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Nofear

Women, Men, and Priesthood

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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I didn't mean for it to come out to look that way. I really should have cut it short and say that women can't be in charge, so to speak , until she has the kind of insight the bishop does. He knows more than the rest of us, like if the member is TR holding or if they have a situation at home or in life that prohibits them from fulfilling a calling, or ? It runs the gamet.

So until a woman has that knowledge I can't see how she will have as much authority on matters if she isn't more aware of the members' lives. Now I'm going nowhere again! But wait, what if she were co-bishop with her husband, maybe they need to call couples as bishops, haha! 

But thank you for taking the time to read my post, I'm sure most skip them. :)

ETA: But yes, women, all women who feel the need to have more a voice in the church should get some time. Let's start by having more women give talks in conference. Who says we have to hear from the same men over and over. 

Also, let's get them involved in what they do in RS, and what subjects they want to discuss. Why the GC talks all the time. I miss the culture talks, more variety geared towards women. Why do we have to be the same as men in this regard. 

That'd be great!

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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:

ETA: But yes, women, all women who feel the need to have more a voice in the church should get some time. Let's start by having more women give talks in conference. Who says we have to hear from the same men over and over.

I don't mind more women speaking in GC.  Probably a good thing but I wonder if women in the First Century would have proposed that questions.  "Who says that we have to here from the same men like Peter, James, and Paul over and over again."  The reason we hear from the same men in GC over and over again is not because they are men but because of the office of which they currently hold. 

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1 minute ago, carbon dioxide said:

I don't mind more women speaking in GC.  Probably a good thing but I wonder if women in the First Century would have proposed that questions.  "Who says that we have to here from the same men like Peter, James, and Paul over and over again."  The reason we hear from the same men in GC over and over again is not because they are men but because of the office of which they currently hold. 

Women in the first century wouldn’t have even considered they had a chance.  The question would have been absurd. 

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3 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

Women in the first century wouldn’t have even considered they had a chance.  The question would have been absurd. 

If one changes it to men in the general membership asking that question the results are still the same.   The reason the same men get the most to say is due to the office that they hold.  When Tacenda says "Who says we have to hear from the same men over and over."  My answer is "The Lord says."  Those men are his appointed representatives.  They speak because of their office and position.  Not because they are some popular older dudes in the church.

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On 8/15/2019 at 12:03 PM, Nofear said:

From the op, the request/challenge/invitation was to present some reasonings that would sate some of those struggling with some of these issues.

While I find much of the discussion insightful and valuable, I'm not seeing a lot of persuasion. Not necessarily that minds need be changed but that those that are troubled/bothered/whatever might understand or concede that some see rationality in the status quo.

I'm not sure that bar has been met yet. Nonetheless, I appreciate the interlocuters and this comment is by no means meant to dissuade continued discussion.

I've been following this thread off and on for several pages and debated whether I should jump in an respond after this many pages. But I figure it can't hurt and I want to try to answer the initial question to this thread. 

I think of two stories in this topic right now. One was from a church history conference at BYU that talked about women in LDS history. one of the lectures discussed about collecting church history in India and how the current state and handbooks of the church were very empowering for women in a culture that is deeply sexist. They would receive callings such as RS pres or YW leader and be told by their male bishopric that they weren't to do much with these and be able to push back, pointing out that the manuals stated they had xyz responsibilities in the ward. The structure of the church help facilitate a cultural shift for the people that led to more egalitarian practices and beliefs about the role and capacities of women. 

The other was from my recent stake conference that is still weighing in my mind. Our stake presidency was being released and they had both male and female speakers. The female speakers were all the wives of the men with said callings or the 70 that came. The women's talks were entirely about their husbands or state of their families with little personal references (if any). The men's were about this or that lesson they learned from their calling, the sacred nature of callings, or their personal journeys. It felt (to take a term used by I believe Rain) imbalanced. The women's talks felt like strange prelude introductions to the main course: their husbands. My own husband had a hard time finding the point to one of the sister's talks at all. I empathetically noted that she was likely pointing out aspects that she found spiritual in her life, but didn't know how to fully express it....like if I talked about my garden the entire time, with no explanation as to the spiritual lessons pertaining to it. I didn't feel spiritually enriched by their talks for the most part...and it felt scripted by culture more than gospel in general (both men and women). In this case structure has fallen short in healing our cultural short-comings in the roles and capacity of women. 

Personally, I am not satisfied with the status quo. When I hear talks in GC and even Ulrich's I feel this itchiness. I can feel something important is missing. Something often feels perpetually off. Sometimes I can name it. sometimes I can't. It's that feeling of having a word on the tip of the tongue. I know the word, but I don't know it right now. So my first response to those that are struggling with this is one of empathy and acknowlegdement that what they're seeing/feeling is valid. 

I'd also talk about structural and cultural changes. Structural/procedural changes can be very important to help meet the needs of people in the church....but it doesn't always lead to all the changes we desire. To me there have been a number of structural shifts recently to help in the church. Changes in the temple being among the biggest personally. But also in the way women leaders are presented and efforts to try and have more women be visible and heard. A lot of these aren't immediately in our hands to change....nor can we as individuals see exactly what is needed for all the church. It's not possible. I may have great ideas for what could help my area....but I have no clue what challenges or needs are found in other parts of the world and if my great ideas or desires here would translate well be helpful there. That takes other voices having equitable say for the structure of the church (I don't know if that's fully a thing yet...but I still believe they'd need to have influence and say for the movement of the church).....and acknowledgmeny that my views may not actually be the best method forward for the whole of the church body. It could even be a stumbling block for saints who are still working to change some of their cultural beliefs to align with the gospel more.

Culturally though, we do have more say and influence and it can be just as important. Just as structure can influence our culture and our understanding of the Gospel. So can culture influence views and inevitably the structure of the church. That's can be worked on with one person talking, sharing, and expressing concerns. It can happen simply by doing something different....like not following expected narratives for when spouses talk in the same meeting. Or highlighting more women in lessons and scripture study. Or noting and naming what priesthood power and authority women already hold and can exert. And exploring the possibilities for what they could expand in doing that are in place because of culture that has cemented into tradition, expectations, and structure (such as giving blessings....or the other things people have mentioned here). 

In the end we are not a Zion society just yet....but a balm for me is to realize just how much I can be apart of helping to create that. To know my talents and capacities and then to actively share them and to shift the narrative for my daughter about her capacities that I didn't initially receive. That does't happen by ignoring our concerns...but leaning into them and patiently exploring them. 

 

With luv,

BD

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1 hour ago, BlueDreams said:

...

In the end we are not a Zion society just yet....but a balm for me is to realize just how much I can be apart of helping to create that. To know my talents and capacities and then to actively share them and to shift the narrative for my daughter about her capacities that I didn't initially receive. That does't happen by ignoring our concerns...but leaning into them and patiently exploring them. 

 

With luv,

BD

Yes.

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Not only the church is a little behind, the USA as well.

For those who turn up their noses at the words feminists and feminism or scoff that feminism is a dirty and utterly pointless word please read this and realize the following list is of NINE things a woman couldn’t do in 1971 – yes the date is correct 1971.

In 1971 a woman could not:

1. Get a Credit Card in her own name – it wasn’t until 1974 that a law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without their husband’s signature.

2. Be guaranteed that they wouldn’t be unceremoniously fired for the offense of getting pregnant – that changed with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

3. Serve on a jury - It varied by state (Utah deemed women fit for jury duty way back in 1879), but the main reason women were kept out of jury pools was that they were considered the center of the home, which was their primary responsibility as caregivers. They were also thought to be too fragile to hear the grisly details of crimes and too sympathetic by nature to be able to remain objective about those accused of offenses. In 1961, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a Florida law that exempted women from serving on juries. It wasn't until 1973 that women could serve on juries in all 50 states.

4. Fight on the front lines – admitted into military academies in 1976 it wasn’t until 2013 that the military ban on women in combat was lifted. Prior to 1973 women were only allowed in the military as nurses or support staff.

5. Get an Ivy League education - Yale and Princeton didn't accept female students until 1969. Harvard didn't admit women until 1977 (when it merged with the all-female Radcliffe College). Brown (which merged with women's college Pembroke), Dartmouth and Columbia did not offer admission to women until 1971, 1972 and 1981, respectively. Other case-specific instances allowed some women to take certain classes at Ivy League institutions (such as Barnard women taking classes at Columbia), but by and large, women in the '60s who harbored Ivy League dreams had to put them on hold.

6. Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment. Indeed the first time a court recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for any legal action was in 1977.

7. Decide not to have sex if their husband wanted to – spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993. Read that again...1993.

8. Obtain health insurance at the same monetary rate as a man. Sex discrimination wasn’t outlawed in health insurance until 2010 and today many, including sitting elected officials at the Federal level, feel women don’t mind paying a little more. Again, that date was 2010.

9. Also, take the birth control pill: Issues like reproductive freedom and a woman's right to decide when and whether to have children were only just beginning to be openly discussed in the 1960s. In 1957, the FDA approved of the birth control pill but only for "severe menstrual distress." In 1960, the pill was approved for use as a contraceptive. Even so, the pill was illegal in some states and could be prescribed only to married women for purposes of family planning, and not all pharmacies stocked it. Some of those opposed said oral contraceptives were immoral, promoted prostitution and were tantamount to abortion. It wasn't until several years later that birth control was approved for use by all women, regardless of marital status. In short, birth control meant a woman could complete her education, enter the work force and plan her own life.

Oh, and one more thing, prior to 1880 which is just a few years before the photo of this very proud lady was taken, the age of consent for sex was set at 10 or 12 in more states, with the exception of our neighbor Delaware – where it was 7 YEARS OLD!

Feminism is NOT just for other women.

KNOW your HERstory.

 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Not only the church is a little behind, the USA as well.

For those who turn up their noses at the words feminists and feminism or scoff that feminism is a dirty and utterly pointless word please read this and realize the following list is of NINE things a woman couldn’t do in 1971 – yes the date is correct 1971.

Not to go too tangental, but many of those who have problems with feminism actually agree with a lot of women's rights issues. The problem is usually a bit of a bait and switch where people say, "if you are for these things you are a feminist." Then say, "if you are really a feminist you should also accept these far more controversial things..." I suspect that covers a lot of members. I rather suspect most members would be fine and welcoming to more of a role in Church. They just think many aspects of it have to come by revelation not political agitation. Heck, if Pres. Nelson got a revelation tomorrow saying women can be apostles or bishops I don't think most members would bat an eye. (I'm not saying I expect that - just pointing out that people typically get the underlying issues wrong)

I can't say much about the 1960's since it was obviously before my time. But probably you and I would agree on many of the things then that were bad. It seems wrong though to assume that since some policy aims of second wave feminism were correct that we should adopt contemporary feminism. I'd add that there are clearly some things in second wave feminism I find deeply problematic as well - particularly in terms of open relationships and race. If find for example Simone de Beauvoir's social life deeply, deeply problematic.

Edited by clarkgoble
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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

It seems wrong though to assume that since some policy aims of second wave feminism were correct that we should adopt contemporary feminism.

Commenting as I assume you wouldn’t debate the following, just feel the need to say it as I get frustrated when I see details done this way....

It is also wrong to use “feminism” as a dirty word as if the worst disqualifies it all (and then protest that of course one if just talking about radical feminism as if that is the only thing that people normally apply the label to).

Any alternatives to use these days without the baggage from either approach?  It seems likely most useful to simply stick to specifics rather than try and attach individual changes to a global approach that relates to feminism and yet there is global movement among women’s issues that needs to be discussed imo. 

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18 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

I'd also talk about structural and cultural changes. Structural/procedural changes can be very important to help meet the needs of people in the church....but it doesn't always lead to all the changes we desire. To me there have been a number of structural shifts recently to help in the church. Changes in the temple being among the biggest personally. But also in the way women leaders are presented and efforts to try and have more women be visible and heard. A lot of these aren't immediately in our hands to change....nor can we as individuals see exactly what is needed for all the church. It's not possible. I may have great ideas for what could help my area....but I have no clue what challenges or needs are found in other parts of the world and if my great ideas or desires here would translate well be helpful there. That takes other voices having equitable say for the structure of the church (I don't know if that's fully a thing yet...but I still believe they'd need to have influence and say for the movement of the church).....and acknowledgment that my views may not actually be the best method forward for the whole of the church body. It could even be a stumbling block for saints who are still working to change some of their cultural beliefs to align with the gospel more.

Thank you for your post. It was nice to see and understand a bit more. Sharon Eubank's FairMormon talk "This is a Woman's Church" speaks a fair bit about some of what you speak about. Maybe in the US we would be ready for some changes that elsewhere in the world would be a significant stumbling block. While that wasn't Sis. Eubank's direct message, it was a message I personally got. In that vein I recall some of the worldwide training that the Brethren put out to be more inclusive in the voice of the sisters in Ward Council and such. Yet, the membership as a whole lagged/lags behind in implementation. There was the whole talk about women in their callings exercising Priesthood authority. Yet, sometimes in the general membership this isn't acknowledged in practice. From my experience I see the Brethren as pushing the membership of the Church forward but socially we have been laggard. But they are still pushing.

Certainly, the Brethren have their own social biases and cultural hangups. But I believe that they are much more susceptible to correction than the general body of the Church is and that as a general rule they are ahead of the curve as it were. While they aren't perfect, I believe if we as a Church would better implement the things we have already been asked to do by our prophets, more changes would come more quickly. As a consequence I tend to find little merit in those that would fault the hierarchy of the Church as the problem, that it is we who are the problem.

Others would counter my claim by saying that the Church is systematically flawed and that if we change the system then the problems would be better addressed. I find that kind of like saying that the economic injustices of the world would be solved if we'd just live the Law of Consecration. That's true, they would be. But we aren't willing to live the Law of Consecration. We barely live the law of tithing. What's different between the Law of Consecration and the Law of Tithing analogy is that we have the Law of Consecration. We don't have a public prophetic delineation of how Celestial Society will handle gender issues. In response my mind goes to the words of Lead Kindly Light:

The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene--one step enough for me.
 
I just keep trying to make those one steps. But so very many are upset at just how slowly we, as a people, are stepping along. They are also upset that we don't have the end destination officially pronounced, just the direction.
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1 hour ago, Nofear said:

Thank you for your post. It was nice to see and understand a bit more. Sharon Eubank's FairMormon talk "This is a Woman's Church" speaks a fair bit about some of what you speak about. Maybe in the US we would be ready for some changes that elsewhere in the world would be a significant stumbling block. While that wasn't Sis. Eubank's direct message, it was a message I personally got. In that vein I recall some of the worldwide training that the Brethren put out to be more inclusive in the voice of the sisters in Ward Council and such. Yet, the membership as a whole lagged/lags behind in implementation. There was the whole talk about women in their callings exercising Priesthood authority. Yet, sometimes in the general membership this isn't acknowledged in practice. From my experience I see the Brethren as pushing the membership of the Church forward but socially we have been laggard. But they are still pushing.

Certainly, the Brethren have their own social biases and cultural hangups. But I believe that they are much more susceptible to correction than the general body of the Church is and that as a general rule they are ahead of the curve as it were. While they aren't perfect, I believe if we as a Church would better implement the things we have already been asked to do by our prophets, more changes would come more quickly. As a consequence I tend to find little merit in those that would fault the hierarchy of the Church as the problem, that it is we who are the problem.

Others would counter my claim by saying that the Church is systematically flawed and that if we change the system then the problems would be better addressed. I find that kind of like saying that the economic injustices of the world would be solved if we'd just live the Law of Consecration. That's true, they would be. But we aren't willing to live the Law of Consecration. We barely live the law of tithing. What's different between the Law of Consecration and the Law of Tithing analogy is that we have the Law of Consecration. We don't have a public prophetic delineation of how Celestial Society will handle gender issues. In response my mind goes to the words of Lead Kindly Light:

The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene--one step enough for me.
 
I just keep trying to make those one steps. But so very many are upset at just how slowly we, as a people, are stepping along. They are also upset that we don't have the end destination officially pronounced, just the direction.

 I agree.  I think that sometimes we are a little too US culture-centric when we talk about things the global church should be doing.  The Savior once taught that you can't put new wine into old bags because it will destroy the bag and ruin the wine.  I think this might be one of those instances where trying to force new ideas into the old cultures of some of the regions in the world (and maybe even some in the United States) could actually cause more harm than good.  Timing is important.

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Are we sure that this attempt to blame the patriarchy for problems is not, in too many cases, a lightly veiled attempt to denigrate the Priesthood itself and all of its offices, powers, and responsibilities?

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19 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Are we sure that this attempt to blame the patriarchy for problems is not, in too many cases, a lightly veiled attempt to denigrate the Priesthood itself and all of its offices, powers, and responsibilities?

The only denigration of priesthood I see is the attempt by men who fear women getting hold of it to downgrade it's significance so they can insist women don't need it and shouldn't want it. 

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28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Are we sure that this attempt to blame the patriarchy for problems is not, in too many cases, a lightly veiled attempt to denigrate the Priesthood itself and all of its offices, powers, and responsibilities?

I'm sure it is in some cases, but I don't know that there is evidence to support that it happens often, especially not with active church members.

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43 minutes ago, juliann said:

The only denigration of priesthood I see is the attempt by men who fear women getting hold of it to downgrade it's significance so they can insist women don't need it and shouldn't want it. 

I am not afraid of women holding the Priesthood. I have stated repeatedly on this board that I hope they will and I even suspect it will come. I still think some (and I do not include you here) use the gender difference in holding the Priesthood as a pretext to tear down the Priesthood. I see complaining about having to continually listen to the same old apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ as a symptom of this.

Now if you want more women to speak and fewer Seventies I am all for it. If you long for women to become apostles better still. If you want women who are not apostles to speak more and replace apostles or cut down their time I will disagree. They are the prophets, seers, and revelators and I want to hear them speak more at the expense of anyone else excepting only members of the Godhead or resurrected/translated beings with messages sent for me/us.

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41 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm sure it is in some cases, but I don't know that there is evidence to support that it happens often, especially not with active church members.

I agree but I was not targeting that group.

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I am not afraid of women holding the Priesthood. I have stated repeatedly on this board that I hope they will and I even suspect it will come. I still think some (and I do not include you here) use the gender difference in holding the Priesthood as a pretext to tear down the Priesthood. I see complaining about having to continually listen to the same old apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ as a symptom of this.

Now if you want more women to speak and fewer Seventies I am all for it. If you long for women to become apostles better still. If you want women who are not apostles to speak more and replace apostles or cut down their time I will disagree. They are the prophets, seers, and revelators and I want to hear them speak more at the expense of anyone else excepting only members of the Godhead or resurrected/translated beings with messages sent for me/us.

Why would you think I was addressing you? I said the men who fear women getting hold of stuff. It's pretty obvious who they are....

Just for the record, I have not advocated for anything. I only refuse to listen to the patronizing mansplaining whenever women are the topic. Carry on.

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2 minutes ago, juliann said:

Why would you think I was addressing you?

Because you quoted me?

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I see denigration of the Priesthood more or less in two categories. The first is believers, men and women, who act shocked or dismissive of women seeking ordination by pushing ‘the Priesthood is just a burden’ theme, as in why would women want it as it just means more work, it does little for someone personally as it can be used only to serve others, etc.  Their purpose appears to be intending to support the status quo, be supportive of leadership, etc, but seems to me to ignore all the commentary by leadership of what a blessing holding the priesthood is, how it can help young men grow up to be fine adults, help create wonderful families, etc. 

The second category is those who at best see it as some kind of placebo and at worst promoting arrogance and hate by making men think they are better than others or have special powers which are only make believe and brainwashing others into allowing themselves to be dominated.  Those who go this route generally ridicule the patriarchal nature of much of our leadership, 15  old white guys kind of thing, glass bubble, etc  

There may be other versions, but pretty brain dead right now, so not coming to me. 

Edited by Calm
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16 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Because you quoted me?

I was answering you not talking about you! Get over here so I can smack you.

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7 minutes ago, juliann said:

I was answering you not talking about you! Get over here so I can smack you.

Only if I can smack you back for quoting without clarifying. I demand equality. ;) 

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5 hours ago, Calm said:

I see denigration of the Priesthood more or less in two categories. The first is believers, men and women, who act shocked or dismissive of women seeking ordination by pushing ‘the Priesthood is just a burden’ theme, as in why would women want it as it just means more work, it does little for someone personally as it can be used only to serve others, etc.  Their purpose appears to be intending to support the status quo, be supportive of leadership, etc, but seems to me to ignore all the commentary by leadership of what a blessing holding the priesthood is, how it can help young men grow up to be fine adults, help create wonderful families, etc. 

The second category is those who at best see it as some kind of placebo and at worst promoting arrogance and hate by making men think they are better than others or have special powers which are only make believe and brainwashing others into allowing themselves to be dominated.  Those who go this route generally ridicule the patriarchal nature of much of our leadership, 15  old white guys kind of thing, glass bubble, etc  

There may be other versions, but pretty brain dead right now, so not coming to me. 

For the first portraying the priesthood as a burden is correct but the blessings attendant to carrying that burden are worth pursuing. Most, though not all, of those blessings come to women through the temple ordinances. Things like the power of godliness and the power to see God and live come in that way. The rest are mostly attached to office and ordinance. There is possibly a bit of sincerity and goodness buried there though in the implicit wish the load were distributed more equally.

As to the latter, yeah, that almost entirely comes from without the church or from those who have membership but no testimony of the gospel.

Edited by The Nehor
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On 8/12/2019 at 1:36 PM, The Nehor said:

And men can naturally beat women up due to their superior strength so they tend to be in charge which trumps natural spirituality. Are you sure you want to throw out the ideal of egalitarianism so quickly?

Just for the sake of civil discourse let's remember that gender complimentarianism and gender egalitarianism are nowhere near in the same ballpark.

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