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Comments about ‘Linda & Richard Eyre: Women and the priesthood in Mormon theology’

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Published: Thursday, March 27 2014 10:16 p.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

I suspect that the Eyre's would have written something similar in 1975 about blacks and the priesthood.

The LDS has every right to set their policies. And people have every right to make personal judgements concerning those policies.

However, it is useless to even discuss it. One cannot trump the "because God said so" argument.

Lilalips
Attleboro, MA

This is a tough topic to explain to small girls. In short, it doesn't feel right in practice because the Church could be more inclusive of women regardless of the Priesthood. I would like to see the General Authorities up there on the stand with their WIVES. Yes, I would like to see more female faces up there. Let them show by example the kind of partnership taught in a recent Ensign article. If motherhood is the offset of the Priesthood then we need to see more Mothers up there on the stand. We women don't officiate with the priesthood in this life outside of the Temple but if you go to the temple often, how can you come away with the thought that women will never have the priesthood? So much of what we do is about being here on earth. I don't necessarily want the Priesthood but what I want is more female input in policy and closed door meetings. If that means that they need to hold the Priesthood, then women should have the Priesthood. You cannot have full partners and exclude them from the decision making process the way the Church does now.

Danite
Salt Lake City, UT

While this is a nice (albeit light) piece on the priesthood, I don't think it does any good to help our Ordain Woman brothers and sisters. When will the DNews take on some meaningful, substantial works that actually address real issues? True doctrine understood changes attiidudes and behaviors, so let's start talking about true doctrines. Fluffy, two minute sermons won't do the trick.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

Hmm... I'm not sure I like the tone I got from the article, but tone can be difficult to interpret properly over a body of text. I do fully understand and admire the point behind it, though.

Our stances on the Priesthood, marriage, families, and our relationship with God aren't arbitrary; the world takes bits and pieces out of context and tries to attack them. But when a person realizes our understanding, fully and in context, they realize "Of COURSE that's what they believe! It can't be any other way! Of course that's why men hold the Priesthood, why men and women unite to make families!" That seems to be exactly the point this article is making.

The world views people with a self-oriented perspective. We view it with a family-oriented one.

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

The one-ness and equality that my wife and I share go far beyond my holding the priesthood and my wife having babies. The space here too small to name every area of our lives, but when we think of how different and diverse our primary roles are in our relationship, we also observe that, "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. (1 Cor 11:11)" In everything we do, we are partners. I help and support my wife in every family task she owns and the same is true in reverse for mine. Even my church callings have been fulfilled with the help and support of my wife. I have been a significant help to my wife when she served in church callings as well. We often muse that we are each better when partnered with the other. And we observe that I can be a better person without bearing babies while she can be a better person without bearing the priesthood. There are plenty of opportunities for each of to grow, in God's way. We don't need to own the tasks of the other.

Nayajja
Ephraim, UT

Remarkable article. Danite, if you think this is fluffy, you didn't read it, and if you read it, then seeing, you do not see.

One of the greatest powers we receive through faithful marriage is the power to spend our whole life practicing the Godly attribute of being one with another person. In his great prayer before his atonement, Christ prayed to his Father that we may be one as he and his Father are one. Marriage is where we can practice that, with just one person at a time.

Thank you, Brother and Sister Eyre, for your insight on this:

"In Mormon theology, neither a man nor a woman is a perfectible entity. Neither can realize full potential alone or achieve the highest heaven. Together, though, in a new kind of oneness defined by interdependence rather than independence....

"In such a union, striving for that kind of oneness and that kind of salvation, two priesthoods would be redundant and divisive. One priesthood, the power to bless and to call down divine help, shared as indivisibly as the power of procreation, is indispensable to the growth and progress we seek."

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

@JoeBlow
This issue is nothing like blacks and the priesthood. As a life-long member, I was taught in my childhood by my parents and leaders that the day would come for all men to hold the priesthood and that the restriction was temporary. I was also taught that one day, the gospel would be available to everyone in the earth, but the restriction we saw was temporary. I welcomed the day when those teachings proved to be correct. The issue of women and the priesthood has no such historical teaching. My father also taught that I might live to see the day of two-piece garments. As I posted above, there is no spiritual growth denied by separate roles of men and women working together as partners in the church or in the family. God gets it done.

Ohio-LDS
NE, OH

Ordaining women will not make women the "same" as men any more than allowing women to pray in general conference, speak in sacrament meeting, or select which child says family prayer at home has made women the "same" as men. Whatever natural differences exist between the sexes will still exist after ordination.

Women are looking for equal access to God, not to become men. Just as women have better access to God now that they are allowed to pray in conference, speak in church, and preside at home, women will have better access to God when they are ordained to the priesthood.

jeanie
orem, UT

Nah, I doubt the Eyres would have made such statements about the blacks and the priesthood.

The argument offered here is better phrased "Mormons believe God said so because..." Because in Mormon theology we believe what the Eyers expressed, we are not complete alone but ultimately we are whole when we are joined with an individual of the opposite and complimentary gender who brings unique and critical gifts to the union.

People are free to disagree with this reasoning, but it helps to clarify Mormon theology and explain why as a church we support certain views. Understanding this one can say, "I get why they think the way they do even though I disagree."

John Marx
Layton, UT

From the article

"But there is one problem that pervades the feminism culture and that is actually working against the ultimate and worthy goal of total equality. It is the notion that equality means sameness."

I keep hearing people say this, but I don't think I've heard a feminist argue that men and women are the same. Only that they should have the same rights/privileges. For example arguing that women should have the right to vote isn't saying men and women are the same. It's not even implying that.

Also from the article
"In such a union, striving for that kind of oneness and that kind of salvation, two priesthoods would be redundant and divisive."

What about single mothers?

And if indeed they are "one" and completely harmonious how can giving them both the priesthood by "divisive?"

Mick
Murray, Utah

I am not sure how women have more "access" to God by praying in conference. And I am really not sure how they would have more "access" to him if they had the priesthood.

Please define more access

Esquire
Springville, UT

I think JoeBlow is correct. Frankly, like the blacks and the priesthood issue, not ordaining women really lacks a core doctrinal basis and is justified by various rationalizations. At the time, I supported the church on the blacks issue, but it never really made sense, and now I see that I was wrong as was the church. When you get right down to it, there is no reason women should not recieve the priesthood, except that we are bound by the old traditions of our fathers, and they really make no sense.

That's A Good One
Salt Lake City, UT

Cincy-Man, well put. That's exactly how I'd say it if I was more eloquent with words.

jeanie
orem, UT

As an "unordained" LDS woman I have just as much access to God as my "ordained" husband. I have just as much access to God as President Monson does. I need nothing more.

StudentofReason
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Separate but equal? The notion was defeated half a century ago. I'm astonished it's still seen as valid in some circles.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Looks like some stickhandling to try and head off a coming problem.

dr.bridell
mclean, VA

Wow, I read this article, and then I read the comments from Esquire, Joe Blow, and OhioLDS and I wonder if they read the same article I did. The Eyres are not arguing that men should have the priesthood and women shouldn't; they
are explaining that the Priesthood is a family power, shared by a husband and wife who are striving to create a oneness that will exalt them as a single perfectible entity. They are saying that a couple, married in the LDS temple has the priesthood together, that it unites them under one single power. And they add that this is not some exclusive thing but something that every man and every woman will have the opportunity for either in this life or in the next.
Its like the motor and the transmission being part of one car. It's the car that has the power to go down the road, not the motor or the transmission. People may not believe that, but if they understand it, they will understand why mormon women already have the priesthood.

TMR
Los Angeles, CA

This opinion follows a familiar pattern in the writings by the Linda and Richard Eyre: establish a premise that is overly simplistic or only partially true and then conflate it for all its worth. Feminism is far more complex than "equality means sameness." Yes, as stated in the article, LDS people do need to articulate better the reasons for the church doctrine on priesthood. A good start would be not to cast aspersions on groups that may see the world a little differently.

viejogeezer
CARLSBAD, CA

Can someone explain to me why it is that in Nauvoo and Pioneer Utah women routinely administered to the sick but now it is not permitted. As late as the 1960's in the priesthood manual based on "Answers to Gospel Questions" authored by Joseph Fielding Smith it was stated that it was perfectly acceptable for endowed women to participate with their husbands in blessing sick children with the husband as voice stating "by virtue of the priesthood in us vested". Why is this currently not the case?

Danite
Salt Lake City, UT

@Nayajja,

A few paragraphs by the Eyre's is not what I would consider a doctrinally rich work. I like what they said but is it enough? Does it respond to some of the Ordain Women's issues? It's very easy for faith Lattter-day Saints to tell others to "be more faithful" and "follow the brethren" (while both of those are so very, very crucial). We need to teach the "why's" better and more clearly. What I'm advocating for is a piece with more than a few paragraphs, done by someone who has dedicated their lives to teaching doctrine....what about Daniel Peterson?

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