Guest Post: Ask an All-Star Panel of Mormon Feminist Theologians: Thursday June 5, 2014

By Lorie Winder

“We rejoice that we are privileged to live in this season of the history of the Church when questions are being asked about the priesthood. There is great interest and desire to know and understand more about the authority, power, and blessings associated with the priesthood of God,” wrote General Relief Society President Linda K. Burton in the June, 2014 Ensign. Those of us who support women’s ordination couldn’t agree more.

Like many, we ask:

  • Are there some historical precedents in Mormonism that point to women’s ordination?
  • Which LDS beliefs relate to and support the extension of priesthood to all worthy adult members of the Church?
  • Is priesthood essential for exaltation?
  • Should differences between men and women or among individual members determine whether or not we have access to a full range of opportunities for growth and service?
  • If women appropriately exercise the power and authority of the priesthood, as Elder Oaks has taught, why not priesthood keys and office?
  • Is there room for moral activism in the Church?

Our interest in these and many other questions prompted Ordain Women to launch a series of discussions on women and priesthood, complete with study packets that can be used to facilitate local conversations.

The first two discussions, “See the Symptoms” and “Know the History,” were presented in live Google Hangouts on May 15—the 185th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Priesthood—and May 29. New discussion packets will be released every Thursday through June 26 with an accompanying live Google Hangout.

This Thursday evening at 7:00 PM MDT, we’re pleased that several well-known LDS authors who have written ground-breaking theological/historical articles on women and priesthood are among the participants joining Ordain Women’s Lorie Winder, author of “Power Hungry,” and Mormon Matters’ Dan Wotherspoon for the live third discussion, “Study the Scriptures”:

Don’t miss out. Join the discussion via Ordain Women’s live Google Hangout and add your questions and comments to ours via Twitter.

Previous Discussions: (previously recorded)

Watch Discussion Three live here at 7:00 pm Mountain Time on Thursday, June 5.  Prepare by reading this packet: Study the Scriptures. Ask questions via Twitter @ordainldswomen with the hashtag #ordainwomen or by writing in the comments section of the event at Google +.  (If you press play, you will see a countdown to start time until the hangout actually begins.  Then you may watch live.  You may also watch a recording of the hangout here later, after the live hangout is completed.)


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Announcement: Winter 2014 Issue Now Available

winter 2014 cover This issue explores important themes like the current rhetoric surrounding the modesty discourse from marriage and family therapist Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, as well as a beautiful collection of personal essays and inspired artwork.  Subscribe or read online here.

We also want to notify our readers that this will be the last issue of Exponent II that will be available online without a subscription. Beginning with our Spring 2014 issue on the topic of women’s ordination to the priesthood, we will be offering digital subscriptions to all of our readers. Stay tuned for how to become a digital subscriber in the coming months.
Enjoy Aimee Hickman’s lovely Letter from the Editor in this quarter’s issue.

My parents and I recently went through a trunk of old photographs. Decades caught on celluloid showed my parents’ coming of age in the ’60s and ’70s, and I couldn’t resist teasing them for their fashion choices, including a photo of my newlywed mother wearing an anklelength calico- printed prairie dress.

“What fashion statement were you going for with this one?” I gibed.

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Announcement: Give the Gift of Exponent II This Christmas

Gift of EXII logoExponent II’s Winter issue will come out after Christmas this year, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t give a beloved sister-friend a subscription for Christmas. Order by December 22nd and our staff will send your loved one a card letting them know of their upcoming gift subscription and who they have to thank. Subscribe here today.

Already have a subscription? Consider getting Exponent II’s Habits of Being: Women’s Material Culture for yourself or someone you love.

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Sacred Music: a New Series on The Exponent

sacred musicOn Sunday after our most recent General Conference, I was pooped. The concern for my sisters at Priesthood session on Saturday and a few talks that hadn’t gone quite as I hoped left me feeling depleted. I should have turned off my computer because I only seemed to find things on Facebook and various blogs that made me more upset until I stumbled on Kristine’s post at BCC featuring “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten.” It was a balm in Gilead, and I was reminded how music has the ability to not only help us feel the Spirit but provide comfort in a way that spoken or written words can’t.

With this idea in mind, we’ve started a new Exponent II Pinterest board, “Sacred Music” (you knew we’re on Pinterest, right? Thanks to TopHat we have a variety of categories, including “Feminists of Other Faiths” and “Women in and of the World” as well as every blog post from The Exponent.).

On there, you’ll see the YouTube of the “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten” in Kristine’s post and also “O Divine Redeemer” featured in mraynes’ post, “Ah! Turn Me Not Away.

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Announcement: Midwest Pilgrims Issue (Fall 2013) Now Available

Fall 2013 coverSince it’s the time of year when we all pause for a few moments and commemorate the pilgrims, it seems fitting that Exponent II’s Fall 2013 issue, which has been compiled by the Midwest Pilgrims, should be arriving in hard copy form at your doorstep next week.

Guest editors, Linda Hoffman Kimball and Nancy Harward, have done a lovely job of gathering a variety of voices (including a few of our own Exponent bloggers) to reflect the feel of the Midwest Pilgrims’ Retreat as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of their annual retreat.

Please read their Letter from the Editors below and don’t forget to order your copy here. It’d make a great Christmas present for someone special.


Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

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Announcement: Summer 2013 Temple Issue’s Letter from the Art Editor

Exponent II Magazine_Summer 2013 Edition_Cover PosterIt’s still summer, right?

Exponent II’s long-anticipated temple-themed issue is surely worth the wait. Mormons’ unique culture surrounding our temples and temple worship has made this issue rich with work ranging from humor to heartache.

This issue also has a fantastic Letter from our Art Editor, Margaret. Enjoy!

I was just a baby really, just twenty years old, when I went through the temple for the first time.  I was getting married in three months and had just moved across the country to join my fiancé in Maryland.  For those three months I was living with my future sister-in-law, Julie, and her husband, Karl.  I barely knew them but immediately counted them as kindred spirits and a safe refuge for the faith crisis that was beginning to envelope me.  I walked into their kitchen one evening after an endowment session and blurted out, “Do you think it’s okay to not really like the temple?”

Karl deliberately put down his work, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Absolutely.”  I talked to them both for a long time that evening and they were unfailingly supportive, loving, and calm.  I don’t remember much of what any of us said, but in the years that followed, I returned often to the love and empathy Karl showed when he answered my question.  It took me many years before I could get through an endowment session without crying.  It took prayers of wrestling with God before I could come to a place of peace about my decision to stay in the Church.  But often along that difficult and rewarding journey, when I felt lonely, confused, and angry, I steadied myself by remembering that people I loved and deeply respected thought that my feelings were valid and believed that I still had a place in this Church.

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