first. Marrying young and having a family young would have been disastrous for me. I needed to get away, and learn about myself first. I was 28 when my son was born, having been married for 3 years. My staying at home was best for us. I had been commuting to work (my husband got home first and made the meal). Although my job had been an introverts dream (sitting in a library reading documents), there was still all the interaction with colleagues in the office (lovely people), the crush of people travelling, and all I wanted to do when I got home was take an hour or two to recover. I really wouldn’t have been able to cope with my children after a day at work. I have 2 children I adore, both interesting personalities, but both quite demanding in their way. I am now thinking about returning to the working world (though with all the unemployed recent graduates perhaps not the best climate to do so). My husband has a career he enjoys, but which also allows him to spend time with family (though a lot of that family time is being eaten up by church meetings and callings). I don’t feel financially dependent. My husband and I have our own bank accounts, his salary is divided between the two us, and all household expenses then equally shared.

    I find the church rhetoric on sahms and the importance of family aggravating, because mainly it is their actions and requirements that seemingly contradict.

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  43. Hedgehog on January 24, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    MH. I’ll definitely fit those in. I can kind of understand finances and cutting out duplication and so forth. Structurally why should finances mean a Stake RS president has no direct access to the General RS president? Unless I’m missing something there is a serious disconnect between the programme on the ground and the General President…

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  44. Will on January 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    “Do you have a study that you are referencing when you make these claims, or are you basing this off of personal experience”

    President Benson spoke as prophet on this subject and the spirit bore witness. This is all the study I need.

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  45. Roger on January 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    There you have it, folks: “The thinking has been done.”

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  46. will on January 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Roger,

    I appreciate your snippy sarcasm, but I think the following applies:

    We are not created equal. Everyone that comes into this earth is at a different stage of progression when they receive their mortal body. With this said, one cannot apply a standard rule to every family situation. Only God understands who we are and what families we were intended to be with and why. One thing I am certain of, from my own experience, is that he did intend for families to learn from one another. Sometimes for reasons we do not understand.

    The only perspective I have in this context is my experience as a church leader and my experience as an AP in the mission field. We would put companionships together for a wide variety of reasons – for personal growth of one Elder or Sister, because they would work well together or out of desperation. It was up to them to make the best of the situation. This was with our limited understanding and imperfections. God, in his wisdom put us together.

    With this said, I think if he communicates something to his Prophet, I think he has that right. If he communicates that he wants mothers in the home, I think that is his right as our Father and it is our right to listen or not. I also think that if parents put their child rearing responsibilities onto someone else via day care, they (or their child), are missing something they were intended to learn for their progression.

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  47. hawkgrrrl on January 24, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    “are missing something they were intended to learn for their progression” or are getting something else instead that was intended for their progression.

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  48. will on January 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Hawk,

    Couch it however you want. I just don’t think God indented for the village to raise our kids; I think he called it “procreation” for a reason. And I know he will hold us accountable for our discharge of these responsibilities.

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  49. Church on January 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Women either have the Priesthood or they don’t, as noted there is no place in or out of the Temple where a woman is ordained, therefore the ordinances performed by women in the Temple are invalid.

    This incongruence can only be resolved by officially ordaining women.

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  50. Believe All Things on January 30, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Some may be interested in this quote by Elder James E. Talmage made almost 100 years ago – women and the LDS priesthood.

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