The Gauntlet has been thrown down, What’s Next for Ordain Women?

By: Jeff Spector
March 17, 2014

As reported by the Deseret News, the Ordain Women’s movement received a letter from the Public Affairs Department of the LDS Church, signed by Jessica Moody, whose name I did not recognize as a spokesperson for the Church. The crux of the letter, when it is peeled back is three-fold:

  1. No, you cannot have tickets to the Priesthood Session for this coming April General Conference. You are welcome to watch it on TV or over the Internet, if you wish.
  2. Since we have heard you are planning a demonstration during that time, you are welcome to have that demonstration in the free speech area and not on Temple Square grounds, where media is not allowed either. The Free Speech area is outside the walls of Temple Square and where those critical of the Church normally congregate during General Conference and other times events are held. This is, I presume, to avoid the confrontation from last October. It also makes them subject to arrest, if asked to leave.
  3. They were invited to attend the the Women’s Meeting to be held the week before, with all their other Sisters. Probably not a well-received invitation in light of what this is all about.

So, it appears the Church is taking a position on this movement and it is a public one. So what is next, a trip to the Stake President for the leaders of the movement? And, what of their small, but vocal supporters? What will they do? I have seen some postings that more women are definitely going to the demonstration.

As of this afternoon, there was nothing of a response on the Ordain Women website, but in the Deseret News article, Kate Kelly basically said they will continue with their efforts and not back off.  She seemed a little put off that they were being directed to the free speech area. “”It’s striking they would direct us to the free-speech zones,” Kelly said. “We feel as faithful, active Mormon women we have nothing in common with people who oppose the church and want to protest against it. The church is its members. We aren’t against the church, we are the church.”

That, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. The article went on to cite a Pew Research poll in 2011 that stated 90% of LDS women opposed the ordination of women to the priesthood. It would be interesting to see that poll re-done now. People’s minds seem to change quickly these days and the polltakers and the Church might be surprised.

Certainly, Jessica Moody has no authority to issue this letter on her own nor does she have any ecclesiastical authority either. So, the question is,

Will the leaders of this movement be called into to talk to their bishop and/or Stake President prior to General Conference and what do you think the outcome might be?

150 Responses to The Gauntlet has been thrown down, What’s Next for Ordain Women?

  1. ji on March 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I think demonstrations are appropriately pointed to the free speech area. It was kind of the Church to explain the rules in advance so that there wouldn’t be any confusion or hurt feelings.

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  2. Jeff Spector on March 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    There will still be hurt feelings.While this probably will generate more publicity for them, If the Lord wants them to have the Priesthood, it will happen in His own way in His own time, maybe never.

    Remember, it is THY will be done, not my will. Even Jesus respected that. this is clearly a matter of pride, the wrong kind, IMO.

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  3. babaroni on March 17, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I’m expecting the church to get a pretty big black eye out of all of this. Shades of 1978.

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  4. Andrew S on March 17, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    You know when atheists and nonbelievers harp on God for allowing all sorts of evils, that many believers will try to say, “Evil is caused by man.” Like that one story/modern parable/whatever: Guy meets Jesus, asks, “Why do you allow evil?” And Jesus looks at the man and says, “I was about to ask you the same.”

    Why then, when people try to act on their own sense of integrity and personal revelation, cannot this be seen similarly. I mean, it’s not an UNKNOWN Mormon concept that the Lord works *through* imperfect members, and that institutional revelation can come through that sort of thing. And yet, here, this is “clearly a matter of pride”?

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  5. babaroni on March 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Jeff #2 – All-white leadership got a lot of revelation that black people weren’t supposed to have priesthood, too. Funny how that works.

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  6. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    There are a lot of moving pieces to the DRAMA being played out here. The church is making use of the Pew study statistics to put down the uprising via a female spokesman in place of a prophet or apostle or general authority to deliver “doctrine” as if the Public Affairs department has become the voice of revelation! (We now have a correlation prophet, a NewsRoom prophet and a P.A.D. prophet but what has THE prophet had to say?) This tactic sadly pits women against woman and she is now being marginalized by her sisters as well as the patriarchy!

    The so called faithful sisters who pretend to speak for marginalized LDS women typically aren’t themselves marginalized, typically are privileged among church women and therefore don’t really speak for them at all!

    The leaders of OW seem to be myopically focused on direct confrontation which may well bring media coverage to leverage the David v Goliath effect but this seem to commit them to future confrontation or back down. But this is not a legal battle! A course correction now might better position them for future progress.

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  7. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    The biggest mistake I see OW making is positioning themselves as militant outsiders by using secular language, secular arguments and engineered confrontation. I think it screams they’re not like US to the majority of LDS women. The sales job they must accomplish is to convince LDS women because the patriarchy will hide behind the shirts of that split.

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  8. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    skirts

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  9. alliegator on March 17, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    It makes me really sad that the church PR department views OW the same as they view those protesting in the “free speech” zones at conference. What difference could be made if someone took the time to listen to the concerns of all these women, and really heard them, and took steps to show them that they’re being heard? What if the prophet said, “we love you sisters, we’re praying about this, and in the mean time, if there’s room in the overflow after all the men are seated, you’re welcome to join in.”

    Would that really hurt anyone?

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  10. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    Kate Kelly is a human-rights attorney, a trip to her SP’s office might not be the church’s best move.

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  11. IDIAT on March 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Apostasy refers to members who repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders. Perhaps this second appearance at priesthood session will be considered a repeat performance in opposition to leaders. I don’t think church leaders are scared of Sister Kelly’s law degree.

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  12. hawkgrrrl on March 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    The church should not be scared of Kate Kelly’s degree at all. They SHOULD be scared of her faithfulness, which is real. She is asking for church leaders to pray about it. Let’s be honest here; the PR letter asserts that church doctrine precludes female ordination but does not cite a single reference as to exactly who received that revelation and when. Wouldn’t that information clear this matter up? All Sis. Kelly has asked is for church leaders to seek revelation as they did when blacks were barred from the priesthood. The church is treating her like she’s not faithful. That’s a huge mistake. When they turned away the tear-stained faces of the returned sister missionaries who simply asked for admittance to the meeting, that was hard to watch for all but the hard-hearted.

    These women aren’t “demanding” anything. They are asking that the church do what it does: seek revelation. They are operating within the bounds of the church’s process, under the faithful assumption that God will answer if church leaders pray about it. It’s the church’s answer that is secular, referring to the men of the church listening to women. Again, where is the evidence that is happening?

    Instead, the letter dismisses these concerns out of hand because a Pew survey from 3 years ago showed most women surveyed didn’t want to be ordained. (Same survey showed men were far more in favor of ordination, very telling indeed – men want help shouldering the responsibility, but women aren’t looking for more work. That’s what we reap when we sow “LDS women are incredible!” If women are so incredible, why aren’t we utilizing them more fully?) Our poll last weekend showed that 50% of our readers also felt women should be ordained.

    Goodbye, diversity.

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  13. Stephen R. Marsh on March 17, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    BTW:

    These codes tended to further elevate the position of the hosting male leader in comparison to his wife, children, servants, slaves, and guests. One sees the hint of a class warfare problem that could emerge between wealthy local leaders and the poor travelling leaders that depended upon (and could be accused of abusing in the Didache) a host’s generosity. Horrell’s model also has the benefit of explaining the decline in prominence of women in the early church. Women like Junia and Priscilla were mentioned in the same breath as evangelizing apostles, but the pastoral letters effectively silenced such activity. You heard it here first, but the a priori rejection of female prophetic ability seems to have been an early sign of the apostasy.

    From http://blog.fairmormon.org/2009/02/05/deacons-then-and-now/

    Just for those who reject anything that comes out of FAIR.

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  14. Stephen R. Marsh on March 17, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    “The so called faithful sisters who pretend to speak for marginalized LDS women typically aren’t themselves marginalized, typically are privileged among church women and therefore don’t really speak for them at all!”

    Well, that is a view that many have. It would actually justify some analysis and deconstruction.

    On the other hand, this is what I wrote, years ago, in response to, well, read the essay and I think it might be clear. http://www.adrr.com/living/ss_5.htm

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  15. Stephen R. Marsh on March 17, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    That is exactly the sort of thing one should both fear and embrace, the awful majesty of God being invoked.

    Which is what I reflect upon in http://www.wheatandtares.org/9090/the-final-word-on-prophecy/

    It is just a path that is so very hard.

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  16. Jon on March 17, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    The road to apostasy.

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  17. kd on March 17, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    I’m sorry, but I think that the Ordain Women’s position that are merely asking for a revelation is insincere, if not dishonest. The Church has done what it should have done before and call the movement for what it is: a protest movement. The OW agitators are using classic protest tactics like having small, insipid, yet public protest events (pants day) that galvanizes support for a larger coordinated event (like general conference). All of this is done knowing it will not cause leadership to change. Instead the idea is to garner media attention to apply public pressure to force the church to change. It is no accident that the Salt Lake Tribune and New York Times have covered each protest since the first pants day, it is inherent the movement’s design.

    OW is a political organization, not some random sisters that all decided to show up to priesthood meeting one day for the heck of it. They are not working for the benefit of the Church as a whole, they are focused on a specific issue. They will not give up on this issue, regardless of how strongly the prophet and apostles come out against ordination. Even if women’s ordination was down the pipeline somewhere, by actively trying to shame the church they are pursuing their own interests above those of the whole. I would be a lot more sympathetic if the sisters were trying to show how large a role they can play in existing church goals and projects. In fact, I think it would get them what they want much faster, assuming its the right thing in the first place.

    Ironically, the church fulfilling a type of equality here. They are refusing to give some protesters better treatment than others.

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  18. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Stephen always a challenge but never dull decoding your comments. I often have the sense that I’m missing something profound in them but I can rarely figure out what that is!

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  19. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    ….to apply public pressure to force the church to change. . Well, you can’t blame them for agitating, the church via history has taught them that the path to revelation is paved with agitation!

    They are not working for the benefit of the Church as a whole…. The problem is the church unnecessarly isn’t working for them and if it isn’t working for them it isn’t working for many others as well. The absense of mermering is not an indication all is well in Zion, it just means many suffer in science without inconveniently bothering the privileged.

    They are difficult to accomodate , I know in a church with one-size-fits-all rules but one day neauance will dawn on enough of the 15 for it to be a new day!

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  20. kd on March 17, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Howard,

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the argument that agitation was the key to getting the church to change in the past. I think that is a very superficial analysis of major revelations in the church. There are two commonalities that can be observed between the two official declarations, the most cited changes supporters of OW like to make. One is public pressure, which I grant. The second however is the fact that both declarations honored precedent and basic principles of the gospel. Polygamy, as explained by Jacob, is an exception and not the rule of marriage. Take that away and there should be no problems. Giving blacks the priesthood was also something that happened in the past. Once this was better understood, again the case for a change is easy to make.

    What about the fact that “all are alike unto God” and the existence of some understanding of women’s giving blessings. There can be some use here to argue women can have an expanded role in the church. However, ordination and priesthood keys were clearly not present in the church so I find that argument only so persuasive. However, that failure of logic is not why I am against Ordain Women. Rather it is the fact that they are using different principles that are outside the gospel to make their case. The radical idea of equality which they espouse is more in line with Simone de Beauvior than Christ. Theirs is a philosophy that values the subjective over the objective, the individual’s feelings over the communal good, and the need to change one’s self over the need to change others. They threaten to bring in outside ideas that are at odds with the doctrine and goals of the church.

    There is a third commonality between many of the major changes the church has made. From the warnings of Jeremiah of the folly of paganism, to the teachings of Christ against the Pharisees and Sadducees, the revelations of Joseph Smith clearing away the Apostasy , and the extension of the priesthood in 1978 ending racism there has been a clear rejection of outside ideas in favor of basic gospel principles. I surely doubt history (as if history ever could be a guide for moral thought anyway) will be on OW’s side.

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  21. N on March 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    The Church’s response is the opening salvo in an effort to help people see these OW folks for who they really are – fringe dissidents who do not believe current Church doctrine as it has been revealed. When they chose to disrupt the Priesthood Session, despite the Church’s measure request that they not do so, the OW folks will only further distance themselves from the mainstream sisters in the Church. The Church may not win the battle in the mainstream media, but it will do much to neutralize this group in the eyes of the average church member. Placing these people in the free speech zone sends a clear message as to where the Church thinks they stand that will not be missed by the average member.

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  22. Howard on March 17, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    kd,
    While I agree with some of your last comment, it was really a sidebar because agitation prompts seeking of revelation. This is something the church has trained it’s observers to. In the absence of agitation we see proactive “revelation” lowering the age of missionaries as if that is the only divine message the word lacks! When it comes to reform agitation is a great and useful catalyst!

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  23. Ken on March 17, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I have always loved the 11th article of faith “we claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    I think this is what the church is saying through thier spokesmen. Conversley, the OW group is saying we will not allow you to worship God according to the dictates of your conscience and we will not stop until you worship the way we think you should.

    It is an immovable object facing an irresistible force, which is a recipe for conflict. I think the church followed the right path.

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  24. C. Rider on March 17, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    OW will not stop ever, no answer of ‘no’ from the church will ever satisfy them. They have been quite clear on that. Behind the women’s ordination protest, if you look at the sites they primarily converse in you’ll see that there lurks a whole gamut of demands, same sex marriage solemnized in the temple, elimination of all difference in roles between genders, removing abortion as a sin, etc. There is a reason the group is comprised of so many anti and former Mormons. They seek to embarrass and humiliate the Prophet, Church and it’s members, to get photo ops for newspapers to continue to generate more bad publicity. They relish the bad pres they garner for the Prophet, the Church and it’s members. I’ve read the gleeful comments. Even the web page is a false front in imitation of the I’m a Mormon site. Women’s ordination issue is the foot in the door to deceive sisters (and brothers) into aligning with them. This conference protest will be very telling. Read the bad publicity and read their comments afterward. You will see ‘heartfelt’ stories of gender oppression, they will try to arrange for photos of women being denied entrance and weeping, they will try to start conflict they can video and circulate out to news outlets; and the world and those who hate us will eagerly lap it up. Just examine how the OW behaves and read what they write on their frequented sites. By their fruits ye shall know them.

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  25. C. Rider on March 18, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    Also ex-Mormons Margaret Toscano and Holly Welker are high up in the OW leadership, Google what they’ve written.

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  26. Hedgehog on March 18, 2014 at 4:14 AM

    N, you must be using some new meaning for the word ‘disrupt’.
    Precisely how is queuing quietly, requesting entrance, and departing when refused disruptive?

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  27. IDIAT on March 18, 2014 at 5:19 AM

    Hawk 12- from what I’ve seen on OW’s website, there is very little asking. Instead, there is a whole lot of telling. And that’s where I think the OW movement has problems. If there had been a simple request that leaders pray for revelation on the issue of ordination, I think rank and file members would have been supportive. But the demand for ordination, the seeming position that “No” is not an acceptable answer, puts them at odds. One sister commented that she will never be able to develop into the kind of person worthy to merit the celestial kingdom unless she is ordained to the priesthood while in mortality. The movement has morphed into causing many women to feel they are defective and damned because they do not hold the priesthood, which has never been preached or proffered by our doctrine. IMO, that is another flaw with the obsession to define equality the way the world defines it. It automatically labels who is inferior whereas God is no respecter of persons.

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  28. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    IDIAT,
    I think you make some good points in 27 but this line strikes me as total B.S.: The movement has morphed into causing many women to feel they are defective and damned because they do not hold the priesthood…. Please provide support for this outlandish statement.

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  29. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Hedge,

    “Precisely how is queuing quietly, requesting entrance, and departing when refused disruptive?”

    That is only a tactic, while knowing full well what the response would be and being overly-critical of it when it happens.

    It appears to be a peaceful, respectful approach, but that, IMO, negates itself because they already know the answer.

    The point I made above was that now they know that the Church has openly and publicly told them there is no room in the inn, they are on notice that any act is now open defiance and could provoke Church disciple.

    Like many of the September 6, they wish to be martyrs for their cause. As was said above, there is no acceptable answer to them than receiving the Priesthood

    Thy will, not mine, be done.

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  30. Hedgehog on March 18, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    Jeff, N was talking about disrupting the priesthood session in his/her use of the word. It was that I was referring to. I listened to the priesthood session last year. Didn’t seem like it was disrupted to me.

    Of course there is disruption in the wider arena. That is happening anyway.

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  31. InhabitingBooks on March 18, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    The hypocrisy is that those same conference police will not raise a finger of question or objection to stop men from entering the General Relief Society meeting.

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  32. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Hedge,

    There was a disruption due to the media presence, albeit a small one that culminated In the dump truck incident (What were they thinking on that one? bad image)

    but you are correct, nothing inside, .

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  33. babaroni on March 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I have a really hard time understanding how the leadership can justify even the *optics* of having a worldwide women’s meeting that is freely open to all men who wish to attend and even includes male speakers, while having a worldwide men’s meeting from which all female persons are expressly and completely excluded from even attending.

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  34. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Are you kidding? It be refreshing just to know they understood the optical bias you’re referring to.

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  35. IDIAT on March 18, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Howard – 28 – if you read many of the comments at fMh, there seem to be a whole lot of sisters that hinge their eternal salvation on whether or not they are ordained to the priesthood. If they aren’t ordained, they believe they will not advance in such a way so as to inherit eternal life. That’s my impression. Your assessment of their comments and position may vary.

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  36. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    “I have a really hard time understanding how the leadership can justify even the *optics* of having a worldwide women’s meeting that is freely open to all men who wish to attend and even includes male speakers, while having a worldwide men’s meeting from which all female persons are expressly and completely excluded from even attending.”

    Those of use who are actually part of the Church and are on-board with the hierarchy, whether we agree or not, fully understand this “optic” as you have stated it.

    The Church is run by authority of the Priesthood, which is male. The First Presidency is, by virtue of their responsibility over all the Church are obligated to preside at all general meetings of the Church, unless delegated to another Priesthood leader. They don’t usually conduct the women’s meeting, but leave that to the Sisters of the General Presidency to do.

    And at the local level, the same principles apply. So it might not be odd to find a Stake President or a Bishop attending those meetings to fulfill their responsibilities to preside over their local women’s units.

    However, I would be surprised to see that many men, outside of those I mentioned, actually attending. Why would anyone go to another meeting if they didn’t have to? I’ll bet the number of men actually attending is quite small. Not even all the GA go.

    The optics to the world are of no consequence to the leadership or people who wish not to understand how the Church is organized.

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  37. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    I am, frankly, baffled by this entire debate. There is no credible argument to be made that these people are not apostates. They have made their demands and been told to stand down and they continue in open opposition to church leadership. I don’t understand why the church has equivocated in dealing with them. On the other hand, I don’t understand why these women want to force a group to change its policies that clearly does not value them. If you believe the church is true, then get with the program. If you don’t, then find another church or start your own. The church makes the rules and does so under the mantle of direct guidance from god. Arguing for changes in policy against the direction of the church is pure idiocy, and, in my mind, belies the lack of testimony on the part of the complainants. I think the fact that the church is unwilling to simply give these people an ultimatum and then summarily discipline them is further evidence that it is being run from Madison ave. as opposed to salt lake. From a doctrinal perspective, both sides are embarrassing themselves here.

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  38. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Hmm, There is no credible argument to be made that these people are not apostates. Wouldn’t be better if a credible argument were required to make someone an apostate?

    If you believe the church is true, then get with the program. If you don’t, then find another church or start your own. My church. Right or wrong. Love it or leave it!

    Arguing for changes in policy against the direction of the church is pure idiocy, and, in my mind, belies the lack of testimony on the part of the complainants. So it follows that this would also be true of those who stood up for blacks!

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  39. babaroni on March 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    The optics to the world are of no consequence to the leadership or people who wish not to understand how the Church is organized.

    I do understand how the church is organized, Jeff. But I sincerely doubt that “optics to the world” are of no consequence to the leadership. Otherwise black people would still not have access to the temple and ordination. Yeah, I know, that was due to revelation. IMO, though, the sort of revelation that tends to hit us when we suddenly realize that things are not going to change *back* to the way they were before, where we were comfortable living in our prejudices and racism, and that our fannies are now waving embarrassingly out in the breeze for all to see.

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  40. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Yes, Howard, it would. If you belong to a racist organization and you’re not comfortable with that, perhaps the answer is to find a new group. Alternatively, the church could concede that it is run by humans and then openly seek the input of its members on doctrinal decisions. What is absurd is to maintain that the church is run by god, then entertain popular referendums or gauge public opinion in making decisions. The two are much more mutually exclusive than most members want to admit. Cue the mental gymnastics.

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  41. Naismith on March 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    “‘The movement has morphed into causing many women to feel they are defective and damned because they do not hold the priesthood….’ Please provide support for this outlandish statement.”

    This is pretty much the rationale of the “equality is not a feeling” tagline. A lot of folks are quick to tell women that they are not equal, and if they feel like they are, then they must be mistaken.

    I understand that we all have differing experiences in various parts of the vineyard, so I can understand why some women might feel like second-class citizens at times. But does that justify the declaration that this is true for all Mormon women, and we can only be equal if we are the same as men (i.e. ordination).?

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  42. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    What is absurd is to maintain that the church is run by god… Yeah, I see your point. The funny thing is God incarnate as Jesus was a progressive and the god that apparently runs the church is a conservative! I guess he saw the light postmortem?

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  43. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Also, words have meanings, Howard. The word apostasy has a definition.

    “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.”

    What is unclear about this prophetic declaration? I think these women are right about sexism in the church. I also think they’re apostates. The church gets to make the rules governing its policies and doctrines. Period. I’m not sure why this concept is so difficult for many to grasp.

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  44. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    But does that justify the declaration that this is true for all Mormon women… I agree Naismith but that logic works both ways. Female ordination could be offered optionally allowing you to decline if you’re opposed.

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  45. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    So brjones given that clarity, those members who stood up for blacks were also apostates?

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  46. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I think it would depend on their tactics. If they had been told to cease their activities and had continued in open opposition, then yes. Again, they would have been on the right side of the issue, but also apostates.

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  47. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Mormons have a different idea of that apostate, the world sees it as renouncing ones religious belief but the LDS church sometimes renounces it for you! You see their in charge, not you.

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  48. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Mormons have a different idea of apostate, the world sees it as renouncing one’s religious belief but the LDS church sometimes renounces it for you! You see they’re in charge, not you.

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  49. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    “Jesus was a progressive.”

    Yeah, but He wasn’t THAT progressive…

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  50. Douglas on March 18, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    “42 – The Savior a “Progressive?” Oh Sir, how could you insult your Lord thus?

    The Church’s public response is dead on right…politely direct them to the designated “free speech” area where the others ALSO in opposition care to rail against the leadership. There shouldn’t, IMO, be any action taken regarding the respective memberships of the OW organization. They’re simply misguided, and patience would be a virtue for this instance. I’ll let their respective bishops and SPs deal with them IF they so are directed per their inspiration, and not kibbitz either way.

    These woman that “demand” the PH are forgetting that “no MAN taketh upon himself this honor, but he that is called of God” (Hebrews 5:4). So the Apostle Paul is also a sexist bigot? So be it. The Savior will call women to the PH if HE deems it the thing to do, and not before. I can’t see, based on current teachings, why that would ever happen, but I’m not certainly not in mind-meld with the Savior (not even remotely close), and I’m not the President of the Church, so “never SAY ‘never’” unless you’re secretly trying to get it to happen. The important thing that seems to be “lost in the the sauce” is WHOSE Church and PH it is.

    As women vary in their leadership talents as do men, I don’t care for condescending arugments about why the distaff side shouldn’t have the PH. Under the current system of males-only, many are called but FEW are “chosen”. I don’t see restricting the PH to males as conferring any “superiority” on them at all. Rather, I see it as Jesus, in effect saying, “See? I can whup the Adversary with one hand tied behind my back!”

    #39 (Barbaroni) – if the Church were to respond to public opinion, blacks would have been deemed eligible for the PH in 1968, not 1978. It was slightly before I joined myself but the generally attitude amongst the members was “it’s about TIME!” (overwhelming acceptance, so much for a Church chock full of racists). It’s better to be thought a fool and remain silent, but you insist on confirming it, so…

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  51. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    “Otherwise black people would still not have access to the temple and ordination.”

    I understand you want to equate the two, but they are not equivalent by any stretch.

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  52. MB on March 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Howard,
    I think that optional ordination would probably lead to a huge sense of division among the women of the church; those who choose to and those who choose not, with the ones who do choose to be ordained thought to be somehow more spiritual or dedicated or worthy than those who do not.

    The across the board ordaining of young men to priesthood did much to reduce the division of priesthood quorum members and non-priesthood quorum members among men in the 19th century and created a greater sense of unity among brothers as well as more hands to the plow of priesthood quorum work..

    I’d not like for us women to have to deal with a system that divides us between priestesses and non-priestesses.

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  53. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Lol! You mean he didn’t ordain any women that we know of?

    On the other hand he spent a lot of time close to women and treated them with a great deal of respect. Were they veiled before him? Were they permitted to speak directly to him? Did he hold a disciplinary conference on them? Is he our exemplar? If so perhaps we should follow his example.

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  54. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    MB,
    So you’re in favor of priesthood for all worthy LDS women?

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  55. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    “On the other hand he spent a lot of time close to women and treated them with a great deal of respect. Were they veiled before him? Were they permitted to speak directly to him? Did he hold a disciplinary conference on them? Is he our exemplar? If so perhaps we should follow his example.”

    I think the Church leaders of today also treat women with a great deal of respect.

    And do we have a complete record of al that transpired? To the best historical record that we have, there were no women priests, apostles or any other leadership position in the new Testament Church. So there is no real historical precedent from the Savior himself or his followers after.

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  56. Douglas on March 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    #54 – In in “favor” of the PH for all that the SAVIOR calls. I don’t presume to substitute my judgement, with my limited, addled faculties, for His. If and whem women are deemed eligible for the PH, all or in part (or would some other order be created, who can say?), IF and when it comes via the Lord’s mouthpiece, I’m sure that I’ll receive personal revelation in some manner that it is the will of the Lord, and get on board with it.

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  57. MB on March 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Howard,
    I may be in a minority , but in fact I’m one of the people who is decidedly neutral on the subject. Either ordained or not I’d be serving God and, with God’s grace, doing good. So it actually and truly doesn’t matter to me personally. Whether or not it changes now, I’m good.

    But systematized division among the adult women of the church does matter to me.

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  58. alice on March 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    A story about the church’s finger waving at Ordain Women is the lead item on Huffington Posts Religion section this morning. That may or may not influence anyone here but I wonder what effect it will have on conversions of American women after this.

    Not too many comments yet to gauge the reaction but I can’t think this is going to be a PR plus. Hope the church has a better plan than arrests on hand for April 5. As it is, I thought last year the OW women showed tremendous restraint in not lifting up that ugly utility vehicle and carrying it and the driver to a “Freedom of Speech” zone.

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  59. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    But there is historical precedent of the priesthood being given to broader and wider groups of people without any specific prohibition for women. And Joseph provided powers to women that Brigham and others removed. Clearly that provides precedent for their restoration or clear explanation of why/how they were given by Joseph in error.

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  60. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    There were a number of early Church practices which have been withdrawn as further light and knowledge has been received or a change in policy made. That needs to be considered long before any nefarious motives are sought.

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  61. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Okay. How would you do that Jeff?

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  62. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Do what?

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  63. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Consider if the powers given to women by Joseph were withdrawn due to further light and knowledge.

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  64. Douglas on March 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    #58 – Any produ ct of Arianna Huffington is a terrific waste of bandwidth.

    A few others have lamented that the Church seems “driven” by PR as much as “revelation”. In mine own profession (Environmental Engineering for a Governmental Agency that deals with shuttered military facilties), PR is ESSENTIAL, good science and engineering notwithstanding. If part of the reason for any Church discipline (and I don’t concede that any is needed) is to uphold the good name of the Church (other reasons, no less valid, are to bring about repentance and to protect the ‘innocent’, the latter I don’t see how it’d apply…), then PR considerations would be crucial, don’t you think?

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  65. Paolo on March 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    TO: April Young Bennett, Debra Jenson, Kate Kelly, Hannah Wheelwright ( AND..your local Bishop and Stake President have also been bcc’d: )
    FROM: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    SUBJECT: Ticket and Meeting Request
    DATE: March 17, 2014
    Dear Sisters,
    Thank you for your letter and email.
    Some wonderful conversations (kind of like the meaningless ones held in hallways between church meetings, with no real actionable conclusions) have been held over recent years, and are continuing to be held, relative to women in the Church and the invaluable contributions we (Look, I’m the token female on the PR team here, I’m talkin’ woman to woman wich you!) make. The recent changes you have seen, most notably the lowering of the missionary age for sisters (Although you still have to wait a year later and don’t serve as long), serve as examples and were facilitated by the input of many extraordinary LDS women (GA’s wives in pseudo-leadership callings) around the world (which input was requested by the male leadership, not by any “agitation” by sisters).
    Women in the Church, by a very large majority (Really! We surveyed a representative population of church females….NOT!), do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme (It is extreme to want the same opportunities that Joseph Smith gave women in the founding days of the church. It is extreme to want a truly equal voice/decision capabilities, etc. ) . Declaring such an objective to be non-negotiable, as you have done, actually detracts from the helpful discussions that Church leaders have held as they seek to listen to the thoughts, concerns, and hopes of women inside and outside of Church leadership (You know, the conversations that they have with the faithful wives of the general authorities who report through the priesthood organization, or all those sit-down meetings the brethren have with a random sampling of women from around the church that happen when GA’s travel around the world). Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His Church (Which is why the Bible talks of Prophetesses and Queen leaders, and why in the early days of the church when the actual founder was alive, allowed women to bless others and had an organization that had total control of their own finances and destiny).
    The priesthood session of General Conference is designed to strengthen men and boys as they receive specific instruction about their roles and responsibilities (of being total leaders over all the women in the church); therefore we are unable to fulfill your request for tickets. You are certainly welcome to view the live broadcast of the priesthood session on lds.org, the Mormon Channel or BYUtv. (Which is broadcast all over because not all the men and boys fit in the conf. center anyway. Having women in there really would be a distraction since men can’t control their thoughts and might think of having sex with you)
    We invite you, as our sisters, to participate with women everywhere in the parallel meeting (You know, the one that is a week earlier than the real deal of conference, and where it won’t be reprinted in the Ensign for all to read. Yes, the one that will have some men on the big red chairs in suits “presiding” over it )for women and girls on March 29, and hope you will join us in a spirit of love and harmony. The women’s meeting is a remarkable gathering of worldwide sisterhood, and was proposed and planned by the presidencies and boards of the Primary, Young Women and Relief Society (with final approval from the priesthood) as a time to focus on ennobling and eternal doctrines relating to women (Like being a sister wife to some “god”, having babies eternally, never being mentioned to your babies on their earth because you’re too special, and…….well, there really isn’t any others).
    Your organization has again publicized its intention to demonstrate (Come to the plaza with no sign, dressed nicely, and simply asking to be admitted) on Temple Square (Across the street from Temple Square) during the April 5 priesthood session. Activist events (We are using this emotion-charged term so that readers will get the true picture of your evil natures!) like this detract from the sacred environment of Temple Square and the spirit of harmony sought at General Conference (We only want those who are willing to cow-tow to the male leadership and not make waves. We prefer that passive-aggressive approach). Please reconsider.
    If you feel you must come and demonstrate, we ask that you do so in free speech zones adjacent to Temple Square (So we don’t have to bring in a garbage truck on the plaza again which really looked bad. You can stand out there with the true haters holding their garments aloft and big signs), which have long been established for those wishing to voice differing viewpoints. They can be found on the attached map. (They are right there next to Outer Darkness)
    As fellow Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church, we invite you (to cave in and just do as we say) to help us maintain the peaceful environment of Temple Square and ask that you please follow these details in your continued planning. In addition, consistent with long-standing policy, news media cameras will not be allowed on Temple Square during General Conference.
    Again, we hope you will join us for the (Church’s secondary status gender meeting) General Women’s Meeting on March 29 and contribute to the strength of sisterhood in our communities.
    Kindest regards,
    Jessica Moody Public Affairs, (Look, I’m a woman, Dammit, and I don’t want that priesthood! No way!)
    On behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (This PR letter was run through a committee or two of nearly all men, and only approved to be released by a male priesthood holder)

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  66. Mormon Heretic on March 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Maybe there’s a new idea…..OW should organize men that support their cause to try to gain access to the Women’s meeting the week before.

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  67. IDIAT on March 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Holly Welker – from an Exponent comment referring to her OW profile:

    …Moreover, LDS women need the priesthood to recognize their full potential as children of Heavenly Parents.

    Like I said, OW supporters are now equating the ordination to the priesthood as a “required” step in eternal progression, much like men are required to have the Melch. PH as part of the saving ordinances. Certainly we could go back and re-do all those temple ordinances vicariously for women who weren’t ordained in mortality, the same way we do men who lived and died without ever having been ordained. It’s just a sign that ordination of women might lead to a lot of complications, all of which can be overcome if in deed it is the Lord’s will. But I think sisters might feel less “pain” if they didn’t believe that a lack of ordination to the priesthood was not an impediment to becoming like our Heavenly Parents.

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  68. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Howard,

    “Consider if the powers given to women by Joseph were withdrawn due to further light and knowledge.”

    I’ve considered it and the answer is yes.

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  69. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    “…Moreover, LDS women need the priesthood to recognize their full potential as children of Heavenly Parents.”

    And yet, we have been taught that women who have all the required saving ordinances have all the Priesthood they need for reach their full potential, if they are true and faithful. Many of you know the rest.

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  70. Ken on March 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    “Hope the church has a better plan than arrests on hand for April 5.”

    I hope OW has a better plan than doing something to cause themselves to get arrested.

    This is all about respect. God is love. God is respect. His decision allowing us to choose for ourselves is prima facia evidence of this: especially allowing Lucifer and others the right to “worship how, where or what they may”

    In stark contrast, it was Lucifer (until he was booted out) that sought to take away the agency of those that choose to follow God’s plan by trying to coerce them to see things his way.

    As a follower of Christ, I want to be free to worship him the way I see fit — to believe the family proclamation without being accused of bigotry or sexism. I know a lot of other members feel the same. Those that disagree certainly have that right and I think they would have better luck persuading others in the church following God’s approach of respect rather than Lucifer’s rules for radicals.

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  71. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    I’m curious to see where this goes. The church is predictably taking further and firmer steps in dealing with the movement. Undoubtedly, this will cause those in the movement to feel more disrespected and marginalized. How will they respond? Will the movement become more militant? The only way this exercise could end in any way other than a disaster is a) the church capitulates in a manner satisfactory to the OW movement; or b) the OW movement relents and gives up its claims. I don’t see either of those things happening, which was pretty clear from the beginning.

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  72. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    As a follower of Christ, I want to be free to worship him the way I see fit — to believe the family proclamation without being accused of bigotry or sexism. I suspect you’re able to do this on almost any Sunday aren’t you?

    What if you were told by those in authority you needed a woman to act as your proxy?

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  73. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Howard, that’s a false dichotomy. What if a worthy Elder wanted to conduct sacrament meeting or sit in on a Stake High Council meeting? Of course he would be barred from doing so, because worshipping in the way one sees fit does not equate to doing anything one wants within the church. The church dictates the framework of the membership experience and within that framework, members are free to worship as their conscience dictates.

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  74. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Hmm, false dichotomy? Gets out the scrabble board and spells it out for brjones:

    What if a worthy woman wanted to give her sick child a healing blessing while her husband is out of town? What if a worthy Elder wanted to to give his sick child a healing blessing while his wife is out of town?

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  75. Naismith on March 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    It would give a different impression if the name of the group was ORDAIN WOMEN?

    Without the question mark, it comes across as already knowing the answer.

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  76. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    There’s some arbitrariness that lacks any intrinsic meaning it’s all symbolism. A Deacon can pass the sacrament a grown woman can’t, but a little girl can pass it down her pew. Much to do about nothing except the men are to take care of the women and, well, they forgot to ask them to pray in GC for…wait for it…a mere 182 years! BUT all is well in Zion as long as you don’t share your pain with other members.

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  77. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I’m not arguing there aren’t differences, and believe me, I’m not arguing that there is anything approximating gender equality within the LDS church. There isn’t. But I think you’re misconstruing the 11th article of faith by insinuating that not giving women the priesthood is in violation. I don’t think that’s an accurate reading. I think the church is behaving consistently with that article in its sexist policies.

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  78. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Ordain Women? I like that Naismith!

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  79. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    I wasn’t addressing the 11th article of faith.

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  80. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    “What if a worthy woman wanted to give her sick child a healing blessing while her husband is out of town?”

    Then she should. It just is not under the authority of he Priesthood since she does not hold it.

    Who said a worthy woman could not bless her child?

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  81. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    “A Deacon can pass the sacrament a grown woman can’t, but a little girl can pass it down her pew.”

    The Deacon is fulfilling his Priesthood responsibility by participating in the Ordinance of the Sacrament as a servant by passing the Sacrament to the members. The little girl is merely passing the tray, not administering the Ordinance to the members.

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  82. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Weren’t we talking about worshipping in the way one sees fit? Isn’t the principle the same?

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  83. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Who said a worthy woman could not bless her child?

    Right!

    So ask how many women feel inhibited from doing this and how many feel comfortable placing their hands on the child’s head if they were to give the blessing or are comfortable using their husband’s consecrated oil?

    A priesthood ordination confers no power, that is acquired through one’s personal relationship with God rather it is a formal church sponsored invitation to engage God’s power within the LDS community. This is specifically what she is invited out of!

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  84. Mormon Heretic on March 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    “Who said a worthy woman could not bless her child?”

    I believe it was Heber J. Grant. The change happened in 1945. Women used to bless the sick (some even had callings to do so), but under Grant the policy was changed that women should not bless children and should ask for the elders.

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  85. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Yes of course there is such a huge difference between passing the tray as an ordinance and passing the same tray as a little girl. Please explain exactly what that huge difference is.

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  86. Mormon Heretic on March 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I was off a year–it was 1946. From my post on Mormon Women Giving Blessings.

    Further restrictions appeared under President Heber J. Grant. He

    defended the priesthood against “complaint… about the domination of the people by those who preside over them.” He quoted the description of the ideal way in which priesthood authority is to function, found in Doctrine and Covenants 121, then asked, somewhat rhetorically, “Is it a terrible thing to exercise the priesthood of the living God in the way that the Lord prescribes: ’By kindness and gentleness’ “?37 The pattern had now been established, clarified, and validated.

    King cites further discomfort with female blessings.

    On 29 July 1946 Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve wrote to Belle S. Spafford, the Relief Society General President, and her counselors, Marianne C. Sharp and Gertrude R. Garff. While the authorities of the Church have ruled that it is permissible, under certain conditions and with the approval of the priesthood, for sisters to wash and anoint other sisters, yet they feel that it is far better for us to follow the plan the Lord has given us and send for the Elders of the Church to come and administer to the sick and afflicted.41

    See http://www.wheatandtares.org/2333/mormon-women-giving-blessings/

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  87. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    “Please explain exactly what that huge difference is.” What huge difference?

    Why don’t you enlighten me this time, Howard?

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  88. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    I don’t understand where you’re going here, Howard. It sounds to me like you’re essentially arguing against organized religion. Is that accurate? According to religious doctrine and dogma, ordinances have meanings, and who performs them and in what manner are not only important, they’re often all-important, and the manner is ostensibly laid out by divine fiat. Do you accept this principle or not? I’m confused as to what point you’re making.

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  89. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    “A priesthood ordination confers no power,”

    Please listen to the next Priesthood ordination to hear what is given to the person, if done correctly.

    And also, you might brush up on what the Priesthood is on the earth. I think the word power is in there somewhere.

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  90. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Howard,

    “how many feel comfortable placing their hands on the child’s head if they were to give the blessing or are comfortable using their husband’s consecrated oil?”

    Who said they have to imitate the actual Priesthood ordinance?

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  91. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    You got me. Ceremony? I don’t think there is much of a difference except for the exclusion of females. That seems to be one of the features of priesthood, it excludes women.

    The powers women once held were vacuumed up by correlation and consolidated under men in what appeared to be a power grab but of course it couldn’t have been because everyone knows the brethren are immune from unrighteous dominion.

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  92. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Who said they have to imitate the actual Priesthood ordinance? Then what is an actual Priesthood ordinance if it’s not worth imitating?

    (Hint, this is where I’m going brjones)

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  93. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    “A priesthood ordination confers no power,” Please listen to the next Priesthood ordination to hear what is given to the person, if done correctly.

    I know non-member women who have far more healing power than two Elder missionaries. Where did they get that power?

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  94. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    The priesthood is a license.

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  95. Hedgehog on March 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    At the time the responsibility was given to the deacons to pass the sacrament, the reason given was they were allowed to do so precisely because the passing wasn’t part of the ordinance, unlike the blessing done by the priests.

    Also, last summer, the week following some discussion and anecdotes of the topic in a RS lesson, our RS was subject to an address by the Bishop specifically telling us he had been told by his leaders to tell us in no uncertain terms that we were *not* permitted to give blessings of healing.

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  96. Rigel Hawthorne on March 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    It seems that there is no longer a point in pursuing their original mission, to stand in line peacefully and request tickets, waiting to see what the answer is. The answer has been given. As members of the church, there is a line between ‘faithfully agitating’ and ‘defiantly opposing’. As the quote in the OP refers the group as “faithful, active Mormon women” it would seem that the line has been reached and it is appropriate to display the faithful quality of humility. I do not believe that the letter from Jessica Moody has to come out and say that the prophet has prayed and received an answer on this in order to surmise that he has prayed for this group often.

    My thoughts have turned to the scenario where OW persists in lining up for tickets in spite of this letter and what action the prophet can direct with the least negative impact to the respect given to him by our community and our youth. Arrests and forcible removals with associated photography will only victimize the protesters in the media and impressionable youth and others will suddenly turn away from the church. The seemingly better alternative would be to just close the event to standby tickets and leave empty seats.

    I can just see the negative impact if there is a side-by-side telecast of priesthood talks going on blissfully while the other half of the screen shows the protesters being forcibly removed. Such a display would take the meaningfulness out of the messages being given in priesthood meeting that young and older men need to receive to be inspired to carry on and replaced with the mocking attitudes of outsiders questioning why the needs of the few and vocal are not immediately reprioritized.

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  97. Jeff Spector on March 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Hedge,

    “At the time the responsibility was given to the deacons to pass the sacrament, the reason given was they were allowed to do so precisely because the passing wasn’t part of the ordinance, unlike the blessing done by the priests.”

    Where would we find a reference for that? i’d be curious to look that up.

    “…..he had been told by his leaders to tell us in no uncertain terms that we were *not* permitted to give blessings of healing”

    I think it is true that non-Priesthood holders cannot given a blessing as to imitate the actual Priesthood ordinance. However, who does not pray for the health of our family or others during a regular prayer? Why would you not have a special prayer to ask for a healing? having faith makes it no less effective in my book.

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  98. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    An ordinance is a symbolic ritual.

    Religion is the mortalization of spirituality. Mortal forms of spirituality are symbolic. metaphoric, allegoric. Don’t confuse the finger pointing toward the moon for the moon.

    Women have the same potential to express God’s power on earth as men do but they are prohibited from doing so within the LDS community. Priesthood is the license that prohibits them.

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  99. Douglas on March 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    #86 – as opposed to our rather contentious exchange in another thread, good find, Heretic. From what I get it would seem that there might have been a mistaken notion that Sisters, in their understandable desire to serve another and give a “blessing”, were not always availing themselves of Priesthood power and authority when AVAILBLE.

    Yes, it’s best, as circumstances dictate, to use the PH as we’ve been taught. If it’s practical to arrange to have two MP holders go through the ritual of first annoint, then pronounce a blessing, then that’s what gets done. But does it make sense to do nothing if one or none PH holders are avaible? Are not the needs of the afflicted and the faith of both the giver and recipient of the blessing far more important than the methodology? I would think so. How many times I’ve solely administered a blessing when getting another MP wasn’t practical. And why, pray tell, would a dear sister, desperate to aid her afflicted child and on her own, be out of step with the Lord if she called upon Him (who according to Hebrews 7:24 has the PH that is “permanent”) for assistance? Is is her FAITH that has the power, not necessarily what office she or her husband might hold.

    I think of a relative that once she’d get her children off to school would go straight to the temple for a session or two, not merely to do temple work but b/c she was facing difficulties and deemed that activity the best way to cope. I wouldn’t say for a moment that there isn’t a very real power associated with the Temple. However, if the millions for the construction and subsequent maintenance of the Bountiful Utah Temple effected nothing more than a gleaming version of “Dumbo’s Magic Feather”, it’d still be worth every penny. Her quiet example is more than enough proof that women are valued no less in the eyes of their Heavenly Father and seem quite capable of magnfying their lives w/o the PH. Perhaps for we brethren the PH IS that “magic feather”. If that’s the case, then which gender is “Superior”?

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  100. alice on March 18, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    #64. So, you don’t care for the Huffington Post. No surprise there. But people read it. And today on the same page that the Brethren are standing up to faithful women who pay their tithes and give hours upon hours of service, the Pope is standing up to the Italian mafia and praying with victims of violence.

    Don’t ask yourself how those optics strike you. Ask how they will sit with the next generation of Americans — BIC and those who have not yet heard of the BOM. They are paying attention to things like social justice and, BTW, leaving the church in increasing numbers.

    Maybe you’re right and this is just an annoying bunch of uppity women. Or maybe it’s a developing crisis that could be averted by a more open community willing to hear what some women’s pain is and petition Heavenly Father to speak to the Prophet he has placed on earth to provide continuing revelation.

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  101. kd on March 18, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    #99

    If you were to go back exactly one hundred years and ask a Briton or American what they thought the next 30 years would look like they would probably not have included two world wars, the rise of communism and fascism, and feeding 6 million jews to ovens in their predictions. In fact, depending on their ideology they might even suggest that progress would make everyone richer, happier, and more equal. They would have laughed if you told them the horrors of the 20th century would begin to unfold in only 5 months time.

    The point being is that history is relatively unpredictable, so I’m going to hedge my bets rather than merely surrender to OW’s progressive agenda. Furthermore, even if you are right and the world becomes radically against the church, your argument gives me no moral reason to change. Morality is not determined by the march of history, church membership numbers, or an election. It is found in the words of Christ and His church. Shaming that church, as OW does on purpose, will only make it harder for all of us to reach the moral society we desire.

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  102. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    “Morality is not determined by the march of history, church membership numbers, or an election. ”

    No, it is determined by the whims of men who claim to speak for god. Or alternatively, it is determined by the whims of a wholly arbitrary and unpredictable god, which, frankly, is not any better. Please don’t play the “god (or morality) is the same yesterday, today and forever” card. Today’s morality is only as lasting insofar as it will allow the men in power to do what they want to do, either because of their own interests or at the direction of another sexist priesthood holder who happens to be a little further up the chain.

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  103. Howard on March 18, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Shaming that church…will only make it harder for all of us to reach the moral society we desire. So we should still be banning blacks?

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  104. kd on March 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    brjones,

    I’m confused by your comment, because if morality is what you say it is then why would you care? If there is no standard by which to judge the quality of ideas that structure the lives of individuals and culture, who are we to say that is wrong? Your comment betrays the fact you do believe there are principles that should guide how society works, you just don’t like the current ones. Will you perpetuate the same injustice you claim is wrought by others and impose your will upon society? Or are you fine to live in apathy while the rest of the world is as dominated as you say?

    Logic, reason, and faith are fine guides in determining morality. Modern cynicism is not only a horrible explanation for how to influence society for good today, it fails to explain the cogency of arguments made in the gospels or the foundational philosophers of Western civilization. Yes, power does influence how those ideas are transmitted, or how effectively they are implemented. However, power cannot betray their worth, nor destroy the transcendent.

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  105. kd on March 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Howard,

    You addressed an early comment of mine in the thread, so you know I already explained my position on how the priesthood was going to go to blacks because it was already a precedent. Even then, the church is better persuaded when you don’t attack it. Red hearing fallacies like yours don’t refute the idea that honey is more effective than vinegar. The church has institutional incentives that OW is ignoring because of their ideological leanings. If they were to work in concert with those incentives, rather than against them, I’m confident meaningful equality would result.

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  106. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, kd. I didn’t make the argument that morality was anything. I was addressing your comment which seemed to indicate that morality is steady and constant and predictable. You listed a number of things that, in your opinion, have no bearing on morality, but stated instead that morality is found in christ’s words and in his church. The only point I was making is that for a member of the LDS church to claim any degree of constancy or consistency of morality based on religious precepts is laughable. Mormon church leaders have engaged in behaviors since the beginning of the church that were not only an affront to societal values at the time, but that flew in the face of “the words of christ.” Moreover, church leaders have explicitly stated that literally any behavior, whether traditionally thought of as immoral or not, is righteous if it is done under command from god, and have them backed up that principle with behavior that is without question immoral by any objective societal standard. To be sure, mormon leaders are not any worse than any other people that have lived on the earth; I don’t intend to imply that they are. Simply that a moral absolutist position rings particularly hollow coming from a follower of that particular faith. And to invoke it in response to those who are seeking to change current views within the group as to what is or is not moral, is more than a bit hypocritical, considering all the changes the church has made over the years. Many of which having been demonstrably made as a result of both the march of history and elections.

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  107. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    I do agree that keeping women under men’s bootheels is a transcendent principle, though, kd. If that were to go away, I’m not sure how I could look my children in the eyes and teach them there was any good in humanity.

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  108. Roger on March 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    How will change come, if it does? I personally don’t believe that outside pressures, protests or boycotts contributed to the 1978 revelation. Nor would they in the instant case. The leadership became aware that the members were learning of the doctrinal inconsistencies and historical anomalies that surfaced through research and publications like the seminal piece by Lester Bush in Dialogue. Frankly, until then, probably a significant number of the GAs were unaware of the porous and murky nature of the ban. There was enough intellectual honesty within the ruling councils to engage in the study and reflection that led to the change.

    Similarly, as greater study is made of biblical writings, a volume with acknowledged problems, per the A of F, along with the study of light and knowledge promulgated by the Prophet Joseph, the same process could happen again. Scholars have already discerned substantial differences between the early epistles of Paul vis-a-vis the later (and presumably pseudo-graphical) writings to Timothy and Titus that denigrate the roles of women compared to important status and callings Paul discusses earlier.

    Protests and pressure feed the martyr complex displayed by so many commenters here and shared by portions of the leadership. Thinking, searching questions by members are the engines of change.

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  109. kd on March 18, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Brjones, you don’t do justice to the profound theology of Mormonism and how that has influenced decisions of leaders in the past. If taken seriously, I think it has the potential to benefit individuals and society as a whole. I also think it is a way to bring more equality to women than most other philosophies. To cast it aside as you do, using old narratives and baseless accusations, betrays a bias that prevents you to see its worth.

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  110. brjones on March 18, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Once again, kd, you fail to address my point. I never addressed the issue of whether Mormon theology is beneficial to anyone, including women. My point was that morality within the Mormon tradition has fluctuated and changed over time, as with most other groups and religions. Since you raised the issue, however, I will readily concede that it is beneficial to many people. I don’t see how that justifies marginalizing sub groups who are clearly not being fulfilled, though. The only real rationale is to fall back on the argument that the brethren don’t really have a choice because it’s God’s immutable law and can’t be changed, which, as I originally pointed out, is a flawed argument. As to my other points, I take serious issue with your statement that my accusations are baseless and defy you to illustrate the truth of that assertion. If you’d like, I could illustrate the factual support for my contentions in great detail.

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  111. […] Mormon scene – the LDS Church’s Public Affairs Department letter to Ordain Women.  Jeff Spector at Wheat & Tares wrote a summary of the letter and its contents, and the question on many people’s minds has been: what will Ordain Women do […]

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  112. MB on March 19, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    I think the question is not whether or not women should be ordained. The question is what is a Christian response to the question about the ordaining of women, particularly on the part of those who believe that it should or will occur. (The question of what the Christian response of those who do not, is a very good one too but I won’t address it here.)

    I personally believe that women in the church should be prepared to officiate in priesthood ordinances. I believe that some of us are and some of us are not. Those of us who are not should prepare. When we will be asked to do so, I have no idea. But it’s clear to me that failing to be prepared to do so is foolish.

    I also believe that celestial life is one of full equality. “Joint heirs” of everything means equal amounts of everything, if you have to quantify it, which, if you are celestial, you probably don’t need to. But none of us are, yet.

    I think two of Jesus’ conversations particularly apply to the current OW movement as well as many, many other similar situations.

    The first is the parable of the lord of the vineyard who hires workers to do specific work in his fields in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon and at the end of the day. And then he pays every single one of them a full day’s wage. (To the great dismay of the workers who had been working since the early morning.) Whether the worker is hired early in the day or an hour before quitting time makes no difference in the wages/blessing/gifts given. And the lord of the vineyard is the one who decides who gets hired when for that job. I think in a situation like that the workers in the marketplace hoping to be hired who had to wait until the end of the day were probably anxious or upset or hot and bothered or something similar as the day wore on. But they did get hired, and they did receive the same benefits from the lord that the other workers received.

    The second is Jesus remarks to his disciples about choosing where to sit at a feast. He tells them not to insist or expect or head to the seats at the upper table where the more recognized guests were seated. He says it is wiser to seat yourself at the lower table and be subsequently invited to the upper than it is to insist on sitting at the upper and be asked to move.

    Both the parable and the piece of advice fly directly in the face of what one would assume when one is in the process of trying to attain something, be it good wages or a seat at the upper table or anything else. But as in-efficacious and contrary to current cultural norms as they may seem, and whether or not you think they should apply here, I think they are what Jesus hopes of us.

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  113. Hedgehog on March 19, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Jeff (#97), I’ve read a number of BYU sudies articles by William G Hartley on the history of the organisation of the priesthood, so it was probably in one of those that I read it. I also read a few other things as well though, by Stapley, for instance, and an old improvement era article from when the aaronic priesthood quorum age bands were adjusted to the current banding (the presiding bishopric pages).
    I hope that helps. I’m very bad at noting precisely what I read where, though, and don’t have time to look it out again at the moment. Sorry.

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  114. Hedgehog on March 19, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    To continue, there are Hartley papers in JMH as well, which I read. All his essays on the history of the priesthood from both BYU studies and JMH seem to have been collected into a book now, though you can probably use the content list (https://byustudies.byu.edu/PDFLibrary/BookPreviews/HartleyMyFellowTOC.pdf) to track down the orginal essays if you find that preferable.

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  115. Hedgehog on March 19, 2014 at 3:40 AM

    Found it, from JMH 22(1): http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=mormonhistory
    p122 of the pdf:
    “During the 1870s and 1880s a few wards started letting the deacons pass the sacrament” my aside: the acting teachers blessed it, in the specific example given, but they were Melchizedek Priesthood holders anyway, to continue…
    “When a ward member objected citing the doctrine and covenants requirements that priests “administer” the sacrament, Bishop Levi Stewart told him that Brigham Young said passing the sacrament was not adminstering it so it would be perfectly “right” for deacons to pass the sacrament.”
    The paper is a facinating read. Seems like the primary responsibility of deacons at the time was to look after and keep clean the church building.

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  116. Jeff Spector on March 19, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Thank you, Hedge, I will look at it. thanks for doing the research for me! It was pretty common knowledge that the Priesthood organization was evolving during that period until the particular pattern we have today was set.

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  117. Hedgehog on March 19, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    You’re welcome. Yeah on the evolution. With the changes to Quorums of 70 from local to general and other changes in my life time I don’t think priesthood organisation can be regarded as static, so much as evolving as required, even now.

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  118. Jeff Spector on March 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I was one of those Seventies that got caught up in that change. We are all not very happy about it. But we lived.

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  119. Mormon Heretic on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Hedgehog, those articles sound like a great post idea…Are you planning on one, or can I do it?

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  120. KT on March 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    @ Howard
    “Well, you can’t blame them for agitating, the church via history has taught them that the path to revelation is paved with agitation!”

    Exactly! I really feel that’s all that needs to be said on this whole thing. The church sways with the tides of change in society (slightly behind), and if history has shown nothing else, it’s that. They are usually the last bastion holding out, but eventually roll over. If the surveys had shown that more women in the church wanted change, we’d be seeing a different response now.

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  121. Mel on March 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I’m not about to read through all the comments so far, but this whole situation sounds very familiar: Daughter Susie comes to Daddy and kindly/sweetly asks for something that brother Bobby has. Daddy says “no,” maybe even adds a “not right now.” Susie doesn’t like that answer, especially since she asked nicely. So, she asks Mommy, and gets the same answer. Still not happy with her answer, Susie then calls Grandma, who unfortunately gives her the same answer. And so it goes on until Susie finally stages a protest in front of her house and gets the news media involved, or whatever….

    I haven’t read anywhere how this whole process started with Kate Kelly, et. al., but I would assume (since she claims her faithfulness) she started by approaching her bishop, then her stake president, etc., and was just never happy with the answer she got.

    I wonder if the issue is no longer about being ordained to the priesthood, but about getting what they want simply because they want it and asked for it, and not being willing enough (faithful enough?) to accept the answer they’ve already been given. Don’t you think the brethren are fully aware of what’s going on and have already discussed/prayed/fasted about it?

    We all know we don’t always get what we want from the Lord. We move through life on His timetable and plan, not ours. Deal with it, move on, do amazing things with what you’ve already been given.

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  122. Howard on March 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Don’t you think the brethren are fully aware of what’s going on and have already discussed/prayed/fasted about it?

    Given SWK’s writings about how OD2 came about no I don’t think so!

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  123. Howard on March 19, 2014 at 12:20 PM
  124. babaroni on March 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Mel #123, interesting contrast between the two scenarios you describe in your conjectures. In the first, petty little Susie wants what Bobby has. She asks Daddy, who says, “Not right now.” Then she asks Mom, who reinforces the “no” answer, and then Grandma, who also says, “No.” So, in her chain of authority, Susie has one male and two female authorities to approach for an answer, all of whom are presumably equal in authority and stature within the family.

    In your description of what you imagine Kate Kelly’s reality to be, you have her first approaching her bishop (a man), then her stake president (also a man), and then, presumably, a higher and higher chain of authority — all of them men, and all of them, based upon official statements by the church, telling her, NOT, “Not right now,” but rather, “Absolutely not! Susie, you have no penis. Bobby has a penis and therefore he gets to have that thing that you want, but because you have no penis, and never will, you will never, ever, ever have access to that thing you want. Nor will your mother, nor will your grandmother, because all of you were born without a penis.”

    I hope you can grasp the difference between the two scenarios you laid forth.

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  125. Rune on March 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Maybe Mel is suggesting that we should ask Mother directly next.

    Right on!

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  126. Hedgehog on March 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    MH #119, you have my blessing to go ahead.

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  127. Jeff Spector on March 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Part of the irony of this is that since the revelation on Priesthood in 1978, many members of the Church might be open to the idea of Priesthood ordination for Women if the Prophet declared it so tomorrow or sometime in the future.

    What many are objecting to is the methodology and tactics of this particular group and the way they are going about it.

    So, while their cause may in fact have many supporters and/or non-objectors, they are really opposed to the way it is being handled and the level of disrespectful respect they are claiming.

    And, now that they have been put on notice that they are not welcome to attend the Priesthood session or stage their planned protest on Tempe Square now puts them in danger of being at odds with Church Leadership, the rest is really up to them. they are claiming not to be backing off, which also doesn’t sound like “loyal, faithful members” to me.

    Oddly, there still is nothing on the website specifically addressing the Church letter or media reports.

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  128. YvonneS on March 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Reading D&C 107 this morning I was struck with the realization that the argument that there is no revelation about who might have the priesthood and what they may do with is specious. It is all there and it is clear. It says plainly what it means and the church has been acting consistently with this section since it was given.

    I am surprised to read this post and the comments, and be confronted with the idea that people arguing for the ordination of women to the priesthood are apparently not aware of this and other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and what each says about priesthood.

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  129. Howard on March 19, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    YvonneS,
    What do you make of Julie M. Smith’s current post on T&S regarding Joseph Smith speaking to the Relief Society on 30 March 1842 saying he “was going to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day— as in Paul[']s day”?

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  130. Mormon Heretic on March 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    To piggy back off Howard’s comment, in Paul’s Day there were ancient female priesthood holders. I did a post on Women with Priesthood in Ancient Christianity.

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  131. Douglas on March 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    #127 – Excellent point. We believe in all that Heavenly Father HAS, DOES, and WILL reveal. If female PH is in the offing, we’ll w/o doubt receive revelation that it is the Lord’s will, and get on board with it. The only way I agree with those that liken the issue to Blacks and the PH is that there might have been some who prior to 1978 would have staunchly proclaim, NEVER! And profess to stand as firm as the “Rock of Gibraltar” (MASH movie fans remember this as the puffery of the by-the-book Col. Merrill just before he got his comeuppance from the “Pros from Dover”).

    #130 – Good citations from your article of three years past. I wish we had some links to some source in Greek. Byzantine Greek is, for all practical purposes, like modern Greek, once you get past the anachronistic idioms. This would help in interpreting whether in fact, a “deaconess” is actually a PH office, or more like a “distaff” equivalent. Though, as Robert J. Matthews pointed out about the KJV, they did in fact get much more of the translations correct than the so-called “higher critics” of about one hundred years ago asserted, there still are inconsistencies. However, even IF there was some manner of PH for women about two thousand (or sixteen hundred, according to one of your citations), does it necessarily mean overriding current reveleation? I would say not.

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  132. hawkgrrrl on March 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Jeff: I can’t speak for the OW movement, but knowing some of the women involved, here’s what I think of your last comment.

    “What many are objecting to is the methodology and tactics of this particular group and the way they are going about it.” Except that the description of their efforts in the letter from Sis. Moody bears no resemblance to their actual activities. She uses inflammatory language like “demands” and “protest” and “demonstration” and lumps them in with the Pants day activities (different organizers and purpose) and anti-Mormons who shout at those attending General Conference. This movement was quiet and reverent while asking for admittance to the Priesthood session as “prospective elders.”

    “So, while their cause may in fact have many supporters and/or non-objectors, they are really opposed to the way it is being handled and the level of disrespectful respect they are claiming.” This sounds like a classic tone argument: If only you ladies would ask nicely, we would listen. But when you don’t want to listen, it doesn’t matter how someone asks, and that’s the simple truth.

    “And, now that they have been put on notice that they are not welcome to attend the Priesthood session or stage their planned protest on Tempe Square now puts them in danger of being at odds with Church Leadership, the rest is really up to them. they are claiming not to be backing off, which also doesn’t sound like “loyal, faithful members” to me.” Well, they have been put on notice by a PR person. They have yet to hear from their leaders about a specific revelation that would settle the question about female ordination. Have church leaders requested revelation on this topic? If so, they haven’t said they have. There is no specific information being shared about these supposed meetings being held about women’s interests, so who is attending these meetings? Who is representing women’s interests? Are there any women being listened to who will advocate for ALL women? Doubtful.

    “Oddly, there still is nothing on the website specifically addressing the Church letter or media reports.” I don’t know why this is, but I would suspect it’s because a response from a PR person is not binding. A response from leaders might be seen differently, but I really don’t know.

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  133. Mormon Heretic on March 19, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    I have to admit that I just don’t understand why agitation for change is taboo for some people. According to President Kimball’s biography, from page 345 of “Lengthen Your Stride” (I have the longer version, but it should be available in chapter 22 of the shorter Deseret Book version as well). The quote below comes from a letter written from SWK to his son Ed.

    “Revelations will probably never come unless they are desired. I think few people receive revelations while lounging on the couch or while playing cards or while relaxing. I believe that most revelations would come when a man is on his tip toes, reaching as high as he can for something which he knows he needs, and then there bursts upon him the answer to his problems.”

    Many of the revelations we have in the D&C came from agitation. Emma was agitated about tobacco spit on the floors, so we got D&C 89. Oliver Cowdery agitated to translate so we got D&C 9. Joseph agitated to find out which church was true, and he got the First Vision. Many early members agitated to go on missions, and we have several of their mission calls in the D&C. I could go on.

    Ed Kimball outlines many of the protests in regards to the ban. NAACP picketed General Conference in the 1960s. Stanford refused to play BYU over the ban. A molotov cocktail was thrown during a BYU game. There were unfounded rumors that the Black Panthers were going to storm SLC over the policy. The Wyoming football team protested playing BYU. I could go on, but to say these didn’t have an impact is just closing your eyes to history.

    What Kate Kelly is doing is child’s play compared to some of these real protests. She’s not much different than Martin Harris or Oliver Cowdery. If she is asking for something she shouldn’t, then God should let us know as he did Oliver and Martin. If she is asking for something she should, then like Emma Smith, we may get a new section added to the D&C. Either way, there is nothing wrong with Kate agitating faithfully. It has been done countless times in the past, and there is evidence of women performing priesthood functions in our Bibles in ancient antiquity.

    When Joseph organized the Relief Society, he claimed it was going “to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day—as in Paul’s day.” It’s frankly sad that he was killed before he was able to finish this organization. It’s a shame that we waited more than 100 years to correct the error of priesthood for blacks, and I hope we don’t wait 200 years on this women’s issue. It would love to get revelation either that (1) women should not be ordained, or (2) women should be ordained. I hope that our prophet will reach up on his tip toes to let us know one way or the other. Because it has been far too long that the Lord has remained silent on the issue of female ordination.

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  134. Rachel on March 19, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Kate Kelly did meet with her SP last year. The meeting went well. Please see FMH blog post “Excommunicating sexism”

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  135. Howard on March 19, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    hawkgrrrl wrote: Who is representing women’s interests? Are there any women being listened to who will advocate for ALL women? Doubtful.

    I think this gets to the heart of the issue with regard to this drama. The patriarchy in it’s simplistic one-rule-fits-all thinking has failed to respond to marginalized LDS women for a very long time (See women pray at GC after 182 years!) and this brush off by the church PR department now adds insult to injury by turning the majority of LDS women against marginalized LDS women in Stockholm syndrome inspired cannibalistic support of the patriarchy.

    But this is not without precedent, the church has a long history of shaming and shunning. Christ was inclusive leaving the 99 to retrieve one but make no mistake the LDS church is exclusive and will circle the wagons while turning on one of it’s own to protect the 99 from learning the truth. Kind of hard to reconcile, isn’t it?

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  136. Douglas on March 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    #133 – I voted “thumbs up” not b/c I would agree that the Church needs to do anything regarding PH for women. I did so b/c as revealed in D&C 58:26, it’ s not good to be commanded in all things. We should be doing good things of our own initiative.

    It’s the Savior’s Church, I’ll leave PH policy with him. As He paid the price for the sins of all; female as well as male, and certainly I’d find it hard to think of who could love His mother (Earthly and Heavenly), sisters, nieces, aunties, and, most of all, wife (or wives but I don’t consider Orson Pratt’s idea on the matter authoritative) more than Jesus Christ; WHO is better qualified to decide what is in the best interests of our sisters than He?

    Jeff is right, it’s a matter of what is current revelation, and who is authorized to convey it. Else, why even bother to ‘agitate’ about it at all? What do these aggrieved sisters in OW seek? Status? Brethren, what “status”, pray tell, do we have by virtue of holding the Melchizedek Priesthood or any office therein? I say the authority itself is awesome, the calling wonderful, but what does it make me (I’ll just speak for myself, I won’t presume the feelings of my brethren)??? Absolutely nothing – unless I use that PH to SERVE. It affords opportunity but also conveys great responsibility, both in effectiveness of service and in personal conduct. Now, if the sisters in OW feel a great desire to serve, wonderful. So if the PH isn’t immediately in the offing, then surely between us all we can put our minds together AND draw upon the powers of Heaven to put that desire and that pool of talents to good use.

    There’s a rule that has served me well…”keep it within the Family” (that and don’t fail to kiss the ring on the Don’s finger, LoL). That is, there’s nothing wrong with a rousing battle of wits and speaking ones mind…amongst we that are already in the fold. But our brothers and sisters out there need ONE voice to rise above the confusion, so if they are His sheep, they can hear His voice. A cacophony of contention before the world only drowns that out, and mocks our Lord. So we need to keep our differences to a venue that leads to quiet, intelligent discussion amongst ourselves. That’s not just for the rank-and-file to follow, it’s also for the leaders to lead and encourage, and not stifle initiative and interest.

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  137. Howard on March 20, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Ironically it seems marginalized LDS women are responsible for having portraits of privileged LDS women hung in the Conference Center! Such is church reform.

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  138. jspector106 on March 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Hawk,

    “Except that the description of their efforts in the letter from Sis. Moody bears no resemblance to their actual activities”

    Again, I stated that it is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly, the post-modern in your face confrontational tactics, no matter how quiet, polite and reserved that appear are still that, confrontational and in-your-face. And using the media is also a part of that.

    “If only you ladies would ask nicely, we would listen. But when you don’t want to listen, it doesn’t matter how someone asks, and that’s the simple truth.”

    I don’t think it has been as condescending as your statement would imply. But I realize others may have a differing opinion.

    ” They have yet to hear from their leaders about a specific revelation that would settle the question about female ordination.”

    I actually think they have and not liking the answer. We see from polling that a very large majority of LDS women appear uninterested in the Priesthood. I am sure those number would change, if the poll were taken today, but still I think a majority would no be in favor.

    There are al least 9 women who do, even if you have no idea what they say or how they represent the women of the Church. Again, there is always this undercurrent that the women who are in and around the GAs (including their wives) are just a bunch of Stepford women who just go along and the only true representatives of women in the church are just agitators for their own agendas.

    It’s a rather insulting and narrow view, IMO.

    “This movement was quiet and reverent while asking for admittance to the Priesthood session as “prospective elders.”

    Should I show up at the Thursday meeting of the First Presidency and Q of Twelve as a Prospective Apostle?

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  139. Howard on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    …there is always this undercurrent that the women who are in and around the GAs (including their wives) are just a bunch of Stepford women who just go along and the only true representatives of women in the church are just agitators for their own agendas…It’s a rather insulting and narrow view, IMO.

    Insulting and narrow? Really? Did you read sister Monson’s obituary?

    Which GA wives are you offering up as progressive high profile women and how large a % of GA’s wives does this represent?

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  140. jspector106 on March 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Howard, Please stop trying to conduct an interview with everyone, so you can shoot down the responses. Either participate with your own ideas or not at all.

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  141. Howard on March 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Interview? With everyone?

    Is this official W&T moderation Jeff? Or you not wanting to support your assessment? Btw, those were my ideas.

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  142. Howard on March 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I attempted to answer the question I put to you Jeff and after an hour or so on Google I learned these women are almost as scarce as Heavenly Mother.

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  143. Douglas on March 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    “I learned these women are almost as scarce as Heavenly Mother”…you’re treading on THIN ice, Buster…I’d be careful about offhand remarks about the Big Guy’s ‘better half’ (and from what I understand, She can hold her own quite well…). Do you enjoy being a lightning rod?

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  144. Jeff Spector on March 21, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Howard,

    “I learned these women are almost as scarce as Heavenly Mother.”

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

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  145. Howard on March 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Well a couple of people seemed to get it, they liked the comment.

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  146. […] probably heard that the LDS Newsroom delivered a royal smackdown to Ordain Women — which inspired the Internet to rally around the underdog. […]

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  147. Jeff Spector on March 23, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    “Well a couple of people seemed to get it, they liked the comment.”

    Well, then perhaps a member of your fan club can enlighten me…..

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  148. jr on March 25, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    It was not nice of the church to tell the Ordain Women they have to use the same area as all the anti screamer preachers and other anit’s of the church.

    It is not right that men can attend Relief Society meetings and women can not attend Priesthood meetings.

    It is also very wrong that only men write all the curriculum for the church. Women should be involved in writing for the RS, YW, and Primary. Totally wrong not to include women.

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  149. Jeff Spector on March 25, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    What makes you think women are not involved in writing the curriculum?

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  150. Douglas on March 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    #148 – Save ther’ re asked to speak at Women’s Conference, what man would WANT to be there? If nothing else, it’s his turn to hang with the kiddies (or grand-kiddies, as it were) and let “Les Girls” find their mutual solidarity in the greatest sorrority of them all.

    Most brethren I know, when they’ve had to interact with the Relief Society and/or YW, are humbled by their unity and spirituality. Maybe there IS some truth to the adage that the brethren “needed” the PH but the Sisters can take of themselves w/o it.

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