Don’t Tell Me I Don’t Understand the Priesthood

Sad Clown Girl by Cris Motta

Last week’s lesson in Relief Society was on the Priesthood — always a real favorite for an all-women organization.  I was already struggling because Phred had gotten a head start on what is turning into a multi-day “I won’t nap but I WILL fuss and scream” binge.  So by the third hour of church I was feeling pretty done.  But I wanted to give it a fair shake, and interact with adults.

The teacher opened the lesson by sharing that she had had many friends in the “Ordain Women” movement and that she had struggled with many questions and difficulties relating to the priesthood — I appreciated this vulnerability.  She said that her answer was that in time when she went to the temple those questions would be resolved, and they were.  I’m afraid that if I say “I’m happy for her” it’ll sound petulant and insincere.  But I’ve also had a total of 15 minutes this entire day not engaged in child care of a fairly draining nature so crossness is where I am, with no reflection on the poor teacher.  She then invited the class to share experiences or feelings relating to the priesthood, and many did so.  Again, I appreciate this approach to teaching that allows for many people to offer their own opinions.

The thing is, there seems to be only one approved opinion.  This is no surprise to me of course, I’ve been LDS my whole life and I’m nothing if not aware of the party line. I thought about sharing my point of view.  I even raised my hand.  But after hearing comment after comment that slowly wore me down when I’m already exhausted and frail I just didn’t have it in me to be the only one saying what I have to say.  I looked around the room and thought, “I don’t think anyone in this room wants to hear this, and I don’t feel strong enough to say it.”  So I took the excuse of my fussy cross baby and quietly walked out.  Perhaps I missed a lesson that really would have met my needs.  But sitting on the lawn with my baby felt like the safer choice.  However, I keep stewing and unless I write I won’t be able to siphon off the feelings of anger.

Here is what I perceived to be the gist of the comments and the perspective of my sisters:  The priesthood is wonderful (many examples of blessings etc.).  Women (“educated” women singled out) who want the priesthood or have a problem with male-only ordination don’t understand. The truth is that men and women both hold the priesthood.  Or maybe it’s that both men and women have to ask another man if they want a blessing, men don’t bless themselves, so really it’s the same for men and women.  Having a man who holds the priesthood in the home, even if he is a 12-year-old boy, is wonderful and important.

Here’s my deal.  I’m educated, and male-only ordination causes me pain, and I’m not ignorant or unable to understand or unfamiliar with the Temple.  The Temple brings peace on this issue to a lot of women.  It makes things worse for me.  My feelings and experience with this are valid and are not a product of my inability to understand truth.

I have been through hell bringing my children to earth.  I have paid a terribly high price in physical hardship and suffering.  My mental and emotional health are in tatters and it’s getting worse, not better.  I walked this horrible road largely alone because nobody could carry any of this burden for me.  And I am not allowed to give my child a name and a blessing.  I’m not even allowed to stand in the circle, to hold my baby while my husband blesses him in front of our congregation.  When Pip was blessed, the Bishop, though not invited to join the circle as a particular friend, just did so as a matter of course.  He could casually get up and elbow in, but I sat back on our pew.  The only way I was able to cope with this awful exclusion with Pip was to tell myself that I simply do not care about baby blessings.  Indifference became the defense mechanism I needed in order to face the fact that the church sees priesthood and motherhood as equivalent.  I tearfully told Chris on the way home from church that I’d be very glad to swap — he can vomit and vomit and vomit and then be up all night while a child gnaws on his nipples.  I’ll do the snuggling and naming and blessing part if they’re so interchangeable and equivalent.

I will do the lion’s share of rearing my sons in the Gospel.  I say the most prayers with them.  I am the one reading scripture stories and explaining about Jesus.  I’m the one singing primary songs and teaching them to our sons.  This is not an aspersion on my husband, nor is it an avowal of my “role” — I am home.  This ends up being something I’m doing more.  But I will not be allowed to baptize my sons.  I won’t be allowed to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  But it goes further — I’m not allowed to be a witness.  I’m not allowed to stand in the circle.  I’m not even allowed to conduct the meeting.

And so it will go on and on and on.  At no point in my son’s lives will I have any relevant role in any ordinance.  If I had daughters I could possibly help them in the Temple.  But as a mother of sons I will not be allowed to sit by them, or talk to them, or instruct them in any way.  I will not sit at my husband’s side, co-witness of the wedding.

To me it seems of a piece with pregnancy — I’m good enough to do all the endless heartbreaking soul-crushing work of preparing the way, but at every crowning moment and milestone I am to sit invisible and silent on the sidelines.

It feels really fantastic.

So don’t tell me that I don’t understand, or that men and women share the same access to the privileges of the priesthood, or if I just thought about ordinances I’d feel a lot better.  I understand all too well.  My access is not equal.  And thinking about ordinances makes me feel really, really, really sad.

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64 Responses

  1. Happy Hubby says:

    EM – Beautifully written sadness. Many of us guys don’t understand this either. It doesn’t make sense – and if fact it feels wrong in my gut and in my mind.

  2. nicoletaylor491 says:

    I have been one of the women who said the party line. My whole life I have never had a desire for the priesthood. I have been grateful for it, relied on it but never desired it. until….my husband had a crisis of faith. Now I see everything in a different light. It doesn’t seem fair that I can’t give my kids blessings when they need or want them, or baptize them. My heart hurts. So thank you for sharing your perspective here. I hope that as more people share a different perspective we will become more open to the idea as a people and be ready for a change.

  3. Patricia I Johnson says:

    This clarified many things for me. I am still pretty acculturated with the party line (I’m 67). But you make excellent points. Lots of food for thought.

  4. Amelia Christensen says:

    I still don’t know how I feel, to be honest. But I appreciate your thoughts, and I wish we could have these discussions openly without being called out as troublesome or “enemies.”

    At the very least, I would love to see women more included in meetings, decision and policy making, and I 100% think women should be advocates for other women when it comes to confessing sexual sins to men, particularly young girls and teens.

    This has given me a lot to think about, though, and I thank you!

  5. I thank you, and so many others like you, for helping me see this through your eyes and feel it through your heart. It’s too easy for me to be complacent. It’s too easy for those who don’t feel the pain to discount yours, and accuse you of “not understanding.” I wish that, as a church, we could stop pretending that everything was so easy.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    I’m feeling complicit with every sentiment and sentence. At 74, 3 boys, alone and independent, I’m still trying. Walking out, sublimating, and avoiding are my coping strategies. I love the Savior and long to emulate him, but a safe place in the Utah congregation culture eludes me. Thanks for your truthful comments.

  7. Angela C says:

    I feel the same. I am not even remotely interested in a lesson about how awesome the Priesthood is, and my coping mechanism is just to disengage.

  8. Sarah says:

    I am so sorry for your pain. That pain is why I left in Nov 2016, and while lonelier because I need to figure out who I am again and what I personally believe, I am much more at peace with who I am becoming and the social structure I choose to inhabit and sustain. I will never let anyone make me “less” again, and you don’t have to, either. Remember; “Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness” -Alejandro Jodorowsky

    • KB says:

      I am in the process of leaving (I think) and I’m still torn between two worlds and struggling to identify who I am without being defined as “Mormon.” I appreciate you sharing here. I’d love to chat a little bit about your experience if that’s something you’d be open to. If not, I totally understand. 🙂

  9. That was an amazing essay. AMAZING. I hold out a shred of a tattered hope that some day young people like you will rise up and demand change. One of the biggest reasons why I left the Church was the never-ending, grinding, patriarchy – for all of the reasons that you have so eloquently expressed. Patriarchy follows us everywhere, from birth, to marriage, to even death.
    I gave the Church fifty years of faithful service. 50 years. Church ‘authorities’ insert themselves into our lives at every opportunity and call it the ‘Priesthood’. I regret that I didn’t speak up, speak out, and shout from the rooftops.
    I could go on, but I don’t want to ruin or detract from your essay. I want to reach out to you. Hug you. Wipe away your tears. Do your dishes. Hold your babies. Tell you that your feelings and emotions have merit and legitimacy. And that with a few more like you, the women of the Church will stop silently sitting at the back of the bus.
    Onward and upward my young friend. Don’t let the ‘patriarchy’ grind you down.

  10. AP says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have many of the same feelings of pain and frustration. The hopelessness can fee suffocating.

  11. Katie says:

    My husband never understood how I felt about the priesthood until my son mentioned that he was going to ask his grandpa to baptize him. He had an a-ha moment. And it didn’t seem like a big deal at all to me.

    • Andrew R. says:

      Katie,
      Please don’t take this as a reflection on your husband or your son’s grandpa – I don’t know them.

      However, if this was my son, or one of my grandsons, I would be spending more time wondering about why the boy was bypassing his father than thinking about what it must feel like for a mother.

      How would your child choose if he could choose between you or his father?
      What if all the children wanted only one parent?

      Fact is, no matter how you do it, someone will be left feeling left out.

      • But this way, it is always the woman who is left out. Like you said, men like yourself don’t spend time worrying about what it feels like for mothers. These exclusive polices reflect that men are in charge and that men aren’t thinking about women’s feelings.

        How would the child choose? Maybe he would have his mother baptize him and his father confirm him, or vice versa. (How convenient that there are two ordinances happening on that same day!) Maybe their first child would choose the mother, and their next would choose the father. Maybe, like you said, every child would choose the father (exactly what usually happens now with mothers excluded, so no harm no foul) or maybe every child would choose the mother, and fathers would learn to be happy watching from the sidelines like wives have done for over a hundred years. Men tell us it shouldn’t bother us women to just watch, so why should it bother you men?

        You are right that no matter how you do it, someone could be left out, but why should that someone always be the woman?

      • Andrew R. says:

        And yet no one here seems to give a single thought to men who can not put their child to their breast and feed them. I have to sit and watch! I am a spare part in this beautiful sharing. And I am not being facetious.

        My wife carried the baby we lost at birth for 43 weeks. She developed a relationship with him, had a connection I never had. He did not draw breath, there was no blessing. I did not have that connection. Her loss, nineteen years later, is still greater than mine because of the blessing of that connection.

        “Male and female, created he them”. Now as Latter-day Saints we have a better idea of what creation means. It is an organisation of “stuff”. We are an organisation of spiritual stuff. Male and female – we are different, and nothing without the other eternally.

        I agree that this difference has led some men to abuse that priesthood, and that is wrong. And it appears from posts here that in many places the Saints are not as enlightened as they are in the UK – where women do hold sway, are listened to and are not without a voice. I hope that extends to all places. But women holding the priesthood is not what will change this, attitudes will – Christlike ones.

        There is a policies which I believe bring this into perspective.
        I will not quote the policies – rather I will paraphrase them for sake of time.

        1. We are not to baptise fathers and wait for wife and child baptisms a week later so that the man may hold the priesthood and baptise his family.

        2. No matter the fact that I baptised my son, confirmed him and ordained him four times, and had been an ordinance worker for 23 years, I was not allowed to perform any of the initiatory ordinances on him, or officiate on his endowment session, or introduce him, or receive him, at the veil.

        In both cases men sit by and watch others do things – and the “church” doesn’t care.

      • debo says:

        I had my grandfather confirm me (at my father’s suggestion) because he was not in great health and only ended up living another two years after that. There are as many reasons for choices as there are people, and I certainly wasn’t “bypassing my father” for this ordinance.

      • Katie says:

        Its been a while since I’ve been on this site. Andrew, simply put, my son said, “Huh. Dad gets to baptize all the kids. Its been a while since Grandpa baptized anyone. I bet he would think that was cool.” Thanks for being concerned about our family dynamics.

        April said it best–the fact is, someone will be left out. Life isn’t equal. Some kids prefer one parent, some another, sometimes all of the kids prefer the same parent. That is life.

        But in the case of LDS ordinances, it is ALWAYS the mother, in any case of major church milestones. Blessings. Check. Baby blessings. Check. Baptism and confirmation. Check. Official witnesses at a temple sealing. Check. My husband’s feelings were incredibly hurt, because as his father, he felt it was his right. My son didn’t realize it would hurt his feelings, and we talked about it and my husband baptized him. He did say, “Well, I would bet it hurts mom’s feelings that it is never her turn.”

  12. Rachel says:

    “I’m good enough to do all the endless heartbreaking soul-crushing work of preparing the way, but at every crowning moment and milestone I am to sit invisible and silent on the sidelines.”

    Thanks for writing this. I feel the same. Lots of thought and time and I feel personally that women should have the priesthood. I keep a temple recommend but find the temple difficult and feel no desire to attend unless for a major life event.

  13. Em says:

    Thank you all for your kind words. I never initially intended to share this publicly (my Ex2 sisters encouraged me to). It feels good to belong to a virtual sisterhood where my feelings and experience are validated. I hope someday to appall my grandchildren with tales of how things USED to be.

  14. Cynthia S says:

    I left the church for years because of my struggle with this. “The Sacrament of Birth,” by Analiesa Leonhardt helped me tremendously.

    I wish we could sit and talk–but the next best thing might be a post I wrote in Facebook “un-apostatized.” I don’t know how to link it here.

  15. Nat says:

    I personally believe women are meant to have the priesthood eternally…I believe women not having it now is a cultural policy and is not doctrinal. Perhaps the cultural policy is for good reason I don’t know (imagine the issues that could arrive from a mixed gender bishopric). It doesn’t change any of the legitimate anger EM has, but for me it takes away the sting.

  16. Maggie says:

    I understand the ambivalence defense so well. In fact, I think it was OW that challenged my ambivalence and dared me to care. Consciously caring about priesthood and believing the power/significance is the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a Mormon. My soul bares the scars of this unrequited desire. So I went back to not caring and keeping my mouth shut. But it’s hard to take any of it seriously now. My ambivalence has spread to all those points of doctrine that aren’t really up for discussion. The things I care about, the things that my faith centers around, I don’t talk about them at church.

    • Em says:

      You’re so right about how ambivalence spreads. If you convince yourself that one thing simply doesn’t matter then how much can other things matter either? And where does that stop? Do I have to decide not to be emotionally invested in baptism to cope with those feelings of exclusion? It’s not a great coping mechanism but it’s what I’ve got.

  17. M says:

    As Neylan McBaine said “the pain is real!” I hear you and understand your pain. I have a theory that the first comment in SS and RS can set the tone for the rest. And if that comment is a safe toe the line statement it sets off a chain reaction of like minded statements. If only we felt it was a safe place to question, challenge, engage, and respectfully disagree. (And if only you ladies were in my ward). Sigh.

    We do have a power, an authority. I really believe that. Unrecognized potential, service unutilized, prophecies unspoken.

    • Cynthia says:

      Read “the Two Trees” by V.H. Cassler–it explains all about our power and authority

      • MDearest says:

        “The Two Trees” explains everything to one’s satisfaction ONLY if you accept hypothetical opinion as truthful and authoritative. It’s neither revealed truth nor is it authoritative, which in our church only comes from male leadership. I’m not saying that it cannot be authorized revelation, just that no male leader with enough stature has rubber-stamped it.

        Somehow I don’t think that Em would find comfort in such speculation.

      • Pete says:

        Cynthia, how would the Two Trees theory bring comfort to women who aren’t married or who can’t/don’t have children?

      • Lily says:

        Let me agree with Pete and say that as an unmarried woman with no children I take no comfort in Cassler’s theories.

  18. Ryan says:

    Beautiful and spot on! Thank you for your honesty and authenticity, wish we had more of it.

  19. Ellen says:

    O I am sorry for your pain. And i share it. Sometimes it seems that patriarchy has poisoned the gospel beyond recognition. I spent lots of time in the mother’s lounge and in the hall and walking around outside when my children were little. Each was a refuge from the painful talks and lessons. I probably needed “taking out” more than the baby did!

  20. Aislynn says:

    Thank you. Thank you. I really wish we could all meet together for church somehow. The pain and anger are very real. Numbness for me was coping for awhile….until I realized I have power and don’t need to ask permission for it. Except now church is hard to sit through. I tried to make a comment last Sunday about the divine feminine and was very clearly reminded the godhead is all male. Playing with my baby is definitely a safer option. Anyways, thank you so much for sharing and helping me not feel alone in my anger!

  21. Sherry says:

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I do see it differently. I feel it is a privilege to be the one that carries them inside me, to nurse them, to have those moments singing Primary songs to them. If I took away the privilege of baptism and blessings, what would be left for my husband? I feel that this is a way that the Lord includes them. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a single comment express this sentiment on here, so my comment will probably be deleted. But I honestly believe, this is how the Lord keeps men involved in their families. Women, for the most part, have a more natural spiritual connection to our children. The Priesthood is a way for men to gain a connection too.

    • Anon says:

      My first husband was not LDS. He connected with our child by holding her, feeding her, rocking her, bouncing her, changing her, dressing her, playing with her, taking her for walks, singing to her, talking to her, praying with and for her. He connected with her by doing everything a decent, loving parent does.

      • Andrew R. says:

        Great list – of common things both parents can do for their children. Men can not carry them in the womb, give birth to them or nurse them.

        I believe that was the point Sherry was trying to make.

      • Anon says:

        I would suggest that this reasoning is disrespectful to the nurturing and connection between all non-priesthood holding men and their children, AndrewR. One doesn’t need to biologically carry a child to have a special “connection” to one’s children. It just takes work. It’s called “parenting.”

      • Spunky says:

        Thank you, Anon. As an adoptive mother it spites me when men pull the “poor me” card in saying priesthood helps them bond to thier child because they didn’t give birth or breast feed the child. Not all women give birth or breastfeed and that’s not a historical anomaly.

    • debo says:

      Are adoptive mothers just out of luck, then?

    • Em says:

      I’m glad that for you pregnancy and nursing were positive experiences. For me it has been overwhelmingly on the sacrifice end. I have experienced hyperemesis gravidarum with both my pregnancies — extreme morning sickness for the entire time, often vomiting everything I ate or drank for extended periods. Additionally, for me, breastfeeding is accompanied by dysphoric milk ejection reflex — that is to say, every time milk lets down I feel an overwhelming wave of depression and despair that does not respond to medication or other forms of treatment. So while some men may say they envy the privilege, I think that any person, man or woman, would not look at my experience and wish that it was their lot. I know that many women yearn to have biological children and would be willing to go through what I have in order to have one, but nobody in their right mind actually craves vomiting until you collapse for nine months followed by a year of crushing despair every two hours just for the sake of the experience. The blessings of the priesthood don’t, as far as I can tell, come with a set of side effects so debilitating you find yourself on the suicide hotline begging for help.

      I love my kids. But I’d like to share some of the milestones that celebrate the good part of new life, because for me the biology part is pretty terrible.

      • Katie says:

        I’m so sorry. I’m in the HG camp too. Its debilitating and depression and physical danger, and I agree, the priesthood/motherhood argument just doesn’t hold up.

    • Pete says:

      What about women who are not married or can’t have children? Is women’s spiritual power and authority limited to interaction with children?

  22. MJ says:

    Thank you so much for this–you articulated my feelings beautifully. That lesson was rough in my ward–I too sat in silence and did my best to tune it out. I often think I can’t be the only one doing that! It would be nice if it didn’t feel like such an act of courage to speak up and say “hey, this doesn’t sit right with me!” I am so sick of the mentality that there is one accepted way to look at things. And if you are going to admit you struggle, there is a right way to do that. And you better not talk about it until you’ve got it all figured out. And you’d better have figured out the one accepted answer. You can question and struggle, but only the “right” way. It’s exhausting.

  23. Glenn Thigpen says:

    I will not tell you are any other woman or man what they do or do not understand. I am not you and have no idea what you do or do not understand about anything.
    There is one thing that I can share with you though. If the Lord wants you and other women to hold the priesthood, it will happen. There is no man or institution or patriarchal order that can stand in the way of the Lord’s will.
    Do not blame the patriarchal order for the current state of affairs though. It was established by God from the first because it was a necessary system. There was a time when men had to be the bread winners and protectors because of the state of civilization. When it was followed righteously it worked well. And the converse is also true.
    Now, as to when or if it will happen, I have no idea. I will tell you this, if it is something the Lord wants, I will want it to, and so will humble, righteous men everywhere. Men willing to put aside apriori assumptions and beliefs and listen to what the Lord has to say. I do earnestly believe that the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are such men.
    Blogs and organizations such as Ordain Women are good ways to vent, to explore thoughts and ideas, and to enlist and direct efforts towards a common cause, but they are not the way that God has ordained for His Children to communicate with Him, to seek answers, to submit requests.
    The Lord has admonished us to do that, repeatedly admonished us to do so via prayer. God does not operate by popular vote but does respond to humble heartfelt prayer. I would bring up the example of the prophet Enos for examination. He prayed for hours until he received an answer to his prayers. The Centurion Cornelius also prayed constantly and fervently until the Lord gave Peter the revelation to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.
    If we are to receive any alms from the Lord, we must get them the way the Lord has ordained. You will get a lot of support here on your blogs, and patriarchal bashing, and maybe push back about “mansplaining.” But do you think that is the way the Lord wants you to address the situation? Is that the way the scriptures have laid it out?
    If you and those in the Ordain Women Movement wish to obtain the priesthood, maybe you could collectively fast and pray together and separately long and hard enough to get an answer from the Lord.

    If you do so and do not get an answer there are several possibilities.
    1. There is no God.
    2. The Church is not God’s church and we are all wasting our time in it.
    3. The LDS church is God’s church but He is not ready for woman to hold the priesthood
    4. You did not sufficiently humble yourselves and/or pray fervently enough to receive an answer
    5. God did answer and you refuse to acknowledge it (I have been in that place too many times.)

    James 1:5 is a good place to start.

    Glenn

    • Liz says:

      DUDE. GLENN. First of all, that’s *exactly* what the Ordain Women movement did – they collectively fasted, prayed, and petitioned the church leaders to pray about women’s ordination. Second of all, those aren’t the only possibilities – another option is that God has always been ready for women’s ordination, but that male leaders have set up a patriarchy that has been blind/ignorant/willfully oppressive and hasn’t allowed for women’s ordination. God doesn’t force his will onto people nor systems – there’s plenty of scriptural backing to show that mortals screw God’s will up all the time.

      Em has offered such a gorgeous personal narrative here and you are not only dismissing her pain, you’re telling her she’s wrong for feeling it. This is such a textbook example of mansplaining that I’m almost in awe. You’re flirting with being in violation of our comment policy – specifically “This is not the place to question another’s personal righteousness, to call people to repentance, or to disrespectfully refute people’s personal religious beliefs.” Just read, try to understand, and sit back and listen rather than try to police the feelings and experiences of our writers.

    • Pete says:

      Glenn, who does God the Mother reveal her will to? Does she have Priesthood? Is this not her church too?

  24. Glenn Thigpen says:

    Liz, I was not dismissing her pain or feelings. I was not questioning her personal righteousness. I merely said that prayer is the mode of communication and supplication that God has ordained. Is that incorrect?
    Since you say Ordain Women has fasted and prayed, and I believe that they have, have they received an unequivocal answer that our leaders are screwing up everything? Have they received an unequivocal answer that women should be ordained to the Priesthood but that the leaders of the church will not listen to God and do His will?

    I do not know if women being Ordained to the Priesthood is God’s will or against. I am open to receiving revelation on the subject. As I said in my earlier post, if it is God’s will, the leaders of the church will heed His instructions, for I believe that they are prophets and apostles and that they do seek God’s will. And like Peter, they will obey.

    Glenn

    • Daniel T says:

      Glenn, I too hope and believe that the apostle seek God’s will. But that’s not really enough.
      It is important to remember that the apostles of the church, like all members, are a product of their culture. As such they interpret and understand the laws and ordinances of God through the lens of that culture.
      They may not see the harm and hurt that having, for example, women in the temple covenant to through their husbands has. Their cultural lens sees this as wholly appropriate and does not see that women want to be able to covenant directly with their God,
      That’s why Mormon Feminism is important. Why it is important to not just approach God but to approach our leaders and say “Can you see what I see?”

      • Andrew R. says:

        The problem is then that “Their cultural lens” isn’t in harmony with what some people want. I agree, but that is because their cultural lens is God’s culture, not society’s.

        We can go round and round all day on this if we continue to assume that God just sits by and waits for people to ask. Not that we do not know that the leaders haven’t asked.

        What would a “thus sayeth the Lord” revelation stating that it is not in God’s plan for women to hold administrative priesthood in the Church do to the Ordain Women organisation? Would they say, “OK, thanks for asking”? Or, would they continue to say that our leaders are clouded by their masculinity/patriarchy and not getting the correct answer?

      • Olea says:

        Their cultural lens is God’s culture.

        I’d laugh if it wasn’t so shocking in its inaccuracy, cynicism and closed-mindedness.

  25. ForeverSeeking says:

    I have prayed often about this and have received an overwhelming impression this is not the Lord’s way. Women were created to be active, co-rulers with men not just assistants or quiet observers.
    We are to use our considerable talents for all of humanity and not just in limited mother/wife/daughter roles. There are extensive historical and scriptural precedents that back this up (ie. Deborah, Miriam, Mary Magdalene and Emma Smith).

    • Andrew R. says:

      If I had had such a witness (and this is my thinking and in no way am I saying you should think this way) I could only take from it that the Prophets, Seers and Revelators are not the Lord’s any longer and that the power of God was no longer in this Church – or never was.

      If God is not capable of giving His daughters something they should have in order to progress He is not God – simple.

      But this is not what I believe, obviously.

      • ForeverSeeking says:

        Wow. Just wow. So, to be clear, you are saying that if my spiritual experiences do not align (as you see it) with the First Presidency I should or have questioned the validity of the church or even the existence of God?

      • Andrew R. says:

        Nope, I said that is how I would feel. I was quite explicit in my bracketed comment. How you choose to process your spiritual experiences is entirely up to you. Neither you, nor I, have the authority to speak for God in matters such as this. But we do have the obligation to be sure of what God wants for us.

        At no time in the history of the world do we have any indication that women were meant to hold the priesthood as men do. I submit that if they were supposed to then the entire Plan of Salvation has failed since every single women has not received the Melchizedek priesthood as a prerequisite to being Endowed.

        This is not the same as the priesthood ban since it was always understood that at some time all worthy men would receive the priesthood, and the temple ordinances.

        Women are not required to hold the Melchizedek priesthood to be endowed, and Young Women are not required to hold the Aaronic Priesthood to work in the Baptistry. This should be seen as a blessing.

        Both men and women are promised a future anointing as Priests and Priestesses – and an Eternal priesthood if they Endure to the End and make their calling and election sure. And we are told that in that priesthood comes the power of endless lives. The union of male and female Eternal Priesthood progresses us and our posterity (spirit children).

      • debo says:

        Deborah, Junia, Priscilla, just to name three off the top of my head. And how many more were edited out by sexist authors of the gospels?

      • Olea says:

        Andrew R., what possible reason could you have for sharing this comment other than calling ForeverSeeking to repentance?

        You’re welcome to refuse to listen, but please don’t comment dragging other people down, and I would recommend that you do some research before posting such incorrect theorising.

      • Pete says:

        Andrew,

        “Both men and women are promised a future anointing as Priests and Priestesses.” Women are promised to be priestesses to their husbands, not to God. Women make different covenants.

      • Ziff says:

        “it was always understood that at some time all worthy men would receive the priesthood, and the temple ordinances.”

        No, it wasn’t. That’s a post hoc rationalization. Fifty years after we (finally) ordain women, your descendants will be making the parallel argument about that. It was *always* known that women would eventually be ordained.

      • Andrew R. says:

        Ziff, I believe it is bad form in these parts to question another person’s beliefs. Well, let me tell you, as a Primary child, pre-1978, I was in Primary with children of African descent. And I was taught that they would hold the priesthood one day. Nothing “post hoc” about it. Please do not presume to know what I was, or wasn’t taught and believed. Those boys served missions and are still active members.

        Whatever a person’s opinions on the ban it can not be refuted that Brigham Young, who’s views were the most extreme, said this: –

        “Then Cain’s seed will be had in rememberance, and the time come when that curse should be wiped off.”

        So it was known – maybe not widely – but it was known.

    • Moss says:

      Forever Seeking, have you read this Dialogue article by Cory Crawford? I think you will enjoy it. There is so much more going on with women, power and authority in the scriptures than we acknowledge or can explain. As President Uchtdorf said, the restoration is ongoing and I also look forward to ‘many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God’.
      https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V48N02_cc.pdf

  26. ForeverSeeking says:

    Thank you. I’m always interested in articles that discuss/acknowledge women as complete human beings.

    Andrew R. I just shared my spiritual impressions that God sees women and men as equals. There is nothing new or shocking in this.

  27. Steve S says:

    “I have prayed often about this and have received an overwhelming impression this is not the Lord’s way. Women were created to be active, co-rulers with men not just assistants or quiet observers.”

    I know the same to be true.

    Andrew R, I believe it will be quite surprising to you with the developments to come, I have seen them in vision, and no need to worry it will all be plain before our eyes, and the concerns expressed here including your own will be swept up in something much greater.

  28. Ziff says:

    Em, thanks for sharing this. It is powerful. I’m so sorry that Church leaders are so unable or unwilling to see the harm they are causing by forever pushing women to the side.

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