Putting the “Un” Back in Equal”

June 7, 2013

BalanceIn the United States, beginning with a Louisiana state law passed in 1890, the concept of “separate but equal” was born to justify segregation. This permitted states to allow separate facilities, like restrooms, drinking fountains, buses, train cars and schools for those of different races, mainly Black people and mostly in the South. The legitimacy of such laws under the 14th Amendment was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537. The Plessy doctrine was extended to the public schools in Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education, 175 U.S. 528 (1899). ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_but_equal)

The  “Separate but Equal” doctrine was eventually thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The reason for that was that while separate, the facilities were far from equal with minorities usually on the receiving end of substandard facilities.  The overturning of the law certainly did not automatically grant equal rights to all people and it was many years before real gains were made. Some would say, not wrongly, that we as a people still have a ways to go.

The Women’s Movement came hot on the heels of the progress made in the civil rights movement, trying to replicate for Women that which was practically achieve by Blacks and other minorities.  Among these were equal pay for equal work, credit and financial law changes, voter law changes and more recognition as women, apart from spouses and, equal opportunity in the workplace and in schools.

Most people would say that much progress has been made. Recent studies have shown that women are increasingly the breadwinners of their families, in some cases, making much more income than their male partners.  There are more women graduating from higher education institutions than men and the glass ceiling is being smashed more and more. There are more women in government and someday, perhaps as early as 4 years from now, we could have a woman as a US President.

In addition, in the LDS Church, there is more involvement for women in leadership positions. The Church has held many training sessions, which taught that the women of the Church should be listened to, and involved in much of the decision-making processes. However, there is also the cry for the ordination of Women to the Priesthood, held by men. In the name of equality.

But, are we ever really equal? I say that while much progress has been made, true equality is a myth.

Let’s start with the most obvious. Men and women are different, physiologically, for sure as well as psychologically. Studies have shown that men and women’s brains function differently. In an effort to give equal time (does that even exist?), here is an article that disputes that notion. Among the differences are:

  1. Men are better at orientating objects
  2. Women are better at communicating
  3. Men and women process information at different rates
  4. Men speak logic
  5. Women speak emotion

There are also differences when it comes to expressing sexual desire, and reaction to stress. (http://www.shavemagazine.com/women/10-Psychological-Differences-Between-Men-and-Women#ixzz2VTmOqEWd)

Some of what we attribute to gender characteristics is related to cultural conditioning like favoring the color blue for boys and pink for girls. In addition, not every characteristic related to gender applies to every single person, but generally, it does.

Going back to physiological differences, women bear the children. There is no getting around that. That has large ramifications associated with a myriad of issues including health, workplace and other areas. When a man and a woman decide to have a child, there is a clear inequality to that arrangement with the woman bearing a much, much larger share of the responsibility.

In the workplace, great strides have been made in women’s roles.  There are many more managers and leaders who are women, more effort to equalize pay and many more women with advanced educational degrees. However, something like a pregnancy does have a consequence in spite of the best efforts to minimize it and it is fundamentally different from an illness. Time off, child care and child-related issues all come into play. It has been difficult to give a man the same equal treatment with regard to a child birth because the man is not “recovering from anything, albeit maybe some loss of sleep. Though, in some societies, men have equal time off as the women who actually have the child.

With regard to pay, there is no such thing as equal pay in most organizations, between men and women, men and men or women and women. For many companies, a large number of factors including job scope, longevity on the job, performance, area where the employee lives, etc. determines compensation. Not to mention, favoritism, historical contribution and other less tangible factors. In theory, two people doing exactly the same job, with the same experience, performing at the same level, should be paid the same, but seldom are they because most people do not line up exactly. The best one can hope for is that those doing the same job are on the same job scope and pay range and that there is attempt to make it equal, all things being considered equal, which they almost never can be.

Which then brings us to the Church and the Priesthood.  As near as we can tell, the Priesthood, or right to act in God’s place here on earth has always been the male role.  There is no evidence, in the ancient or modern texts, of Priesthood, as such, being conferred on a woman.

There is evidence of strong women roles throughout history and contained in Scripture, such as Miriam the Prophetess, Deborah the Judge, Esther the queen and the Marys of the New Testament. However, in spite of these strong women, there is no evidence of them having the Priesthood.  .

And while the women of the modern LDS church deserve a voice in the operation of the Church especially in matters affecting them, this does not mean that not having Priesthood affects their equality before God or the Church. In addition, women and men are all entitled to the same blessings of exaltation and the higher ordinances of the Temple. All are equal in the sight of God, even if He has given them different roles and responsibilities.

And while those advocating the ordaining of women like to pick and choose at various events in modern Church history where women performed priesthood-like functions, or that they perform certain priesthood ordinances in the Temple, under the direction of the Priesthood, or that they point to the semi-autonomous nature of the Church auxiliary organizations in the past, one thing is abundantly clear and undisputable.  God did not appoint any women to run the Church, in the past or present.

There is no female Moses, or Lehi or Joseph Smith. Jesus never appointed any females Apostles; no female Apostles replaced the male Apostles who died. Joseph Smith did not choose any women to be Counselors in his Frist presidency, nor did he call any females as Apostles, Bishops, High Council members or in any other leadership capacity except Relief Society.

There is also a romantic notion that the Church auxiliaries were these completely autonomous groups within the Church that completely ran their own affairs including curriculum, budgets, leadership, etc. without little to no supervision by the Priesthood or higher bodies of the Church.  And, yes, some of that is indeed the case, however, the leaders were still accountable to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and they did not operate in total independence.

“You stake leaders fully support the Relief Society General Board and the full program it offers. Its Presidency [the Relief Society General Presidency] work directly under General Authority Advisors and The First Presidency.  The Relief Society program is approved by them…” (Elder Delbert L. Stapley, Address delivered at the Stake Board Session of the Relief Society annual General Conference, September 30, 1965.) From the Relief Society Magazine, Vol 53, Number 2, February 1966.

In my view, there is no such thing as complete equality. That does not mean we should tolerate injustice or unfair treatment, or that there should be a lack of participation for hierarchy or perceived hierarchy reasons.  Or that leadership should exercise unrighteous dominion because they have been given an opportunity to serve at a high level.  We should be following the example of the Savior in our behavior toward one another regardless.

President Dieter F Uchtdorf gave a talk entitled “Lift Where You Stand” to the Priesthood session of General Conference October 2008 and while it is addressed to the Priesthood, it is applicable to all members. Here is a quote:

“Those who seek to lead may feel they are capable of doing more than what they are currently asked to do. Some might think, “If only I were a bishop, I could make a difference.” They believe that their abilities far surpass their calling. Perhaps if they were in an important position of leadership, they would work hard at making a difference. But they wonder, “What possible influence can I have as merely a home teacher [or visiting] or a counselor in the quorum [or relief society} presidency?”

43 Responses to Putting the “Un” Back in Equal”

  1. Hedgehog on June 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Yeah well, this was the post that made me feel icky…

    “The reason for that was that while separate, the facilities were far from equal with minorities usually on the receiving end of substandard facilities.”
    I hope you aren’t suggesting that if facilities had been of equal standard you’d have been happy with continuing segregation!

    Not to mention your 1-5 list of differences… Just where did you dig that out from?
    Perhaps you’ll suggest that my husband and I are the exception that proves the rule, but
    we both have engineering degrees, he’s much better at in-person group conversation because I take so long to process the conversations my responses are always too late for me contribute them, and I am by far the better map-reader/navigator. And no, I don’t turn the map around while I’m doing it (that’s him).

    If I’m sounding emotional it is because I am heartily sick of having to spend most of my church life refuring these arguments, for which you have provided no logical evidence.

    I was discussing the women’s ordination issue with my husband only last week. We both agree that what we have now is not how things should be in the long run. Purely on logic – if I or the children are unwell or otherwise require a priesthood blessing we can turn to him. If he is the position of requiring such he cannot as yet, turn to me. There is something missing.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 15

  2. Hedgehog on June 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    refuting not refuring

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  3. Howard on June 7, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Interesting well written article Jeff!

    As near as we can tell, the Priesthood, or right to act in God’s place here on earth has always been the male role. There is no evidence, in the ancient or modern texts, of Priesthood, as such, being conferred on a woman. Traditional gender roles have evolved. Birth control, automation of housework and secular enlightenment has freed women to expand their roles and take on new tasks. The priesthood has a history starting with a chosen exclusive group and then expanded to be more and more inclusive. Who’s to say women aren’t next?

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  4. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Hedgehog,

    “I hope you aren’t suggesting that if facilities had been of equal standard you’d have been happy with continuing segregation!”

    Certainly not! Especially since my premise is that things can never be equal. It’s a sad period of our history.

    “Just where did you dig that out from?”

    I put the link in there where I got it. It was written by a woman. I also mentioned that not everyone agrees with the at idea and gave that link as well.

    “Purely on logic”

    There in lies the problem. Whose logic are you using, man’s or God’s?

    Also, there is no evidence that an earnest prayer or blessing by a woman toward her child is no less effective than an official Priesthood blessing. so, I for one would never say to withhold that if no Priesthood were not immediately available.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  5. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Howard,

    firstly, thanks!

    ” The priesthood has a history starting with a chosen exclusive group and then expanded to be more and more inclusive. Who’s to say women aren’t next?”

    They may very well be, who is to say. if it happened, i wouldn’t be upset about it and would welcome it.

    I am just concerned about two things, one is campaigning for it and second, is saying that is it is being withheld strictly for sexist reasons.

    I don’t buy either thing.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  6. Aden Van Dish on June 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    “As near as we can tell, the Priesthood, or right to act in God’s place here on earth has always been the male role. There is no evidence, in the ancient or modern texts, of Priesthood, as such, being conferred on a woman.”
    I think one thing that makes this discussion frustrating is that the concept of priesthood is somewhat nebulous. What does it mean to “act in God’s place”? Women seem to have acted in some roles that could be characterized as things that God would do if He (and She) were here in person:
    1. God is a creator. Both men and women engage in the work of creating physical bodies for and raising God’s children. Indeed, this is sometimes seen as a principally female role.
    2. God provides saving ordinances for His children. As the OP concedes, women perform saving ordinances in the temple.
    3. God provides other blessings for His children, such as the gift of healing and other spiritual gifts. As the OP concedes, women have used these spiritual gifts at various times in Church history.
    4. God establishes a Church and appoints officials to administer the Church and carry out the work of ministering to His children. While we don’t today call what they do priesthood, women can and do hold positions in the Church in which they help, minister to, and lead people, thus doing God’s work. Also, in addition to Deborah (who seems to have had both administrative and prophetic leadership of Israel as the judge in her time) and the other Old Testament women mentioned in the OP, there is Phoebe the deacon, Junia the apostle, Priscilla the leader of a church, and Phillip’s daughters the prophets mentioned in leadership roles in the New Testament.
    I would be much more comfortable with women not holding the priesthood if there were a revelation explicitly talking about that ban and giving reasons for it. Also, as Howard mentions in #3, the lack of something’s being done in the past is no reason that a revelation couldn’t be given to do it in the future.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  7. Nick Literski on June 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    There in [sic] lies the problem. Whose logic are you using, man’s or God’s?

    Therein lies the other problem. People with power do all sorts of questionable, sometimes even reprehensible things, which make no sense. Then, when they’re questioned about it, they wave concerns away by saying it’s “God’s logic” and “God’s ways are higher than man’s,” thus you have no business questioning them. Ugh.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 7

  8. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Aden,

    You raise some really good points.

    Women have and do serve in the Church at a high level and will continue to do so. But, historically, it was all done without Priesthood. So , in a manner of speaking, it was not needed for them to act in those roles.

    “I would be much more comfortable with women not holding the priesthood if there were a revelation explicitly talking about that ban and giving reasons for it.”

    I guess I am baffled bout this. the Priesthood is explicated given the to the tribe of Levi and to the Sons of Aaron. In our modern day, it was given to Joseph and Oliver. Joseph Smith never ordained a woman, Jesus never ordained a woman. How would a revelation change that fact? Why do you require an explanation?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  9. Howard on June 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Well, male only is by definition sexist, but that doesn’t necessarily make it chauvinist or misogynist.

    I think it’s fine to campaign for it. Campaigning doesn’t compel God or our prophets in any way, it simply presents the question and doing so has many interesting byproducts. For instance the question leads to attempting to define what the priesthood actually is and isn’t and it leads to deconflating power and authority and it shines a light on the revelatory process and questions if the heavens are open or closed and it shines a light on the pecking order of women in the church by virtue of their split opinions. I’m sure there’s more. Actually I see campaigning for female ordination as a very healthy dialog for all involved including the church!

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 10

  10. Aden Van Dish on June 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Jeff,
    I guess this is my attempt to understand what we mean by priesthood. We say that the priesthood is needed to lead in the Church, but when I give you examples of women (like Deborah and Junia) who led in the Church, you say that those women didn’t need the priesthood to lead in the Church. It seems like you’re assuming your conclusion, that only men should hold the priesthood.

    One reason I would be interested in further revelatory insight on women and the priesthood is the experience the Church went through with blacks and the priesthood. Because there wasn’t a clear revelation banning blacks from holding the priesthood, we relied on historical precedent and folk doctrine, which were often murky and led people astray. When the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were united in wanting revelatory clarification, and the people of the Church were sufficiently prepared, the revelation was received. What if that is what is needed here?

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 5

  11. Howard on June 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I suspect the main underlying reason for faithful opposition to activism is that many aspects of church history, doctrine and practice simply don’t look good when logically inspected under strong light and it challenges their beliefs and frame of reference which they prefer to leave quietly unexamined.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  12. Hedgehog on June 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    “I put the link in there where I got it.”
    OK. I was assuming that referred only to sentence to which it was attached, not the list. My bad. I have more time now. Got to say based on that list I definitely come out more male than female, and would be disinclined to trust a psychologist who held those views.

    “Whose logic are you using, man’s or God’s?”
    I see logic as objective not subjective. How can it be logic if it is subjective? While it is true we may be lacking information, I don’t think that changes how we expect logic to operate, be we man or God. I don’t think I want an illogical or capricious god.

    “there is no evidence that an earnest prayer or blessing by a woman toward her child is no less effective than an official Priesthood blessing”
    I’ve read this a lot, which begs the question why we think the priesthood is of any benefit to anyone in that case. Actually, I do think there is a difference. Sure, we can pray and ask for something, but during a blessing we are able to hear God’s words to us, which can be something of a comfort when we are in a position perhaps because of health or distress to be unable to receive that via the Holy Spirit ourselves. Or so I have always believed. But if my husband needs that, currently he has to go out of the home to find it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  13. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Aden,

    “We say that the priesthood is needed to lead in the Church, but when I give you examples of women (like Deborah and Junia) who led in the Church, you say that those women didn’t need the priesthood to lead in the Church. It seems like you’re assuming your conclusion, that only men should hold the priesthood.”

    not exactly. We say that in order to hold certain positions in the Church, you need to a be Priesthood holder today. Not clear that you can specific equate Old Testament situations in the same way. I don’t that the two situations are equivalent. Women can and do hold leadership positions in the Church without holding the Sisterhood. I know that for some woman, it is not enough.

    Today, only men do hold the Priesthood, there is no “should” about it.

    If you want to equate the situation with women to Blacks then until the revelation is received giving the women the right to be ordained to the Priesthood and hold Priesthood offices, I guess the answer is no, they don’t. Do you need a revelation that says, “no,you don’t?”

    Frankly, I am not opposed to Women holding the Priesthood, if the revelation comes. But it hasn’t.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  14. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Hedgehog,

    “but during a blessing we are able to hear God’s words to us,…”

    I thought the same thing is true of prayer.

    “would be disinclined to trust a psychologist who held those views.”

    Well, there is that view and the opposing view that I posted. And a millions others along the spectrum….. it is up to us to decide which we agree with or not.

    “why we think the priesthood is of any benefit to anyone in that case. …”

    I’ve wondered this myself, and not sure i have a good answer for it. maybe, someone else does.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  15. Howard on June 7, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Frankly, I am not opposed to Women holding the Priesthood, if the revelation comes. But it hasn’t. Nor is it likely to according to SWK without seeking it and according to GBH agitation is required. Thus the role of campaigning!

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  16. Jeff Spector on June 7, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Howard,

    True enough, but still not sure campaigning on the Internet is exactly the way to go about it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  17. Justin on June 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    but still not sure campaigning on the Internet is exactly the way to go about it.

    Then what exactly is “the way”? Where’s the avenue within the meeting house building to propose things [or "agitate for" things]? What has the leadership left people with?

    I think the internet is a clear sign that the church [as a physical institution] has left no room for dissension, critique, or agitation — so everyone has been pushed-out to spaces such as this to vent their spiritual pressure valves.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 8

  18. Howard on June 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Well, what effective method do you support?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  19. Aden Van Dish on June 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Jeff,
    Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s arguing that a revelation wouldn’t be necessary in order for women to receive the priesthood (although a common view seems to be that women already have some form of priesthood related to the temple). I would also be interested in further light and knowledge about why women shouldn’t be allowed to have the priesthood if that turns out to be the right answer.

    I’m a little puzzled about the purpose for this post. You seem to be saying that there’s not any good reason for women not to hold the priesthood and that you’d be fine with it, given the proper revelation, but that God has prohibited it because women are different than men in some relevant though unspecified way. I’m completely at sea about why you include all that Plessy v. Ferguson stuff, which only seems to weaken your argument against equality and for difference.

    The standard argument for why women don’t need to have priesthood to serve in the Church is delegation. Because some higher leader has the priesthood, they can delegate authority to women in their callings. My question is, why does an Elders Quorum president need to have the priesthood as part of that delegation while a Relief Society president doesn’t, other than the fact that the EQP is male and the RSP is female. Why not just have the President of the Church be the only priesthood holder and have him delegate that authority to everyone else in the Church without the priesthood being part of it, if delegation is enough?

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 8

  20. Glenn Thigpen on June 7, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Campaigning should be done with God. God has never sanctioned organized protests, blogs, intgernet websites, etc. to get His attention. Read about Korah and his organized protest in the Old Testament (Numbers, chapter 16). God’s house is a house of order.

    That is not to say that asking questions if wrong. There is nothing wrong, in my view, with asking the questions about priesthood ordination. But those so inclined should seek the counsel of the Lord through the Lord’s appointed way, and not man’s.

    Glenn

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  21. Hedgehog on June 7, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Jeff #14 “I thought the same thing is true of prayer.”
    Well, in ideal circumstances I’d generally agree, but if a person has health issues or in some distress, as I wrote (and which latter section seems to have passed you by): “during a blessing we are able to hear God’s words to us, *which can be something of a comfort when we are in a position perhaps because of health or distress to be unable to receive that via the Holy Spirit ourselves*.”

    “Well, there is that view and the opposing view that I posted.”
    Well you provided a link, but you weren’t using the opposing view to support your argument so far as I could tell. The opposing view is much more aligned with my personal experience.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  22. Hedgehog on June 7, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    From the OP: “There is also a romantic notion that the Church auxiliaries were these completely autonomous groups within the Church that completely ran their own affairs including curriculum, budgets, leadership, etc. without little to no supervision by the Priesthood or higher bodies of the Church. And, yes, some of that is indeed the case, however, the leaders were still accountable to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and they did not operate in total independence.”

    I’ve just been reading this interview with Chieko Okazaki (http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V45N01_CO.pdf). I was going to post the relevant excerpt, except it is 4 pages long – so read pages 134-137 (pdf 23-26). It certainly illustrates that women’s views have been sidelined and not sought even at the top since the auxilliaries became less autonomous.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  23. Hawkgrrrl on June 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    I’m with Hedgehog on that list. I guess I’m a man with a uterus. Dandy.

    I understand Jeff’s point that there is no equality of outcome or access to power across both sexes. Plenty of men will never have a position of authority even though they could. People with certain pedigrees seem to get more power based on nepotism. But the church’s current stance fails to be very empathetic toward women as a result of the total lack of power and voice women have.

    Men seem to rely on stereotypes and limited roles for women based on their roles as a support to men (domestic supports, mothers and wives). The church does not trust women with financial matters (they are restricted from all financial roles and from managing budgets in their callings without male approvals and oversight), and women’s choices are controlled in terms of clothing in an increasingly rigid manner. Women can only be trusted to lead other women and children, and even then only under male dominion, including not allowing women to meet without a man present. Sounds to me like the church is really for men, not women.

    Yet, the things the church is not in the middle of, like personal revelation, relationship to God, feeling the atonement’s power, etc., those all seem perfectly accessible to me.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  24. Roger on June 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Hawk. Your first sentence does focus us on the issue (in bold relief). Persons with uteri have brains and whether they have upper body strength is of little consequence. Most people in my age cohort have had to stretch a lot to comprehend this. And that is the age cohort running the Vatican and the Great and Spacious Building on North Temple in SLC. I guess it will take another 20-30 years in the Wilderness.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 5

  25. KT on June 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    #6 Aden Van Dish:

    Good point. Just exactly what does it mean to ‘act in God’s place’? Is that being defined by the men who are then being conferred the priesthood…? That’s very circular.

    Additionally, we say that ‘we believe in the Bible so far as it is translated correctly’. How correctly is it really translated? I tend to lean toward the idea that the Bible (and history generally) have been heavily revised at the hands of males and the Catholic church, among others. So, when we speak about what history shows, it’s hard to really lean heavily on that as a justification, especially considering how women’s roles in society have evolved over time.

    OP: “In my view, there is no such thing as complete equality. That does not mean we should tolerate injustice or unfair treatment, or that there should be a lack of participation for hierarchy or perceived hierarchy reasons.”

    I hear that. Certainly sexual organs don’t equate on men and women (although there are of course always exceptions). You also point out that there just tend to be certain things that men inherently do differently than women (and there are of course always exceptions to that as well and one commenter stated). But regardless, there are many ways to accomplish any certain task. So who’s to say whether one way or the other is better? Everyone should have the opportunity and come what may. That seems to be the current way of the world. Women have been given opportunity, and whether they are doing it the same or differently than the men who came before them, they ARE doing it, and are clearly succeeding as you have pointed out in your post. So certainly they are not inept based on their sexual organs – and I find it hard to believe they would be inept to ‘act in God’s place’.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  26. Jeff Spector on June 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Aden,

    The purpose of the post is to point out that equality is a myth. As it pertained to “separate but equal,” in the workplace, between the genders and in the Church. Period. That is it.

    The argument that giving the women Priesthood means equality is a misnomer.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  27. Mormon Heretic on June 8, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    But Jeff, isn’t the Church arguing “separate but equal” with regards to priesthood for men and women? Isn’t that a myth?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  28. Jeff Spector on June 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    MH,

    No, it is not.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  29. Jeff Spector on June 8, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Hedgehog,

    “which can be something of a comfort when we are in a position perhaps because of health or distress to be unable to receive that via the Holy Spirit ourselves*.”

    Ok, sorry, I thought you were referring to someone being prayed over versus a Priesthood Blessing. Of course, we might not be in a position to pray for ourselves.

    “The opposing view is much more aligned with my personal experience.”

    I would ask you the same question as Hawk,” Do you think other people see you that way? I think we tend to see ourselves very differently than others do…

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  30. Mormon Heretic on June 8, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Jeff, please explain how the church is not teaching separate but equal.

    If it was true equality, then the priests and priestesses would be in this life, not just the next.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  31. Hedgehog on June 9, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Jeff: “Do you think other people see you that way? I think we tend to see ourselves very differently than others do…”

    I think other people frequently see what they expect to see, rather than what is actually there. That can be the biggest frustration. We probably all ought to take more time to get to know others better.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  32. Hedgehog on June 9, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    I’m with MH that ‘separate but equal’ certainly seems to be the current way the church are handling women’s complaints. You only have to look at the airtime Valerie Hudson’s views (which I really don’t like) are getting.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  33. Jeff Spector on June 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    MH,

    “Jeff, please explain how the church is not teaching separate but equal.”

    Ummm, and leave myself open to more shots rather than a discussion, I’m nosre sure i want to do that. I think I’ve already explained it. You just don’t agree.

    “If it was true equality, then the priests and priestesses would be in this life, not just the next.”

    Now, is that really for us to judge? I think those roles as mentioned in the Temple have much more far reaching implications than giving a blessing or being in charge…..

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  34. Jeff Spector on June 9, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Hedgehog,
    “I think other people frequently see what they expect to see, rather than what is actually there.”

    I think this might be a dodge on answering the question….. We all want to be perceived the way we see ourselves or want to be. That is not always the case with others.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  35. Hawkgrrrl on June 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Here’s a new approach. I’d like someone to explain exactly what the priesthood is (Jeff alludes to more than ordinances and authority in 33). Maybe Jeff is the best person to explain.

    I am really not interested in Priesthood per se, but telling our YW (as do the current manuals that they need to list ways to honor the Aaronic Priesthood boys) and teaching them they are walking pornography if their knees are visible and that their responsibility is to guard the boys from unchaste thoughts, these are just nutty inequalities to me that have no place in a rational mind. Can we eliminate stupidity? My guess is no. We seem to be on some express train to a tea party version of the gospel where those who object are labeled MINOs (Mormons in Name Only).

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  36. Mormon Heretic on June 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Jeff,

    It is quite clear to me that the church is teaching “separate but equal” with regards to male/female priesthood. Your refusal to address the issue and ” leave [your]self open to more shots” shows me that you understand that supporting the status quo is simply untenable. I don’t really understand why you want to support this “unequal” policy, other than to show your loyalty to the Brethren. Separate but equal is NOT equal, and it is clear to me that you understand that, as you said in the OP that there were major problems with this Supreme Court doctrine.

    You illustrate that there are differences between men and women. I agree, there are differences. But these differences don’t need to make us treat men and women differently with regards to the spiritual gifts of the priesthood. There should be no reason why a woman can’t place her hands on the head of another and bless them with the same authority that a man has, or serve as bishop of a ward. To support such a policy is to support discrimination in the name of loyalty to the Brethren, and I just don’t think that supporting a policy of “unrighteous dominion” is what God intended when he revealed D&C 121:34-46. Joseph said that God is more liberal than we think; Joseph was certainly a theological liberal, but for some reason our church has become needlessly conservative and we think (to paraphrase 2 Nephi) “a Bible, a BoM, we need no more revelations.” You said you wouldn’t oppose a revelation changing this policy, and I do think that we should properly agitate for change. Official Declaration 3 is long overdue, IMO.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 7

  37. Hedgehog on June 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Jeff: “I think this might be a dodge on answering the question….. We all want to be perceived the way we see ourselves or want to be.”

    Well, it takes a while for people to get to know me well, on account of not being so good at conversing in a group, as I mentioned. So some people think I am shy or standoffish I guess. I’m neither. And those who do get to know me better often comment that I’m not how they supposed I would be seeing me from afar as it were. They expect me to be very much a toeing the line TBM type person because I am dedicated in the way I serve in my callings, and in church attendance and that kind of thing. I’ve only just been released from my primary calling, and in this ward getting to attend sunday school for the first time, which is now giving me a voice. It surprised a lot of people when I wore trousers for ‘wear pants’.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  38. Hedgehog on June 9, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    To add to my last comment, women in the church are frequently subjected to being told what we are. Maybe this happens to the men too. And it seems to be that when it is told over and over and over that that is all some people come to see or expect when they look at a woman in the church.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  39. Jeff Spector on June 10, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    MH,

    “Your refusal to address the issue and ” leave [your]self open to more shots” shows me that you understand that supporting the status quo is simply untenable.”

    Actually, it is you who have the untenable position. I have the Old Testament, New Testament (including the acts of Jesus), Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants (including the acts of Joseph Smith) and the Words of modern Prophets to back up my position.

    You have the secular world view and your own opinion about whether Women should hold the Priesthood. There is no doctrine basis for that….

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  40. Jeff Spector on June 10, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    MH,

    “Joseph said that God is more liberal than we think; Joseph was certainly a theological liberal, but for some reason our church has become needlessly conservative…”

    I do not disagree with either of these statement but, Joseph stopped short or ordaining women to the Priesthood and/or appointing them to any leadership body outside of the Female Relief Society. I emphasize the Female because that is what he called it. It was a women’s group and he established. Perhaps, if he has lived, things might have evolved differently. But we do not know that. And it didn’t

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  41. Mormon Heretic on June 10, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    You have the secular world view and your own opinion about whether Women should hold the Priesthood. There is no doctrine basis for that….

    Gordon B. Hinckley said it was “policy” not “doctrine” regarding women receiving priesthood. David O. McKay said the same thing about blacks and the priesthood. Let’s not mix up policy with doctrine.

    I’ll also add that Sidney Rigdon claimed that Emma Smith was the first to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood

    In 1868, Rigdon asserted that Emma Smith had been given the priesthood by Joseph Smith.

    “On 30 March 1842, two weeks after organizing the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith announced that the “Society should move according to the ancient Priesthood” and that he was “going to make a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day–as in Paul’s day.”

    Footnote 3 on page 437 has some interesting notes. The preceeding quote comes from the “Minutes of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo,” 30 Mar 1842.

    When the minutes were published in History of the Church, leaders omitted Smith’s first use of the word “Society” and changed the second “Society” to “Church,” so that the prophet’s meaning was entirely altered.

    See http://mormonheretic.org/2009/03/30/sidney-rigdon-after-the-martyrdom-part-5/

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  42. Justin on June 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Jeff [#33] asked:

    Now, is that really for us to judge?

    And I saw no one address specifically — so I’ll go ahead and say that the answer is “yes”. If “priest” is accepted as an active part of the latter-day church of Christ — then “priestess” ought to be just as prominent of one.

    If we lack a “priestess” role in our modern LDS churches — then the burden should be on us as the Lord’s people to figure out what that role is/ought to be. Because He certainly has a role/place for priestesses in the afterlife — and aren’t we supposed to be making it “on earth, as it is in heaven“?

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  43. Justin on June 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I saw this from Jeff [#40] after I’d hit the submit button [or I would’ve addressed it in my above comment:

    I emphasize the Female because that is what he called it. It was a women’s group and he established.

    Yes, but did he establish it “under the direction/control of the MALE First Presidency” [as it is currently operated] — or did he establish it to be a female quorum of priestesses with jurisdiction over their own business? That’s the question.

    It’s not about whether women should be ordained and set-apart into the priest and elder’s quorums — but whether or not priestesses should have their own quorum — just as free to act within their own sphere as priests are free to act in their own. Because currently, the women are not.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

Archives

%d bloggers like this: