Grr! I want to hear from church leadership on this issue, not from the PR team.
Interestingly, many of the public statements about women in the church have
been issued (conveniently?) by female PR staff. They talk about engaging womens
groups, but it seems they have carefully selected which groups to listen to.
That's a bit like doing a survey of only people who match your desired
outcome...and then being affirmed when the results match your opinion. Per the
PR department's representative herself "there is no doctrine that says
that women can't have the priesthood". Indeed, history would indicate
otherwise. I'm not pushing for ordination, but I want the church to stop
trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and start speaking honestly.
We believe in being honest.....and the way the church is approaching this just
doesn't feel honest to me.
If you don't agree with the Church then leave it. If you can't leave
it because you believe it is true then accept it. If you can't accept it
pray about it. If you aren't getting the answers you seek then speak to
your Bishop. If you still feel the same way then humble yourself. If you
can't humble yourself find an opportunity for service.The
Church isn't run by committee. The Lord still guides and directs His
Apostles. To believe that you can change His organization through lobbying and
demonstration is misguided. If it is meant to happen it will happen.
Don't worry about what the Lord is going to do, place your trust in what he
wants you to do. Forgive those who have wronged you. Have patience with those
whom you disagree. Leave your personal admonitions at the door. Be honest with
yourself and those of your faith. Seek not for His power, because it comes to
everyone who is worthy. I know this letter came from the Lord. To
question it or His chosen Prophet is to question Him.
"They" are individual people, not a one-gendered mass of thought and
emotion. As for me, I have no problems with men holding the
priesthood. They need it and we all need for them to have it. Without their
authority and responsibility, women would have to run everything. We see this
in many other denominations. The priesthood is the part that men
have been assigned. It is not an entitlement, nor is it a badge of superiority,
although many men behave in that way. That is there loss and burden of guilt.
Not mine. My faith is not dependent, nor is it affected, by the
dysfunction of others. My faith is in God and I am saved by the atonement of
the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Church would not have to make these
statements if women had not been made to feel inferior over the years. Read the
qualities of honorable priesthood holders in the Doctrine and Covenants. No
feminist would object to a man like that. We area all works in
progress. Even women.
@ClarkHippo,Another way of looking at is that men should not own women or
control them. Women are humans, and should be considered and treated as equals
to men with the same rights and privileges (including being subject to male
dominance if that is what they choose; but it should be woman's choice and
not mans dictate).
@ClarkHippo"Is it any coincidence that groups such as Ordain Women
have sprung up during the exact same time same-sex marriage is becoming more and
more legal throughout the country?"There are some comparisons,
one of which is critical. You worry that same-sex marriage will be imposed on
your church but people outside your church generally don't care, I mean
they'll disagree if they don't like it, but generally they just
won't join and it's left at that. They pretty much just want you to
not stop them from marrying elsewhere and don't care about marrying in your
churches (except for some members of the churches themselves). That's how
churches had gone so long with no female clergy without really any outside
pressure. Outsiders who dislike it just don't join. Ordain Women (almost
typed Occupy Women) is largely internal, coming from people who either are or
were LDS. That's the sort of thing that is where challenges to church
doctrines generally come from, inside the church not outside, because it's
those inside the church or connected to it that have the largest stake in the
@skeptic"Until the church gives women the priesthood..."(In other words, until the LDS Church is forced, by Congressional or
court order, to give LDS women the priesthood) "...It is all
just politics and male chauvinism."Politics? In other words, the
separation of church and state only goes one way? Churches can't tell the
government or courts what to do, but the government and the courts can be used
to forces churches to change policy and doctrine?Is it any
coincidence that groups such as Ordain Women have sprung up during the exact
same time same-sex marriage is becoming more and more legal throughout the
country?But of course, churches can't be forced to change
policy such as giving women the priesthood or marrying same-sex couples and
churches won't face government sanctions for openly opposing either.At least... not yet.
Brit said, "Ordain Women asked, not demanded, the prophet for an
answer." And they have received several answers; from Elder Oaks, and from
the PA department, and others. "But the Prophet himself did not
answer", seems to be the claim being made now.Which reminds me
of Naaman in the Bible, who was a great military leader, and who had leprosy.
He went to the prophet Elisha's home and asked that he come out and heal
him of leprosy. However, the Prophet sent out his servant to deliver the
message that he should simply go and wash himself in the river Jordan 7 times.
Naaman got angry and stormed off, because the Prophet himself did
not speak to him, and did not give him the answer he sought. Then Namaan's
servants reminded him that if the Prophet had responded by telling him to do
some great thing, would he not have done it? Then why wouldn't he do the
simple thing provided by the servant of the Prophet?Namaan
recognized his error and went and washed as directed, and was healed and
cleaned. Should not those of Ordain Women do likewise?
I really do not appreciate the few comments degrading women on this thread. The
sisters I serve with in my Ward leadership are amazing leaders and have the
mantle of their calling. There is no organizaton in the world with
more women in leadership than the LDS Church. It is sad that some
members are being "stirred up" by apostates and those who hate the
Church. God has spoken through His apostles on the Priesthood. Elder Oaks did
this in the last Conference. To demand that the Prophet answer is akin to sign
seeking. We don't counsel God, He counsels us....
The Prophetess Deborah is one of my favorite people in the scriptures. Lilalips
needs to carefully read the whole story of Deborah. She was called by God when
there were no righteous men to lead the people. As long as the leaders of
God's church are righteous, there is no need for women to be called as
prophets for the church.
It's just a matter of fact; there's nothing anyone will say that will
change the minds of those set in their own impressions of the LDS Church and the
viewers impression of their actions. To truly learn requires the aspect of
humility which leaves one teachable and my experience has been that is sadly not
present nearly all of the time for whatever reason. If President Monson said
it himself from the pulpit, people would take issue with that too. A fine
effort well made. Will it change anyone ? Hopefully.
I suppose it won't be over until, due to "the war", we have so few
men left they (men) are valued again and are not always having to defend
themselves against unreasonable and vicious attacks. When a man becomes as
rare as "fine gold" they will be valued for their scarcity.
Until the church gives women the priesthood and church management leadership
positions so that they may speak for themselves, it is all just politics and
Mack2828...You don't need to wonder why the prophet doesn't speak out
himself. The prophet has already spoken out as have a number of other top church
leaders. The problem is not whether they have spoken but whether you want to
hear what they have said. In fact, when I was reading up on what prophets have
said on the subject, it is a subject that has been addressed for many years, not
just the last few. You may not like the answer, but an answer has been given. I
wouldn't expect it to change anytime soon. Since God is the same yesterday,
today and always, you can expect the answer from his prophets to be similarly
consistent. Times may change but truth doesn't.
Ordain Women asked, not demanded, the prophet for an answer. Not to be read
over the pulpit, but however he chose to address them. It's the same
process that so many people used with Joseph Smith as he received revelation for
each one who had a question. Those revelations became part of the D&C.
There is a huge difference between asking for a sign and asking a question. It
actually shows their great faith in the prophet to accept that he would receive
an answer for them. Why is it that we can accept that process in 1840 but not
For those who wonder why the senior brethren don't speak up, please see
Dallin Oaks' address from the most recent general conference.
When a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly has a
testimony of the Truth they will always follow the Prophet, without question.
The Prophet receives direct inspiration from the Lord and it is their hope that
we as members will trust and want to follow their counsel wherein the greatest
blessings will come.
@ Bleed CrimsonYou misunderstood my comparison to blacks holding the
priesthood. It was that a prophet prayed about changing the accepted policy of
the church, not regarding who has held the priesthood in the scriptures.
Priesthood has indeed been limited in the past, consider the sons of Aaron and
the tribe of Levi. If you accept statements made by Joseph Smith, and promises
made in the temple also as scripture, then the priesthood will be given to women
also. So as to governing the church as God sees fit, I agree
completely. Let's ask if this is the time to receive those promised
blessings that He has made.
@gmlewis Deborah was a Prophet of God who led Israel. She was God's
spokesperson on earth. Guess what? she didn't need the priesthood. Yet
she had the authority of God. She was a judge in Israel. If you go back and
look at the leadership, even in the Book of Mormon, you will see that leaders
were not always priesthood leaders. Look at the genealogy of each Prophet. Let
me ask you this. In ancient Israel, only the tribe of Aaron was authorized to
hold the priesthood. And yet, Lehi's family was not of the tribe of Aaron.
To my knowledge, there was no one authorized from the tribe of Aaron to
officiate in sacrifices or ordinances of the Old Testament, that went with
Lehi's family. How then did they perform sacrifices as spoken in the book
of Mormon? They were from Manasseh or Ishmael. How then did they sacrifice?
How was Alma "baptized"? How can you then, limit what the Lord can do?
I don't know if Samuel the Lamanite was a prophet or a ticked off
missionary. I lean toward ticked off missionary.
@ BritAgain - to insist that the prophet pray about it and make a
formal statement over the pulpit is akin to Thomas in the New Testament, or any
others who seek for a sign. "I will not believe until I see it for
myself" attitude. As soon as we demand answers, there is no longer any
faith involved. I'd love to know exactly where eternity
"began" .... it boggles my mind to think of eternity as being without
beginning or end. I am fascinated thinking about that concept, yet I am content
to have sufficient faith to believe it is so. I have theories, but until I am
on the other side of the veil, I will exercise faith sufficient to believe until
I know for sure.
@ BritSorry Brit, but i'm not buying that. Ordain Women is an
activist movement that demand change with Church doctrine regarding women. The
answer was given during last General Conference by Elder Oaks. Every speaker at
General Conference fasts and prays about the talks they will give at conference
before hand. The answer is "no"! Unfortunately they won't take
"no" for an answer, so they will continue this movement to try and force
change. They won't stop until they get what they want.As for
your comparison regarding blacks and the priesthood. Your comparing apples with
oranges. Worthy men of all races can hold the priesthood which can found in the
scriptures. But women have never held the priesthood. This is God's work
and this is the Lord's church and he will govern His church as He sees fit.
Someone recently posted, Who was the PR person for Christ?Simple
answer: Paul. He done good!
Mack2828:"I have nothing but respect for our senior church leaders but
I wish in these troubled times they had the courage of a Samuel the Lamanite. He
didn't send a PR spokesman up on the wall..."For all we
know Samuel was a PR spokesman.MapleDon:"Who was the
marketing guy back in the days of Christ...or after?"I think it
was Paul the Apostle and others of the original 12.Pops:"There is evidently some dissatisfaction with the numbers and/or
visibility of women in leadership positions within the Church."Well, I think it might have something to do with her taking a bite of the
apple in the Garden. On the other hand had she not, none of us would be here.
Ah, the wish for Kings... I do NOT need to hear from the PR flacks... or anyone
else... God has spoken and it is done... most of these women (and the quasi-men
who support them in their rebellion) should simply join the Community of Christ
church... then they can be ordained or "have more leadership roles" --
regardless of how they parse their language God knows their hearts and they are
found wanting.Disclaimer: I am a convert to the Church and therefore
not a Mormon but rather a Latter-day Saint... (See Brother Brigham for the
difference) and I will not give a farthing for the worlds ways or the WORSHIP of
authority... for me and mine it is the Lord Jesus Christ and His Laws and
Ordinances... As laid in in the 4 standard works. The fact that they
will not go somewhere else to worship shows their true nature... enmity towards
God... the fruits of their sin -- Pride.
I haven't had time to read even close to all the comments that have been
posted here, but I have seen a number that have asked why the prophet and
apostles haven't addressed these issues. To those who have posted such
comments, I would ask, "Have you not been listening to General Conference?
They have addressed and readdressed many of these issues.
LDS women are unique in the world among all women. LDS women still beleive in
modesty and morality which pretty much separtes them from the rest.
@ Bleed CrimsonThe leaders of Ordain Women said that they would
accept the answer to their question if President Monson prayed about it, in the
same way that the prophet prayed about the question of ordaining blacks to the
priesthood. As it is, we won't ever know if they would follow through with
their statement, but if we assume that they made it in good faith, then we can
assume that they would "move on" as you put it. They understand that
they cannot receive revelation for the Church, which is why they exercised their
faith in the prophet by asking him to pray about it. Surely that is a good
thing? Their question was not answered in General Conference, the talks there
were a restatement of current policy, without addressing whether any prayers had
been offered. Finally I must object to your characterization of the leaders of
Ordain Women as ignorant. I am not a member of their group, nor do I know any
personally, but from what I have read they are intelligent and faithful women.
@IA Cougar"I think about how the General RS Presidency, YW Presidency
and Primary Presidency were seated prominently front and center on the stand in
the Conference Center (where prior they were on the side), the age of missionary
age changed, women praying in conference, etc. etc. All of this shows that the
leadership of the Church at the highest levels are responding to the needs of
women who are so incredibly valuable to the Church."I hardly
think that a new seating chart and being allowed to say a public prayer
constitutes "responding to the needs of women".
@ BritWhat if they did pray about the Ordain Women's question
and the answer was still "no"! Would these women of Ordain Women accept
that answer and move on?Of course they've prayed and sought
revelation regarding the subject especially when they're addressing the
members of the church. The answer to the Ordain Women's
question was answered at General Conference by Elder Oaks. He couldn't have
said it any better. The problem is the leaders of Ordain Women won't take
"no" for an answer and are completely ignorant.
@Globetrecker"An attack on the Public Affairs department — which
was created and is still overseen by the Brethren — is an attack on the
Church itself. "Wouldn't that kinda be like saying that an
attack on Jay Carney, a spokesperson (until now) for the Administration, is an
attack on America itself?
Michael Otterson did not address the question that Ordain Women asked. As was
the pattern of revelation from the early days of the Church, please would the
prophet pray about the question of women being ordained to the priesthood. They
were willing to accept the answer given. But no meeting, no prayer, no
response. Revelation always comes when a question is asked. Perhaps the
leaders were worried that the answer might surprise them.
rw123,The quote from Elder Oaks talk April 2014, Priesthood Session,
is slightly different, but similar in meaning."At general
conference many years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that there
are other priesthood keys that have not been given to man on the earth,
including the keys of creation and resurrection."The principle
is that not all the priesthood keys are available even to the Prophet of the
Deborah was a prophetess, in that she had a testimony of Christ which is the
spirit of prophesy. She did not hold priesthood office or keys. Everyone on
earth should be a prophet, filled with a testimony of Christ.
@Liberal Ted "As explained in the last conference, even the
prophet and apostles who hold the keys are not allowed to use all keys for this
dispensation."This is a sincere question. Were these the actual
words used in conference, or are you paraphrasing? Could you give me a
reference? I would be interested in knowing the context as well. Thank you.
I needed to mention something brought up by others but "conveniently"
left out of the discussions on the fringe groups' discussions i.e. Mormon
women's feminist housewives pages and the "ordain women" group:It seems to me critics of the Public Affairs department are really
grasping at straws, coming up with any excuse they can to still say they follow
the Brethren while continuing to murmur. And they pretend that they are not
murmuring about the Church and its leaders — they are just complaining
about the PA department.News flash: the Public Affairs department
reflects the will of the Brethren. It is simply a modern-day vehicle for the
Brethren to lessen their already huge work load.An attack on the
Public Affairs department — which was created and is still overseen by the
Brethren — is an attack on the Church itself. As Pres. Uchtdorf would say,
Moses had a spokesman.
@hockeymom"I agree with On the Other Hand. Samuel the Lamanite was
Nephi's PR person."I thought Samuel the Lamanite was
several generations after Nephi or is this a different Nephi than the first one
noted in the Book of Mormon? (I assume you two are right, I'm just mixing
something up and would appreciate my memory of that part of the Book of Mormon
@ HereDid you read my post? What I said was the complete and polar
opposite of what you suggest. I said that Deborah in the Old Testament was a
Prophet, capitol P, who led Israel. She was so important that the General of
the Israeli army would not go into battle without her blessing. I'll say
it once again, IF women are the counter-partners to the Priesthood, because of
their innate femaleness, then women DON'T NEED to have the Priesthood to
LEAD in the church, our church. Deborah didn't and she was a prophet. We
DO need more women leading in the church in areas where there righteous men are
few and far between and also simply where they are the best leadership. Who God
has traditionally chosen to be his apostles has been men. But as we know, God
is no respecter of persons but WE are. It is not GOD who needs the gender gap
but WE who need it. We need it because this is an imperfect world. Many men
have difficulty accepting women in leadership positions.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be
disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head
of the corner,8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence,
even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they
It sounds like many have misinterpreted my original comment. I'm supportive
of our leaders, and I'm grateful for what they have said in General
Conference on this matter. But for someone like me who lives outside the Wasatch
front, having a guy I have never heard of post something on a blog that I have
never heard of, just doesn't carry the same weight as having the Bishop
read a letter from the First Presidency over the pulpit. Those of us that
don't live in the blogosphere could really use some clarity on this issue.
And not from a PR guy.I personally think that with Ordain Womens
recent announcement that they are going to start holding cottage meetings and
teach missionary like discussions in an effort to recruit more members of the
church to their cause, this will all be a mute point before long. Isn't
that pretty blatant apostasy? It's one thing to quietly hold private
beliefs that are contrary to church doctrine, but to go out and recruit other
members to join you in those false beliefs? Wow! Apostasy.
I see it every day on any article the Deseret News publishes that pertains to
the LDS church. What do I see?Negative comments about / towards the
LDS church by those who say they are members.Like I said I see it
every day.And because of it I can see, clearly, that the warnings of
Heber C. Kimball of a large falling away is ripe to occur. I mean, it's
happening right in front of us. Homosexual 'marriage', our history,
polygamy and now the most recent addition, criticisms of how the Church treats
women. Heber C. Kimball said the day would come "in this now peaceful
valley" that it would be difficult to "tell the face of a saint from the
face of an enemy to the people of God." If you don't believe, I feel
sorry for you. I can't force you to believe not will I try.As
for me, I'm staying. I know too much to leave. Choose wisely.
These women may be more productive, if they could activate more men into church
activity. Also, when they accept a calling, they are operating in that capacity
of the Priesthood. As explained in the last conference, even the prophet and
apostles who hold the keys are not allowed to use all keys for this
dispensation. They are limited in their capacity to use the priesthood. The
same for each calling within the church and how the priesthood is used. The
other example is sisters serving a mission; they are filling a priesthood
responsibility, they are given certain functions and abilities to fulfill that
responsibility.It seems these women are looking for more of an
ability to get themselves into a position, to push their own personal views and
agenda onto the body of the church, rather than asking the Lord what he would
have them do and give him all the glory.I think it's pretty
clear. I guess Joseph asking the Lord over and over again if he could let his
scribe take the pages that had been translated, you eventually get the answer
you were pushing for; but in the end it was still a bad choice.
Often, when some of us feel discontent in our lives, instead of looking within
to see if we need to make changes in our own selves, we look outward to see if
someone or something else is causing our problem. Frequently, we place the
blame on the organization (Church) and people (Prophet & Apostles) who have
the most influence over us. This misplacement of blame can often be
resolved by asking ourselves this question: "Am I receiving, recognizing,
following and obeying the Spirit's voice?" In its infancy the
Voice speaks to us through our conscience and can be amplified later by
reception of the Holy Ghost.When we learn to listen to that Voice of the
Lord (conscience) we will find ourselves in harmony with the Lord's Church
and His chosen servants. Also, any feelings of discontent will be replaced
with feelings of fulfillment, confidence, harmony, and peace.
I wonder how many of these women, pushing for priesthood, go to church every
week and hold a calling?My experience has been the ones that cry
louder are the ones who do the least in their ward. Always a victim, but, never
the rescuer. Always complaining, but, never giving a solution. The person
I'm describing is the first to put their name on the list for welfare, but,
never volunteers for welfare assignments. Even after promising to fulfill a
welfare assignment, once they have received help they disappear until they need
more help. Always wanting relief from fast offerings, but, never contributing to
"whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the
same:" D&C 1:38.The prophet is simply following the same
pattern we are taught God uses. When the prophet delegates responsibility to
share a message, it is the same as if he had spoken it himself. Those who kick
against the prick on this issue are simply looking for wiggle room to keep
fighting against Church leadership .
Seems to me that the 80/20 rule stands out here. If the leaders spend 80% of
their time trying to respond to the grievance crowd, they will hurt the 80% who
are faithful members. It should also be remembered that the Father did not try
to change his manner of doing things because his child had lost his way. He
waited and when the child returned he welcomed him with open arms.
So many of the comments on this feed represent the problem that the Church is
facing now and will continue to face in the future. Too many members do not
understand doctrine. The Church is not and will never be the progressive,
liberal entity that some desire. It is the TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST, and as such
is under his explicit leadership. Christ is not going to be bullied and
pressured by unhappy, prideful members of his church. It is those seeking the
change that need to do some studying and soul searching to understand what the
Lord requires of each of us to reach exhalation. It is really of no importance
what position you hold in the church. There are some who perceive their
intelligence and understanding to be superior to Christ. Christ requires a
broken heart and a contrite sprit, not bloggers and activists seeking to
question his divine authority. These actions and attitudes currently being
expressed by these groups are the exact reason the Church was restored through a
14 year old boy. Some have lost their way and it is sad that Church Leaders
even have to give their time and energy to these issues.
I have heard the prophets and apostles speak literally hundreds of times over my
lifetime. Hundreds. And when I listen / pay attention I never hear them speak
without coming away impressed, uplifted and, generally speaking, leaving the
room as a better person. They speak the words of God. Again, if one will
simply listen and watch, you will feel it. Good grief!, you can't help but
feel it. I find it simply amazing, even incredulous, for anyone to
claim that the Prophet, his counselors in the First Presidency or the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles don't listen to women, don't care about them
and/or try to oppress them.Totally, totally false. And that IS
putting it nice.
@ MapleDon - Springvill, UT - "So is this doctrine? Is this to be read over
the pulpit? Help me understand why anything a "PR spokesperson" says
matters. He's the marketing and advertising guy. I don't recall being
asked to sustain him."Don, it isn't rocket science. The
head of the Public Affairs department would never put out such a statement
without the full approval of the Prophet, the First Presidency and the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostels who you DID vote to sustain.Questions?
@MapleDonOh, my. What was the size of the Church during the
Savior's ministry? How different were the ways to communicate back then?
How "complex" were the issues back then? Apparently, there have been no
significant changes over the centuries that impact where we find ourselves
today.Appears that some of us need to wake up and smell the coffee.
I loved the comments by OC Fan. I'm in there somewhere. I also have a dil
who is involved in the movement, so I try very hard to be supportive and
understanding of all sides. One thing, imho, needs to be addressed
by the Prophet himself. In Jesus' day, women were nothing. Often less than
the animals, to esteem the woman as highly as a man would have been instant
blasphemy, and Christ would have been stoned at his first meeting instead of
getting three years to preach. He DID bring about changes to the way women were
viewed. He told parables that included women. This was a HUGE step back then.Today, women are educated. There is no question they are capable.
President Monson will hopefully soon address this head on, and while I expect
the answer to be the same, Vern001 made some good points.Men may be
the only priesthood holders for one reason: they NEED to feel necessary. They go
to church, because church couldn't run without them. If women held equal
callings, there would be no need for them! They'd leave in droves, as
happened once the Episcopal Church ordained women.
@LilalipsFrankly, as a man, I don't know why women don't
hold the priesthood. I don't claim to know the reason for that. All I
know is that they don't. I'm pretty sure the Lord could extend the
priesthood to women fairly easily if He felt to do so. But apparently He
doesn't. And from what I'm hearing from the brethren, He is not going
to do so any time soon. But, at least for me, I am assured the Lord's plan
is still good, perfect, and correct. I am convinced He loves all His children
the same regardless of gender or whether they are ordained to the priesthood or
@Lilalips;Yes, Deborah was a prophetess. But she was not THE
prophet. While she had the spirit of prophecy, as have many, many
women, she nor the others were at any time God's Key Holding, Priesthood
Bearing Representative on Earth. This has always, and always will be a man.This does not diminish from the truth of an individual woman's
inspiration or spirit or even gift of prophesy. Our Sister General
Authorities' words from the pulpit at General Conference are neither
assigned, nor redacted by the Brethren, but are to be taken as 'modern
scripture' by the general Church membership, because, "whether by my
mouth, or the mouth of my servants, it is the same".
Mormon ladies.... you are smarter than this. If the thinking has been done for
you, as it always will be in this church, teach your children well.
They'll understand the lessons. You can't change the church except
from the bottom up.
The penultimate paragraph of the article negates any benefit of the rest of the
statement. By arbitrarily defining the terms of the discussion and avoiding any
difficult discussion, the church is only preserving an echo chamber, hearing
what it wants to hear ("preaching to the choir" would be the other
apropos expression). You might as well be debating the relative merits of
shredded carrots versus pineapple in the Jell-o. It's like a wildlife
official in charge of setting wolf management policy saying, "Hey, I got
both sides of the issue. I talked to both the Cattlemen's Association AND
the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation."-- without speaking to any wolf
advocates. The only way to grow (and not be perceived as self-serving) is to
confront the tough topics frankly and honestly, even if they go against your
beliefs (perhaps ESPECIALLY if they go against your beliefs). Don't
exclude your toughest critics, engage them.
If you pay attention in the least at General Conference, you will know that the
Brethren have dealt with this issue. I don't know how the statement's
by church leaders (especially Elder Oaks' talk in Priesthood Session) can
be misconstrued. Its not my problem that some people have a listening problem.
Wake up.Sorry, but this isn't the only issue that the Brethren
deal with, nor should it be. The problem is with people who don't hear
what they want to hear, who then go back and pretend that the Brethren
haven't spoken plainly, when they have. So what do they do then? They go
back and ask for another statement again and again, each time insinuating that
the doctrine and the teaching of the Brethren haven't been clear. The
Church doesn't have to play these silly little games.
What is ironic is how single men in the church, let alone single men with
children, have been left out of discussions in its entirety as to what resources
and steps are taken to try to include us. Ask yourself, how many single men
with kids do you see at church week in and week out? I have been told that the
activity level is less than 10 percent. I am not trying to start a controversy,
rather I am trying to express that the Church is doing its best to try to work
with everyone. Its a big organization and things will happen and people will
fall through the cracks. We have to be patient and learn that this is God's
Church and He knows His children's needs and He will act with the time is
right to fulfill His purpose.Godspeed.
Each of us can only speak from personal experience. For instance, in our stake
conferences I would dare say there are as many sisters speaking and praying as
men. I am the organist and serve under a woman music chair and have for many
years and am happy to be led by their inspiration -- I've also served in a
bishopric with wonderful women leaders who were a primary source of inspiration
for our ward council.Some are a bit critical that the Prophet
instead of a PR man didn't address this issue. I for one am tired of
leaders who do nothing but speak in public about issues - but then do little
behind the scenes to promote their promises on the platform. I am confident
that while Brother Otterstrom are speaking the mind and will of the Brethren,
that the Brethren work hard to magnify their callings daily. The Prophet Elisha
sent his servant to direct Naaman to bathe in the River Jordan to cure his
leprosy. Prophets do work through spokesmen - even on important matters.
I know mortal life is man’s God-given tutorial in agency. It is our time
of preparation to meet God. Taking my course from my Exemplar, Jesus
Christ, as He prayed in Gethsemane: “And he said, Abba, Father, all
things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what
I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mark14:36) Holding to the iron
rod of eternal truth, “… I will go and do the things which the Lord
hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the
children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish
the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Ne. 3:7.)“And if
it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the
flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)In the cacophony of
voices, I'm grateful for our living prophet. Thank you for your
inspiration, direction, and counsel: the Feast, courtesy Aslan.
Wondering why this open letter is not available on LDS.org. Why is the church
apparently only responding to blogs? This letter would be authoritative and
carry much more clout, i.e. read over the pulpit in Sacrament meetings if it
were a First Presidency letter.
Apparently, some of us need to watch General Conference, or be more attentive
when we do. Several talks have been given in the recent past regarding women
and women's "issues". We love the sisters. Where would you or I be
@ MapleDon"Who was the marketing guy hired by Christ to massage
public opinion in his day?"Ummmmm - One of the twelve apostles?
One of the many of His disciples?? Take your pick.
Mack 2828I agree with On the Other Hand. Samuel the Lamanite was
Nephi's PR person. A church public affairs person is one of the
Lord's servants. He is relaying the message from the Prophet, who is
another servant of the Lord. "Whether from me or one of my servants, it is
the same".Asking for the Prophet to stand and make a definitive
statement is a little like asking for a "sign". Why not just accept the
words that have been already issued, exercise a little faith, and move on?
@Globetrecker:"Any attempts to discredit Michael Otterson would
be blatant and purposeful attacks on the Prophet and Apostles." Really? So
you're saying that Otterson is anointed and is a prophet, seer, and
revelator, rather than a hireling? Is this Michael Otterson?It would have taken less effort (and cost less for the tithe payers of
the Church) for the two apostles who "directly supervise" you to write
the op-ed, than for you to do so and have them approve it.And
I'll go back to my earlier question, who was the marketing guy hired by
Christ to massage public opinion in his day?
At least some of you are thinking for yourselves it would appear. Good for you.
It's been my experience that when women aren't heard, it's
because the women in question have not effectively communicated their concerns.
Some of this may be due to past misunderstandings of doctrine that church
leaders have tried very hard to clear up.
Mack2828,It sure seems like to me the Apostles have discussed this
issues on numerous occasions. I do not think they need to respond very time
some group with an agenda gets holds a press conference. I think they have
better things to do then constantly respond to the grievance crowd.
@Mack2828, we do hear from them on issues like this. Read or view the
conference talks from the April 2014 conference. There were several references
to these issues. No, there wasn't one talk devoted to this specific issue,
but there is direction there.We may yet see or hear something like
this directly from the brethren, but as someone else mentioned, letters like
this don't go public without the approval of the brethren assigned to
provide guidance to the public relations group, so these can be taken as at
least conforming to the thoughts of the brethren, even if they are not written
by them.Remember that church governance is not guided by politics,
nor does it bow to the prevailing news cycle. The brethren speak directly to us
when prompted by the Lord, and it is on His timetable, not ours.
@Mack2828:"I'm disappointed that we don't hear directly from
the Prophet and Apostles on these matters."I believe we have.
When you read their words over the past several general conferences and reflect
on their actions (which speak louder than words) I believe you can see it. I
think specifically of the address Elder Oaks gave in the last Priesthood
Session. I think about how the General RS Presidency, YW Presidency and Primary
Presidency were seated prominently front and center on the stand in the
Conference Center (where prior they were on the side), the age of missionary age
changed, women praying in conference, etc. etc. All of this shows that the
leadership of the Church at the highest levels are responding to the needs of
women who are so incredibly valuable to the Church.My guess is that
they are not telling the world about it through press releases and direct words,
rather, they are doing it behind the scenes in meaningful ways that those who
are observing can see and give them credit for. I see progress and I think it
is very positive.
As far was women and the priesthood goes. Had they listened to the last
conference, they were given as clear of an answer as can be given from an
apostle. Their trouble is, they are so intent on getting the answer they want,
they won't listen to the answer that is given. They would have also learned
what the priesthood is. Which it is not the men in the church. The priesthood is
used by all in the church, in different capacities.For some reason,
this small number of women believe "revelation" comes from grass roots
efforts to force God to change his doctrine. An example given is blacks and the
priesthood. They believe that the church after immense pressure was forced to
change doctrine. The fact is the doctrine has always been to allow all worthy
males to hold the priesthood, a policy in the church prevented it from going to
everyone. That policy was changed.There have been many changes in
the church, and there will be many more changes in the church to come. However,
the approach of ordain women isn't how the changes will come.
This letter did a nice job of dancing around the elephant in the living room.
The fact remains that women are virtually invisible in church leadership
positions numerically. They are, however, workhorses in the church. Women
are a tremendous resource everywhere in the web of the gospel except relating to
church policy allowing women to influence church policy. IF women, by virtue of
their ability to be mothers, are indeed the counterpoint, counterpart to the
priesthood, then women don't need the priesthood to hold leadership
positions in the church. They should be able to serve, speak, and lead quite
ably. Deborah was a prophet. Yet, she did not hold the priesthood. Every time
the missionaries give the discussion on prophets, I correct them on that point.
It is simply not true that only men have been prophets. Women have too. Women
have led Israel. You don't need to "have" the priesthood to be a
This issue is one that cannot be won in the court of public opinion. It's
a waste of time and resources to engage these issues with extremists and
it's almost not worth the time to address them at all publicly.
@Mack2828, for that matter, why did God send Samuel the Lamanite to deliver that
message? Nephi, not Samuel, was the person faithful Nephites would have
recognized as their prophet. Not saying Samuel wasn't a prophet, he just
wasn't the Nephite equivalent of Thomas S. Monson.Mr.
Otterson's letter doesn't provide any new doctrine or revelation; it
just attempts to set the record straight regarding some points that have been
raised recently in public forums, some of which involve him and his department
specifically.We frequently hear from the prophet and other general
authorities about the value and importance of women. I don't think it hurts
to hear similar things from the Public Affairs Department.
Hi Mack2828,Check Elder Oaks most recent conference talk for an
example of an apostle addressing some of the issues raised by these groups.
Mack2828The Prophet and the Apostles do speak on this subject.
Check out Elder Oaks in the last Priesthood General Conference. There are many
others.The heart of the matter is this, will members of the
Lord's Church follow patterns of popular culture or trust in leaders and
doctrine they profess to believe? That is the real test in these troubled
times. Will worldliness supplant the witness of truth the Saints receive in
their hearts and minds?When the pertinent issues of the day that
have risen from cumulative sins and corruption where people lose the ability of
discerning good and evil, where should our trust reside? Should it be in the
world or God? And if in God, do we trust His appointed leaders on the earth in
these days?It is not always easy in these days to know what is truth
or manmade fabrication. But, we can through prayer and a commitment to follow
the Savior gain this knowledge over time even if we are unsure in the present.
Of this I am certain...
@Mack2828--I find your post quite interesting, especially in light of the
fact that several of the speakers in April General Conference addressed
"these matters" in their talks. If you're looking for a "Samuel
the Lamanite on the wall" declaration, look up and watch the detailed
discussion by Elder Dallin H. Oaks on "The Keys and Authority of the
Priesthood". I note your comment that you "have nothing but
respect for our senior church leaders", but you are "disappointed"
in them and find them lacking in courage. As for any doubt that it
represents the united view and feelings of our leaders, read the entire text of
Brother Otterson's letter. He makes it quite clear that he and his
department work under the direct supervision of two of the members of the Quorum
of the Twelve, and that "it’s important to understand that the Public
Affairs Department of the Church does not freelance. For Public Affairs to
initiate or take a position inconsistent with the views of those who preside
over the Church is simply unthinkable". 'Nuff said.
Fantastic, bold and clarifying. Perfect. And it ended with kindness. This letter
represents the views of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
as it was obviously approved before it went out. Any attempts to discredit
Michael Otterson would be blatant and purposeful attacks on the Prophet and
Apostles."First it is important to understand that the Public
Affairs Department of theChurch does not freelance. For Public Affairs to
initiate or take a positioninconsistent with the views of those who
preside over the Church is simplyunthinkable, as anyone who has ever
worked for the Church will attest.As managing director of the Public
Affairs Department, I work under the directsupervision of two members of
the Twelve apostles, two members of thePresidency of the Seventy and the
Presiding Bishop, and alongside a remarkableand devoted staff of men and
women.This group of senior General Authorities often refers matters
of particularimportance to other councils of men and women leaders, to the
full Quorum ofthe Twelve Apostles and to the First Presidency for further
discussion or decision.”Again, this letter represents the
views of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
So is this doctrine? Is this to be read over the pulpit? Help me understand why
anything a "PR spokesperson" says matters. He's the marketing and
advertising guy. I don't recall being asked to sustain him. Who was the
marketing guy back in the days of Christ...or after?Shouldn't
the Church be concerned only with following Christ, regardless of how it is
perceived or accepted by the public? And why can't one of the Church's
leaders come out and say something in regards to this issue, rather than have
their marketing guy handle it?This is one of those moments that
doesn't quite sit well with me.
I agree that the letter was well-written, thoughtful, and sensitive to
women's concerns. However, at a certain point I feel like the Church has
listened enough and it is time for action. There is no reason why a woman
can't be Sunday School president, or why a man can't be Primary
president. Must all the clerks always be men? And why are women so few in
number in ward councils? At our recent ward conference, not a single speaker
was a woman. Between the Bishop, the Stake President, the High Council Speaker,
and the youth speaker, everyone who spoke and sat on the stand was a man (except
for the pianist and the chorister, of course). What kind of message is that
sending to women? That we should be followers and not leaders. That we need to
listen and learn rather than teach. I'm not a radical
feminist. I don't feel the need to have the priesthood. But it would be
nice for women to have more important roles in church and feel that their
opinions are more valued.
As long as you stay within the limits of 'non negotiable demands',
which you don't get to define, everything will be fine.
I'm disappointed that we don't hear directly from the Prophet and
Apostles on these matters. When it is done by a PR person it makes me wonder why
the Prophet won't speak about it himself. I have nothing but respect for
our senior church leaders but I wish in these troubled times they had the
courage of a Samuel the Lamanite. He didn't send a PR spokesman up on the
wall...he got up there himself so the people had no doubt that the message was
from God through his Prophet.
I'm a man, so take these comments with a grain of salt. While my
experience is limited, it includes service from stake presidency to Primary. As I read blogs discussing gender issues, the picture painted of
women's dissatisfaction with the Church is a distinct minority view.
Almost all men and women I know, while disagreeing on many issues, work together
across the range of Church callings with mutual respect, unity, and
selflessness. Our work together generally brings great satisfaction. Our heads
are not in the sand; these gender issues are discussed openly in places like
stake and ward councils, classes, and in the hallway between meetings. I can't change the doctrines relating to gay marriage or the priesthood
or any other issue, but I can strive to live so that each person in my life
feels complete acceptance and love of the Lord from me. Whether serving under
the direction of the stake or the Primary president, I try to pattern my service
on the Savior. And I'm inspired by others without regard to
gender or other categories; my only limitations are my own failings.
I am very impressed with the kind, yet direct way that Mr. Otterson responds to
critical matters affecting the LDS Church. His letter was excellent.
The letter is tasteful and fair, given the hostility Public Affairs has been
shown recently in the blogs referred to in the letter.Maybe the most
important clarification in the letter is that Public Affairs works under the
direct supervision of the apostles, and that it would never issue a statement
that cannot be taken as a statement of the church itself.I may not
understand everything about church policy, but I'm willing to
whole-heartedly support it. This letter gives me added confidence in the wisdom
and inspiration of the leaders of the church.