Saturday, March 8, 2014

Silly Women

On March 6th, 2014, the New York Times published an article titled" From Mormon Women, a Flood of Requests and Questions on Their Role in the Church", written by Jodi Kantor and Laurin Goodstein. It brings up the more progressive Mormon women's viewpoint of them not being equal to men in that they cannot hold the priesthood, not being able to participate in priesthood ordinances, and that the men of the LDS Church live in the past and that they should not have to confess sins to Mormon Bishops.

Let's start off with the idea of whether or not men and women are equal in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to the Book of Mormon, there is no such thing as inequality in the true church. The prophet Nephi said "he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Nephi 26:33)

However, we do not always keep up to our ideals and we as humans do discriminate, whether it be based on gender, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and so forth. However, the idea that women not holding the priesthood is not a form of discrimination that men have made, rather it is one that God himself has made.

Adam was given the first presidency (or the keys of the holy priesthood) in the beginning of the Earth, according to Joseph Smith. This has been the Lord's way always, and at no time in recorded scripture have women been ordained to the priesthood or held it. It seems that if the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever then they never will hold it.

It is interesting that only modern women seem to hold this view that they are being discriminated against. No woman of record in the scripture ever raises her voice in protest, and women certainly were not silent of there opinion in those times (Sarah, Sariah, Rebecca, Hagar to name a few).

It has been argued by the ordain women movement that Joseph Smith, Jr. planned to give the women the priesthood because he said at the formation of the Relief Society that he wanted to organize women after the order of the priesthood. This is a gross misinterpretation of what actually happened. First of all, Joseph never said that he would organize women after the order of the priesthood  Rather , what happened was that Eliza R. Snow and others came up with the idea of a female organization and drafted a constitution, presenting it to Joseph Smith. The Prophet looked over it and said it was the best constitution he had ever seen, but said that the women had to be organized "under the priesthood after the pattern of the priesthood" (Nauvoo Minutes). That is quite different than having the priesthood conferred upon you and ordained to an office. It meant that the women could not be organized correctly unless they followed priesthood direction, as they continue to be organized today.

Also, none of the women at the original relief society said anything to Brigham Young or other priesthood leaders about being ordained, and they certainly would have remembered if the Prophet Joseph had told them that was to take place. The only women who have raised complaint about it are the so called "LDS Feminists".

In the article the point is raised that a woman was unable to participate in the blessing of her child and that it "broke her heart". Considering women never have blessed children or been involved, I do not know why this would break her heart. It has been going on for a long time, and no one has raised a voice until now.

The silliest part of the article is that a woman claims to have confessed transgressions to her bishop, but was upset that he asked questions about the circumstances. Bishops are judges in Israel, and as such need facts to make a fair judgement. So, they will ask questions that in normal situations could come across as crossing boundaries. However, they must know all that happened so that a correct judgement can be reached, just like in a court of law. However, there are some questions which need not be asked, and those are the questions that have nothing to do with sin (such as leaders asking in the 70's and 80's whether married couples engaged in oral sex).

It should also be noted that all members know that leaders will ask searching questions when they conduct interviews, and if the leaders fail to do so then they are not serving the Saints correctly.

The real problem here is the feminist ideal will not work with the Lord's ideal because it seeks to go against his way and his statutes. The real need is not for women to be ordained, but fo the women seeking ordination to repent and get in line with their modern prophet and live the covenants they have made.

Their really are no arguments for women being ordained and I doubt that the minxes who run ordain women believe half of what they say. Rather, they just want attention. For all Latter-day Saints, the idea of changing the doctrine of priesthood ordination should be treated with ridicule, hostility, and contempt and those who favor otherwise (whether male or female) should read the scriptures carefully and confine their views to them.

6 comments:

  1. So very true. I don't where these women got their idea of them being able to hold the priesthood. Joseph Smith said nothing about it. I think it's their hormones talking, to be honest.

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  2. My understanding, as a white, southern, male is that women should be given equal but different roles. There are many things they do better than us; there are many things we men do better than women.

    What this "organization" of a rather loud and irritating minority doesn't understand is that equal does not, in any way, mean identical. To think that and try to execute it makes a mockery of the Great Plan of Happiness.

    One more thing: those who would seek to change the doctrine of the Holy Priesthood do not understand that they still have access to its Power, if they live in a righteous, obedient manner. Their mere ability to hold a temple recmmend will give them such access, and that power will become stronger as they participate in priesthood ordinances.

    By seeking to change doctrine without prophetic direction, they stand in apostasy, and of not having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Given the circumstances in today's world, that's not ground I am personally willing to walk on.

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  3. Excellent article. I especially appreciated the clarification of the comment on the Relief Society being patterned after the Priesthood. I also feel that far too many critics of the Church make gross generalizations about the attitude of LDS women; the Ordain Women movement is a terribly absurd minority, and it is not even worth measuring the number of women who feel there is inequality, the number being so small. Yet a tactic is to make it appear that we are oppressing our poor little women, and it is a sensationally controversial one.

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  4. The thing that I know the most is that I do not know very much. I've read a lot of what the Ordain Women movement has to say, heard the arguments and the stories, and feel that pretty much everything that I have read sounds, to me, as honest and genuine. I don't know that it is right, of course, but I'm not going to pretend that I absolutely know that it is wrong. Maybe it will some day come down as revelation from God to ordain women. Maybe it won't, I don't know. (That said, don't think that I believe that either scenario is equally likely. My understanding of the gospel leads me to believe one possibility is far greater than the other).

    As a result, my primary issue with the OW movement is not their central message or their goal. I may not agree on every point, but I can't bring myself to dismiss it either. However, I do absolutely take issue with one message they are presenting to the world:

    That the group represents any the general consensus of the women in the LDS church. The group, in dialog with media, take upon themselves the tremendous notion of "speaking for the women of the church." They willfully allow the media, and the rest of the world, to believe that a sizable portion of the church are behind their message, shuttered behind patriarchy. If this were true, it would be awfully meaningful indeed. I, for one, could not ignore it. It is not true, however.

    I do not find the OW movement offensive to me or anything, but they are a very small movement acting much larger than they are. In fact, the mainstream women of the church do not, generally, feel positive, or even neutral, about the movement. Most of them, in fact, feel offended by and hostile towards the OW movement. Of course, that doesn't prove that the movement is false or wrong, necessarily. I'm sure the argument is presented that these women are just trying to justify a system that oppresses them.

    I don't know about that, but it doesn't change the fact that acting as if the mainstream women of the church weren't there is misleading. They are deliberately misleading to outside groups, and that, to be honest, weakens my belief that they are honest and genuine.

    I wish another LDS group, entirely women, (preferably educated, well-spoken and passionate like the members of the OW movement itself), would rise to be another voice to the rest of the world. Not to members, or the OW movement, but to the world. I wish this group would actually demonstrate that they are speaking for the majority of LDS women, and set the record straight on their feelings and thoughts about their role in the church. No fighting or philosophical warring, just the exact same thing. Stories, feelings, and experiences, just like the OW movement.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, who is this?

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  5. I really like your reading of the Relief Society founding and Joseph Smith's words there. I'm a little hesitant to agree with you about there being no precedent for women in the Scriptures complaining about not having the priesthood. It's pretty easy to argue that women may have been unhappy with the situation but because Scripture is written by men, mainly, their points of view didn't come through.
    I think the desire to be on equal footing in most women's minds is accurate, however, I think that desire stems from an inaccurate perception of Church governance and modern revelation.
    Many Ordain Women acolytes are fixated on the idea that Church leaders receive only bits and pieces of revelation and that they then use their learning and personal understanding to interpret their feelings and make decisions.
    While this may be true some of the time, I firmly believe that the Lord is at the helm of his Church, and that, as it States in 2 Nephi 27:20-21, the Lord is able to do His own work, Church leaders are merely instruments in His hands.

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