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4/19/12

It feels right.

A short post while Clara (I feel like the internet should know I frequently referred to her as Tiny Terrorist while in the womb,) sleeps.

I really liked THIS post on whether women want the Priesthood, and the reaction from other women when said desire is expressed out loud. Like the author, I've had people (both in real life and online) react with abject horror to the idea of women wanting the Priesthood. Followed either by a swift command  to go to the temple so I understand my divine purpose, a slowly spoken (because I must be dumb to not understand,) explanation of how women don't get the Priesthood because we have The Babies, or a dismissive "Who wants more responsibility?" comment before scurrying away to make more righteous friends.

But I do. I do want the Priesthood. I also still want to have babies, (even terrorist ones,) and have no desire to be bishop. (But I would like the option of being called. It is an honor to be nominated, you know?) So for clarification, here are a few short reasons why I want the priesthood:


1. I want to be able to work with my spouse in giving blessings to my children. Yes, I know I can pray with them, and prayer is great, but I want The Power Of God On Earth if my kid is sick. Go big or go home, right? I also want to administer blessings if she is sad, or in need of comfort, or simply because it is the first day of school.

2. Similarly, I want to give my Spouse a blessing, instead of calling over a Home Teacher in the middle of the night.


3. When going through my c-section, my husband stood by my head and talked to me. I appreciated that, but I also appreciated my midwife, who advocated for me with the surgeons so that my baby could rest on my chest after she was born. Women can be wonderful allies to other women, and I would like to have the spiritual equivalent of a midwife in my religious life. I don't feel that can fully happen without priesthood power extended to all worthy members.



4.Because there is no good reason why women shouldn't have the priesthood. It will make men feel useless? Not my problem. Women will take over the church and the men won't have anything to do? Unlikely. (Or, as Amy Poehler says on SNL on the Weekend Update segment, "REALLY?" ) Because women have The Babies and men can't? Why am I being denied blessings because of my uterus? Also, not my problem.

5. I believe God is no respecter of persons, and wants me to have access to everything good and wonderful. (Despite that pesky uterus.)


6. I'm a Christian, not a Mason, and their views on gender roles (as interpreted in the LDS Temple Ceremonies) seem contrary to what I believe about Heavenly Parents, equal partnership, and my own divine nature.

7. Because I feel like I had it before, and will have it again.


And, just to clarify, I do not want the priesthood in order to:


1. Become a power-hungry matriarchal dictator bent on emasculating men. (I love when men respond to women wanting the priesthood by saying that matriarchy is just as bad as patriarchy. Not the point, bozo. I'm asking to be your equal, not your superior.) Also, if I just so happen to be superior by my own nature, please see above list, under reason No. 4, regarding what is "Not my problem."

2. Because I want to be a man, and have man parts, and be the exact same as a man. Because, you know, giving people equal access to authority makes everyone The Same.

3. So I can be Bishop.



I want the Priesthood. Do you?

Or, if you are a male, do you want women to have the Priesthood?

48 comments:

Maggie said...

Yes, yes, yes!

Number 3 really resonates with me. I believe the priesthood would enable women to better advocate for each other and those marginalized by the patriarchal tradition - it would help us find our voice and make this Church better for all it's members. I have no personal desire to be bishop but I would love to see one of my fellow sisters hold the calling (or a calling with similar authority and respect).

And as a lover of weekend update and Ms. Poehler, I like to join you in blank stare into the camera and snarky, "REALLY!?!".

NIKOL said...

Yes, I want it. And I believe it's just a matter of time. The word "Priestess" is used in the Temple. I interpret that as a promise. It will happen.

The Dominos said...

Yes.

Why women don't have the priesthood is one that I have never been able to fully wrap my head around. It just makes so much sense for ALL worthy members to have it. I am glad I am not alone in thinking this.

My husband and I were just having a conversation the other day about how limiting gender roles are, especially in the church. I can think of several men who would make incredible primary presidents, and conversely, many women who would make amazing bishops.

I feel like I should point out that although this is the first time I have commented, I have read your blog for a long time now, and always look forward to new posts.

The Dominos said...

I also want to point our that I HATE the connection some make between priesthood and motherhood. They are not the same. Priesthood is a power, not a gender.

L.S. said...

Truth - I've never TRULY asked myself that question, "Do I want the Priesthood?". But I've also never loved the fact that there is such a separation in the church as to men getting the priesthood versus women's ability to have the babies. (My mother, a non-member, full out cringed when I explained that one to her.)

And perhaps because I haven't had children yet, I never thought about it...I can't give my (future) children blessings. That is a really sad realization for me. Yes, there's power in prayer, but I know that there will come a time when I will be disappointed that I cannot administer a blessing.

So, I'm going to say it. Yep. I agree. I want the Priesthood. Put that in your Mormon pipe and don't you dare smoke it, men.

Jess said...

I was thinking about this the other night while listening to my stressed out husband do the dishes at 4 a.m. I have received so much peace from his blessings, not just because it is a "blessing" but because it was him giving it; he's my spouse and knows me better than anyone, and I think that aids in the giving of priesthood blessings. I wanted so badly to go and offer him that same peace through a blessing from his spouse, but I don't have the "authority". That breaks my heart. I know that he would only accept a blessing from another man, even if it was his best friend or brother, if it was for something "manly" like a blessing when he breaks his leg playing basketball. We don't train our men to ask another man, "hey, I'm feeling really bad about myself and I need some comfort, could you give me a blessing?" But it seems that they can ask their wives, they can be that transparent with their spouse. And it just sucks ass that I can't offer the same peace he can offer me.

Not to mention that when this baby comes and needs a blessing and there isn't a man readily available, I sure as hell want to be able to provide that peace/healing power for my kid.

My desire isn't selfish. It is selfless. It is so that I can be a better, more effective woman, wife and mother.

Kristin said...

I've never particularly wanted the priesthood for myself, as wonderful as it is, because I do feel like I have equal access to its blessings. But I have wondered in the past why women can't hold it in the same way as men, and it used to sometimes bother me. It doesn't anymore. First, because I think that if God wanted women to exercise the priesthood during this mortal life, we would--I believe God's prophets, like President Monson, are in tune with his will and we can know it through them. So in coming to terms with it, I've viewed it as God's will, not a societal construct or something imposed by threatened, backwards-thinking old men.

And a lot of things that are God's will for us are sometimes difficult to reconcile ourselves to. It's not because he loves us any less or because women are any less capable-- it's because God has different paths for his children and a plan for how each of us will best grow to become like him. We're taught over and over again that gender is an essential characteristic of our divine natures, and I accept that, although that view doesn't mesh with much of modern feminism and views on gender. I think the importance of marriage is partly because we are supposed to need each other, supposed to help fill our partner's lacks and become one, and the male and female each bring something a little different to that partnership. And that's OK. I'm OK that my husband is the half of our relationship that exercises the priesthood. I don't feel lessened or deprived. We are an equal partnership with different roles. Eternal marriage is a requirement of the Celestial Kingdom because the male and female are two halves of a whole, incomplete without one another. (If anyone who isn't LDS is reading this, we believe those who don't have a chance to marry in this life will in the next.)

Also, the capacity to bear and nurture life is huge and powerful, as you know. It's a little demeaning to reduce it rhetorically to a pesky uterus that is supposed to placate you in lieu of the REAL blessings, the REAL good stuff. I just won't buy into that.

So I don't think you're wrong for desiring a good gift. I can understand your desire to give blessings to your loved ones. I just think the important thing is really not which one of us is the one doing the actual hands-on-the-head bit. The power doesn't belong to the man or the woman, it belongs to God, and both genders are equally capable of receiving his blessings and power through it.

Andrew and Becca said...

I'm not sure I want it - but that's because I'm unsure about the whole church thing in general. I would like to have the option of getting it if I chose to get fully on the church bandwagon, like every male in the world has.

I think the church needs to pick it's official line. The whole motherhood=priesthood thing never had any legs under it, and I think that should be obvious to anybody who thinks about it for more than two seconds. The "consolation prize" theory about men needing something to make them feel important (you know, because there isn't enough things like that) is equally illogical. They need to either 1) be honest and upfront about saying "we don't want women to have the priesthood simply because they are women and inferior, and we think God thinks so to," and let people do what they will with such information, or 2) give women the priesthood. This whole "they're good enough for it, but there are a bunch of stupid reasons why they can't have it" is making me roll my eyes so frequently that they are going to get stuck that way.

Nookleerman said...

As a guy, I don't know why anyone would want the priesthood. I certainly don't. I don't feel like I have any more rights or powers, I just have more work to do. Work I have to worry about screwing up by saying the wrong thing and embarassing myself. Whether I'm blessing the sacrament, or giving my kid a name, or just one of three people in a room trying to help a sick member, it's a nerve-wracking service I'm providing.

And maybe that's another way to look at having the priesthood. You're not any more able to provide blessings to those around you, because (especially in Zion) there's always somebody around to ask. You're just more likely to be called at 2am to do it for someone else.

I see the priesthood as a gift from God, but it's a gift for those who receive its benefits. To those of us who have it it's a burden; a sacrifice we take upon ourselves to help further the church.

Of course I'm also jealous of women because they can carry a child. I genuinely wish I could have the kind of closeness my wife has with my kids, but I never will because I didn't hold them next to my heart for 9 months. Man that sounds cheesy. Maybe it's a "grass is always greener" situation.

There's probably some scripture somewhere that makes it a boy's only club, but to be honest I wouldn't mind sharing the priesthood with women any more than I'd mind "letting" my wife mow the lawn every once in a while. Man, I am really down on the priesthood ain't I? I don't mean to be. I guess I just don't see what's so great about being the one who actually says the words. Please be gentle.

Rachel said...

This was such a brilliant post! I loved the parts about not being Mason (despite how the temple feels) but most particularly number 7. I think that hits a really important point- Mormonism might have some influences (cough Masons) that aren't the same as what God believes/what I feel is right. And so yes...this was perfect.

tetisheri said...

OT: In one of the series that Andrew Greely writes, there is a child that her parents call the Tiny Terrorist.

Back on topic:
I'll be watching this post eagerly. I've been talking about some of these things with my husband a lot lately.

Fig said...

We alternately call Viv Terrorist, Tyrant, and Dictator. It's a thing.

You know what else is a thing? Women wanting to have the priesthood. I want women to have the priesthood. It feels right to me too.

LindsayLoo said...

Hello,

I don't know you at all but I feel like I should respond to this because my answer is not as the others you listed. It is a misconception of the gospel that you do not have the priesthood. If you have been through the temple you should know this. The best way to explain it is that the apostles are all prophets but only the President holds the keys. Women and men both hold the priesthood but men hold the keys on earth. If your actual complaint is that you want to hold those keys then I cannot argue with you having that desire but I believe you are already exercising the priesthood in many ways and if you need to lay hands on someone in order to feel you are using it then become a temple worker.

Brien said...

I see your point and like it.

But my question is why put so much emphasis on having the priesthood? I understand it is necessary for official authority and power within in the Church. I can also see why that official power is important to have if you want to make changes from within the membership.

But no one needs the priesthood to serve others and do good works. In fact, I often think the priesthood gets in the way of serving others and doing good works because it entails certain beliefs, guidelines, and protocols that can often hinder a person's ability to help. God forbid a priesthood holder do something *not* approved of in the handbook to help someone else.

Of course, this might be my view point as a privileged white male who grew up in the Church. If it is, tell me and teach me (and I apologize). But I haven't been involved in the Church for years and haven't "used" my priesthood in even longer. And I do much, much more good things for people who need them now than I did then.

Stephanie said...

Guys, I want to comment, but I want to eat more. I will be responding shortly....

Melissa Kirchhoff said...

Oh my Dear Darlin! You already have the "Priesthood". It is what you believe it to be. So lay your pretty hands on some heads and make it happen. No mormon jackass gives that power to you. It is what you make it.

kdstentzel said...

I don't, but I haven't believed in God (at least, not a Mormon God) for years, so it wouldn't really make sense if I did.

I would like to say, though, that your third point - about a female advocate - really spoke to me. The few times I did feel like there was some kind of supreme being out there, I always imagined she was a woman. I found that to be a more comforting idea than the whole old-guy-with-a-beard-spying-on-you-from-the-heavens premise.

Stephanie said...

I absolutely do want the priesthood. In fact, I really think that someday I will have the full authority to exercise it (probably the next life), whereas now I just have limited authority. Women are told they can give blessings to their children, and women in church history have laid their hands on people and animals to give blessings. When my daughter was first born, I would lay her down in her crib at night and lay my hand on her soft head and say a little mothers blessing on her (without invoking any formal wording). Is it the same thing my husband could do under church authority? No. Does that bother me a little? Yes. But I guess I've decided that I am willing to be patient. I know the church isn't perfect. I know God has often wanted to give the church/Christians truths they weren't ready for or willing to understand (think of Moses and the children of Israel), and so in the mean time I'll try and trust in the Lord's timing. But one reason I like doing initiatory work at the temple is because that's one area where I think we see women coming closer to exercising the type of "God's power on earth" that I hope will continue.

Jess said...

After having a friend read this post, she said, "it's just one of those things. Women don't have the priesthood and there aren't any black people on the bachelor."

I had never thought about how there aren't black people on the bachelor, but that is because I am white. Perhaps it is the same thing with the men of the church; everything is fine and dandy because things are find and dandy for them.

Nemesis said...

LindsayLoo, you are correct in saying that the only currently-approved way for Stephanie to exercise her priesthood would be to become a temple worker. Which she is now ineligible to do because she has a young child and those are the rules. Sorry Steph, you were thisclose! Check back in about 25 years . . .

(The snark is NOT directed at you, LindsayLoo--thank you for your comment!)

I want it. I want it because I would like to be able to serve my family and my fellow Relief Society sisters the way the pioneer women did--with the laying on of hands.

And even if I personally did not want it, I would want the women of the Church to have it just so that we can stop being a community of "haves" and "have nots." As long as only men hold the priesthood (and the accompanying vast majority of leadership positions), we will continue to have problems (under-representation, unrighteous dominion, abuse) and women will continue to be at the receiving end.

I would like to see a future where our callings & positions are based on inspiration, worthiness, and abilities, rather than gender or family status.

Tristin said...

Yes. As a privileged white male I completely support and advocate for priesthood authority being conferred on women. I don't care whether it is a burden or a privilege, and I don't care if women might abuse that power once they gain it. They deserve it and they will get it--hopefully in my wife'slifetime.

tetisheri said...

I've read the comments, and I've had a night's sleep to think about everything.

I do want the priesthood. Being a woman doesn't mean that I am less worthy. I want it now. It's all well and good to say that I'll get it in the Hereafter, but that doesn't help me in the here and now.

My husband is a non-member, and not likely to become a member anytime soon. My son says that he doesn't know if God exists. I don't have the priesthood in my home. When my son was little and had to have stitches, I had to call my home teachers to come to the hospital and give him a blessing. That should be my right as his parent. Yes, I can give him a mother's blessing, but we've all been conditioned to think that they aren't enough, or they aren't right.

I'm tired of having less authority than some 12 year old deacon, just because he has the priesthood. If I am living worthily, why can't I have the same rights and privileges? I don't want to be bishop or stake president, but I do want to have the priesthood.

26dishes.com said...

You are so awesome. So I admit that as the only non-Mormon responding to this I don't get all of it, but I certainly get the gist. You probably don't remember from my old blog, but I'm a progressive woman of faith (granted that's pretty easy when you're Jewish and the whole religion tends to lean left) and I work at a progressive Interfaith Social Justice organization. I see a lot of people struggling with similar things, most notably among progressive Catholics. This article was in the NY Times yesterday (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper), the gist is that the Vatican is reprimanding nuns for being progressive and emphasizing social justice work. I work with a lot of those nuns and let me tell you, they are some of the coolest most kick-ass women I know. I may not no much about being a Mormon, but I do know that people like you, just like those nuns, are inspiring and will make the world a better place for your daughter and hopefully one day mine too (pray for me- I take prayers from anyone regardless of religion or gender).

Progressive women of faith ROCK!

Stephanie said...

@ Jess: It does suck ass. I remember Dan calling a friend over to give him a blessing once, and I remember being happy he had such a great friend, but wishing it was me offering that feeling of peace.


@Kristin: I'm not sure I totally buy the "if God wanted it to happen it would happen" bit. I think God wants world peace, and that isn't happening anytime soon,either. Sometimes prophets need a little help, and I think advocating for the priesthood can do that. Hopefully someday soon.

Also, the pesky uterus thing is pure flippancy on my part. My body is amazing for being able to grow Clara, but one miracle (growing life, giving birth,) shouldn't disqualify me from others (giving Priesthood blessings, acting with recognize authority in my own religion, etc.)

Stephanie said...

@Nooklerman, I wonder if the Priesthood wouldn't feel like such a burden if more people could share the responsibility? Child Bride Math: Twice as many people doing the work=half as much work.

@ LindsayLoo: Good distinction, and yes, I totally want the Keys. I want the whole kit and kaboodle. Also, did you see the comment by Miss Nemesis? I can't work in the temple because of The Baby. That is a raw deal, if you ask me.


@ Brien: I totally agree. I can be kickass with or without the Priesthood. However, if I do return to full activity in Mormonism, I want to be able to actually participate fully. I don't want to spend the rest of my religious life (if, again, it involves active Mormonism) as a partial player, sitting in the audience while 12 year old boys perform rituals and Older-than-death men tell me what to do with my body.

Stephanie said...

@Melissa Kirchoff: I like the way you think. :)

Breanne said...

I love this post. I have literally never heard a woman say, "I want the priesthood." I've heard MANY discussions about how it can be unfair for both not to have it, but just the actual expression, "I want it," I have never come across yet. I find reading it surprisingly liberating. I feel like ducking my head and saying, "Can we say that?" But I love all of your points. Especially #3. I've read beautiful stories of pioneer women administrating to other women in times of child labor, which I find moving and inspirational. (I could also quote studies about the benefits of female birth companionship but I won't). My experience in my first initiatory was exhilarating, in my head I was thinking, "She's exercising the priesthood! Oh my gosh!"

Anyway, maybe I don't have to duck my head and worry if it's something we should be allowed to want.

Michelle Glauser said...

I've had a whole post about this churning for a long while, but I feel like it needs to go somewhere else besides my personal blog to reach more people. But I hesitate. What if I change my mind later? What if something crazy happens with claims of "over-scholarship and the Church"? Hmm . . .

Hillary said...

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the whole motherhood=priesthood idea. B.S., the whole lot of it. For reasons which have nothing to do with my own body, I cannot get pregnant with and bear my husband's child (and I burned through $30,000 trying to fix that). So for women like me, if the whole motherhood=priesthood thing were true, then we're all just screwed over? Not only can I not be a mother (as some, ahem, BKP have told me is the most important thing I could ever do), but I can't have any sort of special power from God? That just plain sucks. I do not believe God feels that way about me (or any of his children), and I do not think the consolation prize of "in the next life" is really any prize at all.

Rick & Lizzy said...

I hate to say it but I have never seriously contemplated the the possibility of having the priesthood, until I watched Big Love. Sad, I know. However, the older I get the more it makes sense. I married a non-member (insert gasp here). Well, technically he was baptized at one point but let's just say it didn't take. I totally and completely have to rely on my father (who lives 1800 miles away) or my home teacher who as expected has a life of his own. I am an independent woman, always have been and always will be. I don't like relying on others for anything. You can read into that what you want but to make it clear, I don't like relying on someone else for to bless my loved ones nor do I like the idea of having to be sealed in the temple to a Peter Priesthood in order to reach exaltation. I will get there on my own . . . thank you. My husband does not bring the Priesthood to the table so it makes sense that in this situation, I would be able to receive the priesthood and that my family would be privy to those blessing. As a matter of practicality and equality, it should be available to all.

JRO said...

This was very interesting. Few women are ever brave enough to state that desire.

A long time ago, when I was a student at BYU, I was helping a friend with a project for one of our "feminist" professors. We were reading the journals of women in the early days of the church in Utah. We were very surprised to find that these women spoke of visiting other members and giving blessings by anointing with oil, just as priesthood holders do today. We didn't really understand it at the time, but after a little more research found some answers.

Under Joseph Smith, both women and African Americans were priesthood holders. But that changed with Brigham Young, who in my opinion was both racist and sexist.

Women were (and still are today) given the power of the priesthood as part of the temple endowment.

I am no longer an active member of this church, but there is a whole lot more that goes into that decision besides the priesthood issue.

Juanique said...

You are blood brilliant!!! You've expressed in this blog what I have thought and felt for years! I LOVE this post simply because when I was 8 years old I told my dad That I would hold the priesthood only to be told that I'll never have it because I'm a girl. I remember being ticked by that but accepted it. Now that I am older and wiser I truly believe that I will hold the priesthood in the future...but the church still has some growing up to do...doesn't mean I don't believe in it, it just means that I understand that those who run the church aren't perfect (gasp!! Did i just say that? Hells yeah i did!!! Our leaders are human, just like you and me. To believe otherwise is ignorant!). I definitely think there is so misogyny in our church but as it evolves and modernizes, we will hopefully start seeing a change, one being that women will hold the priesthood someday

And I just want to say that I saw my hubster comment (Tristin) on here and it made me gleam! I've trained him well :) jk- but I fully believe I will someday hold the priesthood with him and it will be amazing.

Natalie said...

I don't want the priesthood. I really feel overwhelmed with everything I feel like I have to do. That being said I think if you want to have it you should be able to have it.

Lauren Donna said...

This is a thing? I never knew that this was a thing among women in the Church... Now I know better. I have never considered the question myself and now that I have, I don't really know... Do I want the priesthood? Do I feel the need to actually hold priesthood keys? I've mulled it over a bit and for me, I would say no. That may not always be the case, but for now it's no. And I will tell you why. I have never felt excluded from the priesthood. Bear in mind, this is purely my experience... I feel I have access to its power, and not just through those who hold it. If I were in a situation where all I could do on behalf of a loved one was offer a sincere prayer, I don't think my cries for peace, for healing, for strength (or whatever the occasion required) would be ignored just because I wasn't a priesthood holder. Like, "Well, that was lovely and all, but too bad you don't hold the priesthood." God loves me too much. And not just as a woman - as anyone. I have listened to my own mother pray and have felt the Spirit as strongly as during any priesthood blessing. Perhaps more.

Admittedly, I'm feeling slightly uncomfortable (shifts nervously in her seat) at this idea that our leaders, who (as I believe) have been called by God to administer to the Church and receive revelation in our behalf, are just a bunch of out-of-touch windbags. That is not a direct quote, but yeah... Do I think they're perfect? No. Do I unfailingly respond to all of their counsel in the affirmative? No. But I do believe if God wanted women to hold the priesthood as men do, then we would. And maybe we will. Maybe I'm too entrenched in a patriarchal frame of mind, but I have to believe these leaders receive instruction from a higher authority and are trusted to act accordingly. That's what we're asked to believe. World peace is kinda up to us (agency and all that) whereas this question of the priesthood is kinda up to God.

I'm not a mother, nor do I believe I'll ever have that opportunity. So yeah, it's hard to hear how so much of a woman's identity is wrapped up in being a mother. Actually it really sucks. Because it means during every R.S. meeting or broadcast I get to feel just a little bit inadequate, though they do acknowledge the spinsters of the Church as well. But despite all that, I know I have other strengths as a woman and as a daughter of God that can't be undermined by my lack of priesthood or motherhood. For now, that's good enough, but I can accept that for some women it might not be.

Sheila said...

What a wonderful stream of comments! I'm a Temple-married, former active member of the church and Mom of six who has enjoyed an 'active' spiritual life and a sweet one-on-one with God for the past 25 years on my own now. <3

From my perspective & experience as one who has enjoyed their share of beautiful priesthood blessings while attending church as well as hands-on healing on my own while not an active member, I have some definite thoughts on this -- aka ANYONE can deliver the equivalent of a priesthood blessing!

What the LDS have labeled a 'priesthood blessing' is another example of what many in the world have called 'energy healing' or the 'laying on of hands' for centuries. Again, ANYONE can do it, it's just a matter of asking for Divine love & energy to come through you to be shared with one who might be physically or emotionally affected and needing some healing energy and extra love -- it does not require a title or 'special powers' conferred upon you . . . it's already a part of your innate spiritual make-up!

I've had massage therapists 'share energy' with me by 'asking' for it to flow through them and consciously bringing it forth to bless my body & mind after injuries from a drunk driver, and I've brought my own 'energy blessings' on myself by asking God for an influx of loving light. I've also had people 'send' me energy from afar, and in each example it feels just like the warm, grand feeling that one feels in a priesthood blessing, and people heal and feel better from them too on all levels.

Scientists have even begun to measure the 'energy' we share with one another in this way with sophisticated equipment that can pick up and record such things. So bless away with ease & confidence!

Now if you're looking for 'the title', aka, 'priesthood' for validation purposes, I don't blame you one bit. But giving a priesthood blessing? No problema with that one -- bless away! -- it's part of our innate inheritance & abilities as brothers & sisters of soul. =]

Bless you all . . . <3

~ Sheila

amers said...

I do not know. It used to bother me, but because I don't have it... but because I didn't know why I couldn't have it. Even if I could, I wouldn't want it. If the Church/world is to be "equal," shouldn't men be able to have babies, too? I don't think FULL equality will ever happen in the world or the Church.
I don't have kids. I want kids. But I have nieces and nephews and I have way too many sisters. I do know (and I'm sure you do, too) that the bond between them is something you can't recreate. You can't get by being able to give a blessing to a child. Do you think men think that is a little bit unfair? Probably. Most kids, when away from parents, don't has for daddy.. they ask for mommy. Is that "equal" or "fair"? Probably not.
The Gospel is not flawed. I 100% believe that. I have my questions, and things that enrage me, but I do know that everything within the Gospel is perfect. I believe there is a reason for all of this. Honestly, I am GLAD my husband is the "leader of my home" with his priesthood and all. I trust him to do a much better job with it than I ever would. And I believe that most men are that way.
As one of my favorite Apostles said,
“In the true Patriarchal Order man holds the priesthood and is the head of the household, … but he cannot attain a fulness of joy here or of eternal reward hereafter alone. Woman stands at his side a joint-inheritor with him in the fulness of all things. Exaltation and eternal increase is her lot as well as his. (D. & C. 131:1–4.) Godhood is not for men only; it is for men and women together. (D. & C. 132:19–20)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 844).
So to say the Church is portraying women as less because they do not have the priesthood, I think, is false. Women play a HUGE role in ensuring not only their husband's eternal salvation, but also their children's.
I see where you are coming from and I think your concerns are definitely valid, but that's just how I've worked it all out in my head.
And I believe that one day, I will have the priesthood. When God thinks I am ready. And right now, I know for a FACT I am nowhere near ready to bear that burden. To answer your question, no I do not want the priesthood... right now.

srad said...

I believe women are natural leaders and need to learn to step back and let men lead,while many men need to learn how to lead in righteousness. Either way, we are all given responsibilities in this life and we are commended not to covet...that doesn't mean only property, but also responsibility or calling. God has his reasons and one day it will all be clear why. Let's not things we can't control fester in our hearts when there is so much good that needs to be done.

Here is an interesting perspective by another lds woman
http://traditionsinseason.com/Blog/2012/03/president-julie-b-beck-go-forth-boldly/

SammyStewart said...

I second what srad said.

There are MUCH more important things to worry about.

Whether God intends to give women the priesthood is His business.

I don't feel like I have the priesthood any less than my husband because he's the one that gives blessings. We've been given equal access in different manifestations.

If God wanted women to have the priesthood in the same way as men, He'd make it happen. His chosen leaders would not ignore that instruction. They will, however, ignore popular vote if it isn't with the will of God. God is much better at deciding what's important than we are.

Our business is to be faithful over a few things, including instruction to be of good cheer, press forward with faith, and endure to the end.

It's a waste of energy to strain at gnats, look beyond the mark, and speculate. Women holding the priesthood goes in the same file folder as the location of Kolob, the question of whether the Book of Mormon took place in north or south America, and whether small children have memories of their premortal existence.

It's interesting, but not relevant to our current stewardship.

What is relevant is how we develop and exercise faith on what we have been given. That's a big enough task on its own.

Stephanie said...

@Srad and Sammy Stewart

I respectfully disagree. I believe God wants many things to happen, but that people (even prophets) are fallible and don't always get the message.

I think God wanted Black men to have the Priesthood long before it was granted, and I feel the same way about women and priesthood keys.

I think God wanted to restore the Gospel on earth long before a 14 year old asked. But that 14 year old hand't asked yet.


I also don't think wanting something as significant as utilizing the Power of God on earth should be marginalized as "going beyond the mark." It is one thing to speculate about where Kolob is, but frankly, it seems disrespectful to both women and those who believe in Priesthood power to suggest that women holding the Priesthood is the same as random speculation.

Also, as people have mentioned in other comments, women hold the Priesthood in certain capacities in the temple, pioneer women gave blessing after anointing with oil, and there were prophetesses in the Bible who acted in ways similar to our modern-day Priesthood holders. There is precedence, not just speculation on women and the priesthood.

You don't want it? That is okay. You don't believe it will happen? Fine. But don't diminish the hopes of many righteous women simply as "a waste of energy."

Like I said earlier, one could just as easily construe Joseph Smith's prayer as a "waste of energy." Maybe he should have waited until God came to him?

We are promised that if we ask we will receive the righteous desires of our hearts. You may not share the desires of other posters and myself, but that doesn't make them less righteous.

Maggie said...

@ srad - the doctrine and covenants says it's a-okay to covet spiritual gifts, in fact it's encouraged. And among the spiritual gifts we are encouraged to seek after: healing the sick and prophesy. (see D&C 46) What if the reason why women were never given the priesthood, is that we never asked for it?

Sarah said...

Okay, I wanted to comment on this post but I needed to think about it for a while. Here's my thoughts. I believe God is just. I believe those who go without and those who sacrifice will be blessed. While those who are given more--whether it be monetary or spiritual blessings--are expected to be do more. I don't think I could live in Bangkok and be at peace without myself, seeing the lives of people around me, if I did not believe this.

I believe women sacrifice a great deal to have and raise children--sacrifice their bodies, time, dreams, etc. I have a husband who is very involved in my children's life, but he will never make the same sacrifices for my daughters that I have. I believe women will be rewarded for the sacrifices we make for our families. As much as I hate throwing up for three months and having cankles for another seven, it is during this time that I have grown the most. As much as I complain,and rant, about pregnancy and raising children, I have been given an opportunity to grow and develop in the ways my husband has not. Just as he has been given the opportunity to grow in his role in the priesthood.

I believe in equality between the sexes, but I do not believe equality means the same. I don't know if women will get the priesthood in this life, or the next, but I believe God is just, I believe the prophet speaks to God and I believe God is fully aware of women, of how women are treated all over the world. I believe God will do for women what is best for them.

I have spent my life watching my mom sacrifice and grow from my dad's leadership callings in the church, sometimes I wonder if he was given those callings because he is married to some one as amazing with her. I think women play a larger part in the priesthood that we realize. I like Elder's Busche's description of the Priesthood as a tree, the branches are the men who hold it and the women are the roots, whose involvement might not be as visible but is in no way diminished or less.

If women are given the priesthood in this life, it will be because it is the right time, not because we, as a people, vindicate or lobby for it. Everyone is entitled to our own beliefs, and different people with different backgrounds and view points makes us better as a whole. But you cannot be right by being ahead of the church.

Anyways, that's my two cents. Take it for what you will.

PS I want to see more pictures of Clara.

workingmommawithababy said...

Amen to this. Agree and agree and agree.

LC said...

I really like Sarah's comments that if God so chooses, women will be granted the Priesthood. I don't think the First Presidency or apostles are out of touch (my feelings only, and not a commentary on others' thoughts or experiences). I don't believe God is concerned with societal pressures.

I do sometimes feel insufficient when I know my spouse is struggling with some matter (physical, emotional, or otherwise) and he needs the comfort of a priesthood blessing. It's not as convenient to secure the help he needs sometimes, compared with my just having to walk into the next room and ask him for assistance.

But I think having different gifts and abilities has enriched us both as a couple and individually because we've learned to work more as a team, and it's also taught a measure of humility when we've had to go to others for help. I don't think that's so bad either.

Emily said...

Loved this post. I think it would be an honor to hold the priesthood, and so yes, I guess I would like it! I also think it would be wonderful for all the single mothers and other families who currently don't have the priesthood in their homes.

I have a really hard time sitting through RS lessons when the comments often end up something like "we get to have babies and they have to have the priesthood, so it's totally okay and equal. Those who think women should have the priesthood are just so lacking in faith and obviously don't understand the gospel." I'm glad some people are okay with how things currently are, but let's not call something equality that clearly is not.

Mrs. Clark said...

This is not a new thing. More than 30 years ago, Sonia Johnson advocated this and wrote "From Housewife to Heretic." She would have you believe she was excommunicated for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, but she was also undermining Church teachings and telling people not to listen to the missionaries.

I will say, though, that I have never, ever felt marginalized at Church. I've been a member for 36 years, active that whole time, and married for 31. I have never felt "less than," or as though I was at a disadvantage for being female.

I agree that the "women get to have the babies" argument is silly. However, I would like to point out that our church has a much higher percentage of active males than any other. I think having a lay ministry and priesthood authority helps.

Angela Baarz said...

So I just came across your blog and I LOVE IT! I feel that I, too, am either a complete Apostate Mormon or just think to myself what everyone else is already thinking - I'm not brave enough to blog about it.

On this issue of women and the priesthood, my husband and I discussed it a while back. Both of us feel women should not have the priesthood but for the life of us, neither one of us can come up with a reason why women shouldn't have it. Our guess is that we were simply raised to feel that men have the priesthood and that's that. So it's really hard for us to fathom women holding the priesthood even though our logical minds don't see anything wrong with it.

And quick question that I've never been able to find anyone that knows the answer to: Don't women already have the priesthood? I mean, when I went through the temple, my initiatory was performed by a female temple worker. Isn't that a priesthood blessing being given by a woman? Therefore either the woman had the priesthood or I did not really receive my "new name". (Just one of the many reasons I am never going back to the temple - because like I said, I can't fathom a female having the priesthood even though I couldn't tell you why they shouldn't.)

Sarah said...

I don't want the priesthood but this debate has me wondering that if in joseph smith's time women had the priesthood then did women in christ's time too? Anyone know?

Janie said...

I just keep thinking that the Priesthood is offered to EVERY worthy male - well since the 70's anyway, but very worthy women can't have babies or marriage all the time. - How is that fair?