I’m a Mormon, and I believe that women

March 20, 2013 | 95 comments
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. . . should be eligible for Priesthood ordination.

So do these other lovely people. Please check out some of the profiles, if it’s a topic that interests you, or visit our facebook page for more discussion.

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and I know that reasonable people can disagree here. But I do think that one can very much believe in female ordination within the Mormon framework. It fits well into the narrative of ever-expanding Priesthood eligibility in LDS theology, I think (ever-expanding circles from Levites to Israelites to Gentiles, and finally to all men in 1978). It also fits well into many LDS ideas on gender — if men and women are fundamentally different as church leaders suggest, then men may not be able to adequately represent women’s interests. It meshes well with statements from LDS history, such as Joseph Smith’s prophecy that the Relief Society would be a “kingdom of priests.” It engages President Hinckley’s public suggestion that members interested in ordination should agitate a little. Heck, it even dovetails nicely with a Harvard study or two.

But most importantly of all, it matters a lot to many LDS women about whom I care deeply. The relative invisibility of women in so many spheres causes great pain to many of our sisters. And I mourn with those who mourn; and it is for them that I look forward to the long-awaited day when every faithful, worthy person in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with their loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom.

Some day, I believe, the church’s ecclesiastical structure will more fully reflect the scriptural injunction that all are alike unto God. And that will be a fantastic step forward for the community, and a cause to rejoice.

Hi, I’m Kaimi. I’m a Mormon. And I believe that women should be eligible for Priesthood ordination.

95 Responses to I’m a Mormon, and I believe that women

  1. Porter on March 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Love the post. Do you have a link to the Hinkley comment about agitation?

  2. Mike on March 20, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I take it you’re saying that God is ready to do this anytime we are?

  3. Geoff - A on March 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I didcussed thios with 2 of my daughters. One is RS President, the other teaches early morning seminary. We expect it is only a question of time before women hold the proesthood.

    One said she had no ambition to be Bishop, the other said it was not about that, to her she was totally excluded from any priesthood ordinance relating to her children. Unless you hold the P’hood you can’t be involved in blessing a child, baptism (even as a witness), can’t even bless them when sick.

    Most men are not called as Bishops or higher but hold the P’hood.

    I do think it is pretty crook that women can’t be in the leadership team of an orginization thet is 56% women. A bit like apartheid.

    So yes women should hold the priesthood again.

  4. Kaimi Wenger on March 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Porter, I think it’s implied in the public interview where he said that women’s Priesthood was not needed because there was no agitation for it (which seems to indicate that if there is agitation, it could be something the church would address).

    RB: At present women are not allowed to be priests in your Church. Why is that?

    GBH: That’s right, because the Lord has put it that way. Now women have a very prominent place in this Church. They have there own organisation. Probably the largest women’s organisation in the world of 3.7 million members. There own ???. And the women of that organisation sit on Boards. Our Board of Education things of that kind. They counsel with us. We counsel together. They bring in insight that we very much appreciate and they have this tremendous organisation of the world where they grow and if you ask them they’ll say we’re happy and we’re satisfied.

    RB: They all say that?

    GBH: Yes. All except a oh you’ll find a little handful one or two here and there, but in 10 million members you expect that.

    RB: You say the Lord has put it that way. What do you mean by that?

    GBH: I mean that’s a part of His programme. Of course it is, yes.

    RB: Is it possible that the rules could change in the future as the rules are on Blacks ?

    GBH: He could change them yes. If He were to change them that’s the only way it would happen.

    RB: So you’d have to get a revelation?

    GBH: Yes. But there’s no agitation for that. We don’t find it. Our women are happy. They’re satisfied. These bright, able, wonderful women who administer their own organisation are very happy. Ask them. Ask my wife.

    (Emphasis added.)

    I realize there are multiple ways to read that, but I think there’s a suggestion there that the response might be different to agitation. (Others, including Dane Laverty, take this position as well.)

  5. amber_mtmc on March 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Yes! As a woman, I would like to have the opportunity to receive priesthood ordination. Not because I want to become a Bishop (who does, really?) but because I want to feel included in all aspects of the religion I love. Thank you, Kaimi, for expressing your support so eloquently.

  6. William Tarbush on March 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Ok. When do you think God will be ready for this? Why the public request for a statement?

  7. john roberts on March 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Yes, you can bless your children . It is called a mother’s blessing. I am not aware of a formal public format within the current church for such blessing But is common in private informal family settings.. I personally know a young mother who’s handicapped son fell from a third story window . Before the medic’s or priesthood could respond she placed her hands on his head and blessed him with recovery. Her heartfelt mother’s blessing did not close with by the power of the priesthood but with the statement as you mother and was as powerful and valid as any priesthood blessing. I personally feel that the question of opening the priesthood quorum to LDS women is not the same question as having the right to act in God’s name here on earth. One is the current outward organization of the church, the other is the power of every righteous worthy saint. The second is by far the most powerful and is not genre based.

  8. lulubelle on March 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    How beautiful that we are openly discussing women holding the priesthood. It will happen in my lifetime, I know it.

  9. Jax on March 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Sooo??? would we go to a 4 hr block so women can be in priesthood meeting and then go into relief society?

  10. Steve Smith on March 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Nice post, Kaimi. I agree, but you brought out the infallibilists, like #2 and #8. To them I say, I think that God has always been “ready”, just not the church leadership and core membership.

  11. Casey on March 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Very nice and elegant statement of belief. I’m totally on board. As others have noted, this will upset those who take the will of man (and I mean that literally) to be the will of God simply because it has always been that way, but oh well; some folks deserve to have their heckles raised.

  12. LDS Anarchist on March 21, 2013 at 12:54 am

    #9 Jax brings up a very good point.

    Would this do away with Relief Society and Young Women’s meetings, or would these girls and women attend their respective quorums with the men and boys (deacons through high priests) and then attend their Relief Society and Young Women’s meetings during the fourth hour while the men go home with the kids?

    If the former, are women who desire this change willing to do away with their women-only meetings?

    If the latter, are women who desire this change willing to have four hours of church?

  13. Exponent II April on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 am

    9 and 12–you are neglecting another option. When Joseph Smith set up the Nauvoo Relief Society, he appears to have intended for it to be a women’s priesthood quorum. He ordained Emma Smith, Elizabeth Whitney and Sarah Cleveland, told them to appoint female priests and deacons, and turned the keys to them. So you could have integrated quorums or to follow the Nauvoo pattern with separate RS quorums and male quorums.

    My preference would be to have integrated quorums but to separate once a month for gender-specific meetings. The curriculum only differs between RS and male priesthood on the first Sunday of the month anyway.

  14. LDS Anarchist on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Would the designations remain the same for both genders or be gender specific?

    deacon, deaconess, teacher, teacher(?), priest, priestess, bishop, bishop(?), elder, eld(ress?), seventy, seventy(?), high priest, high priestess, apostle, apostle(?), prophet, prophetess

    Would there be a stake patriarch and a stake matriarch? Would the stake matriarch give matriarchal blessings? Would or could she designate the tribal affiliation, like the patriarch?

    Or would there only be a stake patriarch that could be filled by either a man or a woman? And when filled by a woman, would it be called the office of the stake matriarch?

    When missionaries are sent out, does everyone call the sister missionaries Elder so-and-so, like the men?

    Would any of this affect the temple ordinance work, at all? For example, men can be sealed to more than one wife (consecutively). Would women be able to be sealed to more than one husband (consecutively)?

    If the meetings are combined quorums, would visiting teaching be phased out, or would women need to do both home teaching (per their priesthood calling) and also visiting teaching (per the Relief Society). For home teaching, would this allow a male elder and a female elder to be companions? Would mixed gender missionary companionships be allowed?

    Would we need additional revelation to be added to the Doctrine and Covenants to figure all this stuff out or is what is already in the D&C sufficient to already start ordaining women?

    If the Nauvoo pattern is used, what is the relationship between two presiding quorums of the same office but different genders? For example, if there is a male bishopric and a female bishopric, who is in charge, or are they both in charge together? If there is disagreement between them, how would the tie be broken?

    How would this affect the Boy Scouts, which is for the Aaronic Priesthood?

    I suppose there are more questions, but that’s what comes to mind so far.

  15. LDS Anarchist on March 21, 2013 at 2:05 am

    More questions, (sorry, they keep coming).

    If women are ordained to the priesthood, wouldn’t that mean that all women of eligible age would then be required to serve a mission, since that is a priesthood obligation?

    Would not that also require all women to hold the priesthood in order to go to the temple and be exalted? Priesthood ordination is an ordinance of salvation for men, thus, if women are also ordained to these offices, wouldn’t that make them equally necessary for their salvation?

    Would the same pressures placed on men because of their priesthood responsibilities be placed on women? Would women be instructed on proper priesthood attire for performing duties, etc.? (The men get white shirts and ties and the women get white shirts and scarves, perhaps?)

    Would the pressure to marry that is put on every young man’s shoulder (an apparent priesthood responsibility) be equally applied to the women?

    Apart from all these questions, I imagine that this would open up the priesthood sessions of general and stake conferences to the women and also allow ordained women to pray during GC. It would also allow women’s general conference meetings to be exclusively women (for visiting GA’s might be ordained women).

  16. Steve Smith on March 21, 2013 at 2:18 am

    “wouldn’t that mean that all women of eligible age would then be required to serve a mission, since that is a priesthood obligation?”

    Serving a mission isn’t a priesthood obligation. It’s strongly encouraged of men, but men who don’t serve missions can hold all offices of the priesthood that those who do serve missions hold.

  17. Adam on March 21, 2013 at 6:42 am

    If you’ve been through the temple and truly understand the ordinances you know this will not happen on this earth. Since when did feminism coincide with Mormon doctrine? It’s disconcerting that LDS members are trying to take revelation into their own hands. If there were any chance of this happening it would come from the prophet and no one else. “If any of ye lack wisdom let him ask of god”

  18. Exponent II April on March 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Wow, LDS anarchist, you have a lot of thoughtful questions. I’ll opine on a few:

    My personal preference would be to make higher level callings available to either men or women, so anyone, male or female, could be called as a bishop, matriarch/patriarch, high council person, general authority, etc. I think parallel leadership would be too complex. Separate but equal rarely works. However, I think you could continue to have a calling for a RS pres at ward and general level to oversee occasional women’s meetings or activities. By all means, give women real titles like men or start humbly calling all men “brother”. Since women can already be sealed to multiple men after they die, forbidding them from doing so during life serves no purpose. Scrap visiting teaching. It is hard on women because we are expected to make time for not one visit a month by church reps but two. Currently, we interpret the word “men” on almost all scripture to mean “men and women” unless the scripture happens to refer to priesthood. We could just start being more consistent that way and interpret those scriptures on a gender neutral manner. Why don’t we let everyone use their free agency in deciding important questions like whether to marry or serve a mission and unimportant ones like what color of shirt to wear? OK, I’m tired. That’s enough answers for me.

  19. Tim J on March 21, 2013 at 8:21 am

    “My personal preference would be to make higher level callings available to either men or women, so anyone, male or female, could be called as a bishop, matriarch/patriarch, high council person, general authority, etc.”

    What about mixed-gender presidencies. Would you have a Bishop with one male and one female counselor?

    It took the Church ten years to produce Preach My Gospel, another ten years to produce the new youth curriculum. Ordaining women to the priesthood, which I’m not against, would cause a rewrite of most manuals as well as the Handbooks. I guess what I’m saying is, this would require a lot more than just a General Conference announcement.

  20. Exponent II April on March 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I do not have a problem with mixed gender presidencies. I have served on a mixed gender Sunday school presidency, a mixed gender ward missionary council and many mixed gender groups in employment and yet, I have never committed adultery (which is the most common argument I hear against mixed gender presidencies).

    Yes, I agree that a lot of work would be required to make a change. It would be nice if an announcement were made that the change would happen in xx years, allowing time for preparation.

  21. Tim J on March 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it either…but I think the Church definitely would.

  22. Tim J on March 21, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I should note that Nate Oman dealt with a lot of these issues not too long ago here:

    http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2012/09/gender-and-priesthood/

  23. Adam Greenwood on March 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    LDS women are less eager for a unisex priesthood then LDS men are. Unisex priesthood is bad for churches that adopt it but is especially bad for relationships, which need the man and the woman to have distinct roles and things that they bring to the table that they can honor and respect each other for. I honor LDS women for their savvy and wish men like Wenger weren’t so dismissive of their good sense.

  24. Jettboy on March 21, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Women holding the Priesthood, especially in leadership positions of authority, is anti-Scriptural. I don’t have time to argue here how, but this is one of two things that the Church can do where I will leave and condemn it as becoming just another apostate organization. Since everyone is so up about “agitation,” then I promise to loudly and ferociously agitate against it. Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line, but women actually getting the Priesthood is an attack against the Gospel teachings about family.

  25. Bryan in VA on March 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

    ” The relative invisibility of women in so many spheres causes great pain to many of our sisters.”

    I as an active priesthood-holding male feel relatively invisible in many spheres and do not feel pained by it. Am I flawed because of my lack of need for visibility?

  26. Howard on March 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Very nice post, Kaimi. Well done!

  27. Howard on March 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Am I flawed because of my lack of need for visibility? No you’re flawed by your blindness to women having little input in a male organization that doesn’t even extend an invitation them to pray!

  28. Howard on March 21, 2013 at 9:35 am

    We’ll miss you Jettboy!

  29. CJ Douglass on March 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Kaimi, I don’t agree with Adam on much of anything, but he refers to a real conundrum that I recently addressed here.

    In short, I stand with you in desiring ordination in the future for my daughters and their daughters and all women. But, many of the women around me (which happen to be not particularly conservative in every other aspect of their lives) seem to completely disagree with me. As a man, you can imagine what kind of position that puts me in.

  30. Bryan in VA on March 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

    “No you’re flawed by your blindness to women having little input in a male organization that doesn’t even extend an invitation them to pray!”

    By golly, you’re right!! I’m going to work on my flaw by starting a campaign to be asked to pray in my ward Relief Society meetings.

  31. Hunter on March 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Bryan in VA, you and I can already can pray in Relief Society. Your’s is a (disingenuous) false equivalence. As human beings with testicles, you and I are in a position to be able to preside over (and pray in) the Relief Society. So, campaign away, but you’d just be acting the fool. And I think you know it.

  32. Brian on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    ~Romans 16:17

    There are so few sane voices in this discussion.

  33. Hunter on March 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Jettboy says, “Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line [of the the Church becoming just another apostate organization]”.

    Say what you will about Jettboy’s strident opinions, but the one thing you gotta admire about him here is that he doesn’t seem to get carried away with the notion that Church leaders are infallible (unlike so many in (conservative) Mormon culture). It’s nice to know that Jettboy takes seriously the concept of questioning and confirming for oneself whether Church leaders’ actions are inspired. So, yes, I’ll scoff at his notion that a gendered-priesthood is a principle worth dying over (race-based priesthood anyone?), but am glad that he would refrain from passively accepting any and every Church practice/status quo as so much revelation.

  34. Orwell on March 21, 2013 at 10:24 am

    […] this is one of two things that the Church can do where I will leave and condemn it as becoming just another apostate organization.

    I was already for women being ordained, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of the blessings such an event would pour out upon us until now.

  35. Jax on March 21, 2013 at 10:30 am

    What about all those temple ordinances that have been done? Will we now have to start at zero and do the ALL over again after ordaining the deceased females? Seems problematic… but not impossible

    #32 quoted Romans 16:17 … Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    This was funny because our family is reading through the NT and read Romans a few weeks ago. When we finished chapter 16 and the kids had gone off to bed my wife turned to me and said “You know that verse about avoiding those causing divisions and contentions?

    “Yeah”

    “What did you think of when we read that?”

    “Times and Seasons?” I answered but with a question if that is what she thought as well.

    “Yep… me too!”

  36. Wilfried on March 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Thanks, Kaimi. Also from an organizational point of view, the ordination of women would constitute a significant boost in leadership quality in the mission field and in stakes abroad. Overall, as far as I can see from experience, there are more women converts than men and they remain more active. To find adequate male priesthood leaders is often a main challenge, while there are plenty of capable women who could fill the positions and lead in local branches, districts, wards, and stakes. Also women in area presidencies would make a tremendous change. Not to speak of the PR effect.

  37. Julie M. Smith on March 21, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Adam Greenwood writes, “especially bad for relationships, which need the man and the woman to have distinct roles and things that they bring to the table that they can honor and respect each other for”

    I agree with you that a relationship is more likely to survive and thrive if each partner feels a sense of interdependence. However, it is not clear to me that this interdependence need result from the partners filling roles that are externally mandated. When I think of my own marriage and what I most appreciate in my husband (particularly areas where he has strengths where I have weaknesses), these aren’t stereotypically gendered traits, but things like patience, selflessness, attention to detail, willingness to deal with a child’s emotional drama long past the point where I would have screamed and left the room, etc.

    In fact, I’d argue that in a world where men don’t have a lot of opportunities to protect their families from Visigoths or mastodons, and where women can provide their own 401Ks, we’re more likely to create interdependent marriages if we focus on traits and roles that are _not_ gender-linked, but unique to each relationship.

  38. Old Man on March 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Quick question: How are denominations that have ordained women doing?

  39. Old Man on March 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

    “…if men and women are fundamentally different as church leaders suggest, then men may not be able to adequately represent women’s interests.”

    Or they would have to rely on revelation to do so. And I don’t think it is the duty of the Brethren to represent the interests of any demographic, they represent the Lord.

  40. Trent on March 21, 2013 at 11:27 am

    “Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line, but women actually getting the Priesthood is an attack against the Gospel teachings about family.”

    Jettboy, I know you said you didn’t have time to argue (which, come on, of course you do) but I don’t understand one word of this sentence. How does a woman praying in General Conference come close to attacking Gospel teachings about family?

  41. Exponent II April on March 21, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Old Man: Here is a good source for some of the denominations that currently ordain women. You can judge for yourself whether you find them “successful”. http://www.religioustolerance.org/femclrg13.htm

    Trent: I agree with you that Jettboy wants to argue. Not even he is irrational enough to believe the ridiculous statement he just made about women praying. I am guessing that he is hoping to pick a fight with a feminist for his own amusement.

  42. Old Man on March 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Exponent,

    The link confirms what I’ve been told. Most of those denominations are declining in membership. I do think the Wiccan movement is growing, so maybe if we instituted some radical forms of pagan ritual in addition to ordaining our left-leaning sisters, it would really help our numbers in Relief Society. (I pause and apologize if I just offended anyone with my dark, twisted sense of humor).

  43. Frank McIntyre on March 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    “There are so few sane voices in this discussion.”

    I was going to comment, but then I saw this quote and realized it was true. So instead of commenting on the post let me encourage people to be more sane.

    I know; one’s sanity is not a decision but who you are. But I think that most people can still make a choice to at least _appear_ sane in public as opposed to being openly and avowedly insane.

  44. Old Man on March 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Kaimi,

    I am curious. What do you make of this BYU professor’s testimony?
    http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1718/valerie-hudson-cassler

  45. Howard on March 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Old Man,
    What’s wrong with asking our prophet to ask God to extend the priesthood to women?

  46. John Mansfield on March 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    If a person feels that being a woman’s spouse is an office that shouldn’t be restricted only to men, then of course he also wants ordination of women. Is there anyone who longs for the day when women are ordained who doesn’t also long for the day when pairs of women are sealed to one another as spouses? Anyone?

  47. Ziff on March 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Nice post, Kaimi.

    In fact, I’d argue that in a world where men don’t have a lot of opportunities to protect their families from Visigoths or mastodons, and where women can provide their own 401Ks, we’re more likely to create interdependent marriages if we focus on traits and roles that are _not_ gender-linked, but unique to each relationship.

    Yes, Julie! I love how you make this point!

    And I don’t think it is the duty of the Brethren to represent the interests of any demographic, they represent the Lord.

    That’s all well and good, Old Man, but the reality is that they can’t help but represent their own demographic. It might not be their duty to represent men, but they do anyway, whether they want to or not. (Unless of course you believe in infallible GAs.)

  48. Alison Moore Smith on March 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Wonderful post, Kaimi!

    Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line, but women actually getting the Priesthood is an attack against the Gospel teachings about family.

    I have dealt with the stupid prayer thing for years. I often agree with you, Jettboy, but I challenge you to make sense of that first phrase.

    Old Man, I asked the particular question about whether gender matters in more depth a couple of years ago. Sorry, but I think you disregard it far too readily.

    Hopefully, I’ll have time to come back today and read more. Appreciate this post so much.

  49. Cameron N on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I’m prepared for God to say yes or no. I hope everyone else is as well. After all, ‘many great and important things’ are yet to be revealed. But I won’t be one asking for it specifically. I have more immediate things to pray about that I think are more important to me individually and to us collectively. His will be done, if/when we’re ready and if/when He wants.

  50. JTZ on March 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    “I’m prepared for God to say yes or no. I hope everyone else is as well.”

    Yes, just as ready as Jane Manning James was prepared for the first time they told her she couldn’t get her endowments.

  51. Kaimi Wenger on March 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Thanks for the kind words and support Geoff, Amber, Lulubelle, Casey, April, Howard, Wilfried, Ziff, Alison. More detailed responses to follow on people’s points. (Sorry, I’m dashing between meetings today.)

  52. Kaimi Wenger on March 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Okay, first batch of of specific replies:

    Anarchist and Jax raise a host of logistical questions. Who will meet in what order where? These would certainly have to be worked out. However, the logistics of church meetings have changed constantly over the years. We don’t have separate-day RS/PH and Sunday School any more, for instance. If we can alter logistics to the three-hour block, we can certainly figure out the logistics here. I don’t see that women would need 4 hours; they would likely attend PH as their third hour. It might make sense to divide by interest (missionary work, service). I can’t say exactly what it would look like; but a lot of our current structure is just an ecclesiastical framework, subject to change. It’s probably took some logistical changes to move outside of Levite-only authority too, right?

    William Tarbush asks “why ask?”, and several others suggest that it is actually wrong to ask for change. This view, while common, is not borne out by evidence. As a recent post at JI makes clear, there is extensive history of the church responding to requests. (See http://www.juvenileinstructor.org/women-praying-in-general-conference-and-grassroots-efforts/ ).

    Hugh Nibley wrote:

    God is not pleased with those who rebuff his offer of free lunch with pious sermons about the work ethic: “A certain king … made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again he sent forth,… saying,… I have prepared my dinner,… and all things are ready…. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm another to his merchandise” (Matthew 22:2–5). Back to the office and the farm as they virtuously called attention to solid work to be done and “made light” of mere partying. Yet it was a gross insult to their generous host. “Deny not the gifts of God!” is the final plea of the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:8). Who would despise such gifts? We do, by not asking for them: “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh” (2 Nephi 4:35), and they receive not because they ask not (2 Nephi 32:4). Moroni enumerates the spiritual gifts in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, yet we rarely ask for these gifts today–they don’t particularly interest us. There is only one that we do ask for in all sincerity, and duly receive, and that, for obvious reasons, is the gift of healing. But the other gifts? Who cares for them? We make light of them and prefer the real world of everyday life. We do not even ask for the temporal gifts, because we don’t want them either–as gifts.

    See http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=119 (emphasis added)

    And of course, a nice fellow from Galilee said

    “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

    Why ask? Because Jesus told me to. And if He says that asking is okay — well, that’s good enough for me.

  53. Kaimi Wenger on March 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    More replies:

    Bryan asks whether he’s flawed not to feel invisible. Nope, not at all. I’m glad that the system is working out for you, bro.

    But some of our sisters _do_ feel pain. And that pain is real. And we shouldn’t dismiss it with a wave of the hand. “I don’t personally have a problem with that in my own life” does not disprove someone else’s experience in which they did have a problem.

    John Roberts brings up the fantastic history of women’s blessings in the church. There is a ton of documentation on the blessings that women used to give. It suggests that we currently have far too constricted a view of the roles women can play.

    Tim notes that the transition would be complicated. Yep, it would be. A lot. We’ve currently built a cultural framework around male-only Priesthood (as Nate mentioned in his fantastic post last year).

    That could be changed. But it would take time, and effort. Would it be worth it?

    I’ll refer to some of the comments just posted by my fantastic sisters at Feminist Mormon Housewives:

    “My desire to be faithful does not negate the hurt and longing I feel every time my husband gives our children a blessing and I know that if I were to do the same thing I would be seen as a dangerous unfaithful rebel. Even the man I love with all my heart is deeply uncomfortable with the idea of me being involved in a blessing, and can I blame him, when I too am uncomfortable with it? Yet it seems so counter-intuitive that something so rooted in faith, a longing to use the spiritual gifts we have been promised, the same spiritual gifts our foremothers exercised routinely, would make me unfaithful. My husband has access to and connection to our Father’s power through the priesthood, and he is celebrated and admired for using these gifts. But I have no (sanctioned) access to or connection to our Mother’s power, and the very a desire to connect with Her is taboo. It hurts but I don’t generally let myself dwell on it (until right now I guess). (please note that the standard responses “I don’t feel that pain” or “your pain is selfish/silly/unimportant” aren’t very useful or christlike)

    **

    Several years ago, I had a newborn baby that wouldn’t sleep, and as I walked laps around the living room in the dark of night, trying to soothe his crying, I prayed for him, as his mother, that he would be calmed and be able to sleep peacefully. Thinking about this, and many other times when I’ve had sick or injured children, I can’t imagine that loving Heavenly Parents would listen to my prayers for my children less than he listens to my Mister when he gives them a priesthood blessing. That combined with blessings of the temple, and reading about my great great great great grandmother who recorded in her journal blessings she gave to other women, make me think that there is something missing here. Something we don’t understand, perhaps something different than the priesthood. Whatever it is, it is something that feels integral to my very person, I experience it at those times when I feel called upon by God to serve or lead or comfort, and I feel strong and capable and sure of my actions. Perhaps this is what priestesshood is. I hope that we can ask for greater understanding and blessings and have the windows of heaven opened, because I truly believe that whatever the answer, God can soothe all troubled hearts.

    **

    The reality is, our church equates priesthood duties with administration duties so women will never be equal to men in either visibility and participation or status until ordination is granted. . . . Women have many, many gifts that are just flat-out being wasted simply because our designated roles don’t allow for women to use certain gifts. I say it’s a spiritual tragedy.

    **

    As President Monson put it in a priesthood conference a couple of years ago, the priesthood is “the authority to act as God’s servants, to administer to the sick, to bless our families, and to bless others as well. Its authority can reach beyond the veil of death, on into the eternities. There is nothing else to compare with it in all this world.” Why would desiring such a gift be unrighteous, regardless of gender? Spiritual gifts are given without regard to gender, why must this authority to bless and act be restricted? If the answer to ordination is “no,” I can surely accept it, but I would like to know that the question has been brought before God with the seriousness and attention that it deserves.

    **

    It’s interesting to me to read so many of my fellow permas state that they don’t feel a calling to the priesthood. Because I do. Not just out of a sense of fairness or equity, but a true spiritual calling to ministry. . .

    I believe I have been called. I feel powerful spiritual gifts in my life, but I am constantly struggling to find ways to use them. I have given blessings (referring to the power of Jesus Christ, not the priesthood, because it is important to me to respect ordination I can not claim) and they have been powerful, miraculous experiences. But my offers have been turned down as often as they’ve been accepted. One friend insisted we call it a prayer and that I just hold her hands. Another friend drove to an empty parking lot and had me crouch in her car, leaning over from the passenger seat, terrified her husband or a neighbor would see us but still desperate for some comfort.

    A woman who has been blessed with the gift of revelation, or prophecy, or even differences in administration, has very very few opportunities to exercise that gift. It’s like I’ve been given armfuls of food and set out to walk among starving people, but no one knows I’m there.

    So women need the priesthood because it’s fair. Women need the priesthood to have a voice in bureaucratic policies. But women also need the priesthood to be able to exercise their full expression of devotion to God, and to contribute all of their talents to the kingdom.

    **

    Last summer, on a national television program about Mormonism, in explaining Mormon feminism, I stated that for some Mormon feminists, equality in church participation and decision-making is an issue, while for others ordination is a pressing spiritual concern. The next day, strangers stopped me in the airport and told me how furious their friends and relatives were with me; others called for my excommunication on blogs and Twitter. Just for stating the fact that some Mormon women do care about ordination. Which is a fact. Some women really do. Including women near and dear to me. Including my own daughters. I do not believe that a healthy religious community will exile or ostracize faithful brothers and sisters for asking heartfelt questions about serious issues. That is a betrayal of the original seeking spirit of Mormonism—the spirit that led Joseph Smith to the sacred grove. I believe in a powerful, just, and merciful God, and I believe in the dream of Zion—a place where none shall come to hurt or make afraid, even each other. I believe that revelation is a continuing conversation between God and a people. I believe that a faith as beautiful and powerful as Mormonism both deserves and is capable of very rigorous and careful examination of history and doctrine. I fully support a more thoughtful, respectful, and open discussion of ordination. If there is doctrine, let us come to understand it better and not confuse it with traditional worldly ideas about gender roles, as we often do now.

    Our sisters are hurting. We can take steps to heal that wound. That is enough.

  54. Kaimi Wenger on March 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Orwell writes: “I was already for women being ordained, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of the blessings such an event would pour out upon us until now.”

    I know! It would be like a year with two Christmases.

  55. Alison Moore Smith on March 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    #14

    Would any of this affect the temple ordinance work, at all? For example, men can be sealed to more than one wife (consecutively). Would women be able to be sealed to more than one husband (consecutively)?

    FTR, when doing work for the dead, women are sealed to all their earthly husbands. Doing otherwise with living women is hard to explain.

  56. Kevin L on March 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Kaimi,

    I feel like I’m following this issue with an open heart and mind. I can see how ordaining women to the priesthood could be compatible with doctrine. At the same time, I do see value in a gender aware approach to spirituality. That happens to be an area of professional interest. I believe that there is a strong case for gender differentiation, though I believe that culturally, the body of the Church has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to implementation.

    Without attempting a thread-jack, the idea I’m responding to is that women in the Church feel pain regarding the current situation and the subsequent assertion that the best way to respond is to eliminate the perceived source of pain. When someone responds by suggesting that the real source of the pain is not the situation itself, but the expectations and meaning we assign to the events, this response is characterized as denying or minimizing that pain. Such a person is often labeled as bigoted or narrow-minded. Is there a way we can honor the reality of the lived experiences of those in pain without feeling the need to rescue them?

  57. Chris Henrichsen on March 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I love reminders of what a dysfunctional family T&S has become. It warms my heart.

  58. Julie M. Smith on March 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Guys, it’s never OK to celebrate anyone leaving the church. Never.

  59. Orwell on March 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Julie, if you’re referring to my comment about Jettboy, you’re right, and I apologize. I’m always quick to call people on the “if you don’t like it then you can just leave” nonsense, so there shouldn’t be a double standard.

  60. Kaimi Wenger on March 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Sorry about that, Julie, you’re right.

  61. Not Adam Greenwood on March 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Huh. It appears that some ne’er-do-well commenter at the famous You Can Leave Kaimi’s Blog, But You Can’t Leave Kaimi’s Blog Alone thread has characterized this post as an expression of anger.

    I leave it to the thoughtful T&S reader to decide for herself whether or not this:

    I’m a Mormon, and I believe that women should be eligible for Priesthood ordination. So do these other lovely people. Please check out some of the profiles, if it’s a topic that interests you, or visit our facebook page for more discussion. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and I know that reasonable people can disagree here. But I do think that one can very much believe in female ordination within the Mormon framework.

    is accurately described as “a man is angry that women don’t have to have the priesthood.”

  62. wreddyornot on March 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks, Kaimi.

    Of course I believe women should be eligible for priesthood ordination.

    I do some writing and came home from my critiquing group last night where I asked for critiques on four pages of a new novel I’ve started that included this dialogue:

    “Go ahead. That’s fine. But make certain you’re back before Sunday and then on Sunday too. Before five on Sunday. Most of the family will be here; I’ll need your help.”

    “Why? What’s happening? A tragedy or a celebration? You’re not dying, are you?”

    “A birthday. My granddaughter Sue’s. Lynn and Doug’s daughter. She’s turning twelve this week, and we’re all celebrating it along with her ordination on Sunday.”

    “Ordination? And she’s twelve? I didn’t think churches performed holy orders so young. And doesn’t ordination usually take place in a sanctuary with incense and stuff?”

    Needless to say, I was intrigued and delighted to read your posting here and some of the responses.

    Not only should women be eligible for ordination but as a member I can’t help also asking, where is my Mother in Heaven?

  63. Bryan in VA on March 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    If women held the Priesthood would male High Priests feel compelled to stay awake in their quorum meetings?

  64. Exponent II April on March 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Bryan, I didn’t know that high priests were compelled to stay awake in quorum meetings. No wonder they are always so tired when they are on the stand.

  65. Raymond Takashi Swenson on March 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hey, for most of us, holding the priesthood is a remedial measure that encourages us to do what most faithful women do as a matter of course. I offer my hypothesis that the primary thing holding up women’s ordination here in mortality (they will be priestesses in the Celestial Kingdom) is the fragility of the faithfulness of many male members, who need the incentive of the priesthood. And no, I don’t think this is one of those “throw the weak ones under the bus” situations. The main perfection, for most of us men, is in celestial marriage to good women that calls us to be more than our natural selves. Sisters, thanks for putting up with us; just remember, it is temporary.

  66. wreddyornot on March 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Foolishness RTS. Show me studies and scriptures. Theorize all you want, but placing women on a pedestal won’t cut it any longer. Neither will the they-are-the-weaker-sex argument. You’re probably tougher and smarter than I and possibly less fragil in faith, so why are we both ordained? It’s nonsense and I sense you know it.

  67. Gary on March 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t believe that Raymond speaks for most us at all. I served for many years in the young men’s program. My willingness to do that had nothing to do with me being a Priesthood holder but had a lot to do with me wanting to work with teen age boys. I have taught seminary and several adult and youth Sunday school classes. My willingness to do that had nothing to with my Priesthood. Lots of good men and women in and outside of the church provide all kinds of service and leadership to others without needing priesthood to motivate them. Heaven help us if this impoverished view of men is accurate, because giving lazyy, selfish men the priesthood will never make such men productive.

  68. Elizabeth Mansfield on March 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    So…actually, endowed women DO hold the priesthood and also perform priesthood ordinances in the temple.

    Maybe you could ask the question of why women don’t exercise their priesthood outside the home and temple? Or why women can receive the highest priesthood without years of service in the lower priesthoods?

  69. Jettboy on March 21, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Priesthood has been and, if example has meaning, always will be Patriarchal. Looking far into the past before Joseph Smith’s ordination is the Earthly formation of the Power of God given to mortals. It was first place on the head of Adam by God after expulsion from the Garden of Eden. He in turn, according to Doctrine and Covenants 107:41–56, ordained other males who passed it on to their descendants. In Abraham 1:2–3 It is that same Patriarchal Priesthood that Abraham desired to obtain, quoting verse 3,”It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.”

    Related to the ordination of the Priesthood to men is the responsibility to lead the Church. There is no separating the Priesthood offices from the authority. If the Priesthood comes from male lineage, then all offices to it are governed by the same origin. President, High Priest, Bishop, Elder, Deacon, and others might be temporal in nature, but they come from the same main body of authority. Women who hold any positions do so under supervision and not within the same structure. They can at most imitate the order, but not as equals other than in faith and salvation. Even the Temple that might come closest to granting Priesthood to women does not ordain them positions and acknowledges that they must become subordinate to men, as they are subordinate to God.

    This idea that men hold the leadership positions as the Lord’s way is not new. Titus 1: 5–7 and Timothy 3: 2–5 talk about Bishops who must be married to one women with good families. They are picked from Elders that must be ordained in each area of the work. Women might be strong personalities and have authority in their own right, but not have an official title that gives them more than charismatic leadership.

    Joseph Smith also taught that women are not supposed to preside over men and asked where in the word of God they ever founded a Church? He then quoted Paul in 1 Timothy 2:11–12 that he wouldn’t let a women “to rule, or to usurp authority in the Church.” The list Joseph Smith made of false churches in his own day was heavy on women taking the lead (TPJV pg. 209-213).

    when I said, “Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line,” its because the meeting is a Priesthood function. This is far less of the case than a typical ward, although officiated by the Priesthood leadership. Even so, I have found that most women who I have asked as one of my duties (especially the older ones) are quick to reject an invitation to prayer. Not saying that has anything to do with if they should pray, but only this desire seems to be focused among a minority of very anxious people.

  70. Alison Moore Smith on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Jettboy, pre-1978:

    Priesthood has been and, if example has meaning, always will be non-black. Looking far into the past before Joseph Smith’s ordination is the Earthly formation of the Power of God given to mortals. It was first place on the head of non-black Adam by God after expulsion from the Garden of Eden. He in turn, according to Doctrine and Covenants 107:41–56, ordained other non-black males who passed it on to their descendants. In Abraham 1:2–3 It is that same non-black Patriarchal Priesthood that Abraham desired to obtain, quoting verse 3,”It was conferred upon me from the non-black fathers; it came down from the non-black fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.”

    Related to the ordination of the Priesthood to non-black men is the responsibility to lead the Church. There is no separating the Priesthood offices from the authority. If the Priesthood comes from non-black male lineage, then all offices to it are governed by the same origin. President, High Priest, Bishop, Elder, Deacon, and others might be temporal in nature, but they come from the same main body of authority. Blacks who hold any positions do so under supervision and not within the same structure. They can at most imitate the order, but not as equals other than in faith and salvation.

    This idea that non-black men hold the leadership positions as the Lord’s way is not new. Just ask Randy Bott. They are picked from Elders that must be ordained in each area of the work. Blacks might be strong personalities and have authority in their own right, but not have an official title that gives them more than charismatic leadership.

    Brigham also taught that black men are not supposed to preside over non-black men and liked to pretend the Elijah Abel “mishap” never happened.

    when I said, “Blacks saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line,” its because the meeting is a Priesthood function. This is far less of the case than a typical ward, although officiated by the Priesthood leadership. Even so, I have found that most black men who I have asked as one of my duties (especially the older ones) are quick to reject an invitation to prayer. Not saying that has anything to do with if they should pray, but only this desire seems to be focused among a minority of very anxious people.

    End Jettboy.

  71. Jettboy on March 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Alison Moore Smith, good try, but blacks are not women although there are black women. This is one argument that calls of “racist” are not going to change the facts! The very history of blacks and women when it comes to the Priesthood is not the same other than as some kind of silly false gotcha statements. Prove first that there has ever been women who held the Priesthood or anyone like Brigham Young who said that some day they might even be given the Priesthood? No, it was always expected that someday, even if it was in the millennium, blacks would receive the Priesthood (and some under Joseph Smith did). That has NEVER been the case with women.

  72. John C. on March 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Jettboy,
    Deborah and Huldah were named prophets in the Old Testament and their inspired counsel was sought just as the inspired counsel of modern prophets is sought. There is also evidence that women were deacons and administrative leaders in the New Testament church (the exact passages escape me at this time). There is counter-evidence available for your claims.

  73. Alison Moore Smith on March 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Did you hear that, people? Blacks are not women! Although some women are black!

    Wow. I’m going to have to rethink my entire life now.

  74. Howard on March 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Jettboy,
    At one point the gentiles didn’t have the priesthood. “Has been” does not equal always will be. But it won’t occur without revelation so that should unite both sides of this issue. Would that include you?

  75. Jettboy on March 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Not really Howard because as I have explained before it goes against what I believe about the Gospel, Women, and the Priesthood. There is revelation and then there is apostasy.

    “Deborah and Huldah were named prophets in the Old Testament”
    Yes, of course. A Prophet isn’t a calling as we know it today. Moses himself stated and Joseph Smith agreed that a prophet is someone with the Testimony of God or Christ.

    “evidence that women were deacons and administrative leaders in the New Testament church”
    Perhaps over other women. Otherwise, I have heard rumors, but having read the New Testament myself I don’t see it. You still have to deal with Paul’s words. Every single person who makes the argument for women holding the Priesthood ignores them and doesn’t even try to explain them away.

  76. Sonny on March 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Jettboy,

    Not really Howard because as I have explained before it goes against what I believe about the Gospel, Women, and the Priesthood. There is revelation and then there is apostasy.

    So, are you saying that if a revelation were announced that women could now hold the priesthood you would take that as a clear sign that the church was led astray?

  77. JTZ on March 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Ha, that was comment #24, Sonny:

    Women holding the Priesthood, especially in leadership positions of authority, is anti-Scriptural. I don’t have time to argue here how, but this is one of two things that the Church can do where I will leave and condemn it as becoming just another apostate organization. Since everyone is so up about “agitation,” then I promise to loudly and ferociously agitate against it. Women saying prayers in General Conference is coming close to crossing the line, but women actually getting the Priesthood is an attack against the Gospel teachings about family.

  78. Orwell on March 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    [sigh] I’m getting a headache from all the facepalms.

  79. John C. on March 22, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Jettboy,
    Paul calls a woman a deacon. Romans 16:1-2.

  80. Jettboy on March 22, 2013 at 7:53 am

    John C., not according to the source I trust, the KJV. The Net Bible commentary states, “It is debated whether ???????? (diakonos) here refers to a specific office within the church. One contextual argument used to support this view is that Phoebe is associated with a particular church, Cenchrea, and as such would therefore be a deacon of that church. In the NT some who are called ???????? are related to a particular church, yet the scholarly consensus is that such individuals are not deacons, but “servants” or “ministers” (other viable translations for ????????). For example, Epaphras is associated with the church in Colossians and is called a ???????? in Col 1:7, but no contemporary translation regards him as a deacon. In 1 Tim 4:6 Paul calls Timothy a ????????; Timothy was associated with the church in Ephesus, but he obviously was not a deacon. In addition, the lexical evidence leans away from this view: Within the NT, the ??????- word group rarely functions with a technical nuance. In any case, the evidence is not compelling either way. The view accepted in the translation above is that Phoebe was a servant of the church, not a deaconess, although this conclusion should be regarded as tentative.” In other words, not compelling enough to base a fundamental change to an eternal principle. It also doesn’t wash away 1 Timothy 2:11–15, or Joseph Smith’s commentary on it. At most Joseph Smith states that women will be called to similar offices within the structure of the Relief Society under the supervision and authority of the Patriarchal Priesthood.

  81. Jettboy on March 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Sorry, all those question marks would be Greek.

  82. Chris Henrichsen on March 22, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Orwell,

    For threads with Jettboy, helmets are a must.

  83. John C. on March 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Jettboy,
    At best, the biblical evidence in your favor is unclear. While I appreciate that you would like to read the evidence a certain way, there is no particular reason for anyone to assume that your way (or my way) is correct. Nor, for that matter, do we understand the context of the passage in 1st Timothy sufficiently to know if it was meant to apply to all of Christendom forever or if it was something to do with a particular branch and situation (as an example, no one in the church takes seriously Paul’s advice on haircuts or Christ’s advice on divorce). While you may think that women should sit in silence in the church, there is a wealth of evidence that this isn’t what the Brethren, the women of the church, or God wants. So, while I admit that your reading of these passages is possible, I dispute that it is necessary, correct, or self-evident.

  84. Jettboy on March 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Timothy taken with all other scriptures, teachings and prophecies are an abundent witness that women shall not and never have the Priesthood in more than generic terms. To assume no one takes seriously Pauls words on the other subjects is a sweeping generalization. Besides, there is difference between leniency and going against eternal Truths.

  85. Jettboy on March 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

    “No one in the church takes seriously . . . advice on divorce.”

    I have in other places voiced my concern that this is the case, considering it came from Jesus Christ. The lenient teachings of modern prophets hasn’t taken away the seriousness of it, but only the regret that we are no better than the children of Israel wondering in the desert. The hair thing? What we do with the Priesthood and marriage is of a magnitude far greater than our physical appearance.

  86. John C. on March 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Jettboy,
    There is no evidence that you are reading the abundant witness of scripture correctly. So, we are at the same impasse. There is no evidence that the current understanding of Priesthood and who should bear it is eternal, nor is there evidence that it will not change. No amount of argumentation or aspiration on your part will change this.

  87. Steve Smith on March 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Please, just ignore Jettboy. He is a known troll who goes around to different Mormon forums posting hyperbolic reactionary opinions. In fact I doubt that he even truly believes much of what he says. He just says it for effect.

  88. Sharee on March 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Kaimi #53, regarding the women you have quoted: one woman is upset that she cannot join with her husband in blessing her children. One time when I asked my father for a blessing before going on a long trip somewhere, he asked my mother to place her hands along with his on my head as he pronounced he blessing. I was so moved by that. My father was not a radical, just a very conservative, uneducated man, but a faithful one. The only reason he would have asked my mother to participate in that blessing with him was because he was so inspired. Yes, he pronounced the blessing, but included my mother. Also, to the woman who wonders if her husband’s blessing is listened to more than her prayers. of course not. All our prayers are heard, male and female. I know that in the early days of the church, women gave blessings, and I don’t know why that was discontinued, but I do believe women still can if there is no priesthood around. A couple of years ago, I was on a camping trip with some friends when I became very ill. I knew there was an LDS family somewhere in the same campground as we had seen them that morning at church. I went into the restroom and one of the girls was there, so I asked if her father and husband could come over to our tent and give me a blessing, which they did. On the way home the next morning, one of my friends said we needed to have some consecrated oil and take it with us on future camping trips, so if there were no priesthood holders around, we could give a blessing ourselves. As endowed women, she felt we would be able to do that. I think she was right, and I don’t think Heavenly Father would look askance at it. There are a lot of so-called priesthood functions women can do (temple ordinance work has already been mentioned). While I do believe women need to be listened to more in the church, I don’t believe we need to be ordained to the Priesthood. But if it happens, it will be on the Lord’s time and I certainly won’t reject it.

  89. Cameron N on March 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    @ JTZ (50), “I’m prepared for God to say yes or no. I hope everyone else is as well.”

    “Yes, just as ready as Jane Manning James was prepared for the first time they told her she couldn’t get her endowments.”

    Could someone enlighten me as to this reference?

  90. Nate W. on March 24, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Cameron N (89):

    http://bit.ly/11Bg2Uc

  91. JTZ on March 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    It’s a reference to Jane Manning James, a black woman who lived in Joseph Smith’s house for a time. Briefly, when she came to Utah she asked for her endowments and was denied by the first presidency. She didn’t she asked (and was denied) several more times of successive presidents until her death. In other words, do what you’ll do, accept what you’ll accept, and mind your own business about it. Those of us who feel that this is the right thing will keep asking.

  92. JTZ on March 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    LOL, Nate W. That was a much better answer. I might also direct you, Cameron, to this page. I’d recommend you read everything linked on it and everything referenced in what’s linked. Then you may have an idea.

    http://www.juvenileinstructor.org/resources-on-blacks-and-the-priesthood/

  93. Beau on April 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I know I’m late to the comments here, but I find it sad that we are here as a society arguing over whether women should have something that is inherently male (PRIESThood) instead of debating how the duties, rights, and responsibilities of the Relief Society should change in order to fully maximize the earthly experience of the sisters of the world. There is no evidence that our Heavenly Mother holds the priesthood, but there is ample evidence that she is a Queen and Priestess. There is a difference, and we just don’t know what it is at this time.
    With the discussion as is though, it’s like arguing if women would be better off with a penis or not. They are women, not men, and why is that penis inherently superior to begin with? It certainly can’t create a life nor carry it to term. How can everyone benefit from the inherent gifts women have and how can they feel more equal while still being women? The priesthood isn’t the answer. Instead, it lies within the untapped power of the Relief Society and its future priestesses to be.

  94. Linda King Newell on April 8, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    As the person who did Jane Manning James temple work before the August 1979 article on her appeared in the Ensign (which I coauthored with Valeen Avery), I would like to comment on # 91. While Jane lived in Nauvoo with Emma and Joseph, Emma asked her if she would like to be adopted by her and Joseph as a child. Jane was hesitant because she was not sure what that meant. She later recalled; “I told her no mam! because I did not understand or know that it meant . . . I did not know my own mind. I did not comprehend.” (Jane Elizebeth James, “Life Sketch” Wilford Woodruff Papers, LDS Archives.) Jane later learned that the ordinance of sealing had been extended to include individuals who were not blood relatives, and would regret her answer to Emma for the rest of her life. After Jane had badgered several church presidents for her endowment, Joseph F. Smith finally arranged to have a special temple ordinance for Jane–which she, of course was not able to attend–which sealed her to Emma and Joseph as a servant. “And still Black Jane is not satisfied,” he wrote.

    What has this got to do with women and the priesthood? Not much, but Jane NEVER gave up asking for the right to participate in temple ordinances. It did not happen for her or for other Blacks in her life time, but it did happen. In a church that claims continued revelation anything can happen. All the arguments here–whether they be scriptural, historical, or emotional–can be silenced by a new revelation. It has happened before, so don’t be so sure that it won’t happen again.

  95. palerobber on April 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    @ Not Adam Greenwood #61

    Huh. It appears that some ne’er-do-well commenter at the famous You Can Leave Kaimi’s Blog, But You Can’t Leave Kaimi’s Blog Alone thread has characterized this post as an expression of anger.

    wow, how have i never noticed this thread before now?

    how sad is it that the only post on Adam’s blog with more than 3 comments is some Kaczynski-esque scribbling detailing his petty grievances and cyber stalking endeavors? and all because T&S has a liberal mormon among its wide array of voices. hilarious.