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Women and the Priesthood in the LDS Church

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Members on both sides need to be sure of their testimonies first off and foremost. Are we asking for what the Lord wants when we take side or are we just looking to convert the Lord -- have Him simply tell us what we want to hear? We should be looking to do what is right in all matters, not just what is convenient (keeping the status quo) or what is politically correct (changing for the sake of change).

No one bothered to ask the Lord what he wanted when it came to "blacks" and the priesthood until the 1970s and we found out we were wrong in our policies. And we did not even need a new revelation to fix that, as it was a policy that the Lord reminded us was against our own doctrine that all men are equal to the Lord. Let's not make the mistake of leaving the Lord out again.

Regardless of the outcome, the results may not change anything

Speaking of "blacks" and the priesthood, look at what giving blacks the priesthood did for them. Organizationally, nothing. It is wonderful that the Church finally changed its policy to reflect the will of the Lord once again, and it has certainly blessed the lives of people -- men and women -- all over the world. Yet, the chances of seeing a "black" Prophet/President of the Church at this point are still zero. We would likely see as many women General Authorities in forty to fifty years as we see black General Authorities now. This makes the feminist point of view moot if they are looking for female apostles to look up to as role models.

Yet there is another point to the feminist argument, and a valid one at that -- why aren't men looking up to the women? Or at the very least, what aren't women feeling that men are taking them seriously? Women are in leadership positions, they speak in General Conference. Are men taking these women with a grain of salt? This is a personal question each man should answer and has nothing to do with the priesthood. It has to do with the lack of understanding some men (and women) have with the organization of the Church. If all leadership are called of God, then all leadership are equally worth our ears when they speak, regardless of gender.

It should be remembered that the priesthood keys given to women to run the Church, keys to teach, preach, lead, preside, etc, are given now without being ordained to the Priesthood. A man cannot do this. A man cannot hold a calling or even enter the temple without holding the Priesthood. Maybe we should be asking ourselves why men need the Priesthood to become equal to women.

The non-member perspective

On a final note, there is one group of people that has been left out -- non-members. To be blunt, those that are offering opinions outside the religion should mind their own business. If they truly care, they can be baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and get to doing the Lord's work. What we do is not easy to understand without having faith in Christ, having repented for sins and received of the saving ordinances. Without the knowledge of Christ, our very organisation should be irrelevant along with all the things these women are wanting to do. Without remittance of sins, who are they to cast the first stone? Without the Holy Ghost they will not be able to pray for guidance and revelation on what to do in these matters. Therefor, their opinions are unwarranted and unnecessary. This is why our scriptures ask us not to interfere with other faiths (Articles of Faith 1: 11), without a harmony of beliefs we will never come into agreement on these or many other matters.

Conclusion

The questions to this issue are simple; why do we chose the sides we do, or sides at all for that matter? What does the Lord want? And, what do we really want the Lord to change; feminist's minds, the role of women, the will of the Lord or our own understand of how the Lord works? If we can answer these with anything reflecting the Hymn "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go," then the answers do indeed matter as we will be looking to the Lord for guidance, rather then choosing sides at all. If the answers do not reflect this, then it is time to either rethink priories or move on to another faith that will give members a god that reflects a more human likeness.

The idea that we, as a Church, should give in to the demands of protesters is simply ludicrous - it really doesn't matter if they are protesting for or against it. If people demanded we stop worshiping Christ, should we do it? No. While the role of women is a legitimate topic that should be examined, there is not enough evidence -- historical or otherwise -- to make a clear determination. Additional new revelations are needed, and once gained would be required to become scripture to ensure the correct path for the Relief Society. And while this is not a plea for new revelation, it is clear that until we ask we will not receive.

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A graduate of Franklin University with a degree in Digital Communications, David is the co-president of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational Latter Day Saint/Mormon movement. In the past, he was a full time (more...)
 

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