So, it looks like Fox News has picked up yesterday’s press releases on the church’s decisions to both broadcast priesthood session live for the first time and deny entry to the women who will be standing at the door asking for admission. “Male-only Conference Session to be Broadcast Live for the First Time.”
It won’t be the first time a woman has stood outside during Priesthood Session after being denied admission. Frances Monson, the deceased wife of President Monson, wanted to hear her husband give his first talk as an Apostle at Priesthood Session in October 1963. According to the Church Newsroom, “Frances tried to stand in the doorway of the Salt Lake Tabernacle to listen to her husband speak, but the ushers wouldn’t allow it, so she stood as near to the window as possible to hear the talk.”
I’ve already been over my opinions on the reactions from the general church membership to Ordain Women’s agitation (see here)
So let’s take a look at what church spokeswoman Ruth Todd had to say about it yesterday:
“It is the hope of the church that the priesthood session will strengthen the men and young men including fathers and sons, and give them the opportunity to gather and receive instruction related to priesthood duties and responsibilities,” church spokeswoman Ruth Todd said Tuesday in a letter to the group, “much the same way parallel meetings are held for sisters, such as the general Relief Society meeting.
“It’s for these reasons that tickets for the priesthood session are reserved for men and young men and we are unable to honor your request for tickets or admission.”
“…much the same way that parallel meetings are held for sisters, such as the General Relief Society Meeting.”
I’d like to take a moment to explore the word “parallel” as used in this context.
Priesthood Session: held twice a year as an official part of Conference.
General Relief Society Meeting: held once a year, and is not considered to be a part of General Conference, as illustrated by the Conference schedule and press release published yesterday. The Conference schedule mentions all four general sessions and Priesthood Session, but does not include a mention of the General Relief Society Meeting. The press release states that “Five sessions will be held Saturday and Sunday, 5–6 October 2013, in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.” It’s pretty clear that even though the meetings are supposed to be parallel, the church does not consider that women have their own session of General Conference.
Priesthood Session: Created for men (as we now see for sure from the church press release), presided over by men, all-male speakers, all-male attendance. Having the priesthood is not required to attend. You just have to be male.
General Relief Society Meeting: Created for women, presided over by men, male and female speakers with a male keynote speaker, bishops and Stake presidents may attend.
The men go to a Conference session to hear men called by men speak about men with other men. The women’s session is not parallel. A parallel session would be an official part of General Conference in every way, held in the same manner at the same frequency as the men’s meeting, with parallel rules for admission, with women presiding, with all women speakers, with speakers and female authorities being called by other women. This statement is not “agitation” or “contention” on my part. It is a plain statement of the facts according to the dictionary definition of ‘parallel’, which is “1 (adjective) side by side and having the same distance continually between them , 2 (noun) a person or thing that is similar or analogous to another.” The men’s and women’s meetings are not parallel, in execution or in implication.
People keep telling me that I hold the priesthood jointly with my husband. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean (and I’m pretty sure no one else does either, since it’s not church doctrine), but apparently it’s not enough to get me a seat at Priesthood Session or even my own Conference session. Others tell me that I have priesthood in the temple (I don’t know what exactly that is supposed to mean either, and neither can they, because again, there is no doctrinal statement on it), but those same people call me “stupid”, “evil”, and “crazy” for wanting to attend the priesthood session.
Still others insist that motherhood is the parallel of priesthood, leaving out the Young Women and single and childless women, as well as undermining the sacred calling of Fatherhood and mistaking mortal theories for the word of God, as there is no doctrine or revelation to back this idea. Yet where is the parallel Motherhood Session of General Conference? Where is the talk of how husbands share the Motherhood with their wives, and where is the month of Priesthood and Relief Society lessons dedicated to defining and supporting the Motherhood? There are no answers, because there is no parallel. As much as we might want to create one, there is no explanation for why women don’t have the priesthood, and no revelation stating that motherhood is anything like it. President Hinckley said himself, as quoted on mormon.org, “Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way.” That is the closest thing we have to a doctrinal explanation of the way things currently are. Trying to create parallels where there are none is causing more chaos and magnifying tension between members, not to mention putting the theories and philosophies of humans in place of the actual word of God.
It occurred to me the other day that The Family: A Proclamation to the World doesn’t even contain the word “priesthood.” For all the talk of women’s roles and men’s roles, and how asking President Monson to pray about women’s ordination or trying to get a ticket to Priesthood Session as a woman is blasphemy against the God’s Plan For The Ladies, there is literally no revelation-not even in THE document on gender roles-that associates priesthood with men’s purpose and “no priesthood” with woman’s. Men use their priesthood to help them do the things listed in the Proclamation, to help their families, to fill and magnify their callings, to comfort others, strengthen their own faith, and make the world a better place. And for women, the natural parallel to that would be…?
The problem with presuming you’re entitled to the priesthood merely because you want it is that it suggests that God and Jesus are sexist. Jesus did not choose female apostles because women did not hold the priesthood. Now, if He knew that women were supposed to hold the priesthood, He would have given it to them and chosen Mary and Martha as apostles (my personal picks). He didn’t worry about what might offend someone. He just did what was right. He did not choose female apostles–and He is not sexist. I know some claim there were two female apostles, but of course, there are not. The Bible lists all of the apostles again and again and no women are on the list. The priesthood is not the point of the gospel–it is nothing more than one more way to serve God. I think it is better for our salvation to serve in the ways we’re called rather than spending our time fussing over what we don’t have. This is true whether it’s priesthood or a mansion or a new car or a child. The point is to serve–not how to serve. (And the motherhood thing is often misused. The real point of that analogy is to prove that God does assign gender-based roles. Only women have the potential to be mothers and this is not discriminatory to men. It is merely the role He chose for them.)
I didn’t say I was entitled to the priesthood just because I wanted. I said that that the Relief Society General Meeting and Priesthood Session are not parallel, and that neither are motherhood and priesthood. I quoted President Hinckley saying that there is no explanation for why women don’t have the priesthood. I encouraged people to stick to doctrine instead of making up their own explanations.I pointed out that fatherhood is a sacred responsibility, given only to men, and that it is the true parallel to motherhood. To say otherwise is to undermine good fathers the world over, the vast majority of which do not have the priesthood. I explained things logically, discussed them from the words of the church’s spokeswoman yesterday who said the meetings were “parallel,” and did not claim entitlement to any sort of power and authority.
There’s quite a lot of scholarship on women in early Christianity, including running house churches, acting as apostles and deacons, and exercising ecclesiastical authority.
Here’s a good overview: http://signaturebooks.com/2013/08/excerpt-the-challenge-of-honesty-essays-for-latter-day-saints-by-frances-lee-menlove/#women
I think it rather petty to pick about the choice of ‘parallel’ to describe the RS meeting and Gen Priesthood. I’m sorry if some women are hurt they’ll have to watch it at home or a chapel like the rest of us. But I’m glad some little Squeakin won’t be denied a seat, to finally go with his dad and be at Priesthood session in the same room as the Prophet, because some women wanted to be there. I find this just.
It will be interesting to see if this topic is spoken of in Conference. I’ve NEVER felt a desire for more responsibility, nor felt denied any blessings because I don’t hold it. I frankly don’t get that. It’s clear our genders are different, therefore gender roles are different – that’s abundantly clear when you see how men and women organize and run things. My personal experience is that most women feel the Spirit differently (better? easier?) than most men. We also serve more readily. My husband found as bishop and as Stk President always found, if you want something done, ask the Sisters; he looks up to women tremendously.
If the Lord wants to make a change, he’ll tell President Monson. I’ve no doubt he’s the Lord’s chosen at this time. The Spirit has made that abundantly clear to me on more than one occasion.
Actually, Robin, men who have actually attended Priesthood session say that there are consistently empty seats even after all the people in overflow have been seated. And the numbers are likely to go down even more now that the men can watch from home. So chances that a “Squeakin” won’t get to sit with his dad are pretty remote, whether women are seated or not.
So you never felt a desire for more responsibility. Do you think the prophet desired the responsibility? Dis your bishop? If they did, wouldn’t we call that unrighteous?
So you never felt denied anything for not holding the priesthood. That’s you. And you should understand that not everyone is you. Christ suffered all we have suffered so that he could understand us, advocate for us, and comfort us. Shouldn’t you be striving to reach the same understanding of your brothers and sisters, and their suffering, rather than scorning them for it?
As for the fact that the Spirit has made it “abundantly clear” to you “on more than one occasion” that President Monson is the prophet…me too! That has no bearing on whether or not it is okay for women and men to be asking him to pray about women’s ordination. The Spirit made it abundantly clear to me on more than one occasion as I was writing this article that I was doing the right thing, since I normally try to be more diplomatic and I was hesitating. I was given the nudge to go forward. And just because you are not feeling the same nudge does not mean you can say that what I felt wasn’t real, and good.
Now, you are acting according to the Spirit in your knowledge that President Monson is the head of this church, and, while I can offer the same testimony, I can still act according to the Spirit and do my part to further God’s truth. Emma Smith looked at the tobacco stains on her floor and told Joseph, “there should be a revelation on this,” and we got the Word of Wisdom. People asking for a revelation on women’s place in the church aren’t doing anything more than that. This sort of requesting and active participation is nothing new. It’s how the church was built.
I think that when Sister Ruth Todd says “parallel”, she means one running on top of the other.
Well, that would fit the definition of maintaining a constant distance between them…
It did occur to me that the point she was making is that the two would never intersect.
I doubt that a simple press release was meant to be that deeply nuanced.
Awesome, Heidi! The critics are uniformed and make no sense-but are good at regurgitating tired arguments. I’m so weary of hearing them.
Very well written. Kudos.
Nice job, Heidi.
Well done! That’s one of the most effective uses of “…?” I’ve seen in a while. And I hadn’t heard the story about Frances Monson–that was really sad.
The purpose is parallel, that doesn’t mean the implementation, press release etc. has to be identical, that is just being petty. So what if there is one General RS meeting and General YW meeting? At least half of every General Priesthood meeting is aimed at the YM so what difference does it really make? I think it is very sexist of you to suggest that the women’s meetings are somehow degraded by having men preside over it.
And it is God that said the priesthood is for men. D&C 20 uses only male pronouns referring to priesthood holders, no female pronouns. Also, in Moses 4:22 and Gen 3:16 God very clearly says to women: “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.”
Don’t like that? Take it up with God.
Did I say the press release had to be identical? No, I did not. I also never said anything had to be identical, did I? So please don’t say I said it.
I find it very odd that you are accusing me of being sexist for suggesting the women be able to preside over their own meeting like the men do theirs. It seems a lot more sexist that they can’t. Also, you are once again putting words in my mouth. Search that section of my article for the word “degraded” or anything like it. Did you find it? No, because I did not say the men’s presence degraded the women’s meeting. In fact, I’ve always been excited to hear an GA give a talk just for me and my sisters. But the fact remains that men speak at the women’s meeting, and women do not speak at the men’s. We’re discussing parallels, and this is certainly not parallel. I actually think that sending some women to address the men, and simply making sure that women are the keynote speakers in their own meeting, is a far better idea than kicking the men out. God intends that men and women compliment each other, so wisdom from both female and male leaders is appropriate in both meetings.
As for your extremely poor use of scriptural references.
ALL of the scriptures are directed at men, not women. Unfortunately, they were all written in times when women weren’t considered people on the same level as men, D&C included. To cite all-male pronouns as a reason for all-male priesthood holds no water at all.
As for your use of scriptures from Genesis to prove women are supposed to rule over men (now who is the sexist one, again? How many times have church leaders told us this is not how a marriage should function?), a quick look at the Hebrew proves your interpretation wrong. Hebrew, like many other languages, uses a different form of the verb when it is being used as a command. In these verses, God is not using the command forms as he tells Eve that her husband will rule over her. It’s the difference between commanding someone, “You will give me that cookie!” and telling someone, “Since you baked it for me, I know you will give me that cookie.” God is not stating a commandment in these verses. I’ve confirmed that with multiple people who are well-educated in Hebrew. God was most likely stating what would happen as the natural consequence of Eve and Adam living in a fallen state; more prophecy than commandment. (Note here as well that God is speaking to Eve, and makes no mention of her descendants. Many scholars and religious authorities have theorized that those verses were never meant to be applied to all women in the first place.) Misinterpretation of that verse has been used as an excuse to abuse women for thousands of years. God issued no commandment that women should be in pain, and no commandment that men should rule over them. Using that verse to say that women can’t have the priesthood is akin to people who opposed the development for pain relief to be used in childbirth, arguing that labor pain was decreed by God. As far as I can tell, every consequence listed in those verses is meant for us to overcome. Unless you think women shouldn’t be allowed pain relief in childbirth?
The book of Moses was not written in Hebrew, Joseph received it as revelation of what the first part of Genesis originally was, correctly translated. As it says, as a consequence of the fall there is a patriarchal order in place. Men can hold the priesthood, women can not. Men are the head of the household, women are not unless there is no husband/father present. Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands and husbands are commanded to submit to Christ (not their wife). The fact that God has decreed a patriarchal order to things is evident in scripture, in the temple covenants, in the policies of the church, in the organization of the priesthood etc. etc. and it is not a matter of culture, it is a matter of what God has instructed.
Also, I’ll believe that that verse only applies to Eve when I no longer have to eat by the sweat of my brow and my yard and garden stop bringing forth weeds.
Likewise, D&C 20 was a revelation from the Lord, and what the Lord says is not a product of 19th century culture. Given what the culture was then, the Lord would know he would need to specifically state women could be ordained if that is what he wanted, but instead he gave instructions indicating otherwise using pronouns that are exclusively. That is relevant no matter how much you wish it to be otherwise.
The fact that some have used that verse in Genesis to justify unrighteous dominion doesn’t invalidate the truth that God decreed a patriarchal order. The fact that men are commanded to not to use unrighteous dominion doesn’t invalidate their place of rulership, in fact it confirms it.
Trying to stretch this out into having some kind of thing against pain killers for women giving birth is just weird. Pain killers don’t try to roll back what God said, it is just a way of dealing that that reality. You need to find a way to deal with the reality that God is not going to clear the way for you to be ordained to the priesthood any more than he is going to make women’s bodies change so giving birth becomes easy and naturally painless.
Everything that you point to as ‘not parallel’ with the General Priesthood meeting is superficial and unimportant. None of that would have any effect on the messages given. You are focused on status that conforms with worldly standards.
And yes, if (I said if) having men on the stand or speaking at the General RS/YW meetings bugs you, that is sexist. It shouldn’t be a negative to you at all. Likewise it shouldn’t make any difference to you that your Bishop, HT, Stake Pres etc. are men as well. It should make no difference to you that God has set out the priesthood to be for men. The only reason it does in your mind is because you have bought into the worlds concept of how things should be rather than God’s.
Here are some examples of other scriptures in D&C that only reference the male gender. Shall we interpret these scriptures as saying that only men should abstain from strong drink, or only men may be forgiven for adultery, or only men must be baptized?
I do not find it compelling when people say that because certain scriptures about priesthood only reference men, obviously God only wants men in the priesthood. That is not the way we usually interpret scripture.
D&C 89:5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
D&C 42:24-25 Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out. But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive;
D&C 112:29 And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
I don’t think the agenda of this post is to debate whether or not the priesthood and relief society general sessions are parallel, but since that’s what the title implies, that’s the point I’ll disagree with.
To meet the definition of parallel, something only has to be similar. It doesn’t require exactness as you seem to suggest. While the meetings are not exactly the same, they hold enough similarities to be considered parallel.
•Both are considered a special meeting (different than a weekly sacrament meeting).
•Congregation consists of single gender (yeah there might be a man or two scattered throughout the RS meeting, but it’s more accurate to say the congregation is female than to say it’s a mixed congregation).
•The speakers are “high ranking” church officials
•The topics are geared toward a particular gender with talks about how to better fulfill the expectations our Heavenly Father has of us.
•The sessions are broadcast worldwide
•The sessions are held in similar locations
•Spouses are asked to support their significant others so they can attend the session.
•Both sessions are held on Saturday
•Attendees are encourage to dress in Sunday attire.
If someone was arguing that the meetings are exactly the same, I would disagree. But I don’t think using the word parallel is even a remote stretch. But again, that’s not the real agenda here anyway.
Please, BikeToad, tell me what my “agenda” really is then. I’m sincerely curious.
I did not suggest meetings had to be exactly the same. The points I brought up are pretty broad ones, with significant meaning. Things like being asked to dress in Sunday attire or what day the meeting is being held on are pretty much insignificant compared to having a man sent in to “preside”. The Relief Society was originally organized to run independent of the men. There were certainly no General Authorities presiding at their meetings. It wasn’t until Priesthood Correlation in the early 70’s that the women’s independence was taken away, and their organization was made an Auxiliary “under the Priesthood.” I suggested that in order for the meetings to be parallel, the women need to be given a parallel degree of control over their their own session, and that it would indeed have to be an official session. That’s it. That’s all I said. I did not say that the speakers all had to show up in the same color shirts with identical flowers in their hair, as you seem to be insinuating. And once again (since you mentioned it twice), I would really like to know what you think my agenda is. I was very clear about my intents in the post.
“…the women need to be given a parallel degree of control over their own session, and that it would indeed have to be an official session. That’s it. That’s all I said”
Perhaps my confusion is because you did in fact say more than this. You suggested that for the meetings to be parallel, they needed to be held twice a year, be considered part of general conference, and be open to female attendee’s. And I would disagree with these description of these as being with “significant meaning”- which is why I included insignificant items like dress code, venue, day of the week, etc.
You also spend about a third of your post talking about the lack of parallel between the priesthood and motherhood. This is what led to my comment about having an agenda other than the use of the term parallel.
But hey, who am I to say what your agenda is. If your only desire was to show the inappropriate use of the word parallel… I just didn’t follow the line of reasoning. I’ll take your word for it.
So my agenda is to say that priesthood an motherhood are not parallel? I say that repeatedly right in the article. Why are you acting like it’s a big scary secret?
The meetings don’t have to be exactly the same, no, but it is the way that they’re different that speaks volumes.
As far as, “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children and thy desire shall be to this husband, and he shall rule over thee.” How interesting that this particular quote from Genesis which used to be part of the endowment, was removed in 1990.
Heidi, not only is the original post one of the most intelligent and thoughtful pieces I have read on the topic, but your responses to the commenters are genius. You are doing great good for our faith. Thank you!
I can definitely see both sides of this issue, but the only comment I really want to bring up is that the RS meeting talks are typically printed in the Conference issue of the Ensign along with the Priesthood and general session talks. I feel like that does contribute to its status as part of GC, even if it’s not advertised that way through those particular channels. I think in my church meetings, it has typically been presented as part of Conference. Additionally, while the RS mtg is only once per year, the other six months it’s replaced by the YW mtg, so you could argue that with the men getting two mixed meetings and the women getting two individualized meetings, we do get equal time.
You definitely have a point. While I do not believe the sessions need to take place at exactly the same times (as you are right that we really do probably get about the same amount of time for both men and women), there really needs to be an official incorporation of the RS Broadcast as a Conference session. It’s kind of like the Let Women Pray thing. No one really sees a reason it shouldn’t be happening, so why not just make it official?
I never understand why some people feel like we have to live in this gender-less world, where one sex is slighted if they don’t enjoy the benefits and privileges that the other sex enjoys.
Are their women who get upset that their restrooms don’t come with a urinal?
Are their men out there who get offended that we don’t have a father’s lounge in church equal to a mother’s lounge?
Are their some who fault God or Jesus Christ for not calling more women to lead his people in Biblical times, or not calling women to be Apostles?
Those who suggest women should, where possible, stay home and raise and nurture their children are viewed as sexist. Likewise, those who suggest women shouldn’t fight on the front lines are also viewed as sexist.
Can we just not accept the fact that men and women are different? Women are clearly more beautiful than men (in my opinion). They have with them their own unique qualities, talents, and strengths.
I’m not saying that women won’t ever hold the priesthood like men do but the Brethren have spoken on this matter, and until we see them address the issue like they did with the blacks in 1978, I am and will remain comfortable with the policy. Our roles, like our genitalia, is unique and different and no one should suggest that one is better or more important than the other.
Can you point out to me where I said the world should be genderless? That would certainly be a scary world, and sad, so if something like that worked it’s way into my pos somehow when I wasn’t looking, I’d like to be informed.
…No? That’s not actually in there?
That’s right! I didn’t say everything should be gender neutral, or that we shouldn’t have separate bathrooms for men and women, and when the men start nursing babies with their breasts I will be very happy to give them a father’s lounge (what do you think we’re doing in there? Painting our toenails?) I said that the RS Broadcast and Priesthood meetings are not parallel, because the women don’t preside over their own, and the men speak at the women’s but the women don’t speak at the mens, and also that motherhood=priesthood is not doctrinal.
I didn’t say a word denying that men and women each have their own strengths. I did not say that men and women are not different. In fact, I think that a female speaker or two would offer an excellent additional perspective to the priesthood meeting. We’re different so that we can complete each other; not so that we can exaggerate the differences. Making men’s and women’s meetings truly “parallel” has nothing to do with saying that they are not different. Calling out the fact that motherhood=priesthood is no doctrinal has nothing to do with saying men and women are not different. If you have comments that are relevant to what I actually said, they will be welcome.
1st of all, I never implied we should have unisex bathrooms, only that the ladies room has no urinals. Just as their are no fathers lounges in LDS churches, not that we need them to breastfeed.
And I never said that women not holding the priesthood was “doctrine”. I’ll repeat what I said to be clear.
“I’m not saying that women won’t ever hold the priesthood like men do but the Brethren have spoken on this matter, and until we see them address the issue like they did with the blacks in 1978, I am and will remain comfortable with the policy.”
The point you are making is that suggesting that women not be allowed to speak at the Priesthood session while men speak at the relief society session is unfair. Then what?
Do we have “Time out for Men” like we have “Time out for Women”? Where does it end?
The motherhood = Priesthood is based not on their unique role, but rather in importance. Mothers are co-creators with God, and play a much more important role than even men. Oh sure, we are needed in the creation process too but it is the mom that carries the child, and brings them into the world. Babies are dependent on their mothers for basic survival. God gave the role of Priesthood bearers to men, and the role of co-creators of human life to women.
You are right, women and the priesthood is not a doctrinal matter and certainly could change someday. But there is no biblical precedent for women leading God’s people like Moses or Noah did. There were no women Apostles. And until they change the policy, I am very comfortable with where it is today.
Actually, Deborah led Israel as one of the judges, and Junia was a female apostle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junia
Joseph Smith promised the Relief Society that they would become a “kingdom of priests”.
Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
I see where she was of note among the apostles, I don’t see where they say she WAS one of the Apostles.
Are there any modern Prophets who have identified her as being one of the twelve after Christ?
I must admit I was not aware of Deborah, though her being a Judge does not mean that she was a Priesthood leader.
Certainly Mary Magdalene would have or could have been an Apostle if the Savior allowed such a thing.
Jason, if you continue reading the quote Edward Jones posted, Jospeh Smith said, “I will make of this [Relief] Society a Kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day, as in Paul’s day.” Clearly, Joseph Smith was of the impression that the female priesthood holders described by Paul were actually priesthood holders.
Since we are debating the parallel conference sessions, can we also address this equally important issue.
Why do girls get to sleep in cabins (that sometimes even have electricity) at girls camp while the boys sleep in tents or under the stars at scout camp?
If we are going to have parallel camps for boys and girls, shouldn’t the boys have cabins with electricity too?
Jason, if you care, ask the people in charge. Personally, when they tried to stick me and the other Young Women in cabins with electricity, we hated it and next year went back to comping with no electricity and no running water. You’re making generalizations based on your personal experience, I guess, but the system you’re referring to doesn’t actually exist.
By suggesting that they stuck you in cabins with electricity while young men were in tents only confirms my point. Women were given cushy quarters while the men were not. You may have hated it, others may have liked it. The point is that it certainly wasn’t a parallel camping conditions.
If boys want to sleep in cabins with electricity, why not let them? What is so scandalous about listening to a group of people who are uncomfortable with their situation in the church and making them more comfortable? That seems like the kind of thing Jesus would do.
When I was in high school the boys scouts in my ward went to a camp that had electricity in cabins and running water. The girls always camped in tents at girl’s camp. What you’re talking about here is not a “general” experience and isn’t really appropriate for this conversation on GENERAL conference.
I just want to say I’m a little embarrassed to be a Mormon male right now. These commenters do not represent all Mormon men. I happen to know a number of faithful, even conservative, LDS guys who have no problem with female equality in the church including ordination.
Obviously the differences between women’s and men’s general church meetings are significant. And it should not be too surprising that members of the more powerful group in the church will defend the status quo and wonder what all the complaining is about.
For me, it is HUGE that Priesthood Session is a strictly male-only space that is part of General Conference, whereas the Relief Society Meeting is not a female-only space and is not part of General Conference.
If these differences are so negligible that they’re not worth worrying about, why not just change them? Problem solved.
Thanks for speaking up.
Exponent II April-
I read the quote. I’ve been to the temple, I have heard the phrase and understand that we are taught about someday being God’s and Goddesses, Priests and Priestesses. So the question that arises from that is, “does that not mean that women will hold the Priesthood?”
As I have said before, I don’t know what that means. Can that happen without the priesthood? Who knows.
What I did say and will say again is this.
The Church and it’s leaders time and again have not allowed women to hold the Priesthood and have gone further by speaking out against it. Could that change in the future? Perhaps so, just as it did for blacks in 1978. Should it change? I can’t say.
But if it never, ever, ever changes and things remain as they are today forever because Christ intended them to be that way, would that be okay with me? – ABSOLUTELY!!!!
Yes, yes, and so many more! Thank you for these blogs, for these websites! I feel like finally there are those who are representing my voice and countless other women! I feel so grateful to discover there are others whom have the same views and beliefs and that having them does not make me “evil”, “stupid”, or unfaithful etc…..
This is all so controversial for me. My people just received the priesthood! What purpose would a woman need the priesthood for anyway? How would it bring her closer to Christ?
It would be nice to give blessings with my wife. I would do it now if it was not instructed for us to do otherwise since I would be using her faith in conjunction with mine to act as voice and hear the words of God to speak to the person being blessed.
It is frowned upon. She will not do it anyway.
I would always have a companion to bless with in case of emergency. Though it really doesn’t matter since whether it is three minutes or three days the will of the Lord is the same.
I guess what I am trying to say is it seems that the point is being missed. It was never meant for men and women to have everything equally. It was meant for us to be of equal importance only.
Men and women are not equal. Men are generally stronger, larger and more agressive that women generally are. It is a natural part of human evolution.
Women generally are more compassionate, pretty and helpful than are men. I trust a woman before I trust a man, which is why a woman spy works best.
Women terrorist work best too because we don’t expect it. It is not common for women to behave that way.
Also, whatever women are using to perform ordinances in the temple has some connection to the priesthood. Eventually women will be given more ordinance work in my opinion. I doubt women will ever be given priesthood though.
People said the same thing about Blacks getting priesthood, but the difference is, that was a mistake. It was a policy started because of convenience that took a revelation to stop. Not giving women the priesthood was and act that existed from the beginning. The church actually had to make a policy to stop giving Black men the priesthood, which again I say was a mistake.
Apparently God sees no need to give women priesthood. By modern terms that makes Him a sexist God.
I know He isn’t racist, but we, His children, sure are sometimes.
It wouldn’t hurt to ask Him though. If it means that much, we each can get personal revelation. Why not ask the source. We may be surprised what He says about it.
Most of the arguments against giving your people the priesthood were almost identical to the ones you just used against giving it to women. “People said the same thing about Blacks getting the priesthood, but the difference is, that was a mistake…apparently God sees no need to give women the priesthood.” Mr. Johnson, and were you to look into the history you would see strong indications that Joseph Smith had intended to give women the priesthood, and certainly saw them as having more power, and a more active role in the church, than they have currently. Do you think the priesthood and temple blessings came to your people softly, easily, on a cloud of sudden and direct revelation? People fought for those things for decades. They risked their church membership. They fought the same way people are fighting for women’s ordination now, and there is very clear record of it, and of infighting among the General Authorities as well.