Tonight, hundreds of Mormon women are expected to request tickets to the all-male priesthood session of General Conference.

In this guest post, Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women, explains why she feels that nothing short of full priesthood will suffice for women — and why this is not a defiant stance, but a faithful one. — JKR

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“But If Not” by Kate Kelly

This evening a group of over 500 Mormon women and our male allies called Ordain Women will meet together at City Creek Park in Salt Lake City and walk together to request entrance to the male-only Priesthood Session of LDS General Conference.

We are paradigm pioneers. We are charting unknown territory, not with handcarts, but with our actions and ideas about how to bring women into equal footing with our brethren in the church that we love.

As with any group that challenges the status quo, Ordain Women has received our share of negative feedback. The boldness of our name has from the very start ruffled some feathers. The “what ifs” flood our inbox and public pages in a pretty steady flow:

  • What if you don’t get in?”
  • What if the answer is no?”
  • What if the Brethren reject you?”
  • What if you are wrong and women are never ordained?”

It seems the thing that bothers many Mormon folks is our unequivocal stance as evidenced, by what I said in the New York Times: “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.”

Never one for ambiguity, I think boldly asking for precisely what you desire shows great faith. It shows both faith in God that the church can be a more inclusive place, and faith in our leaders that they can adapt to the needs of their flock.

When I ponder what it means to have unwavering faith, I am inspired by the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3.

When the King asked if God would deliver them from the fiery furnace they were “not careful to answer” him, and spoke plainly. They unequivocally told King Nebuchadnezzar that they would not worship his false gods. They said they had no doubt in their hearts that God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, and then they uttered three mighty words: “but if not…”

If the genuine desire of their hearts was not made manifest, they would continue to worship God.

As the founder of Ordain Women, I have faith that the Lord has more in store for the women of the church and that He will “yet reveal many great and important things” [Article of Faith 9] pertaining to Mormon women. The restoration of the gospel continues to unfold, and we as women want to benefit from, and be part of, that continuing revelatory process.

Far from being a defiant or unfaithful stance, I see this as one of steadfast faith and commitment.

We desire not only incremental inclusion and greater roles and responsibilities, but to be on complete equal footing with men. I have stated many times, unequivocally: we want women to serve in all leadership capacities in the church, including Quorums of the Seventy, and as apostles and prophetesses.

I have no doubt in my heart that women will one day be ordained… but if not, I will continue to serve the Lord.

 

Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women

Kate Kelly, the founder of Ordain Women (courtesy of Kate Kelly)

Kate Kelly is an international human rights attorney who lives in Washington, DC. She is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a returned missionary, and a BYU graduate. She is the founder of Ordain Women.

If you are interested in attending, here is the information from the Ordain Women website: “On Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 4:00 p.m., we will meet at Salt Lake’s City Creek Park (110 N. State Street). Following a brief devotional, we will walk together to Temple Square and request to be admitted to the priesthood session. If admitted, we will attend and then return to City Creek Park to celebrate this historic event. If we are not admitted, we will reconvene at City Creek Park and listen together to the priesthood session on portable electronic devices.”

64 Comments

  1. I don’t see them saying they are going to the Lord in seeking an answer. . . . and I have not heard them yet say what the Lord has told them. . . . faith is good. . . . but I think what the Lord says is still important, and then following what the Lord has said even more important. . . .

  2. I fail to understand why any woman with two perfectly good X chromosomes would want to be on an equal footing with any man with only one perfectly good X chromosome and one Y chromosome which is like an X but with a missing leg.

    Let the handicapped individuals have the crutches, I am thankful I don’t need them.

    • That’s an incredibly insulting comment about men and priesthood. Is that really how you feel about God’s Power on Earth? That it is a spiritual crutch that is only needed because men are inherently spiritually handicapped? Yikes.

      • If my comment is insulting, it is not half so insulting as maintaining that women need the priesthood to be equal to men. I actually have a lot of respect for the priesthood and those who bear it honorably. I respect men who don’t have the priesthood who also live honorable lives. I respect those who suffer from physical handicaps of all sorts and never want them to feel belittled either. I would never demand that a person on crutches hand them over to me when I can walk well enough without them. I think it is analogous. Bearing the priesthood gives them something that they need more than what we, as women, need. I don’t think women always understand that. I’m not saying that we don’t need the priesthood at all. We need it in the same way we already have it — as a positive influence in our lives and as hands laid upon our heads to receive the blessings of it. We don’t need the responsibilities of maintaining the organization of the Church.

        That I believe the priesthood is indeed God’s Power on Earth is why I think women should not mess with trying to pressure God or His servants into ordaining women. Let Him do as He, in His infinite wisdom sees best.

        Women, in my opinion, need to learn to respect themselves better as they are, and not go yearning after something that they don’t have and don’t need. I do think women already have the advantage and if they were ordained to the priesthood it would detract from the strength of the men.

        • So, after 3 paragraphs… yes, you think the priesthood is a crutch that women don’t need but men do. I agree with J, that’s a terrible way to look at the Priesthood, no matter what side of the OW fence you are on.

    • Jana Riess

      Fern, what a misanthropic comment. I don’t agree at all that men are in any way “handicapped.” Feminism is not about “detracting from the strength of men,” as you put it below, but about making an equal commitment to the flourishing of all.

      • You have never been a man. So, what do you know? As a man trying to learn how to magnify my calling, I find that I am at a disadvantage in many ways as a man. Learning to magnify my callings in the Priesthood seems to make sense that Father knows that men need to be given this opportunity to become equal footing with women. Why can’t you understand this and why do you feel it necessary to take this away from men?

        • Hi, another man here. I definitely do not believe that women do not hold the Priesthood because they are lesser than women. But arguing that men DO hold the Priesthood because they are lesser than women makes no sense.

          “Men, you are lazy, carnal and animalistic. Here, I’ll put you in charge of the saving ordinances.”

          Every time I hear a man make that argument, it sounds like a petty way of trying to console women, where most LDS women do not want or need consolation. Women are (or at least can be) awesome and God has given them special gifts and powers. Men are (or at least can be) awesome and God has given them special gifts and powers. Only by being “equally yoked” can we recieve the greatest joy and reward.

    • Excellent Post!!! Men do need to learn what women have always known…Thus, God is simply trying to level the playing field and make things equal…

      • Thank you for verifying what I have been trying to say. It has taken me a long time to realize how different men are from women, and in what ways. It doesn’t really detract from the respect I have for you guys, though–maybe it adds to it.

  3. Dan, if you read the website you will find that they are requesting that the brethren pray about it. The brethren have not said that they have prayed about it and received and answer. Fern, that is extremely sexist and derogatory-not to mention unchristlike.

    • I am sorry about being so derogatory to men, but I am simply telling the truth as I see it. I guess I am simply a female chauvinist.

      I think it is derogatory to women to proclaim that we need the priesthood to be equal to men, as if we are somehow beneath them already. I simply believe we are naturally endowed with more qualities than having the priesthood could possibly ever give us.

      I also don’t think it is for you, Kai, to judge me as being unchristlike. Who designed our chromosomes in the first place?

      “God created man a little lower than the angels…” But, “the errand of angels was given to women…”

      Beyond that, I think it would be horrible to put a burden on our young women to carry out priesthood responsibilities that the young men can handle well enough without “our” “help.”

      I am simply expressing my opinion, as so many women claim to want to do in other directions.

      • There’s a difference between saying men and women are inherently unequal vs. institutionally unequal. Women are inherently of equal value to men in the eyes of God. What we do not have is equal treatment/authority/representation in the church. We are not treated as though we are equals even though we are.

        • The nuance that appears to be lost among the OW crowd is that even though our Heavenly Father loves us all in equal amounts, he doesn’t treat any of us the same. There are broad indications of this that are tied to gender, but there are also individual differences as well. None of you have been through what I have been through at the hand of the Lord, and I can guarantee to you that some of the challenges I have faced have been absolutely unique in the history of the Church and this world. Just about everyone else reading this could say the same. We are not the same, God does not treat us the same, and there is no point in trying to achieve sameness … it’s simply not in the design.

        • I have never experienced any feeling of being put down or as having less value than men in anything related to basic doctrine or practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I feel thoroughly blessed through the organization of this church including, and especially through the separation of Priesthood power for men and Relief Society sisterhood for women.

        • I think there are men that abuse women and look down on them. I’ve seen it in the Church. But, this has nothing to do with who Christ wants to hold the Priesthood and it’s offices in the Priesthood. There is a purpose and reason why men hold the Priesthood keys and are ordained to exercise some of the ordinances and responsibilities. It’s not Political…But, like the gay and lesbian political activists, you make it political and thus fascist.

  4. “I have faith that the Lord has more in store for the women of the church and that He will “yet reveal many great and important things” [Article of Faith 9] pertaining to Mormon women. The restoration of the gospel continues to unfold, and we as women want to benefit from, and be part of, that continuing revelatory process. Far from being a defiant or unfaithful stance, I see this as one of steadfast faith and commitment.”

    Kate Kelly, this comes across as disingenuous. Despite its insistence, Ordain Women does not appear to be seeking continuing revelation, but rather specific revelation. Which implies they already believe they have their answer from the Lord and are trying to impose this on others.

    You’re correct that OW are “paradigm pioneers.” Many mainstream Mormons feel uncomfortable by an approach you see as faithful. They feel that their religious identities–hard-won in an often hostile national culture–are threatened by your approach. Why is that? Perhaps it’s not simply because the approach is uncharted. Perhaps it’s not even because OW seems eager to align itself with the same media and groups that have shamed Mormon identity, particularly Mormon female identity, for generations. Perhaps it’s because your approach conflicts with our core values, referenced in this quote by President Faust:

    “‘From the beginning some from both inside and outside of the Church have sought to persuade members of the Church against following the inspired declarations of those who hold the keys of the kingdom of God on earth. Some of those seeking to mislead have done so claiming special endowments of intelligence or inspiration beyond the established order of the Church. As a warning against those so claiming special authority, the Lord made it clear ‘that it shall not be given to any one … to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.’”

    And this:

    “Some have said, ‘My integrity will not permit me to yield my conscience to anyone.” A clear conscience is a very precious spiritual endowment when it is guided by the Holy Ghost. Ultimately, everyone has the responsibility of making their own moral decisions. However, the Prophet Joseph Smith stated that “it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church … to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves.’”

    If OW has received negative feedback from Mormons, it’s likely because their actions (protesting at Temple Square) and comments (hatin’ on the Family Proclamation) are seen to be problematic in light of apostolic/prophetic counsel. Not simply because it goes against the status quo.

    If OW sincerely wants to engage with mainstream Mormons (which I’m becoming less convinced they do), it’s going to have to change its approach: speak in language and symbols that demonstrate a faithfulness we recognize (and I’m not talking about “submission”–Hugh Nibley was anything but submissive in his criticism of Mormon culture, yet few doubted his faith and loyalty), and actually engage with our concerns–not just yours. You say, “But we ARE faithful, and we ARE loyal and we ARE the Church.” Communication is never one-sided. If you insist in continuing with your approach and then assume anyone who reacts negatively as simply misunderstanding your intentions, then perhaps those actions/approach don’t effectively communicate to your audience what is in your heart and it may be time to readjust your message delivery rather than blaming your listener.

    You always refer people to your OW website’s FAQs, the online profiles, your podcasts, and your writings. I’ve read/listened to all of those, and as a single, female, Mormon grad student (I’m guessing part of your target audience?) I’m still highly concerned about your approach.

    • The Lord will reveal many great things as you quotes, but you’re trying to push it as of something to happen now and not let The Lord reveal it. Ordain Women are like the Martin Harris. Leave it alone when the answer is no, don’t keep pushing it. This is more about publicity than anything else. Argue it all you want, it’s about publicity. Getting the priesthood doesn’t mean equality. Priesthood responsibilities are a calling.

    • You do a good job of articulating the reasons for my own distrust of OW. To your comments I would add that I’m disappointed that these supposedly faithful members of the Church ignored and disregarded a request from the Church that they not go forward with their protest today. OW claims that they are doing this to show the Lord and the Church hierarchy that they are ready and willing and worthy to take on the Priesthood, and yet they disregard a simple request to not go forward with this demonstration? That is inconsistent with the manner a faithful holder of the priesthood would respond, and does nothing but demonstrate that the members of OW (male and female alike) might not be as ready for the priesthood as they seem to believe.

  5. if you read other scripture books (dead sea scrolls and the like) you find that Jesus had women deciples … mary magdaline being one of his closest. So if it was okay for Jesus, then why not in this day and age? Some women WANT to have that calling and should be able to have it……..but there is too much male chauvinism in this religion (LDS), and others, that put women below men. They say they don’t but they do. That is the real argument in my opinion. How well do you really love the women in your church? Enough to give them all the equality the men do? If not, then you truly don’t understand what “soul equality” is.

    • I think you may misunderstand the term ‘Disciple’. Jesus DID have female disciples. A disciple is a follower of the teachings of Christ. They are not formally called, nor ordained, and do not need priesthood power to be counted a disciple. I am a woman and a disciple of Christ. I follow his council and believe in his cause. I have read all of the FAQ’s and questions on the OW site. I feel as though I belong to a totally different church from the one they depict. In my ward (and every ward I have ever been in), my opinion is/has been respected. My input is welcome, and I have always had many opportunities to give meaningful service. I believe the majority of women in the church feel much the same. I am sure there have been unfortunate comments made by some local leaders. They may not know how to respond to honest questioning, or may have made mistakes brought on by being imperfect and flawed people. I believe that LDS women ARE held equal to LDS men. Women guard the passageway through which spirits come to earth and gain access to physical bodies. This is essential to exaltation. Do we need men for this to work? YES! On the flip side, men hold the priesthood, through which we gain spiritual access to exaltation. Do men need us to fully administer the priesthood as it is meant to be? YES!

    • Julie Dew Price

      We can all be disciples of Christ. Christ had female disciples then as He does now. He did not have female apostles. If you are experiencing chauvinism in this church there is something wrong with the men you are around. I don’t see it in my own life My husband is respectful to me, I feel I am his equal partner. My church leaders respect me. If you are being mistreated then the men have something to answer to some day.

    • I’ve never once received a calling because I wanted it, and I have often been released from callings that I wished to continue in. (The three hour block just isn’t the same after spending time serving in the nursery. I look forward to volunteering in there when my 17 month old son comes of age.)

  6. This makes me think of a primary song,
    “You do need to have great courage,
    Faith to conquer fear,
    And work with might for a cause that’s right
    To be a pioneer!”

    • For those who consider Elder Oaks to be the prophet, seer, and revelator that they raised their arms to the square to sustain just a few hours earlier, the matter is over. Unfortunately there are those who will continue to agitate, all the while insisting that they have testimonies. One may retain a testimony of many things, but one’s testimony of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ comes shattering down in a billion pieces if we remove our belief in the manner in which the Lord conducts His kingdom upon the earth.

      • Their silence this morning has been interesting. I sincerely believe that there are many in the OW group that have testimonies and will follow the prophets. Kate Kelly said above “I have no doubt in my heart that women will one day be ordained… but if not, I will continue to serve the Lord.” Let’s see what this actually means. If she believes “serving the Lord” has the meaning that most faithful LDS would ascribe to it, she will step down from this group and put her energies into an endeavor consistent with the doctrines of the Gospel. If she doesn’t, we’ll be able to see very clearly that Kate Kelly believes that serving the Lord means attacking His Church. That will be all anyone flirting with OW will need to know to accurately determine whether or not they should get involved or stay involved.

  7. Scott Soulier

    Has O.W. ever sung “Follow the Prophet” at one of their meetings there in City Creek Park? Do they teach their children to sing it? In Family Home Evening?
    I have a perspective that you may want to consider. I have been a High Priest in the Church for 30+ years and serve in the Jordan River Temple. I was a scoutmaster not long ago who, when I heard that the General Primary Presidency had issued a statement that 11 year-old scouts should not attend District Camporees, I was immediately struck by the wisdom of that direction, I sought for and received confirmation from the Holy Ghost that it was the Lord’s Will, and I unwaveringly promoted and followed that counsel. The fact that I held a priesthood office and they did not, was irrelevant; they were acting in righteousness through their callings that were issued through the keys of the priesthood and their direction was correct and I was pleased to follow them. Take home message…Sisters do not need to hold offices in the priesthood to operate in the sphere and influence of the priesthood with righteousness. Sisters who ignore polite requests from the Church to not use Temple Square as a location for demonstrations are not, in my opinion, operating righteously, faithfully, or correctly…certainly not as the Lord would have us act. Rethink OW, it just reminds me what I say when I hit my thumb with a hammer.

    • Perhaps you do not understand what the term “prophetess” means or represented in the Old Testament. I look at Relief Society Presidents as prophetess. I’ve been judged righteously by them in the past when they correct me in my thinking. My wife does this constantly and thus is a prophetess. Certainly the Prophet’s wife in OT times had the right to judge a wicked Israel as so does a current wife of a Prophet have the right to those who reject the President of the Church.
      To be clear, Ms. Kelly is not a Prophetess. She has not been ordained as such. Thus, why are you following her and not President Monson and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles today?

    • I look at my great great grandmother as a prophetess. Family stories center around the revelations she received which saved her children, including my grandmother, from otherwise certain death and guided her to being of great help in her community as a practical nurse, warning her of the needs people were having before they could get word to her physically. Why would she have needed to be formally sustained?

  8. Does anyone remember others who have followed this path of “kicking against the pricks”(Acts 9:5).They are all eventually filled with a spirit of rebellion against the Lords program and seek their own way. In so doing not only do they become lost but also lead others to destruction. They refuse to follow the inspired and appointed servants of our Father in Heaven seeing their own knowledge and a logic as superior. Sister Kelly pretends a righteous course of “EQUALITY” and feels that her training as a rights lawyer especially prepares her to represent this cause but she is guiding others down a path that will lead to bitterness and sorrow if unchanged. At the end of her life she will find that she has gone the way of Sonia Johnson and all those who have in the past put at not the counsels of the Lords anointed.

  9. Kate’s column begins with expectations of “a group of over 500 Mormon women and our male allies” to participate in the Ordain Women protest [which is the correct term for an unwelcome march on Temple Square contrary to the publicly expressed request of church authorities]. Both the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News pegged the number as closer to 200 – roughly double the October 2013 attendance, but far from the 500 estimate, and a somewhat stunning show of general apathy considering the demographics within an hour’s drive of the Conference Center. One would think that assembling a much larger gathering of sympathetic disaffected women (LDS or not) in the general vicinity would be a breeze. Not that numbers really matter in the question of doctrinal correctness or heresy, but it will be interesting to see how the numbers are ultimately spun.

    Kate refers to her movement as “paradigm pioneers,” seeking to draw comparisons of her movement with the ultimate sacrifices made by women who experienced extreme hardship and death while crossing the plains. Unclear is how this comparison holds water considering that the faithful pioneer women of early church history gave everything to follow the direction of a living prophet, reverencing his direction as the mind and will of the Lord. In these modern “paradigm pioneers” I see no such reverence for living prophets and apostles, nor a willingness to accept and follow their direction as being the mind and will of the Lord for His kingdom in our time.

    Kate tells us how she wishes to help “bring women into equal footing with our brethren in the church that we love.” She then includes among her “what ifs” questions, “What if you are wrong and women are never ordained?” This question remains completely unanswered, except seemingly a rejection that this is even possible. The implication is that if the current subset of uninspired male priesthood leadership doesn’t acquiesce, a future generation of more enlightened male priesthood leaders will eventually do so under pressure. If the church were a mere political operation, the strategy might be sound. But if we truly believe that this is the Lord’s true restored church upon the earth, and that He has called and anointed living prophets and apostles to speak for Him, the entire agitation against these men reveals a lack of faith in the very institution and priesthood which these women seek to attain.

    Kate says she thinks that “boldly asking for precisely what you desire shows great faith.” May I suggest a bolder display of great faith? Having very publicly expressed her will and having garnered the attention of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, to the point that Elder Oaks provided a thorough review of the doctrines of the priesthood as they pertain to the priesthood authority held by men and women, imagine the boldness of declaring one’s continuing respect and faith in the Lord’s chosen prophets and apostles, and resultingly acting upon that faith to disband the Ordain Women organization in light of the teachings received from one who just four hours earlier was sustained by faithful members of the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator? Considering her status among the intellectual elites of the world, both in and out of the church, the humility of such a move would exhibit virtually unsurpassed boldness and courage.

    Kate refers to the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and how they refused to woship the false gods of King Nebuchadnezzar. Are we to interpret that as meaning that the current doctrines of the church are the equivalent of false gods which they must stand against even under risk of burning to death? Is President Monson to be equated with King Nebuchadnezzar if the Lord does not reveal to him a modern doctrine of female priesthood ordination? Does this sound like a position taken by one who professes a love for the church and a testimony of its truth?

    Kate follows the story by saying, “If the genuine desire of their hearts was not made manifest, they would continue to worship God.” But would the members of Ordain Women continue to worship God while believing that the prophets and apostles remain wrong? Or would they accept that the genuine desire of the hearts was not made manifest because God has something different and more glorious in mind for them than what they had aspired to? Would continuing to worship God entail unwavering support for His anointed leaders ,and helping others who have shared their views to come around to a renewed dedication to the kingdom of God as it HAS been revealed rather than how they WISH it had been revealed?

    As a mere rank-and-file member of the church, I too “have faith that the Lord has more in store for the women of the church and that He will ‘yet reveal many great and important things’ pertaining to Mormon women” and as the gospel continues to unfold, women WILL benefit from and be part of the continuing revelatory process. Just not perhaps as it has been envisions by those in the OW movement.

    Kate makes no bones about equating “equality” in the church with complete sameness in every respect outside of reproductive organs. But if we are to take Elder Oaks’ comments last night with the gravity that words of a true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ when declared in such an official capacity should be taken by the faithful, serving “in all leadership capacities in the church, including Quorums of the Seventy, and as apostles and prophetesses” doesn’t seem likely.

    It is my hope and prayer that Kate, and those whose views have aligned with hers on this matter, will indeed continue to serve the Lord, even if it turns out that what they have felt in their hearts turns out to be more a matter of personal wishing than divine foresight.

    Many years ago an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Sterling W. Sill, said the following in a conference session: “What a tremendous benefit we could bestow upon ourselves by calling off the war and learning to live at peace with God, not only in obeying him but also in agreeing with him.”

    In my humble opinion, the time has come for those who have agitated on this particular matter to call off the war and learn to live at peace with God. And for their own peace of mind, I would suggest not just reluctant acquiescence, but, having accepted the will of God as a matter of testimony in how He administers His kingdom, seeking further understanding so that this acceptance may be coupled by the added peace of agreement as well.

  10. My question to you, Kate Kelly, is that if Jesus is standing with you in the fire, why isn’t he standing with the prophet? I do not disagree that we need a revelation (I think we need to double the D&C). Yet you sound like you are fighting a pagan king, not a prophet of the Lord. I myself want to know why Jesus could show up to tell Lorenzo Snow that he needed to become Church President immediately, yet he couldn’t be bothered to let Snow know that blacks should get the priesthood. But at some point you, like me, will have to take a side. Either we follow the prophet and let time be on our side or we walk away, seeing another Jesus elsewhere. If God wants you to have the priesthood, have him send Peter, James, and John to you. I’m not trying to make light. It worked for Joseph Smith so why, if you really are following the Lord, wouldn’t it work for you? I can tell you that I stand with the Church, flaws and all, as God has told me to do so. I don’t hear you saying the same thing. Be careful.

    http://learnaboutchrist.info/women-and-the-priesthood/

  11. Phillip C Smith

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D. 3.29.2014

    WOMEN AND THE PRIESTHOOD

    Why can’t women receive the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? My wife and I can understand how some women (and men) may, by the way they view this issue and/or their interactions with some men, feel that this policy is wrong, that women should also be given the priesthood. My mother, an intelligent and educated woman, one very much for women’s rights, was a member of the Church Relief Society General Board for a number of years and felt free to make suggestions as to how the Church could improve its operations. We had many valuable conversations about women’s roles.

    My wife and I act as equal partners in our marriage. I try never to tell her what to do and she does the same with me. It is a wonderful relationship. We have seven intelligent, articulate daughters from whom I learn every day. They are at least my equal and probably better than I am. What a blessing my wife and these daughters are to me. I am also a social scientist (Ph.D. from Stanford University) and have tried to use the skills learned during my career to do the best I can for the fulfillment of women in the Church. Here are thus some non-official thoughts about this issue. I am open to discuss this issue with anyone interested.

    God or Human-Based: Whatever actions takes place relative to this issue depend of necessity on the source of the priesthood in the Church, whether it is of God or simply man made. If the priesthood is a human organization, set up by men to manage life and religion as they see fit without outside help, then what has been done up to now may well be fallible and very possibly in need of correction. Thus it is indeed open to efforts to change by any who feel that it does not give women (and perhaps some men as well) an equal access to its use.

    If, though, the priesthood in the Church is truly the power of God given to man for his use, then decisions about and changes in who holds and exercises it must include at the least the approval of God. God can, if he desires, prompt his prophet to think about this issue as he seeks to know what God would like, as he did President Kimball and the black-priesthood issue. However God decides, each of us should get close enough to Him through righteous living and service in his kingdom that we can know for ourselves his will on this matter.

    Pre-Mortality and Reasons for Holding the priesthood: Men are not the priesthood. They simply hold and use it as directed by God. God’s priesthood is not given to men in mortality or at other times, I believe, for personal power, influence, honor or worth validation. Lucifer, during pre-mortality, apparently saw it as a status-power avenue and sought to act accordingly. Jehovah saw it, on the other hand, as a vehicle of service to others, and accorded to God any glory or assumed honor that might possibly appear related. What does our Heavenly Father think about the priesthood and women? Does he see the priesthood as more about service than anything else? I believe so.

    To illustrate the problems when one, whether a man or woman, sees the priesthood in terms of such things as status, honor, and worth validation, and/or the desire to have more influence on Church policy, I am reminded of the issues that many men have about the priesthood, and recall what a general authority told me once that at one point a member of the Church’s first presidency suggested that the Church consider changing the Melchizedek Priesthood structure so that all those with this priesthood would be part of each ward’s elders quorum, this being the only Melchizedek Priesthood quorum. If someone is then called to particular administrative positions like general authority, ward bishoprics or stake presidencies they are ordained a high priest. After being released from such callings as most of us are, they are released as high priests and then again become members of the elders quorum. The policy wasn’t adopted, as far as I can tell, because it was felt that too many men would see being released from a position where they were “temporarily” a high priest as a demotion and a loss of esteem, since some high priests feel that, because they are high priests, seen by many as a higher position, they have “arrived.” This view of power, etc seems much closer to a Lucifer than a Jehovah view.

    In contract to this mindset is a story my mother told me of a Church member who lived during Brigham Young’s time. This story, hopefully written up somewhere, came down from one of President Young’s clerks by word of mouth. I will preserve it here, hopefully accurately.

    One day while walking along the street with one of his clerks, President Young stopped and spoke briefly with a man who was cleaning up debris from the street. As they resumed walking, his clerk said something like “I am surprised, President, that you spoke to this man with such deference.” President Young said that it had been made known to him that this man was, in the pre-mortal existence, one of the princes of Heaven. His level of righteousness there was such that the Lord indicated to him that, apart from his position as Savior and that of the prophets introducing dispensations (e.g. Adam, Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith), this man could have any priesthood calling on earth that he wanted. This man said that he did want to come to the earth during this last dispensation, the Fulness of Times, but that he did not want to have a high priesthood calling. He said that he wanted to be born and live as just an average Church member so that he could get to understand and help the poor and the needy better. President Young then said that he was honored to be in this man’s presence. Such is the true meaning of the priesthood, serving others not to build oneself up or validate ones worth but rather with love and no thought of honor, esteem, worth validation or earthly reward.

    What we all, men and women, need to come to is to be able to live as faithful, active Church members, serving where called with no worries about status, influence or reward, then the Lord will bless us with happiness and success. If we have something to offer the Church outside our existing callings, the way will be opened to do just that. I have sent ideas to Church leaders, hoping that I do it the right way and remembering to be willing to let ideas move among leaders without worrying about what might happen and without expecting credit. To expand on this general purpose a few more ideas may be useful.

    Major Purpose of Life: The most important purpose of mortality is to bring to the earth all of us, the spirit children of God, to obtain physical bodies and, hopefully, be raised by good parents in righteousness, so that we can work out more effectively our own salvation with God’s grace and help. The most important role in mortality thus is to be a parent, men and women as equal partners with the mother generally the major nurturer of the children. I sorrow for the many faithful, righteous women who would like to enjoy parenthood and know that this opportunity will be theirs someday if they live for it. Also, by entrusting the care of those up to age 12 basically to women, the Church recognizes that this may be the most important formative years of life. Is Primary then, primarily directed by women, the most important aspect of the Church? As well, many women do not marry and, many who do are unable to have children. So much good comes, though, when they help raise other people’s children in Church and other settings. Thus, in an eternal, most important sense in this mortal life, women are at least the equal to and may play an even more significant role in mortality in this most important calling.

    God and His Prophets Over the Centuries: God usually calls men to priesthood positions. Some women like Deborah (Judges 4) were called when men were apparently not doing their duty. There were, interestingly, generally few males who held the priesthood in Old Testament times. We do not read generally of men who did not hold the priesthood, or any women, raising questions about this situation. Christ, during his mortal ministry, conferred the priesthood upon men only, but said, to help them acquire the proper perspective, that “whoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:44) and later washed their feet (John 13:4-9) to help teach them humility. For those who see mainly honor and deference as accruing to the priesthood need to note that the day the atoning sacrifice began Christ told his apostles, those holding the highest priesthood offices in the Church, what would befall them in mortality after his death (John 14-16). It was not a delightful scenario. He showed them by his own example in mortality that the heart and soul of the priesthood is not honor, power, influence or worth validation but service. I believe, thus, that Christ would likely be unhappy with anyone, man or women, who envisions the priesthood as an equality issue dealing with status, influence, honor or worth validation. I believe that thoughtful people also try to see it as Christ does.

    Christ saw and treated women as if they had the same competence, value and importance as men. I would think he honored their views and actions as much as he did those of men. Why, then, did he not give women the priesthood during his mortal ministry or since? I don’t know the real answer to this. What do thoughtful, concerned women say about it?

    Present Day Situation: There are too many men in the Church today who, because they hold the priesthood, see and treat women as something less. If this is the case they need to repent and ask the women in question for forgiveness. This “honor-worth-status” view is not the way the Lord Jesus Christ sees the priesthood (see D. & C. 121:34-46). The most important priesthood-related counsel reminds us that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained” except by love and its correlates. We sorrow when we hear of women who have been subject to any degree of unrighteous dominion by priesthood holders. More needs to be done to teach such men how best to interact with and treat women as the great people they are. Unrighteous dominion is never justifiable, by prophets or anyone else. Joseph learned better in Liberty Jail the importance of exercising power or influence only in the Lord’s way.

    Does it make sense to have, in each ward, a sister designated and called by the bishop to counsel with women in the ward on any issue of concern sensitive to them, particularly those who are in difficult or abusive situations and want a woman’s counsel? Can and does the ward Relief Society president often play this role? At the appropriate time it might be well for the bishop, this sister and the aggrieved parties to sit down together to try and resolve the problem. How the bishop and Relief Society president then deal with the abusive husband should follow, but specifically how is not clear to me.
    Nearly all LDS Church service is voluntary. In this the Church is different from other religions where the ecclesiastical positions are generally or often full-time career jobs. The relatively few men serving full time in Church ecclesiastical positions are called to these positions, often at considerable personal and financial sacrifice. They generally have difficult responsibilities. We know a number of General Authorities and not a few are frequently worn out by their calling and would, as one apostle inferred to me once, be only too happy to give it up if he could. Because of his love for others and sense of responsibility he kept on. Another apostle who serves faithfully today said of his calling that it is “a life sentence.” No sensible person aspires to “high” Church office. Such leaders deserve our love and support.
    The heart and soul of the priesthood, then, is voluntary service. Such service on the local level, where most of us serve, means being moved around, often from presumed high status positions to lower ones. Less than 10% at a time of those holding the priesthood are serving in so-called “high” positions. These will all be released someday and often be asked to teach primary, be a greeter, etc., not usually seen by the world as very important positions (but seen by God as such). Most men, though, who have served in Church leadership positions have or should come to recognize that any presumed “status” part of the calling is far less significant, if significant at all, than the “responsibility” part. Those men in the Church who are power, fame or overall status-minded oriented must suffer when they realize that they may have been considered at some time for “higher” priesthood offices and then passed over. Women don’t have such worries about priesthood positions, though I presume some do when not called to ward, stake or general-level Relief Society, Young Women or Primary positions.
    Some men thus can and do feel slighted because, even though they have the priesthood, they are not called to “high” priesthood offices. The feelings they have of having being given the priesthood but not “honored” by “significant” church service opportunities may well be seen as analogous to those feelings some women have because they have not received the priesthood. There are not that many positions at the top, so what I believe our Heavenly Father wants both women and men to develop is one of the greatest attributes one can acquire, and that is the ability to, in a religious sense, “rejoice in the opportunities given to others.” Just as women need to rejoice that men have priesthood opportunities (and we are thus put in a position to learn to serve others with love), men who are not called to “high” positions need to rejoice and support those who are.
    There are times when some of us who hold the priesthood and act in related Church callings may feel that the load is too much, that it would be a relief to let someone else take over. I have thought to myself what it would mean if the women in our Church would receive the priesthood, and thus be susceptible to being called, in addition to their own present types of assignments, to all the different positions that men now hold. Such a change would probably bring a great sigh of relief to some men in the Church. At last, they would say, we can turn these often difficult, stressful responsibilities over to the women. They certainly seem to me, on average, to do at least as good a job in their assignments as men do in theirs, and thus might likely also, on average, do the same in present priesthood callings. My wife, an intelligent, educated woman, says please don’t do this to us. We have enough to do as it is.
    Those who have matured spiritually and emotionally enough to see the Lord’s priesthood in its true light, namely in terms of service, recognize and accept the fact that it is not where one serves but how that is important. Good women and men do not aspire to higher office but learn to serve where they are called with only the love of Christ in their hearts. My personal view is that men are given the priesthood to gently pressure them to rise up and serve others. Honor is the last thing on my mind when trying to do my present calling as a ward mission leader. My need is to develop love for those I serve. God himself will give me all the honor I need and more if I do this right.
    I have come to develop a greater appreciation and compassion for our general, area, stake & ward priesthood leaders as I reflect on how demanding such callings often are, and how difficult it is to undergo the occasional negative treatment from some others that comes with these callings. I remember that both Joseph Smith & Brigham Young were constantly mistreated by critics and other persecutors. When Joseph complained about this once, the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest of all, indicated that he had had it worse. None was as mistreated as was the God and Savior of this world during his mortal ministry.
    I can see, though, that there are women with much to offer who feel a need to have a voice in what happens in the Church. This is a feeling that occurs to some men as well. There are Church leaders open to the suggestions from others. If handled the right way it should be possible for any woman in the Church (or man) to make suggestions, as long as they do not seek credit for the ideas. My Father and a friend did just that in the 1930s but were willing to let the Church leaders take their suggestions and implement them how and when they though best, without tell others that it was their idea. I did not even learn of what they proposed until I read of it in his journal after his death.
    For those still worried or bothered about the priesthood-women issue please consult Beverly Campbell’s excellent book Eve and the Choice made in Eden (2003), an articulate, thoughtful exposition indicating all so clearly that women are at least the equals of men. Sheri Dew gave an impressive talk recently and has written a book showing the power of women in the Church. Neylan McBaine, in a talk given at the 2012 FAIR Conference, has indicated something that is found to some degree already, and that is how women like herself could make even more significant contributions to the Church, without needing to have the priesthood to do so. Women who are faithful will have all of the happiness, blessings and opportunities in mortal life and eternity that they would wish. They can, here and now, go anytime to their Heavenly Father, feel of his love, and have confirmed to them that they are as important as any man in the Kingdom.
    One issue that would make priesthood changes that some might still desire very difficult in the Church is that of sexual dynamics in human relationships. What should be done to minimize the possibility that there will be physical attractions and/or accompanying behaviors growing up between the men and women, not married to each other, who might be working together in Church councils and assignments? Attraction and resulting behavior problems have developed unfortunately in a number of Church-related situations already, but these would likely be more frequent and intense if the association situations were as intimate as those existing, for example, in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in stake presidencies or in ward bishoprics. We might say that men and women should control themselves in this matter, but I believe that this could prove to be challenging, even almost too much for some otherwise good and faithful members to handle successfully. I believe that this issue would need to be resolved satisfactorily before the Church can consider putting men and women together in Church councils, more than as needed at present, where close personal association on a regular basis is part of the situation.
    In sum, the true view of priesthood is not at all that of honor and personal worth but of service. All of us, female or male, are children of God and of equal worth, and God honors us all equally if we are faithful in our service regardless of whether or not we hold the priesthood, or whether or not we have “high” Church positions. O, that all of us will go to our Heavenly Father when it comes to such matters and feel of his love. He does not care if we have high positions or not as long as we do his will and keep his commandments. It is much easier to deal with this issue if we are in a state of repentance and readily forgive others, since there has been unrighteous dominion among some in the Church over the years. Let God decide what to do in these situations and let us continue to be faithful and do his will.
    This being said, I do not know the will of God in these matters. Would he like to or has he planned to have women hold the priesthood sometime in mortality? If this were the case I believe that he would work upon the mind of the living prophet at that time as he did Spencer W. Kimball relative to the black-priesthood issue. So far we have not seen any indication of this direction though I would support it fully if it were God’s will.

  12. Jesus Christ visits the people of Corianton; and ordains women

    The Other Book of Mormon-Greater Things

    Mentinah Archives vol. 1

    The Second Book of Shi-Muel ( Samuel the Lamanite )

    Page 78

    Chapter Six
    1) Now, it was while I labored as High Priest to the people of Corianton, before the year wherein my father returned unto our fathers, that the signs which I had prophesied unto the people of Zarahemlah concerning the birth of the Christ were accomplished. And when my son Corianton and I did labor together in that capacity the signs of His death came, and the people were amazed and affrighted.

    2) But behold, the Spirit did whisper peace to our minds and to our souls so that we did patiently bear the day, the night and the day of darkness. For, though the occurrence was frightful, still, the Spirit did sing a song of sweet redemption to our souls. And many dreamed dreams and saw visions. And even some few did receive commandments as to what should be done when the Lord did come to visit the people of Corianton.

    3) And He did come unto us, in accordance with the visions that I too had received when I was but a young man. For, we had gathered together to worship when the signs came. Yea, and all the people in the cities had gathered to Corianton. And all the people in the forests had gathered, and also from the lakes and rivers. And we were all together, a great concourse of people awaiting the coming of the Lord.

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    4) And we did hear His voice from afar off and we did shout with joy when we heard it. For, it caused our hearts to leap. Yea, our hearts did leap within our breasts and nothing could haveprevented us from crying out our joy when we heard His voice.

    5) But the voice was first a voice of warning unto all those who did wickedness. And from this we understood in our hearts that not all the wicked were destroyed. But behold, many were destroyed, even the most part, and that so that all might have one or many accounts to tell of the signs that preceded the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the voice was as the voice of an Angel, not of a trump or of thunder. But it did pierce us to the core. And behold, the voice did also separate the good from the bad. For, those who feared the retribution of a just God, trembled and sought to hide themselves. Yea, and they were
    filled with great loathing to see Him. But those who did good works were filled with joy and they ran out into the streets and clearings to see what was about tobefall. Yea, they welcomed their Lord with praise and singing.

    6) And in the day that He did come amongst us, and it was not long after the signs of His death had abated, we did according to the things we had been commanded in the visions and revelations that many had received during the days of darkness.

    7) Behold, we did greet Him as our King and our High Priest. And I did take Him by the hand and I did lead Him to the seat of the High Priest. And I did place upon Him the robes of the High Priest and He did sit upon the seat. And behold, I did declare to all the people that this was the Christ, the Son of the Living God; He who was killed by His own; He who had paid the uttermost price for our redemption and who had sealed it with the sacrifice mostdear. And the people did gather to the Temple to see Him and to hear His words.

    8) And behold, my son Corianton did approach the seat and, bowing himself down before his Lord, he did wash His feet, hands, and head, and he did anoint Him with oil most precious. And when he had done this, the Lord did place His hands upon the head of Corianton and blessed him, and bid him arise.

    9) And behold, Pa-Sabel approached also the seat and bowed herself down before the Lord. And she did break bread and blessed it, as she had been taught to do upon the Way. And she offered it to the Lord, and He did eat. And she did pour out pure wine into a grail and blessed it, as she had been taught to do upon the Way. And she offered it to the Lord, and He did drink. And when this was done He took her by the hand and arose from the seat. And He said in the hearing of all the people gathered there:

    10) Behold, this is well, what these two have done unto me. For they did approach me upon the Way. Yea, they did seek My face and I did acknowledge them. And behold, I did teach them these things upon the Way when I did show Myself unto them who sought Me. Let them be an ensample unto all those who would come unto Me and diligently seek Me. Unto such shall I give My kingdom. Yea, of such shall I make up My jewels.

    11) And behold, when He had said these words, He did join the hands of Corianton, my son, and Pa-Sabel and presented them together to the host, saying:

    12) These two have become First Man and First Woman. Surely, they shall always administer My sacraments together. For, the one is not without the other in Me.

  13. Wherefore, I shall bless and sanctify all that they do.

    13) And unto the two, He said:

    14) Go now and do like as you did unto Me also unto all this people, teaching them to do likewise unto every person. And they went straightway and ministered unto the people, teaching them the ordinance of these two sacraments.

    15) And when they had done this and returned again, He turned again unto me and said:

    16) Are there any sick and afflicted among you? Let them come up unto Me and I will bless them. And by their faith, they shall be made whole.

    17) And we did cause that all those who were sick and afflicted to approach Him and He was pleased. For there were not so many who were sick and afflicted because of the many healers that worked their gifts among us. But there were some who had met with accidents who were halt and some who had complaints that they had borne for many years for which the Healers had no cure. But behold, these were not many.

    18) Now, when they had approached the Lord, He did lay hands on them and blessed them. And behold, they did arise and were free of their afflictions. And thiswas a great confirmation of what we had always
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    believed about the Lord, that He is mighty to saveboth quick and dead. And we rejoiced in this affirmation.

    19) And when He had blessed all the sick and the afflicted, He turned again unto me and said:

    20) Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    21) And we did suffer all the parents to gather the little children and bring them to the Lord. And He did teach them many things that cannot be written. And He raised His hands into the air and He blessed all the little ones. Now when He had done this, a great light was seen in the sky above their heads and they were all enveloped in light. And it was to be seen within the light that Angels descended and did minister to the children. And voices were heard that we did not understand, and songs were voiced that we did not know.
    And all the people marveled at this thing. And when the Angels had again ascended and the light had gone away, behold, the countenances of the children shone still and they did prophecy.

    Chapter Seven

    1) Now, after all these things had taken place, Jesus turned once again to me and said:

    2) Behold, the people of Corianton are Nemenhah indeed. Great should be your joy and also your cause to give thanks and rejoice. For, you have listened toMy voice and you have soughtMy face. Wherefore, I have manifested Myself unto you at many times, and you are not surprised nor too much amazed by My appearance unto you this day. This thing does please Me very much. Now I go unto the Nemenhah of Mentinah again to teach them. Continue faithful and I will visit you often to teach you also.

    3) And after He had said this, a cloud did descend fromheaven and He was taken up in it and carried away with a great sound.

    4) And I, and all the people, did stand in amazement and in joy. Yea, we felt a joy that could not find expression. And we could not find it in ourselves to depart one from another for the space of many hours because of the Spirit that was in us. For, of a sudden one person or another would burst forth in prophecy and we were loathe to be absent from such miracles.

    5) Now, in three days time the people had meant to meet to worship together because of the signs that had been shown in the heavens. And now that Jesus had visited them and manifested Himself unto them, they were all the more anxious to meet and offer oblations unto Him. And it was while we were thus met and employed that we looked and behold, Jesus stood in our midst. And when we had seen Him, all the people bowed down to the earth before Him. And He sat with us and taught us upon the bench, saying:

  14. 6) Samuel, you who have been my mouthpiece in times past, be so now even unto this people. And take twelve of your people, of both men and women, and behold, I shall touch them and place upon them the priesthood. And they shall listen to My words and take them to the people. For the multitude gathered is great and My voice shall reach them all through Myanointed ones. And all those who are of the Nemenhah of Corianton who are not present must also hear My words. Wherefore, these whom you appoint and upon whom I lay this great charge, shall take other twelve from each city and region, to begin
    the spreading of My gospel to all the people.

    7) Then, when all the people have received of My word, let them all strive to obtain for themselves the anointing. And if they do this with singleness of heart, seeking My face, behold, I shall manifest Myself unto them upon the Way. For I am the Way, the Truth and the Light. If anyone seeks Me in this spirit, they shall find Me.

    8) And I did all that the Lord commanded me, choosing out six men and six women who were known to me to be upright people with good intentions. And He took them one by one and touched them and called them to be His servants. And these are the words He used:

    9) Upon you, my servant, I lay a certain charge and commission. And I give you authority to act in all things that the Spirit does manifest that I would do were I present to do them. Wherefore, be diligent in study, and also in fasting and in prayer. In this shall you know My doctrine. Yea, in this shall you know of Me, through the whisperings of the Spirit, that which isMy will and that which is not. And I give unto you power to command the elements as often as the Spirit dictates. Wherefore, pray always that you be not deceived and carried away in pride.

    10) Then, casting His eyes about, He taught us concerning this priesthood, saying:
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    11) Behold, I do perceive your thoughts. Marvel not that I have given mine authority to women and men alike. Yea, this thing has been of concern to some since the day that Pa-Sabel received word from Me of the ordinance she should perform when I came. Behold, I do confer the priesthood upon those men who
    would follow Me and do the things they see Me do. And unto such is made an ordination, that they may speak and act in My name, and be justified in so doing. But I do not confer such upon the women, for they have of My Mother in Heaven that which I cannot give. Wherefore, I do ordain them. But the priesthood they have already cannot be given, nor taken away, but by that person who gave it. Wherefore, if there be any woman who desires to follow Me and do the thingsthey see Me do, they are authorized from the foundation of the world, and I do justify them.

    12) For, the daughters of Eve do sacrifice of themselves freely for the sake of all living. For this cause did Adam call her name Eve. For she is the Mother of all Living. She does give of herself, even to the laying down of her life, in order that man might be, and in order that the purposes of heaven may go forward. She is a Priestess and Queen unto the Most High God forever.

    13) Wherefore, if by the Spirit she is moved upon to take up emblems of My life and death, and bless them, and administer them to the people, what is that to you? She does it unto Me. Wherefore, restrain her not at all.

    14) But behold, men received not such power by their creation and come into the world without the natural inclination to do good. Wherefore have I said, the natural man is an enemy to God. By the sweat of his face shall Adam earn his bread all the days of his life. And through constancy in service and in sacrifice shall he learn, order by order, line upon line, even precept on precept, to become like Me and do the things they see Me do. Wherefore, I confer priesthood upon men who would be My servants, and I give them
    authority to minister. But woman are ministers from the foundation of the world.

  15. 15) And when a man wishes to engage in the work ofmy Father which is in Heaven, you unto whom I have given this authority may confer it unto him and ordain him to that stewardship that I shall provide for him. That he may also take up his cross and learn by the application of the Law of the Gospel to give freely of himself, breaking his heart and humbling his spirit. For,this is the sacrifice which I will accept of him.
    Yea, he shall bend his own will and tame it, and do whatsoever I shall command him. And this he shall learn to do without coercion or compulsion, but freely ofhis own accord. This is the sacrifice of the heart and the spirit which I require of all those who would call themselves My servants.

    16) And that man shall attend to do his duty unto the people, administering the sacraments unto them, keeping My Holy House, and teaching the people. This is the work that I shall require of him. And behold, he shall do all this freely and shall not be compelled to do it in any way. For, though the priesthood appear to be that by which service is rendered unto others, it is a service unto Me and unto My Father. Wherefore, let him do it with an eye single to the glory of God and not tohis own. And if he do this, he shall attain to that
    state of happiness of which the prophets have spoken, both in this life as also in the life to come.

    17) And when a woman wishes to engage in the work of My Father which is in Heaven, in addition to that great work which the Mother has given unto her by virtue of her very creation, you, unto whom I have given My authority, may ordain her unto that stewardship that I shall provide for her. And she shall apply that great gift, which My Mother which is in Heaven has given her, to the ministering unto the people as
    the man does. She shall also bend her own will and do whatsoever I shall command her. But remember, whereas the stewardship that I shall provide for every man is a necessary thing for most men, in order that they might overcome the natural man, that which has been provided women by the Mother does already accomplish this end for them. Wherefore, priesthood, though a woman may officiate in the sacraments and
    in every holy ordinance, is not requisite for her salvation. Whereas, men must have this device in order to truly come unto me. And where the priesthood is not available for them, surely I shall provide another means whereby men may overcome that which prevents them from the Way.

    18) And these are the sacraments which I command you to administer unto My children:

    19) You shall bless your little ones, calling upon My name. For, in the day that I began the work of Atonement for them, they were given to Me by the Father and the Mother. Wherefore, ye are My children, notwithstanding, I am also My Father’s son.
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