Guest Post: Imagining Priestesshood

Holy Woman with Crown by Gladys Evans

by Frank Pellett

[authors’ note: I do not agree with the current “Women’s Ordination” movement. We have quite a number of smaller steps to go before we even think of any kind of ordination, not the least of which is in changing hearts to show that feminist (equality, egalitarian, what have you) ideals are not aiming to demand direction of the Church away from those called to lead, but that they can also be more passive, removing stumbling blocks and offering ideas and inspirations in the attitude of hope and love, consistent with Articles of Faith 9 and 13.

That aside, I found it an interesting thought experiment to imagine how the future “Priestesshood” could work, in both the logistical and spiritual aspects.]

There are a number of different ideas on the form a Priestesshood (or female Priesthood) would take, including many good thoughts on how women already have some form of Priesthood, possibly through motherhood or ordinances of the Temple. For me, the Priestesshood is a complement to the Priesthood that we have been missing in this world since Eve decided to follow her own understanding (which is an entire discussion in itself). There have been many attempts throughout the millennia to prepare the people for it, and we’ve seen glimpses of it in the scriptures and in the restoration period. Yes, the original organization of the Relief Society was an attempt to build what would be a Priestesshood, and if we all, both as leaders and regular members had not moved away from that original beginning we would not have lost it and had to begin again with the current Relief Society. This is looking to a possible future, building on both the past and what we currently have.

Logistics/Hierarchy

For much of the complementary Priestesshood, the logistics are already close to in place. We have callings that are already complementary, but without the power of a Priest/Priestesshood in both. For example, we have YM/YW Presidencies. We also have Presidencies that can be co-ed, since they are not directly dependent on Priesthood, like Primary and Sunday School. At the Ward level, we have two men’s Presidencies and one women’s. Our current relief society is a close analog to both the Bishopric and the Elders Quorum Presidency. We’d need a second women’s’ Presidency, dividing the work being done by the currently RS Presidency much like the work is divided between the two men’s Presidencies.

Will there be growing pains in having two leaders? You betcha. Bishopric pairs (whatever they’re called) will have to learn to work in agreement, neither side forcing the other, much like a good marriage should. Using a married couple would be possible, but it would have to be a couple past children. If we can get Presidencies and councils of men to work together to get consensus despite their different experiences and backgrounds, we can certainly manage it with mixed-gendered Presidencies.

At the Stake level (and even higher), the work would be easier. The Stake RS Presidency would become the true complement to the Stake Presidency. It would even preside over the High Priestess Quorum (what’s the female word for quorum?). The High Council would move to be mixed gender, 6 men, 6 women, doing the same work currently done by that Council.

The Quorums of the Seventy would remain, with the additions of some all-female Quorums (Quorumettes? nah). Assignments would be made with an eye toward having both a man and a women advising the work assigned. Part of me doesn’t like the idea of mixed-gender Quorums, as the Priesthood and the Priestesshood would not be the same thing, so should not be grouped together.

At the top of this would be a second Quorum of 12, a complement to the current Apostles. The two Quorums would work closely together, with a unity we see in the current 12, adding the benefits of Priestesses who are also Prophetesses, Seers, and Revelators. The Presidents would be a pair, leading the Church together in complete concert into the future.

Spiritual/Ordinances

The idea of a Priestesshood works well with our theology of distinct genders. It would create a greater celebration of the differences while bringing together the necessity of each to our eternal journey to be like our Godly Parents.

There will be ordinances that will be new, ordinances that are exclusive to the Priestesshood. I’ve no idea what these would be, but they would be as necessary as those limited to Priesthood. Those activities not limited to Priesthood, such as blessing children, acting as witnesses, and providing blessings of healing and comfort, would be able to be done by either, Priest or Priestess (maybe even both together).

The blessing of pregnant women would be a good example of one done exclusively by the Priestesshood, as we had once done in the Temple.

There would need to be a change to the Endowment (possibly the initiatory, though I’ve no experience with the female initiatory), to remove the use of the man as an intercessor between woman and God. The sealing would also need to be adjusted to make the joining the same for both woman and man.

Would we have to do all previous ordinances again? I don’t think so. We’ve made changes to these in the past, and not had to re-do all our work. In my own experience doing temple work, we once ordained all men to the Aaronic Priesthood at the same time we did Confirmation, and no longer do. I can’t believe that any of the other changes in the past necessitated a “do-over”, and I don’t see Priestesshood as adding that necessity in the future.

*****

I very much look forward to what light and knowledge the future will bring for us, even if it does not ultimately lead to Priestesshood. I will continue to find joy and hope in each step of progress we take as a people, no matter how small it may seem at the time, because it will only be through small means that the great things will come to pass. I know the men and women we have to lead us are doing the level best they can, seeking the constant companionship of the Spirit to guide them in their endeavors, and will continue to do good work balancing our history, current attitudes, and the will of God in helping this Church to progress and prepare for the millennial times. We’ve a long way to go, and should try to keep humble enough to remember it, no matter how much of this life we’ve lived or how much we think we know.

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58 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Frank, I think you have brought up a number of interesting possibilities. If the Church instituted male/female bishop pairs tomorrow, I’d be thrilled. If they put in place high councils consisting of 6 men and 6 women, I’d be thrilled again. Same thing for female quorums of the 70, 12, and Presidency counterparts.

    These would be huge steps toward where I think we need to go. But that wouldn’t be the end goal for me. I see no reason why we couldn’t integrate women into the existing structure and have, for example, a female bishop with male counselors or whatever she wanted. Or female apostles, or a female President of the Church, with males and females integrated in as counselors. I like the idea of men and women working together, as they do in education, business, and government. That said, just mixing women into leadership and stirring isn’t enough. I would want the integration of female symbols, stories, etc. into our liturgy. Let men learn from the stories and symbols of women, just as women always have from men.

  2. Holly says:

    changing hearts to show that feminist (equality, egalitarian, what have you) ideals are not aiming to demand direction of the Church away from those called to lead, but that they can also be more passive,

    Any time a man begins a discussion by calling for women to be more passive, you shouldn’t be surprised when his ideas about gender are really problematic.

    Part of me doesn’t like the idea of mixed-gender Quorums, as the Priesthood and the Priestesshood would not be the same thing, so should not be grouped together.

    the segregated nature of this plan when it comes to gender is not a virtue but a vice, just as segregation by race was a vice in our country. The “separate but equal” approach to things like quorums will ensure that priestesshood is a ghettoized version of the priesthood, just as it did when “separate but equal” was applied to race.

    this is not a “smaller step” on the way to greater equality but a step in the wrong direction. But as I say, that’s not surprising, given that Frank seems to be facing the wrong direction from the beginning.

    • Caroline says:

      Holly, I’m sympathetic to your notion of “separate but equal” as a vice. I’m really not a separate but equal person. But I would argue that what the LDS church has now is “separate and unequal.” If they changed it so that it was more equal, even while separate, as Frank envisions, I think that would be an improvement over the current status quo. Having a female co-bishop seems better to me than having no female bishop whatsoever. Would patriarchy still rule in such a system? I have no doubt that it would. But it would also give women more leadership opportunities and hopefully more clout than they currently have.

      • Holly says:

        But I would argue that what the LDS church has now is “separate and unequal.”

        It’s absolutely separate and unequal. No question.

        But it would also give women more leadership opportunities and hopefully more clout than they currently have.

        It would give women more opportunities to be in position that are LABELED leadership. Would they actually be empowered to lead; would their leadership truly be respected? I doubt it. Because the people at the top would all still be men, and it would be clear that when a disagreement had to be settled, it would be men who do it. Women and priestesshood would still be subordinate to men and the priesthood, and it seems to me that Frank’s plan is designed to enforce that. Because, as I already pointed out, he starts off a post about female leadership by telling women they need to demonstrate that they can be more passive.

        Seriously: MORE PASSIVE.

        enough already. Enough.

    • The sentence was that feminist ideals can be more passive, not that women should be more passive. I -absolutely- don’t think that women need to be more passive. I’m proud to be called a feminist, but not all feminists have the same goals and ideas on how to move feminism forward.

      Any time a man begins a discussion by calling for women to be more passive, you shouldn’t be surprised when his ideas about gender are really problematic.

      And this is the kind of thing that makes me feel like I’d have better conversations if I used a female pseudonym. In any case, I knew the risks, and mostly wanted to see what other ideas there were out there on what the future with either a gendered or ungendered Priesthood.

      As much as we’d like, we’ve no idea what the future Church will look like. Sometimes it’s just fun to imagine.

      • Caroline says:

        Frank,
        I give you lots of credit for being willing to imagine a kind of priestesshood in our church. So many Mormons wouldn’t even care enough to do so. I’m a big tent feminist, so I welcome a variety of approaches to increasing women’s visibility and leadership in the Church, even though I may personally favor some more than others. I’m happy to call myself a feminist alongside you.

        I’m a bit afraid to ask, but I will anyway. Could you explain what you mean by “passive” feminist ideals? One of the things I treasure most about my Mormon theological heritage is that it seems to endorse and advocate activity — knocking, seeking, questioning, trying, progressing, etc. Why do you favor a passive approach?

      • Holly says:

        And this is the kind of thing that makes me feel like I’d have better conversations if I used a female pseudonym.

        Or you could choose one that’s gender-neutral. There are a few sites where I’ve done that.

        I don’t claim the right to tell others that they are not really feminists. I do claim the right to think that their approaches are misguided. If this had been posted by someone not identified as male, I still would have found the overall approach objectionable, and I still muttered an oath at the call to be “more passive” and sighed heavily at the end.

        I’m with Caroline: I’d like an explanation of how you think “feminist ideals can be more passive.”

      • In general, I’d say following the instructions for using the Priesthood in D&C 121:41-46 would be a good basis for a passive approach. They’re actually good habits for anyone, Priesthood or not. It’d be a matter of personal opinion on what actions fit into this, and which not. For me, the current ordain women petition does not fit into this, but for others it may. It’s not my (or anyone else’s) place to decide for others where they stand.

        For me, the Let Women Pray and Unclean Proxy movements fit well in, but the Ordain Women petition does not. Wear Pants was kinda borderline. Others will find their own places, and I’m plenty fine with that.

      • Holly says:

        So, this?

        41 No apower or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the bpriesthood, only by cpersuasion, by dlong-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

        42 By akindness, and pure bknowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the csoul without dhypocrisy, and without eguile—

        43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

        44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.

        45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven.

        46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant acompanion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of brighteousness and truth; and thy cdominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

        You do realize the problem, right, Frank, with using guidelines for how to EXERCISE power as rules for decorum for people who are disempowered and seeking it?

        And what in that passage do you actually identify as “passive”? “Reproving with sharpness” is “passive”?

        You need to do better than this.

      • Holly says:

        also:

        It’d be a matter of personal opinion on what actions fit into this, and which not.

        No actions fit into passivity. Passivity is the absence of action. A synonym for “passive” is “inactive.” This is the source of ONE of the problems I have with your statement.

        Any chance you want to withdraw or revise it?

      • You’re right, passive doesn’t seem like the right word. I was thinking more along the lines of “passive resistance”, which isn’t inactive. I just can’t seem to find another word that really fits.

        As for power – everyone has power in how they choose to act. The rules given for Priesthood aren’t just about administrative power, they are a way to exercise power in all our interaction. “Reproving betimes with sharpness” is one tool, and should be kept in balance with the rest of the tools given, though used less often.

      • Holly says:

        “passive resistance”, which isn’t inactive.

        Yeah. A better term of “passive resistance” is actually “nonviolent resistance,” because it’s not really passive, at all. In fact, it’s highly aggressive and confrontational.

        This is actually one of my pet peeves about Mormon feminism–the mistaken idea that if Mormon feminists advocate being super nice and conciliatory, we’re claiming Gandhi, Martin Luther Kind and Rosa Parks as our role models. A discussion about this happened here: http://www.the-exponent.com/enlisting-allies/

        MLK, Gandhi and even Ms. Parks were profoundly confrontational. That’s what they did: confront the official powers outside of proper channels and declare them immoral and undeserving of the power they had claimed.

        MLK and Gandhi did not inflict violence, but they were absolutely prepared to receive it–and they did. They were both, after all, assassinated. You don’t get assassinated for being nice. You don’t get dogs, clubs and firehoses turned on you for being nice.

        I see calls within Mormon feminism for something that is simultaneously grounded in the ideas of what is sometimes called “passive resistance” AND something like D&C 121:41-46 as utterly incoherent. Because Gandhi and MLK were fighting not just oppression but EVIL. The British Empire and racial segregation were EVIL. They were not willing to kill the people perpetuated it, but they intentional engaged in behavior they suspected would provoke violence, and they willing to die in order to let the rest of the world see how evil those people were.

        Are you actually advocating provoking the leaders to the point where they might resort to violence? or was passivity, plain and simple, something more along the lines of what you had in mind?

  3. Chris says:

    I have spent six decades watching women marginalized, overlooked, and sometimes abused by Church authorities. I am watching some of my daughters and friends leave the Church because of the unspeakable abuse they have suffered at the hands of priesthood leaders who are misusing and abusing their power without any oversight.

    Whether or not women receive the priesthood, the Church must create a culture where male leaders have some kind of oversight, preferably to a committee composed of men and women. For lack of a better term, it has become an “old boys'” organization, with male leaders defending and covering up the abuses of their friends and collegues in the Church. Unless women have a voice–a real voice, we will continue to see Church patriarchy abuse, demean and overlook the very women who are such an important part of all that happens in the Church.

    Surely, God must weep when he sees his daughters suffering so.

  4. April says:

    This was an interesting thought experiment, Frank. I am glad you used your name, instead of a pseudonym, because I know you from your regular participation in our website and know that you are a friend, not a foe. That helped me to try not to bristle when I read your opening comment about encouraging more “passive” ideals. (Ouch. That hurt.)

    Once I got past that opening sentence, I found some ideas in your post that resonated with me. I love your proposed changes to the temple ceremony. and of having presidencies that serve mixed gender groups be co-ed, like Primary, Sunday School and High Council. I also agree that it would be useful to continue to have spaces for gender-specific groups. Unlike you, I would prefer to have mixed gender priesthood quorums, but I see value to the idea of continuing to have some all-male and all-female gatherings or activities where women and men can discuss issues that are particularly pressing to them. The way I would envision that, might be to separate into gender-specific quorums about once a month or so, so that we ladies could discuss issues that are relevant to us but less relevant for men, like body image or “the mommy wars,” while men could discuss issues more relevant to them (pornography? compliance with child support contracts?).

    I actually see incorporating women into the existing priesthood structure as a less radical change than the one proposed in your post, because it doesn’t require the invention of new priesthesshood ordinances and responsibilities.

    A concern I have with the idea of a separate but equal female priestesshood is that, as you mentioned in your post, it has been tried before, by Joseph Smith and the Nauvoo Relief Society, and it failed. Under Brigham Young, it was disbanded altogether and it took years of lobbying by Eliza R Snow to bring it back at all, and it came back as a mere shadow of the original vision. Over the decades, this “separate but equal” arrangement became less and less equal, with women first losing the right to choose their own leadership, then men introduced the idea that they could not only select the female leaders, but also release them at male discretion, then men decided that women should no longer be allowed to perform blessings of healing and comfort, and most recently, men took away women’s social service programs, curriculum oversight, and publication authority and placed all of these programs under male leadership. Recently, Boyd K. Packer lamented that women of the Relief Society see it as just “a class to attend” and indeed, that is almost all that is left of it. What would prevent men from chipping away at a new version of this old plan?

    • I think having both men and women at the top, including as co-Presidents, would help keep it from falling back to where the women get marginalized and everyone gets left behind. I hope the change in missionary leadership leads to creating true equals in leadership, up to and especially including Mission President pairs, where both would have the authority to lead the mission together, Priesthood or not. It’d mean doing some disconnect of having to have the Priesthood to lead (women leaders already do not) to a Priesthood that at least one in the pair can use for actual Priesthood ordinances.

    • Emily U says:

      April – I consider myself moderately informed about Church history (I’ve read a couple of Arrington books, Mormon Enigma, and a large handful of essays by Mormon historians), and I had NO IDEA the Relief Society was disbanded under Brigham Young and reinstated after Eliza R. Snow lobbied for it. The fact that the organization exists at the pleasure of male leaders, and the history of its erosion in the 20th century speaks volumes about the need for leadership that is integrated between men and women.

  5. DefyGravity says:

    Frank, I appreciate your post. While I fall squarely on the side of female ordination, I think you raised some good points. I share your concern that this step has happened rather quickly. I don’t know how effective it will be, since it feels like a large jump from what has been happening in Mormon feminism to ordaining women. Considering the pushback events dedicated to pants and prayers got, I don’t think church leadership or much of the membership is ready for female ordination. I think that is incredibly sad and speaks to a wider problem of how women are viewed in the church, and the fact that giving women the same power as men is such a foreign concept is one of the reasons I am no longer active. The church has a long way to go, and they don’t seem interested in going. Having said that, I don’t think passivity is the way feminism needs to go. That appears to be buying into the idea that if women are more passive, they will be listened to because they are acting feminine. But passivity doesn’t generally get things done, and I don’t think Mormon feminism would benefit from being more passive. It took decades to get a woman to pray… if we are more passive nothing will ever change.

    I like your comments about joint leadership. When someone asks me how I would solve the problem of women lacking leadership and decision making power, I suggest what you suggested. Put the Bishop and RS president on par, and have them make decisions together. I believe that in order for that to work, the same priesthood needs to be extended to all parties, or removed entirely from leadership positions and made something that functions only in private. The reason I say this is because as soon as you start saying that women will have a separate but equal power, it is not equal in my mind. I wrote a post on this recently on this blog. http://www.the-exponent.com/separate-but-equal/ In theory, women have separate but equal roles in the current church. But those roles have not made them equal. It has only made women less likely to ask for more because they are taught they are equal, even though they are not. I fear that a Priestesshood would do the same thing. Women would have power, but it would still be considered secondary to the “real Priesthood.” Women would still be relegated to certain functions and roles, still told that they were made to be nurturers, to be passive, to not fight for rights (to quote Elaine Dalton.) I fear that a Priestesshood would be lip service and not change women’s position in the church. The church could still teach, and probably would, that men and women are inherently different, that they have different roles and Priestesshood would become a way to bless housework and children, not make decisions in the church.

    It is possible that my fears about how a Priestesshood wold work are baseless. Maybe the church and its members are evolved enough to grant different kinds of power the same respect. But I have yet to see that in practice. There is a lot of talk about roles and equality, but not much real equality in the church. If the church could actually respect Priestesshood as equal in power to Priesthood, I don’t have as big of an issue with it (aside from the fact that I don’t believe all women are inherently better at certain things then men and that all women should fill the same roles in their lives.) But I don’t believe the church is capable of respecting two different kinds of power.

    All that being said, I agree with most of the change you think would be made, especially as far as the temple goes and how leadership is set up. But the idea that Preistesshood should be relegated to pregnancy and childbirth is not appealing to me. First, it stick women squarely back in the role of wives and mothers, and puts their power base there. That leaves many women out, and it keeps women’s power in a place that is restricted to their biology. Also, men are involved in the creation of a child; why should blessings involving pregnancy and childbirth be relegated to women when men are 50% responsible? Again, this seems to reinforce the idea that women are responsible for children and fathers don’t need to be incredibly involved as long as they bring home a pay check. Instead of separating men and women, Priesthood should bring them together. They should be working together in wards, in families, in life. A separate Priesthesshood seems like it would have the opposite effect; it would divide men and women into their spheres even more than they are now, instead of bringing them together to solve problems.

  6. Naismith says:

    Interesting piece.

    It bothers me a lot when some men in the church do not respect what women do even now. Wonder how that would play out in such a system?

    For example, a while back in a fifth Sunday joint meeting, a high priest leader was encouraging us not to just attend the temple, or even to become temple workers, but specifically to become ordinance workers. “We only have one in our ward,” he said.

    There was a gasp. The women in the room felt as if they had been slapped. We all looked over to the group of three women.

    The man went on cluelessly. “What? Brother Soandso is the only ordained temple ordinance worker.”

    Again, we recoiled at the use of “ordained.” He just didn’t get it. He needed to understand that a woman who is set apart to perform such functions in the temple acts in the name of Christ just s much as any man with the priesthood.

    I don’t particularly advocate ordination as a remedy for that problem. I’d like men to respect and acknowledge what women do as women.

    • Holly says:

      I don’t particularly advocate ordination as a remedy for that problem. I’d like men to respect and acknowledge what women do as women.

      How does ordination preclude or inhibit men respecting and acknowledging what women do as women? How does it guarantee that men will respect and acknowledge what women do as women? After all, women who have been ordained will still be women and still be doing stuff as women.

      Ordination won’t fix the profound underlying misogyny of the church. It will just make the church less unequal.

    • DefyGravity says:

      What to you mean respect what women do as women? As a woman, everything I do is something that men do as well. Can you clarify what you mean?

      • Naismith says:

        That wasn’t my experience when serving as a Relief Society president. I had certain duties that were mine, and not performed by men. It was a complementary role.

        For example, when it came to welfare issues, I was responsible for filling out and submitting food orders, which involved helping the family to prepare a menu and perhaps teaching them to cook some meals, and delivering the food order to them if the family involved did not have transportation.

        I also had duties regarding funerals. The RS was responsible for funeral clothing, as they have been since the early days of the church. I appreciate this is a non-issue in places where there are church distribution outlets right around the corner. And of course people plan and think they have clothing ready, but it’s astonishing how many conditions cause a corpse to swell up. So when that happened, I had to get clothing from the stake RS president. She was kind and met me halfway, about 45 minutes away, so that each of us only had to drive an hour and a half. We of course also generally did a meal (including washing tablecloths afterward), ordered flowers from the ward, made sure someone was at the house during the funeral as a safety precaution, etc. We averaged a funeral a month.

        This was all very satisfying work, and I felt that it made a difference in people’s lives. But a lot of church members do not see these vast amounts of work that women do.

        When the bishop was getting ready to go on vacation, one of his counselors came to me with his eyes wide and said, “I was so worried about what would happen when he was gone, but now I understand that you’ll have my back. I didn’t realize all that you do!” And this guy had been serving for almost a year, and was a returned missionary.

      • Holly says:

        That wasn’t my experience when serving as a Relief Society president.

        And yet, nothing you discuss is work only women do. Men make arrangements to feed people, men take care of funerals. Even within Mormon culture, men are responsible and involved in the things you discuss. Bishops used to be responsible for welfare–it was called “The bishop’s store house”–and most funeral directors are men.

        You do realize, right, that the fact that you assisted in an overall endeavor does not mean that YOU did something “as a woman” that men cannot and do not do? That there is nothing that says men can’t fill out and submit food orders or that men can’t distribute clothing for corpses?

        Do you therefore have some better examples that actually explain what you mean?

      • DefyGravity says:

        But men could do all the things you mentioned, and in some cases do. Your ward’s practices are just one ward, not a description of what all women do that men can’t. I stand by my statement; everything I do men can also do. So what are you seeking recognition for?

    • anon says:

      Perhaps there would be more temple workers available if women who have children under the age of 18 were not excluded :/

  7. spunky says:

    This is interesting, Frank, though I have similar issues to the women who have commented before me. And for my tastes, your segregation of mothers is deeply problematic. Which is probably the root of my comment. In your seperatist approach, what happens to the general boards of the Relief Society, Primary and Young Women (which I am under the impression even the Primary is only female?) Have you forgotten these current “quorums” that are currently in the shadows of church hierarchy? Do you see these as becoming more respected? (consider the pomp around a “visiting general authority” speaker compared to a “visiting member of the Primary Board general speaker”- in the second case, you would not mention the title.)

    In pairing the male and female organizations, would women of the general presidencies and boards be then assigned as emeritis general authorities? What about the wives of mission presidents? Can not a woman be a mission president as well? Do you envision seperate male and female missions? Certainly this begs the idea of women baptising their own converts?

    What I am saying is, I think your way of looking at things is pretty much already in place, and it doesn’t work. But I am grateful that you have engaged in the discussion- if only to highlight the inequalities of the general boardmembers of the auxillaries in comparisions to the male-only quorums.

  8. Emily U says:

    I appreciate Frank sharing what he imagines female ordination would look like. If we all wrote up our ideas on that I’m sure they’d all look different. I am proud to have a profile on Ordain Women for two reasons.

    1) I think it’s where the full restoration of God’s plan for us is headed. I think our theology of God as a coupled man and woman demands it.

    2) I am modeling my actions on the civil right movement in the sense that the leaders of that movement knew that gradualism could never get them where they wanted to go. They asked for everything, now. Probably knowing they wouldn’t get it all right away. But you usually get less than what you ask for, and a good negotiating tool is to start by asking for more than you think you’ll get. Plus, if you really want to get from A or Z, is it morally defensible to ask for X or Y instead of Z? There are, of course, substantial differences between the civil rights movement and asking for women’s ordination. But to me if the goal is to provoke a response from the leadership, asking for the whole enchilada is going to do a lot more than asking for a few extra tortilla chips. To be clear, the response I hope to provoke is heartfelt seeking for divine guidance on this.

    Let’s say divine guidance is sought. Let’s say the answer eventually comes to ordain women. I am not at all worried at this point what that would look like. I don’t think we need to sort that out in advance. As I believe April said in a comment here, wouldn’t it make sense to have integrated bodies of women and men working together to sort out what the church looks like when women are ordained, rather than to have the existing all male leaders sort that out a priori?

    My final thought is that I can understand why the idea of ordaining women is deeply troubling to some. The Church’s teaching that the genders are different is part of the fabric of current Mormonism. This is not a thread you can tug on without causing a lot of unraveling. But we need to be open to ideas on what truths God has in store that will better knit us together and make life more abundant.

  9. Naismith says:

    “You do realize, right, that the fact that you assisted in an overall endeavor does not mean that YOU did something “as a woman” that men cannot and do not do?”

    [sarcasm on] Well,no of course I don’t realize that. Non-feminists are notoriously stupid and we don’t realize how clueless we are being. [/sarcasm off]

    My point is not that men CANNOT do these things, my point is that men DON’T do these things, in the current (or recent) scheme of assignments. So that the reality is closer to what was envisioned in the OP, but not often acknowledged by some people. Church leaders do know exactly how much women contribute.

    And also that if women are ordained or whatever, it will not just be a matter of women stepping in and finally doing something, as if they did nothing before. The work that they HAD been doing will need to be redistributed, and this is something not often accounted for when envisioning the brave new world.

    “That there is nothing that says men can’t fill out and submit food orders or that men can’t distribute clothing for corpses?”

    Of course, and women can perform ordinances in the name of the Savior.

    But part of the challenge is realizing that those tasks even exist. There is a classic feminist essay from the first year of Ms magazine called “A Housewife’s Moment of Truth” when she realizes that her family doesn’t appreciate all that she does. And in eagerness to give women new opportunities, let’s not forget what women do now.

    Because that is the sad reality faced by a lot of women that I know, outside the church, the “second shift” phenomenon. They and their husbands claim to be egalitarian because they both are employed fulltime, but they may not share the work of home and family. Sometimes it is because he refused to clean to her ridiculous standards. Sometimes it is because he thinks she coddles the children unnecessarily. A lot of times it is because he does not see all that she does in homemaking and childcare.

    I think there is a real possibility that women in the church could suffer a “second shift” expectation if not handled carefully–they may be given positions of “leadership” but also expected to bring funeral potatoes.

    I also think it comes off as something of an insult to the pride and satisfaction that many women take in baking a yummy casserole an sewing a warm quilt when those efforts are dismissed as not mattering as much as what the men do.

    • Holly says:

      [sarcasm on] Well,no of course I don’t realize that. Non-feminists are notoriously stupid and we don’t realize how clueless we are being. [/sarcasm off]

      That’s good to know. A number of things about your comments raised serious doubts on that issue.

      My point is not that men CANNOT do these things, my point is that men DON’T do these things,

      That’s good. Because that’s part of my point too.

      But you still haven’t answered the questions I posed above:

      How does ordination preclude or inhibit men respecting and acknowledging what women do as women? How does it guarantee that men will respect and acknowledge what women do as women? After all, women who have been ordained will still be women and still be doing stuff as women.

      I wish you would at least try to answer that. Or are you admitting that you cannot?

      You write, in your last comment

      Church leaders do know exactly how much women contribute.

      Really? Then why did you tell the story about a the high priest leader distressing women by saying that there was only one ordinance in your ward?

      The work that [women] HAD been doing will need to be redistributed, and this is something not often accounted for when envisioning the brave new world.

      Really? Feminists never think about shifting roles and dividing labor between both sexes? You really think that?

      At the risk of forcing you to turn your sarcasm on again, I must ask: You are aware, right, that feminists typically call for more egalitarian approaches to ALL labor–including what has typically been women’s work? Or has that somehow escaped your notice?

      I also think it comes off as something of an insult to the pride and satisfaction that many women take in baking a yummy casserole an sewing a warm quilt when those efforts are dismissed as not mattering as much as what the men do.

      As an accomplished cook and quilter, I’ll agree to that. That’s one reason I would like to see men do such things more: so they can realize just how fulfilling it is. Another reason is so that the labor won’t be ghettoized simply because it is women’s work.

      I also think it comes off as something of an insult to the pride and satisfaction that many women take in baking a yummy casserole an sewing a warm quilt to be told that such things are all they can aspire to, or that their ability to do such things means they are unfit to lead, organize or preside.

      I assume you would agree.

      • Holly says:

        Meh. html failure. Trying again:

        My point is not that men CANNOT do these things, my point is that men DON’T do these things,

        That’s good. Because that’s part of my point too.

        (and expanding to add): that’s why I’m opposed to a strongly segregated and separate-but-equal approach to leadership, presiding, and service. Let women be prophets; let men deal with funeral arrangements and serving a meal to the bereaved.

  10. Heather Sather says:

    This all sounds so much more complicated and harder than it needs to be. Like Chris, I have seen many instances of spiritual abuse over my past 60 plus decades. In fact, I left the Mormon church due to multiple episodes of spiritual abuse over the years. I have been Presbyterian for a couple of decades. In our denomination (and in the New Testament), the priesthood is considered “the priesthood of all believers.” Our deacons are adult men and women who care for the temporal needs of our congregation. The Elders, male and female, actually govern the church. We have had male pastors (bishops) and female pastors. Gender isn’t an issue. The job description is the same regardless of gender. Our deacons, elders, and pastors are ordained by previously ordained elders, deacons, and pastors, by the laying on of hands. There is nothing pompous about it. Ordinations are very humble occasions, along the order of “we support you in your new commitment to continue your service to Christ in a new format. We will do all we can to support and help you.” We believe that our new birth in Christ, in accepting him as our Lord and savior (with all that entails) is actually an ordination into the priesthood of all believers, which is gender free and inclusive. It really is just that simple, and very, very spiritual and Christ-centered.

    • DefyGravity says:

      That sounds beautiful Heather. I like the idea of a “priesthood of all believers.” Why do we need to bring gender into it at all? If we believe, we have access to the power of God. Love it.

  11. RockiesGma says:

    Well-done post, Frank. You have thought of many ways to make changes incorporating female Priestesshood. As you’ve written, they are complimentary in design and endeavor. Where you aren’t comfortable with ordaining women, I admire your willingness to imagine creative details for something you don’t favor. That’s pretty cool. Most people who aren’t comfortable with women being ordained either say nothing, or say it’s wrong and arrogant to even suggest such a thing.

    I was RS Pres. when my husband became Bishop. Within a week we were at odds, and because we’re married it became contentious, and he pulled rank. The previous Bishop and I kept a more formal distance so we didn’t contend, we negotiated, compromised, and he never pulled out-n-out rank. So I’d be hesitant to have husband/wife co-Bisops. I think very few could do it without heartache.

    I, personally, make note that the scriptures teach us that we may inherit all that the Father hath. They do not say all that He and Heavenly Mother hath. So, to me, His daughters are to inherit His priesthood, which I imply must be the same priesthood as HM, or He would have said something different. I wish to inherit all that he has, including His priesthood. I deeply believe women can serve in any quorum, and out to, so that women’s unique gifts may be given voice in decisions, policy-making, power, and authority. I believe God’s definition of equality is as that given to Jew and Gentile, bond and free, black and white, and male and female. I believe having a separate, but equal Priestesshood is a lovely idea — Terrestrial, if you will. But One Priesthood seems to go with One Faith and One Doctrine even better — Celestial, if you will — where couples, and male and female can be Together as One. This is doctrinal to me.

    One last point, you mentioned the “theology of gender distinctiveness” that we have. I do not see gender as theology, but biology. Males and females are born distinct, and different. If you mean distinct gender roles, I’ve watched our church’s definitions, assignments, and paradigms shift significantly in my lifetime. They have become more fluid and less black and white. Marriages are better for these baby steps, to be sure. Anyway, I believe gender roles are a mortal construct and are not theological at all. But even if you are quite correct, I’ve noticed God has radically changed roles as to who may join the church or hold the priesthood in the past. I expect He has further surprises in store…. I hope with all my heart that ordaining women is one of them — not because I wish to be bishop, but because I believe it’s essential to greater Oneness than can be accomplished in separate, but equal……and because i believe it would strengthen our church if there were twice as many righteous Priesthood holders on Earth.

    Nevertheless, I will go forth doing the best I can with whatever circumstances may be. Thanks again for your creative ideas. May the brainstorming continue by one and all.

    • Thanks RockiesGMA. I don’t know how anyone got that I’m uncomfortable with ordination – if it happened tonight, however it happened, I’d be thrilled. I knew I’d take flak for saying I disagreed with the movement (and was warned by the Admins), but I’d hoped that the post would signal that I’m not umcomfortable with it. I look forward to it, however it comes, and hope it can come sooner rather than later.

      You’re right, both as leaders would be hard for most couples I know as well. Heck, I think it would even be hard for a woman and man not maried to one another, with some of the attitudes we have from men and women in charge now. I think even some in the General Presidencies and Authorities would have a hard time with it, even if they were co-presiding with their spouses. I’ve no idea how well my wife and I would do, as we’ve never been asked to do any callings together (which is a shame, but I’m glad for it in these years we’ve had children pre-nursery). Bad enough right now with me being on the stand to direct the music; it involves a lot of running up and down to help and the occasional time having my oldest (5) up there with me.

      • Holly says:

        I don’t know how anyone got that I’m uncomfortable with ordination

        Your terminology. You write, ‘I do not agree with the current “Women’s Ordination” movement.’ There is a specific group within the LDS church that wants to see women ordained. It’s called Ordain Women. You don’t use that term. You use “Women’s Ordination,” which is a more general term covering many branches of christianity. It makes it sound like you object the practice in general, particularly since it’s your very first sentence and the first thing you want people to know before they read anything else that follows.

  12. Dara says:

    How many religions do you know that survive long with female clergy? Women usually gravitate toward the feminine divine, goddess worship. Feminism is also closely allied with the LGBT movement in that both seek to erase any distinctions between men and women

    • April says:

      With regards to your question, you may see a partial list of religions that ordain women here, including many that have survived long: http://www.religioustolerance.org/femclrg13.htm

      With regards to your other statements: This is a website operated by Mormon feminists. I am willing to bet that we know a lot more about feminism than you do. It is quite presumptuous of you to come instruct us about the goals you allege that we have, especially as you seem ill-versed about the movement. At this website, we encourage people to share their own thoughts and opinions, not to make up stories about what they believe others’ opinions may be.

    • Frank Pellett says:

      If you’re talking just Christian, it varies with how they approached it. If you’re talking all religions, there are religions that are thousands of years old that have had various roles for women, including roles identical to those of the men. The various approaches in Christianity have had various levels of success depending on the receptivenes of their members, those taking the time to convince to change doing better than those jumping straight in. And almost none of these believe in a feminine divine.

      And, for the record, not all feminists seek to “erase any distinctions between men and women” – I’d have thought this post made that obvious. Nor are all feminists “closely allied with the LGBT movement”, nor are they all man haters, nor do they all have the same goals and aims. Even if they tend to congregate toward others with similar views, feminists arent any more monolithic in thought or belief than Mormons.

  13. Dara says:

    April:
    Do you want total all out equality? Who would attend priesthood and who would attend Relief Society? Would we have a female EQ president and/or a male RS president? How far would this equality issue go?

    • April says:

      Equality, by definition, must be “total all out” and must “go” all the way. Otherwise, it is not equality, now is it? Why would I seek for women to be only slightly less subordinate than at present?

      As to your other questions, I do not know exactly how it would be organized. Maybe we could do like they did in Nauvoo, when Relief Society was organized as a women’s priesthood quorum and simply continue to meet in the same block classes. Maybe we could combine men and women into one elders’ quorum and drop Relief Society. (Most of the Relief Society’s programs have already been discontinued other than Sunday classes. See my earlier comment.) Maybe we could meet jointly for priesthood meeting three weeks a month and separate once a month for Relief Society and a new Men’s Auxiliary Program. Naturally, the presidents of these organizations would be drawn from the membership.

    • Dara, I managed to get through that, and am not sure what it has to do with the origins of feminism, as the oldest quotes it brings are from 1971. Feminism has been around for at least 100 years now, since at least some time before the 19th Amendment. Also, the use of phrases like “The real feminist agenda is Satanic” means this isn’t really exploring feminism and its origins, but is bsaically doing everything it can to declare feminists and feminism evil without actually learning who they are or what they want. The quotes given are not representative of feminism – they are simply the most radical of those who use that appelation. There’s probably a nice descriptor for this rhetorical device, but to me it’s just wrong, no matter who is using it.

      To me, the worst thing about this being brought up is that you could almost replace “feminism” with “Mormonism” and get one of the many anti-Mormon diatribes given to scare people away from even thinking about it. We certainly have enough quotes in our history to choose from.

      I’m not particularly versed on the origins of feminism. I have the general idea, like I do much of the rest of history, ant that’s plenty enough for me.

      What I am versed in is the origins of my feminism, I had a mother who fought severe depression in my childhood, who learned as she grew what she needed to do to protect and strengthen her family along with her husband (20 years her senior), who also learned many things on how to be a family. Both converts to the Church, they both got that Gift of -knowing- that the Church is true (which I sometimes envy). In my teens, my mother spent 4 years being the patient advocate for my older brother as he fought, and ultimately died of, brain cancer. That exhausting experience inspired her to go back to school and get her degree in biology. She spent time quiety working on rooting out sexist ideas in her schools, much of which would barely register to some people as a problem. For example, a basic auto maintenance class being billed as “for the ladies”.

      As a teen and adult, I had my own issues with depression and addiction (my fathers side is a long line of ne’er do wells), but I knew that I needed to do what I could to change people’s minds and hearts about the “simple” sexist comments and ideas that they’d never really thought about. I bristle any time someone says, “That’s so like a man”, just as much as I do when people decide to put women, Jews, or any other group. Didn’t matter to me if they were older and hadn’t learned any better – now was as good a time as any to learn. It wasn’t until the past several years that I learned there was a name for this – “feminism”. It wasn’t the best name, since it didn’t cover everything that was needed, but it worked for me.

      I took longer than I’d have liked to grow up, going through a hard mission and in and out of an abusive marriage. I’ve managed much better since, but am still (and probably will ever) having a difficult time teaching my sons, who live in a home where the women treat men as superior and have been told that their Priesthood makes them the head of the home. This has given me some special empathy toward those who have had to live with an abusive marriage, no matter what their gender, and has only strengthened my views on the need for feminism.

      My feminism is not the same as anyone else’s, especially on the boards I frequent. I’m too progressive for some and too conservative for others, but I’m proud to be a feminist, just as I am proud to be LDS, and just as I am proud to be a 4th gen Cubs fan (all of which I hope to pass on to my children).

      Sorry for the long reply, but I’ve been getting signals from several directions that I’m either not really a feminist or that this part of me is something I should abandon because it is “Satanic”. Either is crap. Feminism is defined by the journey of the individual, and this is my journey, that I get to continue on with my amazing wife who had never even thought of these kinds of things before, but for some reason likes to listen to how I think.

      Debate the merits of feminism and the varied ideas and ideals given all you like, but jumping in with how evil anyone who uses that appellation must be, simply for having those beliefs, is as useful as an anti-mormon rant on an “I’m proud to be Mormon” board.

    • Deborah says:

      (Before you link to that article again, you might want to put “Mormon” in their search box. Turns out the author isn’t so wild about us, either).

  14. Dara says:

    You are a man and call yourself a feminist and refer to your feminism. How many women do you know that callthemselves masculists or talk about their masculism? But feminism is not all sweet and wonderful like many say. There is a dark side

    • TopHat says:

      *raises hand*

      I am a feminist and a masculinist. And I’ve blogged about the later on my personal blog even. You make it sound like people like me don’t exist, but we do. Let’s comment fairly and not make strawmen here.

    • Holly says:

      **also raises hand** I often talk about the way men suffer under patriarchy and the ways that rigid gender roles limit their ability to be fully and joyfully human, and I am working to correct those problems.

    • spunky says:

      My doctorial work is in masculinity studies. This is one of my first posts as a perma, wherein I ask some masculinist questions in regard to the Relief Society.

  15. Holly says:

    Heather writes, above

    This all sounds so much more complicated and harder than it needs to be.

    I agree. A “priesthood of all believers” is difficult for the church only because the church chooses to make it so.

    Frank writes,

    I don’t know how anyone got that I’m uncomfortable with ordination – if it happened tonight, however it happened, I’d be thrilled. I knew I’d take flak for saying I disagreed with the movement (and was warned by the Admins), but I’d hoped that the post would signal that I’m not umcomfortable with it.

    but his initial statement indicates that in his view there’s a way in which women who ask for equality have to earn their equality, that they’re not just entitled to it. He writes,

    We have quite a number of smaller steps to go before we even think of any kind of ordination, not the least of which is in changing hearts to show that feminist (equality, egalitarian, what have you) ideals are not aiming to demand direction of the Church away from those called to lead, but that they can also be more passive, removing stumbling blocks and offering ideas and inspirations in the attitude of hope and love, consistent with Articles of Faith 9 and 13.

    Check that out: we can’t “even think of any kind of ordination” right now. WHY NOT?

    If people don’t think you’re just entitled to equality this very second, if they think you have to prove something before “we even think of any kind of” step that actually put equality in place, it becomes pretty hard to believe that they aren’t somehow uncomfortable with that step.

    The Ordain Women movement is saying, “You tell us that women are equal to men in spiritual worth and value to their heavenly father. Please act in a way that demonstrates that you actually believe what you’re telling us.”

    fMh had a whole big to-do this week when it hosted Kate Kelly’s response to Valerie Hudson Cassler’s bizarre assertion that the Ordain Women movement is anti-feminist. http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2013/04/pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain/
    Hudson Cassler’s logic is that asking men to make women equal is anti-feminist because women are already equal, and they’d realize this if they’d just click their heels three time (seriously–she titles her piece “Ruby Slippers on Her Feet”).

    The response is that the equality needs to be officially recognized by those in power if women are to express that equality without being punished. Women ARE just as worthy, inherently, as men right this minute to bless their babies before the entire congregation, but women get in trouble if they try to do it.

    So of course it’s not anti-feminist to ask for an official recognition of women’s equality. I do think it IS pretty darn close to anti-feminist, however, to say that “we have quite a number of smaller steps to go before we even think of any kind of ordination”–not that “we have quite a number of smaller steps to go before we will achieve ordination,” but before we can even think of it, and that for this reason, the Ordain Women movement is doing it wrong.

    Like Heather says, “This all sounds so much more complicated and harder than it needs to be.”

    There are no steps we need to take before we even think of any kind of ordination. We’re ready right now, and all women had to do to earn the right to ordination was be born.

    • When I said that “we” are not ready, I did not mean that “we” the feminists aren’t ready, or that “we” the ordain women supporters are not ready. I meant that we as a Church are not ready. When the members fo the church have such a bad reaction to something as simple as women wearing pants, then that needs to be fixed. We can’t simply respond with “too bad if you can’t keep up” and go on our merry way. If we are to succeed at all, we need to work as the Savior does, with kindness, patience, and all of the other attributes given (which is neither completely passive nor passive resistance), in convincing our sisters and brothers of the changes that need to be made. With only 10% of the women being in favor of ordination, and even a smaller percentage actually joining in the movement, it should be obvious there is a long way to go before this can be accomplished. Doing it now would cause a bigger flood of people leaving the Church than we saw when the CoC started ordaining women. When ordaining women (in whatever way it comes) is a natural next step, not an extreme view to be used to -make- people be better, then it will come. And it -will- come.

      • Holly says:

        I meant that we as a Church are not ready.

        That is not how you couched your objection, and that is not a reason to wait to ask.

        When the members fo the church have such a bad reaction to something as simple as women wearing pants, then that needs to be fixed.

        How do you know that asking for the priesthood is not a way to fix what is wrong there?

        If we are to succeed at all, we need to work as the Savior does, with kindness, patience, and all of the other attributes given

        Including telling teaching stories that help people understand when they’re saying stuff that doesn’t make sense, and turning over tables in the temple when people are doing something SERIOUSLY wrong.

        We can’t simply respond with “too bad if you can’t keep up” and go on our merry way.

        Maybe you can’t. But some of us can. Most of us do. That’s very likely why two thirds to three fourths of the church’s membership is inactive.

        With only 10% of the women being in favor of ordination,

        Something interesting emerged in the conversation on fMh:

        The Pew poll in 2011 (which had 8% of women supporting ordination) had 1,019 people responding, 73% of them from the western states, the majority over 50 years old, and the majority identifying as Republican.

        As the commenter who pointed that out notes, “it doesn’t really surprise me that so few supported women’s ordination. If their group had been spread more across the country and younger, I would what it would look like. ”
        http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2013/04/pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain/#comment-1232822

        Doing it now would cause a bigger flood of people leaving the Church than we saw when the CoC started ordaining women.

        So what? Is that a reason to delay granting human beings equality? And as long as the people don’t have their names removed, it won’t make any difference–the church will still count them as members. They only real change will be that the people won’t pay as much tithing.

        What is the message there, Frank? “Recognition of your full humanity and your divine potential is SECONDARY to things like how many people pay tithing”?

        Really? You want women to wait to ASK for equality until it’s more CONVENIENT to grant it?

        Do you really wonder why plenty of people don’t consider someone like you much of an ally?

        When ordaining women (in whatever way it comes) is a natural next step, not an extreme view to be used to -make- people be better, then it will come.

        That’s not how granting rights to the disenfranchised or marginalized ever works. Nothing ever cone to seem like a “natural next step” with a great big knock-down argument (there’s glory for you!) and without radicals who call for a revolution right this minute.

        And it -will- come.

        Yep. But it will be because of things like Ordain Women, NOT because of people who urge patience.

  16. Starfoxy says:

    Admin note: Please take a moment to review our comment policy. Violating comments will be removed.

  17. dara says:

    Tophat:
    April did not answer this. can you?

    Do you want total all out equality? Who would attend priesthood and who would attend Relief Society? Would we have a female EQ president and/or a male RS president? How far would this equality issue go?

    • Holly says:

      Do you want total all out equality?

      “Total all out”? You use phrases other people apply to nuclear war. What’s up with that, Dara?

      As for who would attend what meeting…. there could still be certain spaces segregated by gender. Maybe to complement the women’s Relief Society, men could have the Support Committee. Maybe priesthood could be the integrated meeting and we could get rid of Sunday school.

      Like Heather points out above, none of this really needs to be that complicated.

  18. Holly says:

    Looking up various comments for another conversation elsewhere, I found a comment I made on Ask Mormon Girl and thought it was relevant here in view of Frank’s claim that women will get the priesthood when the church is ready:

    My primary objection to this facile, meaningless claim that “women will get–
    the right to sue abusive husbands for divorce
    the right to go to college
    the right to vote
    the priesthood
    meaningful discourse about heavenly mother
    equal work for equal pay
    the right to plan their families without Republican legislators trying to ban birth control
    –when they’re ready for it”
    is that it ignores and erases the vision, dedication, and hard work of the women (and, god bless ‘em, men) who protest, agitate, write letters, write articles, write books, educate, file lawsuits, go to prison, lose their families, are beaten, are raped, are excommunicated, DIE to make other women and the rest of the world ready for a “privilege” that men enjoy as a right.

    It erases not just the hope and suffering of these women but the women themselves, as if the causes they worked for were inevitabilities that would have happened sooner or later, regardless of their valiant efforts.

    Please don’t do that, and please don’t repeat such statements as if they are wisdom instead of cruelty and error. http://askmormongirl.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/ask-mormon-girl-why-do-we-not-talk-about-heavenly-mother/

    • Alisa says:

      “[…]to make other women and the rest of the world ready for a ‘privilege’ that men enjoy as a right.” Awomen, Holly.

  19. Andrew R. says:

    Unfortunately the idealised way in which this is written takes no thought at all for how much of the Church currently has to operate. Much of his ideas are unworkable in the vast majority of the Church in the US, let alone outside of it.

    Just a couple of things to point this out.

    A Bishopric couple (past young child days)
    Do you have any idea how difficult it is currently to find someone to be the bishop in many wards. In a ward in out stake we (the stake presidency) need to call a new bishop as the old one is leaving the ward. There are two, yes two, possibilities.
    One, the most eligible, has two children under 3 and I suspect more will be coming soon (especially in the five year term of a bishop).
    The other fits the category of being past young children. However, his wife is Young Women president and there would not be anyone to replace her with 10 young women. Also he is currently struggling with tithing, so he would have to change that to be bishop.

    High Council (6 men and 6 women)
    We currently have 9 high councillors, and one ward needs one of them back to replace their HPGL. Being able to call sister sounds like it would solve the problem. However, another ward wants one of the stake RSP counsellors back, and we can not find a replacement for her – so finding just 4 female HC’s could prove difficult.

    I would also note that the idea that the Bishopric and Elders Quorum presidencies are the two doing things completely negates the work of the HP Group leadership.

  1. August 29, 2016

    […] Feminist is Uncomfortable with the Recent Push for the Ordination of Women) and Frank Pellett (Imagining Priestesshood) expressed opposing points of view. Exponent blogger Mraynes reacted to Ordain Women’s first […]

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