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Church Says Aims Of 'ordain Women' Detract From Dialogue


Fly Fisherman

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I agree with Moody, and thought her letter to the Ordain Women group was considerate, loving, and straightforward.  I completely agree with the sentiment that OW's focus on ordination for women as the only acceptable outcome (while giving lip service to the desire that all they want the leadership to do is to 'pray about it' so as to attempt to look less extreme than they are) detracts rather than adds to the cause (for lack of a better term).

 

I'm guessing that Kate Kelly and others in her organization will not be pleased with it, naturally.

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If God wills it, I'm certainly no one to stand in the way of His giving His Daughters the Priesthood.  But people who posit that sociopolitical pressure had a hand in blacks of African descent receiving the Priesthood (and to use the lifting of the Ban as a parallel between the two situations) are, respectfully, mistaken in my view.  They're off by a few years.  While President Kimball and the Brethren actively were discussing the possibility of lifting the ban, general Church membership, it seemed to me, by the late '60s or early '70s largely had given up protest and were resigned to the status quo.  (As I mentioned in another thread a few weeks ago, the notion of boycotting or protesting BYU athletic teams over the policy seemed largely to be settled by then.  The "Black 14" incident in 1969 seems to be the high water mark of active protest.  By the time the ban was lifted in 1978, teams that decided to boycott BYU simply weren't playing the Cougars, and schools/teams that might have protested the policy seem to have concluded that such protests wouldn't do any good anyway.)

 

It seems to me that God works by a principle of "minimum 'force' necessary": if it takes the visitation of an angel, or a voice from a burning bush, or some other vocal or dramatic manifestation to accomplish His work, I don't think God will hesitate.  If, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit's "still, small voice" will do the trick, I don't think He feels it necessary to resort to more than that.  Either way, I think God's attempts to reassure those who (whether they realize it or whether they want to admit it or not) condescend to Him that "I am able to do mine own work" fall on deaf ears. While, again, I simply want what God wants, I'm puzzled as to why the most vocal proponents of extending the Priesthood to women seem to think that: (1) the only problem is simply that the Brethren haven't bothered to ask God what He wants; or (2) that if they did, God surely would want the same thing that Ordain Women wants.  I think, because of (2), that even if President Monson were to say explicitly that he (and/or the rest of The Fifteen) had petitioned God about giving the Priesthood to women, and that the answer is "No," Ordain Women still wouldn't be satisfied.

 

Now, having said all of this, I certainly don't oppose any change that doesn't disturb fundamental doctrine but is designed to ensure that women's voices are heard and that they  participate to the fullest extent possible.  I don't think continuing dialogue on such issues is a bad thing.  But that's also why I think Ordain Women has shot itself in the foot by continuing to insist that nothing less than full ordination will suffice, and by resorting to high-profile protests (that cause many reasonable people [who otherwise might be sympathetic to its aims] to conclude that the organization and its aims are nothing more than a publicity stunt.)

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To me it's obvious that women should be ordained. You shouldn't need a specific revelation to tell you that - it seems just already in harmony with principles of justice and goodness and kindness and morality that we as the human family have awoken to over many centuries. Just my view

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To me it's obvious that women should be ordained. You shouldn't need a specific revelation to tell you that - it seems just already in harmony with principles of justice and goodness and kindness and morality that we as the human family have awoken to over many centuries. Just my view

 

If I didn't believe that ordination of women was a theological issue, and instead believed it to be a civil issue, then I would completely agree with you.

 

However, since i know that God is fine with keeping certain blessings from some of His children, while granting them to others, I don't believe that women must be ordained to stay true to what God desires or His justice and goodness.

 

If God desires to ordain women then I have no issue with that.  But I don't believe that it has to be that way or else.  :)

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I think the Public Affairs office should refrain from declaring Doctrine.

"Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His Church."

While such might be the case, it reads no different than the many "letters" regarding other members and the Priesthood; and I do not think Public Affairs should be the making such pronouncements.

I also do not think the Public Affairs office should attempt to debate, or to attempt to reprimand. All that needed be said was "Thank you for your letter. You are welcome to demonstrate in the designated zones. Please be considerate of others."

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I think the Public Affairs office should refrain from declaring Doctrine.

"Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organization for His Church."

While such might be the case, it reads no different than the many "letters" regarding other members and the Priesthood; and I do not think Public Affairs should be the making such pronouncements.

I also do not think the Public Affairs office should attempt to debate, or to attempt to reprimand. All that needed be said was "Thank you for your letter. You are welcome to demonstrate in the designated zones. Please be considerate of others."

 

I agree.  Letters which come from the Public Affairs department represent the corporate side of the church.  If the OW groups wishes to follow the Corporation, than they ought to comply with Ms. Moody's requests.  But I suspect that is not where their interests lie.

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If I didn't believe that ordination of women was a theological issue, and instead believed it to be a civil issue, then I would completely agree with you.

 

 

 

 

I don't see a difference.

 

 

However, since i know that God is fine with keeping certain blessings from some of His children, while granting them to others, I don't believe that women must be ordained to stay true to what God desires or His justice and goodness.

 

 

 

Is He fine with it? I'm not sure I know that. That sounds more like something we'd do to each other, while giving God the credit for the idea

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I agree.  Letters which come from the Public Affairs department represent the corporate side of the church.  If the OW groups wishes to follow the Corporation, than they ought to comply with Ms. Moody's requests.  But I suspect that is not where their interests lie.

 

How do you believe the 'other' side of the church would publicly address the OW request, if the PA depart only deals with corporate issues?  

 

I ask because it has always been my understanding that the Public Affairs department represents the thoughts and feelings of the First Presidency as directed towards the church (whether the corporate part or the religious part) and that they do not express any opinion that has not been approved beforehand by the ecclesiastical leadership.

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How do you believe the 'other' side of the church would publicly address the OW request, if the PA depart only deals with corporate issues?  

 

I ask because it has always been my understanding that the Public Affairs department represents the thoughts and feelings of the First Presidency as directed towards the church (whether the corporate part or the religious part) and that they do not express any opinion that has not been approved beforehand by the ecclesiastical leadership.

 

We know how sustained leaders communicate with the church.  Conferences and FP letters read from the pulpit seem to be the method, right?

 

I'm not sure how accurately the PA department reflects the thoughts and feelings of the FP.  We don't even know how/when/if they communicate.  That's not something that has ever been explained to us by anyone in a sustained position that I'm aware of.  All of this leads me to believe that they speak for the corporation, not the restored church of Christ.

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I don't see a difference.

For me, the difference is that when it comes to civil justice, that is something that people get to decided on. In other words, people come together and decide what 'fair' looks like and then work toward that end.

In theological issues though, God is the one who decides what is 'fair' and whether anyone else agrees with Him or not is irrelevant.

A group of people can come together and say 'this church practice is not fair or equal as we define that term'. However, I don't believe that a group of people can come together and say 'this church practice isn't fair or equal as we define it and therefore God agrees with us because our definition is the eternal definition'.

 

Is He fine with it? I'm not sure I know that. That sounds more like something we'd do to each other, while giving God the credit for the idea

While i don't believe that women being able to have babies is the equivalent of men being ordained to the priesthood, I think it does illustrate how God deals with each gender and the idea of equal opportunities for equal blessings.

Being able to conceive, carry, and birth a child is an experience that comes with HUGE, practically indescribable, blessings. It is not at all the same as fatherhood. And God is obviously fine with that.

He is obviously completely fine with giving women blessings and experiences in mortality that men (and even some women) will never ever be able to experience or gain access to. He has purposefully organized mortality so that women will have different responsibilities and different blessings than men when it comes to this topic, and we (by 'we' i mean those of us who believe that God directed the way that life is created on this earth, and that how babies come to this world is His design) all accept that without decrying how unfair it all is that a man will never get to experience the marvels of being pregnant.

Given that, I don't know how anyone can claim that God could never condone any organization that allowed men specific responsibilities (and therefore blessings) that women are not allowed to have.

Again, I'm not using this as an example of why women can't ever be ordained to the priesthood. I'm using it to show that we have examples in our lives right now where God treats the sexes very differently, and we know it is His will that it be that way.  Therefore, there is precedent, based on the way He has handled men/women issues in another situation, to support the belief that God condones women not being ordained while men are.

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We know how sustained leaders communicate with the church.  Conferences and FP letters read from the pulpit seem to be the method, right?

Definitely.

But OW is not a church organization, and neither does it represent only LDS. It is an organization that uses the public and media to present it's agenda.

 

Is there any precedent for the church using a FP letter over the pulpit to speak to a non-church group that has publicly addressed the church and includes non and ex mormons?

 

I'm not sure how accurately the PA department reflects the thoughts and feelings of the FP.  We don't even know how/when/if they communicate.  That's not something that has ever been explained to us by anyone in a sustained position that I'm aware of.  All of this leads me to believe that they speak for the corporation, not the restored church of Christ.

Since the PA department speaks for the church, it seems reasonable to assume the FP is aware of and approves what they are saying.

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Definitely.

But OW is not a church organization, and neither does it represent only LDS. It is an organization that uses the public and media to present it's agenda.

 

Is there any precedent for the church using a FP letter over the pulpit to speak to a non-church group that has publicly addressed the church and includes non and ex mormons?

 

Since the PA department speaks for the church, it seems reasonable to assume the FP is aware of and approves what they are saying.

 

Yep, OW is not a church organization.  That's why I guess I feel like this is just the corporation sending a letter to an organization outside of the church.  It's not something I'm going to look at as a declaration of doctrine or LDS theology.  If the Brethren were prepared to make a doctrinally declarative statement, they know how to do it -- and it wouldn't come from public affairs.  You and I would agree on that last sentence, right?

 

I think it is reasonable to assume that one of the leadership bodies communicates with the PA department:  FP, Q12, presidency of the 70, or presiding bishopric.  But I'm not prepared to assume which it is and how.  So I don't put a lot of weight in the PA statements & letters.  Now, if there was something in the D&C or even the church handbook about how PA interacts with the FP or apostles, I would probably reconsider.  Otherwise, as I said earlier, it's just the corporation speaking.

 

The restored church speaks through the prophet.  A corporation speaks through its public affairs department.

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Yep, OW is not a church organization.  That's why I guess I feel like this is just the corporation sending a letter to an organization outside of the church.  It's not something I'm going to look at as a declaration of doctrine or LDS theology.  If the Brethren were prepared to make a doctrinally declarative statement, they know how to do it -- and it wouldn't come from public affairs.  You and I would agree on that last sentence, right?

Completely.

I think the Brethren have already made a doctrinally declarative statement on this issue just last conference and many times previously. Moody seems to just be repeating what has already been declared concerning the ordination of women.

 

The restored church speaks through the prophet.  A corporation speaks through its public affairs department.

 

 

Monson is not just the prophet of the restored church however.  He is also the president of the corporation. 

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Completely.

I think the Brethren have already made a doctrinally declarative statement on this issue just last conference and many times previously. Moody seems to just be repeating what has already been declared concerning the ordination of women.

 

 

Monson is not just the prophet of the restored church however.  He is also the president of the corporation. 

 

I think that they have as well.  And if they want the OW group to stop protesting, I think they have the ability to make that happen... I just don't think that they want to exercise that level of authority.  (But I'm really just presuming here.)  That was really the point I was trying to make -- that a letter from PA won't really have any significant impact on the OW group.

 

And yes, President Monson is also president of the corporation.  That still doesn't mean that he sits down with PA and shares his thoughts and feelings on the matter.

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I think that they have as well.  And if they want the OW group to stop protesting, I think they have the ability to make that happen... I just don't think that they want to exercise that level of authority.  (But I'm really just presuming here.)  That was really the point I was trying to make -- that a letter from PA won't really have any significant impact on the OW group.

 

 I agree.  I don't think the church wants to stop OW from protesting.  I think they would definitely want OW to decide that on their own, but they are going to continue to give them all the rope they want if that's the path they choose.  :D

 

I do think they want OW, and the public at large, to understand exactly how their actions are being perceived, exactly why they aren't going to get what they want, and also how they are, in some ways, hurting the cause they claim to care about.

 

And yes, President Monson is also president of the corporation.  That still doesn't mean that he sits down with PA and shares his thoughts and feelings on the matter.

 

 

True.  But i think it would be unreasonable to believe that the PA department of a corporation is going to declare something that the President doesn't agree with.

 

In that sense i think we will just have to agree to disagree on it. 

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 I agree.  I don't think the church wants to stop OW from protesting.  I think they would definitely want OW to decide that on their own, but they are going to continue to give them all the rope they want if that's the path they choose.   :D

 

I do think they want OW, and the public at large, to understand exactly how their actions are being perceived, exactly why they aren't going to get what they want, and also how they are, in some ways, hurting the cause they claim to care about.

 

 

True.  But i think it would be unreasonable to believe that the PA department of a corporation is going to declare something that the President doesn't agree with.

 

In that sense i think we will just have to agree to disagree on it. 

 

Well, I think that the "Mormon feminist" movement, if I may call it that, has already seen some results from their efforts (prayers in GC, open broadcast of priesthood session).  But I know that not everyone sees it that way.  Which is fine.

 

Regarding the PA dept.  I will agree to disagree but I just want to add that if they were sitting down with just the prophet, it would make sense that PA was communicating only that which the president agrees with.  I think the problem arises when we consider that the 15 don't always agree.  So where, exactly, are the marching orders for public affairs coming from?

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Well, I think that the "Mormon feminist" movement, if I may call it that, has already seen some results from their efforts (prayers in GC, open broadcast of priesthood session).  But I know that not everyone sees it that way.  Which is fine.

 

OW is not the Mormon feminist movement however.   :)

 

Regarding the PA dept.  I will agree to disagree but I just want to add that if they were sitting down with just the prophet, it would make sense that PA was communicating only that which the president agrees with.  I think the problem arises when we consider that the 15 don't always agree.  So where, exactly, are the marching orders for public affairs coming from?

 

 

Even if the 15 do not agree personally, they are commanded to be unanimous in their dealings with the church.  I don't believe any one of them would allow the PA department to declare something when speaking for the church which they knew the Prophet did not agree with, do you?

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OW is not the Mormon feminist movement however.   :)

 

 

Even if the 15 do not agree personally, they are commanded to be unanimous in their dealings with the church.  I don't believe any one of them would allow the PA department to declare something when speaking for the church which they knew the Prophet did not agree with, do you?

 

OW is not part of the mormon feminist movement?  (I admit that it's not something I know a ton about.)

 

No (to your question).  But, as we discussed earlier, in this matter of the letter to OW, they weren't "dealing with the church".  And we still don't know who (from the church) is dealing with the PA department of the corporation.

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To me it's obvious that women should be ordained. You shouldn't need a specific revelation to tell you that - it seems just already in harmony with principles of justice and goodness and kindness and morality that we as the human family have awoken to over many centuries. Just my view

You're certainly entitled to your view, and you're certainly not alone in holding it: even many people who describe themselves as faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who say they have fervent testimonies of the Church's foundational claims hold that view (many members of Ordain Women, no doubt, among them).  But here's the thing: What if God isn't politically correct?  What if His views of "justice and goodness and kindness and morality" are different than yours or mine or those of the members of Ordain Women?  What if, even though we're prone to dismiss "God" as sexist, racist, immoral, and so on (else He would have let women have the Priesthood in the first place, never would have withheld it from blacks of African descent, and so on), we're actually wrong?

 

But what if God really is "able to do [His] own work" (see 2 Nephi 27:20) without humans tinkering with it according to the best currently-available theories of political correctness or of social engineering (even if not adhering to those theories makes the Church look ... Gasp! :o [Horror of horrors!] ... backward)?!!)  What if "[His] thoughts" really aren't "[our] thoughts," and "[His] ways" really aren't "[our] ways" (see Isaiah 55:8-9)?  What if "the natural man" really doesn't receive "the things of God, for they are foolishness unto him" (see 1 Cor. 2:14)?  What if the Lord really wasn't kidding when He said that He would use "the weak and the simple" as His instruments (their weakness and simplicity notwithstanding)?  Whether one thinks that the Church's policy of withholding the Priesthood from blacks of African descent was right, was wrong, or that we simply don't know either way, among the things that that episode of Church history taught us is that: (1) maybe the Lord isn't politically correct; and (2) He has his own timetable for doing things, since, if lifting the ban was merely a result of sociopolitical pressure, it likely would have happened much sooner.

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please forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, but is there a "Mormon Feminist Movement"; that has a dedicated structure, mission statement, platform, membership? Such that one LDS woman can say to another LDS woman "You are not a Mormon Feminist, but I am and here is my membership card to prove it."

If not, then well, no one really has the right to define what the "Mormon Feminist Movement" is and isn't.

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OW is not part of the mormon feminist movement?  (I admit that it's not something I know a ton about.)

 

No (to your question).  But, as we discussed earlier, in this matter of the letter to OW, they weren't "dealing with the church".  And we still don't know who (from the church) is dealing with the PA department of the corporation.

 

I did not say they weren't part of it, i said they weren't 'it'.  

 

There are many in the MFM that dislike OW, and Kate Kelly has called some woman who have been a part of the MFM for a long time some not very nice things because they have not supported her.  This is not a harmonious group of people who all have the same agenda.  My point in saying that OW is not the MFM was simply to remind us that there are many in the MFM who would disagree that OW is responsible for the progress in gender equality that you mentioned.

 

It's certainly up to interpretation of course, and i'm sure OW takes credit for some of the changes that other MFM groups would disagree with and vice versa.  

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You're certainly entitled to your view, and you're certainly not alone in holding it: even many people who describe themselves as faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who say they have fervent testimonies of the Church's foundational claims hold that view (many members of Ordain Women, no doubt, among them). But here's the thing: What if God isn't politically correct? What if His views of "justice and goodness and kindness and morality" are different than yours or mine or those of the members of Ordain Women? What if, even though we're prone to dismiss "God" as sexist, racist, immoral, and so on (else He would have let women have the Priesthood in the first place, never would have withheld it from blacks of African descent, and so on), we're actually wrong?

But what if God really is "able to do [His] own work" (see 2 Nephi 27:20) without humans tinkering with it according to the best currently-available theories of political correctness or of social engineering (even if not adhering to those theories makes the Church look ... Gasp! :o [Horror of horrors!] ... backward)?!!) What if "[His] thoughts" really aren't "[our] thoughts," and "[His] ways" really aren't "[our] ways" (see Isaiah 55:8-9)? What if "the natural man" really doesn't receive "the things of God, for they are foolishness unto him" (see 1 Cor. 2:14)? What if the Lord really wasn't kidding when He said that He would use "the weak and the simple" as His instruments (their weakness and simplicity notwithstanding)? Whether one thinks that the Church's policy of withholding the Priesthood from blacks of African descent was right, was wrong, or that we simply don't know either way, among the things that that episode of Church history taught us is that: (1) maybe the Lord isn't politically correct; and (2) He has his own timetable for doing things, since, if lifting the ban was merely a result of sociopolitical pressure, it likely would have happened much sooner.

You left out 3) Sometimes we attribute things to the Lord even when we have no evidence that they came from Him.

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I did not say they weren't part of it, i said they weren't 'it'.

There are many in the MFM that dislike OW, and Kate Kelly has called some woman who have been a part of the MFM for a long time some not very nice things because they have not supported her. This is not a harmonious group of people who all have the same agenda. My point in saying that OW is not the MFM was simply to remind us that there are many in the MFM who would disagree that OW is responsible for the progress in gender equality that you mentioned.

It's certainly up to interpretation of course, and i'm sure OW takes credit for some of the changes that other MFM groups would disagree with and vice versa.

I agree: no single group within the MFM is "it". But none of them can be excluded from the movement either... even with their disagreements.

Personally, the timing suggests to me that the OW group was likely responsible for the decision to open up the priesthood broadcast to all interested viewers.

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I agree: no single group within the MFM is "it". But none of them can be excluded from the movement either... even with their disagreements.

 

I agree.  I've yet to see anyone argue that but there could be someone out there who has.

 

Personally, the timing suggests to me that the OW group was likely responsible for the decision to open up the priesthood broadcast to all interested viewers.

 

 

Could be.  Though given that the broadcast was already available to all in print form, not much, if anything, of substance has actually been gained by that in regards to gender issues.

 

It's kind of a concession without any actual concessions.

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