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Maurine Proctor
Friday, October 04 2013

An Open Letter to Kate Kelly and Those Pressing for Ordination

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LetterIllustration

Dear Kate,

As the co-founder of Ordain Women, you are planning to march with a group of women to the general priesthood meeting of the LDS Church Saturday night to press for entrance. I don’t believe that you think entrance will actually be granted, because your requests for tickets have already been denied, so your motives must be for something else.

It seems clear that you are hoping for media attention for your cause, that you want to agitate or stir up emotions to support your goal: “Mormon women seeking equality and ordination to the priesthood.” Perhaps you are hoping that creating a high profile will draw others into your ranks and that your numbers will swell.

You are by profession an international human rights attorney. For your career, you have learned an adversarial paradigm. Your world-view is based on clamoring, arguing and mounting evidence for the causes you believe. It is toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose, making points with contention and argument, reason and will. It’s not just the way of the attorney; it is the way of our times. This is a generation of people trained at divisiveness and attention-mongering for their viewpoint. Our public discourse these days is discordant. That might work well in furthering some causes in a court of law or even in the court of public opinion, but now we are talking about the Church.

If you are a hammer, then the whole world does indeed look like a nail.

In this case, however, if you choose to be a hammer, just what are you hammering against?

Believers understand that Jesus Christ is the head of this Church. He is the author of the doctrines and the organization, how and when things are taught and revealed. The Lord has given us prophets and apostles through which he communicates his will and reminds us, “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). That is a bold doctrine, stating without hesitation that the Lord’s appointed prophets speak for him, which I believe.

This leads me to ask about your very public motives. If you have a question about women’s place in the divine scheme of things, that is understandable. Of course, we seek answers to questions that impact our identity and understanding of ourselves.

Those who defend what you are doing like to point out how many revelations came because people brought questions to Joseph Smith and he, in turn, took those questions to the Lord. We think, for example, of Joseph Knight, David Whitmer, John Whitmer and Peter Whitmer (D&C 12, 14, 15 and 16) who each received revelation through the prophet because they asked him to query.

In each case, however, their query was about aligning themselves more perfectly with the Lord’s will for them. Their questions were essentially, what can I do to please the Lord? How can I serve Him better? What does he want of me? Their questions were asked in a spirit of humility, understanding who sets the terms of their relationship. Just as with our covenants, where we have made promises with the Lord in which he sets the terms, so it is with these questions asked and answered by Joseph Smith. The understanding is clear that those who had questions were stepping forward in a spirit of meekness striving to understand what the Lord wanted of them.

So I have a hypothetical for you. I wonder if you had the opportunity to have a private meeting with the prophet and were able to press for women’s priesthood ordination and he answered that the Lord had said “no” would that be enough? If you asked him specifically if he had prayed about women’s place in the kingdom and he said, “Yes, and what we have reflects the Lord’s answer,” would that be enough? With those answers, would you disband your group and go home?

Would you say to those whose profiles you are gathering, those who are planning to march with you to the Conference Center that the prophet has spoken? Go put your energies somewhere else?

I suspect not. This is the heart of what troubles me about your choice. You come from what I believe is a faulty assumption about the Kingdom of God on the earth because you are applying a secular paradigm. In the world, he who has the loudest voice and is clever about applying the most pressure often carries the day. Your agitation for ordination assumes that either the prophets will respond to pressure or that the Lord will. At the very least, it assumes that you have a better idea and are in a superior position to understand what will empower women.

It assumes that the prophets are too spiritually dull or backward to see the important questions or to ask them. It assumes that through all the centuries of recorded spiritual history, the Lord forgot his daughters and their development.

There is a twist of intellectual dishonesty at the heart of this. You press for priesthood power, I assume, on the grounds that it is truly the power of God on the earth, yet at the same time you refuse to acknowledge that same power to act, discern, and reveal in the Lord’s anointed prophets. The implication of your agitation is that you don’t believe that the prophets act with real authority—the very priesthood power you are seeking for yourself.

That just makes no sense. Your motives become suspect. A large gap looms between a question that seeks for expanded understanding and confrontation that seeks for its own way.

I think it is the temptation of this fallen world to seek to instruct the Lord. Most of us have times, when assessing our own lives, we are certain we know more clearly than He does what He should do for us and what is necessary for our well-being. On the most personal level, I have found that when I take that approach to the Lord, I become divided from him. It is fundamentally a refusal to comprehend who He is and who I am, his glory which is unspeakable and my own complete dependence on Him even for the breath I draw.

How odd it is for the child to seek to instruct the Father. It is the same for any who would seek somehow to right the Church or steady the ark. There is a presumptiveness and arrogance about this, which is troubling. There is also, at its heart, an attack upon the idea that the Church is led by Jesus Christ and his servants.

Another hypothetical. What if the prophet invited you into his office, listened to your demands to receive the priesthood and then said, “Because you and your followers want this and have stirred up the world, it’s yours.” If that happened, what an insecure footing we would all suddenly be on. Instead of God being the sure foundation of this Church, the great immovable I AM, we might suspect that instead it is a Church dictated by men—or women.


161 Comments

  1. A great and respectful insightful letter to an agitator. Way to go, Maurine!
  2. Thank you for so eloquently expressing what I am sure the vast majority of the women in the church feel.
  3. Amen!
  4. Have you even listened to Kate Kelly's interview? You are making a LOT of assumptions about a woman's motives whom you have never met, and are writing a response to this imaginary woman as if it stands for who she really is. You ask rhetorical questions about her motives and then answer them for her with the worst assumptions. I would actually love to see this as a conversation where you ask a question of her, and she of you, and you each answer for yourself instead of for the other person.
  5. So well written Maurine! Thank you!
  6. Priesthood used to be denied to non-white males. Priesthood is now conferred on non-whites. Doctrines in the LDS church change all the time. The LDS used to practice polygamy. Will ordination come to non-males? We shall see
  7. A well-reasoned and doctrinally sound response. Thank you! When asked why the priesthood authority is given only to men I like to respond that it is God's decision to do so In the Old Testament, he reserved priesthood authority for only 1 out of the 12 tribes of Israel Today, he gives it to men. It is His authority to delegate as He wishes. However, as a woman I have full and complete access to the power of the priesthood through my priesthood covenants. The power of the priesthood is available to all -- the authority of the priesthood is delegated to those whom the Lord chooses.
  8. Maureen, I don't feel that you have characterized Kate's position accurately. She has stated on numerous occasions that the word "agitation" has only been used as a quotation of Gordon B. Hinckley. And she has made it clear that they are humbly asking for consideration and are willing to wait patiently on the issue. Your characterization of her motives is an uncharitable caricature.
  9. Believe it or not, some of us priesthood holders wonder why women; whose Christ-like qualities are well known; don't hold the priesthood. I've heard many a Church leader, down to the ward level, say they couldn't do the work without the women of the Church. Maurine, thank you for giving us the answer that will have to work for now - until more is revealed. You've certainly; excuse the pun; hit the nail on the head!
  10. A very well written letter. It expresses my thoughts perfectly. Thank you.
  11. A wonderful and thought-out argument. I have never felt slighted by not being ordained to the priesthood. I frequently marvel that the Savior revealed many of his most important doctrine to women first. And, no principle of the gospel has EVER been revealed or altered due to contentions among people.
  12. Well done! Well said!!
  13. Thank you for expressing what I'm sure many feel. I hope you fully enjoy conference!
  14. What a profound, inspirational, and loving way to express what most of us as women of the Church are feeling–and written by one of us!
  15. thank you so much for articulating what I wanted to say to my seminary students this morning in regard to this circumstance. You hit the nail on the head with no hammer at all!
  16. I find it ironic that you hold Kate and the Ordain Women movement accountable for assumptions you are making about their motives, while simultaneously accusing them of making assumptions about god's will. I also wonder if you've read much on OrdainWomen.org, because many of the issues raised here are clearly addressed there.
  17. Thank you so very much for a wonderful expression of truth. As a Priesthood holder I would admonish all Men as well as Women to read a ponder your words. I for one have gained greater insight as I read your article. I particularly had to pause and give thought of being a Zion people, and the responsibility I share with my sweet wife as a Priesthood holder - Thank you.
  18. I'm with you. Because I know He loves us I'll follow His way. He will leads us to become like Him.
  19. I sure hope she reads this.
  20. This may reflect what many women in the church feel. But what this fails to acknowledge is that there ARE women in the church who are not comfortable with women's "place" in the church. They are not apostates or heretics; they are human beings who worship Christ and are striving to follow him. But they have very real feelings, feelings that differ from yours. And instead of acknowledging their feelings, this article instead ignores them. I don't think any of the women who have these feelings of discomfort and displacement are going to receive any comfort at all from this article.
  21. Maurine, I can sense your love for the Gospel and for God in your writing. I just wanted to respond that it is precisely because I do not pretend to know the mind of God that I feel the question deserves careful thought and attention on behalf of the membership of the Church and on behalf of our leaders. I have felt closer to God and to the wonder that is this magnificent world since proclaiming, "yes, this is something I would welcome. I do not pretend to know what the future brings but I stand as one ready and willing to know more." I understand that new ideas are threatening to many. It is hard for us to look around and think that the way things are now are the way things have always been and the way they always will be. There is a comfort in that. But, I do not believe this life is one for us to become complacent. I'm not demanding the priesthood, but I am hopeful that members of the Church will pray for themselves and for the leaders to have clear vision and soft hearts to know the Lord's will.
  22. Very well said! Very loving and insightful!
  23. I think it's a fair question to ask how Ms. Kelly and her colleagues would respond to a pronouncement by President Monson that he had prayed about women's ordination and received a clear negative answer. I think it's unfairly judgmental to presuppose what Ms. Kelly's answer would be.
  24. Maurine, kindly and well articulated doctrine and principles. Thank you for not equating Priesthood with Motherhood. As a single female I am so tired of that weak explanation. I appreciate that you quoted Elder Ballard--we just don't know why, but we know that God is working to save and exalt all of us. Kate, you and your supporters have much to offer both men and women in the Church. Please stay with us.
  25. Sister Proctor, thank you for your post. After reading and listening to Kate Kelly's words, I believe you are misrepresenting her publicly stated motives and guessing what the private thoughts of her heart MIGHT be. Even if Sister Kelly has wrong intentions, I can't see why this bothers you. If this movement is not from God, it will die out without your help. If it is from God, it will succeed in spite of you. Acts 5:33-39. Either this is a church where members shut up and follow or a church where members participate in their own salvation by having conversations with the Lord, the leaders, and other Saints. You seem to have entered the conversation. :-)
  26. I have been wanting to hear this point of view concerning women and the Priesthood. You Maurine, expressed it so thoroughly, eloquently and clearly. Thank you!
  27. Your title was very interesting and I had to read and ponder what you have said. Your insight and understanding of the Gospel is very plain and very simple. While my family are converts, you speak of a very simple truth at the beginning of your thoughts I found to be very profound - He speaks to us and answers us when we come to him, having kept His commandments and opening our hearts in humility and spirits contrite in truly knowing His will. In addition, I was delighted to hear you indicate there is a current push in many of our meetings to denigrate the brethren and it always brings much delight and laughter and prodding from the sisters. As you indicate, when we are able to be united - as brothers and sisters - in gospel truths, then we will be best prepared to assist in ushering in whatever the Lord would have us do. Thank you so much for your spirit and understanding, I pray and hope your message touches many lives for good.
  28. Wonderfully written! Thank you. I hope those it is directed to will read it in the right spirit and re-evaluate their motives.
  29. This is so darn good! You couldn't have said it any better. Thank you!
  30. Thank you, Maurine. Your thoughts are sharp (as in to the point and plain) and the Lord glories in plainness. May I also add that there have been times in the history of the Lord's dealing with his children (such as when Joseph begged Him for permission to share the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation) when He has said, "Okay, if that's what you want, you can have it." And it has never turned out well. Thanks for all you do, Maurine.
  31. Thank you, Maurine, for articulating both the doctrinal and logical fallacies of the line of reasoning that has brought these Sisters to do what they are doing. So often in the world (and more and more in the church) we see our Brothers and Sisters depending too much on the inadequate abilities of a finite mind rather than seeking answers through communion with our Father and his servants.
  32. Thank you for this wonderful, insightful, and well thought out letter. I am so grateful for this church, that teaches divine truths and weathers all storms with firmness, compassion and dignity.
  33. Great piece, Maureen. These women seem to think the prophet has not asked the Lord about this issue, but I am sure he has. Maybe in time, but I don't think it is up to us to tell the Lord what to do.
  34. Very well stated. I have to question the testimonies of the women pushing this issue. On their website it says that "God is male and female." This is certainly not what the LDS church teaches, God has a gender, and He is male. Like you, I believe they are not accepting the role of the prophet, which is what sets our church apart from all the others--the Priesthood power and authority. I do hope and pray for the wonderful spirit of General Conference, and that the actions of a few won't ruin it for the rest of us.
  35. I appreciate your right to opinion. "In each case, however, their query was about aligning themselves more perfectly with the Lord’s will for them. Their questions were essentially, what can I do to please the Lord? How can I serve Him better? What does he want of me? Their questions were asked in a spirit of humility, understanding who sets the terms of their relationship." Thank you for expressing that sentiment: that is *exactly* what Ordain Women is doing, you may confirm this for yourself by reading what they ordainwomen.org .
  36. Beautifully said, and prayerfully thought out. Thank you.
  37. You've hit the nail on the head. The agitation to the point of contention towards those who are indeed meek and humble and are seeking to do the Lords will, is blinding.
  38. Thank you ! Inspired words Maurine!
  39. This is a beautifully, well written piece on this subject. It breaks my heart that there are those who do not understand how much we are all loved by our Father. His house is a house of order and balance. The balance will never be what the world views as balance. His is a balance that will create strength and divinity in each of us. Thank you for your testimony of this.
  40. Thank you for putting into writing what I know & believe in my heart.
  41. Thank you, Maurine- for this wonderfully articulate piece in which you expose this movement for what it really is- a gross misconception of the priesthood and its purpose. I'm reminded of Ch8 of Daughter in My Kingdom that expounds on the fact that the blessings of the priesthood have ALWAYS been available for ALL God's children and that the men of the church are not the priesthood, but rather holders of it. Thank you and hope you are well!
  42. Here! Here! I couldn't have said it any better....thanks, Maureen.
  43. Thank you, Maurine- for this wonderfully articulate piece in which you expose this movement for what it really is- a gross misconception of the priesthood and its purpose. I'm reminded of Ch8 of Daughter in My Kingdom that expounds on the fact that the blessings of the priesthood have ALWAYS been available for ALL God's children and that the men of the church are not the priesthood, but rather holders of it. Thank you and hope you are well!
  44. I love how you point out the irony in this situation. Beautifully written. Why women would want the added responsibility of the priesthood, is beyond my comprehension. I am tired enough with my own responsibilities to want more heaped on.
  45. Your oft repeated assertion of Ms. Kelly's agitation seems somewhat misplaced. My observation is that the agitation seems to be directed toward Kelly and the OW women from those who feel threatened by their actions. With confidence you begin the article by stating: "Your world-view is based on..." Frankly I'm not persuaded by those who, without as much as a single face to face interaction can claim so baldly to know another's worldview. "In the quiet heart is hidden" motives, desires, hopes and dreams that can not be understood by a lifetime of interactions. Why then, must you deny the motives she has so fully laid out in place of the motives you choose to impugn her with?
  46. It occurs to me that similar letters could have been written 40 years ago, with all references to "women" replaced by "blacks/African-Americans" (or, given the state of the language at the time, "Negroes").
  47. You have obviously put a lot of thought into the article. It is wonderful - well said!
  48. I appreciate your response Maureen. I 2nd this - WOW - you put into words so eloquently what is in my heart. Thank You !!!!!
  49. Wonderfully written! Thank you. I hope those it is directed to will read it in the right spirit and re-evaluate their motives.
  50. While I think you've provided a good open letter, framing the concerns from what I presume is the sentiment of most members, I can't help but think that just like a pearl (as the principle is usually described), agitation is necessary for progressive change. Without it, nothing ever progresses to perfection.
  51. Thank you for expressing so eloquently what I have felt, believe and embrace. I am saddened that Kate Kelly and Ordain Women view the priesthood as an inequality between brothers and sisters. As a mother of six, four which are young men, I find the opportunity, responsibility, and the honor of raising righteous young men to be priesthood holders is equally as honorable, valiant, and pressing as raising my two daughters to be righteous women in Zion. I stand beside my husband in this roll on equal, but different footing. Together we guide, love, and teach, both needing the other. Their efforts are misguided and lack a true understanding of the gospel and our vital and honored role in the building of the Lord's Kingdom and of our families.
  52. You nailed it eloquently and lovingly, Maurine! This group does not seem to want to follow the leadership of President Thomas S. Monson, the current Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It seems to me that you either have faith that Jesus Christ is at the helm of our church or you don't. I've never heard of anyone who has won a fight against God.
  53. @Summer Before trying to defend your movement's position, please respond to the question of whether you would accept the prophet's hypothetical response of "No" to the question of whether it is the Lord's will that women should or need to be ordained to the priesthood? Would that be enough for you to change your mind and accept it as the Lord's will?
  54. While I do not believe that women's role in the church is to hold the keys to the priesthood, I am very disappointed in the tone of this letter and the article posted earlier this week. Instead of condemning or criticizing these women because they are trying to make their voices heard, we should be doing a better job of educating the women throughout the church of the divine nature that they inherited from their Mother in Heaven and their place in the eternities. We should be seeking to know our Mother in Heaven and her role in the gospel. Through that understanding women will find their voice and understand their rightful place in the gospel and the eternities. Shame on us for criticizing women who struggle with the unequal yoke that the patriarchy places on women. If it weren't for voices raised in question, would we have the Word of Wisdom, would we have black priesthood holders, would we have women saying prayers in general conference? Are there better ways to have your voice heard than marching on the priesthood session. Yes probably, but it is their right to question. As Brigham Young shared, one of his greatest fears would be that the saints would stop seeking individual confirmation of gospel principles but simply follow the words of church leaders. If we don't give the women of the church something of equal divinity and eternal promise, other than being "unto their husbands" then they will seek for equality in the only thing they know.
  55. A well-reasoned and doctrinally sound response. Thank you! When asked why the priesthood authority is given only to men I like to respond that it is God's decision to do so In the Old Testament, he reserved priesthood authority for only 1 out of the 12 tribes of Israel Today, he gives it to men. It is His authority to delegate as He wishes. However, as a woman I have full and complete access to the power of the priesthood through my priesthood covenants. The power of the priesthood is available to all -- the authority of the priesthood is delegated to those whom the Lord chooses.
  56. One of the ironies is that Kelly has sited Pres. Hinckley's comments that women haven't agitated enough as justification for her organization. Pres. Hinckley's comment was made in an obscure television interview in Australia several years ago. If you read the transcript, he wasn't saying that if women agitated enough then the priesthood would be given them. He never said that God would grant ordination to his daughters at all. Pres. Hinckley seemed to merely be stating that God has the power to change things, that women haven't agitated so it hasn't been an issue, and that he believed women were satisfied with their own organization (Relief Society). There are no promises in his statements, and no logical conclusion that agitation will bring about ordination. The irony is that apostles and prophets and female general leaders have addressed this issue more recently, in carefully prepared and thought-out talks, but Kelly doesn't seem to be influenced by those messages. The ones over the pulpit are dismissed while the in-the-moment statements of a prophet now deceased are carefully made into a banner and (peaceful) battle cry. It looks like we have some women who are just itching to run things. Priesthood power received through temple endowment which brings power to receive light, intelligence, influence, strength to overcome Satan and qualify for exaltation is not enough. Being organized to build up the Kingdom of God through our own matriarchal order of female efforts is not enough. There seems to be a jealous eye for titles.
  57. I agree with all your comments. Here's my question, though. Knowing what you now know, if you could go back in time to anytime prior to June 8, 1978, when the First Presidency changed Church policy on ordaining blacks to the Priesthood, and have the same discussion you propose with a Prophet, would you be content with a response that blacks should not hold the Priesthood? I think the answer is still yes, but it is troublesome, isn't it? The Church's official policy NOW is that racism, past and present, in the Church and out, was wrong. We're not supposed to question Church leaders out loud, and the Ordain Women movement is wrong in doing so. But that doesn't mean that present Church policy won't ultimately be determined to be wrong.
  58. Very thought provoking and well written piece. I appreciate your insights and found several points to chew on that hadn't occurred to me. You have presented your views with a carefully thought and laid out structure. I especially appreciate you pointing out that the Lord's ways are not the world's ways. As we move further from his ways as a society, contention and clamor are only going to increase. I am dreading seeing it within the church, as well. Thank you for your insights.
  59. Spot on!
  60. Excellent article. I have wondered what the real motive behind this movement is. You are correct that it seems they are seeking the very priesthood that they have no faith in. And the method of their "agitation" also leads me to believe that there is an ulterior motive. There is nothing wrong with asking the question, it just needs to be done in a different spirit and tone with a 100% acceptance of the answer whatever it may be.
  61. Thank you for this well written letter. You have inspired me to draw closer to the Savior. This reminds me so much of this same issue in the 70's. I stood firm then and will now. Follow the prophet!
  62. For crying out loud, men do not get the Priesthood because they are somehow superior, they get it because that's what men need. Women don't need the Priesthood to get to heaven. Do you give everybody an extra robotic arm just because amputees get one?
  63. The answer to me seems very clear, whether or not the Priesthood changes in the future or not is irrelevant, all that matters is that the Prophet has not received inspiration to change anything. Great job Sister Proctor.
  64. Men and women of the [temple] covenant of eternal marriage "hold" the priesthood together: the new and everlasting covenant of marriage and the priesthood, the patriarchal order. [see D&C132]
  65. I didn't know this was an issue but what a well written letter. @Summer and group, I wish I had the authority to give the Priesthood to you. If I could find one word to replace "Priesthood" would you still want it? The word is "service" and to personify it, "servant". You are welcomed to move the families every Saturday so I can hang out more with my family :)
  66. Beautifully said. Thank you for these well-written sentiments. You have put into words what I feel in my heart. I appreciate women like you - strong in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed to His Church.
  67. Thank you for expressing this so well. I say amen to all you have said. I am so thankful for the Priesthood and how it complements my role as a woman in the Church in these latter-days.
  68. You have written a beautiful letter, showing love towards the recipient. I certainly pray she will change her mind!
  69. Maureen! Thank you. Well said.
  70. A week ago, I would have been praising this article. But I decided to actually listen with an open mind to an interview with Kate Kelly on feminist mormon housewives . It opened my eyes and ears to how so many women feel. If I lived in Utah, I would be joining Ordain Women at the priesthood session. That's a big shift for me in just one week.
  71. Thank you for your thoughts, Joey Pauga--you are right, that is exactly what many at Ordain Women are respectfully and peacefully asking the General Authorities to consider! Imagine a husband coming home after a long day of work and wanting to spend time with his kids. If women are ordained, why not his wife attending a leadership meeting at the church that evening in his place? Hundreds of women have posted profiles on ordainwomen.org, wanting to serve our fellow ward members and share the administrative load, strenthening families at the same time just as you mentioned. Thanks again for your thoughts!
  72. I wish people would stop using the service aspect of priesthood, such as moving, in these discussions. We don't move people with the priesthood, or because we have the priesthood. We move people out of service, and the men do the "heavy lifting" because they are, on the bell curve, stronger. And let's not pretend that women never help with moves.... If we're going to discuss priesthood, maybe we could focus on actual priesthood functions, not everything and anything "men" do. "Priesthood" does not equal "men". We were reminded of this just last Conference.
  73. Thank you! This was beautifully written.
  74. For those who really want answers to the questions raised in this open letter, I suggest you read what Kate and her friends have to say. Their stories can be found at OrdainWomen.org. I have interacted with Sister Kelly a few times. I find her to be a faithful and thoughtful member of the church. As a life-long member and returned missionary, she would be a great asset for any ward. Nothing like the "hammer" accusation thrown out here. Thank you Kate for helping to open this important dialogue.
  75. Frankly I have enough on my plate and don't wish to add to it. If the Lord in some future time wishes to confer a priesthood authority on women then so be it. If I keep all the commandments and covenants I have made and magnify my callings I won't have time to think up more work to do.
  76. We always refer to non-whites as receiving the priesthood but the revelation was not that but that every worthy male may receive the priesthood. In the same way the Lord has always offered the blessings of the priesthood to every worthy member. As a priesthood holder, I am so grateful for the dear sister that stands beside me and, as my equal, not only helps and guides me, but encourages me to extend the blessings of the priesthood to all who stand in need of it. The part the sisters play in the proper use of the priesthood can never be diminished. Thank you for a well written letter.
  77. This conversation is just convincing me even more that the Church is completely as the Lord wants it to be. There is space for doubts, still time for questions, but also possibility to communicate in a very loving and respectful way. I hope the contraversial Sisters will understand soon, and get prepared to visit the Tempel to become blessed with the preparations this visit provides us with.
  78. I would also second Dave's recommendation to take a few moments to read some of the sisters and brothers stories at ordainwomen.org. While you may not agree with them, I think you will find witness that they tend to be devote followers of Christ striving to serve Him and follow the Holy Spirit as best they can. Just like the rest of us.
  79. Great article!! I have a fridge magnet that says "when I said I do, I didn't mean everything." Does Kate Kelly and co. realise what they are fighting for? Please, please don't give me any more responsibilities:)
  80. Well reasoned and inspirational letter. God and not pressure groups will reveal his will for his Church
  81. This is the most clear and articulate expression of the argument against OW that I most strongly empathize with. That is: OW is applying a Democratic activist model to a church that is lead by revelation. In order to make this agruement stronger in my mind she would need to address a few things that I find slightly inaccurate or unfair. (Doesn't make her point invalid just a little less valid so if she is interested in using this as an argument she would need to correct or change afew things) First. At the beginning she points to this woman's profession influencing (in a negative way) her religious practice. In other situations we see people's professions as a way they can keep the law of consecration. Using their unique talents and positions to further the Kingdom of God. It is possible this is the case with Kate kelly (not absolutely but possible) Second she alludes to some historical examples of men who importuned the prophet Joseph to seek revelation on their behalf, noting they did so in a humble light trying to know how they could better serve. She did not bring up how we received the WoW. In that instance Emma was not trying to know how to better serve she was airing a grievance that the behavior of the men in the school of prophets was causing her undue hardship. Third she asks if Ms Kelly would accept a no answer and then immediately days "I suspect not" this is an unfair assumption and could be easily modified by saying "if not..." Lastly she says that KK or OW are assuming the prophet is "dull and backward" this is another unfair assumption. No where I have read on the official sight or on the Facebook page has there been any such name calling. She also says that they assume the Lord has forgotten his daughters. It is more accurate to say they believe that the Lord holds them in high esteem and that they believe the current situation is the result of the natural stages of human growth.
  82. Susan, God is certainly both male and female, as is clearly taught in Mormon doctrine. The problem is, only Father is acknowledged, which leaves all of us Motherless, and that takes a heavy toll on both women and men. That's the heart of the angst for many in the church. Sylwia, kudos to you for actually listening to another viewpoint with open ears and heart. While I honor Maureen's intent and skill here, I feel she has grossly misrepresented Kate & Friends. No matter where you stand on the issue or how it all falls out, it IS an issue and I applaud Ordain Women for bringing it to public attention.
  83. Maurine, I am grateful for the opportunity to read your thoughts on this subject. I can tell by the way it is written that it was given prayerful consideration and was designed so as to not accuse or offend. Since I know you personally, I can also state that I realize this is a subject that is dear to your heart. We can only judge others in righteousness, but actions are an indication of intentions. The revelation of 1978 was not brought about because people demanded inclusion, but because a humble servant of God petitioned Heavenly Father for guidance. Might we all be wise enough to do the same.
  84. Hey Maurine, are you going to follow the lead of the priesthood bretheren and watch the priesthood session tomorrow night?
  85. Orin Porter. Do you mean "adversity" when you say "agitation?" Do you mean "progression" when you say "progressive." There are slight differences in the meanings of these words - especially in a Gospel context. While adversity is part of God's plan of happiness, I don't know that agitation is. While we are meant to progress, I don't think that such is an endorsement of the philosophy of progressive-ism.
  86. Eloquently stated. Amen!
  87. This is AMAZING and I agree 100%.
  88. Maybe this wouldn't be the best time to press for my idea to instigate a 1-hour meeting block on Sundays.
  89. I do not support Kate Kelly's cause. However, keep in mind that the brethren follow D&C Section 9, just like anyone else. They deal with the information they have at hand. The prophet is not always right--he can and should be prompted. The church opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Martin Luther King was not allowed to walk into the Hotel Utah for Pete's sake. Sometimes, the brethren need fresh perspective. Kate and her group will agitate a bit and the church will roll forward. We need to be less black and white and see what our membership are thinking. Let's face it, women have been oppressed in society and at times, in our church--we can do better and listening is always the first step.
  90. I think the very fact that they are staging a march in protest to a "no" answer speaks volumes. These feminist activists will probably continue to provoke until they get the response they want. It is "Protesting 101." It isn't like Ms. Kelly is inventing anything new. Her effort is to apply social/political pressure to church leaders. It is the reason this is a public effort. My question: How is protesting against the Church not a violation of covenants made in the temple?
  91. Great article. This is a troubling situation. "What you do rings so loudly in my ears that I can't hear what you say." We say to the world that God has called a prophet in our day and that his name is Thomas S. Monson. We say that this prophet is directed by God and not man. But what do we do? We have a protest march that says to the world, "Our prophet makes decisions about our church in the same way that a restaurant manager makes decisions about staffing." What we do is not consistent with what we say. It's a sad situation.
  92. I do not support Ordain Women, and I agree with many of the concerns expressed by Sister Proctor. I do, however, feel that the way women are treated in the Church does not always live up the glorious doctrines of eternal equality elegantly outlined in scripture and modern revelation. (See Equal Partnership in Marriage from the April 2013 Ensign for an outstanding elucidation of these doctrines.) While the number of women who wish for Priesthood office appears to be few, the number of women - particularly young women - who feel marginalized appears to be many. I have personally witnessed this. If we would be one with the Lord, we must thoughtfully consider how to correct this deficiency. Because the problem is not a product of doctrine, but rather of Church culture, the solution must begin with an adjustment of attitude within each individual member. For those interested, may I suggest the following as an excellent examination of the sorrow some of our sisters feel and how to soothe them? ‘To Do the Business of the Church: A Cooperative Paradigm for Examining Gendered Participation Within Church Organizational Structure’ by Neylan McBaine not only contains doctrinally appropriate suggestions that comply with current Church policy, but also discusses how to present the role of women in the Church in a way that is intelligible to the world and yet accurate. May the Lord bless and keep us all as we seek to draw nearer to Him and Our Father.
  93. I loved this article. in reply to those that say go and read the OW websites - what makes you think we haven't? I haven't gone back though as I felt the spirit withdraw from me. Just because someone can something with "flattering words" does not make it right. All I can think of is Jacob 7:4
  94. Bravo! Maurine..
  95. While there exist legitimate concerns about gender equality within the Church, it seems to me that OW has made the conversation unnecessarily narrow. Ordain women or bust. Our way or no way. I think the fundamental flaw in their logic is the assumption that equality can only come through ordination. I think the fundamental flaw in their methodology is, as Proctor points out, their failure to recognize and respect the Church as the body of Christ, led by a living prophet. Here's a link to another essay that addresses similar concerns: http://www.the-exponent.com/guest-post-why-a-self-proclaimed-feminist-is-uncomfortable-with-the-recent-push-for-the-ordination-of-women-2/
  96. The Priesthood teaches Men to do things that Women naturally do. The Priesthood teaches worthy Men to be Selfless, to serve others unconditionally and with full sincerity of heart, have love and show benevolence towards others, attributes and characteristics Women have already....The Priesthood puts a spiritual context on the role of Men within the family and the community. What comes naturally for Women unfortunately most often than not does not come as naturally or as easy for us Men. Women dont need the Priesthood to be that way.....Women already act accordingly and are in a place that we Men are striving to attain....
  97. So many commenters suggested that we go to ordainwomen.org and see that the OW folks are not as agressive as this open letter portrays them. So I went on over to ordainwomen.org to see for myself. Wow. Just wow. Maurine's open letter was very restrained in its criticism of the OW movement, considering the attitudes expressed on ordainwomen.org. See for yourself: "We refuse to tolerate inequity in our secular institutions. Ordain Women asserts that we must also reject it in our homes and religious communities." I don't see an ounce of humility there. This is no humble petition, this is a defiant demand. There is no acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, they could be wrong and the Apostles and Prophets could be right. I want to respond to this gem from the OW website: "Why are Mormons resistant to women’s ordination? Lingering patriarchal patterns, though increasingly contested, still inform Mormon policies with regard to familial and institutional governance." WRONG. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aren't "resistant" to ordaining women. We don't do it because we CAN'T do it because the Lord hasn't authorized it. Our personal wishes have nothing to do with it. Just like we couldn't ordain ANYONE before personal visits to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery from John the Baptist, and from Peter, James and John. God's house is a house of order, not a house of confusion. As an antidote to ordainwomen.org, I recommend this website: https://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=d8ff27cd3f37b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____ "The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s." I highly recommend reading the whole article again if you haven't lately.
  98. If Priesthood Authority is what you want, I hope you get it. I have been a member all my life, I was ordained by Spencer Kimball and I can tell you that The Priesthood is a calling to work. If you are wanting power, not a job, you had better back off.
  99. Well reasoned, and well written.
  100. I have often said, with tongue firmly in cheek, that the reason men hold the Priesthood and women don't is to compensate men for not being born women! Women are the far stronger sex in every way, and have their own special place in God's plan. BRAVO ZULU, Maureen for a well stated answer to Ms Kelly. (BRAVO ZULU is "Navyeze" for a job well done. Thanks
  101. Equating the ordination of women to the priesthood with the extension of the priesthood to all worthy males is a fallacy. The early brethren were instructed that the day would come when all males would be eligible to hold the priesthood--that it simply was a timing issue. In June 1978, the doctrine was not changed--the process of extending the priesthood to all worthy males was simply completed. This was all according to the Lord's timing.
  102. I have enjoyed the well thought out and articulated article. I have read all the comments. I have found reasoning in all of them. I agree with many comments and have extended family on both sides going back to the question of ERA. Thats the Equal Rights Amendment. The voice then was militant. I don't hear that extreme in this protest. I cant remember a peaceful protest. Their have been historical ones. Even in the best of those written comments judgement and criticism was leveled. Well reasoned rationale was supported. In our effort to become one people all concerns become my concerns, all thoughts become shared thoughts. God has said my thoughts are not your thoughts. I am grateful to the order of the priesthood for blessings I have received and look to it for continued blessings-until we all come to a perfect understanding and are one people like in the city of Enoch where all burdens were shared and every one was loved perfectly enough to be lifted away from this earth. I welcome diverse thought and its discussion yet when the prophet speaks thats when we come to one accord and sustain the Lords appointed servant.
  103. Elder Oaks talk also supports your view...thank you for the reminder https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/10/our-strengths-can-become-our-downfall?lang=eng
  104. I think what women want more of is respect and a listening ear from those who hold the Priesthood. Sometimes, as a woman and a leader, I have been given the greatest of respect, and sometimes not. Regrettably, both men and women are still 'human.' I don't need the Priesthood to make a difference in this life. I have been told, through a Priesthood blessing, that I would influence thousands of people. With testimony and sacred covenants I think I am doing just that - as a devoted Latter-day Saint WOMAN.
  105. There are many people, members and non-members alike, who want to change something or don't agree with something in the church. (Almost always it is because they just don't want to abide by its teachings and probably aren't. I guess I wonder why they want to be members. I know they could find what they want somewhere else. We love our church because it is what it is. The true church of Jesus Christ. That's what makes it different from all the others. I don't believe Christ ordained any women to His Priesthood. I am a convert who finally found everything I needed to give my life purpose. I get really upset when someone wants to make it just like the others.
  106. I am thankful that I don't have to add one more list of my things to do. By having the priesthood I would then be eligible to become a Bishop. Having worked in a Relief Society Presidency and seeing how much work the sisters do, I am quite okay with not becoming a bishop, high priest or stake president. I am thankful that my children have to ask their father for blessings instead of me because they ask me for everything else. This is the one thing that I cannot do for them. It is his alone and I love that. I am thankful that I don't have the commandment to leave for two years and serve a mission. By having equality and the priesthood I would only imagine that these responsibilities would become ours as well. I do enough for my family, my community and our church that I do not need nor want one more thing to add. I am thankful that this is for men only. I am very comfortable with my divine roll as a woman. Let's face facts, we can never be equal to men.....we do way to much! They could never catch up =)
  107. Very well written Maurine. Thank you.
  108. If the news media pay any attention to Ordain Women's actions this evening, I'm sure that their reports will include some righteous indignation spouted by someone like Maurine Proctor. And, just like this letter, that will surely make everything better.
  109. Those of any organization or community who challenge the core beliefs and structure of that community can only be right and just if the nature and purpose of the community itself is its core goal. One who opposes this church's structure based on equality and representation must assume that the general leadership is the raison d'etre of the Church. If one truly understands and believes that the family is the central organization of the gospel and that all callings, assignments, programs and functions within the Church are to assist and support the successful results of a family in an eternal context - and that the Lord has decreed that any who would abuse the priesthood trust placed in hum by relegating his wife, sisters, mothers or daughters to a "lesser" status have missed the entire point of this creation and our existence.
  110. OW deny the power and authority of the very thing they're trying to get. If God reveals that women get priesthood, so be it. But this is not the way. OW have been told "no" on several occasions and they still refuse to accept the answer. They can say they're righteous all they want, but their actions say they're not listening.
  111. I normally don't comment on such forums but I felt thus compelled. While reading the above article I agreed with the sentiments of Maurine whole-heartedly. As I read the comments many admonished her for "assuming" the answers that Ms. Katy would give to her hypothetical questions and asked if she read Katy's web sight. For if Maurine bothered she would see a different side and that she should go open minded. So I did just that... I prayed for and open mind and direction from the spirit. As I read OW mission statement and FAQ I felt a distinct and deliberate withdrawal of the spirit. I continued to have a prayerful heart for guidance and into my mind came the saying of the Prophet Joseph about how the spirit of satan can mimic that of light. Ms. Katy also uses Pres. Hinckeys' comments as justification for her cause and then in the same web-sight speaks out against The Family Proclamation. Either Pres. Hinckley was an inspired prophet or he wasn't. We cannot ignore doctrine that is inconvenient to our cause. I was also struck buy the fact that Ms. Maurine was right in her assumption that if pres Monson said he had prayed about the OofW mission and the answer was 'no' that, that would not be enough for Ms. Katy (however she was admonished for assuming). On Katy's own FQA she states," Sadly, if we fail to ordain women and provide a more inclusive range of opportunities for women and girls in the LDS Church, a significant number will search elsewhere for a more equitable spiritual community, as many, particularly young and single women, already have." Either President Monson IS a prophet and will remain so and thus is the Lords mouthpiece or he's not. How he answers this question should be the direction The Lord and if it is "no" she is implying he is not the man he professes to be and she will leave. It will be a very sad day that if this is the choice of many in the church. However we have also been told that in last day the hearts if men shall fail them; thus prophesy become reality. I think Maurine was spot on and inspired in her letter.
  112. There is a valid argument here. Women hold the priesthood in the temple and perform the initiatories and endowment ordinances here on earth. They are also pre-ordained to become Priestesses and Goddesses after this life. Then why is asking questions so troubling? I find it interesting that you pose the question if you sat down with the prophet and he said "NO" would that be enough? Has the prophet asked the question? It is one thing to say this is how it is, this is how it has always been and never truly consider the possibility. It's another thing entirely to have an open mind, respect the sincerity of the question and in sacred humble prayer actually considered the matter. I would love to hear the prophet say that he had pleaded with the Lord in behalf of the women of this church for clarity and revelation on this issue. And then and only then could he state, "Thus sayeth the Lord…" on this matter. I think that could go a long way. Who knows maybe be Lord has been waiting for someone to ask the right question? Maybe we will be surprised at his answer?
  113. Liberal thinking woman have been clamoring for the Priesthood at least since 1981 when I began graduate school in Cambridge, MA. My wife and I were deeply saddened by the demands then. This latest round seems inspired by the same protesting and demanding spirit. The irony is that the protesting woman and those who support them fail to understand the true nature of the temple blessings, and the power of the marriage covenants. The fail to recognize that there is a vast difference between priesthood authority and priesthood power, as such power is exercised by both men and women. And they fail to seek comprehensive spiritual insights into the blessings and powers they have already been given.
  114. I agree with this article. To me Katie Kelly's actions speak louder than her soft words. By seeking the press by her public display she is playing up the stereotype that all Mormon women are oppressed and not equal by not having the priesthood which is not the case.
  115. I am a woman who is content with not holding the priesthood. I love this church and it's leaders. I especially love my Savior Jesus Christ. That being said, I agree with many points in this letter. I also agree with other comments being made here that state this letter is a bit judgmental. From what I have read, she plans to be respectful, but to just be there as a statement to the leaders to please petition God as to His will concerning this matter. I guess we will see how they truly act and how it plays out. It seems that when people are ready for change, that is when the Lord allows it to come about...as with the African Americans and the priesthood. I am wondering, will the people who are so upset with this movement, accept the will of God if the leaders DO petition Him and he says "Yes" ? We do not know if God has been asked this question or not. I would think people should think about holding their tongue and leave it to the leaders to issue statements as to how it is to be handled in the church.
  116. Many of the defenders of the OW movement are misunderstanding their opposition. I don't think anyone is opposed to them asking about the ordination of women. That is a valid question. What makes me uncomfortable with the movement is that they are using websites and protests as if those things have an impact on prophecy. It isn't the question that is troubling, it is the way they are asking (again and again and again) through demonstrations, media hype, and "threats" of leaving the church if they don't get their way. This approach reeks of a "my way or the highway" kind of attitude.
  117. As a young person in the church I sometimes held up to 7 callings at a time! I am 62 years old and have always served willingly but wearily as I get older. The Prophet has not said no to women holding the priesthood but the great God of the universe has!! I hope it stays that way! I don't want the Priesthood, I'm tired, let the men do their duty and let us women support them every way we can without taking on that office.....please. I don't feel unequal but I do feel it will be left more and more to us women to do the hard slog if we are given the Priesthood.
  118. Equality is a state of mind. As a woman, I have never felt "second rate" or unequal to a man. "Neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord." Women can't get to the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom AND NEITHER CAN THE MAN get there without his spouse. This is about as equal as it can get! Why oh why would a woman want the extra responsibility of holding the Priesthood? I have enough to do with being a member missionary, working on my calling, doing my visiting teaching, speaking in church, giving lessons in FHE, singing special musical numbers and in the Stake choir, etc., etc., etc. I'm very happy for the Priesthood to be given to men. I don't want to be a judge in Israel. That would be a very difficult mantle. Think of it...Would a young mother, raising children, have the time to be a Bishop? A Stake President? A general authority? We should be content and happy with what we have! Not being able to hold the Priesthood doesn't mean women aren't CAPABLE-it just means it isn't the best use of their abilities.
  119. If you look at Earth from the international space station you get a fairly close up view of the beauty and magnificence that she presents to the eye. However if you back away at the speed of light, the earth quickly shrinks away to nothing. You can continue for as long as you wish, to back away and eons of other planets and stars will come into view and disappear. Isnt it amazing that the Lord created all this a more? We can not come close with our finite minds in comprehending the magnitude of this creation, nor of all but the most basic nature of the Lords teachings and mind. I would dare extrapolate, knowing the incredible mind and ability of the Lord whom knows ALL things from the beginning to end, who has all power and has seen ALL things from the beginning to end, who knows the thoughts and intents of ALL who have lived and will live, surly the Lord will know the exact time that the Priesthood should be given to women, if it is to be given, surly the Lord would at that CORRECT time, notify his chosen Prophet. Something this "seemingly" important, the Lord would pass onto his anointed. He knew long before Kelly was ever born that she would "agitate" for this condition, so he knew it would be these women will eons of time ago, that they would request the Prophet to ask the Lord for the priesthood. I can only imagine with all this being absolutely known, if the time was right, the Lord would have said so. To question the Lord on his timing, or to question his ability to get his timing right is taking quite a risk. I do know one other thing. The Stone carved out the the mountain without hands will roll forth, with or with out the women from OW. They may want to re-evaluate their "motivations" for this request of the Prophet.
  120. Unfortunately many women are stuck at the pablum era of spirituality, and are challenging the leaders to give them steak. I do not think the OW really speaks for the many women who are dealing with other (important to them) issues, such as gender identity, same sex marriage, word or wisdom issues, and so forth. Why would the Prophet find the OW issue more important than all of these other issues that stress women in our membership. Get on your knees, alone, in a quiet spot and allow the Holy Ghost to help you become servants, not activists. The Lord can fill your nearly empty cups, if you allow it. With Love
  121. I have reviewed the OW web site and in my opinion it is teaching "The percepts of men (and woman) mengled with scripture"
  122. Personally, I think this whole issue is just a way of trying to cite a rebellion and to destroy the Faith and Testimony of weak members of the Church and to hurt the missionary program. In the long term of things this will not work.... It never has... When I left on my mission over 34 years ago this same thing with a different twist on the equal rights of women and the Blacks receiving the priesthood was all steamed up and created rebellion and dis-satisfaction with in the church. At the time I discovered that it actually helped our efforts because most people remembered hearing about the Church but failed to remember what the issue was. As righteous men and women obey the commandments, keep their covenants, and worship in the House of the Lord, the truth of all things are clearly revealed, line upon line precept upon precept. Our Father in Heaven wants all of his children, his sons and daughters equally, to receive all that he has... He provides for our protection through his priesthood; He wants to bless us and he wants us to receive our full endowment, and our inheritance to live forever in his kingdom. Revelation and inspiration is received and understanding is gained and testimony is forged from the refiners fire. We strive to be more, We walk with one another, pray for one another, love and lift one another, We speak more kindly, We see more clearly, we hear the truth and tune out the babel; And we discover that we have been assured of the truth of all things. The whole premise that The Priesthood of God is being withheld from women or that Daughters of God, or women are not valuable to our Father in Heaven, or that we are not worthy to hold the priesthood is clearly a lie. (Actually just a different twist on one of the first lies that was ever fabricated, against the Gospel of Jesus Christ) This lie clearly demonstrates the power and doctrine of Satan, and his influence on the desires,thoughts, minds of those who have not gained a testimony of the Savior, of Joseph Smith, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ; which result in garbled teaching of expectations transformed into the logical thoughts of man without inspiration from God based on the assumption and twisting of scripture; which results in the leading of souls away from the great plan of happiness and light and love of our Savior and our Father in Heaven.
  123. In my opinion, women will never hold the priesthood in the same sense that men do and here is why. Adam and Eve served as proxies for men and women and we accepted them as our proxies which is why their consequences became our consequences. Likewise, Christ served as our proxy in the Atonement. He suffered that we might not. When we accept Christ as our proxy His atonement becomes efficacious in our lives. In the temple, men serve as proxy for Christ behind the veil. Patrons perform work for their ancestors by proxy, men for men and women for women. I see a pattern here that I call the "proxy principle". This is not pronounced church doctrine but my own observation that men serve as proxies for men and women for women. When men perform priesthood ordinances they are serving as proxies for God. A holder of the priesthood must be male because he is proxy for a male god. Women cannot be proxy for a male god. In the temple, men and women are foreordained for the next stage of existence to become "Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses", but men are not foreordained to be queens or priestesses anymore than women are foreordained to be kings or priests. I believe the distinction is more than just grammatical gender agreement. I believe the distinction actually reflects different roles. I know this is not taught explicitly by the church authorities but the proxy principle seems consistent with church teachings and practice. While this may seem unfair to the sisters that a priesthood holder must be male because he serves as proxy for a male God, the principle has implications for the sisters in their roles, if they will consider it. For a woman to aspire to the priesthood would be an affront to God the Father for their presumption of His role and also an affront to Heavenly Mother for their inconsiderate rejection of Her role. In summary, I believe women will never hold the priesthood because a woman can't be proxy for God, who is male.
  124. I am disappointed and saddened in LDS women who feel like the Prophet of God and leaders of the church do not think about us and our needs. A large number of women in the church Including myself do NOT feel the same way as Kate Kelly. Thank you Maurine for your letter.
  125. Thankyou for your wonderful commentary and all the good comments it has sparked. I've enjoyed it so much. I realize, from reading this, that I too want to do what the Lord would have me do. In pondering that, I realize that the best way I can serve the Lord is to more fully complete the tasks I've already been given; as a woman in the world and in the church. I need to get over myself and just look around there are so many things I can do that don't require my holding the priesthood. I suspect that might be true for all of us, not just the women in the church, but the men too. I wonder if there isn't a bit of a parallel to the women of the church not holding the priesthood because we aren't doing all we've already been given to do , and the church as a whole not receiving more of the scripture that has been hidden away because we haven't fully accepted the scriptures that we have now. We still have a lot of room for growth . Possibly, if we fully accept what has been given to us so far, without hesitation, we will grow and increase in testimony and knowledge and then what we are given will match where we are and cause us to stretch and grow more. To be better able to more completely serve our God.
  126. This is not the same issue as the priesthood having once not been extended to black members. I remember the times before and after that revelation well and I remember that we were always assured by the brethren that there would come a time when that restriction was lifted. We have not had that same assurance with this issue. What we have been assured is that men and women are equal with separate roles. I think the letter above was marvelous.
  127. Thanks, Maureen for publicly stating the opinions of so many of us. One thing has not been mentioned here: According to the DesNews article, these women only want the prophet to ask the Lord about ordaining women to the priesthood--how do they know he has not, and that the answer was "no" or "not yet"?--and that they're not asking for ordination NOW. If so, why are they not waiting for the answer? Do they expect a transcript of the prophet's conversation with the Lord with a yes, no, nor not yet answer? Rather than waiting on the Lord, through His prophet, they are asking for tickets for PH session NOW and when told no are standing in line NOW for standby tickets. Either they want the prophet to inquire of the Lord--and wait for an answer--or they want PH NOW. they can't have it both ways at the same time.
  128. Seriously, Women only want what the Lord gave us in the beginning. D&C 25:7 " And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church accordingy as it shall be given thee by my Spirit" HERE IS DOCTRINE
  129. If such a change were to be made, I would expect it to come from our prophet, not a movement such as this. It is not the Lords way, but a way common in the world. I also do not want a single other responsibility. Our men are wonderful and their ability to serve in the church is most notable. We have pushed them out of the work field and currently process our kids through care centers. Time has shown us the fruits of such actions. There is no benefit to such justification in equality demands. Only families and our roles within are eternal and everlasting.
  130. In addition to the good arguments the author made, here's the most compelling argument I see against this movement and I'm surprised no one brought it up in the article or the comments. Anyone (male or female) who thinks that holding the priesthood somehow glorifies you, entitling you to greater status or value, is confused. They are thinking of priesthood as priestCRAFT.  Look at the differences. The priesthood is the authority to exercise God's power here on the Earth, but not for yourself. For others. It is all about service and making God's blessings available to others. And all of God's worthy children, male and female, are entitled to those blessings and saving ordinances. But it's never about the person who performs the blessing or the ordinance. It's about bringing a soul closer to Christ, and what the Lord would have him or her receive through the blessings of the priesthood. No blessing will be given a bishop that wouldn't also be given a faithful visiting teacher. The nature of the service may be different, but the power and access to blessings through the priesthood are equally available. There is no inequality. Mankind foolishly creates an inequality by valuing the high profile positions over others, but that is not the Lord's way. Now look at priestcraft. 2 Ne 26:29 teaches plainly that, "priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." Priestcraft is not about humbly serving our fellowman and doing the Lord's will. It's about MY rights and glorifying me and how my status compares to someone else and whether I am being slighted by holding the priesthood or not. Me, me, me. This is not God's priesthood power. This is Satan's counterfeit priestcraft.  So the way I understand this scripture, it is priestcraft to think that men are more valued in the Church because of the priesthood. It is priestcraft to think that giving women priesthood authority will elevate their status. Because it is priestcraft to link priesthood with status in the first place. Glorifying the individual performing the ordinance, rather than focusing on bringing the individual receiving it closer to Christ, is priestcraft. And when I hear about someone giving a "mother's blessing," or thinking the Sacrament will somehow be better when their daughters administer it, I hear someone who is furthering the lies of priestcraft.  It is no wonder, then, that we are warned in D&C 121 that it is amen to the priesthood of any man who tries to gratify his "pride or vain ambition." To me, it seems that this Ordain Women movement is nothing but a manifestation of pride and, especially, vain ambition. Which ironically would exclude any participant from being worthy of the priesthood even it were granted to them.
  131. Amen!!!
  132. I have been troubled since I first heard of th OW group as I was preparing a lesson on the priesthood. I am grateful to Sister Proctor for her prayerful approach. I agree with some who commented. This is a slippery slope inspired by Satan to turn our hearts from the church. I hope and pray the OW sisters will sincerely pray for the Lord's guidance. This organization is not the way to grow closer to the Lord's will for us. I don't think we should pick and choose what aspects of the gospel we want to follow.
  133. As a woman, I am perfectly happy in not being ordained with the authority of the priesthood. I have plenty of responsibilities already. My husband holds it for both of us. I understand the leaders of the church try to keep a low key about certain issues so as to "not shine too bright a light" on the doctrines that could or would become targets for agitators of the church and its members. It is sad, but I think if members of the church do not BELIEVE in the way the church has been organized, they have their agency and should go to a church that they wish to BELIEVE in, rather than trying to change the church the rest of us BELIEVE is true. I love that the church leaders stand firm in their testimonies on doctrine and don't cave to the whims of the world. Members know that if anything changes, we will be the first ones to hear it from our Prophet.
  134. A beautiful and well thought out letter,Maurine-I would guess written with the help of the Holy Spirit. To those who words disagree, I find disagreement in t heir judgement of a protest and demanding entrance into Priesthood meeting far from a "humble petition" to our Church leaders.
  135. An interesting discussion for you Mormons. But I must ask: If she believes that your "Priesthood" has power and your prophet receives revelation from G_d, then how can she question the "male only" part of it ? If I understand your doctrine correctly, women have children and men bless both through the Priesthood--it's meant to bless others, not the holder, per se (he cannot lay his hands on his own head, yes ?). Does she "believe all that G_d has revealed, does now reveal and will yet reveal" ? If so, then one would counsel patience, yes ? How does one force G_d's hand and expect that he will answer in the affirmative ? What next, men pressing for right to bear children ? Good luck to Mormonism.
  136. Glad people are bold enough to righteously oppose this blatant and unholy disruption of proceedings and inadvertent demands to change doctrine through the wrong channels (as in, it should come from the prophet NOT from a supposed member as that IS what we believe). While we may not know her true intentions here and there are some here who criticize you for asserting what they may be, what are we left to assume about why she would do this especially when she did? There was MUCH said in regards to this type of opposition today and I think they would be well advised to review those talks many times with an open mind to the Spirit and see what interpretations they can make of what theyare themselves doing here by those words. I think it is truly disrespectful and a misues of valuable time on many parts. Thank you for writing this it is apparently very needed!
  137. Excellent What would a waltz be like if both partners led. When they dance who gets the attention?
  138. Excellent. It's an inspired response to a misguided group of women. You can't rely on a secular strategy to solve a spiritual question.
  139. I appreciate David H's comments above. Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke on the "priesthood" and on the "influence of women" in the the Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference today. In his closing remarks, he said, "I testify that as you worthily participate in the ordinances of the priesthood the Lord will give you greater peace and perspective." May we review, ponder, and pray about the talks given from all sessions of this conference session weekend, including the Women's General Meeting last weekend.
  140. Very insightful and well thought out Maurine. It may be true that someday women will hold the priesthood (those who have ever taken part in the temple ordinances know that this is the case) perhaps in this life in the next. However, there is a respectful way to express your concerns, and a disrespectful way. Creating a public forum and calling some church doctrine "antiquated" and "unequal" causes undeeded and negative attention to the Church. There is a better way to do this sisters. It is your right and privilege to petition The Lord for what is in your heart, but this is not it. This is not a democracy, thank goodness. I think it is clear from General Conference today what the answer is. The bretheren have heard your plee, you have made your point. Let us spend our time magnifying our unique roles as men as women. Until we've mastered that, perhaps there isn't a need for anything more. Besides, it is my personal belief that man was given the priesthood so that they can become more like women, who posess an innate charity, love and caring nature that men simply do not have.
  141. Where I live in Canada, the Mormon feminine blogs are quite popular with many members of the church. The issues of gender equality and gay marriage would seem to be the most talked about issues in the church. Hopefully one day we will get further light and truth regarding these issues. I hope that members concerned with these and other issues be patient and serve and work in the church in the mean time. All is possible with the Lord, but it will be in his time.
  142. Seven years ago, my fiance, now husband, gave me a blessing because I felt myself being attacked by malicious spirits. In the blessing, he said, "I give you the priesthood." At that instant, I felt a tingling that went from the top of my head to the tip of my toes and wondered, "Did that just happen!?" After he was done, I asked him about it and he slapped his head thinking he had made a mistake. However, in a later blessing my bishop gave me, the Lord said that power had been given to me to strengthen me against the dark. Because of this, I do not believe the limitation on the priesthood is the Lord's limitation. I had kept this to myself in fear of oppression, but since it is a hot topic in the church right now, I feel it is my duty to say something although I prefer to remain anonymous at this time.
  143. many problems & questions are around about women & priesthood. A Stake President, being the only priesthood holder there, told a Girl's Camp he was the only one who could call upon the Spirit there. If that's true, then the Church should at least Ordain Sister Missionaries. Then, some Relief Society Presidents are allowed to do virtually nothing in their calling without their Bishop approving every item. Maybe they should be ordained. For some reason, YM in the Church need Scouting as well, yet, YW don't need anything other than lessons, so, YW get much less spent on them. Time & time again I hear of sisters at an incident, where some other member was injured or very ill, but, they can't give blessings, they just have to pray. Then, a sister who's divorced or widowed could have a son become a Deacon. So, does he preside in that house?
  144. This is wonderful. What Kate Kelly and supporters are not understanding is that the revelation has has been given, and we need to trust that Heavenly Father & the Savior are at the head of this church. The argument I keep seeing is: the fact that non-white males could not hold the priesthood at a certain time shows the church can change. However, people misunderstand that this was not a "revalation," it was a misunderstood assumption of the time. The church does change, but not according to what we think is right or when it should happen. It is according to the Lord. He never said, "only white males hold the priesthood." When the prophet thought about this and brought the question to Heavenly Father, the truth was revealed. However, Heavenly Father has revealed that men hold the priesthood and women play an integral part in it. In fact, the priesthood couldnt work without us women! It's outlined in the Family Proclamation, scriptures, and over & over again in General Conference talks. This isn't an assumption or a wrong point of view of the times... it is revelation from the Lord. This, along with other revaluations such as the order of marriage, have also been revealed. The fact of the matter is, we can always question things, but when the answer is given by Heavenly Father..the answer is given. Plain and simple. The Lord goes about His purposes in His way..we don't instruct Him on what to do.
  145. Thank you Maurine. Your gift for writing has eloquently expressed what I could not have thought about or expressed. You have written it correctly: The LDS church is His church, He loves us, and as women, we are not deprived of any rights or privileges. Were ours a secular church we might contend for a vote, but it is the Church of Jesus Christ, and we vote is to listen to and follow Him. He knows our need. Thanks again for your voice.
  146. If you were to look at the actual leadership and teaching roles that women perform in the Church, without worrying about the priesthood, you would see women serving as missionaries just as effectively as young men, giving sermons to the general congregation each Sunday, leading men and women in prayer, leading the adult and teenage women in a mirror image of how men lead the male adults and teens, teaching men and women in Sunday School, leading male teachers in Primary, visiting the homes in the ward just as men do, and serving in the temples in administering ordinances. Priesthood ordination is not necessary to be a preacher, a missionary, a teacher, or an administrator. Mormon women do things that in some other churches they would have to be ordained ministers to do. And LDS priesthood has nothing to do with a paying career. The LDS priesthood does not involve aspiring to be a bishop, stake president, or general authority. If a woman aspires to those roles, she has a misconception of what the LDS priesthood is for.
  147. I like to get both sides of the story so I went to ordainwomen.org (because I did not know this was a movement) and this is what Kate had to say about women holding the Priesthood, "I think that we should be ordained because I have felt the power of the priesthood in my life. Others who give their lives to godly service and channel the power of God to bless others inspire me. To me, agitating on this issue is a question of self-respect. I respect and value the church and myself too much to be silent on this question. I truly believe that God wants us all to equally share the burdens and blessings of the priesthood. The ordination of women would put us on equal spiritual footing with our brethren, and nothing less will suffice." Pretty bold in her statement! These are certainly the last days we live in; we see evidence of it everywhere we look, inside and outside the church. So many things to pull us away from the Lord it is indeed scary! It is so very important that we keep our lamps full so we will be ready when the Bridegroom comes.
  148. Thanks, Maurine, for stepping up with a brave, forthright and eloquent response to OW.
  149. There have been several comments asserting that no one, especially MP has been to OW and read what is there? I have and I firmly agree with Maurine. Thank you for saying it in a much kinder tone than I would have.
  150. Here is a link to a great article about the process of receiving the revelation about blacks and the Priesthood: https://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=7885 You can decide for yourselves if the process was similar. I lived through it and don't remember public "agitation" from black members although they (Genesis) did meet with Presidents of the Church on a regular basis. Most of the pressure and intimidation (bomb threats and black armbands at the Marriott Center) came from outside the Church. I understand the fear women may have that they are not valued as much as men by the Lord and by the Church. I have worked through those feelings myself and actually wrote a book on it! But to me the bottom line is that you don't publicize your differences with the leaders that you sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. That seems very contradictory if you believe them to be such. You don't embarrass the Church or its leaders in the process of furthering your concerns. There is nothing wrong with bringing concerns to the attention of leaders. You work quietly behind the scenes through the proper channels until you come to unanimity through the Spirit (see D&C (107:27, 29). That is how decisions are made in this Church, not only in the leading quorums but in all councils. We are not a democracy. If we became one, there would be no point in having a church at all! One last point--there is no doubt that the Brethren are already mindful of this issue and constantly seeking guidance without the need for public demonstrations to solicit their attention. Their love and concern for ALL the sisters is great.
  151. I have thought about this issue, many times in my life, and while my Husband and I were on our mission, I addressed it numerous times,,, I think back to the women's movement in the 70's. I was all for equal pay for equal work. What I noticed happening, was that was not enough for these women, they wanted to demean men, they wanted to make themselves better. This attitude never works. I saw in the church, that the women not only started to demean men, they also started to demean what men had, and in the church, it was the priesthood. WE see today, that the role of Fathers has been greatly diminished . We women, are to blame, we had such a need to make ourselves feel better and look better, but we did it at the expense of some one else... I have raised my son's with the honor they deserve, and my daughters with the honor they deserve, they are different, but they are both very important. My role as a missionary, I had the opportunity to speak to large groups of men and women, and when this issue came up, I always felt the need to apologize to the men, because I am sick to my stomach at what we women have done to them, and to what they stand for. I am so grateful for God's plan, I know it is perfect, and it is the way to happiness and Eternal life. I have felt the Priesthood power in my life as a single mother, and I feel it now with an honorable Priesthood holder in the home. I agree with everything you said, and I hope that these women will see what they are doing in the long run and the problems they will face with their children and in their marriages. I know right now, they think they have power and a purpose, how sad, to feel like you need to bring some one down so you can feel better about your self.
  152. Thanks to your article that drew my attention to battle within the Church membership, I would have not know about the women wanting the priesthood. I also a few months ago from your site, I learned about the women who were going to wear pants to Church. So off I went to explore for myself both sides of each issue to see what the big deal was about. I do not agree with many of the ideas. But I do wonder about why these groups of women in the Church have gone to great efforts to voice their feelings and opinions. What has happened to them to result in such feelings? How sad. In reading the many articles, facebook or comment sections, I found myself getting upset, stirred up about how people, members of the Church where treating others that they disagreed with. Angry and hateful words, telling people to leave the Church that they were evil, not welcome anymore, of the Devil, or that they will be found and killed just because of a view voiced that is different. I am a convert and I am glad that I have a testimony that the Church is true. I have had judgments passed on me especially during my husband's job loss. I found such treatment causes one to withdraw and not feel loved. I look to the Prophet and other Church leadership for Church doctrine and how I should act towards those who I do not share the same view of things. I wonder if I was looking to join the Church now and came across all these hateful or judging words between members, would I want to join up with that ? How would I be treated by the members if I ever had a question or dressed in pants? WE can agree to disagree agreeably. Remember? That was what President Hinckley said. Church has not been harmed by groups questioning but the Church's great missionary efforts can be harmed by the un- Christlike behavior that members seem to be showing others if you voice a different question or opinion. I think this article is not all that different from the women who went to the front of the doors actions to draw attention. Your article was for attention too. Your article has stirred up the other side of the the Church who feels it needs to protect the Church from those awful misguided groups. If you truly wanted to educate the founder to the ordain women group, you could have written to her in private, just like you told her to do with her group's request. I wish the hate talk would stop amongst Church members. Nothing of good report can come from this sort of exchange.
  153. Your language is your art. Your article expressed how I feel. Brilliant!
  154. These women didn't picket, they didn't boycott, they didn't even hold a silent protest - they showed up and prayed and also stepped off to the side when asked to. They were literally less confrontational than Ghandi. So labeling them as "agitators" is a stretch, to say the least. Secondly, I used to not be Mormon. Don't get me wrong, I love the church now. But I know how it feels to be an outsider and see a subculture that can get...really weird. Think about the Priesthood session. People unfamiliar with the church may not understand why men can go to the "exclusively" women's meeting, but women absolutely cannot attend the exclusively men's meetings. It would be one thing if we could explain that only priesthood holders can go to priesthood meeting: but that isn't the case. Male investigators can also attend the meeting. The only requirement to attend is being a man. And it doesn't matter how you try and sell that, to an outsider, it's sexist. And that's bad PR.
  155. If Meridian had not published two articles regarding this issue, I would never have known about the incident, along with thousands of other members of the church. Is 150-200 women marching to conference to ask for admittance to the Priesthood session really that noteworthy? There has been a lot of contention stirred up over this event and I think it would have been better if we had just overlooked it, especially when our focus should have been on the conference itself and the blessing of hearing the Lord's voice through his anointed. Seems like an open forum has been created, giving these women a venue for their cause. I think we need to keep our focus on more worthy issues.
  156. @Charles E. Martin, the doctrines of the church never change. It was never a doctrine to withhold the priesthood from non-white males. And polygamy only stopped because the federal govt was about to seize all church property. Not really a choice there. Maureen does well to bring out the point at issue, which is, Are the men holding the very priesthood that some women want to hold, inspired and authorized by God or not? If they are, then for whatever reason in the order of the kingdom, God reserves the priesthood for men only. If they aren't inspired and authorized by God, then everything is a sham and why would you want to hold that priesthood anyway. At that point it would all be a sham.
  157. Living in the eastern part of the States, I was not aware of this movement to ordain women until I discovered it on Meridian. Reading about it gave me a prfoundly sick feeling. I went to the OW website and did some reading, including something about Kate Kate Kelly. The last sentence of her profile reads: "The ordination of women would put us on equal spiritual footing with our brethren, and nothing less will suffice." Women have always been able to be on "equal spiritual footing" as the brethren! It isn't the priesthood that gives someone solid spiritual footing. It's obedience to the commandments, commitment to the Gospel, prayer, study and a willingness to follow the will of the Lord. This entire movement appears to me to be a stunning example of the very elite being deceived.
  158. Katie Kelly quotes Jim Carter therefore I gather she is democrat. As a democrat and an activist she has absolutely no credibility. Its quite clear Kate is seeking media attention for her own personnel gain.
  159. Thank you for a well thought out and presented article. This brings much needed balance to the issue.
  160. Here's another quote that states her intentions quite clearly. This is taken from her website...“Only opening the priesthood to women can address the gender imbalance in the church, contends Kate Kelly, a human rights attorney in Washington who founded the Ordain Women movement. ‘Not only do Mormons believe the priesthood is the power of God, and can perform and officiate in miracles, but it’s also completely intertwined with the governance structure of the church,’ she said. ‘There is no amount of incremental change, and no amount of additional concessions that the church can make to extend an olive branch to women without changing that fundamental inequality It seems to me that whether or not God agrees with her does not matter. She has decided that the priesthood holds the keys to personal power and therefore nothing else will suffice.
  161. This is perhaps the best piece of writing I have ever read defending your belief system and not getting in the game of name calling, defending facts. Well done.

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