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General Relief Society President Linda K. Burton has encouraged women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) to learn more about the priesthood. In this spirit, I have been studying speeches by currently serving apostles, auxiliary leaders and recent emeritus auxiliary leaders to search for answers to common questions about present-day doctrines surrounding women and priesthood. Excerpts are included below, organized by the question they may address.
We rejoice that we are privileged to live in this season of the history of the Church when questions are being asked about the priesthood. There is great interest and desire to know and understand more about the authority, power, and blessings associated with the priesthood of God. It is our hope for this next sacred hour together that “the doctrine of the priesthood…[may] distil upon [our] soul[s] as the dews from heaven.” We hope to instill within each of us a greater desire to better understand the priesthood. (Burton, 2013)
Do women receive the priesthood through the endowment?
When men and women go to the temple, they are both endowed with the same power, which by definition is priesthood power. (Ballard, 2013)
We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge “armed” with power. The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness. (Dew, 2001)
Some members of the Church are now teaching that priesthood is some kind of a free-floating authority which can be assumed by anyone who has had the endowment…The priesthood is conferred through ordination, not simply through making a covenant or receiving a blessing. It has been so since the beginning. Regardless of what they may assume or imply or infer from anything which has been said or written, past or present, specific ordination to an office in the priesthood is the way, and the only way, it has been or is now conferred…Do not miss that one simple, obvious absolute: The priesthood ever and always is conferred by ordination by one who holds proper authority, and it is known to the Church that he has it. (Packer, 1993)
Do women share the priesthood with their husbands?