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Linda & Richard Eyre: Women and the priesthood in Mormon theology

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  • lastobeth United Kingdom, 00
    July 31, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    I agree that members of the Church need to be better at explaining both to themselves and to others many points. We live in an inquiring age where information is available to everyone. We ask members to accept difficult issues from the history of the Church on faith, is it fair to ask every interested person to do that?

    I do think questions should be considered with fairness and compassion. For example, the Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book from 1842 does document the sisters administering to the sick and having the gift of healing. Also when Joseph Smith attended the third meeting of Relief Society he said "The Relief Society should move according to the ancient Priesthood, hence there should be a select Society separate from the evils of the world, choice, virtuous and holy ... I will make of this Society a Kingdom of Priests as in Enoch's day - as in Paul's day ...".

    I do accept and believe that we should have faith and wait for revelation in the correct manner but I also feel a lot of love for anyone who has questions, and more kindness with minds open to diversity is needed.

  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    April 1, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    Sheri Dew, in her latest book, has said that men and women hold the Priesthood as endowed individuals. But men hold the priesthood (with a small p), which is the male version of Priesthood. There is a female version of Priesthood, also. What is missing is an articulation of it--that is the job of this generation.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 31, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    @dotp 3:18 p.m. March 29, 2014

    You are exactly right. I can do everything my husband does with the priesthood; I just do it differently. I don't need to be ordained in the priesthood to receive revelation from my Heavenly Father or heal or any of the myriad things the priesthood accomplishes. As others have said, though, I just wish women were more recognized in general leadership roles in the Church (not just those pertaining to women and children).

    At least things are a lot better now than they were when I first joined the Church in the early 1970s. Then, for example, the Elders Quorum President asked my husband how he could "let" me go to law school, and didn't underswtand when my husband said it was my decision to make since I was the one who would be doing the studying. Thankfully, now, there is less attention paid to gender roles and more attention given to the skills and abilities of each oerson.

  • tevster Canada, 00
    March 30, 2014 9:22 p.m.

    Ordain women? What for? While you're at it, lets give all the men a uterus and have them carry and deliver the babies. Absurd, uncalled for, and pointless. Men and women have distinct yet equally important roles. But the grass is always greener on the other side I suppose??? I may have carried and birthed our children, but my husband is still an equal parent. My husband may have received the ordination to the priesthood, but I'm still an equal holder of it. Ooooo so I don't officiate....big deal. He couldn't and didn't breastfeed. We're different. And there's a rhyme and a reason for it....whether we like it and, or, agree with it or not. Willing it and fighting for those roles to change isn't going to make it so. There are "traditions" and then there are divine absolutes. Traditions can change. Gods laws, don't hold your breath. If you don't like how it is, no one is forcing you to be a member. It's a matter of faith.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    March 30, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    @vern001
    "giving women more say in the running of the church is what matters to me and many other women."

    How about we make sure God has a “say in the running of the church”? If you don’t believe the priesthood leaders are inspired and receiving the same messages that God would give even if women were the chosen administrators, then there is lacking a testimony of revelation as the key distinctive ingredient of the LDS Church.

  • zionson Independence, MO
    March 30, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Great insights sounded off with these discussions. These issues are nothing new to this world. All it takes is to read and ponder the scriptures and we know that the prophets of the Lord have been very consistent about the natural man vs God because the prophets were personally taught by the Lord. Heeding the words of the prophets has been unpopular for ages since Adam and Eve. The LDS Church curriculum revolves around the 4 standard works year in and year out and some of us seem to ask why do we study the same doctrines and covenants.The answer is because we are far from perfection in keeping such covenants.

    Many civilizations in the scriptures were wiped clean from the face of the earth because they tried to council God thru his prophets instead of following their council. (Mormon 8:35)The Lords prophets are way ahead of our times it will be wise to humble and listen because when the prophets speak the discussion is over. There is no democracy when it comes to the Lords time table....he has has given us true freedom to understand the atonement and the plan of salvation.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    March 30, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    I love this article! Very well said! As a woman, I already have the Priesthood in my life, I just don't administer it myself. I am perfectly happy with the way things have been set up and we all need to remember that it was set up this way by the Lord.

  • Trophyman Perth, 00
    March 30, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    I think that the issue is not about women holding the priesthood, I have no doubt that one day they will. The issue is that a group is trying to force the leadership of the church to bow to their wishes and not wait for a revelation. What are we a social club? This is the Church of Jesus Christ and only he can reveal to his Prophet how he want his church organised and run. If its done any othr way then we are just another sectarian church with no claims to revelation or divine authority.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    March 29, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    There are so many out there who are so busy looking at the idea that women "don't have the priesthood" and are therefore denied something, that they don't see what women DO have already and thus don't need ordination in the priesthood. Our roles ARE different. There is no reason why a mother (whether married or single for whatever reason) can not lay her hands on her child and give them a mother's blessing for healing. There is no reason why a mother can't wrap her arms around her child or hold them in her lap and ask for our Heavenly Father to bless and heal that child from whatever is afflicting them. I don't want or NEED any other duties from being ordained unless Heavenly Father tells me HIMSELF that HE wants me to be ordained. Since He has not done so and I have plenty to occupy my time already, I don't NEED the priesthood to make me feel fulfilled. I already have plenty of work to do without taking on the extra duties associated with the priesthood. I'm sure my fellow sisters who are active feel the same way.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    March 29, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    @ulvegaard
    Your point is well taken. However it would imply that the churches position is one of policy, not doctrine and is obviously subject to modification. I don't advocate female ordination. It seems inconsistent with history, tradition and revelation. (However there may be some precedent for it in other ordinances( ie. kings and queens, priests and priestesses)). My point is that my endowed wife would very much like to participate in the ordinance of administering to our sick child and I can find no doctrinal prohibition.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 29, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    @viejogeezer,

    I suspect that at that time, such practices were further binding families together -- but then, like so many things, it got out of control, exceptions to the rules were sought out and divisions between men and women, or competitions ensued.

    Most articles I read regarding this push for ordination of women include statements by women on how ordination would allow them to function without men -- it, as I see it, is an argument towards independence from each other, as stated in this article, rather than interdependence on each other. I know few stalwart women in the church who don't seem to have a more direct access to God than do men. Women are naturally more in tune. I contend that the priesthood only helps men become more equal with their wives; not superior to them.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 28, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    Some of the comments seem to imply that Priesthood offices are mainly about running meetings, but this is not so. The office of Bishop holds priesthood keys that allow him to direct the ordinances that take place in the ward, for example the Sacrament and Baptisms. The other offices of the Priesthood are also about directing and performing ordinances.

    Priesthood ordinances represent and typify Christ and His divine mission. Perhaps it is simplistic of me to think that the Lord calls males to priesthood offices because their gender also symbolizes that of the Son of God.

  • Jus Sayin Villa Park, CA
    March 28, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    The Eyre's main point seems to be that people have different strengths and abilities. This is no doubt true. But has it been shown that men are inherently better at administration (running organizations) than men? I don't think so. Although I've served in several bishoprics, my wife would make a far better bishop than I would. In truth, I suspect that most organizations would benefit from a mixture of male / female leadership. That is happening at many of the most successful corporations and the Church will be a better organization when it incorporates women more fully into leadership and decision-making positions. As we've learned in the past, however, our leaders tend to move slowly when receiving new revelation and from the tenor of many of these comments it seems like many of the members aren't ready for this yet.

  • geoffsn Madison, WI
    March 28, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    Before any real dialogue can happen about women and priesthood, we need to all be clear on what our doctrines are regarding priesthood. If we look at the history of our Mormon Priesthood, we can start to have a conversation that isn't just a parade of straw-men.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    I'm fine with either way, if that's what God wants, but I'm not fine with protests or demands on the currently ordained leadership--treating them as if they have not inquired of the Lord.

    I think such a tactic denies the very nature of priesthood. If you would be the greatest, you must be the least. If you would be master of all things, you must be servant of all things.

    By demanding influence and power, you lose the priesthood, for the moment we aspire to power, we lose it.

    (Read D&C section 121) The very nature of priesthood and the powers of heaven has nothing to do with unrighteous dominion.

  • Michael Matthews Omaha, NE
    March 28, 2014 5:15 a.m.

    The argument that Equal but Separate is invalid flies directly against Christ's teaching via Paul that all members of the church (all parts of the body) are valid and of equal worth. The Eyre's are making a similar argument here.

  • dr.bridell mclean, VA
    March 28, 2014 2:07 a.m.

    I am still amazed that the comments on this article continue to be about whether or not women should have the LDS priesthood. I think what the Eyres are saying is that they already do!
    If their premise--that the LDS Priesthood is a shared power to assist and guide couples and families to ultimate perfectibility, then the debate everyone is having, including in the comments on this column, is moot!

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    March 27, 2014 10:59 p.m.

    David in Texas:

    "I have a testimony of the church, BUT..."

    Enough said!

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    March 27, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    @ Ken Young

    You might want to check the church's website and manuals on that.

  • David_in_Texas Plano, TX
    March 27, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    I have a testimony of the church, but I think that we should be open to the idea that this may be similar to the racial restriction on the priesthood. Consider that in the time period of the restoration when most of the church's policies were laid down, the majority of church members probably would have argued against women having the right to vote. The church wasn't ready for it. Given that men and women are fundamentally different, I'm going to guess that men are always going to make up the majority of church leaders and women are likely always going to be encouraged to focus on the nurture of their children and grandchildren. But I don't see any fundamental problem with a Relief Society President setting apart those in her organization, or a mother giving a blessing to her kids, just as women administer in the temple. The priesthood can flow through a woman just as well as a man.

    It would take a revelation, but I think we should be open to the idea that it could happen, and not entrench ourselves in explanations that may turn out to be wrong.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    March 27, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    Anyone who desires authority is the last one who should have it. Period.

  • Not Asleep Lewiston, UT
    March 27, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    I read a story about women ministers in the South and how they can't get men to come to the meetings. Some men were quoted, as harsh as it may sound, that they were darned if they were going to go to church and have a woman "over them" there too. We do live on this fallen planet of harsh realities and most of the time it has to do with the fact that we human beings have a long way to go. Regarding the blacks and the priesthood, I always felt like it could have happened a long time ago if we human beings had been prepared and Christlike enough. The world likes to rag on the Mormon Church for being so late to the game on these progressive issues but the fact is the world is just as far or further behind. There was still a ton of institutional not to mention individual prejudice in the late 70's. For my part, I kind of like having priesthood meetings with just my fellow elders and high priests-- would that change if women were ordained?

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 27, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    My memory is fairly certain that Bruce R. McConkie was a Seventy when he first wrote Mormon Doctrine. It was several years later that he was called of God as a member of the Quorum of Twelve. The fact that he modified the book soon after it was published showed the he certainly didn't consider it infallible.

    The Journal of Discourses isn't infallible, either. They didn't have tape recorders back then; scribes attempted to write down what the speakers were saying as fast as they could. I do not believe that Brigham Young or others ever went back and corrected the entries. The multi-volume book was written as an attempt to record history.

    When the Apostles said that the negro under no condition may receive the priesthood, they were basing this upon what had been currently revealed. They were saying that up to that day there were no circumstances that would allow them to do it.

    I am so grateful that the Lord gave that revelation in my day, and I trust Him to guide His church as He sees fit.

  • tokyodishwater Orem, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    I see it the same as higher level education classes only open to specific majors. As a history major, I can't attend the advanced classes for Biology majors. They are there to learn their trade and how to best specialize in their work, along with their peers who are in the same situation and with the same knowledge as them. I would be out of place in the Biology class, none of the material would be for me and I wouldn't have the education or experience necessary to make use of it.

    Similarly, these conferences are organized and held so that those who have the specific divine natures and callings can learn how to magnify those. They are gender specific because they are our specific "advanced" classes, tailored for those who have the experience, lives, callings, and divinely given nature to make use and learn from what is provided. I would have no need to be in the Priesthood sessions because The Lord isn't talking to ME in them, he is talking to the men. There is not much for me there because it isn't applicable to me. I'M OK WITH THAT.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations, Members have always had the habit of quoting prophets and apostles on certain matters when it suits your argument, but then dismissing other comments by saying they are merely opinion. True,i.e.. .Priesthood by race.

    Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ, and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.(JoD V. 2 p. 142). Paul was Jewish (Romans 11:1, Phil 3:5)

    ” I never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it Scripture, Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon and it is a good as Scripture as they deserve.” (JoD v 13 p. 95 also see v. 13. P 264).

  • notrebl Medford, OR
    March 27, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    All this talk about how a woman and a man use the priesthood together glosses over the fact that almost half of all (yes, even LDS) marriages now end in divorce. So like the rest of LDS people, you relegate divorced, widows and singles to the children's table where they can wait patiently for someone to serve them a blessing when it's convenient for someone else. Not when it's needed. And to other comments who keep drawing the equal sign between priesthood and bearing children : It's not a consolation prize. God didn't give you the priesthood instead of a womb. It's not sound reasoning. It's Motherhood=Fatherhood. Priesthood=/=Functioning womb.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 27, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    Continued...

    so if the first presidency said it in an official statement that it is doctrine should we not believe it? Bruce McConkie only backed up what was said in that first presidency statement. So doctrine can change. We have seen it with polygamy (doctrinal) - the president Hinckley dismissed it as 'not doctrinal', blacks and the priesthood, women and the priesthood, word of wisdom etc. There is little to no consistency with these 'doctrines'. Maybe they should stop calling these things doctrines, and just call them teachings. Teachings have room to change whereas doctrines do not.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 27, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    I don't think that I am famous for anything on these boards, but I'll entertain you here. Members (yourself included) have always had the habit of quoting prophets and apostles on certain matters when it suits your argument, but then dismissing other comments by saying they are merely opinion. So yes, I have taken that same approach. The fact is, that mormon doctrine is so convoluted because there is no standard for what is doctrine and what isn't. Some claim the ensign and conference talks are doctrine. Others claim that only scripture is doctrine (then why do we have prophets and apostles if so). So when Bruce R. McConkie says that in his book, it is doctrinal - it is backed up by the first presidency at the time.

    "From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel." (Statement of The First Presidency on the Negro Question, July 17 1947, quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, p 46-47)

  • Tajemnica West Valley, Utah
    March 27, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    The fact of the matter is this: Man does not run the Church. Jesus Christ runs the church through representatives he appoints. If you disagree with the church's stance on women holding the priesthood or really the churches stance on anything, you are not disagreeing with priesthood leaders. You are disagreeing with Jesus Christ and that will get you nowhere. If you do not understand the reasons behind church policies have faith that God knows better than you as this is His church. There are some comments made in this article that lead me to believe that some people do understand the reasoning behind these policies such as the authors of the article. However since some of you are not grasping what these people are saying I say this: Trust God the Father and Jesus Christ that there is a very good reason that they established the church the way they did. Man cannot and will not change the laws of God.

  • Ken Young Orchard Park, NY
    March 27, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    @ 1.96 Standard Deviations

    It must also be remembered that Elder McConkie himself stated in conference following the Official Declaration that they members should forget all that he himself had previously stated on the subject of blacks and the priesthood, as his prior understanding was based under lesser light and knowledge. I remember reading from one of the recently deceased apostles who was an apostle at the time, how they remembered the power that was in the room when they knew that the time had come when blacks could hold the priesthood. Is this not light, and is this not power?

    Further, to those who compare that women do not hold the lesser priesthood and administer to the sacrament; if you have gone to the temple, you know already that women are in and through the priesthood as much as men. The lesser priesthood has always been such; it is not the priesthood of the kingdom of God. It has always been an outward priesthood, and it has always been administered by men. Women, however, have always administered in the higher priesthood. Why do you say that the church has altered the doctrine, when it has only remained the same?

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    March 27, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Interesting perspective, although I doubt that it will appease hardline feminists any, who don't care very much about "theology". It is incorrect however to say that members of a family "own" the priesthood. It belongs to God, and no one else, and it can be taken away immediately if a priesthood holder chooses to exercise unrighteous dominion.

  • Ken Young Orchard Park, NY
    March 27, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    @viejogeezer

    If someone has informed you that women can not participate in administering to the sick, then they are misinformed. I have heard of even modern examples of women attending to this, and my high councillor has taught in a temple preparation meeting that this continues to be the case. Perhaps it is simply that in the past women have not done it commonly that it has mistakenly been assumed that it is not the practice of the church. I do not know the particulars of the administering; I only know that it is not prohibited as you have been informed.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 27, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    DocHolliday
    reno, NV
    1.96 Standard Deviations

    So since you are claiming that the bishop was incorrect in allowing a woman in the prayer circle, what do you think the outcome is? Is it an invalid blessing, or does it not matter? If it doesn't matter that a woman was erroneously in the prayer circle, then why don't they allow it. If it has no effect on the actual blessing, why not let women be a part of it?

    2:24 p.m. March 26, 2014

    ========

    Agreed.
    Thanks for backing me up.

    BTW -- That same "woman" stands with me in the Prayer Circles ALL the time.

    Father's who are not Melchezidek Priesthood holders may stand in the circle,
    The difference is they hold their child with both hands, and not with the left hand on the shoulder of the Brother to the left of him.

    I could give more - but 1.96 Standard Deviations would want to trample those sacred things as well.

    The "absolutists" remind me of the Scribes and Pharisee's during Jesus's time.
    And he told us they were also wrong.


    BTW -- don't even get me started on the 2nd endowment...

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 27, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    Brahmabull:

    Aren't you famous on these discussion boards for always stating that everything an apostle says is just opinion and not doctrine? How come then, all of a sudden, you don't claim what Bruce R McConkie said is just his opinion?

    It seems like whenever you don't agree with something church related, you will just state it was a matter of opinion and brush off the topic. You don't stick to a consistent standard on what is considered "doctrine" and what is "opinion."

    In spite of the name, "Mormon Doctrine," you do know this was never published by the church as official doctrine, right? You also are aware that Bruce R McConkie indicated he took full responsibility for everything written, right?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 27, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Cinci Man

    I have to jump in here because you give a partial quote from McConkie, not the full quote that he actually said. This is not surprising. Here is the actual quote, sir.

    ""Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate." (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

    Did you catch that? Under NO circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the almighty. That is a far cry from the quote you gave above. Check the first edition mormon doctrine.

  • patjan Flower Mound, TX
    March 27, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    I can't help but believe that this group of women (and men) who are relatively few, yet large in voice, are using this forum to make it look as if most women in the church feel the same way that they do. In numbers they are "liking" the posts that come from their own group. Yet, I do not personally know ANY women who feel that they need to have priesthood power in their own hands. We all ready have all of the blessings that come from the priesthood in our lives. We do not need more recognition. We are happy with how our priesthood men love and honor us in our respective responsibilities. We recognize how our differences compliment one another.

  • C Shields c, CA
    March 27, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    Great analogies and astute understanding of the polarity of the physical, AND spiritual, universes.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    March 27, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Lilalips wrote: "What I care about is how women's opinions are so routinely discounted because... well... she's a woman."

    I take it you've never been present in a Ward Council Meeting.

    Thank you, Richard and Linda, for an excellent essay on such a fundamentally important doctrine.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    March 27, 2014 6:08 a.m.

    M Rhy, good point. The problem here is that there is no reference to God, anywhere in the scriptures, banning women from the priesthood for all time. What we have is the requirements for priesthood holders changing over centuries. Rightfully so. As we change, the requirements change. LDS Church leadership is always pointing to the temple. Therein is the clue to the future, as has already been pointed out by not just me in this dialogue. God does not NEED anything from us but our love and devotion. All the requirements that he puts on us are FOR US. Strange but true. I like the model of partnership that the Church is moving towards for husbands and wives. That has not always been the case. But again, change is ever constant. As long as "Perfection of the Saints" is one rung of the 3 fold mission statement ladder, change will happen. And we should not push against it or criticize it when it happens. It is a personal wish of mine to see more female representation General Conference. It's nothing doctrinal. I would just like to see the backbone of the church well represented there.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    March 26, 2014 11:15 p.m.

    I don't really care about getting the Priesthood, but I do mind very much that women have a far minor say in church than men do. We recently had our ward conference, and between the Bishopric (all male), the Stake Presidency (all male), and the four speakers (all male), the only females on the stand were the chorister and the organist. I'm sorry, but I felt as if I wasn't being represented. I know the church has made efforts to have greater female participation in ward councils, but we have not gone far enough. Hanging up the pictures of the general RS, YW, and Primary presidency doesn't make much of a difference--giving women more say in the running of the church is what matters to me and many other women.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    There is no place in the scriptures where it explains why we have this.

    Unless you count the Garden of Eden "rule over you" bit. But why would that apply to all women and not just Eve? God also promises Adam that he will eat of the ground in sorrow all the days of his life. Well, how many of us eat in sorrow every single day? I don't.

    The Church was formed at a time when women couldn't hold property in their name. When they could not vote. When they couldn't divorce their husbands for any reason. When they were barred from all sorts of professions.

    The ban may be of God, but it could very well be of man. And any argument for either explanation is just someone's opinion.

    Arguments for the ban sound so much like all the arguments for the ban on Blacks. Arguments which the Church now "disavows."

    Stop making up reasons to justify it. Either accept it or ask the Brethren to go get clarification.

  • M Rhy Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:43 p.m.

    I was dissappointed to see that in the vast majority of the comments today seems to be missing something fundamental to this whole issue, God! The priesthood is God's it's not mine or anyone else's. God's power blesses the lives of all of his children, it does not give "holders" special access to God, it is not a right, it is not something to buy, it is not owned. It is not a separate but equal issue because we are not talking about a bus or a degree or something else tangible that you "get". It is my testimony that the preisthood is the power of God given to mankind (not men exclusively). There are so many stories told of the miraculous power of women in bringing about miracles in their lives. Those miracles are brought about through the power of God (the priesthood) by humble petition of both men and women. Those that suggest priesthood ordination of women is necessary for "equality" do not understand the priesthood as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. "neither is the man without the woman neither the woman without the man, in the Lord".

  • sharrona layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:11 p.m.

    RE: The priesthood: ’Priest, Greek 2409,hiereus I. priest, one who offers(blood) sacrifices and in general in busied with sacred rites. II. metaph. of *Christians, because, purified by the blood of Christ.

    The “priesthood of All* Believers” Martin Luther, 1 Peter 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” v 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, “God’s special possession”=(Peculiar people KJV)...

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 26, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    @Cinci man and @Doc Holliday

    I served a mission in the early 1970's in a country that was predominantly black. We had a letter from Pres. McKay that clearly stated that a revelation would eventually come permitting priesthood ordination to black men. We were instructed to share its contents with the people we were teaching.

  • wtkeeney Kansas City, MO
    March 26, 2014 8:44 p.m.

    Lilalips, why should their wives sit up there with them? Should all the female auxiliary leaders have their HUSBANDS sit up there with them, too? So they have to redesign the WHOLE podium area and add TWICE as many seats, so their spouses can sit up there too, just to make some sisters who feel "slighted" somehow, better?

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 26, 2014 8:28 p.m.

    @Esquire: "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."

    If the scriptures are to be believed, these traditions are as old as Adam and Eve. The scriptures are replete with examples where God gave priesthood offices to men. I am not aware of any scripture that tells of God calling a woman in mortality to receive a priesthood office. Yet there are ample instances where God called women to perform important and sacred duties that did not involve a priesthood office.

    I believe the scriptures.

  • cassandove Tampa, FL
    March 26, 2014 8:10 p.m.

    I think it's crucial to understand that the Priesthood authority and the Priesthood power are different. The power of the Priesthood is all around us; indeed, it's by that very power through which the worlds were - and are - created (see M. Russell Ballard's "This is My Work and My Glory", given at the April 2013 General Conference).

    Priesthood authority is a way of permission to use that power - isn't it amazing that women don't need that permission or authority? We can do, and receive, all the things which the Father hath if we are worthy and faithful. D&C 84 makes it clear that those who seek to use their authority, or even the Priesthood power itself, to exalt themselves in any manner, shall swiftly lose it, and the Spirit shall not strive with them.

    My concern for my sisters in the Ordain Women movement is that they've gotten so swallowed up in wanting the praise of the world; a condition heavily warned against throughout the scriptures. I pray for them continually.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    There were female prophets in the Old Testament along with female priests and apostles in the New Testament.
    God has never said women can't hold the PH, it's just men who've said it.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    March 26, 2014 6:39 p.m.

    I'm genuinely confused. What aspect of the priesthood do these women want? Healing power? If so, that obviously comes from God and only God. If God wants wants women to have that power, He'll give it to them. I don't see how PR stunts could or would change that. Or, are they after the more visible and temporal administrative aspects of the priesthood (conducing sacrament meeting. passing the sacrament, collecting tithing, etc)? If so, why? Why would anyone aspire to any of that? I get the feeling this vast minority of women want it simply because men have it. Not because any of it appeals to them, they feel it is a "fairness" issue and therefore, they want it just because.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    March 26, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    @DocHolliday
    If you are going to write what Bruce R. McConkie said about blacks and the priesthood, you should at least quote his exact words. He wrote in Mormon Doctrine (at the time that he wrote it) "Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood". That was true when he wrote it. He also said, "President Brigham Young and others have taught that in the future eternity worthy and qualified negroes will receive the priesthood and every gospel blessing available to any man". "Future eternity" does not delineate this life vs after mortality, as you state. Leaders at that time had their beliefs as to the why's and why not's. The Church does not assert that all of Mormon Doctrine is church doctrine. In the Preface, McConkie states, "For the work itself, I assume sole and full responsibility". So now you know that personal writings of leaders are sometimes opinions and are based their assumptions from things they do know. This is not new.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    March 26, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    Airnaut, you are right on. That's what I was trying to get at without saying it. Again, I personally don't care one way or the other about having the actual "authority". What I care about is how women's opinions are so routinely discounted because... well... she's a woman.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 26, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    Cinci Man

    so the local leaders were then in direct conflict with the apostles and prophets at that time? That doesn't sound like following the prophet. When Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle of the lord, says that they will never hold the priesthood then why would you or any of the local leaders doubt that statement? That is why mormonism is so elusive. Anything can be doctrine at one time, but later on it is dismissed as opinion. In a few years, if women do get the priesthood that all of the sudden that is the 'new' doctrine. Even though previously it was doctrine that they couldn't hold the priesthood. doctrine isn't supposed to change with the wind - just like polygamy and the priesthood ban did.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 26, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    SummitHigh,

    "....So if it is self-perceived status (before God or man) that motivates members of Ordain Women, etc. to seek priesthood or the belief that they are somehow lesser for not being ordained to the priesthood, they have so completely missed what the LDS faith teaches about individual worth or the purpose of priesthood that it is astonishing."
    ______________________________

    I prefer to let members of Ordain Women speak for themselves on what their motives are and how they interpret their beliefs.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    March 26, 2014 3:49 p.m.

    @DocHolliday

    Yes. I meant what I said. My church leaders always taught that blacks would one day hold the priesthood. I served my mission among blacks. My mission president also taught that and it was often referred to among our missionaries that we hoped for the day. And when it did, it was no surprise, but was a source of tears and joy among my fellow missionaries and our converts, previously excluded or not. And my father also predicted that the day would come when there would be two-piece garments. He was scolded in priesthood meetings by few about that idea, but he and I lived to see that day, too. Not everyone thinks the same on matters, but this much I can promise, I will follow the prophet.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    March 26, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    If anyone wants true enlightenment on this subject, there is no better source than Section 121 of the D&C, which revelation Joseph Smith received while imprisoned in the Liberty, Missouri, jail. It provides instruction, encouragement, promises, illumination, and a severe warning to those who would second-guess the Lord's anointed. It even has some revealing wisdom regarding the topic of "global warming" which I found substantiated my own thoughts on the subject.
    Needless to say, when God speaks, we should listen and earnestly seek our own testimony through study and prayer ere we are left to ourselves to "kick against the pricks."

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 26, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    So since you are claiming that the bishop was incorrect in allowing a woman in the prayer circle, what do you think the outcome is? Is it an invalid blessing, or does it not matter? If it doesn't matter that a woman was erroneously in the prayer circle, then why don't they allow it. If it has no effect on the actual blessing, why not let women be a part of it?

  • SummitHigh Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    To Craig Clark,

    Though there may be some that believe that priesthood and "high" positions of responsibility give an individual increased status or prestige, this is not what the LDS faith teaches. In fact, the point taught to men of the LDS faith so much you'd be hard-pressed to miss it is that the moment we seek to "... gratify our pride, our vain ambition...the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved..." (from D&C 121:37) and basically any power or influence someone may have had is null and void.

    So if it is self-perceived status (before God or man) that motivates members of Ordain Women, etc. to seek priesthood or the belief that they are somehow lesser for not being ordained to the priesthood, they have so completely missed what the LDS faith teaches about individual worth or the purpose of priesthood that it is astonishing.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    A couple of opinions, to the questions why do church practices now differ from church practice past? My sense, it's due to ongoing efforts of "Priesthood Correlation," started in the 60s to consolidate church management in the 1st presidency and 12. A byproduct is abandonment of practices that strayed toward inclusivity in favor exclusivity. In many ways authorization to exercise priesthood has become a tool to manage conduct. 2nd opinion, many women in forums related to this topic insist they've no desire to exercise the priesthood or they do so through their husbands. I've no argument with that but it doesn't mean women who feel called to direct access to the priesthood, are less faithful or rabble rousers. The LDS church is in the process of creating pathways for women to become more active in leadership. Ultimately that process will conclude, perhaps many years from now, women should hold the priesthood if they want to. Just as husbands are no longer the lords and masters of their homes, eventually leadership will see equality requires a place at the table for women in the highest governing bodies of the Church.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    March 26, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    airnaut:

    You stated, "I had my wife stand in the Pray Circle when we gave our 1st daughter her name and blessing. We had to do it in a home, with a member of the Bishopric to preside, but it is allowed."

    Handbook 2 (all church members have access) of the church clearly disallows this. The bishopric member presiding at this blessing made a mistake unfortunately.

    To confirm, you can refer to Handbook 2, section 20.1.1 entitled, "Participation in Ordinances and Blessings." Here are some snippets:

    "Only brethren who hold the necessary priesthood and are worthy may perform an ordinance or blessing or stand in the circle. [...]

    [...] When several brethren participate in an ordinance or blessing, each one places his right hand lightly on the person’s head (or under the baby being blessed) and his left hand on the shoulder of the brother to his left.

    Even though only a limited number of brethren stand in the circle when a person receives an ordinance or blessing, family members are usually invited to attend."

    In short, only men can participate in the circle since they hold the priesthood.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    March 26, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Mick, responding to another comment said: "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"

    Maybe they meant to say 'more notice and attention and praise and adulation of the world'...

    There is not anything that can be done or changed that can give women more access to God than they already have.
    Those who think women having the Priesthood somehow would give them more access show how confused they are.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    @airnaut
    "Women can attained the Highest Order of the Celestial World without the man,
    the man can not without the Woman."

    I'm pretty sure that's incorrect (and I don't mean incorrect as an assertion that I don't believe it, I mean that I'm pretty sure that's not LDS belief).

    @Danny Chipman
    "I was taught and have always believed that my access to God and His blessings is solely determined by my own faithfulness and obedience. Not having the priesthood."

    I know that's not what you or others are arguing but...it's kinda implied that the priesthood is meaningless. If it makes not one bit of difference whether women have it or not... then why does it matter at all?

    "One reason being that there were far many more women needing support in the church than there were men to provide it. "

    The Utah territory/state had more men than women in it until the 1950s. The largest gender imbalance in church history in terms of women outnumbering men, is actually right now.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    March 26, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    Ohio lds-

    I have all the "access" I want to God through participating in temple ordinances and personal prayer. Officiating doesn't give one more access, being worthy and participation does.
    There. That explanation is much better.

    I don't want nor do I need the priesthood. I don't need to be "in charge" to have access. I am confident that if I do what is right and exercise faith, God in turn will give me all the access that is necessary.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 26, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Idaho Fed,

    "....I perceive that many of these women are mistaking priesthood for "status."...."
    ______________________________

    Holding the Priesthood is more about status than a Mormon man wants to admit to or very likely even be asked about. The very thought of such would be an effrontery no Mormon woman who understands the expectations of female members would care to risk.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 26, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    viejogeezer

    You are right. Why can't women administer to the sick now, but they were allowed to (even by the laying on of hands) in previous years. I have asked that question several times on this forum, and have yet to receive a decent answer.

  • 435>801 Spanish Fork, UT
    March 26, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    As an LDS man (priesthood holder,) I have never felt like I had some extra special power that women didn't. I have always felt like the earnest prayers of a faithful woman carried just as much weight (if not more)than any priesthood blessing I could give. I hadn't really thought too much about women being ordained until they made a push for it. I don't see a problem with it, and in fact it might be part of the "restoration of all things." I mean we occasionally use the word priestess, and by definition a priestess is a female priest. So, it would make sense that women will at some point use the priesthood.

  • aadd354 New York, NY
    March 26, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    I appreciate the tone of this article. However, where do single adults fit into this marriage & priesthood logic? I'm single, so who exactly am I sharing priesthood with?

  • Idaho Fed Fairfax, VA
    March 26, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    I don't know for certain, but I perceive that many of these women are mistaking priesthood for "status." So many people I have known through the years have been afforded an extra measure of credibility because of a calling that they hold: Bishop, President, Elder, etc. Until we as a people begin to view the priesthood as a tool for accomplishing God's purposes, and not as a status symbol or the entry into a church leadership role, we will continue to have unsatisfying arguments -- mostly about who gets to act.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 26, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    Cinci Man

    you were taught that blacks would one day hold the priesthood? That is funny, because that goes directly against the view given and taught by the apostles at the time. Bruce R. McConkie made it clear in his book mormon doctrine that blacks could never hold the priesthood in this life. Mark E. Petersen echoed those same thoughts. so either your parents were in direct conflict with the apostles at the time, or maybe they should have been the ones leading the church. Either way, that was not what was taught in the mid 1900's.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    March 26, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    The fundamental problem with the OW movement is that it is essentially selfish - it is all about what "I" want or what "I" need to feel closer to God.

    The Priesthood is God's Power delegated to man on the Earth the bless the lives of others. My priesthood gives me no "special access to God" - my obedience, faithfulness, and service to others does. Also, if I do not do these things, the priesthood power I have is null and void (see the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood in the D&C 84).

    Seems to me that those demanding a "right" to the priesthood don't really understand it....

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 26, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    I'm curious --

    Being in my 50's I was not yet endowed prior to the policy change allowing black men to be ordained.

    My question --
    Prior to that time,
    Were black Sisters allowed to be endowed without their husbands?

    [Such as unmarried Sisters, Sister Missionaries, divorced, widowed, etc. to be endowed.
    I do not see Priesthood and Marriage as a requirement for the woman to hold or "share" the Priesthoood to a particular man.]

    I would sincerely like to know.

    That would answer a number of theological questions for me.

    BTW -- and FYI --

    I had my wife stand in the Pray Circle when we gave our 1st daughter her name and blessing.

    We had to do it in a home, with a member of the Bishopric to preside, but it is allowed.
    Just not to be made light of, that's all.]

  • nellie83 Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    @Dr. Bridell, I completely agree. As an endowed member of the church I totally understand how the Priesthood is a blessing and the ordinances in the temple are Priesthood ordinances bestowed on both men and women. Members of the church are such because they know in their hearts and by the spirits promptings that it is true. As such it is directed by God through his Prophets and apostles, including who "holds" the Priesthood. The Priesthood blessings are shared by the husband and wife for their family.
    As a woman I have just as much "access" to God as a man at any time. Choosing who will pray or speak at general conference...the prayers to God in these conferences are no more accessible to God than personal prayers in my own room. God loves all his children equal, men and women. Just men holding the Priesthood doesn't change that. I believe some of the world wants so much for men and women to be equal in everything that we forget to celebrate our differences and accept them.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    March 26, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    John Marx said: "As has been noted in the comments, women used to be able to administer blessings to the sick. I think at very least a return to that would be wise."

    He does bring up an interesting point, but then, polygamy was also practiced in the church in those days, too. One reason being that there were far many more women needing support in the church than there were men to provide it. This could also have been the reason why women were temporarily ordained to help with priesthood ordinances.

    Like polygamy, perhaps we will see women's ordinances expand again (outside the temple). It's up to the Lord's will and timing. Not the world's or Ordain Women's.

  • Chellerella Provo, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    Priesthood is the "power and authority to act in God's name." That authority can only be given by God through proper authority. In history that authority is designated first by worthiness and often be other criteria. In the Old Testament during the time of Moses, only Levites could hold the priesthood.

    In Numbers 16 and 17 we see men who claim Moses is ruling over them unrighteously by not sharing the administering of priesthood ordinances with them. They refuse to repent and force the issue. They are swallowed up by the earth and plague follows. The plague is stopped by the priests. Afterwards rods are placed in the ground, only Aaron's blooms. This again signifies his election by God.

    Attempting to use the priesthood without authority is known as priestcraft and is a sin.

    Mortality is just one part of the plan, one part of eternal life. All may access God's priesthood through his servants. Even single women and mothers can receive blessings from fathers, bishops, home teachers, etc.

  • SummitHigh Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    To TMR, the article stated that "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." As this statement acknowledges that feminism is a broad and varied movement, I'm not quite sure how it equates to oversimplification or to aspersion. It merely points out one principle that the authors happen to not agree with. Is there another particular part of feminism that you feel the authors should have more specifically addressed?

    To understand the LDS viewpoint, it is essential to remember that to us, both male and female are considered incomplete and lacking when considered individually. It doesn't matter who you are, what power or position you may have, how "good" or smart you are, male or female, priesthood or no. The goal is the complimentary unity of marriage between man and woman and that through repentance, faith in Jesus Christ, and enduring to the end, the highest gifts in heaven are reserved for couples. We believe that those who do not have this opportunity for marriage in life will have it in the afterlife.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    Ohio LDS wrote: "women will have better access to God when they are ordained to the priesthood."

    So, I, being a woman, do not have as much access to God as my husband? Um, that's a pretty bald-faced, erroneous statement. I was taught and have always believed that my access to God and His blessings is solely determined by my own faithfulness and obedience. Not having the priesthood.

    So far, in the many articles and op-eds I've read on the subject, I have not heard a sound, logical reason why women should be ordained to the priesthood. It sounds like these women just want the distinction and honor of being the ones passing on God's blessings. Kinda reminds me of someone who once said, "Behold, here am I, send me...and surely I will do it; wherefore give -me- thine honor." (emphasis added)

  • Benevolus Fruit Heights, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    I'm in complete agreement with Esquire's comment. He observes that "not ordaining women really lacks a core doctrinal basis and is justified by various rationalizations". A tradition of doing things a certain way doesn't automatically mean God ordained it thus.

    I don't know what God thinks on this issue and I'm not sure Church leadership knows either. Based on the essay above, I'm fairly certain the Eyre's don't know. When we don't know, we should just say "WE DON'T KNOW".

    I have a non-member black acquaintance who grew up in Utah and was told the various reasons why blacks couldn't have the priesthood. Some of those reasons weren't flattering and most of them were wrong. Needless to say this person won't have anything to do with the church now.

    Due to the lack of doctrine (not tradition) on the subject, I think those who "explain" why women are not ordained are out on a limb. They may be doing the same harm done by those who "explained" why blacks could not be ordained.

  • lawguy TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Linus: you repeat the Eyres' claim that husband and wife exercise the priesthood "together." So if your child is sick and you go to lay your hands on his head to bless him, and your wife wants to join in and put her hands on his head during the blessing as well, what happens? Under current doctrine/practice (whatever you want to call it), you would HAVE to tell her she can't lay her hands on his head and participate in that ordinance. Why? Because she "doesn't hold the priesthood." Am I wrong on that--i.e., have you ever seen a husband and wife bless their child "together"?

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    RE: 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."

    You, Student, completely missed the point of the article. It is not "separate but equal." It is "together and complete" or "perfection together." Separate won't work, isn't good, never was. It is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. Read the proclamation for further clarification.

  • lawguy TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    I love this. I just wish that it were true.

    The Eyres say that "husband and wife share and jointly 'own' one priesthood within the oneness of their family." Really? If my wife is sick, I can bless her. If I get sick, she can't do the same for me--we have to go outside the family for that. If our children get sick, I can bless them. If they get sick and I'm not around, though, she has to call someone else--i.e. someone who is not in our family.

    That's just the start. When we went to the temple, we made covenants--but they are not the same ones. Without getting specific, she made covenants about me that I was never asked to make about her.

    And that's not even touching the similarly non-interdependent relationship within the church. My wife has been an auxiliary president in several wards. She always answered to a man who presided over her and had ability to override her. The opposite has never been true for me--i.e. my vertical line of authority never stopped with a woman.

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Cinci Man, you wrote,
    "This issue is nothing like blacks and the priesthood."

    As has been noted in the comments, women used to be able to administer blessings to the sick. I think at very least a return to that would be wise.

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Samson01, you wrote,

    "That is because your "going down the road" perspective is not taking in the whole context of LDS doctrine and eternal progression."

    How does living before this life or after it make the comparison work? A single dad can still give blessings and exercise the priesthood without a woman. So the comparison with the motor and transmission being part of the larger car is still flawed. Because in terms of exercising the priesthood the man doesn't need the woman.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    Eyres: "True equality comes only when we realize that two very different things can be precisely equal in importance, in beauty and in ULTIMATE POTENTIAL. It’s a simplified comparison, but the corporate vice president of production and the vice president of marketing could be exactly equal but do totally different things." [emphasis added]

    Applying the first sentence to the second, the production VP and the marketing VP are not equal if one is not invited to the company picnic and the other is. Though equal in importance, one is denied its ultimate potential.

    Eyres: "One priesthood, the power to bless and to call down divine help, shared as indivisibly as the power of procreation..."

    I'm not LDS, so I don't have the vocabulary or know the doctrine and may be missing something, but it seems like the Eyres are saying that the priesthood is shared by a couple. It is not male only, but complementarily male and female. In that case, then a male only priesthood is missing the full complement. One could not have a male only priesthood any more than there could be male only procreation. Both parties have to be present.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 26, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    I pray that the LDS Church will reach a peaceful and harmonious discernment on this issue. Each of our Churches (and Meetings) must reach their own discernment, in their own way.

    As a Quaker, I wouldn't dare offer any advice. Our Religious Society of Friends is split on the issue of whether to even have ministers or not. Some of our Meetings are pastoral, with ministers, a set program for worship with sermons and music, very much like every other Protestant denomination. Others, like ours, take a more devoutly primitive approach, without a minister or a program, where all meet in silent worship, equally, and any can rise to deliver a message. Although we ordain neither, women are as vital to our life and worship as men, and in our tradition, we make no distinction on that basis.

    That doesn't mean that no one else should, of course. Whatever doctrine provides you the most integrity in your religious life and practice, is what will be right for you. May the Good Lord's Light illuminate the way for you.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 26, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    I thought there would be more "Theology" in this article,
    rather than being a travel log in Bali...

    Let's look at some LDS "theology"...

    Robes of the Holy Priesthood
    Garments of the Holy Priesthood
    Washings & Anointings
    Kings and Queens
    Priests and Priestesses
    Sign and Tokens

    ALL Priesthood related,
    ALL shared equally.

    The only difference noted is that the Brethern
    MUST be "Ordainded" before participating,
    the Sisters freely participate fully, implying they already possess such.

    We know Priesthood existied in the Pre-Mortal World,
    and we know our Memory may have been erased,
    but perhaps Authority does not, and is carried through the veil?

    Another twist in diiference,
    Women can attained the Highest Order of the Celestial World without the man,
    the man can not without the Woman.
    Once again, something is "veiled" by the differences in Gender,
    Women having the implied superior Priesthood authority without formality not associated with the men.

    Outside of the Temple,
    Priesthood to men becomes acts of Service.
    To the Sisters, who also participate in acts of Service.

    I see know difference between the 2.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    re:John Marx

    "Seems like a very flawed comparison."

    That is because your "going down the road" perspective is not taking in the whole context of LDS doctrine and eternal progression.

    This life is but one step in the totality of an eternal journey. That journey does not end at death or even shortly thereafter. It did not start at birth or shortly before.

    LDS theology teaches that this mortal life is but one small moment in the grand scheme of things. Many of the comments posted here are myopic from the unique LDS view of God's plan for us.

    The LDS theology simply does not teach us the mechanics of all the eternal resolutions to the questions we observe here in this life. It does teach us that God is a loving being who is trying to evolve us from a lower state of being to a higher state of being and that we can trust him.

    Meanwhile...Kudos to Cinci-man for your post. It sums up my feelings exactly!

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 26, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    "....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...."
    ______________________________

    As the story goes, after the fall God told Eve her desire would be to her husband and he would rule over her. We don’t know how old the story is, how, where, or when it originated. But it’s our ancient heritage passed down from generation to generation through Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Church fathers, Popes, Protestant reformers, and to Joseph Smith.

    We don’t have to look far outside of ancient Sumerian culture to find peoples with female priests. But in ancient Israel, priesthood was restrictive and not just by gender. It was often passed on through bloodlines such as the tribe of Levi. Not even the Biblical prophets were necessarily priests.

    The very concept of priesthood itself has evolved over time. Among its variants is a radical Protestant concept of universal priesthood for all believers.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    March 26, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    It occurred to me while reading this that it is very much like a child being born in to a marriage (or relationship) - while only the female can give birth, the child is "held," loved and nurtured by both of the parents and they both benefit from the meaning, joy, growth of that life that they hold together.

    And perhaps DANITE can/will tell me something that I cannot get a clear answer on from anyone else. If women were to receive the Priesthood - how would that change the church? Would women then become Bishops, Stake Presidents, etc?
    I'm not being facetious - I really would like to know how women see this working in the future.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Two comments. (1) Access to God. If anyone has closer access to God, it would be children; "for of such is the Kingdom of God". Usually, the problem is God obtaining access to us; we have a hard time being in tune to His spirit. We need to be more child-like in our faith and humility. Priesthood has nothing to do with it. Only that properly used, the Priesthood helps men to be closer to God in this respect. (2) Sitting on the stand. If this is a big deal, some self-examination is in order.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 26, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    Community of Christ does it. Study the same scriptures.

    If you believe in personal revelation and some women feel they have been called to do this what is the problem? If you believe in personal revelation and some men have had the same answer on this what is the problem? If men and women are equal with not both holding the priesthood then their both holding the priesthood would have no effect on things.

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    Dr. Bridell you wrote,

    "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."

    And for the women that don't have a husband,or don't have a Mormon husband? Single mothers are already going "down the road" whether or not they have a "motor."

    Or put it another way. Does a single Mormon dad have the power to bless his kids? Yes. So in your analogy he is driving "down the road" without his "transmission."

    Seems like a very flawed comparison.

  • Ohio-LDS NE, OH
    March 26, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Dr. Bridell: "People may not believe that, but if they understand it, they will understand why mormon women already have the priesthood."

    The reason people don't believe this is because beehives are not allowed to pass the sacrament, sister missionaries are not allowed to baptize the families they teach, and bishops are not allowed to call a woman as a counselor even if they feel inspired to do so.

    Mick: "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."

    Prayer is a direct form of contact members have with God. Unfortuntately, I can't explain it any better. If you don't understand, maybe try it sometime and see. As for priesthood, I can only give you the same experiencial answer. Performing ordinances is a primary means by which men commune with and come to understand God. Currently, that access is denied to women. They are not allowed to administer priesthood ordiances (at least outside the temple) because they have no recognized priesthood authority.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    March 26, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I'm glad that someone is writing about this issue. Historically women have been much more active in the LDS priesthood than they are now. Specifically, women were called to give priesthood blessings to other women and did so up until the early part of the 20th century. In my opinion, the LDS church in an effort to manage growth went through a "council at Nicea" and many plain and precious things were lost.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    @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?

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    March 26, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    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?

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    March 26, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    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.

  • dr.bridell mclean, VA
    March 26, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:32 a.m.

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

  • StudentofReason SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:27 a.m.

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

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    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.

  • That's A Good One Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:09 a.m.

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

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 26, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    March 26, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    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

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    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?"

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    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."

  • Ohio-LDS NE, OH
    March 26, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    March 26, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    @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.

  • Nayajja Ephraim, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    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
    March 26, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 26, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    March 26, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 26, 2014 6:04 a.m.

    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.