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Nofear

Women, Men, and Priesthood

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Calm said:

In our Western culture there are certain behaviours that are judged as spiritual that just may be more social for an individual such as attending church that women do more of, but that likely are no more indicators of greater gender spirituality than the fact most priests, imans, and rabbis are men means men are more spiritual.  Cultural roles need to be carefully analyzed separately from spirituality. 

I agree completely, but we also have to note that men tend to be less religious and less involved particularly in organized religion. I'm not saying that justifies sexist practices or even necessarily excuses differences between the sexes. However we should also note that men by their natural inclination are just not interested. I think if anything our current culture has aggravated that.

I recognize completely why feminists worry about current structures but let's be honest. In terms of practical religiosity though, finding practices that keep men involved seems to be the bigger issue. I think feminists, with a lot of justification, worry about power imbalances, but miss the issue about results where I think undeniably women are doing much better. (Not just in religion but also education) I think what happens is that by looking at power they tend to neglect the effects on most people. Again, I understand why feminists tend to look at the top of power, but I think it obscures far more than it illuminates. (Which isn't to deny what it illuminates)

3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I call shenanigans on this outrageous claim. Which sex is understood to be more 'spiritually inclined' is culturally determined and can be observed to shift over time ... just like any other social construct.

I definitely don't like the "women are more spiritual" canard. However even if certain practices are judged more spiritual it doesn't follow that all such judgments are wrong or mere arbitrary cultural norms. If attending Church and ministering are important spiritual practices it's worth noting that for whatever reasons men don't like doing that as much.

An other big problem is that in these discussions "spirituality" typically isn't defined and people tend to equivocate in how they discuss it. Secondly I think they downplay what are social norms that are habituated in practice and what is real spirituality. Put an other way I think it confuses social norms with actual capacity for spirituality. I think many social norms can make spirituality more difficult. Say the focus on success at work as defining value for men. That is it opposition to what the spirit would have us do. But does that mean men are less spiritual or does it simply mean those who don't care about spirituality tend to get caught up in norms that pull them farther away from spirituality. I'm here thinking of the Book of Mormon's warnings about riches and materialism as well as its recognition that often the repressed are more willing to listen to God. In a similar way I think more missionaries have people listen to them in poor areas than rich or middle class neighborhoods. It doesn't mean there aren't other issues, but I think social norms can easily pull us away from listening.

The weird thing is that if those people pushing the "women are more spiritual" line really believed it then they'd have women making more of the decisions.

Edited by clarkgoble

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

And in fact spirituality likely can’t be measured by anyone but God since we can’t quantify either the spirit or feeling. 

That's the problem 

Yet again mixing alleged "science" with religion.

But I DID get a 75 on my spirit-o- meter test. Boy was I proud!

 

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27 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

If attending Church and ministering are important spiritual practices it's worth noting that for whatever reasons men don't like doing that as much.

Men in some cultures. I have lived in multiple places where the bulk of the people at church and the bulk of new converts are men. I have served in wards and branches where the men ran circles around the women when it came to what was then called home/visiting teaching. In such places, it is a cultural assumption that men are more spiritual. This is the power of social constructs. We create much of our realities by what we think, and much of what we think is culturally bound.

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9 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Men in some cultures. I have lived in multiple places where the bulk of the people at church and the bulk of new converts are men. I have served in wards and branches where the men ran circles around the women when it came to what was then called home/visiting teaching. In such places, it is a cultural assumption that men are more spiritual. This is the power of social constructs. We create much of our realities by what we think, and much of what we think is culturally bound.

I thought we were talking of our culture. I can't speak of other cultures and I certainly wouldn't say all cultures are the same. My point was more that certain cultural norms incentivize activities that pull people away from spirituality and may direct some because of repression to be more open to spiritual things. (Which of course doesn't in the least justify the oppression) 

I think this gets at the issue though - even if something is cultural doesn't mean it doesn't have real effects in how people behave. Indeed I think the whole warning to us of the Book of Mormon is precisely those cultural dangers.

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5 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

final speaker in sacrament meeting.

I'm sorry if you live in a ward where this is still prohibited. My ward is enlightened and sometimes, we have only had female speakers and often, the woman closes the meeting. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, changed said:

This is one of the reasons I have left the church.  Men protecting, providing, in charge of ordinances etc.  flies in the face of reality.

There are more single moms than dads - women provide, women protect.  

There are more women who are spiritually inclined than men, so there should be more women than men in spiritual roles - 

just the natural reality of it all...

Sounds like many of the justifications used  previously for polygamy.

Edited by JLHPROF

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Regarding being outnumbered in councils, since the councils aren't a democratic vote, it's unclear how that matters. I think this needs unpacked quite a bit more to see what the objection is. If the issue is just an arbitrary equality in numbers then I think it needs be explained why that matters.

It matters. When I went to councils when I was much younger, I was very intimidated at ward council. My Bishop was also a military colonel and very intimidating. I would never really speak up. There was a gender, age and experience gap. Now, I'm older and very much outspoken in ward council but sometimes I feel like a lone voice. My sister counterparts, have on more than one occasion expressed  they wished they had 'spoken' up more and supported me but stayed silent. In these types of meeting age, gender, rank and experience can be factors. I mean, a woman will never be conducting or leading these discussions.

 

Edited by bsjkki
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27 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I thought we were talking of our culture.

‘Our culture’?

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30 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

‘Our culture’?

American/Canadian. Not sure where you live so maybe not yours.

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59 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I'm sorry if you live in a ward where this is still prohibited. My ward is enlightened and sometimes, we have only had female speakers and often, the woman closes the meeting. 

Oh really? Interesting.  In all my travels I’ve never seen a wife be final speaker after her husband. 

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7 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

American/Canadian. Not sure where you live so maybe not yours.

I'm nowhere near America or Canada, though I've lived in the former, which I didn't find to have a monoculture when it came to men and spirituality either.

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2 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

In all my travels I’ve never seen a wife be final speaker after her husband. 

I've served in our bishopric three times and am now serving in our stake presidency for my third time. This is one 'tradition of the fathers' that we seem to know nothing about. We plan out sacrament meeting and stake conference programs based on hoped-for outcomes, not the sex of the speakers. My habit -- and that is all it is -- is to have only women pray in the adult sessions of stake conference. I think I started doing this in part because leadership meeting used to be just men but also because there seems to be a tradition in our stake of parents with leadership responsibilities swapping child-minding duties on Saturdays, so the attendance at our adult sessions has typically been disproportionately female.

But yes, we have wives as final speakers all the time. I'm not sure what you mean exactly by 'after her husband'. Is it also a tradition where you live for married couples to speak in tandem? We very occasionally do that, but again, I've never once considered the sex of the speaker in planning the order. Instead, we've always discussed which talk logically should come first/second/third and who is better set-up for giving each one.

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9 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Oh really? Interesting.  In all my travels I’ve never seen a wife be final speaker after her husband. 

A lot of wards are transitioning to not having couples speak on the same Sunday. It recognizes them more as individuals and, perhaps more importantly, avoids the cutesy mutual admiration “how we met” stories that she starts and he adds to between the talks. On a practical level it also makes it easier on couples with children not to have both on the stand.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

That's the problem 

Yet again mixing alleged "science" with religion.

But I DID get a 75 on my spirit-o- meter test. Boy was I proud!

 

And after bragging about that, you dropped to 30 on the meter.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Oh really? Interesting.  In all my travels I’ve never seen a wife be final speaker after her husband. 

My ward also avoids couples speaking the same week. With the new schedule, speaking first has its advantages. In my ward the last speaker is often left with less time to speak. 🤣

Edited by bsjkki
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4 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

A lot of wards are transitioning to not having couples speak on the same Sunday. It recognizes them more as individuals and, perhaps more importantly, avoids the cutesy mutual admiration “how we met” stories that she starts and he adds to between the talks. On a practical level it also makes it easier on couples with children not to have both on the stand.

I can't remember the last time we had husband/wife speakers in sacrament meeting. 

Perhaps having the sister speak first is reminiscent of opening the door for ladies and letting them pass through first (ducking down and heading for the tall grass).

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6 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I can't remember the last time we had husband/wife speakers in sacrament meeting. 

Perhaps having the sister speak first is reminiscent of opening the door for ladies and letting them pass through first (ducking down and heading for the tall grass).

I am trying to change it in my ward.

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6 hours ago, Jeanne said:

I don't know if they still do this...but it is demeaning to a woman to have to have permission to serve.  I remember my bishop asking if I would like to be  a Den mother many years ago...He said he had already talked to my husband.  My husband said...ask her!!  She gets to decide!😊

This is one thing that always bothered me.  I would be the first one the leaders would talk to when they wanted to give my wife a calling.  When they wanted to give me a calling, they never called my wife first.  I'm not sure where this practice came from, but I feel it is a little condescending to the women.  I would always tell them, my wife is an adult,  she manages her own schedule, you can talk to her directly.

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1 minute ago, sunstoned said:

This is one thing that always bothered me.  I would be the first one the leaders would talk to when they wanted to give my wife a calling.  When they wanted to give me a calling, they never called my wife first.  I'm not sure where this practice came from, but I feel it is a little condescending to the women.  I would always tell them, my wife is an adult,  she manages her own schedule, you can talk to her directly.

I have never heard of this happening in our ward. For time intensive callings we interview them both. Ideally you go to the home as this gives a better feel for where the family is.

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I absolutely remember back in the day my husband getting notified before I was issued a calling.  He put a grand stop to that nonsense pretty fast. 

I wish couples wouldn’t be called to speak.  In my friends ward her husband Bishop assigns someone every week to tell the story of their conversion.  Not just “converts”.  She reports that every Sunday is edifying and inspiring as a result. I wish my ward did that. 

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40 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Perhaps having the sister speak first is reminiscent of opening the door for ladies and letting them pass through first (ducking down and heading for the tall grass)

You should be commended for your brave effort. :)

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15 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I wish my ward did that. 

Have you suggested this to a member of the ward council? (Since current instructions are for the ward council to plan sacrament meeting programs and not just the bishopric.)

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

I'm sorry if you live in a ward where this is still prohibited. My ward is enlightened and sometimes, we have only had female speakers and often, the woman closes the meeting. 

I spoke in Sacrament Mtg a couple of weeks ago on Prayer & Answered Prayers... the second speaker was also a woman, who spoke on Personal Revelation... 

GG

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sunstoned said:

This is one thing that always bothered me.  I would be the first one the leaders would talk to when they wanted to give my wife a calling.  When they wanted to give me a calling, they never called my wife first.  I'm not sure where this practice came from, but I feel it is a little condescending to the women.  I would always tell them, my wife is an adult,  she manages her own schedule, you can talk to her directly.

When I served as bishop and in other bishopric callings, we were instructed to talk with the father of the family before giving a calling to a family member. It was done out of respect for his stewardship as head of the family whether he was a member or not. It was not done to insult, disrespect, demean, nor diminish the wife or child, but rather to ascertain the family situation and how the calling might affect the family. I do not recall if this was a local instruction or a general church practice [edit....after giving it some thought I believe it was general policy]. If it was a substantial calling for the husband, we included the wife in the interview. 

It is so easy to pass judgement on the intentions of people living at another time and under different circumstances and to criticize good people who were doing their best to do their best with what they had. A pity, but it’s what we have become.

Current Church policy....

Quote

Before calling a married woman to a position, a leader should confer with her husband and ensure that he will support her. When calling a man to a position, a leader should ensure that the man’s wife will support him. A leader should confer with the parents before calling a child or youth to serve in a Church position.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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9 hours ago, Nofear said:

Some (including myself) have faith that the current setup is something God accepts – even while we acknowledge there is more to be done as we approach Zion.

Some (liked changed) do not have that trust/belief in the current situation and deny in their minds the idea that God accepts the current setup. They do not see acceptable reasons it could bo so and so do not believe.

Acceptable reasons do not create faith/trust, but it does make it easier to acquire faith/trust and/or understand those that do have it.

Very true.  And a great deal of that personal POV depends on whether one believes that the basic laws of nature or the universe (1) are beyond God's control, or (2) were created by Him, and can be changed by Him.  Those are fundamentally different POVs.

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