LDS Church releases new essays about women and the priesthood and Heavenly Mother

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  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 28, 2015 10:58 a.m.

    To "sharrona" that is nice, but you are ignoring the original HEBREW. In the ORIGINAL version of the Old Testament, and as I have stated before, the word for God is Elohim. Elohim is plural for Gods, according to Hebrew Grammar. You should also remember that according to LDS doctrine, the Bible has not been translated 100% correctly.

    Your statemetns keep circling around, and it is impossible to tell exactly what you believe and what the point is you are trying to get across.

    So, it brings us back to the original question. Do you believe the LDS doctrine about there being a Mother in Heaven along with a Father in Heaven, or do you reject that idea?

    Thanks for the exact reference. FYI, it only supports what I have been saying.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 28, 2015 9:21 a.m.

    RE: Craig Clark. (Deu 6:4 )(Shema)Hear, O Israel: The LORD(YHWH/Jehovah) our God H430(Elohim) is one LORD(YHWH/Jehovah. E.g…,

    RE: RedShirt. The KJV translates Strongs H430 God (2,346x), god (244x), judge (5x), GOD (1x), goddess (2x), great (2x), mighty (2x), angels (1x), exceeding (1x), God-ward (with H4136) (1x), godly (1x).

    “can you provide a verifiable reference for that quote?” History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 475 (1844. )VS,

    “In the beginning(*ὁ Theos)= God[not gods]….”(Gen 1:1 Greek Septuagint *Normative singular article.

    And, God [is] spirit.= (pneuma*ο Theos) (John 4:24).. There is ‘*no article’ in the Greek text before the word spirit, and that emphasizes the quality or essence of the word. The word spirit occurs first in the sentence for emphasis. The literal idea would be something like, “Absolutely spirit in His essence is God.” Jesus did not leave any doubt about this truth. God(The Father)= spirit!

    Joseph Smith Begins His Work Vol. 2 Wilford C. Wood. 1835 "Fourteen Articles of Faith"

    Post limit.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Oct. 28, 2015 8:13 a.m.

    @RedShirt --

    "can you provide a verifiable reference for that quote, The only place it shows up is in DN comment sections with your name attached to it. As far as I can tell it is a quote that you made up."

    Which quote, Red? I easily found the first Joseph Smith quote in multiple places.

    I have no opinion on the plurality of Elohim, however.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 27, 2015 4:56 p.m.

    To "sharrona" can you provide a verifiable reference for that quote, The only place it shows up is in DN comment sections with your name attached to it. As far as I can tell it is a quote that you made up.

    So, does this mean that you agree with me, that Elohim means Gods? Because according to many Jewish and Christian web sites, what JS stated is correct. Elohim is in fact refer to Gods.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 27, 2015 3:28 p.m.

    "....In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR, when referring to the Hebrew God, but grammatically plural (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities...."
    ______________________________

    Elohim can take either the singular or the plural case for which there are examples of both in the Bible. Let’s not forget that Hebrews were polytheistic for centuries before coming to embrace monotheism in the post-exile return from Babylon. The Hebrew Bible covers centuries that witnessed remarkable changes that left marks on the written page.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 27, 2015 1:35 p.m.

    RE:RedShirt. "Did you know that the Jewish name for God Elohim indicates a plural"?

    Joseph Smith said,“Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God is singular number; and by adding the word heim ,it renders it Gods.” ( H of C, 1844).Wrong,

    In Hebrew the form of the word Elohim, with the ending -im, which normally indicates a masculine plural, however with Elohim the construction is usually grammatically SINGULAR, when referring to the Hebrew God, but grammatically plural (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7). See #430 H

    * Judaism in the world today. They are Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic. A short list of the traditional beliefs of Judaism would include God is the creator of all that exists; He is one, incorporeal (without a body).

    RE; Observator Article of Faith 9 (A of F are canonized in the Standard Works).

    "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God., [*and Messiahs second coming) * in the Original (A of F #9)

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Oct. 27, 2015 1:15 p.m.

    @observator --

    "you are assuming that prophets, or any one else, are infallible (or rather, that Mormons consider their leaders to be infallible. I assume you wouldn't think so...)."

    You're right, I don't believe they're infallible. And, as fallible people, they make mistakes.

    "So, they're not. So what?"

    Well, there's a lot of "what" involved, if you really get into a theological debate about continuing revelation. For one thing, if you believe in continuing revelation and fallible prophets, then you must necessarily believe that **nothing** is known with absolute certainty -- anything you think is true today might be replaced by a new revelation in the future. So there is essentially no bedrock truth to stand on. Now, since I'm a relativist, that's okay with me -- but it throws absolutism out the window.

    But to bring it back to this discussion -- my main point in terms of *this* discussion was simply to demonstrate how mistaken panamadesnew's original claim was.

    Yes, LDS doctrine has been proven wrong in the past. Yes, it will be proven wrong again in the future. That's the nature of continuing revelation.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    Oct. 27, 2015 1:00 p.m.

    @Contra

    I would disagree with your characterization, in that you are assuming that prophets, or any one else, are infallible (or rather, that Mormons consider their leaders to be infallible. I assume you wouldn't think so...). So, they're not. So what? Besides, we are discussing an very arcane concept in the first place. I don't think Kimball called Young a liar. I do think that he would probably call him "misinformed". Young improvised his sermons, and often theorized from the pulpit. You seem to be such an expert with respect to the J. of D. that you should recognize that. Leaders nowadays labor over GC talks for weeks and weeks, because they know that someone is going to try to take them out of context...just like this, perhaps?

    Joseph Smith's quote sums up the fundamentals nicely:

    "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."

    No one quarrels with the fundamentals. (comment limit)

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    Oct. 27, 2015 12:35 p.m.

    @observator --

    "We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine."

    You do realize that Kimball has just called Brigham Young a liar, right? Young himself declared that the Adam-God thing was doctrine -- using that exact word, "doctrine".

    "More recent prophet trumps earlier prophet."

    RIGHT. Finally, somebody comes out with it.

    Earlier, panamadesnews claimed "There has never been a church doctrine that has been proven false, and there never will be. NEVER!" -- and then Redshirt tried valiantly to back that claim up.

    Of course, this claim is patently false. The Mark of Cain and the Adam-God Doctrine are two obvious examples. Both were declared to be Scriptural by Brigham Young himself, and the Adam-God Doctrine was not only CALLED Doctrine by Young, it was also included in temple endowment ceremonies. It WAS doctrine at one time.

    But the LDS church has great flexibility, because it believes in **continuous revelation**.

    So -- yes, obviously, LDS church doctrine has been proven false in the past, and **it will be proven false again in the future**. That's what continuous revelation DOES. It supplants outdated beliefs with newer ones.

    QED.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 27, 2015 12:33 p.m.

    A religion begins as something aberrational and repeats the ages old cycle of finding its orthodoxy along the way. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both shared exotic ideas with followers. They bequeathed a legacy of speculative theology that continues to this day. Mormons who believe they are led by prophets whose wisdom comes from above are not easily reconciled to that uneven mix of faith and fancy.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    Oct. 27, 2015 11:46 a.m.

    @Contra

    Spencer W. Kimball, in October 1976 General Conference, stated:

    "Another matter. We hope that you who teach in the various organizations...will always teach the orthodox truth. We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine."

    One basic tenet of the LDS faith is: More recent prophet trumps earlier prophet. If Kimball states the theory is false, then it is false, regardless of what Young said or didn't say. Moreover, there is a hierarchy in importance of church teachings that generally goes like so

    Official proclamations from the First Presidency/Council of Twelve Apostles
    Standard Works (Bible,BOM, D/C, P of GP)
    General Conference statements (more recent trumps less recent) by Church President
    GC statements from Apostles
    Other GC statements
    Books/curricula written by church leaders
    Books written by others

    Mormons have never claimed infallibility of its prophets. The adam-god theory was discarded. end of story.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Oct. 27, 2015 10:32 a.m.

    @RedShirt --

    "the Adam-God theory as you proclaim it never was church doctrine."

    Brigham Young himself said that every word in his sermons was Scripture. Was he wrong?

    "If you read what Brigham Young taught"

    Brigham said: "When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body.... He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." Journal of the Discourses vol. 1, pp. 46-53

    Were his sermons Scripture or not, Red? If they were not Scripture, then Brigham was wrong when he said that they were. And if they *were* Scripture, then early church scripture is now considered to be wrong.

    Which is it, Red?

    And what about that "death on the spot", Red? Has that Scripture changed?

    @Jack --

    "We are talking about doctrine"

    Brigham Young himself said that his words were Scripture. Since when is Scripture not doctrine?

    At one time the Adam-God Doctrine was included in endowment ceremonies. Since when would non-doctrine be included there?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 27, 2015 10:11 a.m.

    To "Manzanita" again, you are making assumptions about what is and what is not doctrine. Try again, and see if you can figure things out.

    To "sharrona" um you do realize that there is a lot of symbolism, and important pieces of doctrine that you do not understand in that quote that you provide. First, the Lord as referenced by King David was the pre-mortal Jesus. Who, at that point in time was a spirit, yet used the Holy Ghost (often referred to as His spirit).

    Did you know that the Jewish name for God Elohim indicates a plural, meaning that it isn't just a Heavenly Father, but that there would have to be a Heavenly Mother there too.

    Doctrinally, your statement means nothing other than Jesus, the Creator of this world, is watching over us and is concerned for us. What do you understand Brigham Young to be saying?

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    Oct. 27, 2015 9:36 a.m.

    "Gen 1:27: (NKJV) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.."

    Actually, Sharrona, I think that if you interpret "God" in this verse as a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother working in concert, it makes a whole lot more sense, personally...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 27, 2015 8:50 a.m.

    Priesthood is a very old idea from antiquity and existed in many cultures. It functioned as a tribal ruling class serving as intermediary between a deity and the people. It could include men and women although some societies, including the Israelites, had patriarchal systems. Priestly office was inherited in Israel, passed on from father to son.

    The epistle to the Hebrews which is of uncertain authorship, describes Jesus as a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The gospel narratives, however, make no mention of Jesus holding a priestly office. Priestly calling during the time of Jesus didn’t have the importance it later took on with the developing belief in Jesus as intermediary between God and man.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 27, 2015 8:43 a.m.

    RE: OneHumanFamily John 3:6 reads ,” Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” This passage contradicts the Mormon concept of a flesh and bone Heavenly Mother who gives birth to heavenly spirits babies.

    RE: RedShirt. Lectures On Faith - Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.)Q. What is the Son? A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. (5:2.) Joseph Smith

    (JoD V 1. P 49-50), The Lord fills the immensity of space. What saith the Psalmist? [Psalm 139:7-10] “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there..” God’s Omnipresence: God is everywhere’. (Brigham Young. True,

    "God created mankind in His image(Moral)," The Bible states that both males and females are created in the image of God Unless God were a hermaphrodite ( both male and female sexual organs), this phrase could not refer to purely physical characteristics.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    Oct. 27, 2015 8:17 a.m.

    I agree that women and men are generally wired differently. The problem with the church is that it ignores the fact that God makes some people different (example: LGBT people) and trying to fit them into an unnatural mold for them (example: telling a gay person to marry someone of the opposite sex) causes nothing but heartache and broken families.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Oct. 27, 2015 12:47 a.m.

    I hope to see church curriculum updated to say "Heaveny Parents" much, much more than the few times we see it now. This would be a wonderful change.

    As far as the debate regarding church doctrine. I'm afraid it is not easy at all to pin down what was doctrine versus practice, opinion, tradition, mistake and when and why it changed. All the apologetics in the world can't get over this inherent LDS difficulty. The easiest out seems to be continuing revelation. That frankly allows for any change at any time for any reason. The analogy "nailing jello to the wall" comes to mind.

  • Kia Kaha St George, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 9:31 p.m.

    Read about Deborah the Prophetess in the Book of Judges.

  • RCS Orem, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 9:14 p.m.

    Until those who are interested in the Doctrines of the Church begin to understand what a Priestess is (in the LDS Temples) their understanding will remain on a surface surface level when it comes to faithful women and the Priesthood.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 8:35 p.m.

    I enjoyed reading these two essays.

    I came away thinking it is time to update the Young Women's Theme. Rather than "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him..." perhaps it should be changed to, "We are daughters of Heavenly Parents, who love us, and we love Them..."

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 26, 2015 6:15 p.m.

    @Contrarius,
    We are talking about doctrine, not what Brigham Young said in a discourse. Refer to an address from Elder Neil Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve for a complete explanation of what constitutes doctrine. It's a General Conference address so it's available on the Church website. Many leaders have spoken, but to be doctrine it must conform to the standard explained by Elder Anderson.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 26, 2015 6:13 p.m.

    @ Redshirt.

    Nice try. The Adam-God Doctrine was taught by Brigham Young from the pulpit in General Conference. It was part of the lecture at the veil during the temple endowment. It's absurd to claim it was never doctrinal. I've done my research, and I suggest you do the same.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    Oct. 26, 2015 3:43 p.m.

    Article of Faith 9 (A of F are canonized in the Standard Works):

    "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God."

    Because LDS doctrine accepts the concept that God will "yet reveal" things in the future, it then also holds that some notions or ideas held in the past, even by leaders in the past, must be re-evaluated in the light of new revelation. Furthermore, random quotes from the J. of Discourses by B. Young do not constitute canonized doctrine in the LDS Church. This includes Young's statements on African-Americans or the Adam-God theory, neither of which are supported by other church leaders' statements or any official proclamations by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles. Nor have they been presented as revelations to the entire Church (see OD 1, OD 2 and D&C 138 for examples of revelations that were presented to, and sustained by, the Church as a whole).

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 2:21 p.m.

    To "Manzanita" the Adam-God theory as you proclaim it never was church doctrine.

    If you read what Brigham Young taught, you would understand this, rather than just go off your anti-Mormon web sites.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 26, 2015 1:22 p.m.

    And to those claiming that LDS Church doctrine has never changed, I'll add another example: Brigham Young taught that Adam is the same being as God the Father. This Adam-God doctrine (or "theory" as it's sometimes euphemistically referred to by apologists) also used to be part of the temple endowment.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 1:22 p.m.

    @RTTT-
    When a woman is called to be Relief Society President or Primary President, they are ordained to that office and given the keys of authority to act in that office by someone who holds the keys to administering those keys. Women serve in Relief Society without being ordained but only because they are acting under the direction of the Relief Society President, acting with the authority she has been ordained to.
    Even though I have been a member all my life, this article gives new insight and historical understanding to the concept I have always held that women serve in priesthood capacity without being ordained to Melchizedek or Aaronic Priesthood offices. But those are only two specific areas of Priesthood service. And remember, priesthood power is not to be used for self-aggrandizement but for serving and uplifting others.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 1:06 p.m.

    The essay is just a well worded way of patting the women folk and the head and letting them know their lot in life should not be questioned.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 26, 2015 12:55 p.m.

    @Shirtloser again --

    I just looked up the pages in which Young made his declaration about death on the spot, and you're completely wrong about what he said prior to that statement. The statement you quoted was actually **eight volumes** away from the "death on the spot" statement.

    Here's what he actually said immediately before that declaration -- he was talking about abolition at the time:

    "The Southerners make the negroes, and the Northerners worship them; this is all the difference between slaveholders and abolitionists. I would like the President of the United States and all the world to hear this.

    Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

    I do see your confusion now, though. Your quote about "denying his brother the privilege" is about SLAVERY. The declaration I quoted is about MISCEGENATION, not slavery itself. Different things, Red!

    So I'll ask again -- Brigham Young said "This will always be so". Is it still so, Red?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 26, 2015 12:25 p.m.

    @Shirtloser --

    "prior to that, Brigham Young stated "He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God." Apparently Brigham Young was just relaying a prophecy."

    He very distinctly wrote the phrases "Shall **I** tell you" as well as "This will always be so".

    Is it still so, Red? Hmmm??

    Young also said: "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture." Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95.

    So he presented his claim about "death on the spot" as Holy Scripture, and never to be changed.

    Is it still so, Red?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 26, 2015 11:52 a.m.

    To "Contrariloser" prior to that, Brigham Young stated "He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God." Apparently Brigham Young was just relaying a prophecy.

    Also, you are taking that quote out of context.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 26, 2015 9:27 a.m.

    Belief that God has a wife merely reinforces the obvious, the presumption that God is male.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 26, 2015 7:46 a.m.

    @panamadesnews --

    "There has never been a church doctrine that has been proven false, and there never will be. NEVER!"

    Prophet Brigham Young said: "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." - Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Oct. 25, 2015 6:54 p.m.

    Some have asked why a sister can't be a Sunday School President and a brother Primary President. I think you need to read the Family Proclamation on how the genders fall. Everything in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all's under the authority of the priesthood and its direction. Notice that sisters do have the power to heal and bless but not with consecrated oil. That is left to the power of the priesthood. We get so wrapped up in things that really don't concern us that we forget to see and hear what it says. Women in all other sects are ordained to speak prayer or to administer to sacred things yet in many ways they do so now as uunordained ministers on a daily basis completely equal in all respects to those of other sects.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 25, 2015 5:21 p.m.

    @bc1050
    Please be more specific with your assertion of a Church doctrine which has been proven false. I can't think of any.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Oct. 25, 2015 4:29 p.m.

    @bc1050

    There has never been a church doctrine that has been proven false, and there never will be. NEVER!

  • bc1050 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 25, 2015 2:34 p.m.

    Beaver Native
    Beaver, UT
    To answer an implied question, doctrine does not change; however, our understanding of it may be incomplete or wrong.

    The above is the Standard answer when any Church doctrine is proven to be false.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 25, 2015 10:28 a.m.

    Re: David in CA. The LDS belief in a "Mother in Heaven" is unique to the Latter-day Saints:"Mother" being defined as a wife of Heavenly Father.

    “God is our Father”, God is like a human father. God is analogous to a Father. In some ways he is like a human father and other ways he is not. He exercise authority over as , as do human fathers.
    God reveals himself in images and ideas which tie in with our everyday world. The scriptural images of God , for example, as a shepherd, king and father . The doctrine of the incarnation points to God’s willingness and ability to come down to our level and our abilities as human beings using illustrations which we can handle.

    “God is a rock”. does mean is a rock) God is like a rock he is strong and supportive.” Thomas Aqiunas
    The principle of analogy, God reveals himself in forms which relate to every day experience. On the account of the fragility and he limitations of our human intellects. He accommodates himself to our capacity.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Oct. 25, 2015 6:09 a.m.

    The understanding that we have a Heavenly Mother has always been one of the most important LDS truths to me. I feel it is a shame we have tip toed around this to a large degree. The old ideas that we just don't know vey much or She is too scared to talk about are ridiculous. There is much we regularly discuss in church that we don't know much about. The essay only said do not pray to Her. We should now feel more open than ever to discuss HM in church without the usual discomfort. I look forward to that.

    Second, the Church loses by not allowing women full participation in leadership. Of course the church can do whatever it wants. But as an organization it is much less effective because women are limited in leadership and decision making. The semantics of this essay are fine from a doctrinal standpoint. That is the church's prerogative. But we lose when women are not equally involved in all forms of leadership and decision making. The church excludes half of their available resources because of Bronze Age superstition. Simple as that.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 24, 2015 11:49 p.m.

    vern001
    Castle Rock, CO

    "Good essay, but it still does not clarify why women can't be Sunday School presidents and why men can't be Primary presidents."

    It also doesn't explain why women can not father children and men can give birth to children. Each has a role in the big picture.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 11:02 p.m.

    "In these and other ways, women exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office."

    I think the word "authority" in this sentence and the rest of the same context in the letter with regards to women should be changed to "power". Authority endows/confers power not the other way around. Moreover, authority validates and legitimizes power.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Oct. 24, 2015 8:22 p.m.

    @app
    It is entirely possible that how you define equality may be vastly different from how The Savior defines equality.

  • Lone Eagle Aurora, CO
    Oct. 24, 2015 5:20 p.m.

    @bc1050: what truth is changed with the essay?

    Just a question: are we so arrogant as to know everything at this embryonic state of our existence? It is my belief that as we are willing and capable of accepting greater truths (or perhaps expanded truth of what we have now) the Lord will reveal it. (The sealed part of the gold plates will be revealed in the Lord's time, as he said in the BoM.) Until then, we keep on keeping on.

    I believe that we know so very little now; it will blow us away when it is all revealed. For now, we are as children incapable of eating "meat," as it were.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 24, 2015 4:57 p.m.

    @bc1050
    That is correct, truth doesn't change. I don't see anything in the essays to change the truth I learned. Rather, it confirms what I have been taught and believe.

    I've said this before in other forums: Men and women are equal, but they are not the same.

  • bc1050 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 1:24 p.m.

    Growing up in the LDS Church I was taught that the truth never changed....

  • appdancer murfreesboro, rutherford co., TN
    Oct. 24, 2015 10:49 a.m.

    Many faiths are missing the boat by letting women do hard work, but still giving men the major authority. Nothing in what I know of Jesus Christ leads me to believe this is the way it should be. Women are equal and, often, superior, to men. Anyone who will face facts knows that. Churches/Synagogues, Mosques, etc. could not operate without the work of women. To deny them equality is foolishness.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 10:30 a.m.

    As a followup to my previous comment on tradition. I accept the LDS leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators. However, and this is just my opinion, I don't believe they are guided by revelations from the Lord in all matters. They make many decisions and policies based on their own beliefs and understandings. Such decisions become traditions.

    The Lord in his wisdom gives such freedom to the leaders and to us. Through this freedom, we grow and develop. We correct mistakes. We meet new challenges. We grow and develop to become more like Jesus Christ. If the Lord guided our leaders through revelations about all matters, our leaders would become robots, always being guided by revelation and always doing the will of the Lord by blind obedience. The Lord gives revelations about overall things and expects his leaders (and us) to make our own decisions based on the umbrella coverage of the revelations. We thus have the chance to grow and develop as free agents, as children of our Father in Heaven.

  • BYU Joe MISSION VIEJO, CA
    Oct. 24, 2015 10:09 a.m.

    Vern

    Somethings are just tradition - which is not bad and do not necessarily need to be changed because of the needs or whims or desires of some.

    Not all change is good. Not all tradition good. But in the realm of cultural changes time is one element that may be required to bring shifts and modifications.

    The key here is that people - including men and women - have different skill sets, purposes and benefits. Maybe it is time to perhaps celebrate those things instead of trying to boil everyone down to one single homongenous being.

    Its not bad to be a woman. Its not bad to be a man. It bad to not accept the wonderful parts of being either.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 10:05 a.m.

    @RTTT

    "if I (a woman) exercise priesthood authority without being ordained at all, then it seems to me that all of humanity does as well. I mean what is the difference between me and my next door neighbor (a non-mormon) in terms of the priesthood?"

    When Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society, it organized it to follow the pattern of the Priesthood. This, to me, is the difference. Women exercise PH authority without being ordained, because they do so under the direction of the Priesthood to which LDS men are ordained. Your neighbor, although a good person and a sincere follower of Christ, does not have that direction. You do if you want to follow that direction.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 10:01 a.m.

    @vern001 and those Liking his post

    "Good essay, but it still does not clarify why women can't be Sunday School presidents and why men can't be Primary presidents."

    Tradition. Speaking in a general way, there are often several ways something could be done and still be correct. All of the ways can't be chosen, so the leaders choose one way, and that way becomes tradition. Traditions are hard to change, and such change takes time.

  • jzwillows willows, ca
    Oct. 24, 2015 9:51 a.m.

    Regarding Women and the Priesthood, essay states, 'During the 19th century, women frequently blessed the sick by the prayer of faith, and many women received priesthood blessings promising that they would have the gift of healing. 'I have seen many demonstrations of the power and blessing of God through the administration of the sisters,' testified Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney, who was, by her own account, blessed by Joseph Smith to exercise this gift. ...Eliza R. Snow explained in 1883, 'Women can administer in the name of JESUS, but not by virtue of the Priesthood.'...in the early 20th century as Church leaders taught that it was preferable to follow the New Testament directive to 'call for the elders.'

    Has the sister's gift of healing through administering to the sick then been withdrawn? That would seem illogical. The change is that the members are to call on the priesthood for administering to the sick and along with that sisters are to pray without laying on of hands. However, if a mother desired to place her hands on her infant when praying, is that forbidden? How could it be? That is a private matter between a sister, her child, and the Lord.

  • Beaver Native Beaver, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 9:41 a.m.

    RTTT,

    Women do not hold the Priesthood, but may exercise limited priesthood authority as delegated through proper channels by the prophet, who holds all of the keys of the Priesthood. Women who receive callings in the Church also receive them through Priesthood keys and function in those callings through limited priesthood authority pertaining to that calling.

    No one can perform in a Church calling except through priesthood authority delegated by one who holds the keys.

  • kkodey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 9:21 a.m.

    I wonder if the song "Let It Be", by the Beatles, will be added to the LDS hymnbook someday....("When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comforts me....")

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 9:19 a.m.

    Hey Vern

    "Good essay, but it still does not clarify why women can't be Sunday School presidents and why men can't be Primary presidents".

    Really? Is this what keeps you up at night.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 6:50 a.m.

    The carefully worded essay about a female deity allows for us to interpret the doctrine a couple of ways. Those who wish to believe in a singular Heavenly Mother, the partner of and equal to Heavenly Father can read the essay in such a manner to support that belief. Those--like me--who believe in more than one Heavenly Mother can also find support for that belief in the essay, as most of the time the female deity is referred to as "a Mother in Heaven." I suspect that some of those in the former camp are hoping for a retraction of Section 132 and plural marriage, while some of those who believe as I do see the doctrine of plural marriage as support for the idea of multiple Mothers in Heaven. The LDS Church of late is careful to usually define marriage as between "a man and a woman" and not as "a man and only one woman." This one doctrinal point is likely to become far more contentious than women in the priesthood as it goes to the root of the eternal nature of men and women, something that we have only the smallest glimpse of at this time.

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    Oct. 24, 2015 1:37 a.m.

    So my question is: as a man, why did I require priesthood ordination, but my wife doesn't?

  • Lone Eagle Aurora, CO
    Oct. 23, 2015 10:50 p.m.

    @RTTT While the church may have a corner on priesthood authority (i.e., authority to perform saving ordinances), the church does not, indeed cannot have a corner on faith in Christ. Every blessing (or miracle) is obtained by obedience to a law somewhere and many of us who are called saints fall short of some law somewhere where many others who demonstrate what a saint is follow the law better and frequently have more meaningful spiritual experiences. In all of it, the one thing I hold to is that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God. All else comes after. HTH

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 9:53 p.m.

    Keeping in mind the 1800's narrative and general assumption in the early church that the word "woman" meant a woman who was married; begs the question of just how many single, never married women in the early church were allowed to participate in these activities.
    With so many thousands of single women in the church today who will never have the opportunity to marry in this life, it would be wise to start releasing more stories of how our unmarried pioneer sisters handled the stigma and marginalization that came from not having a man to define her as an equal member in a family dominated church.

  • RTTT Layron, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 9:49 p.m.

    'Women exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office'

    So this confuses me. I mean if I (a woman) exercise priesthood authority without being ordained at all, then it seems to me that all of humanity does as well. I mean what is the difference between me and my next door neighbor (a non-mormon) in terms of the priesthood? I haven’t been ordained. He hasn’t been ordained. I follow Christ. He follows Christ. I am guided by the spirit. He is guided by the spirit. I’ve had miracles happen to me in my life. He has as well and frankly his are much more ‘miraculous’ than mine (if we want to try to quantify such a thing). My baptismal covenant doesn’t say anything about priesthood so that can’t be the difference. And I haven't been to the temple.

  • Reflectere Utah, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 7:37 p.m.

    David - I disagree. There is a vast difference between the Saint Mary doctrine of the catholic church and the doctrine of a Mother in Heaven in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    One pays worshipful respect to a woman for being the mother of the Savior, Jesus Christ
    The other pays worshipful respect to a woman for being the Mother of Humankind.

    The doctrine that there is a Mother of Humankind is unique.

  • Grammy3 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 6:25 p.m.

    This brought tears to my eyes as I truly do believe that we have a Mother in Heaven. The Priesthood is truly the power of God given to worthy men to use in different areas. I have never once felt like I am any less of being blessed than my Husband that if he honors his Priesthood that we both can enjoy this great blessing. Working in the Temple also has helped me see the importance of our roles as Women in this world and that we to can recieve these blessings from our Loving Heavenly Father. We are very blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ here on the earth at this time. To be able to enjoy the blessings of the Temple in our lives as well as have a Latter day Prophet here on the earth to guide and direct us in these latter days. So I am sure that he is the one who has now brought this to our attention.

  • David in CA Livermore, CA
    Oct. 23, 2015 5:15 p.m.

    The LDS belief in a "Mother in Heaven" is unique to the Latter-day Saints:
    "Mother" being defined as a wife of Heavenly Father.

    But the idea of having an "Angelic Saintly" Mother in Heaven is also in the Roman Catholic
    beliefs. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is very much a part of Roman Catholic Christian
    tradition and belief. Some even say she was "translated" into heaven without ever tasting death, and many prayers are given to her. "The Rosary" is prayed directly towards her, rather than directly to the Father or the Son.

    That concept is not exactly as the Latter-day Saints believe in reference to a "Mother in Heaven", BUT it is giving Reverence and Respect and even Praying to a mother in Heaven.

  • Beaver Native Beaver, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 4:48 p.m.

    To answer an implied question, doctrine does not change; however, our understanding of it may be incomplete or wrong. In such cases, further revelation to clarify comes in the Lord's due time and through established Church channels who hold the keys to administer, as it did with the revelation on the priesthood. It will not come through outside channels.

    If you recall Church history, in the early days, they fairly often had incomplete or wrong understandings that were clarified with further revelation. In addition, further revelation concerning a doctrine often comes only after a question is asked and after significant, prayerful consideration. Joseph Smith's call as the prophet to lead this dispensation did not result in an immediate, full knowledge; rather, revelation concerning doctrine came bit-by-bit.

  • dwidenhouse Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 4:26 p.m.

    I love these essays! They establish true doctrine that individual members have corrupted over the years. No more do we have to rely on the "theories" about doctrine. They are established doctrines. I am so grateful to be lead by a Savior who knows our needs and helps us understand His doctrine. Though the critics will rip these apart and ask more questions, I find this sufficient until the Lord decides to give us more knowledge and understanding. He knows best!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 3:10 p.m.

    These essays are helping to define lines, lines that will continue to define the Church and its members. I look forward to learning more what makes the Church so great.

  • gom laundi aka witnessofjesus Pasco, WA
    Oct. 23, 2015 2:59 p.m.

    everytime i hear the "church" has made a declaration, i wonder quickly is some doctrine has been changed or not, and i fear that i might have to leave the church and not be humble. but then i read the text and words and i have found out that it hasnt changed. and i learn something new. and which is always correct. that i know. i sustain the prophet and the quorum of twelve as the chosen elders with the keys of authority. always. Robert Laundi

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Oct. 23, 2015 2:45 p.m.

    Good essay, but it still does not clarify why women can't be Sunday School presidents and why men can't be Primary presidents.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    Oct. 23, 2015 2:35 p.m.

    The world will never agree with what the Church teaches and the Church cannot change doctrines revealed by God. Offending Him is far more dangerous than offending those loud and angry voices who will never be happy as something else will come along that they will insist on changing and therefore show "their power" to make a difference, even if its a bad choice.

    As the world continues to degrade the differences between men and women and misunderstand the roles they play in the eternal family (as designed by God), the LDS Church shows the proper way for each of us to fulfill those roles that will bring the greatest benefit to themselves and the family they raise.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 2:32 p.m.

    This essay is a good read. I hope it clarifies concerns that some church members may have relating to the issue. The essay outright says women were never ordained to a priesthood office or had priesthood keys, but they exercise priesthood authority under the proper circumstances. It also clarifies terminology differences today versus the early church that may have caused some confusion today.