Thursday, March 27, 2014

Women and the Priesthood

If you were thinking that this blog entry would be my opinion on the matter, I'm sorry to disappoint you. The reality is that I simply don't know how I feel about it. I do know that everyone's point of view deserves to be listened to, even if it seems "unorthodox" or "contentious" or just plain "wrong"--no one deserves to be dismissed. I do know that there's a difference between Church policy, Church culture, and Church doctrine, and I'm still learning exactly where and how women holding the Priesthood fits into those categories. I also know that worthy women have access to Priesthood power, through temple covenants and other ordinances; they just don't hold Priesthood keys. I do know that any kind of change would probably require revelation to the current prophet.

But should women have the same Priesthood keys that men do in this life? I don't know.

For those of you unfamiliar with the issue, in the LDS (or "Mormon") church, Priesthood authority (the authority to act in God's name by giving blessings and performing ordinances) is only held by men. In recent years, several groups of women have begun to question this teaching. The group Ordain Women is the most vocal and well-known among these. There are a lot of related issues, besides the Priesthood--giving women's groups more autonomy, allowing women to have greater visibility within the Church, and allowing them to be a part of more decision-making in general.

I haven't really come to any of my own conclusions on the Priesthood thing...I do agree that women should be better represented and included within the infrastructure of the Church. But I'm not quite articulate enough to get all my half-formed ideas into words at this point. So instead, I thought I'd share the more fully-formed ideas I've been reading about. I've been doing A LOT of reading, on both sides of the issue, for a few years now. So I just thought I'd share a handful of those articles...gather them in one place for anyone interested in learning more. Feel free to comment with other articles if you have them! Most are directly related to Mormon Feminism, a few are sort of fringe articles, but all of them are relevant.


Rational Faiths -- "Why Aren't the Women Included In This?" 

Empowering LDS Women -- The Two Trees

Empowering LDS Women -- Motherhood is the Equivalent of Priesthood

Zelophahad's Daughters: A Critique of the Two Trees

Just Jo -- Why I Changed My Mind About Mormon Feminism

I Feel Like Schrodinger's Cat -- Leaving the LDS Cult of False Expectations

Pendletones -- The Priesthood and Me

Doves and Serpents -- Women and the Priesthood: It's Complicated

Meridian Magazine -- Women and the Priesthood

Fair Mormon -- To Do the Business of the Church: A Cooperative Paradigm

And My Soul Hungered -- We Would Have to Get a Revelation: Continuing Revelation and the Mormon Feminism Crisis (I REALLY loved this article!)

And ultimately, I think these last two are the most important ones:

Carrie -- Empathy Dreams

FairMormon -- These Are Our Sisters

Happy reading! 

1 comment:

Marla said...

I am not Mormon and don't have great understanding of its theology, but I do think equality means it ethnicity, color of skin, AND gender. I'm not sure where God's graceful love for all and the mission of "loving your neighbor as yourself" stands with LDS. But if Mormons agree with love for all, then women have equal status and should have equal opportunity in church.