"He said that women cannot be priests, and that is true," Faulconer wrote in an article posted Thursday on patheos.com. "Mormon women do not have the priesthood. But Simon added to that a denial that women cannot aspire to divinity, which isn't true. Neither women nor men who have not been ‘sealed' in an LDS temple (something available either in this life of by proxy in the life to come) can aspire to divinity. Divinity is granted only to male-female couples."
Added Armstrong: "The Mormon doctrine of divinity is not exclusively masculine." He cites "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," an official statement from the LDS Church's presiding First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued in 1995, which states that "all human beings — male and female — are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."
He also referred to a statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the church's April 2007 General Conference, in which he urged husbands to "think of yourself and (your wife) as the god and goddess you both inherently are."
Armstrong also challenges Critchley's claim that "Mormonism is properly and powerfully post-Christian, as Islam is post-Christian."
"We Mormons do not think of ourselves as ‘post-Christian,' nor should we," he said. "Such a label would imply that Mormonism is somehow beyond Christianity and therefore not fully accepting of Jesus Christ as God's only-begotten son in the flesh and the Savior of the world.
"Mormonism," he added, "is Christianity restored."
Although acknowledging that Critchley's "love letter to Mormons" was "somewhat awkward," Faulconer says that LDS responses to public questions about their faith have been similarly awkward "and probably will continue to be."
"We're just getting used to this kind of relationship with non-Mormons," he said. But he hopes the bugs can be worked out of the relationship because, he said, "the most interesting public conversation about Mormonism hasn't occurred yet."
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