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Women And The Priesthood


Cold Steel

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On the PBS documentary, Margaret Toscano claimed that in 1843 that Joseph Smith was considering giving the priesthood to women. I find this to be absolutely ludicrous and it flies in the face of everything we know about the priesthood and about the temple rites. Still, I'm not familiar with her work or in what sense women would have taken part in the priesthood.

Anyone here familiar with her work?

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Women were allowed to give blessings into the 20th century when the church instructed families to call the priesthood and wait for them to come. (This was in the same era that the RS surrendered its individual grain store that it had maintained independent of the rest of the church for many years.) (We've all heard the story of Mary Fielding Smith blessing the ox, while crossing the plains.)

However this will work out in the eternities, Heavenly Father clearly now wants men to used the priesthood power.

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(We've all heard the story of Mary Fielding Smith blessing the ox, while crossing the plains.)

Yes, and according to my understanding of what I read, she was asking God to bless the ox.

She didn't claim to have any power that God gave her to bless it.

... and I know, I know, a lot of men bless that way too

... but the power of God, if they have the priesthood, is within them.

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On the PBS documentary, Margaret Toscano claimed that in 1843 that Joseph Smith was considering giving the priesthood to women. I find this to be absolutely ludicrous and it flies in the face of everything we know about the priesthood and about the temple rites. Still, I'm not familiar with her work or in what sense women would have taken part in the priesthood.

Anyone here familiar with her work?

Although I am not familiar with this woman or her work, I believe that Joseph Smith himself made reference to the fact that, in the temple, women would officiate in the ordinances of the priesthood.

Something that should not surprise too many temple-going Mormons today.

I do not know if this is what she was referencing.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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The word 'consider' is problematic. What does it mean in this context? Much could be considered but it quite another thing to put it into practice.

Also this women priesthood thing is very 21st century and Margaret was attempting to capitalize on some sort of idenity politics with her women priesthood ideas. She was catering to the secular feminists in the TV audience.

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Joseph Smith taught that anybody, even preachers of a different church, could give blessings through the name of Jesus Christ and based on their faith. I don't rememer ever hearing him saying that women could give a priesthood blessing.

I remember hearing many, many years ago, that a wife could give a priesthood blessing through her husband's priesthood, but that was a long time ago and I believe that that is not proper these days.

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I was under the impression that when women in the Temple perform the Initiatory on another, as well as the giving of the name, they are performing Priesthood ordinances.

They are. And if they are performing priesthood ordinances, by what power are they performing them?

I think this is what Joseph Smith was getting at in the quote I alluded to above.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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The patriarchal nature of the Mormon family dictates that men hold the priesthood authority and that men covenant with the Lord while women covenant with their husbands. This was certainly a concept held firmly in the New Testament.

Most men and women know that strict equality in the home cannot work. There has to be a leader and the Lord has designated men to lead their families in righteousness. (Of course, we're also the first ones who are expected to take a bullet when it comes to defense of the home, and in providing for the family.)

Can women, by virtue of their faith, provide blessings in the name of Jesus? If no priesthood were around, I would have no problems letting a woman of faith pray over me. It can do no harm and may very well do a large amount of good. Confronted by evil spirits, I also think it would be appropriate for women to use the name of Christ. But I know of no church guidance on this.

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women are endowed with the gift of the Spirit, and one of those gifts is the power to heal. A women can therefore bless through prayer when prompted to.

How we process priesthood now is somewhat different than in the early years of the church. I think there's documentation to support this idea. How women relate to and identify with the endowment of priesthood is different somewhat. From what I read, it was not an equal or mirrored endowment to men's, it seems only certain women who were in the annointed quorum received a form of endowment, and it seemed to relate more to a woman's circle of influence(other women, children,etc.)

But looking at some patriarchal blessings, quotes from leaders, and documented dates of when women received endowments independent of their husbands, it seems to speak of a different way women related to priesthood.

I don't think there's a real clear picture of how that relationship was from what little I have delved into it, but there are some things that are interesting to look at.

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I got the distinct impression that someone deeply aspired to be a Bishop or Stake President and got bent out of shape over the fact that she couldn't.

I know I was pretty upset when I found out I couldn't be relief society president.

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I got the distinct impression that someone deeply aspired to be a Bishop or Stake President and got bent out of shape over the fact that she couldn't.

:P Or prophet, maybe? She came off as very bitter and ultimately did harm to her cause in my opinion. The gay man who had a family that he left was much more sympathetic.

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If you read what Pres Hinkley has to say on the subject you won't be so fast to argue that women could never hold the priesthood as a man does. I would not have a problem if women were suddenly allowed to hold the priesthood.

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If you read what Pres Hinkley has to say on the subject you won't be so fast to argue that women could never hold the priesthood as a man does. I would not have a problem if women were suddenly allowed to hold the priesthood.

Help us out here. What did the Prophet say on this subject?

Bernard

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It is my understanding that anyone, including women, can pray for someone and something and ask that there be blessings, but only a man with the priesthood can bless with the power of the priesthood.

Now, does a woman exercise priesthood power in the temple because of her husband or because of something else? Is she able to exercise the priesthood just because she's in the temple?

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Help us out here. What did the Prophet say on this subject?

In one of his interviews on 60 minutes he simply said that presently the Lord does not allow women to have the priesthood but this may not always be the case.

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It is my understanding that anyone, including women, can pray for someone and something and ask that there be blessings, but only a man with the priesthood can bless with the power of the priesthood.

Now, does a woman exercise priesthood power in the temple because of her husband or because of something else? Is she able to exercise the priesthood just because she's in the temple?

Be very careful on the discussion about temple ordinances... please. There are those on this BB that would love to desecrate that information.

Look... here are the beginnings of two prayers

In the name of Jesus Christ.

By the power and authority of the .... Priesthood

Women can give any blessing they like starting with the first.

If you read what Pres Hinkley has to say on the subject you won't be so fast to argue that women could never hold the priesthood as a man does. I would not have a problem if women were suddenly allowed to hold the priesthood.

Need a reference please

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On the PBS documentary, Margaret Toscano claimed that in 1843 that Joseph Smith was considering giving the priesthood to women. I find this to be absolutely ludicrous and it flies in the face of everything we know about the priesthood and about the temple rites. Still, I'm not familiar with her work or in what sense women would have taken part in the priesthood.

Anyone here familiar with her work?

The following are excerpts from Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. All bolded emphases are mine:

. . . . Several women met in her [sarah Kimball's] home and decided to organize formally, delegating Sarah Kimball to ask Eliza R. Snow to write a constitution and by-laws [for the Relief Society]. Eliza obliged, but when the women took their efforts to the prophet for approval, Joseph said:"I am glad to have the opportunity of organizing the women, as a part of the priesthood belongs to them." He read the documents Eliza had written and pronounced them "the best he had ever seen, but this is not what you want. . . ." Then he stated, "I will organize the sisters under the priesthood after a pattern of the priesthood."

==========

Joseph proposed that the sisters elect a president and two counselors and said he "would ordain them to preside over the [Relief] Society--and let them preside just as the Presidency preside over the Church; . . . . If any Officers are wanted to carry out the design of the Institution, let them be appointed and set apart as Deacons, Teachers, & etc. are among us."

==========

". . . The society should move according to the ancient Priesthood. . . . [i will] make of this [Relief] Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch's day--as in Paul's day."

==========

Mormon women found spiritual satisfaction in the [Relief Society] gatherings. At the close of one meeting Emma [smith], Sarah Cleveland, and Elizabeth Whitney laid their hands on the head of Elizabeth Durfee, who was ill, and blessed her. The next week Mrs. Durfee "said she never realized more benefit through any administration--that she was healed, and thought the sisters had more faith than the brethren." . . . .

During the ensuing week someone apparently questioned the propriety of women blessing the sick and speaking in tongues. Joseph addressed the subject on April 28, saying there was "some little thing circulating in this Society, that some persons were not going right in laying hands on the sick. . . . If the sisters should have faith to heal the sick let all hold their tongues, and let every thing roll on. . . . Who knows the mind of God? . . . Respecting the females, laying on hands . . . there could be no devils in it if God gave his sanction by healing--that there would no more sin in any female laying on the sick than in wetting the face with water. Elizabeth Ann Whitney wrote in 1878 that she and several other women were "ordained and set apart under the hand of Joseph Smith the Prophet to administer to the sick and comfort the sorrowful."

==========

I have no idea if any of this is what Margaret Toscano was referring to, and I don't present this as evidence that Joseph intended to confer the priesthood on women. I give it simply for your information.

Mom

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Joseph proposed that the sisters elect a president and two counselors and said he "would ordain them to preside over the [Relief] Society--and let them preside just as the Presidency preside over the Church; . . . . If any Officers are wanted to carry out the design of the Institution, let them be appointed and set apart as Deacons, Teachers, & etc. are among us."

I have no idea if any of this is what Margaret Toscano was referring to, and I don't present this as evidence that Joseph intended to confer the priesthood on women. I give it simply for your information.

Mom

Thanks. Two concerns.

First: I hate the ..... stuff. I may be a bit skeptical but the ..... in quotes can often be used to change the message. The .... in the above quote may be informative.

Second: This is not an auto-biography from Emma Smith. It is a biography written by Linda King Newell. Could have some bias.

There is actually nothing in these quotes that would bother me. I just wanted to add this information.

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Brian's Mom,

A woman can give Blessings of Comfort, Blessings to Heal, they can give any blessing that a person would want to give. She can't use the Priesthood because she doesn't hold it. She does this by faith. This is the gist of what I read. Emma was trying to usurp authority as RS Pres ( she did hold RS Courts and tried to sanction sisters in Nauvoo) and this was the reason the RS was disbanded in 1844. From what I've read, this bunched Emma's corsett. She was finally the "BOSS" and Joseph took this away. This is how Ms Toscano strikes me, she wanted to be the "BOSS" couldn't be. My wife is the RS Pres in the Branch in which we live. She was set apart with a similar blessing as Emma.

I think part of what Ms toscano was reading was the reaction to the 2nd washings and annointings. Women were refered to as Priestesses after they had been called up. This was speaking in the future glories, not on earth.

Dr Fatguy

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I think there's two different things here-how women and the priesthood were viewed back in the early days and how the two are viewed today.

When we look at the early days, there are interesting ways that the two were viewed and related. Women were seen as being taken into the order of the priesthood in some capacity when they received their temple endowments, not when they received their Second Annointings with their husbands. This is how it was stated in various circumstances. Women were in the Second Annointings blessed ordained and annointed. We have quotes from one of Joseph Smith's wives saying she received every order of the priesthood, and we have Joseph Smith's uncle giving patriarchal blessings to women where references are made back to biblical times of a priesthood conferred to daughters of Abraham.

I don't think all these things mean it was a priesthood endowment that we associate with men today. But they seemed to have a different way of relating priesthood and women in the early days. That's all.

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Brian's Mom,

A woman can give Blessings of Comfort, Blessings to Heal, they can give any blessing that a person would want to give. She can't use the Priesthood because she doesn't hold it. She does this by faith. This is the gist of what I read. Dr Fatguy

Then why "ordained and set apart under the hand of Joseph Smith the Prophet to administer to the sick and comfort the sorrowful." .. If any women can give a blessing?

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