Women are essential to the Lord's work, Elder Ballard says

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  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Aug. 26, 2013 2:17 a.m.

    It is ironic with the low status of women in that day that Jesus chose to appear to Mary and the other women, and that the first Christian preachers of the resurrection were not men, but women. Jesus did not first appear to the "vicar" of the church, Peter, or even to the beloved disciple. He appeared to Mary and the women who followed him and served him. The culture of Israel at the time of Christ was undeniably patriarchal. Women were often regarded as mere possessions. Aside from opening himself to charges of immorality if women had been among the twelve, I suspect a woman’s testimony about Jesus’ resurrection would have been given little credence. There were many women who exhibited leadership in both the Old and New Testaments...but unfortunately for those who wish for more equality within their own Church sphere today usually end up with inequality because of antiquated views of women passed down by patriarchal Church leaderships since the time of Jesus. Why would any Church who follows Jesus show favoritism toward males when Jesus appeared not to? Apparently Jesus trusted that women were capable of being disciples or so it seems!

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2013 12:54 a.m.

    @Twin Lights:
    "The Relief Society President serves as a Bishop’s right arm."

    No, no. His two counselors are his right (and left) arms.

    "She knows a lot of the struggles is every bit as essential as the High Priest Group Leader and the Elder’s Quorum President."

    She is essential basically because of lax H. Teachers.

    "Young Women’s Presidents are as essential as the Young Men’s Presidents. Is Primary important? Only if the rising generation is."

    True, but we're not talking about hierarchy here, are we?

    "But women were in Christ’s inner circle."

    What? They don't seem to have any official calling in the early Church.

    "They remain so in the Church today."

    I guess then, that the Priesthood is not that essential in doing the work.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    From the Doctrine and Covenants Section 131:1,2....

    In order to obtain the highest.... degree of Glory in the Celestial Kingdom,... a man/woman must enter into the order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.]

    I have personally seen many LDS women enter into this order of the Priesthood...endowing them with opportunity to become crowned with Glory, immortality and eternal lives... with everlasting dominion and power.
    Where else, other than in LDS Temples, can a woman go to receive this matchless Priesthood Power that extends beyond the grave?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Aug. 23, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    I have no doubt that you or nearly any woman would do well serving with the Priesthood. That's not the point. The Lord has made His decision on who bears His Priesthood and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether you could do the job. We each have our duties and roles, ordained by God. I accept that. I do take pause with your fast and prayer to get the Lord to change His mind. Do we not sustain the Prophet as the only one who can receive revelation for the whole Church? If there is a change to be made, wouldn't it be through the Prophet, not a member or group of members claiming revelation for the Church? Think about it for a moment, and ask yourself if this is what you seek and if so, who would your answer come from......

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    RE: April Y, offering women the priesthood.

    The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood ended with the death of Christ. The entire function ,and the term Cohen means, ’one who stands up for another, and mediate the cause.” Before the Great Sacrifice ,the priest had to stand in the gap for the people and offer animal sacrifices. Do Mormons still carry out this function. No! Therefore their office is insignificant.

    Hebrews 7:23-25 .. because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. If Jesus is not human, he cannot continue to offer intercession for Christians as high priest.

    Priesthood authority, In(D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there isn’t a Greek character for the English letter J.

    To avoid confusion, modern translations: NIV, NJKV, NASB and the Catholic Bible have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14,; Luke 1:17)JS was fooled.

  • April Y South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    Dear Blue AZ Cougar,

    Thank you for your concern. I read the scriptures and article you suggested. I am a little confused about why you referred me to read scriptures about contention. i don't think that offering women the priesthood would result in contention, nor do I think it contentious to fast and pray about women's ordination and ask apostles to consider it.

    Since you seem like a person who appreciates scriptures, I would like to recommend some readings for you:

    Acts 10 (In a vision, the Lord tells Peter to expand the priesthood to demographics that Jesus never personally ordained.)

    Romans 16 (Paul praises the deacon Pheobe and the apostle Junia)

    Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book within the Joseph Smith Papers: (Under Joseph Smith's direction, Sarah Cleveland and Elizabeth Whitney were ordained. Emma Smith was set apart without an ordination. joseph Smith explained that she was previously ordained.)

    If you would like more scholarly articles on the subject, you might try the resources section of the ordain women site.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    @April Y

    I hope you do not take offense at my comment -- I can assure you none is intended. I understand your feelings (my wife has, to some extent, the same feelings). Please let me share a few thoughts with you:

    1) The church does not have a "priesthood ban" on women. That implies that we know God's will is to give the priesthood to women, but we refuse to do it. That is not the case. The church does not makes that call, Heavenly Father does. As far as I can tell, there has never been a time in the scriptures when a woman was ordained to the priesthood. Jesus Christ never ordained a woman to the priesthood or called a woman as an apostle. It has nothing to do with worthiness, it has everything to do with the divine roles Heavenly Father has appointed for his sons and daughters.

    2) Please read Articles of Faith 1:5.

    3) Please check out the article "Mormonism and gender issues/Women/Role in the Church/Priesthood" on the FAIR Wiki site. This is an excellent article.

    4) Please read 3 Nephi 11:29 and D&C 10:63.

  • April Y South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Dear Elder Ballard, I am an LDS woman who has attended church nearly every week of my whole life, paid a full tithe since my first job as a teenager, gone on a mission, married in the temple, and held many of the callings that are open to women in the church (as you well know, there are many, many more I am banned from because of my sex). I have heard speeches like this one my whole life, and they do not make me feel better about the priesthood ban against women, so I am asking God to change this. This Monday, I am going to join women across the nation in a day of fasting and prayer for the ordination of women. I am also appealing to you, Elder Ballard. Please reconsider this ban. I am worthy tp be an Elder in the church, and I would use my priesthood to serve my church, family and community if given the chance.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    RE: zoar63, If God is a male and his wife is a female it sort of gives another meaning to, Gen 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" context,
    Verse.1:27, So God created man in his own *image, in the *image of God created he him; Male and Female created he them. figuratively ,*God is Spirit (John 4:24),and is everywhere, Ps. 139:7-10, Jer. 23:24.

    RE: birder, See Lectures on Faith Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

    Re; 1.96 Standard Deviations( Gen 2:24): "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

    Foretelling what would be done in all succeeding ages ,marriage
    was now instituted by God. i.e.,

    Mt 19:5 (Jesus), ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    This issue boils down to a few main points. 1. Do you believe that the LDS Church is led by a prophet of God? 2. Do you believe that God is in charge? 3. Do you understand that God is not "practicing" on us? He has created worlds and done all of this before. 4. Do you believe that God knew us before this life and assigned roles to men and women based on divine knowledge? 5. Do you understand what God is really like? (See Lectures on Faith #3).

    Many of these "women and the priesthood" arguments come about because people do not understand the doctrine, just as Pres. Packer has said over and over again.

  • Solutions not Stones Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    Christopher B,

    "Some Mormon prophets said that African Americans would never be given the priesthood."

    I will have to read that for myself. Can you site a reference on that assertion?

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    BigBudda had the best comment. Remember the first to see Christ after his ressurection was a woman. Too many people don't read or understand the full article before making a comment. What he said was both men an women are involved to complete the project. Each have different jobs and I am glad for my assignment.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:44 p.m.


    Thanks for your viewpoints, I appreciate the civil dialogue. Two thoughts I wanted to share:

    1) The feelings of inferiority amongst the women of the church stem from (a) women taking offense where offense is not intended, and (b) men not doing a very good job at understanding and oftentimes respecting the viewpoints of women. It takes work on both sides. What message do we as men send to our wives when we leave the room during general conference whenever a woman gets up to speak? Men can and should do better.

    2) In a world that inherently and blatantly diminishes the value of motherhood and women in general, we would do well to read the proclamation on the family to remind ourselves of the divine nature of women, men, and families in the plan of salvation. We need that reality check every once in a while to remind ourselves that the roles outlined by God for men and women are different than how those roles are defined in our society.

  • MJohnson Littleton, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    Also germane to this discussion:

    “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” -Brigham Young

  • MJohnson Littleton, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    @Blue AZ Cougar

    I disagree that the priesthood being withheld from women is more than a policy decision, but that's irrelevant. The Brethren can be and historically have been wrong on doctrinal matters as well. The folk doctrines propagated by the 1st Presidency to justify the Priesthood and Temple Ban are a perfect example.

    Also, why are strengthening one's testimony and discussing areas where the Church has room for improvement mutually exclusive? God has blessed His children with a remarkable ability to multitask.

    I agree that God's ways aren't our ways, and I agree that just because something is unpopular doesn't mean that it's wrong. However, I also believe that the Brethren are quite fallible, and it's extremely dangerous to conflate every decision made by our leaders with the mind and will of the Lord. We have the moral responsibility to prayerfully investigate the direction we receive from our leaders in the Church.

    "If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed." -J. Reuben Clark

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    If women don't have the priesthood then why do they give their husband a blessing by the laying on of hands in the calling and election made sure ceremony? Just curious.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    If God is a male and his wife is a female it sort of gives another meaning to Gen 1:26

    "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:"

  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    "When men and women go to the temple, they are both endowed with the same power, which is by definition priesthood power." Now that is a very helpful sentence. I hope that is a verbatim quote. I will certainly be using it if it is . . .

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    The lord needs the women for his work because he's busy fixing sporting events and he doesn't do a thing in the kitchen.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:17 p.m.


    Keep in mind that the decision of who receives the priesthood is not a "policy" decision. Nor is the Church's stance on gay marriage a "policy" decision. I think Elder Ballard's point is that there will be some aspects of the church that people will inherently disagree with, but that focusing on those things is "missing the mark" so to speak. You can get hung up on the minutiae of church administration, or you can take a step back and evaluate your life in terms of your testimony and commitment to the gospel / Jesus Christ / God.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the doctrines of the gospel aren't always popular. If policy decisions or doctrines were left to a popularity vote, we wouldn't be too different from other churches, would we? So it doesn't necessarily mean those policies or doctrines are wrong.

    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." --Isaiah 55:8

  • MJohnson Parker, CO
    Aug. 22, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    "There are some questions about the church's position on sensitive issues that are hard to answer to anyone’s satisfaction. However, when we seek the Lord in prayer about how to feel and what to do in these situations, the impression comes: Do you believe in Jesus Christ and do you follow him and the Father?"

    How does having a testimony of Jesus Christ and a willingness to follow him and the Father relate to blindly trusting policy decisions made by his well-intentioned, but fallible servants? There's an important distinction to be made here. If questions about the Church's position on sensitive issues are hard to answer to anyone's satisfaction, isn't it possible that it's because they're wrong?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    @Christopher B
    "It will be interesting to see if the Mormon church ever gives the women the priesthood.

    Never you say?"

    One could say the same about your church...

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    1st Corinthians 12:14-18:

    14 For the body is not one member, but many.

    15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

    16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

    17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

    18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

    So yes, women are essential to the Lord's work. It may not be in the manner they think they are essential, or the manner they want to help in the work, but it is in the manner that the Lord has set them (read verse 18 above again).

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    Until Non LDS people sit in LDS church Sunday School, Relief Society, Elders Quorum, etc. classes and hear about the places Mormons believe they are headed to after death; until people study and delve into the nitty gritty of Mormon polygamy: until people study these two, put them together and think about it....the honest truth of the role of women in the LDS Church will never be understood.

  • shimmer Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Women do have leadership opportunities in the church... over other women. We are excluded from callings that don't require the priesthood such as ward clerk or sunday school presidency in which we would have some authority over men.

  • BigBuddha Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    I agree with Brother Ballard..women are essentialfor everything.I am so glad that they are so nice and helpful. They are pretty and smell nice too

  • StudentofReason SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    If God is male and his wife is female, and we assume neither have changed sexes during their existence, wouldn't it be more accurate to assume that gender is an earlier concept than God's plan?

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Women in America still get paid less than men while doing exactly the same work. If the Church really values women, they should spend the same money they spent during the Proposition 8 issue in California to correct this disparate treatment of women in America. Words in support of women are shallow compared to the actions needed to support the words.

  • S Mark Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    Yes, Elder Ballard, I do believe in Jesus Christ and I do follow him and the Father. For this reason, I believe that all God’s children must have the ability to exercise the priesthood. Mormonism is unique, because we do not see our Eternal goal as “getting to a place called heaven.” Mormonism is about becoming. Heaven is not a place. Rather, heaven is what we become. To become like Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and Heavenly Mother, we must be able to work through, and learn to understand, all that They went through. Priesthood is integral to this process. For this reason, it is critical to the development of my daughter, my granddaughter, and all women in the Church that they be able to hold and exercise the priesthood.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    Man cannot be alone.
    But woman can.
    Men are less secure.
    And I'm a man.

  • pacnwmom Vancouver, WA
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    The headline distracts from Elder Ballard's message. As we can see by the tremendous influence and success the young women are having in missionary work, the unique female brain with it's ability to focus on many things and multi-process is different than the male, and the resultant abilities are irreplaceable. We need each other and compliment each other, it is up to us both to utilize one another's strengths to the highest ability. Good leaders do, without pandering or dismissing opinions (on either side).

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    Say No to BO-
    Sadly I am not a boater, just ignorant of that old phrase.
    ...yet still very happy to be a non-priesthood holding, LDS woman. :)

  • Ohio-LDS NE, OH
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Folks, whatever your feelings on female ordination, can we at least try to be civil? Personal attacks and strawmen arguments never lead to progress. If you really want to dialogue, share your desires for what you think is best. Then spend at least as much time listening to others' desires.

    Personally, I desire ordination for all. I love the priesthood ordinances and want my wife, daughters, mother and sisters to be involved in those with me. I am impatient by nature. But I find encouragement from Elder Ballard's remark that he does not know why the current restriction is in place. That is a much better view than what occurred with the racial restriction on priesthood - which we justified with folklore we now find embarrasing. I also find encouraging the church's recent statement that referred to the gender restriction as a "practice" and referred to equality as a "doctrine." Other practices have changed - such as polygamy and racial restrictions on the priesthood. I hope and pray for the day when this practice will also change and my wife's hands can find equal room with mine in blessing our children.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Just looked it up, your right. Thanks.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    Miss Piggie,

    Auxiliaries are not, strictly speaking, part of the priesthood but all authority flows therefrom. The Relief Society President serves as a Bishop’s right arm. She knows a lot of the struggles is every bit as essential as the High Priest Group Leader and the Elder’s Quorum President. Young Women’s Presidents are as essential as the Young Men’s Presidents. Is Primary important? Only if the rising generation is.

    Yes, part of this is Biblical. But women were in Christ’s inner circle. They remain so in the Church today.

    A Scientist

    Is that how it works in your house? I know a few members who think this way. In my experience they have not been the leaders. My experience has been that the more involved in leadership the less (men or women) understand this to be the proper interaction of men and women and the more there is a fully functioning team.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    Toe the line means to obey the rules exactly.
    Examples include to toe the starting line or remaining behind the line on a tennis serve.
    In military marching exercises the soldiers would literally line up straight by "toeing the line."
    Perhaps you have done too much boating.

  • Shuzzie53 HAYWARD, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:31 a.m.

    Jeanie, actually, "toe" the line is correct.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    tow, not "toe" :) unless it means step on the line with our toe, or drag our toe across the line, or draw a new line with our toe....

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:10 p.m.

    “Most everyone has family or friends who have been caught up in various, troubling contemporary social issues,” he said. “Arguing about the issues generally does not bring any resolution and, in fact, can create contention. There are some questions about the church's position on sensitive issues that are hard to answer to anyone’s satisfaction. However, when we seek the Lord in prayer about how to feel and what to do in these situations, the impression comes: Do you believe in Jesus Christ and do you follow him and the Father?”

    Enough said.

    Miss Piggie:

    Women don't get a bum rap. We are all spirit children of heavenly parents (Read 2nd paragraph in The Family - A Proclamation to the World. In other words, children of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother).

    Also, read Genesis 2:18-24 in the Bible. Soon after Adam and Eve were created, Adam said (Verse 24): "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

    Apparently Adam had a Heavenly Mother as well, or else how could he leave her?

    See now? Women are divine.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    A Scientist

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    We talk about accepting people decisions about their own lives and yet acidic non members/inactive members (active but angry members) try to convince LDS women how trapped we are. Your comments are condescending and ignorant. It's really annoying when people tell you how unhappy you are when you aren't. Non believers hate that about zealous members of any Christian faith. Why don't you people lead by example and trust LDS women are happy NOT having the priesthood and don't feel we have to "toe the line and obey" (what an old and tired comment)?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Essential to the Lord's work... as long as they toe the line and obey the men, right?

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    "Women are essential to the Lord's work, Elder Ballard says"

    Well, we know they are essential to having families. But, they don't seem to be needed in the church hierarchy as evidenced by the fact that there are none there. The auxiliary presidencies are not considered part of the priesthood hierarchy.

    Elder Ballard seems to say that no one knows why women are not ordained to the Priesthood. I should think he would know. Unless it stems from the leadership demonstrated in the Bible... where Christ was male as was all of his Apostles... as well as the custom of all religious leadership from Christ's time til today (with few exceptions). Even God Himself is male. Females seem to be getting a bum rap.

    On the other hand, if I were female (wait, I am female) I wouldn't be a bit put out about not being privileged to be in the Priesthood.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    It all sounds condescending and chauvinistic rationalization to maintain patriarch superiority .

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see if the Mormon church ever gives the women the priesthood.

    Never you say?

    Some Mormon prophets said that African Americans would never be given the priesthood.

    But we don't like to talk about Mormon prophets being wrong now do we?