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Women recieving the priesthood


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35 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Cool.

Yes, that was a surprise.  I never noticed it either.

Could you give some examples?  I see little to no evidence of this.  To the contrary:

  1. They changed their name in 2001.  I see little chance of that happening with us.
  2. They've long moderated their stance on the Book of Mormon.  Quite different from what we've done and are doing.  I see no evidence that we are headed that way.
  3. Their leadership change process is quite different.  During the last transition they emulated the Church's practice of having the Quorum of the Twelve appoint a new president.
  4. They subscribe to the Trinity.  We believe in the "Godhead."  Again, no evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  5. They reject the concept of exaltation.  It is a core element of our doctrines about eternal progression.  I see no evidence that we are moving away from it.
  6. Their approach to priesthood is quite different from ours.  Again, no evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  7. Their perspective on temples is very different from ours, in virtually every respect.  Proxy work.  Endowments.  Sealings.  These are all very important tenets of our faith.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  8. Their percpetive on missionary work seems very different from ours.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  9. They've never come to terms with polygamy, and long denied Joseph Smith's polygamy.  Some of their members are coming to agree with the historical consensus that he was a polygamist.  In other words, on this point they are gravitating toward our position (at least as far as Joseph having practiced it).
  10. They've essentially abandoned the concept of the Church as a post-apostasy restoration.  This is an integral part of the Church's truth claims.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  11. They reject portions of the Pearl of Great Price.  We accept these portions as canon.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  12. They have a milquetoast approach to the First Vision.  Quite different from ours.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.
  13. They have a milquetoast approach to exclusive claims of authority.  Quite different from ours.  No evidence that we are gravitating toward their position.

 

I think it was 1984.

I am certainly open to that happening, but I don't think it will.  From a 2013 discussion on this topic (in relation to the OW movement) :

Female ordination was the central point and purpose of the Ordain Women group.  They've been around for eight years.  And yet it's essentially a dead project.  There is no evidence that they made meaningful inroads into the Church or its members, and quite a bit of evidence that their obnoxious behavior ended up being counterproductive.  

I am quite happy with seeing expanded roles for women in the Church.  And I am open to the leaders of the Church providing revelatory guidance on this issue.  And if and when they were to announce an expansion of the priesthood to include women, I would prayerfully accept it and be fine with it.

But I don't think it will happen.

Thanks,

-Smac

Thank you for this, I appreciate it. Also something else I've been thinking about that doesn't make sense to me is apparently a woman cant be a ward clerk. Personally, I rather have a women CPA as a clerk than mike the roofer🤣. Am I thinking to much about the little things?

Edited by AtlanticMike
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4 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Thank you for this, I appreciate it. Also something else I've been thinking about that doesn't make sense to me is apparently a woman cant be a ward clerk. Personally, I rather have a women CPA as a clerk than mike the roofer🤣. Am I thinking to much about the little things?

I'm old but one of my earlier callings was as a Sunday School secretary, which doesn't exist now. Not comparing it to ward clerk, but I'm thinking there are many doors that could open to women and hopefully not close. 

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1 hour ago, Gillebre said:

I don't think it will happen. I've read differing ideas for why I believe this to be the case, but I would turn and look at the most recent General Conference talks of the last 2-3 years where they've spoken about this, particularly President Oaks.

This is a good point. The Brethren have, for the present, shut the door on women ordination by framing it as "women work with priesthood authority in callings, but not with priesthood office." This could change in the future, though, especially if a president views things like Sister Nelson described ("He's wanted to do these things for a long time, and now that he's the president, he can do them!"). It would be interesting to see what would happen to the recent focus on unanimity with drastic changes like this.

I think the current framing, as you mentioned, nips it in the bud unless a groundswell for women having ordained priesthood office grows and the Brethren feel to act on that groundswell by accommodating it. That's really where the issue is --- not women witnessing baptisms or having priesthood authority in callings, but women being bishops, stake presidents, and apostles. 

Women having the priesthood because of the temple is often mentioned, and I don't see the relevance of that to the issue. The priesthood in the temple is **very** limited in scope and application, and does not apply outside of the temple (and only with other women in the temple). 

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8 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Thank you for this, I appreciate it. Also something else I've been thinking about that doesn't make sense to me is apparently a woman cant be a ward clerk. Personally, I rather have a women CPA as a clerk than mike the roofer🤣. Am I thinking to much about the little things?

Ward clerks also participate in priesthood functions like disciplinary councils. One might possibly make a case for assistant clerk over finances, but then you would have to have additional male "chaperones" around per policy when working with the bishop on finances (in situations where it's just the bishop and the finance clerk). Otherwise, you'd have people up in arms about the bishop being alone with a woman. 

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

Assuming as rchorse talked about that it came with revelation I think the feminists of the church would welcome knowing more about and participating more in whatever "priestesshood" God gave us.  It is radical feminists and too traditional men and women who wouldn't.  By "too traditional" I mean those who hang onto tradition verses listening to what God wants and not those who are traditional, but welcome what God gives us.

 

I don’t think I know any of your “too traditional” men. But one thing’s for sure, I knew from the very first day I was endowed, over 45 years ago, that women become queens in the kingdom of heaven by virtue of the fact that they are eternally sealed to their husbands and hold the holy priestesshood. Quite frankly, I’m a bit surprised we haven’t learned more about it yet. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since more and more of the original content of the higher ordinances is being withheld because too many members apparently find the deeper mysteries of the kingdom of God to be offensive to their modern sensibilities.

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42 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm old but one of my earlier callings was as a Sunday School secretary, which doesn't exist now. Not comparing it to ward clerk, but I'm thinking there are many doors that could open to women and hopefully not close. 

I thought sunday school secretary still existed as a calling?

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15 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I thought sunday school secretary still existed as a calling?

Oh my gosh, you're right. But it is designated to be male only in the handbook. Thanks for the correction. So at one time women were able to hold the calling. 

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Oh my gosh, you're right. But it is designated to be male only in the handbook. Thanks for the correction. So at one time women were able to hold the calling. 

That's interesting.  I didn't know that.  Probably because they saw secretary as a woman's job back then.  ;) 

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7 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Thank you for this, I appreciate it.

Happy to have such discussions with ya.

7 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Also something else I've been thinking about that doesn't make sense to me is apparently a woman cant be a ward clerk.

A few thoughts:

1. Handling the funds of the Church is an important responsibility, and the responsibility for it lies with the bishop.

2. D&C 120:1 appears to set the handling of finances as a priesthood responsibility:

Quote

Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that it shall be disposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen.

3. As a logistical matter, the counting of tithing requires the physical presence at all times of a member of the bishopric and a ward clerk.  Technically, nobody else is supposed to be in the room.  (In my ward, the clerks from two separate wards share the same office, so a little wiggle room has been allowed).  The Church has worked very hard to minimize Church-sanctioned circumstances involving a man and a woman being alone in a room together.  Such meetings are essentially limited to pastoral matters involving the bishop or stake president, or very brief appointments that could involve a counselor in the bishopric or stake presidency (for a TR recommend, extending a calling, etc.).  Counting tithing is a weekly event that could raise questions about decorum and propriety.

4. The counting of tithing is, I think, taking a diminishing role these days.  Covid restrictiosn and online payment of tithes and offerings have made the counting of tithing a much reduced effort.

5. Men can't be in the Relief Society organization, or in the YW program.

7 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Personally, I rather have a women CPA as a clerk than mike the roofer🤣. Am I thinking to much about the little things?

I think it's mostly a matter of priesthood duties, some of which are apparently delegable.  A few years back our ward's bishop asked for permission to have the YW usher in Sacrament Meeting.  The stake president said no.  Fast forward a few years, and YW usher every week in our ward.  So yes, things can change.

I also think ward clerk being limited to temple-worthy Melchizedek priesthood holders also has a pragmatic, logistical dimension.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I'm old but one of my earlier callings was as a Sunday School secretary, which doesn't exist now. Not comparing it to ward clerk, but I'm thinking there are many doors that could open to women and hopefully not close. 

I think many men would be thrilled to have priesthood responsibilities disseminated between the genders.  

Women as bishops?  Sure!  And, for that matter, as bishopric counselors, clerks, stake clerks, High Council members, stake presidency, etc.

What are your thoughts about men being called to as Relief Society President?  Or in the presidency?  Same with men in the YW program?

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think many men would be thrilled to have priesthood responsibilities disseminated between the genders.  

Women as bishops?  Sure!  And, for that matter, as bishopric counselors, clerks, stake clerks, High Council members, stake presidency, etc.

What are your thoughts about men being called to as Relief Society President?  Or in the presidency?  Same with men in the YW program?

Thanks,

-Smac

Agreed... there are practical aspects to consider as well. Presidencies containing both sexes? how will small presidency meetings go down? etc.

It's bad enough that when a man teaches primary these days it must be done with the door open and more than a certain number of students. This would really complicate propriety issues.

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18 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think many men would be thrilled to have priesthood responsibilities disseminated between the genders.  

Women as bishops?  Sure!  And, for that matter, as bishopric counselors, clerks, stake clerks, High Council members, stake presidency, etc.

What are your thoughts about men being called to as Relief Society President?  Or in the presidency?  Same with men in the YW program?

Thanks,

-Smac

Did I touch a sore spot?

 

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1 minute ago, gav said:

Agreed... there are practical aspects to consider as well. Presidencies containing both sexes? how will small presidency meetings go down? etc.

It's bad enough that when a man teaches primary these days it must be done with the door open and more than a certain number of students. This would really complicate propriety issues.

Been there done that while in the Sunday School presidency years ago. It felt kind of scary, I was pretty young. We met in the primary room in the evening. 

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3 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

Through my limited research, apparently there's already some LDS women who have the priesthood, we dont know how many because that ceremony cant be talked about. So if that's true, then it's just a matter of opening it up to all LDS women. 

I think you are talking about women performing priesthood functions in the temple.

First, we CAN talk about that

Secondly, like all of us with callings, we serve under the authority of priesthood leadership IN THAT CALLING. So you do whatever you do WITH AND UNDER the authority of whoever called you.  The stake president for example can transfer the authority to call and set apart new Elders Quorum presidents though that is something ordinarily only SPs do.

When a woman is set apart to do temple ordinances she is doing it under the authority of the temple president, not on her own authority just as what happens on every other calling.

Obviously it would not appropriate for men to serve in the women's locker room for example, or do certain ordinances

 

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26 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think many men would be thrilled to have priesthood responsibilities disseminated between the genders.  

Women as bishops?  Sure!  And, for that matter, as bishopric counselors, clerks, stake clerks, High Council members, stake presidency, etc.

What are your thoughts about men being called to as Relief Society President?  Or in the presidency?  Same with men in the YW program?

Thanks,

-Smac

Good point! Never even considered that. 

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8 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think you are talking about women performing priesthood functions in the temple.

First, we CAN talk about that

Secondly, like all of us with callings, we serve under the authority of priesthood leadership IN THAT CALLING. So you do whatever you do WITH AND UNDER the authority of whoever called you.  The stake president for example can transfer the authority to call and set apart new Elders Quorum presidents though that is something ordinarily only SPs do.

When a woman is set apart to do temple ordinances she is doing it under the authority of the temple president, not on her own authority just as what happens on every other calling.

Obviously it would not appropriate for men to serve in the women's locker room for example, or do certain ordinances

 

Thank you sir

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think many men would be thrilled to have priesthood responsibilities disseminated between the genders.  

Women as bishops?  Sure!  And, for that matter, as bishopric counselors, clerks, stake clerks, High Council members, stake presidency, etc.

I think many, many more would not be thrilled. And many, many women as well. 

I've shared this before, but my wife and I have discussed this hypothetical with many friends who have also served in various callings, (primary, YW, RS presidents, etc.). None of these women like the idea of a female bishop, and they specifically pointed out that there would be real difficulties in confessions to a female bishop (female rivalry, worry about being judged by a woman in the ward, etc.). In their view, it's much better having the priesthood duties the way they are for a number of reasons. And, it seems to reflect divine pattern as well (we only deal formally with Heavenly Father and His divine agents, who have only been male as far as recorded history/scripture). There is a lot we don't know about the full picture, but just based on what we do know, it has never been different (as far as we know). 

I think a massive change like women in ordained priesthood offices would be a lynchpin to a faith crises for a lot of people because they would be faced with "high stakes" "is this really a revelation from God, or a calculated accommodation that wasn't a revelation?" That rabbit hole leads to a lot of slippery slopes that call pretty much everything into question. 

As it is, President Nelson's administration has watered down the concept of revelation, and a concern I have is that this might approximate a tipping point at some point (I don't think we're there yet). Examples: he went all out to declare the November 2015 policy as a revelation, and stated that they had "war gamed" all possible "permutations;" yet, only three years later, it was completely reversed, because of the "concern, confusion, and heartache" the policy had caused (which ostensibly was among the "permutations" considered in implementing the policy). Or, the emphasis on only using the official name of the Church (which he described and explained as revelation), but with the handbook now allowing "Mormon" as "acceptable" *** (as a sidenote, it's interesting to me that the Brethren regularly say LDS or Latter-day Saint, which also don't contain the name of the Church in D&C 115 or the name of Jesus, which was the ostensible reason for the emphasis). 

There are other examples, but the concept of revelation is being downgraded, in my view, to "whatever thoughts I am thinking, and subject to change if needed." This makes it so that titanic shifts, such as what we're discussing, will be very hard to accept and to "sell." There will be a lot of skepticism, and from people who previously weren't at all inclined to be skeptical.

*** I've read this in the online handbook, but am having trouble finding it at the moment. If anyone can find where it mentions using the name of the Church, that would be helpful. :) 

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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Did I touch a sore spot?

Not really.

I think it's somewhat odd that some attempt to characterize priesthood-specific callings as some sort of power grab by the men in the Church.  For example, I spent about 11 years on my stake's High Council and in my ward's bishopric.  All told I spent many hundreds of hours fulfilling these callings.  Not for pay.  And away from my family.  I was happy to do so, but also happy to have more time when these callings ended.  Again, I think many men in the Church would be quite happy with spreading around such obligations.

I also think it's odd, and in the end damaging and unhealthy, to import the Gender Wars into the Church, and all the assumptions that go along with them.

1 Corinthians 12 also comes to mind.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, rongo said:

I think many, many more would not be thrilled. And many, many women as well. 

I've shared this before, but my wife and I have discussed this hypothetical with many friends who have also served in various callings, (primary, YW, RS presidents, etc.). None of these women like the idea of a female bishop, and they specifically pointed out that there would be real difficulties in confessions to a female bishop (female rivalry, worry about being judged by a woman in the ward, etc.). In their view, it's much better having the priesthood duties the way they are for a number of reasons. And, it seems to reflect divine pattern as well (we only deal formally with Heavenly Father and His divine agents, who have only been male as far as recorded history/scripture). There is a lot we don't know about the full picture, but just based on what we do know, it has never been different (as far as we know). 

I think a massive change like women in ordained priesthood offices would be a lynchpin to a faith crises for a lot of people because they would be faced with "high stakes" "is this really a revelation from God, or a calculated accommodation that wasn't a revelation?" That rabbit hole leads to a lot of slippery slopes that call pretty much everything into question. 

As it is, President Nelson's administration has watered down the concept of revelation, and a concern I have is that this might approximate a tipping point at some point (I don't think we're there yet). Examples: he went all out to declare the November 2015 policy as a revelation, and stated that they had "war gamed" all possible "permutations;" yet, only three years later, it was completely reversed, because of the "concern, confusion, and heartache" the policy had caused (which ostensibly was among the "permutations" considered in implementing the policy). Or, the emphasis on only using the official name of the Church (which he described and explained as revelation), but with the handbook now allowing "Mormon" as "acceptable" *** (as a sidenote, it's interesting to me that the Brethren regularly say LDS or Latter-day Saint, which also don't contain the name of the Church in D&C 115 or the name of Jesus, which was the ostensible reason for the emphasis). 

There are other examples, but the concept of revelation is being downgraded, in my view, to "whatever thoughts I am thinking, and subject to change if needed." This makes it so that titanic shifts, such as what we're discussing, will be very hard to accept and to "sell." There will be a lot of skepticism, and from people who previously weren't at all inclined to be skeptical.

*** I've read this in the online handbook, but am having trouble finding it at the moment. If anyone can find where it mentions using the name of the Church, that would be helpful. :) 

After reading what you and smac97 said about spreading out some of the responsibility, I just called my wife, mom and mother in law. All 3 said no thanks🤣. They want nothing to do with priesthood callings. Again, something I never considered asking till 5 minutes ago. Nothing is easy as it seams.

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1 minute ago, AtlanticMike said:

After reading what you and smac97 said about spreading out some of the responsibility, I just called my wife, mom and mother in law. All 3 said no thanks🤣. They want nothing to do with priesthood callings. Again, something I never considered asking till 5 minutes ago. Nothing is easy as it seams.

That's just it. Setting aside whether or not it's God's will or not, there really isn't a big movement for it. If there was a big movement for it, whether or not it was God's will would still be an important question, but aside from that, it would be different if it was such an issue it was tearing the Church apart. This is nowhere close to being the case. 

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38 minutes ago, gav said:

 

It's bad enough that when a man teaches primary these days it must be done with the door open and more than a certain number of students. 

All youth teachers are supposed to teach in teams of two, regardless of sex.  They made the change a couple of years ago.   

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54 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think it's mostly a matter of priesthood duties, some of which are apparently delegable.  A few years back our ward's bishop asked for permission to have the YW usher in Sacrament Meeting.  The stake president said no.  Fast forward a few years, and YW usher every week in our ward.  So yes, things can change.

As a bishopric we had a discussion about YW serving as ushers in sacrament meeting, specifically closing the doors when the sacrament began and opening them after.  We decided that the opening and closing of doors was not a part of the priesthood ordinance, therefore there were no qualifications needed.

After a couple months of asking the young women to take care of this we stopped because 1) the didn't want to do it, and 2) we got push back from women in the ward who considered closing and opening doors during the sacrament the responsibility of a priesthood holder.

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I think it's just a matter of time. I'm not even sure it will take a "revelation" to make the change but could simply be a policy change about who formally receives the priesthood. But we'll see. I'm not holding my breath and it won't impact me either negatively or positively should it happen.

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31 minutes ago, rongo said:

only three years later, it was completely reversed, because of the "concern, confusion, and heartache" the policy had caused

Personally I believe the reversal was in part because the brethren overestimated the willingness of the members of the church to follow the prophet.  Because of members unwillingness to follow and understand the policy it led to the situation you've described.

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I think it's just a matter of time. I'm not even sure it will take a "revelation" to make the change but could simply be a policy change about who formally receives the priesthood. But we'll see. I'm not holding my breath and it won't impact me either negatively or positively should it happen.

How would that work in practice, though? I think trying to "policy change" it without pretending to a formal revelation would open up more cans of worms that it would "close." 

I also think our recent penchant for explaining away things as "just a policy, not revelation" is problematic, and it could be something like this that would blow the powder keg open. 

“I don’t know that it’s possible to distinguish between policy and doctrine in a church that believes in continuing revelation and sustains its leader as a prophet.” Dallin H. Oaks, interview with the Times-News, June 9, 1988.

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