Just in! The Leaders Have Spoken

By: Jeff Spector
June 28, 2014

FP

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have issued a statement today regarding Priesthood, questioning and apostasy. The full text of the statement is:

Office of the First Presidency

47 East South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

June 28, 2014

In God’s plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women. Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. All service in the Church has equal merit in the eyes of God. We express profound gratitude for the millions of Latter-day Saint women and men who willingly and effectively serve God and His children. Because of their faith and service, they have discovered that the Church is a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.

We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding. We feel special concern, however, for members who distance themselves from Church doctrine or practice and, by advocacy, encourage others to follow them.

Simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.

The Council of
The First Presidency and
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As you might imagine, reaction was swift and pretty much divided along the lines of already established positions.   Here are a few links to check out.

Salt Lake Tribune article by Peggy Fletcher Stack with comments by Kate Kelly.

Deseret News Article pretty much in support of Church Letter

You can also check Facebook pages and other blogs for further reaction.

One thing is true. It will not be enough for some.

91 Responses to Just in! The Leaders Have Spoken

  1. Syphax on June 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    “One thing is true. It will not be enough for some.”

    I must admit, I am one of these people. In a FB discussion tonight, I said this:

    It’s clear, cut and dry, straightforward, etc. I just long for the days of “further light and knowledge” in the church where the prophet is just pouring out new revelations on the Saints.

    Like I have this suspicion that if Ordain Women had gone directly to Joseph Smith, Jr., within 6 months he would have created three levels of female priesthood, each with 5 levels of offices, and organized a Grand Council of Priesthood Women that served as a female government, plus several new temple ceremonies just for women, etc. It’s that brilliant, dazzling organizational outpouring that I really long for within the Mormon paradigm.

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  2. Jared on June 28, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Apostasy really is just a simple as this brief declaration outlines. Of course, those who look beyond the mark won’t agree. They will insist on making it complex. There is a word that describes what they attempt: sophistry.

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  3. anonymous on June 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    What false doctrine did Kate Kelly teach? Where has she opposed the church?

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  4. Jared on June 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    anonymous-

    The art of sophistry is to employ unsound or misleading but clever, plausible, and subtle argument or reasoning. This describes what OW are doing.

    The low information crowd are quick to swallow this kind of reasoning..

    Those who understand the scriptures (God’s word) find no bases to ordain women to the priesthood. It is false reasoning, doctrine and argument for OW to set up an organization to accomplish a purpose that is in opposition to what is contained in the scriptures.

    “Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church”. This is what OW has and will continue to do.

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  5. Mormon Heretic on June 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Anonymous, I don’t think she taught false doctrine. Where the First Presidency has a problem with her is they feel she is “repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel….”

    So they view it as oppostion to the leaders, after receiving counsel. I agree that she didn’t teach false doctrine, but they just didn’t like her persistence, and I think they hated her “demonstration” on Temple Square.

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  6. TK on June 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    What do we do when church practice contravenes church doctrine?

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  7. anonymous on June 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Jared, Where in the scriptures does it say women can’t hold the priesthood. Because I can show you some references to prophetesses and Deaconesses.

    Mormon Heretic, She was persistent in asking the question, but the church has never, even in this current statement, said that women won’t ever hold the priesthood. The statement also says that asking questions isn’t a problem. So its ok to ask questions, just not persistently? Or its not ok because other people start to ask the same question you have? So you are punished for others actions? That sounds way more like sophistry than what OW is doing. The ones with the power should be the ones held to a higher standard. We don’t even know that apostasy is what she was convicted of. The church keeps moving the goal post as we move along and that isn’t fair

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  8. Brian on June 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    “The low information crowd are quick to swallow this kind of reasoning..”

    I have no idea who the “low information” crowd is but it sounds like a perfect description of chapel Mormons.

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  9. Mormon Heretic on June 28, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    “So its ok to ask questions, just not persistently?”

    Yes don’t ask persistently, or demonstrate at Temple Square. That is exactly what the statement says. (I don’t agree with the statement, but that’s what it says.)

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  10. Howard on June 28, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    What’s missing (as always) is revelation so we know nothing new regarding women and the priesthood. I am grateful for more clarity on what constitutes heresy.

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  11. Jared on June 29, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    anonymous asked: “Where in the scriptures does it say women can’t hold the priesthood. Because I can show you some references to prophetesses and Deaconesses.”

    I think what you’re referring to is manifestations of the Spirit, in other words, gifts of the Spirit.

    No where in the New Testament or the Book of Mormon does the Savior confer priesthood on women, nor do we see women being offended and demanding priesthood equality.

    Brian- I agree that many of the chapel Mormons are the “low information crowd” in the sense of church history, but not in seeking to follow the Lord.

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  12. Nona on June 29, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Here is what I hear in all the statements coming from the church: “It’s OK to ask questions, but only in order to better understand the already given answers. If those answers are not satisfactory to you, you need to stop questioning.”
    And it makes me sad, because the between the lines text on this issue is–the current situation for gender relations in the church is not changing. This is it. You can ask all the questions you want in an effort to align yourself with that situation, but not in an effort to change it.

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  13. Mormon Heretic on June 29, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    Jared, that is a “low information” answer. Despite your “well read” opinion, Jesus only called Jewish men as apostles, not gentiles, so that would throw out our current set of apostles. He also only taught Jews and Samaritans, not gentiles. Our church believes in revelation. Peter got a revelation that gentiles should be taught, and receive the priesthood, so later references in the NT of deaconnesses and female apostles could very well be supported by the scriptures. See my previous post on Women with Priesthood in Ancient Christianity.

    Jesus also never called black men to the priesthood, but our church believes that a revelation could change that and we could even get a black apostle. This came after more than a decade of protests by the NCAAP and other church members over the racist policy. See my post on Events leading up to the 1978 Revelation.

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  14. Ken on June 29, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    As expected, I think they are right on the mark.

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  15. Jeremiah on June 29, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Jared–As someone who thinks he understands the scriptures, I am puzzled by your statement. Please lay out the scriptural argument for excluding women from the priesthood.

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  16. All_Black on June 29, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    As expected they won’t address the questions asked publicly. It wasn’t about who has access to priesthood blessings but who can dish them out (no pun intended, feminists)

    Issue was when will women hand out priesthood blessings and that remains a mystery with the mormon church (i hope they don’t excommunicate me for this)

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  17. IDIAT on June 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I think there was some false doctrine taught in that OW insists that women must be ordained to the priesthood: Since leadership and positional authority in Mormonism is inextricably tied to priesthood ordination, it is clear that Mormon women must be ordained in order to be full and equal participants in their Church. The implication in that statement is that women have not been, and never will be, full and equal participants unless they are ordained. It sets up a de facto position that is in opposition to the church’s position that men and women do participate equally but differently. Some have taken that statement a bit further in the sense that if women aren’t ordained they won’t make it to the celestial kingdom. The whole position that ordination is ‘necessary’ puts OW in the role of assuming to have authority to know the Lord’s mind and will for the church.

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  18. mh on June 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    The supreme court long Ago Put to rest the argument that separate is not equal. I find it almost comical that socalled faithful think that argument holds any water.

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  19. […] CoJCoL-dS actually released a statement (obliquely) making reference to the issue at hand! So many people have analysed […]

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  20. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    IDIAT,
    The problem arises more in practice than in theory. In theory TSM communes with Christ on a regular basis as Joseph did and consults over the details of the church including women’s needs, roles and participation. If that were the case it could more credibility assumed that the way everything is in the church is the way God wants it. But that power has been lost so the church today is led by administrators who are no better informed of God’s will than an EQP or RSP, as a result much of the day-to-day “church” is the result of the (inspired) opinion of the arm of men rather than the comprehensive knowledge of God. Along the way women are forgotten and ignored for example not being asked to pray in GC for 182 years! The natural offset is to include women in church governance which requires ordination. However if TSM and his successors return true revelation to guide the church I’m happy to let God settle the question. But if we remain a church guided by the inspired arm of man it would be greatly improved by making it into a church guided by the arm of both women and men.

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  21. Jeff g on June 29, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    ITT:

    People who think that arguments – aka human reasoning – ought to direct the church.

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  22. Jared on June 29, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    MH et al-As I’ve said before, if the Lord wants women to be ordained to the priesthood I won’t have a problem. The standard works (LDS scriptures) do not record women ever being ordained to the priesthood. Does that preclude that the time will come when they will? No. However, for now it isn’t doctrine and until there is revelation through authorized means it will continue as it is.

    What more is there to be said? It is really simple unless someone chooses to make it complex so that can serve a god of their own choosing.

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  23. Jared on June 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    #15 Jeremiah- I assume you are familiar with the standard works of the LDS church.

    It appears you want me to find a scripture that states clearly that women can’t have the priesthood. The thought behind this reasoning is that if it doesn’t exclude it then it can be argued that women can be ordained to the priesthood.

    I’m not a logician but I think this may be called a non sequitur.

    I’ll be happy to defer to anyone who has expertise in logic if they can prove my assertion wrong.

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  24. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Jared wrote: However, for now it isn’t doctrine and until there is revelation through authorized means it will continue as it is. What more is there to be said?

    Well the more to be said is that since the D&C was published new revealed canon has ONLY come *following agitation* and now that agitation has been outlawed within the church it must come from without because according to SWK few people receive revelations while lounging on the couch or while playing cards or while relaxing. I believe 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. And the problem is TSM doesn’t appear to be on his tip toes, reaching as high as he can for this as Moses must have for Zelophad’s daughters.

    Why? Well perhaps because the status quo of tradition accrues church power to men and like most men they would find it inconvenient to share power because as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Or…are we to assume the brethren are immune to this caution?

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  25. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Jeff G wrote: People who think that arguments – aka human reasoning – ought to direct the church.

    No, God *ought* to direct the church but there is little evidence of that today while there was abundant evidence of it while Joseph was alive, therefore it is clear something very significant was lost. Today the church is directed through an ordained and sustained administrative hierarchy but in the beginning it was directed by God through his hand chosen and hand taught Prophet Joseph Smith.

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  26. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    You might think of it as the church has been coasting on doctrine that was revealed through Joseph 170 years ago. What new has been added? Nothing of substance! What has been lost or removed? Polygamy and the Law of Consecration. In short we’ve regressed from where we began, negative progress spiritually and doctrinally and the church currently march in place.

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  27. IDIAT on June 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Howard I do think it interesting that in the OW reference interview of GBH, he tells the interviewer:

    President Hinckley: Yes, sir. We are. We have fundamental, basic doctrines which have held fast through more than a 150 years of time. We don’t bend with every wind of doctrine that comes along. Our doctrine is stable, it’s secure. Programmes change, we make adaptation according to the circumstances. But the basic doctrine remains the same and that becomes a solid unshifting foundation to which people can cling in this world of instability and drifting values.

    And

    GBH: Oh they are allowed to question. Look – this Church came of intellectual dissent. We maintain the largest private university in America.

    GBH: Oh absolutely, absolutely. We expect people to think for themselves. Now, if they get off and begin to fight the Church and that sort of thing as one or two do now and again, we simply disfellowship them and go our way. But those cases are really very, very few.

    You seem to believe we should be having major doctrinal revelations all the time. Like many others you put yourself as head of the church when you make those sorts of claims. Maybe, as GBH says, we are in a period where God is not inclined to reveal more doctrine. I don’t believe it’s my position or place to say TSM is just on cruise control.

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  28. hawkgrrrl on June 29, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Jeff G wrote: “People who think that arguments – aka human reasoning – ought to direct the church.” What it looks like from here is a contest regarding whose human reasoning will direct the church. Only there is no contest. Nobody’s asked for a vote.

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  29. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    IDIAT: You seem to believe we should be having major doctrinal revelations all the time.

    No, not should. Could!
    (but don’t)

    President Hinckley also allowed in two separate interviews with the media that revelation could change the priesthood ban on women. History suggests that such revelation will not arrive on it’s own at least within the lifetime of anyone currently living.

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  30. Mormon Heretic on June 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Jared, what is complex about asking the prophet to seek a revelation on the issue of female ordination?

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  31. Jeff Spector on June 29, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    You have to laugh. No matter what Church leaders do or say, the bar will always be raised by those who want a specific answer to their issue.

    “Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. ”

    This is the definitive answer at this time. This statement from the fist Presidency and Quorum of the 12 has the same weight as revelation. Why? Because they are reiterating previously revealed doctrine.

    “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

    But its not enough for some, is it? Because they don’t like the message or the outcome. And perhaps they don’t really sustain these men as speaking for God.

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  32. Jared on June 29, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    MH-IMHO it would open the door to disorder resulting in request for everything that the imagination can offer up.

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  33. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Jeff wrote:

    This is the definitive answer at this time. This statement from the fist Presidency and Quorum of the 12 has the same weight as revelation. Why? Because they are reiterating previously revealed doctrine.

    It stands more on tradition than revealed doctrine but his doesn’t answer the question “can women be ordained to the priesthood?”. Instead it is a clear restatement of tradition and practice.

    President Hinckley in two different interviews with the media allowed that this practice could be changed by revelation and this Q1 statement does not contradict Him so what is needed now is for TSM to provide revelatory services in the tradition of Moses for Zelophad’s daughters.

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  34. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Just in OW responds to Q1 statement.

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  35. Jeff Spector on June 29, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Howard,

    “It stands more on tradition than revealed doctrine but his doesn’t answer the question “can women be ordained to the priesthood?””

    No, it is the doctrine of the Church now. I suppose you could say that traditionally women have always given birth, but that could change in the future.

    And it does answer the question.”

    “Can women be ordained to the Priesthood?”

    “Only men are ordained to Priesthood offices.”

    How clear does it need to be?”

    In the story of Zelophehad’s daughters, it wasn’t a doctrinal question in the first place and one that apparently had never been considered before. It was about inheritance, not service in the Church. They are not equivalent situations.

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  36. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    No Jeff, “revealed doctrine” as you first stated is not the same as “doctrine” as you now state, unless you are arguing that this Q1 statement qualifies as revelation! (It isn’t.) Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. is a statement of practice not a new revelation that women are expressly prohibited by God from ever holding the priesthood.

    I suppose you could say that traditionally women have always given birth, but that could change in the future. Jeff the ignorance of this comment is beneath you!

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  37. Mormon Heretic on June 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    What do you all think of this First Presidency Statement from 1949?

    First Presidency statement (President George Albert Smith)
    August 17, 1949

    The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”

    President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: “The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”

    The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

    The First Presidency

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  38. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    It would take a KKK statement to be more raciest that the 1949 Q1 statement! The majority of which has since been repudiated by the current church.

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  39. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Btw, Q1 was warned against taking this stand in 1947 by Dr. Lowry Nelson.
    http://mormonstories.org/other/Lowry_Nelson_1st_Presidency_Exchange.pdf

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  40. Brian on June 29, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    “The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood.”

    The church and many members are so hung up on “always” and “never” when it comes to changes of doctrine, as if the use of those words makes it so.

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  41. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Yes, the church speaks from great authority and certitude but that doesn’t stop them from being TOTALLY wrong.

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  42. Jeff Spector on June 29, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Howard,

    “No Jeff, “revealed doctrine” as you first stated is not the same as “doctrine” as you now state,”

    Why would you say that? What is the difference?

    “unless you are arguing that this Q1 statement qualifies as revelation!”

    There doesn’t need to be a revelation, because male Priesthood is already in place. Unless that changes, no revelation is required. The last Priesthood change was when 70′s eliminated as a priesthood office in each Stake. Was that by revelation? I suppose it was, but not presented to the Church as such.

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  43. Howard on June 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Jeff,
    “Revealed doctrine” obviously came from revelation. Inspired doctrine is more man than God. Group inspired doctrine is more men than God and sometimes requires strategic absences from the quorum to achieve suggesting it isn’t all together void of politics. Correlated doctrine is a mix of dumbed down revealed, inspired and/or folklore doctrine interpreted and spun for maximum faith promotion without much regard to boredom. “Doctrine” may refer to any or all of these ranging from the purest thus saith the Lord revelation all the way to COB creative writing!

    Unless that changes, no revelation is required. I think most people understand this but you seem to be playing dumb by ignoring that this is what has been requested all along but sidestepped by the church and now by you.

    70s was that revelation? I doubt it given how difficult revelation is to actually receive for the brethren according to SWK and Hugh B. Brown and also because the 70s quorums were designed from the beginning to be expandable as needed so it would follow that they would be contactable as needed.

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  44. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Howard,

    “Revealed doctrine” obviously came from revelation. Inspired doctrine is more man than God. Group inspired doctrine is more men than God ….”

    Nice try, but I think you are making this up to fit your narrative of what is going on. The brethren of the highest councils of the Church have the responsibility to declare doctrine and not make it up. We need to know the difference between the Doctrine of the Church and the practices of the Church in support of that Doctrine. There is no obligation on their part to succumb to a group of activists, not seeking an answer, but a particular outcome.

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  45. Tom D on June 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    One thing that could be done is to make the Relief Society semi-autonomous again and remove it from under the control of the priesthood. In other words, give the women an organization equal in responsibility and authority to the priesthood for men. Allow women to again give healing blessings and serve other functions in the Church that they can probably do better than men, perhaps even allowing women to receive revelations if there are some who are blessed with this capability. While in the Church we do not generally acknowledge mediumship, some of the great mediums in the world have been women, meaning they are as capable, if not more capable, than most men in receiving communication from the spirit world. In my mind, it is not that we should not have an organization in the Church exclusive to boys and men, but rather than we should have an organization in the Church for girls and women equal in authority to the organization for men. Anyway, that’s the way I see it.

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  46. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Jeff:I think you are making this up to fit your narrative of what is going on. No I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time, long before OW came into existence and that is there is a HUGE difference between Joseph channeling the Lord via thus saith the Lord revelation and the method used after Joseph’s death described by Hugh B. Brown

    “(An idea) is submitted to the First Presidency and Twelve, thrashed out, discussed and rediscussed until it seems right. Then, kneeling together in a circle in the temple, they seek divine guidance and the president says, ‘I feel to say this is the will of the Lord.’ That becomes a revelation. It is usually not thought necessary to publish or proclaim it as such, but this is the way it happens.”

    It’s the difference we see between Joseph actually translating and Oliver being a wannabe translator
    study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

    Jeff: There is no obligation on their part to succumb to a group of activists, not seeking an answer, but a particular outcome. Interesting choice of words “obligation”. Moses had a much more open attitude to things like this both willingly providing revelatory services to the women known as Zelophad’s daughters and with regard to revelation within the camp:

    But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

    Many today in the LDS camp have received spiritual conformation that women should be ordained and they are seeking as answer from God through the President of the church so this may be accomplished but the brethren are not open like Moses was instead they have set themselves up as unapproachable, unaskable and uncorrectable and the people in the camp are not to share their prophesy with the others. The “answer” they offered instead was simply a clarification of tradition and practice, not the new revelation sought.

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  47. Jared on June 30, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Some of the comments on this post reveal a lot about the commenter. I’m sorry to see the lack of faith, but that why’s we’re here, to show who we really are and what kind of kingdom we merit.

    As for me, I encourage all to hearken to the words of the Lord’s servants, the prophets and apostles whom the Lord has sent.

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  48. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Jared,
    That’s kind of back handed discount by ad hominem isn’t it? Why not say you disagree and explain why. Faith is one think reason another. Do you seek to knock down reason with faith?

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  49. jspector106 on June 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Howard,

    it’s kind of funny how you mixed two stories which actually prove a point you are trying to dispute.

    The first being that Elder Brown makes the following statement:

    “It is usually not thought necessary to publish or proclaim it as such, but this is the way it happens”

    But you presume that didn’t happen to result in the most recent statement. That they just decided to go with the status quo out of convenience and not through any revelatory experience which they might not announce as such.

    As for Moses comment, the same thing was said by Joseph Smith But, of course, the point was that we are entitled to receive revelation for ourselves, our families and within our stewardship, not for the entire Church.

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  50. Brian on June 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    “that why’s we’re here, to show ….what kind of kingdom we merit”

    Does anybody really want that kingdom?

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  51. Mormon Heretic on June 30, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Ordain Women Responds to the First Presidency Statement

    We sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and are grateful to receive guidance from our leaders. We pray that they will continue to respond directly to the needs and desires of Church members and take their concerns and questions to God. The statement describes current church policy on priesthood, in which “only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices.” There is no mention of why women cannot be ordained or that they will not be in the future. We continue in the sincere hope that our leaders will prayerfully bring this question before the Lord.

    We also acknowledge that the statement publicly discloses the official definition of apostasy from Church Handbook of Instructions Volume 1, a volume of church policy that is available to thousands of male leaders but restricted to only nine women in the Church. We affirm that we are not acting in opposition to the prophet or the Church, have not taught false doctrine and do not meet any definition of apostasy.

    Ordain Women Executive Board:
    April Bennett
    Chelsea Strayer
    Debra Jenson
    Hannah Wheelwright
    Heather Beal
    Kate Kelly
    Lorie Winder
    Nancy Ross

    See http://ordainwomen.org/ordain-women-responds-to-the-first-presidency-statement/

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  52. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Jeff,
    I presume it didn’t happen based on SWK’s months of effort to obtain OD2 and his conclusion (that I’ve have posted repeatedly on W&T) Revelations will probably never come unless they are desired. I think few people receive revelations while lounging on a couch. . . . I believe 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 Do/did you see TSM on his tip toes, reaching as high as he can for this? I didn’t/don’t. Rumor has it he’s suffering from dementia. The brethren can’t do it for him because only the President of the church can receive revelation for the church. And also because a revelator’s job is to reveal or he isn’t magnifying his calling, is he? Yet there is no indication that this Q1 statement is more than a restatement of tradition and practice, it’s just a summary of what Elder Oak’s brief stated.

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  53. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    You presume it did happen based on what?

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  54. jspector106 on June 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    “(An idea) is submitted to the First Presidency and Twelve, thrashed out, discussed and rediscussed until it seems right. Then, kneeling together in a circle in the temple, they seek divine guidance and the president says, ‘I feel to say this is the will of the Lord.’ That becomes a revelation. It is usually not thought necessary to publish or proclaim it as such, but this is the way it happens.”

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  55. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    That’s a process Jeff. What makes you believe that process was followed recently for this issue?

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  56. ji on June 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    We affirm that we . . . do not meet any definition of apostasy.

    Unfortunately, they wouldn’t know, would they? From the wikipedia article on apostasy: Apostasy is generally not a self-definition: very few former believers call themselves apostates because of the pejorative implications of the term.

    I suppose one sees what he or she wants to see. When I look at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I see a wonderful association of good people striving to do the work of their Savior, and I see the hand of the Savior in the work of the Church. I simply don’t see what others see, and I suppose they don’t see what I see.

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  57. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    When I look at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I see a wonderful association of good people striving to do the work of their Savior, and I see the hand of the Savior in the work of the Church.

    So did a lot of people when the church held racist beliefs and practices.

    I simply don’t see what others see, and I suppose they don’t see what I see.

    Indeed!

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  58. ji on June 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Howard, I’m wondering if you’re a fellow sheep or are you a wolf? You post a lot on LDS-themed blogs — are you a faithful Latter-day Saint? I ask because I don’t know, and I need to know in order to know how I should read your comments. I know you’re cantankerous and bellicose, but I don’t hold that against you — and I know you are disappointed that the president of the Church doesn’t roll out new revelation every week — but otherwise, I don’t know where you’re coming from. Should I see you as one who wants to build up and strengthen, or one who wants to tear down and destroy?

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  59. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Ji,
    It’s not cantankerous or bellicose to point out the facts. You would not consider me to be a “faithful” member partly because that term is a misnomer indicating those unlike you are not faithful, that is a false conclusion and self elevating. I am not like you. That doesn’t mean I dislike you, actually I enjoy many of your comments. I am not a sheep or a sheeple. I can brawl with the wolves but I am not a wolf. I’m a sell what you have, give it to the poor and follow him disciple of 10 years now. I am led by the spirit in my comments. I am committed to the survival of the church, right after it comes clean. Part of that includes wiping the Pollyanna denial and conflation from member’s eyes and pulling their heads out of the sand. Note to Elders Packer and Oaks: it is wrong to elevate faith promoting folklore above truth long term as evidenced by the price the church is paying for it today.

    Those who opposed the racist position of the church have since been vindicated and the “prophets” who advocated those positions were thrown under the bus by the current church. So it will be with regard to women ans LGBTs.

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  60. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    “What makes you believe that process was followed recently for this issue?”

    I have no idea if it was or it wasn’t. but I trust our leadership, plain and simple. I have no reason not to in this case. Plus I agree with their statement because I understand the doctrinal basis and finally, I have no interest in straining at gnats.

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  61. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    It’s fine that you trust our leadership Jeff but they haven’t asserted recent revelation, and it seems unlikely for the reasons I’ve already stated.

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  62. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    You continue to be at odds with the quote from Elder Brown that you used. I suppose that means that you don’t really believe that they could have a revelatory experience but just not proclaim it as such.

    Was that a mistake on your part to post that? Or maybe you just don’t believe that, either.

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  63. ji on June 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Thanks, Howard — your answer was helpful.

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  64. Jared on June 30, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    #48 Howard wrote responding to my #47: That’s kind of back handed discount by ad hominem isn’t it? Why not say you disagree and explain why. Faith is one think reason another. Do you seek to knock down reason with faith?

    I didn’t intend it to be an ad hominem attack. My comment is based on scripture. I suppose someone could view much of what scripture says as an ad hominem attack if it fits.

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  65. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Jeff,
    Describe how I am at odds with the HBB quote.

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  66. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Jared,
    Some people have far more faith in God or in Christ than they do in LDS prophets. Does that make them wrong? Are you naive enough to believe that faith in God must overlap faith in TSM or the brethren? Or are you willing to concede that LDS prophets have in fact been wrong in the past and therefore might be wrong again?

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  67. Nick Literski on June 30, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Fascinating—-the LDS Public Affairs Department releases a public statement on letterhead alleging to be that of the first presidency and quorum of the twelve, yet not one of those 15 mine signed it (unlike every other such letter/statement I’ve ever encountered). Even more fascinating that it just repeats language already sent out by the LDS Public Affairs Department on their own volition. OH….I see what they did there….

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  68. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Howard,

    “Describe how I am at odds with the HBB quote.”

    I see, now we move to the MH game? I actually explained it more than once already.

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  69. Mormon Heretic on June 30, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Jeff’s favorite tactic. Be evasive. Otherwise you’ll get nailed to the wall and you know it.

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  70. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Jeff,
    Here’s the point. The church is led by Olivers (study it out and ask Y/N) *not* Josephs (channels the mind of the Lord). Now you might find comfort in that admission but I do not because EQPs and RSPs are also Olivers as are *almost* all other LDS members (and plenty of non-members) who have received a spiritual conformation.

    So what makes the brethren so special? Stewardship! And nothing more. LDS Priesthood authority = stewardship. Oliver was ordained to the same priesthood Joseph was yet Oliver was no Joseph and neither is TSM and the others!

    Joseph was a Prophet Seer and Revelator, Oliver was scribe and a wannabe translator. How long do you think it would have taken Oliver to translate the BoM using the study it out and ask Y/N method? How long to organize the church.

    HBB describes a quorum of study-it-outers led by an Oliver. This means the quorum initiates both the conversation and the issue rather than God initiating and approval for THEIR plan not God’s plan is sought. Since they are incapable of channeling God’s mind they are greatly hampered in actually knowing his will compared to Joseph. This inefficiency of communication invited and allows a lot of error.

    In addition it took SWK months of work to arrive at a single Y/N answer. The HBB method would be very unsettling for most TBMs to digest they are still starry eyed about Christ being involved in the minute details of malls and missionary ages while being deft dumb and blind to third-world suffering.

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  71. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Howard,

    Repeat from #62; speaking of the recent statement

    “You continue to be at odds with the quote from Elder Brown that you used. I suppose that means that you don’t really believe that they could have a revelatory experience but just not proclaim it as such.”

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  72. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Jeff,
    No I am not at odds. As I’ve already pointed out a number of creditable reasons it appears unlikely. In addition I’ve asked you to explain the reasons you believe revelation did take place and you’ve offered nothing.

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  73. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Howard,

    “The church is led by Olivers (study it out and ask Y/N) *not* Josephs (channels the mind of the Lord). Now you might find comfort in that admission but I do not because EQPs and RSPs are also Olivers as are *almost* all other LDS members (and plenty of non-members) who have received a spiritual conformation.”

    Here’s my biggest problem with what you are saying. You express your opinion as if it were fact, which it is not.

    I do agree with you that a difference that makes the Brethren special is stewardship. But, it is also the office and keys they hold. Oliver was no Joseph because he didn’t hold the keys that Joseph had which gave him the authority he used.

    Thomas S Monson holds the same keys of authority over the Church that Joseph did but yet, lacks the calling of being the Prophet of this dispensation. A calling that Joseph had that those that followed him do not. They are here to bear testimony of Joseph’s prophetic mission to restore the Church and the Priesthood keys to the earth.

    However, they are no less the keeper of the Keys to lead the Church, exercise all Priesthood keys restored, to proclaim the Doctrine of the Church and receive revelation directly from our Lord and Savior on behalf of the whole Church.. Oliver never had that calling or responsibility. He was the second Elder, not the first.

    So you both use Hugh B. Brown’s statement as some kind of indictment against the recently released statement and then turn around and criticize it at the same time because you have an opinion that the methodology by which he describes how a revelation might be received (a way, not the only way) is wrong.

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  74. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    “In addition I’ve asked you to explain the reasons you believe revelation did take place and you’ve offered nothing.”

    I offered more than once that I didn’t think revelation was necessary because they were reiterating well-understood doctrine. You might not like it, but that’s what they did.

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  75. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Jeff wrote: I offered more than once that I didn’t think revelation was necessary because they were reiterating well-understood doctrine. You might not like it, but that’s what they did.

    So finally we agree this Q1 statement likely doesn’t include any new revelation!

    In #31 you stated “they are reiterating previously revealed doctrine.” But now you’re changing your terms from “previously revealed doctrine” to “well-understood doctrine”. Okay I agree with “they were reiterating well-understood doctrine”.

    I would like to point out Doug Fabrizio asked LDS church PA spokesperson Ally Isom “Where does it say in Mormon doctrine that women cannot have the priesthood?” and after two long winded attempts to talk around it she finally replied “It doesn’t.”

    So if they were “reiterating well-understood doctrine” and nowhere does it say “women cannot have the priesthood”, how is this Q1 statement an answer to OW?

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  76. Jeff Spector on June 30, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Howard,

    “Where does it say in Mormon doctrine that women cannot have the priesthood?””

    Ah, the old try and true method of trying to point out everything out of the scriptures as though every answer where all ready there and we have no need for any other revelation……

    Well, I would agree that it doesn’t say that they can’t, only that they didn’t and still do not hold offices in the Priesthood. And pulling out a few obscure and vague references where well-educated and experienced translators cannot agree on a precise meeting is not enough.

    So, to throw it back, “where does it specifically say they can”

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  77. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    “where does it specifically say they can”

    It doesn’t. That’s basically what OW wants answered. Can they or can’t they. So far even with this statement we just don’t know, do we?

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  78. Jared on June 30, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    #66 Howard wrote:

    Jared,
    Some people have far more faith in God or in Christ than they do in LDS prophets. Does that make them wrong? Are you naive enough to believe that faith in God must overlap faith in TSM or the brethren? Or are you willing to concede that LDS prophets have in fact been wrong in the past and therefore might be wrong again?

    Howard-

    This comment is very telling. It appears you don’t understand the scriptures or you are ignoring them, and in a sense, starting your own brand of faith.

    The very foundation of scripture is that God communicates to humankind through prophets. As you probably know, I could site numerous scripture to support this premise. What do you have from the scriptures to support your premise?

    This is what I mean by low information crowd. Have you read the standard works, are you Mormon? Do you accept or reject the standard works? I’m not asking you these questions to embarrass or belittle. I’m trying to understand your reasoning.

    To your question about the LDS prophets being wrong at times. It is a fundamental doctrine of the LDS church that prophets are fallible. But this doesn’t mean they are not prophets being led by God. What it means is that God allows them to fallible and prophets at the same time. If it was otherwise, there would be no need for faith. There is opposition in all things is another basic doctrine.

    The LDS pioneers (as well as the faithful Nephites) experienced the fallibility of prophets and yet moved forward with faith believing that God would not let them fail. The results speak for themselves.

    Howard- I’m not trying to debate you. I’m explaining my perspective and trying to understand your perspective.

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  79. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Jared
    We both follow the spirit so perhaps this will wet your appetite: But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. When we follow the spirit to the point of discipleship he custom tutors us. There wouldn’t be much he could teach us if he were restrained to what already exists in the scriptures and the words LDS prophets have spoken so he takes us outside those limitations and sometimes outside the law in order to expand our knowledge, doesn’t he? Or perhaps you haven’t gone there yet?

    Here’s another thought Elder Oaks acknowledges exceptions:

    As a General Authority, I have the responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules.

    Now with regard to your implication that I am from the “low information crowd”, I’m not a Pharisee or scriptorian, instead I’m a disciple I enjoy gnosis, living scripture. Does that make me “low information”?

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  80. Brian on June 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    “The LDS pioneers (as well as the faithful Nephites) experienced the fallibility of prophets and yet moved forward with faith believing that God would not let them fail. The results speak for themselves.”

    What results are those, Jared?

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  81. Jared on June 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Brian-if you don’t know the answer, then nothing I say will persuade you.

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  82. Jared on June 30, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    #79 Howard-

    I appreciate your answer and accept what you say. I just know that God is my friend the same way that Nephi and others did. I choose to believe He is a friend to the apostles and prophets as well.

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  83. Brian on June 30, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Jared- if you only answer my questions to persuade me, save your keystrokes.

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  84. Howard on June 30, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Jared,
    The church was restored by Joseph using thus saith the Lord revelation, visions and scrying but since then it has endured 170 years of Oliver-like leadership meaning highly inefficient divine communication by comparison. This probably resulted in a lot of error (see ban on blacks fiasco for example). God’s inspiration is not limited to the LDS hierarchy his spirit is poured out upon the world. Some can receive it and some can’t and others won’t. As the church grew and became more organized it also became more codified and as time collected that code demanded defense, this froze an organization in place that claims to have open canon flexibility but due to defending the status quo it functioned as if it were closed. Defending the status quo became synonymous with defending the church! In the mean time secular enlightenment continued and the developed secular world figured out that blacks were people to (imagine that!), but the church was slow to change. Today the developed secular world knows women are people to (imagine that!) and they are beginning to accept that LBGTs are people to (imagine that!) but again the church lags in that understanding and acceptance. Since God has a difficult time efficiently communicating with a single Oliver or even a Q15 of yes men Olivers I believe he was forced to go around that chain of command in order to draw their attention to the problem and correction so the civil rights movement was born. I believe God wanted that public debate even as it imposed itself upon church headquarters because the Olivers were too busy defending the status quo (see the parable of the ten virgins) to hear what needed to change. And I believe we are experiencing a repeat of that narrative with women and LGBTs. The church is stuck, it’s leaders are simply keeping it’s members busy marching in place while defending the status quo. In spite of all that I do believe he loves his telepathy and tone deft Olivers!

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  85. Jeff Spector on July 1, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Howard,

    “Can they or can’t they”

    It’s pretty clear, They can’t. And like a petulant child refusing to take no or not now as the answer. Can I? Can I? Can I?

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  86. Mormon Heretic on July 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Jeff, comment 85 is priceless. Now I know that no amount of reason, logic, scripture, or historical fact needs justification by you or the church leaders. When I disagree with you, “No” is all I need. I won’t waste time with reasons any more. Then I will compare you to a petulant child for refusing to take no as an answer.

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  87. Jeff Spector on July 1, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    MH,

    It is certainly my honor that you’ve chosen to lump me in with Church Leaders. I appreciate it.

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  88. Howard on July 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Jeff,
    I know this sophisticated concept escapes you but “can they or can’t they” refers to an answer from God about going forward not an opinion from the brethren based on the past.

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  89. Jeff Spector on July 1, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Howard,

    As country bumpkin, I didn’t consider the statement to be opinion, but a re-statement of previously-revealed and well-established doctrine.

    You, OTOH, like some others, cannot accept a “no” for an answer from the Lord’s servants. Whether it is a passive no based on previously revealed doctrine or an active, “the Lord said no, ” it is the same.

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  90. Howard on July 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Jeff,
    You remind me so much of one of my mother’s sayings: A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

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  91. Mormon Heretic on July 1, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    You’re not a country bumpkin, you’re a petulant child.

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