The Mormon Controversy: And why it’s hurting more than feminists

The headlines are everywhere. You seriously can’t miss it, even if you deliberately set out to NOT find it.

It’s a Mormon feminist controversy that’s triggering debates, memes, articles, furiously-written status updates, and doubts. It all started with a movement called Ordain Women, and since then it’s transformed and morphed into conversations about possible pending excommunications, human rights, sexism, and faults within the way the Mormon church is run.

I’ve sat back since writing my first article regarding Mormon feminists and have simply watched it happen, realizing that if I stay on board this train it might negatively impact my readers. And from the looks of other blogs, other Mormon writers, and even other friends who simply continue to voice opinions on how the church needs to change, I can see that I was right. This conversation is not just a church conversation now. It’s a world conversation. And it’s hurting more than Mormon feminists.

On what started out as a cry for understanding among church leaders has now taken a turn to be a cry into the world, prompting non-members and those of different faiths to feel sorry for us, fight harder against our teachings, and look toward the Mormon church with distaste. Friends of mine who at one point took genuine interest in learning about my church now see the articles and the heatwave from this controversy and say beneath their breath, “Looks like I was right all along. It’s a man’s church.”

And it’s not. We’re spreading lies–most of the time unintentionally.

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Now I’m an advocate for questions. As a journalist it’s in my nature to be quizzical *and often skeptical* and to always ask “Well, why’s that?”. But I also firmly believe that you need to pay attention to who you’re asking the questions to, and what your motive behind the question is. Your question might be someone else’s stumbling block.

The group of women who first rose up with this question had every right to ask the questions within their church community, to their bishops, counselors, home teachers, or spouses. They had every right to pray and ask of God and to do scripture searching and soul searching to identify their pains, seek answers, and find peace. But the opportunity left as soon as packs of people demanded to be let in to priesthood session, held signs in public that non-members in passing could read and shake their heads at, spoke to newspaper reporters about the oppression of the church, and spoke negatively about a church they often say they love. Questions turned into protests and backlash and anger that were soon fanning the flames of contempt against an already misunderstood gospel.

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And it breaks my heart.

I’ve seen bloggers and columnists say that it breaks their hearts that these feminists are hurting. I understand that.

But it breaks my heart even more that these personal struggles are thwarting God’s work. What should have been a personal journey for answers has turned into a hiccup for my friend who had one foot in the door and now hesitates to believe me when I say that I’m an equal with my husband. It has turned into debates about equality instead of conversations about a loving Heavenly Father who values his daughters and sons equally and gives them such significant roles in life. It has turned missionaries away from doors because of misconceptions, and it has turned active members into bitter, saddened skeptics who listen to the voices screaming from the internet rather than the gentle, truthful voice of the spirit.

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When Christ walked the earth, not once did he sit before his disciples and spark doubt by asking one of them why something had to be. In fact, in the darkest of times, even the times when he felt betrayed by God, he went on his knees before anything–privately communing with the One who gives answers to all questions. It’s okay, obviously, to discuss issues among those whom you trust or who might have advice or an answer to help you, but why discuss things among those whom you’re trying to uplift, strengthen, or teach? Especially on social media, when countless eyes are watching you and learning about your religion through what you say?

We’re forgetting who we are.

We’re forgetting why we’re here.

And worst of all–we’re hurting those we’ve been sent to help. And that’s the biggest shame of all.

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478 thoughts on “The Mormon Controversy: And why it’s hurting more than feminists

  1. “The group of women who first rose up with this question had every right to ask the questions within their church community, to their bishops, counselors, home teachers, or spouses.”

    Can anyone identify what in this statement might be cause for concern to a feminist ?

    • The LDS church didn’t say anything about protests. If this woman read about protests it was because these women went out of their way to news sources and the news sources wrote about it and used those words. Also, the women showed they were protesting by their actions, even if they never stated the term themselves.

    • There were protests. If you look up the definition you would know that.

      And no, we didn’t need to ask our church if that was happening because we could see it with our own eyes.

    • it’s sad that people have so much hate for someone else’s beliefs. Cassie is you want others to respect your opinions perhaps first you should first respect others. there were protests I saw them myself.

      • I think a lot are conceptions of “perfections” that those put into to leadership roles were because of their leadership abilities and knowledge and as I stand here as an active member of the church I can say with all certainty that is furthest from the truth. Those who have been called to their leadership roles have been given much thought and prayer prior to being called. They are called to learn, be tested by whatever knocks at their door next, male or female. That being said, if a man runs His (Gods) church any other way, that person will be held accountable. The women of our church know this, we are educated and would/will bring attention to anything foreign to what we know and understand our roles to be according to our own relationships with God. We know right from wrong, suppression and oppression. Some of us even manage our homes alone as a single parent. We are subjected to the same world as everyone else, our choices are what makes us different. We choose too and this is my choice. I love every aspect of importance for each member active or not, FAMILY, education, self-sufficiency, debt-free, charitable whether you’re a man or woman, loving forgiving, giving and kind. Did I miss anything? As a divorced mother of 3, I am happy to sacrifice popular or fadish opinions for what I know is right. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “I wish I had what you have” not in a materialistic way but with my family”. I can relate to that because in no way do I feel like I have anything more valuable than my faith and when I see families stronger than mine I feel that way too. The only thing they could see was every value the LDS church had ever taught me which was all about being Christlike. As a Christian, I wouldn’t expect the LDS church to re-organize to accommodate every persons wants or desires. I would find a church already having the values, morals and integrity I believed not trying to change what others can’t and more importantly won’t.

  2. the only thing i want to point out is that i feel like this is not a new controversy. i can see how the publicity of it has caused an influx of tension and ill-feeling towards the church, but it’s just because the information is getting around faster. there have been, i believe 3 influxes of this controversy; ERA in the 1960’s, the september 6 in 1993, and now OW. even without these there would still be a controversy. as a missionary i would bring people to church or start teaching them about the priesthood and almost every time a question came up about women. some were satisfied with our answers and some weren’t. my point is that people will always be bothered by the impression that the church is not equal….and frankly it’s not. not that that’s bad that’s just they way it is and God has not revealed anything new to change that yet. but not everyone understands that. i think where OW and other doubters are bothered is that there isn’t really a clear reason why women don’t have the priesthood or can hold certain offices. i think they are bothered by the answers of “different roles” because it seems to be an apologetic statement, and that they’re being ridiculed for questioning.

    • You have a very needed perspective in this controversy, and I would add the Salamander Letter stuff in the 80’s to your list. I have two additional ideas to add to the conversation, first that each generation will have both large and small-scale tests to their faith and beliefs. I have recently and in the past had to reevaluate my beliefs and experiences with the gospel and the church. It has come in the form of excruciating questions such as- How can God let this happen? How can that be inspired? Working through these questions has given me some of the most profound experiences of my life. And second, that we are mistaken when we focus on the patriarchal structure of the church as the source of our oppression. In terms of the “bad men good and good men better” quote, priesthood experiences do teach the males in our lives to be better men than they would be otherwise. I work with women and girls who have been assaulted and exploited because of their youth and desire to have a good life, and the contrast breaks my heart. I think of what good a ward family, an attentive home or visiting teacher, or bishop could do to help them be safe and able to move forward, and to have better choices. The biggest oppression does not come from “the church” but from selfish men with no checks on their appetites. Unfortunately some are in the church, but that’s the exception in my experience. I taught a marriage class for couples a few years ago, and the young couples (thirty somethings) had figured out how to have each other be equally powerful, so much so that the lesson manual was outdated for them, and was teaching them things that they had figured out how to do better. I have a lot of hope for the future of this church when I think of how they will be as leaders, and I am sad when I think of the good people that will miss out because they got distracted from the real work of the church and thought they could find something better elsewhere.

    • As a Christian, we believe that once you have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit…man or female and have thus God’s Holy power to work within you and through you. It’s not limited to just men, and especially Mormon men, who like the Pharasees had this outward righteousness. To a true Christian, a man or a woman have the Holy Spirit to heal, to bless, to annoint, to recieve the gifts of the spirit, to speak in tongues, etc….even though as Mormons believe they have the only real authority, but truly, if you are not a descendant of the tribe of Levi, and the sons of Aaron, you have no authority….so whatever it says in your patriartical blessing and which tribe you’re from….no Mormon is a descendant of the sons of Aaron. At the moment Christ died on the cross, what happened to the viel? It was torn from top to bottom representing that there is no one to mediate for our sins, but Christ. We go to him to cleanse, to save us…not any man. Looking at the debate as an outsider, it just proves how foolish it is to deny a woman, a black, or anyone something that doesn’t exist…a fake priesthood, but since the church bowed down to the blacks during the civil rights movement, women just may have to wait longer…wish just proves…..the craziness of a “priesthood that is saying it is partial. God is not partial. A Mormon man is not who the Holy Spirit works through…it is through his true believers male or female. If the OW want something that is real and not run by a manmake organization….just read the Bible and understand that you don’t need a man dominant leadership to feel like you can be empowered by the Holy Spirit. There are so many instances in the Bible and throughout believers that have had complete healing, miracles have happened, and it wasn’t through the Mormon priesthood, it was through others with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit working and moving in them to produce the things the LDS claim only they can do with thier “priesthood.” Come to true Christ….not this completely unrecognizable Christ that a true Christian can spot as unbiblical a mile away.

      • You make so many great points Kate!! As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a woman I appreciate what you have to say about the having the Spirit. All of us are children of a loving Heavenly Father, so we are all divine and have divine attributes. I also love the Priesthood. The Priesthood is also divine. It is the authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ upon the Earth today. Each man who is a member of the church, who lives worthily, and chooses to receive the Priesthood can exercise this authority. In fact, when they receive it, they also are given their Priesthood line of authority, and each and every one of them is traced back to Jesus Christ. It shows exactly how they have the same Priesthood as Christ. It is amazing to see really! And you’re so right about God not being partial! However, I think OW have it wrong in the case of “equality” because men and women can never be equal in our divine gifts. We are fundamentally different, so we each have certain roles in life, and honestly I think that’s part of the reason they are able to receive the Priesthood. That’s their bigger role, if they so choose, and ours is that of bearing children. Thankfully, the authority is not theirs. It is not their right to have the Priesthood, because it is the authority of Christ. Just like he gave to his Apostles of olden times, it has been restored in these days also. 🙂

  3. Churches have always used the mantra “this is god’s word” to bestow their agendas. And their followers eat it up like the brainwashed sheep that they are.

    It’s sad, and hilarious at the same time to listen to Mormon’s try to defend their stance on letting blacks into the Priesthood back in the 60’s. Like all of the sudden God said it was cool to let blacks in? But obviously they weren’t cool with the all-loving God before this. How does that even make sense? And don’t even start to talk about how blacks came from certain tribes or whatever because I’ve heard that argument before and it’s the Mormon PR team trying to spin it and obviously a crock.

      • It wasn’t God’s word. Read Race and the Priesthood and the Official Declaration 2 on lds.org. It states, “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice” referring to the practice to stop conferring the priesthood to black males of African descent. During Joseph Smith’s life they could receive the priesthood. Do your research before you call someone a moron.

    • In the old and New Testament God only revealed himself to and let Jews hold the Priesthood and be prophets, etc. Why is this?

    • Dan, how are we brainwashed when we are, in reality, critically thinking through it all. Check our FAIRlds.org and all anti-LDS viewpoints have undergone thorough investigation through good LDS members… So then, how are we blind brain-washed sheep when we show no signs of denial or neglect for major schools of thought? When we research, dissect, question and can successfully rebuttal any accusation against our faith with confidence? What a baseless accusation. Especially when questioning ones beliefs is at the core of LDS doctrine.

    • Dude, can you explain to me why Jesus was sent only to the house of Israel at first? If we knew everything, then we wouldn’t have faith. And that my friend is the reason we can grow so much in this life or so little, depending on how we act to grow.
      We don’t know why the blacks did not hold the priesthood, just as much as atheists don’t know how evolution of life began. But I do know this, it takes more reaching your neck out there to believe in the millions of miracles that would have had to happen in order for the first living cell to be created and continue to exist, than it does to believe that we were sent here to earth by a Loving and Kind Heavenly Father…..

  4. To Kayla Lemmon,
    This article, while at the beginning understands the importance of asking questions and touts the personal struggle tells you you that, in the end, voicing or acting on them is against gods will.

    If you want to see someone who is willing to face the wrath of the peers and lose friends and has suffered much and has prayed long and hard about it, then I would like you to be aware of a woman that I have recently met at the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City. One with a placard (which you seem to find so ugly) that said it all “MORMON MOM FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY”. In those five words was a lot of pain and suffering, resolution and resolve. It was a placard that spoke of an immense personal journey.

    I was at the parade to see my sister and her wife and their children march in support of Jim Dubakis when I saw her placard and walked up to them and thanked them for being in the parade and was overcome with emotion. For me it was growing up watching my sister being treated the way she was. For many others at the parade it was far more than that. Many who saw the sign were children when they where turned out of their homes by their parents for being gay. It really did strike a painful chord for many.

    I would also state my own personal journey of leaving the church, which started from the age 12. For the very reason you say does not exist, I could not be less than equal to my male peers or live with the tales of fantasy I was being told. I will tell you now, it was an extremely difficult adolescence for this very reason.

    I would remind you that these are not theoretical questions. These are questions brought on by torn families, pain and the need for equality and justice.

    Your article is cyclical and is a galloping mile from objective. It seems more to be a rationalizing away of your own church’s behavior in order to preserve your own beliefs. In the future you should be more mindful not to pour lemon into peoples woulds with this kind of fluffy writing.

  5. “When Christ walked the earth, not once did he sit before his disciples and spark doubt by asking one of them why something had to be. In fact, in the darkest of times, even the times when he felt betrayed by the Lord, he went on his knees before anything–privately communing with the One who gives answers to all questions”

    The Lord is Christ Jesus. Jesus never felt betrayed by himself. He also never felt betrayed by the father, except when he was forsaken on the cross.

    • Out of all the things to say about this blog, you are arguing an issue of terminology? You seem to think that “Lord” can only mean Christ, and not God the Father, even though it’s a title and not a name. Also, I can’t blame you for not knowing this, but LDS believe that Christ suffered in Gethsemane, not just on the cross. We believe that when Christ uttered those famous words, “let this cup pass from me,” it wasn’t a pleading of relief in anticipation of things to come, but a cry from the pain he was already suffering as he took upon himself the pains and sins of the world.

  6. I am a young woman and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon church). I’m the kind of feminist who seeks equality between men and women in all standings of society including church. There is a hierarchy in the mormon church where men are on top. It is true that there is also a hierarchy of women within the church. Women lead organizations known as Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women. These organizations focus on raising children, home making, and charitable acts, as well as the core mormon beliefs. Women in the church are constantly told that we have as much power as men within the church but that we have different responsibilities. Having grown up in a mormon family I’ve been fed these beliefs my entire life but growing up I began to realize that although the church intends to give equality it fails to give the freedom to choose a path in life. While in high school I voiced my desire to go to culinary school and become a professional chef. My devoutly mormon mother told me that I could not follow my dream because chefs often have hours that conflict with raising a family. Don’t get me wrong, mormons are all about higher education for men and women but it is often expected for women to start college and then get married to a nice return missionary and a begin raising a family almost immediately thereafter. It is because of this that a fair number of mormon women don’t finish college. Those women in the church who do manage to finish schooling are often encouraged to become stay at home mothers and to do nothing with their hard earned degree. While I hold a deep respect for stay at home mothers like my own, I believe that all women should be free to choose a career without ridicule from society and especially their church.

    • that was your mother talking using raising family as an excuse. She is correct in telling you that most Chefs do have family conflicts due to the demanding afternoon and evening hours. You should still become a chef. There is no church doctrine anywhere that states you cannot. Just Moms advice!!!

      • jdog, church leaders have repeatedly asked mothers, whenever possible, to be at home with their children.

        This makes sense because it gives these children, whom we have invited into the world, a sense of security. No one can replace their mother.

        Either you parent them yourself or you parent by proxy.

    • Ariya,
      I to am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I however over the pass several years have become an inactive member because of these teachings. My daughters were taught these same principles not by me, but by their Primary teachers and YW leaders. I did not grow up in the church and worked very hard to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Although, I can work and make a nice living for my family. I too have often been ridiculed and looked down upon for wanting career outside of being a stay at home mother to my children. My spouse although he has a higher education the career opportunities have not been there for him and therefore we can not survive on his income alone. We have often heard very harsh words because of this and I for one decided I would no longer attend the church and instead care for and provide for my family as I see fit. Recently, a bishop lectured us on our inability to provide for our family and the need for some assistance. It can’t be both ways. Either I work and we provide for my family or I don’t and listen to my Bishop lecture me about our inability to afford basic necessities . ie. Rent, utilities and food. We have no luxury items, cable tv, cell phone, etc. we cut out all those items to make it “work” for me to be at home with our children. All that has managed to happen is we have managed to go bankrupt and struggle everyday to have just a home with utilities and food. I believe each family needs to do what works best for them. Good luck I hope that you will continue your education and go after your dream.

    • To Ariya – if you want to go to culinary school, then do it. You may love it and want to be a chef for the rest of your career. You may find that you don’t like it at all. You may decide many years down the road after marriage and children, that you don’t want to continue being a chef and would rather start a catering company instead. Who knows? Do what interests you, and even if you don’t use it later – it’s knowledge that can’t be taken from you. The church always teaches that the only thing we take with us is our knowledge. Gobble up as much as you can.

      I said much more, but wanted to respond directly to you as well. See my post below under the name Jennifer in response to Pookie’s post. Good luck in your future!

    • That isn’t a problem with the church. That is a problem with your Mom. The church advocates moms staying home because, more often than not, it’s more beneficial to the kids. But if you choose to work, you are allowed that choice. You can choose to continue college or not, get married or not. The church won’t stop you…your parents might have something to say, but they are not spokespeople for the church. So don’t blame the church for something your parents do.

      • You can say that it isnt a church thing, but it is. It is practically demanded for women to fall into certain roles. I’m sorry, but I have never wanted to fall into the roles that were set forth. I wanted a husband to help me raise the kids, not the “wife takes care of the house, the husband takes care of things outside the house” type of thing that happens very often inside the church.

    • I find it interesting that often the women who have the most difficulty with feeling “equal” to men in the LDS church are those who didn’t see a really healthy model of equality in their families and homes where the father/husband didn’t respect or uphold their wife, or visa versa. Also, it is easy to fall into the Mormon “culture trap” and believe that just because there is a “trend” as you so aptly state your mother encouraged you into, to want to blame the church for the culture (women are to be barefoot, pregnant in the kitchen kind of thing). The culture certainly is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the interpretation of it, according to man, and certainly subject to great scrutiny for anyone who wants to truly live the gospel.

      The church is headed by Jesus Christ, not by any man on this earth–and not by any culture, Mormon or otherwise. As it being HIS church we don’t get to decide how HE runs it. If you don’t truly believe Christ is the head of the church, and He has a prophet that He reveals His word to, then you don’t obviously have a true belief in or testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Perhaps this whole OW this is really a way to weed out those who are true followers/disciples of Christ and those who are not. I say if people want to protest the way Christ runs His church, then leave (as many are doing!)! Or take it up with Him, ask Him your questions and take answers from Him. The church certainly encourages us to get our own answers, we are not taught to blindly follow (See Moroni 10:3-5). His church is not a democracy or a political organization–it is the kingdom of God on earth designed by Him and run by Him.

      • The church does encourage us to get our own answers, but if we get an answer that is contrary to the teachings of the church, we are told we are wrong… we must not have been listening… we must not have tried hard enough, or something. Kate Kelly prayed. She got an answer. The Lord told her to go to the Brethren and ask them to pray about ordination. The Brethren sent the PR department (people hired, not called, by the church) to talk to her. No member of the church… not a Bishop, or Stake President, or anybody higher has been willing to say, “Kate, I hear you. I will make this a matter of prayer.” The best answer she’s gotten is “we’ll agree to disagree.” Six months later, she was threatened with excommunication. Go ahead, pray. But if the Lord tells you something unusual, keep it to yourself.

    • Ariya, you may have felt encouraged to marry and have kids, but that wasn’t so that you could fit the mold, but because having children and nurturing them to be productive members of society brings a certain joy that comes from following God’s plan of happiness. You have and will always have the free agency to choose for yourself the path you will follow. No righteous man or church leader will ever try to take that from you.

    • Ariya,

      I understand what you are saying about “[being ed these beliefs my entire life but growing up I began to realize that although the church intends to give equality it fails to give the freedom to choose a path in life. ” I have to disagree. One of my favorite sayings growing up as a “Utah Mormon” was “The Church is true, but the people aren’t always.” Yes, we, as women, are encouraged to stay home with our children rearing them in faith and love while our husbands earn the money. To quote A Proclamation to the World: The Family, “…All human beings – male and female – are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of a heavenly parent, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose… By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as [EQUAL] partners…”

      This is something that my husband and I have had many a discussion about. He was of the mindset that I should go out and make money as well as clean the home and so forth. But, through prayer and study, we have found that it is ONLY the patriarchal societies, that have women as help meets, that succeed. I am not saying that the Muslims are correct with their treatment of women, but I am saying that the Amazons didn’t last very long…

    • If you have the brains, desire, and $ for career training and education DO IT!!! There are no guarantees in life. Even if you DID want to be a stay at home mom, things happen or may not happen (staying single, infertility) and you will want to have an occupation that is meaningful and rewarding to you. Plus, when you are looking for Mr. Right, it will be nice if you can share with the guys you date your talents and interests and desires in life, in your example, to be a chef and create culinary masterpieces. It will make you a more attractive and mentally healthy spouse if you have a life. Your kids will be so excited to hear about your culinary training and see what you do. If it’s a strain on raising your kids, take a break from it. I will also say my sexist comment that women are great caretakers for kids. Dads are great in their own way, but women pick up on the subtle nuances of needs for nourishment, safety, comfort . . . So I do see some reason behind men doing their thing in the workplace while women nurture kids. But you never know what life will throw you. Do what you can to control the circumstances that you can control and get educated, get a good-paying career, and don’t let anyone decide your life for you. Take everyone’s opinion, but you decide in the end and you don’t want to live with regrets. Use your brain and talents and use your freedom while you are young. It’s harder to get and pay for an education after marriage and kids. This is coming from an active Mormon stay-at-home mom, recent YW leader. Good luck!!!

      PS Love your mom, she cares about you. She loves her babies and wants you to know that feeling. It’s great to be a mom and have a family. Help her to understand the world is changing and there are no guarantees of family and kids for women anymore. Even if it was guaranteed, tell her you’d rather have a interesting career to add health to your life as a mother than resort to medication.

    • I think this is really well-stated Ariya. There IS a hierarchy, and it IS gender specific. That bleeds into the surrounding culture, and it turns out to be way less awesome for women than men. Fortunately there is life outside of that and you don’t have to allow your culture to define you.

    • This is called the Church of Jesus Christ because it is His church. Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost leads and guides us personally and He directs the church through His chosen prophets. Nothing has changed since the beginning of time. Knowing that, you either are a member of His church the way He organized it, or you need to find another church that fits your beliefs or start your own.

  7. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article. I imagine it must be hard to speak out and be a voice for anything. No matter what stance you take on any matter, there will always be who will oppose you and may be disrespectful. I think this article was very well written, and expressed a view that many are probably feeling, including myself.

  8. I’m a 7th generation Mormon, and this blog post is an elitist load of crap. You poor delusional woman. Stand up for yourself and your sisters. I hope and pray you don’t have any daughters or grand daughters.

    • Why don’t you ask the 99% of mormon women that don’t care about having the priesthood. See if they are feel oppressed. Also cursing someone to not have kids because of their view is juvenile. I hope you grow up before you have kids, because we already have enough teenagers with babies in this country.

      • Are we talking about all LDS people. All 15 million names in the book whether they id as LDS or not? Because if we include all those people, than that 99% is probably going to go down. Or are you only talking about active LDS people?

      • Dude, almost ALL of the comments on here going ‘yes, actually it kinda does suck to be female in the LDS church’ are from women, and almost all of the comments going ‘women don’t care!’ are from men. Coincidence?

        So here’s my take away from that: It is easier to be mormon if one is male. That… that’s… kind of Kate Kelly’s point.

    • @Amy~
      Wow! I can’t believe I just read that!

      What a non-functioning 7th generation Mormon mom who had actually learned nothing about what the other 6 sacrificed to teach her, by the way, we won’t be excluding Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

      We are not sent here to judge. We are to love one another. There are no ands ifs or buts about it. Your trial or tribulatiion might just very well be this article.

      Free agency is the key here and attacking with such hurtful hatefulness is not necessary. That is the behavior He loathes.

      There was a reason for being born under the law of grace! Because from the second it changed we needed grace. It’s a totally different, unrecognizable world. God’s plan is an exclusive once in a lifetime chance to learn and one design from an all knowing God who knows exactly how and when this will all turn out.

      He has it covered from every angle.

      Let it go, no man can close a door He has opened.

  9. “The group of women who first rose up with this question had every right to ask the questions within their church community, to their bishops, counselors, home teachers, or spouses.”

    In other words.

    All these women could have just gone and asked the men. The men know all the answers, so why are these women thinking for themselves?

  10. Everyone over-analyzes this. The question is simple. Do you believe that God speaks through a prophet, and is that prophet currently Thomas S. Monson? If you believe that God gives direction through his prophet, then you believe that he has designated men to hold the priesthood. If you don’t believe in a prophet, then move on with your life. The church is either “the true church” or it isn’t. There is no middle ground. Pick a side and move on. Stop debating. Being a fence sitter is not a good place to be.

    • Lol, a billion times this. Everyone should read this and stop commenting, because this is what it’s all about.

      Either it’s all true and these people are fighting for something God never intended for them to have (or need)…or it’s not. And if you decide that you don’t believe it, you can go find a religion or a belief that makes you happy.

      Period.

      • All members must realize how dangerous this argument is. It was less than 40 years ago that black men did not hold the priesthood, and black women were not allowed in the church. If this was supposed to be a rigid institution with inflexible attitudes, it would be viewed as a very racist church indeed for denying black people such important access to God. President Hinckley himself said that the policy regarding women holding the priesthood could change. He said there was no agitation for it. At the time, that may have been true. That is not the case now. Also, the church recognizes the infallibility of man. The church is run by men, even if they are guided by God. Men make mistakes. The answer is not to shun these women or tell them to get out. That is not in the spirit of fellowship or Christlike love.

      • Really? This is a missionary church. A church that is supposed to be GROWING. A church that is supposed to be welcoming. Yet, I keep hearing people saying that those who don’t believe it ALL should leave? Did the Lord suggest this to Thomas, or Peter?

        Did you listen to Elder Uchtdorf in October? He told us the EXACT opposite thing. He told us to COME with our doubts, our differences, our questions… to COME. Yet you have the audacity to exclude those who think differently? Do you claim to know better than Elder Uchtdorf on the subject?

        Kate Kelly has REPEATEDLY shared her testimony of the Gospel. The Church is an integral part of her life… of her family… she has a STRONG testimony. She WANTS to come. She wants to be a Latter-Day-Saint. She has already FOUND a “religion or belief that makes her happy.” It is the LDS church. She felt prompted by the Holy Ghost, through fasting and prayer, to be brave enough to ASK the Brethren to make this a matter of prayer. She has been ignored, and ignored, and ignored. Others, with similar spiritual promptings, joined her. OW continues to ask and continues to be ignored.

        Oh, I know, there was a conference talk about the Priesthood, and that should suffice, right? But it doesn’t. We were told the same things we’ve always been told… we are equal/ but different. We knew that already. These sisters are asking for something different, and the Brethren know that. Would it be so hard to just do it? For 15 men to have one cotton-pickin’ prayer to satisfy the women? To come out and say, “OW, we heard you. We talked about it. We prayed about it. We feel that it isn’t the right time, and we see no time on the horizon for this cause. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for coming to us with your very real concerns, but the answer is no.” Would that be SO hard?

      • Dramamama – if the Brethren placate these women with their demands, they will have to do the same for every person on every issue that ever comes across their desk. They will then cease to be leaders and begin being puppets. Their job is not to be pacifiers, but to follow the will of the Lord. We need leaders in the church, not politicians.

      • @drama, read the ow mission statement. No where does it ask for the leaders to consider this idea or to just give us more insight. It states definitively that women Must be ordained to achieve equality. That implies receiving revelation for the church and addresses how their faith and humility are rooted.

        @Kathy, right on. I said the exact same thing to someone else here. You can never administer a Kingdom by popular vote or public discourse.

    • oh simplemindedness…and the dangers of all or nothing thinking. The reason I have considered not attending anymore is due to thinking like yours. You’re either in or out. I would like like to be somewhere in the middle right now. Is being a fence sitter really better than not being there at all? What makes you so sure it’s not a good place to be? There really is middle ground.
      You are way to rigid for me.
      Furthermore, show me the revelation to a prophet that says women can never hold the priesthood. Temple ordinances would say differently.

  11. I really like the way the thoughts were articulated in this article. I am not one to step in on controversy, and this has been a difficult subject for me to keep my mouth shut. I think it is fine to ask questions when looking for answers and understanding. I think it is important to recognize as well that when questions of greater magnitude are posed to local leaders that they are taken to those higher than themselves. My greatest difficulty with this particular issue is that it was taken to church leaders in what I see as a disrespectful/almost bullying manner. I also feel that if you have a deep “love for the church” then you would not e trying to sway an entire religion into the social norm. If you are not comfortable with the doctrine, then maybe it is time to find a church you feel more comfortable with/agree with the teachings. As members, maybe we need to take time to reflect and ask ourselves if our testimonies are of the church or the gospel. I don’t agree that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all 1 being. That’s ok if you do. I am not going to protest the Vatican to change that because I don’t agree with it. (Maybe that is a lame example, but my point is, we can’t expect a religious sect to change their doctrinal base because we feel like they should.)
    My objective certainly is NOT to offend anyone, and I would be first in line to admit that conveying my thoughts through written word isn’t one of my stronger talents. I just wish people would show respect. Religious freedom is a right given to everyone and should be treated with RESPECT. If you aren’t happy with your religious choice, then make a new choice that you can be happy with. Don’t ask the rest of us to change because you aren’t happy.

    • Pookie – You may think the written form isn’t a good way for you to express yourself, but I think you did a nice job. I liked your examples and your concern that this movement is trying to make a whole church change to suit them (a very small percentage) and bow down to the every changing social norm. The church has taught for a long time that it’s better to be of God, and not of the world. It feels to me that this movement is more of the world than it is of God. I don’t know, because I don’t know what’s in these women’s heart or mind. I can only guess based on what I hear.

      Another person commented that the other 99% of women should be asked if they want the priesthood. I’m in the 99%, and the answer is no. I didn’t grow up in the church, and my single mom stressed education over everything else. She was a good mother and provided for us well. We did join the church when I was older, but I had this wonderful example of a strong and capable woman/mother to guide me as well. Even with that example leading me, I don’t want the priesthood or the responsibility it entails. I have enough on my plate being a mom myself, and working (I did work hard and got an accounting degree long before I had children). You know what having children has taught me? Heavenly Father’s direction is right. Women naturally want to be with and take care of their children. I never thought about staying home, never. I always thought I’d be a working mom. But, then you have that first little baby and all you want is to stay with her. You don’t want others taking care of her. You don’t want to miss anything. But sometimes, there just isn’t a choice. And an astute Bishop would realize that and never chastise you for it (as one person above commented on). In fact, my Bishop asked me to teach the youth in Sunday School a few years ago because he thought I was an excellent example for the youth of why a woman should have a good education. Now, I don’t know that I’m all that great of an example for anyone, but I do think that having an education is essential – be it college or trade school or anything that further’s your knowledge, and at any age too. More than one woman at church has told me, “I don’t know what we’d do if my husband got laid off – I don’t have a degree like you where I could get a job and provide for my family.” While I have envied these women for being home and missing nothing with their children, they have envied my ability to provide for my family in hard times. See, that there is the way it should be. We all do what we can, and we should love one another for that and support one another.

      To Ariya – if you want to go to culinary school, then do it. You may love it and want to be a chef for the rest of your career. You may find that you don’t like it at all. You may decide many years down the road after marriage and children, that you don’t want to continue being a chef and would rather start a catering company instead. Who knows? Do what interests you, and even if you don’t use it later – it’s knowledge that can’t be taken from you. The church always teaches that the only thing we take with us is our knowledge. Gobble up as much as you can.

      So, to get back to Women wanting the Priesthood. I say, let the men have it. I have always felt bad for women who are in the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidencies (all of which are priesthood organizations by the way) because of the amount of time those callings take. I know the demands on a Bishop, his counselors, the Stake President, etc are enormous. I don’t want that for myself. I’m happy to do what is asked of me at this time – teaching children in Primary. I have had many other callings, but none that have been so rigorous as what the presidencies would call for.

      I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. I’m glad for my role in the church and in my family. My husband would make a poor mother to our children. He’s not geared for it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I love my mom, and she was an awesome single mom – but she was not a dad to me. How could she be? She was a mom, period. So, I like what “Women are awesome” had to say above – you either believe the prophet is called of God and receives revelation for us and accept that revelation, or you don’t. There is no middle ground. Pick a side that makes you happy, and go with it.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been a working Mom, stay-at-home Mom, and now working Mom again. I have never been given direction from a Priesthood leader that my choice to work is a bad one. If anything they have given me counsel to pray and receive that personal revelation for myself.

      • Jennifer,

        I love what you had to say. I am also of the 99% mindset. I only have one munchkin right now, I was able to stay home with him until he was a year old, then I joined the USAF Reserves. Being gone for 3 months of training wreaked havoc on me. I was worried sick for him, then he got a staph infection and I wasn’t there for him. It tore me apart. After training I came home and went right to work leaving him in Daycare until about 6 mos ago. I know that I missed a lot with not staying home with him. And whenever I have to leave for my drill weekend and my husband watches him I count it a good weekend if the house is destroyed and he watched movies all weekend. My husband make a terrible mother. My son is now 3 and I have been home with him for a bit. I see how hard my husband works to keep us fed, he is going to school full time and working part-time, on top of the demands of a priesthood holder. I say that I have no desire to hold that side of the priesthood. Being a nurturer and having the ability to bring life into this world is enough for me.

        If women want “total equality” then let the men have kids too. It won’t work. We are made differently both mentally and physically. For those people who, for whatever reason, don’t have kids, that is okay. Taking care of the home is still a big job. Heaven knows I can’t keep my home clean to save my life and I only have 1 child.

    • “If you are not comfortable with the doctrine, then maybe it is time to find a church you feel more comfortable with/agree with the teachings”

      “If you aren’t happy with your religious choice, then make a new choice that you can be happy with.”

      Did you listen to Elder Uchtdorf in October? He told us the EXACT opposite thing. He told us to COME with our doubts, our differences, our questions… to COME. Yet you have the audacity to exclude those who think differently? Do you claim to know better than Elder Uchtdorf on the subject?

      “Don’t ask the rest of us to change because you aren’t happy.”

      Did OW ask you to change? No. They didn’t ask “us” to change anything.
      They asked the Brethren to pray about something. They were ignored… so they asked differently… and differently again…

      his particular group of women feels marginalized. Perhaps you don’t feel marginalized, and that is fine, but they DO feel like that, and they are your sisters. It hurts me that they hurt.

      These women, as individuals, and as a group, have prayed and fasted and pleaded with the Lord for direction and guidance. They felt LED to ask the Brethren to listen. But they didn’t listen. They sent the PR staff to do the talking (these are paid positions, not callings… we do not sustain the PR people).

      I don’t share the desire that OW members have, but they are my SISTERS. I want them to be listened to. I want them to be HAPPY in THIS church, not happy somewhere else.

      • If they had “just asked” there wouldn’t be a problem.

        Fine, they’re hurting… let’s see… who wants to make us feel worthless? Who wants to create contention between members? Who wants us to be miserable? Those feelings don’t come from God. Everyone has weaknesses, & he exploited them for his gain. He wants members to leave, & he found another great way for it to happen.

        I don’t deny their feelings, but I can recognize why they are having them. Doubts are ok, questions are ok… what they have done, & (here is the most telling part) are CONTINUING to do, is the problem. We cannot be fence sitters. A man cannot divide his loyalty. We have a duty to speak out. There are consequences for failing to speak out against people like them. Regardless of how much I care for them, their actions are wrong.

      • Also, they WERE listened to. They WERE answered. They were answered in a few talks, & by the PR people, who our leaders have clearly stated, speak for them… meaning they have told them what to say. PR is relaying a message directly from our leaders. We don’t sustain PR people, but… it’s coming from the those we DO sustain. Regardless of who is actually speaking, the message was given over and over. The answer was no. OW continues to push, which is despicable.

      • @drama, Who said that the leaders didn’t respond? Who gets to dictate to the apostles how they should respond to inquiries? If you get a response from conference, but it doesn’t say yes you are right, or if it is no, and doesn’t include an explanation good enough, is it that these leaders are ignoring you or that you are trying to dictate how they administer in the God given calling? No one is telling anyone to leave, but pointing out the futility of trying to create changes outside the stewardship God has given you. Their revelation isn’t good enough to dictate changes church wide. The same situations happened to Joseph Smith, Moses, Abraham, etc. No one counsels the prophet or gets revelation for them. It has been proven over and over in the Scriptures.

  12. i think the mistake that people are making is that to hold the priesthood means work. i think the ow group thinks of some glory in holding the priesthood. the lord knew that he had to give men the priesthood or they would not follow through because they would be selfish and fend for themselves. women serve for service sake and not for glory. to really serve is not about glory but for love of man and god. we do not get to be first in line at the ward christmas party, we don’t get paid, we get blessings unseen. men and women who have testimonies and more importantly wisdom and experience would say i’m happy for the role of manhood and womanhood and glad that the opposite sex has their role because it would wear me out to have to do the other.

    • That is the lamest reason ever. It insults all of the good men of the world who serve who aren’t members of the church. You do realize that men exist outside of the LDS church. Godly men who do not hold the PH, who aren’t selfish and who don’t fend only for themselves. We know it isn’t about glory, but there are avenues of service that women can’t peruse in the church because we don’t have the PH.

  13. Here is my concern: Kate Kelly has asked the First Presidency and the Apostles to ask God if women should have the priesthood. It has been stated by at least one church leader that this has never been done. So how are we sure women are forbidden to have the priesthood? Kate Kelly has not advocated anyone leaving the church, she has not called for protests and riots and the hate that has surrounded this. As pointed out in this blog post, a lot of the negativity is coming from groups already outside of the church (although a great deal of negativity towards Ms. Kelly is coming from inside the church, and I think members need to ask themselves what this says about them). Should Kate Kelly really be punished because others are misconstruing her message? Listen to any one of her interviews to non-church media outlets. There is not an ounce of hate or railing against the General Authority. She is concerned that the church is not allowing all members to experience the fullness of the Gospel in an equal manner. Her asking for a response from God through the First Presidency and the Apostles is no more terrible than black men asking for the priesthood. Up until 1978, black women were not allowed in the temple. Can you, as a member of an organization that recognizes the infallibility of man, honestly hate and condemn a woman who just wants an answer from God to the church leaders about whether or not the church may in fact be denying the blessings of the priesthood to a worthy group of members? Jesus only gave the priesthood to Jews. Joseph Smith gave the priesthood to women and black men. Today the church gives the priesthood to 12-year-old boys. The pool of what type of person can hold the priesthood has varied dramatically over the centuries. Kate Kelly is not some villain attempting to destroy the church from within. She wants to make sure the priesthood is available to all those worthy to hold it.

    • Ann – then Kate Kelley’s job was done before she began it. The Priesthood is already available to all those worthy to hold it. The Priesthood is also available to all those eligible to hold it, under God’s plan. There. She can cross this one off her list of stuff to do. Time to find another cause.

      • “We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal, many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

        OW might be thinking that further revelation might be on its way. Consider the remarks from this 1997 interview, with President Hinckley:

        “Now we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation. We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer. We discuss it as a First Presidency and as a Council of the Twelve Apostles. We pray about it and then comes the whisperings of a still small voice. And we know the direction we should take and we proceed accordingly.”

        Later in the same interview, this exchange occurs:

        RB: At present women are not allowed to be priests in your Church. Why is that?

        GBH: That’s right, because the Lord has put it that way. Now women have a very prominent place in this Church. They have there own organisation. Probably the largest women’s organisation in the world of 3.7 million members. There own ???. And the women of that organisation sit on Boards. Our Board of Education things of that kind. They counsel with us. We counsel together. They bring in insight that we very much appreciate and they have this tremendous organisation of the world where they grow and if you ask them they’ll say we’re happy and we’re satisfied.

        RB: They all say that?

        GBH: Yes. All except a oh you’ll find a little handful one or two here and there, but in 10 million members you expect that.

        RB: You say the Lord has put it that way. What do you mean by that?

        GBH: I mean that’s a part of His programme. Of course it is, yes.

        RB: Is it possible that the rules could change in the future as the rules are on Blacks ?

        GBH: He could change them yes. If He were to change them that’s the only way it would happen.

        RB: So you’d have to get a revelation?

        GBH: Yes. But there’s no agitation for that. We don’t find it. Our women are happy. They’re satisfied. These bright, able, wonderful women who administer their own organisation are very happy. Ask them. Ask my wife.

        http://www.abc.net.au/compass/intervs/hinckley.htm

        So, in 1997, there was “no agitation for that.” But, 17 years later, there IS agitation for that. It isn’t coming from “a little handful of one or two here and there.” Many more people are demonstrating an “agitation for that.”

        Though you may not embrace their cause, can you see how OW might have honestly felt prompted by the Holy Ghost on this? Might they be creating the “agitation” of which the Prophet speaks? Is it impossible for God to change the rules? Has he never changed the rules before?

      • Like how in 1958 Bruce R. McConkie said (and this is all a direct quote): “Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes.

        “Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.

        “The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence. Along with all races and peoples he is receiving here what he merits as a result of the long pre-mortal probation in the presence of the Lord. The principle is the same as will apply when all men are judged according to their mortal works and are awarded varying statuses in the life hereafter.”

        And the church never, ever changed its position on black people holding the priesthood, because the GA had definitively made their decision and were never, ever, ever backing down from it, because everyone that was worthy to hold the priesthood already had it. Until, you know, 1978 when the Prophet and Apostles actually sat down and asked God, and IMMEDIATELY reversed their prior racist logic.

        In Kate Kelly’s case, there may have been conference talks saying women will not hold the priesthood, but that does not change the fact that God has not been formally asked by the Prophet and Apostles, and maybe it’s God waiting for his children to change in regards to women and the priesthood, not the other way around.

      • Ann Tudor – God has promised He will remove a prophet from office rather than allow that man to ever lead His children astray. God is not waiting for His children to “come around” before He introduces women to the priesthood. Though I can see great danger in the world’s interpretation of women in the priesthood – all things being “equal” (see my earlier comments on male Beehive advisors) – IF God were to give the priesthood to women on earth, it would be through His divine plan, and on his timetable and in a way that makes sense and would be safe and a blessing to all. No amount of whining or even foot dragging will change the mind and will of God.

        I really pray you and others will be able to eventually find peace and acceptance with it all.

    • @Ann, here is Kelly’s own words in their mission statement, “Ordain Women believes women must be ordained in order for our faith to reflect the equity…As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women…”
      This statement had been up for over a year now, and obliterates the idea that they are asking IF women should be ordained. They are already convinced and won’t be satisfied until it happens. This confirms why E Oaks’ conference address was never going to be sufficient and why there is a need for a disciplinary court.

      • The First Presidency and Apostles have basically said, “Nope, we’re not going to ask.” So, absent any scripture banning women from holding the priesthood, and no direct counsel with God on this issue (this has been admitted by the GA, they’ve never actually asked God directly for revelation with this) how do we know that God really does not women to hold the priesthood? Kate Kelly is in a position where she HAS to go through men to ask for revelation for the whole church, and those men are refusing to do that. This, if nothing else, shows that there are serious pitfalls to men running everything in the church. This is why the church is getting all sorts of negative publicity and people are turning away the missionaries. It is not Kate Kelly’s organization, it is the church’s response, and that is not her doing, that was the GA’s own decision.

      • Mina – Again…. do you believe then, that Kate Kelley is a prophet and that she has received revelation for the whole church? Do you believe Thomas S. Monson is not a prophet, or that he is failing at his calling?

      • @Mina- There is a never ending supply of questions a member or group of members could lobby to the GA’s. Anything from women and the priesthood, to heavenly mother, to dinosaurs, to evolution and the creation time line. Is it your opinion that the GA’s should be actively praying about all of these questions, because members may be struggling with them? This seems untenable. Ultimately private questions are designed to be answered privately. Plus God has a plan that often involves giving revelation bit by bit. Putting pressure on the leaders to pray about one question makes a bad precedent that the members dictate when revelation is needed, or implies that our leaders aren’t praying over important issues already. The idea that our prophet or apostles haven’t or are refusing to pray over this issue seems very narrow minded. It is like you are asking them to account for their prayers, such as, “We prayed on this date, on this topic, using these words, and got this exact answer.” That sounds a little demanding. We are beggars before the Lord, not usurpers. The Lord in His earthly ministry gave a lot of confusing answers such as in parables, on purpose. Maybe the current response from our leaders is the only response He wants given at this time.

    • I guess to me it just doesn’t seem like Mrs. Kelly is asking any more. It is one thing to want to know the answers to these things and to pray about them and to ask others to pray about them, but if you look at the fact that she has created discussions for something that isn’t revelation and is spreading them around and asking women (who I am sure hold her beliefs and volunteered to go) to try and get into a priesthood session that they haven’t been invited to then you can see it’s no longer a question. It’s a demand. Which I will say that I don’t even understand why she tried to get into the session when the are broadcast anyways. I’m thinking she did it for publicity and the principle of the thing. I’m not going to get into whether or not the church is equal because everyone is going to have their own opinions on that. But the fact remains it quit being a question a while ago. I also think that it is entirely possible to pray about something and because you want it so bad you aren’t listening clearly. I know for saying that statement I will have people respond saying that just because she got an answer that I don’t believe in she is wrong but I don’t believe that either. Maybe Mrs. Kelly did get revelation for herself that this is something that could happen or that wasn’t meant to happen yet, she doesn’t have revelation for the church. That is the prophet’s job.

      Just because ordination for women is something she thinks we all should have doesn’t mean that it is something that is meant to be on the earth at this time, or even at all. She is fighting for my ordination to but I don’t want it. I think she is doing more harm than good to the church she claims to love by continuing to rally against it. I hope that eventually she will see this is getting out of hand and take a look at this gospel and decides she wants to be a part of it again. But if she decides she doesn’t want to be a part of it then I hope she will leave it alone and quit harming it.

      • I don’t think women having the priesthood would harm the gospel at all. Did ending polygamy or once again allowing black men to hold the priesthood, or allowing black women to enter the temple harm the gospel in any way? Wasn’t the church’s troubled history with racism due to the prejudices of the members, and not God’s views on black people? Wasn’t it the MEMBERS that needed to change to allow the blessings of the priesthood to be extended to worthy black members? I just don’t see any compelling evidence that we aren’t going through something similar here, especially since the GA have not actually gotten together to pray about this issue. Most of the arguments rely on the fact that women haven’t had the priesthood for a really, really long time, and the talk given by Elder Oaks at conference. In 1958, Bruce R. McConkie gave a talk where he explicitly stated that black people have darker skin because they were less righteous in the pre-existence. The following is taken directly from his talk:

        “Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes.

        “Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.”

        Two decades later, the First Presidency and Apostles came together and actually asked God for guidance on this issue, and the policy regarding black people holding the priesthood and being marked for being less valiant was completely reversed. Now, either God suddenly changed His mind about black people, or the MEMBERS finally stopped being so hard-hearted and racist to a point where they were ready to extend the power of the priesthood and the blessings of the temple to black people. Since we have no scripture and no direct revelation from God, what exactly is wrong with asking God if women can finally hold the Priesthood? I have no doubt that there were many black people who believed that they were less worthy because that is what the church had taught them. Similarly, there are man women who think that they don’t have a right to the priesthood. However, that does not mean that there is something wrong with women feeling oppressed and pushing for equality, and there is nothing in church doctrine or history that indicates that the policy will never, ever change. I think there is far too much reliance on tradition as opposed to actual doctrine in this debate.

      • Ann Tudor – Two Thoughts/Questions:

        1. How do we know that the blacks not receiving the priesthood until 1979 was due to the hardness of anyone’s hearts within the church? Prophets are like watchmen on a tower. While it’s true they are mortal men, they are still in closer proximity to the Lord due to the virtue of their calling than any of us are. Because they stand in the tower, they have a vision or greater scope than the rest of us as well. Joseph and Brigham were two very different men who led in two vastly different periods of the church with vastly different roles to fill and commands to follow from God. Remember the Civil War that Joseph prophesied about? Brigham lived and led the people through it. Is it possible that he had a “vision of greater scope” due to his calling and could see what giving the priesthood to blacks at that time in history would have meant for the church as a whole? Would we have been beaten to the point of non-existence by others around us? What about the Civil Rights movement? How many LDS churches and temples do you suppose the Lord would have suffered to be burned if blacks held the priesthood before society (not racist members) could be persuaded to the concept of equality? B.R.M. was not a prophet, and in an attempt to give/have understanding, may have presented his theory, as we all like to do. Prophets had asked for understanding for generations on this policy, and finally, post civil rights, got the answer to the questions they were seeking. With respect to OW, none of the prophets have obviously had questions about women in the priesthood. When and if they ever do, I’m sure they will ask.

        2. The term “mormon women feel oppressed” gets thrown around a lot. I don’t believe in general, that Mormon women feel oppressed. A few have started to vocalize, and I think as you say, some may not have considered it until KK started saying it out loud. Isn’t that a little like the boy who brought down the community of members following the united order by getting fancy pants that no-one had and now everyone suddenly wanted? (Someone help me with the history on that one, please.) True, there are cases of abusive husbands who use the priesthood as a reason to dominate, in which case “amen to the priesthood of that man”. The priesthood is not designed to oppress women, and never has been. Women share the priesthood with men by filling a vital role. It’s like the analogy of the treasure box that requires two keys. My husband can’t open the box with his key alone, but needs me and my key to have all the treasure he seeks.

        I’m sorry if you or any woman feels oppressed by the priesthood. I would propose the fault lies in the men who are choosing to oppress, not in the priesthood of God as it is designed. Or, lets go a step further …. how many women claim to feel oppressed because KK has been shouting they should?

  14. What is it about the Priesthood that woman want it so badly? I guess I should ask what is it about being a female in the church that a woman doesn’t feel equal to a man? This argument should be the other way around, and here is why. A man will never know of the bond of having a life grow inside you, or thepain to bear said child. No priesthood or any other responsibility will ever compare to this. Why can’t men have babies? why cant we have that bond with our children that women have? I”m probably quoting this wrong ” the man is not without the woman, and the woman is not with out the man.”
    Now I’m not saying that there isn’t abuse in relationships, or power struggles, where the majority of men in and out of the church belittle woman. But I know of plenty of relationships where the opposite happens. No matter how much priesthood Joseph had or has, it will never compare to the amazing relationship and responsiblity from God, that marry had when she bore Christ. That is something a priesthood bearer will know nothing about, and he is forever kept from it. IF you want inequality well there you go that is inequality and sexist and unfair…
    Just sayin.

    • We get to grow babies inside our bodies, and you get the authority to act in God’s name. Sure… these things are JUST the same. Fair enough… let’s move on to issues that make less sense.

      • Your statement shows you don’t understand just how important “growing babies inside your body” is to our Heavenly Father. Of course, Satan has been hard at work for decades doing everything he can to denigrate, diminish, and demean the very act of bearing children. That alone should give you an idea of just how important it is to God.

  15. I dont claim to know much,but on the issue of blacks and the priesthood…I don’t think our nation was ready for blacks to hold the preisthood prior to this change because of hate and racism. (Referring to whites)
    As for women and the priesthood…these women who are protesting are women who have been oppressed by men in their lives…not by God and his church.
    My friend has a saying for her kids when they argue about what is fair among eachother. “Fair does not always mean equal or the same”. Meaning parents can keep things “fair” even though kids don’t always get the same things as eachother.
    Food for thought

    • I encourage you to do a little research into Kate Kelly’s life. Her father, husband, and colleagues have always treated her as an equal. This is WHY she feels so marginalized in the church. She knows what it is like, in her work as an attorney, to be treated as an intelligent, strong woman, yet at church, she is treated as less. In her business dealings, for instance, her male colleagues are respectful enough to provide her for an agenda for a meeting to which she is called. When she arrives at said meeting, that agenda is followed.

      However, in her dealings with her Stake President, she had to specifically ask what the meeting would be about… and though she was provided an agenda, when she arrived at the meeting, she realized the topics were entirely different. He pulled a bait and switch to get her to attend a meeting. That is oppression and disrespect. Her father would never have done that to her, nor would her husband (who put HER through college before pursuing his OWN education), nor would her colleagues.

      See, Kate wasn’t oppressed by the men who play integral roles in her day-to-day existence… she was oppressed by her LDS leaders, and continues to be.

      • I’ve been treated like an intelligent woman, & an equal… without pushing an agenda that is clearly wrong.

        Kate Kelly is an activist. She has learned to carefully craft speeches to pull others in. A perfect pasty for the adversary to use. I feel disrespected and marginalized by HER and her groups actions. I’ve never felt that way from my leaders.

        Her experience shows that there are imperfect people just like her in the church. But, she is trying to punish the entire church for her area leaders actions. She is trying to change doctrine. By pushing. By demanding. Neither of which is asking meekly, & faithfully like she is claiming.

      • It’s great that Kate Kelley was treated with respect and felt equal within her immediate family and her social connections. Many little girls have strong personalities and end up behaving as something of a “Diva” (my own 13 year old daughter for example) and just command respect/attention when they walk in a room. Did she get that respect/attention because she demanded it?

        Is it possible that at church, she was received with less admiration by the men in her ward, and therein lies the discontent for her? Are we seeing some Diva-like methods coming out here? Is she having a bit of a tantrum because she isn’t getting her way? Is she accusing people of things that may not actually have happened in an attempt to retain her good reputation? The way that she operates seems very passive-aggressive to me. If there was a “bait and switch” as you say, (which may be merely her spin on it) maybe they had tried other methods that failed to communicate with her effectively. Maybe they should have gone on the OW website instead to schedule a meeting. Just Sayin’.

  16. I am a Mormon women who has always worked. I consider myself to be an Independent, probably more liberal than conservative. I have a Masters degree. I have been the president of the Women’s organization twice in two different states. I attended the same meetings as “the men” and counseled women and families, as well as taught thousands of classes. I know what members of “the Priesthood” do, and no, I have no desire to take on their roles. I am outspoken, and get along better with most men then with most women. I have never had any Mormon man tell me to ‘pipe down’ and let them take care of anything. To the contrary, they welcome the help, advice and wisdom that Mormon women have. I have two insanely wonderful children, one who does not attend church and one who does; I love them equally and I’ve been married for many years. I don’t want the Priesthood and I am a Mormon.

  17. Below, you will find excerpts from Elder Uchtdorf’s October 2013 General Conference Talk. To those who say that the members of OW should go find another church, please read… I believe he was speaking to ALL members of the church here. Would you REALLY ask them to leave, after the First Presidency has, so kindly, asked them to STAY?

    “It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.

    Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.

    With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

    If these are your desires, then regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church. Come, join with us!

    If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging: Come, join with us!

    I earnestly pray that your own search for truth will impress upon your heart the desire to come and join with us.”

    • In other words, he’s telling them they’ve lost their way, & instead of doing what they are doing… repent and come back to us. They’ve gone way past asking.

      • Ann… I don’t see that in his words… This talk is absolutely NOT a call-to-repentance talk. It is a come-as-you-are talk. And can you explain, specifically, what OW has done that is “way past asking”?

      • “The acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding”

        Unless it is OW’s honest inquiry?

        “We need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.”

        Unless it is a non-standard talent and perspective? Unless it is OW’s diversity of persons?

        “Then regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”

        Unless it is the circumstance, personal history, and strong testimony of people who you disagree with?

        “If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging: Come, join with us!”

        Unless your faith has led you into an unpopular action?

  18. “When Christ walked the earth, not once did he sit before his disciples and spark doubt by asking one of them why something had to be.”

    Christ, a Jew, was the founder of a new religious movement. He challenged the existing religious and social order. In fact, this this very reason he was crucified. In this sense, his entire ministry was devoted to “spark[ing] doubt.”

    • Well said. Another important point here is that Christ, as the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD and a member of the GODHEAD would not, of course have sparked doubt in his followers. His followers, on the other hand, did have doubts. They did ask why. They did wonder why things had to be. And how did the Savior respond to them? Did he excommunicate them?

      • He absolutely sparked doubt in his followers’ man made notions. He spoke in parables which hid layers of meaning. He didn’t teach all truth. He only gave them what they needed. Followers did leave Him because they couldn’t agree with His doctrine or actions. He didn’t change to help them fit in. KK excommunicated herself by both demanding change and not leaving.

    • Ichabod – again…. Christ came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it. The “Church” and leaders of the time were practicing wickedness that had to be rectified and truth restored. Men only in the Priesthood has always been this way in the LDS church, during church history (up for interpretation), the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and yes, before the creation. The Savior never sparked doubt. He gave clarification.

  19. “Now I’m an advocate for questions. As a journalist it’s in my nature to be quizzical *and often skeptical* and to always ask “Well, why’s that?”.”

    This is good, Kayla. Never stop questioning. Just remember we are allowed to ask questions to anyone about anything. It doesn’t matter if they go by the title “Elder” or “President”.

    It also might be beneficial in your journalist journey to get to know people like Kate Kelly and those that feel similar to her at a personal level. Ask questions!

    Life is beautiful, Kayla, for people inside and outside the church. And even though you believe that you’re “sent here to help” those that aren’t members of the church, just make sure you take time to listen to what people from different sects, ideologies and mindsets have to offer. I bet you might learn a thing or two and find the world even more beautiful when you see the rich diversity of life.

  20. “But it breaks my heart even more that these personal struggles are thwarting God’s work.”

    I thought God’s work was too bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man; personal struggles? How can the searching or individual acts of a person be against that plan? Pretty sure Joseph Smith said nothing can stop the work. So why not the Church and it’s leaders take s mute loving approach with correction and counsel rather than threatening discipline. How great shall be the with of that one soul.

  21. So much to say.

    There is this thing called “The Oath and Covenant” which belongeth to the Priesthood. D&C 84: 33 – 48.
    God swears the Oath, we make the covenant. We, meaning both men and women.

    The Oath (which God “cannot break, neither can it be moved”) is simply – “all that my Father hath, shall be given unto him” if he “shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God”. “Him” meaning both the man and the woman – this being a common convention throughout the scriptures.

    You cannot be a “Priest” without holding the “Priest”hood – You cannot be a “Priestess” WITHOUT HOLDING THE “PRIEST”HOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

    As an interesting side note: (Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:9) “In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God.” “AND CALLED THEIR NAME ADAM” – hmmm interesting. (Pearl of Great Price | Moses 1:34) “And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.”

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 131:1 – 3)
    1 IN the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
    2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
    3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
    “Man” meaning both the man and the woman as marriage is between both the man and the woman.

    In the church, the “Covenant” of the Priesthood is entered into by both the man and the woman in the house of the Lord – the Temple. In order for this covenant to be made one must have the priesthood – both the man and the woman must have the priesthood.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:48)
    48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you…… “him” meaning both the man and the woman.
    How can we have a covenant “Renewed” if we never made it in the first place? Forordination! in the life before.

    More later.

    • The temple covenants are “to become such.” They are a promise to realize if you live worthy and God deems it time for you to see His face. We cannot make God make a covenant with us. We cannot require him to stand behind our actions however righteous they are. God chooses whom He makes covenants with. That is the example repeated over and over in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We cannot expect Him to make “our” word good.

    • But they’ve been answered… more than once. They just don’t want to acknowledge the answer because it isn’t the answer they wanted.

    • dramamama – even if the Prophet made a personal statement at conference, or in an Ensign or even the news that said, “Yes, sisters, we have heard you, we went to the Holy of Holies last Tuesday and in fasting and prayer supplicated God for an answer and he appeared to us and said, “No” women will never receive the Priesthood on this earth.” Do you really think they would stop?? Would that finally be enough?

      • Starienite – what I honestly think is that the 12 Apostles and the Prophet are people for whom the veil between them and their Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ is very thin. I think they are in constant communication via their thoughts, prayers and for whom inspiration is constantly flowing. I also think they are smart enough, and spiritually in tune enough to remember the results of previous “flareups” regarding this issue and wise enough not to continue to ask about a question they have already had answered for them.

        I think their prayers are more for softened hearts and turning to truth, and “Tell us how can we reach these women?” Recent changes with regard to women and recent conference addresses are in response to the answers they are getting. No, I don’t think they are asking and asking in a “Martin Harris” sort of way. I think they take heed the lessons found in scripture and church history.

      • Yes. That would have been enough. At least they would have stopped beating around the bush and given a straight answer. I have yet to see an answer where they straight out said that they asked and the answer was “No” or “Not yet”.

        Personally I think that there are GA’s that would be on board with the idea and feel the time is coming. Unfortunately there are too many people in the church and in leadership positions that confuse tradition and culture with actual doctrine and who have hardened their hearts to any change from what they are used to. God may be perfectly ready and willing to grant this gift that would benefit every single member if they would let their hearts be softened enough to actually listen and investigate instead of just jumping to conclusions. But His hands are tied because the hardened hearts and stiff-necks would reject it. Maybe even reject the church if he should try revealing someone thing great and wonderful.

        I was one of those members for years but something did make me decide that in all fairness I should listen to some sisters that had been hurt by the way things were but had enough faith to actually do something about it instead of just walking away.

        Speaking of that, yes, 90 percent of active women don’t want the priesthood. I would love to see what those numbers would be if all of the women that have quietly left (because they didn’t have the faith in their fellow saints and leaders to do or say something more than once or twice) were included in the polls. The caravan may be moving on but it is leaving plenty of hurt and wounded behind.

      • Teresa – I am really sorry for any woman or girl who has ever been hurt at the hands of a man (or a woman for that matter) in the church. I have been too. I was once released from my Primary President calling before I felt ready – I was in the middle of a project and wanted to see it to fruition. The bishopric counsellor was abrupt and very “matter of fact” about it. When I asked for just a few more weeks, he said someone had already been called to replace me, they were making the change on Sunday. I felt like I had been “kicked to the curb” and was really hurt by it. I decided, “I’m just going to leave the church!” (for about a minute), until the spirit whispered “Oh, stop it. You’re not ever going to leaving the church!” and I didn’t. Sounds silly as I look back on it, but I was pretty adamant at the time that I had been grossly violated by a man in the priesthood who should have been a protector of all things women, my feelings in particular. Later, my kind and truly inspired Bishop called me in, thanked my for my valuable service and explained they wanted to give me the freedom to get my affairs in order as he knew we were moving in a few weeks. (True) He apologized for the counsellor, and told me lots of nice things about how the children and ward would miss me and how he knew my Heavenly Father loved me and accepted my offerings within the stewardship of my calling. I felt very loved and noticed and validated.

        My point is this. Men can be idiots. They can be hurtful, rude and unfair. That does not mean that we snatch their one chance they have to develop in to good men (the priesthood) away from them in an “Oh!! Just let ME do it then!” kind of way, which is where I think OW is coming from. Ultimately, for every “idiot” man who holds the priesthood, there are thousands of good and inspired men who cancel them out. Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are the ones we go to when all other men fail. They still are the ones who make the rules about who holds their priesthood. If women held it, maybe there would be no reason to go to them either, instead bypass those two divine “men” straight to Heavenly Mother. Women in the priesthood to me, negates the need for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Pure folly.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience and your insight. The one point I would like to address is that women getting the priesthood would snatch opportunities away from men. It wouldn’t. Men would still be able to hold the priesthood and positions of authority. It’s not taking anything from anyone. It’s just giving more opportunities and authority to women.

      • Ann Tudor – If women are now occupying roles in the priesthood – wouldn’t that mean fewer rolls to go around for the men to occupy? I think that is the same as snatching those roles away from men. The only way to re-balance numbers then, in any given ward is to in turn give women’s jobs to men – all things being equal, as OW are demanding. Are you sure you want a man to be your daughter’s Laurel, Mia Maid or Beehive advisor? Do you want to go on high adventure camp with the Priests? I think anyone can see the dangerous folly in this line of thinking. Please respond.

      • By that reasoning, converting more men into the church also takes away positions from the men already in the church. Is that a compelling argument to stop converting people? No. Also, having the priesthood does not mean women would automatically teach the Young Men or that men would teach Young Women. Also, men go with the Young Women on summer camp, so I don’t see anything inherently wrong with women going with the Young Men on their camping trips. I’m not sure what “danger” you’re talking about. Why can a few men be around a bunch of women, but a few women can’t be around a bunch of men?

      • Ann Tudor – on the contrary – converting more men into the church means more people in the church, (men will marry and have families) swelling membership creating new wards with a new demand to fill necessary callings. Nice try.

        My daughter is frequently brought home from Young Women’s by her Young Women’s advisors. Sometimes they linger in front of the house in the car and talk. If that advisor were male – there is danger. I should not have to spell that out for you. Apart from the danger, a male leader would just be an in-effective leader for my daughter. After all, no man has ever been a teenage girl – how could he possibly hope to counsel or relate to her issues? Likewise, I have never been a teenage boy – how could I hope to relate to one or be an effective leader on their campouts or in their quorum meetings? (BTW – when Bishopric members accompany the YW camp, they support, lift and haul, providing necessary protection and security in a potentially dangerous environment. The Bishop is the “Father” of the Ward. His role at YW camp is in-valuable and appropriate. At the Priests’ High Adventure camp – I’m pretty sure I’d be in the way. 😉 )

        If OW wants equality, it would be shallow equality to not have equality in all areas of the church. I’m curious how far OW have thought this through? If they could orchestrate change, how would they construct formal leadership roles in the church, including women in the priesthood, and men in Young Women’s leadership? Please respond.

      • First off, you only get new positions if you create a new ward, in which case you have one new bishopric, one new YM/Priesthood presidencies, etc. Overall, you’ll have maybe less than 30 new priesthood positions for what I assume is 30 people, so it’s not actually going to even out the ratio of positions of leadership to new male members, so you haven’t actually put forward a good argument as to why women having the priesthood is wrong purely from that perspective. Also, you don’t actually have to have a position of leadership, like in the bishopric or stake presidency, to get the full blessings and powers of holding the priesthood. In fact, most men won’t anyway.

        As to women having men as leaders…I think you sort of supported the idea that women should have the priesthood. Men do go to YW camp, I have been told that this is so that the power of the priesthood is around for the women should they need it, and if you are so worried about a man violating a young woman, there is no better opportunity to do so than when they are in the mountains together, away from other people, and the girl has no way of immediately getting away from him by leaving the camp. In fact, this is an actual problem within the church. YW do get molested at girls camp. I am NOT saying that this happens to all or even most of the girls, I am not saying all priesthood or even most priesthood holders will abuse their positions of power in that way, I am simply pointing out that (since you brought up the issue first) I have listened to women tell stories of being abused at girls camp, by Mormon spouses, etc. If you gave women the priesthood, you wouldn’t need men around really at all at girls camp (there are enough women there to do any heavy lifting requiring. It’s safer to lift in teams anyway). Also, if you are so worried about a man not being able to relate to or understand the issues of a teenage girl…wouldn’t it be better if young girls were able to discuss their struggles with their sexuality or confess their sins, particularly of a sexual nature, to a woman that holds the priesthood, rather than a middle-aged man? If you’re so worried about the men in the church being creeps, you have to acknowledge that the current church structure can make things awkward if not downright dangerous for the girls. A teenage girl, if she has committed a sexual sin, only has the option to receive repentance by meeting with her bishop, probably alone (what girl is honestly going to want to have her parents sitting in on the meeting), and try and work through her sexuality with said man. If women had the priesthood, you could avoid all of that awkwardness and have the women talking to another woman. It would allow for even more separation between the sexes at church and even more safeguards for the YW, if that is what you’re trying to accomplish. Another thing, if a girl or woman is abused by a male leader, any sort of disciplinary action or investigation would most likely be conducted by other priesthood holders, so more men. Anyone with any authority in the church is a man, so abused women have to go to a man with any complaints, which is not fair to do to the victim. It doesn’t even have to be that they’ve been abused by a leader. It could simply be that they’re in an abusive relationship. It is easier for women in these situations for women to talk about it with a woman.

        I’m not saying this is the only reason women should have the priesthood, but since you brought up the safety of girls around men, I am just sharing my thoughts on that particular issue.

      • “…no man has ever been a teenage girl – how could he possibly hope to counsel or relate to her issues?”

        …It’s almost as if you’re making Kate Kelly’s argument FOR her. You know this is one of her primary points about the bishopric and young women, right? I mean, I assume what with the strong opinion you have and all, that you’ve actually READ some of the issues she’s written about – this being one of them.

        Right? Yeah? Maybe?

      • @ TNND

        As stated before – I have listened to bits and pieces of the OW platform, but not all of it. I get an un-easy feeling and can’t go further than about 5 minutes into any interview, or blog. I will admit though – that if ever I were in a disciplinary council, I would want to bring my Mom, sister, or other trusted woman to hold my hand! I plan to never to be in that position, so I won’t worry about it. I have had tough morality conversations with my Bishop in my youth, alone, and I did feel completely at ease. It never occurred to me that my bishop might not have my best interest at heart, or that he might be a “creeper”. I felt loved, protected, respected and I saw him as my “Father”. I sought him out for these interviews. No negative feelings at all on my part. I knew I had to get through him to get on the path to full repentance. I have never had a Bishop I didn’t feel totally at ease with. I believe they are set apart with a special mantel that puts them on a pretty close plane to the Savior.

        But let’s get back to the real issue of my previous comment. OW women seems to be screaming about equality. Equality would be shallow equality if it were not FULL equality – in ALL things. I am not talking about a 5 minute worthiness interview before issuing a temple recommend for baptisms, where a young girl sits one on one in a visit with her Bishop (Father of her ward) or one of his counsellors. I am talking about on-going twice weekly relationships where the expectation is that kids bond with their leaders, seek our their counsel and advise and spend a significant amount of time with them. It would not be a good idea to put men with girls and women with boys in those circumstances. But if OW wants EQUALITY – I should think they want ….. EQUALITY! Where do you draw the line then? If it isn’t FULL equality, then you are back where you started to IN-equality.

        It seems OW want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the Priesthood, but in the WAY they want it. The benefits, without the responsibility of full equality. They want to carve it in to something they want, not what Heavenly Father has already outlined for us.

        TNND – I answered your question, and now I’ll ask your personal opinion, outright ….. are YOU a woman, and if so, would you think it a good idea to work as a close member of a Young Men’s presidency, and closely with those young men … all things being completely EQUAL?

      • Kathy, you speak as if your experience is everyone’s experience. It’s not the case. Not everyone has good experiences with their bishops and stake presidents. I think you have blinders on to the fact that equality doesn’t mean male/female mixes. In fact, priesthood holders already go to YW. OW may not be the answer, but things have to change. We need to educate our leaders to know how to address certain issues. That way another rape victim doesn’t have to endure a conversation with their stake president of his rape is like getting your wallet stolen. As “connected to Christ” as they may be, they do not know and/or address everything correctly.

      • Thank you for your comment. I feel it is a respectful, candid example of how the church and its members are hurting their own brothers and sisters with the heard-hearted adherence to tradition.

      • I agree. When someone has made up their mind that the church will never be whole until it is the way that they see it then they will never take any answer that isn’t “women will now have the priesthood!” You can’t convince someone who is being illogical that they have already had their answer using logic.

  22. I don’t know, Kathy. There seems to be an AWFUL lot of speculation here. These are a LOT of questions… questions filled with assumptions and suppositions.

    “Is it possible that at church, she was received with less admiration by the men in her ward, and therein lies the discontent for her? Are we seeing some Diva-like methods coming out here? Is she having a bit of a tantrum because she isn’t getting her way? Is she accusing people of things that may not actually have happened in an attempt to retain her good reputation? The way that she operates seems very passive-aggressive to me. If there was a “bait and switch” as you say, (which may be merely her spin on it) maybe they had tried other methods that failed to communicate with her effectively. Maybe they should have gone on the OW website instead to schedule a meeting. Just Sayin’.”

    You are not “just sayin'” anything here. You are “just askin'” here. You are assuming much and sayin’ little.

    Perhaps we should consider these questions: Do you know Kate? Have you read anything she’s written? Have you listened to any of the podcasts in which she is interviewed? Have you read any of the words of other OW members? Have you heard them bear their testimonies? Have you heard them cry genuine tears over this? Do you know their hearts? Do you know their intentions? Do you know God’s will concerning these sisters?

    • How do you know their tears are genuine? Do YOU really know the heart of someone else? I think only God can. What I do know, is my own heart, and I have prayed and studied and learned for myself – that I do know for sure. “By their fruits ye shall know them” tells me the damage and destruction and methods they use – their “fruits” are not good fruits. I have read some and listened to some of their arguments, and have felt an uneasy spirit. That is also the “stupor of thought” that motivates me to move on to things of the spirit, that are enlightening and uplifting to me, and the “burning in my bosom” tells me the things the Apostles and Prophet and even the PR guy are saying is of God.

      So if Kate Kelly has received an answer that says she “should” and I have received an answer that says “we shouldn’t”, how do we (the world) know which of us is right? Only by personal inspiration and conviction – then I look to the Prophet and apostles for a confirmation of that.

      • Exactly Kathy! I agree 100%. And to add… we’ve gotten our confirmation that what they are doing is wrong.

        It’s clear that their “answer” to their prayers were wanted… so of course they were blinded. They went to the Lord telling him what THEY wanted. You can’t hear the answer you should get if your heart isn’t open to it. I’ve read enough of her things, & heard enough of her interviews to know she is only open to getting what she wants, not what God wants.

  23. Ann:

    “I’ve been treated like an intelligent woman, & an equal… without pushing an agenda that is clearly wrong.”

    Clearly wrong? These women, hundreds of them, have fasted and prayed to know the Lord’s will for them. Following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, they have acted in a way that you neither embrace or understand, but for you to state that it is “clearly wrong” strips them of their agency to act on promptings.

    “Kate Kelly is an activist. She has learned to carefully craft speeches to pull others in. A perfect pasty for the adversary to use.”

    Or, perhaps it is a perfect tool for the LORD to use. Do you seek personal revelation for Kate Kelly or the hundreds of women who have prayed, and received an answer? You, Ann, know of a surety that this is the work of Satan?

    “I feel disrespected and marginalized by HER and her groups actions.”

    Really? This is hurting you, personally?

    “I’ve never felt that way from my leaders.”

    Good. I’m sincerely happy for you. I haven’t felt that way from mine either, but I can sure have empathy for these sisters who have felt that way. Just because I don’t SHARE their experience, doesn’t mean I can’t feel sorrow for their sorrow and trust that they are doing what they’ve been prompted to do. Who am I to doubt the authenticity of their answered prayers?

    “Her experience shows that there are imperfect people just like her in the church.”

    And just like me… and just like you…

    “But, she is trying to punish the entire church for her area leaders actions. She is trying to change doctrine.”

    No. She is not trying to punish the church, nor is she trying to change doctrine. OW has stated, again and again, that they KNOW doctrine can only be changed by God, through the First Presidency. That is why she wants to TALK to them… to tell them her feelings and promptings, and to ask them to make this a SINCERE matter of prayer.

    “By pushing. By demanding. Neither of which is asking meekly, & faithfully like she is claiming.”

    Pushing, yes. Demanding, no. Show me ONE quote by OW that looks like a demand to you. As for meekness… they tried that. No one listened. As for faithfulness, this group is ALL about faithfulness. I am in awe of how these women remain faithful through this trial.

    • Yes. Her actions are disrespectful to all of us that she claims to be speaking for, when we don’t feel that way. She in all actuality is the one telling us we’re not good enough because we don’t hold the priesthood. Besides that point, she is disrespecting God’s chosen leaders… MY leaders. It’s hurtful.

    • You say that she knows God is the only one who can change doctrine so she wants to go through our prophets and apostles to have them ask God. When they responded to her telling her to quit protesting was that not enough of an answer? Even the prophet can’t change the will of God just because he asks. If he asks and it is in accordance with the will of God that is a different matter. The excommunication of Kate Kelly was a highly public event. It went public when she made it public. Do you think that if the prophet or apostles had an answer from God that was “No, she is right. Women do need the priesthood right now.” that she would still be excommunicated? No. They would have stopped it and rebuked her local leaders. They haven’t done that. I can only assume that they sustain that decision and are sincerely hoping she will come back to the church. And yes, I am assuming here. I haven’t had a chance to go and personally ask Kate Kelly or any of the apostles what they think about this.

  24. I strongly felt the spirit as I read this blog. The “church” doesn’t say anything! The scriptures and prophets reveal the Lord’s will to us. Does He then force us to agree? I have my own relationship with God and through the Holy Ghost I find answers to difficult questions: sometimes the answer “find peace my child … I’m watching over things. I am all powerful – I never lie … I will take care of things” and I totally believe Him. Good grief, who created the world and all of us and everything? God! We can’t trust him enough to believe He will reveal what He knows is best for us and His church – and that He will remove a prophet who would lead us astray…

    • In order of importance, as a daughter of God first, a wife second, a mother (of 5) third, a grandmother (of 23), fourth, a visiting teacher 5th, a friend 6th, an humanitarian 7th and as a converted Mormon (on several occasions) of 44 years, I am saddened by all the injustice that is happening to womanhood that lies within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Outside the church a woman cannot expect to know or understand the sacred blessings that accompany an eternal marriage between a man and a women when performed in the sacred temples of the Lord. Within those sacred temple walls, ordinances are performed and covenants made with God through the sealing power which enables each couple to hold the most blessed and most miss-understood power on the earth today, that of the priesthood. But my comment is not really for those women. It is for all those women within the church that are allowing the adversary to put blinders on them and forget who they are and whose they are. That is why I’m a daughter of God first and a wife second. It was promised to me 42 years ago that as long as I lived up to my promises, (whether my husband did or didn’t, and vise versa) God would live up to his promises. That all HE has could be mine or ours. How much more equal can you get than that? Even if my husband doesn’t carry through with his part, I still, through that priesthood power, receive all the Father has! Just remember sisters….don’t look down..look up! If you continue to do so, generations after you will forever be grateful for your faith AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD, WIFE, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER! You have the same priesthood power I have. Don’t lose it by underestimating it’s purpose and power in your life. Use it to benefit your life and receive all that the Lord has. For those sisters who have not yet received those ordinances as of yet, I strongly urge you to call upon God to lead you to that path of happiness.

  25. Here is what bugs me. There are “Utah” mormons which are extremely fundamentalist and judgemental (in my and obviously others experience) and there are the rest of us. Truthfully the “Utah” mormons are like the Jews of old, so bogged down in the dogma that they seem to forget the basic tenants of the religion, and instead worry about the length of a womans dress, or if someone is drinking a diet coke. To any non-members reading, or even those in Utah raised by a “Utah” Mormon… Read Janice’s post above… she nails it. You are to have a personal relationship with God, the scriptures are signs and guides to follow on that personal path/journey. Church leaders assist in that guidance/journey. If you start to worry about anything or anybody else, you are not being true to the faith. Deiter Uchdorff said it best – “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”.

  26. Anytime you are going to tell YOUR God that you have the right to change his plan to fit your agenda, that is the height of arrogance! Anyone outside the church is excused from this comment

  27. The infighting over this issue and others such as gay acceptance/marriage etc. will be the downfall of this religion. Y’all had better get your stuff together and show a united front. Give it a few more decades…the LDS church will look nothing like it does now. Any institution that doesn’t evolve will cease to exist.

    • Molly – Funny you would refer to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as merely an institution. You are way underestimating the LDS church.

  28. It’s too bad we can’t have two threads… people who want to learn and discuss, and people who enjoy throwing names and insults at each other. Neither group is comfortable with the other; why stay in the same place?

  29. I am proud to say I am a Latter Day Saint. And it hurts my feelings when people make comments so full of hate and say we are blind sheep and that we don’t know what we’re talking about. I am proud to say that I do not understand all of my Heavenly Father’s plans, because it shows that I still have faith, which is more important than perfect knowledge(Alma 32:21). I respect the women who misunderstand the priesthood and the differences in the divine roles we have been given, but God’s work will go on, and his church will not fall. But how can we expect others to treat us with respect when people of our own faith are fighting against Him? I pray for those who are experience this trial of their faith, and I hope that the light of the gospel can restore their faith and remind them of the truth.
    1st Nephi 15:11- Harden not your hearts, and have faith you shall receive.

  30. Truth should never fear the spotlight nor shrink from it. The Church not only fears it, but is also attempting to shoot it out. Ironically, it’s actions just turn more spotlights on.

    How can you tell these people that they should keep their feelings to themselves or in a select circle, when historically the only thing that produces change in this organization is exactly public scrutiny? Polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, they were both doctrines that changed due to people speaking out.

    You don’t have the right to tell folks to keep their opinions or feelings secret, because you fear for the church’s image. If its negative public image trumps whatever truth you think it has, then that “truth” must be severely lacking.

    • Thank you for your comment. I feel like a lot of members have a gut reaction that change is bad. This doesn’t make a lot of sense in the light of the church’s own history, where there is a precedence for major change. That’s sort of one of the advantages of believing in a living prophet.

  31. I am a lifelong member of the LDS church. While there are many things I love about the church and the people in it, it is a man’s church. Thirty-eight years of activity tells me that.

  32. I have watched, read and listened to what everyone has said for months now concerning this issue. I can only say one thing, I am 54 years old and I have my own sins to worry about, let alone everyone else’s. I judge no one. But, listening to you all is like Jesus has died a second time and left you all in charge! GET A LIFE PEOPLE, we only have one life to live and I am certainly not going to waste it on issues like this one. Heavenly Father, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and the Living Prophet are the only ones that I receive direction from for my life. Period!

  33. Ok so… I live in Utah, and therefore cannot escape this controversy. I think the problem (as I see it) is that there seems to be a disconnect with action and outcome. Churches can do what they want and make any rules they like, but as a comparison the law can’t punish people for outcomes. We don’t punish teachers if their students don’t go to college and we don’t punish parents if their children grow up to be criminals. It seems like everyone on the “Kate Kelly deserves to go” side of things thinks that it’s ok to punish people for outcomes – instead of action.

    What is it that she specifically has said (actual quotes) that warrants punishment from her organization? This article appears to me to embody this disconnect; Lemmon isn’t arguing that what Kelly has done is actually wrong, she’s arguing that what Kelly has done has had a negative effect.

    But my question at that point is, so what? Why is it Kelly’s responsibility to make sure no one sees the LDS Church in a bad light? What exactly has she said that advocates that the LDS Church is bad? From everything I’ve read by her, she LOVES the LDS religion. She’s not trying to leave it. So why should she “get the axe” as it were, for other people’s negative take on things?

    Lemmon even points out that she is a ‘skeptic’ and a ‘journalist’. Well, ok, if you blog enough or write enough, sooner or later someone somewhere is going to see something that they have a negative reaction to. At that point, who’s fault is it and who has to reign it in?

    The author’s? Or the viewer’s?

    • OK, Nerd next door …. I’ll take a stab at that. True, we all have our agency, intelligence, ability to discern, etc. We are free to interpret what we view and hear as positive or negative. Very true. I don’t think what she is doing is simply writing a simple blog, or going to her local leaders and saying, “This is what I am seeing and feeling and thinking. This is what I am researching and these are the answers I’m getting to my prayers. These things are not in harmony with what I am hearing in church. Can I get some help or clarification with that?” That’s probably how it started. Nothing wrong with that.

      Phase 2: “No one in the church agrees with me or sees it my way. I bet I’m not the only one…. now I need to drum up support for my viewpoint.” (Since she is a civil rights attorney, she’s really good at that.) Now the support she has solicited is building, and now that she has her “safety in numbers”, it’s time for the next phase.

      Phase 3: Write the church and ask for a meeting with the Prophet. Ask for tickets to a Priesthood event that has always been designed for men. Get (probably) expected response.

      Phase 4: Organize a very visible, carefully peaceful gathering and invite the media. Go en-mass to said meeting and again, carefully and peacefully ask for admittance to the meeting for which she has already been denied tickets. Meet with the media again – feign “compliance” and faithful willing ness to submit to the leadership of the church, all while planning phase 5.

      Phase 5: Ramp up the volume. Broaden the reach of attention. Attempt to attend the same meeting 6 months from now, using all the same methods as before. Announce the plans for a second attempt.

      Phase 6: Once the letter is received, which respectfully asks for a “cease and desist, and in fact if you won’t, then please take your activities to the free speech zone, and please don’t come on church grounds with your same demonstration as before, to disturb the peace of others seeking the spirit”, blatantly refuse to comply – all the while again, feigning love for the church and the brethren.

      Phase 7: Once a church disciplinary council has been called for, cry to the media about how mistreated she has been, and how sexist the church is. Care nothing for the damage she may be doing, (the viewers you talked about) in fact at this point, she will likely twist the damage to benefit her cause, and so it goes. (I apologize if I got the timeline wrong, and I’m sure there are many phases I am not aware of.)

      While these tactics are very effective in civil settings, and for causes that do need attention – i.e.: “Save the Whales” or “End drunk driving”, they are wholly in-appropriate to use here. But it’s what she is obviously very good at, and since she is used to getting results, even with high powered men in corporate settings, she’s having a hard time not getting results in this setting. I think she sees the brethren the same way she sees those men in high positions who she has to fight against in her secular world, not truly as her personal church leaders from whom she can gain wisdom and comfort.

      This church is not a democracy, those within believe it is the Kingdom of God on the Earth. We believe has appointed Prophets and Apostles to lead it, keep order and spread the Gospel. What KK is doing is contrary to what we believe our leaders have been called to do. Theirs is a calling from God – most of us in the church believe hers is not. While I hope she can resolve her feelings and remain, it looks like Phase 8 will result in excommunication – as I doubt she’ll ever abandon her position. She’s gone too far with it now and she doesn’t seem the type to admit she may have been wrong on this one

      • @Kathy
        Thanks for being well-reasoned and calm in your response. This whole blog is getting a bit troll-y so I appreciate it.

        I guess we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I see your point that churches aren’t democracies and I agree that there are significant differences between a religion and the rest of society, but it seems to me like churches should be more kind in their treatment of offending members than their surrounding societal landscape, not less kind.

        p.s. ‘Kind’ in this instance I’m using to mean patient, accepting, long-suffering, etc.

      • If nobody in the church shared her views, she would’ve been the only one at General Conference, and the online membership of OW wouldn’t be in the thousands. Also, see the comments from women on this blog and elsewhere who say they agree and respect Kate Kelly for what she’s doing as they feel the same, but don’t have the courage to openly agree with her because they fear the backlash from fellow members/family. I am in that situation. I have friends in that situation. The negative reaction from the GA, but most importantly from individual members, is scaring women into silence and compliance. That’s not the work of love. That’s a tactic of securing obedience through fear. I kind of feel like the majority of members have taken a Puritan approach to this whole thing, and I don’t think the church is better for it.

    • @ nerd, Let’s get one thing straight, while airing your doctrinal grievances publicly might have a negative effect on investigators, that isn’t the reason why the church is disciplining KK. The church has a duty to protect and maintain the purity of revealed doctrine. That means private issues with doctine are never an issue until the individual starts to publicly question the church, tries to persuade members to their views, collects like minded individuals, contacts the media, and broadcasts it to the world. This has to do with reaffirming boundaries and roles in God’s Kingdom. The leaders are the ones the Lord has placed in charge of revealing doctrine and changes not KK or OW. They can choose to manage their concerns between themselves and God, or they can have restrictions placed on their membership up to and including excommunication. Publicly voicing your doctrinal disagreements is questioning the leader’s authority and the church’s veracity and places a question mark on the truthfulness of our message. That is why the leaders are forced to act here. They have to defend the doctrine she has placed in question.

      • @let’s get one things straight:
        So you’re saying she questioned them, so they have to excommunicate her.

        I think that’s a good summation of the problem. To outsiders (and non-LDS Utahns) what the LDS church is doing looks really REALLY bad on them. If you don’t care or don’t think it matters how it looks, that’s a different problem, but this is the exact reason people are now looking toward Utah and being like ‘what the crazy?!?’

        Everything you just said is the problem for everyone who isn’t a mormon (or a hard core mormon as Kelly and many of the people that like her are clearly mormon). So, use whatever reasoning you’d like to defend it, but it’s still making Utah look egregiously nuttier than usual. THAT’S the problem. If you think it’s not in fact making Utah and Mormons looks bad, I’d love to hear why not. If you think it’s OK that Mormons make the state look bad, or there’s a really good reason why it’s OK the state itself looks bad to outsiders, well… that argument’s been done.

      • @ nerd, No this isn’t just about questioning. The letter she got even stated that. Any member can have questions, and even voice those questions. KK hasn’t had a question in a long time. The ow site basically says that women need to be ordained, but says nothing about them questioning or them asking the leaders anything. This is contrary to what has been revealed to our prophet and apostles. She’s been teaching false doctrine that women need to be ordained, she has been organizing a group that has been demonstrating, and has been gathering supporters. All of these are facts that she would not deny and all show apostasy. It is a no brainer that she has been excommunicated. This is how the church defends the Lords doctrine from detractors in the church.

        If members don’t agree with a doctrine in the church, they can pray over it, talk to friends and family, ask local priesthood leaders or even just wait on the Lord. The apostles are not available to answer member questions and just because a certain question is important to you doesn’t mean you can force the Lord to give more revelation on it. E Oaks have a definitive answer in the last conference that implied that they asked and said flat out that the revelation to make a change didn’t come. The Lord makes that decision.

        Nerd, if you aren’t in this church, what does it matter to you? There are plenty of churches that baptize gays and let women preach. I feel bad for KK but I am not surprised, nor do I think her surprise is genuine. She’s been meeting with her leaders for a year now and they have been clear on their Expectations.

      • It matters to every non-LDS person in Utah if the LDS Church makes Utah look insane. You are not the only ones here and you personally dcsouthgw need to stop pretending like these things don’t affect anyone but mormons in the state. How the rest of the U.S. sees one state affects the whole state.

        Do I really need to remind everyone here of Arizona?

      • Nerd – am I missing something about Arizona? Please tell what you are referring to …. I always thought it was a pretty nice state!?

      • It is… kind of. Just like Utah. It’s nice… kind of. The specific instance I’m talking about is SB 1062 which resulted in a pretty bad PR fallout for AZ, and business owners were very upset about loss of revenue.

      • @Kathy, Nerd is talking about our immigration issues. Google az sb1070
        @nerd, I actually live in az, but I find the logic of judging a moral/spiritual position based on how it reflects on everyone else in a town, city, or state as living your life based on other people’s expectations. Who can be expected to assume what others think about an issue and then just change who they are or what they think based everyone else’ s needs? Sounds like a recipe for repression and an anxiety disorder.
        I hate to put it so bluntly, but Jesus never lived differently because it offended others and neither can those who profess to live His gospel. No one in this life would be successful I’d they lived their lives by the opinions of an entire state’s worth of people. I don’t forsee a fun time for you in Ut, because we aren’t going to change anyone soon.

      • Look, it isn’t just about you or me (you seem chronically unwilling to recognize that). This isn’t about anxiety disorders or personal expectations.

        This is about the reality that the world is now very much a highway of information and appearances affect people in real ways.

        SB 1070, though additionally ridiculous is not what I’m referring to. Arizona’s SB 1062 caused an absolutely massive PR fallout and resulted in real revenue losses to the entire state. It spotlighted Arizona as the most backward state in the U.S. in the news for months. Does no one remember this?

        I have lived in Utah for a long time. There are places that are quite beautiful about the state. The culture is excessively homogenous, but the landscape is amazing. Surely, I can’t be the only Utahan that recognizes that looking insane typically results in losses to the entire state.

        As a state, we need federal funding for programs (programs that typically must maintain high social standards to be funded in the first place), and we want people to move here and build businesses and buy houses and pay taxes (so that the state can, you know, do things), and we want large businesses that are already here to export or make deals outside of the state, and we want large businesses that aren’t here to invest in the state by placing an Adobe campus in Lehi, and we want colleges to have robust foreign exchange programs with people who want to come to Utah for their education.

        What exactly is it about a global economy that you’re not understanding? Or a national one for that matter? Or the reality that this is being publicized internationally, and not in a fun ‘Yay Utah!’ kind of way? Australia has covered this story. Ireland has covered this story. The NYT has covered this story extensively. This is a huge PR fallout at this point. And you must – you MUST understand that making an entire state look bad has very real, economic, and tangible consequences for the entire state as a whole. I am concerned about Utah the state, and your response to that concern is: “I don’t foresee a fun time for you in Utah” and “we aren’t going to change”.

        So I’ll just leave a question for you: Can you think of one, just one single time in history, where a refusal to see a problem resulted in a desirable outcome for the purposefully blind?

        I can’t.

      • @Nerd, I don’t know where to start.
        1) How is this in any way relevant to the post on ow, kk, or the church’s use of excommunication? There is no mention of economics in the post and it has no relevance to the issue Kayla brought up.
        2) Utah’s public opinion issues is the worry of no one but their public officers, and the idea that you would make it a religion’s issue or a personal issue defies logic. EVERY state is plagued by embarrassing issues as you so easily pointed out with az.
        3) What you find embarrassing is subjective and pointless to argue since you don’t represent a majority.
        4) Capitalism: I don’t care how many crazy issues come up in a state, no company will over look money and profit to go somewhere else because of silly headlines. See number 2. Incentives, subsidies, and market health will alwayscreate growth. Again look how awesome az is doing despite the headlines.
        5) Who, business or person, do you know that bases all their opinions on generalized stereotypes? You’re saying that because most of Utah is Mormon, that everyone will believe that all Utahans believe the same way, or that all Mormons believe the same? Do these same people and businesses believe that all Asians are good at math, all Southern accents indicate low intellect, that all blacks like certain kinds of food and that all Jews are stingy? Who lives their lives in fear of imagined stereotypes?
        6) What I do understand about global economics is that the LDS church and its few members are not so arrogant to think that we have influence over the fortune 1000 as to keep them out of Utah.
        7) As to your question about ignoring problems, the gospel as preached out of the scriptures has always highlighted the talent of God’s people to not cave to social pressure, to resist social norms that violate God’s laws. Do I need to give examples? … like Moses destroying idolatry out of Israel or Elijah destroying the prophets of baal. The idea that we upset your social norms and make the state look old fashioned makes us happy.
        Nerd, try to broaden out the issue all you want, but this is only a problem with a few members teaching false doctrine and a church that has to set boundaries. Members get excommunicated on a daily basis in our church and in other churches, but now is the only time you complain. Where was your righteous embarrassment for the other thousands of excommunicated members. Face it, you can’t argue with a church regulating this addictive, so you are manufacturing a secondary issue to confuse the issue.
        Again good luck in Utah, it will always be that way.

      • Well you’re right about one thing: Mormons like you will always be in Utah and they will never change. You make Utah look bad and you make the LDS church look bad and and you are just everywhere. You’re perceived as a mean-spirited self-righteous group for good reason. And everyone outside the church and Utah will continue to have a negative view of you and yet, you will never care enough, not even about your state as a whole, to change your bad behavior. And when someone (or, you know, the entire planet) points out the bad behavior and how it negatively impacts you and others around you, you will continue to tell those people, in every imaginable way possible, to shut up and get out.

        Your ability to justify a real problem is staggering. And it’s impossible to argue with someone who’s in denial.

      • @nerd, this is a religious issue, not economic or political and there are plenty of churches who still restrict female ordination, so I still don’t see why you are focusing on Mormons over Catholics or Baptists. I still take issue with your stand that religious people need to make spiritual decisions based on what is socially acceptable. Because all churches claim to represent God, they have to regulate the doctrine taught and accepted within their organization. If a member is teaching what the church considers to be false doctrine, they have a duty to act. KK is on a social crusade and had been her whole life. No one has every denied the right to question or to have opposing opinions, but the minute any member tries to teach different, unverified doctrine as truth, they are asked to stop and eventually asked to leave. It is the same thing Jesus would have done, and what the apostles did in the new testament. This is healthy boundary keeping. She had every opportunity to stop proselytizing her message, and she chose not to.

        You aren’t lds, so big surprise that you don’t agree with this doctine, but let’s not get melodramatic about how this hurts you as a utahan, or all lds women, or that you have some magic insight into how everyone else sees Mormons. The only perception you have is your own perspective, and you have no right to speak for how other people see us.

      • You do know that the church used to openly teach that black people had darker sin because they were less righteous in the pre-existence, right? Should black people not have publicly aired their dissatisfaction with that position of the leaders of the church, a position which the church has completely rejected now?

      • Ann – Please refresh my memory …. It sounds like prior to the ban on blacks in the priesthood being lifted in 1979, there must have been thousands of disgruntled black members who organized their troops, marched on Temple Square and went on radio and TV talk shows, wrote letters to the editor, talking about how they feel oppressed, the church has it wrong, and that they themselves had received personal revelation that the prophets were all dragging their feet on this issue and it was up to them to push it through the ranks? Did they demand the prophet ask and reveal the answer personally?

        No – though they questioned, they followed in faith for many decades. They let the prophets deliberate and ask – for many decades – and when the Lord saw fit, it was revealed through the proper line of authority.

  34. Mosiah 4:9; D&C 121:34-42.

    We mortal human beings seem to think we know everything, even more than God at times. We can all point out the reasons for both sides, why women should receive the priesthood and why they shouldn’t. And both sides have very valid concerns and points. But in the end we just need to trust that God knows something that we don’t. It’s called faith.

    And please, someone give me one other church who depends upon and openly and publicly praises women for all that they do more than the LDS church. Give me another religion that believes that men cannot teach their full potential without a woman by his side. Also, please name one other church or religion that believes in a higher eternal potential that women can achieve.

    The world from the outside views the church as oppressing towards women (because they can’t have the priesthood) because that’s how men in the world behave, in business or government or whatever. Well the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not designed to be a worldly organization. The church was not designed to be politically correct. There is order and structure in everything God does, and this will all make sense one day on the other side.

    What is sad here is that everyone is viewing the priesthood as something that allows you to have power over and to control others. This is not the purpose of the priesthood, and any man who uses it in this way will be held accountable to God. The priesthood is only to be used to serve others. It is a duty and responsibility. It’s not about power at all (see the D&C reference above).

      • @ TNND

        You’re talking about real-life equality, with men and women having access to the same roles and authority. They’re talking about a more ephemeral, hypothetical sort of equality, in which women are useful accessories to a man’s roles and authority, but it’s fine, because even accessories are good for something.

        Yes, the episcopal church is doing much better than the LDS church at actual-equality, but if this thread is anything to go by, the LDS is absolutely leading the world in pretend-equality.

  35. There is something so inherently wrong with this line of thinking……that complaints belong behind closed doors.

    You are pointing a finger at these women who are asking uncomfortable questions and shaming them for the bad PR fallout or lost opportunities to convert more people to the LDS faith.

    Try to see these vocal women in the same light that you see these investigators.

    While the investigators are choosing to turn away from doctrine that they find repugnant, the “agitators” are the ones who are staying in spite of the pain they feel.

    Everyone on earth has the Light of Christ to guide them. Maybe we need to give sincere investigators more credit.

    You seem to argue that the world’s disdain of gender roles and a “separate but equal” abhorrence has nothing at all to do with the Light of Christ.

    • Except a LOT of the OW aren’t even members. Some non, some anti, some former members who have left or are on their way out. Most that I know personally, are on their way out because of the OW situation. So no… a lot of them aren’t staying. In fact, They are actively trying to hurt the church, & its members. The members that are staying “in spite of pain” I truly feel for. It doesn’t mean they are right.

      • The driving point of the post was to lament the loss of new converts due to the equality controversy.

        You say that you feel bad for members who stay in spite of pain, but that “it doesn’t mean they are right.” This mindset goes right to the heart of the issue.

        Faithful Mormons who believe that patriarchy hurts everyone (in miniscule ways or major ways) are simply told that they are wrong and do not understand the gospel.

        Yet investigator after investigator after investigator think this same way. These people already have a testimony of what equality looks like. They are not willing to shelf such a core belief.

        Why should we seek to pull more and more people into a place that not only ignores their pain but tries to shame the person for feeling that pain?

        We blame OW for these people who say “Thanks but no thanks,” to the missionaries but logic follows that if they were to join the church, they’d likely end up making their own OW profile and feeling heat for it.

        The church has basically said “we don’t know why the priesthood is reserved for men only”……so members are left with nothing other than faith and loyalty to defend the current power structure of the church.

        It’s hard enough for an agnostic to find the faith to believe in a Savior…..how much harder is it to ask investigators to find the faith to believe in something that they find abhorrent (inequality and leadership privileges based on gender).

        It isn’t OW that is scaring people away, it’s the current doctrine.

      • @ Jessica, As a traditionalist, I’m prepared to admit while valid, the point about investigators being hurt by the OW message is more of a peripheral issue. Investigators will have to answer for their own response to the gospel.

        The OW camp seems to be divided into 2 parts, those who question why women aren’t ordained and those who have received their own revelation, are convinced that women should be ordained, and are waiting for the leadership to confirm it. The OW Org’s mission statement shows that they are in the 2nd group. If they are so sure of their revelation, where is the leeway that their revelation could be wrong, or that they don’t have the right to get revelation for the church? The only question the ow site is asking now is when the leaders plan on confirming their revelation and start ordaining women.

        You talk about pain of not fitting in and I say to you that the gospel requires everyone to give up parts off their old self to fit in. Each has to sacrifice and each has to reconcile faith without all of the information, without having a perfect knowledge. All of us are seeking one kind of an answer or another. Telling God that one question is more burdensome than the others and therefore more revelation must be given is completely backwards. It is God’s will that sets when and where revelation will be given. Your question isn’t any more important than mine and neither of us have any right to do anything but to keep humbly and patiently asking the Lord directly.

      • Jessica,

        7.Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

        …or are you above that too?

        The “current doctrine” that you refer to is the doctrine that has always existed in this church. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Larry,

        I accept the current doctrine/setup of Patriarchy on faith. That is enough. That’s all I can give.

        There are countless women in the church who take it to the next step and give all kinds of reasons to justify excluding women from giving healing blessings, baptizing, passing the sacrament, etc.

        But those reasons that they testify of (men “need” priesthood, women would “take over” etc) are speculation.

        We really don’t know WHY it is the way it is.

        I am a member of your church and I am allowed to tell the world that I DO understand why so many people find the church’s gender roles offensive.

        I am allowed to think that Kate’s question was a good one. Can women hold the priesthood too? There is no way to vilify this question. It is a beautiful question.

        I feel like your comment was meant to let me know that you don’t think I’m righteous enough to attend the temple if I feel this way and voice my opinion.

      • Why should we listen to a group of women who continue to ignore the counsel of the people they pretend to sustain?

      • You have access to the membership status of the OW members? You’re sure that a lot of them aren’t members? Or are you just assuming that because their viewpoint doesn’t align with yours? Don’t make disparaging or dismissive claims about a group unless you actually have proof that your claims are true.

    • “There is something so inherently wrong with this line of thinking…that complaints belong behind closed doors. ”

      Well said.

  36. Amen. Thank you for sharing this. I agree we are forgetting why we are here. We are letting little things hinder us from eternal salvation and serving others. And like you said, instead of seeking an answer in private from our Heavenly Father we are searching for an answer out in the open in social media. It is hurting us. Again, thank you.

  37. dcsouthgw,

    You say OW is just telling the prophet to follow their own revelations, but I really do think that OW is still about asking the prophet and apostles to ask the Lord….maybe I’m wrong. I think that they are still waiting for any of the leaders of the church (or even the PR people) to tell them that the question was actually asked. You know, taken to the Lord “asked.”

    You say that it’s backwards to ask for a revelation because we all have different burdens and God “sets” revelations but asking for a revelation has happened in the past with wonderful results so there is a great precedent.

    You mention my pain in “not fitting in” and that I ought to give up parts of myself to fit in. Well my pain isn’t not fitting in. It isn’t pain from trying to keep one foot in Babylon either (which is the only reason we should ever tell people to give up parts of their old self)…..

    It’s actually more like the pain that comes from bristling against church culture (like judging women wearing dress pants to church…no matter how dressy they are), recognizing the harm that can result from strict enforcement of gender roles (namely financial dependence on an abusive husband), combined with longing to know more about my divine nature as a daughter of both a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (it would be nice to know more about her and I am sad that I don’t and I think that sadness isn’t something I should try to overcome.) I’m not going to make up my own ideas about Her to console myself either…..or I’d end up convinced that the Holy Ghost was actually Heavenly Mother. No, I’ll stick with longing for more knowledge and living with the pain of having to simply wait for it.

    I don’t think my questions are any more important than other people’s questions.

    • @Jessica, I have to say that your comments have been the most pleasant of the OW supporters. You have a way of highlighting the compassion of the issue and it’s something that I miss from Ann’s comments even though her and I are more aligned ideologically. Sorry Ann, your harsh retorts make me cringe even as a traditionalist defender, and I am harkening back to the comments made on the first blog post.

      Jessica, mentioning pain wasn’t to imply that you are still babylonian, but harkens back to the definition of pride given by Pres Benson. We all battle with pride, no matter how deep we are into the atonement and church culture. I have ways in which I am at odds with God, my favorite sins or just ways in which I haven’t aligned all of my opinions with what God has revealed. I can relate to the questions that take time or may not come at all in this lifetime. I have my own. Some can have pain attached to them like you mentioned. I would love more knowledge on Heavenly Mother. I’m as attached to Her as all of the women out there. Individual reactions to dealing with long term pain will vary. Some will rail against God, some will place blame on institutions, some will try to deaden the pain by destructive habits, some will try to end the pain by their own suicidal means, and others may find some purity in relenting to the will of the Lord and finding a way of enduring with faith. I work in the counseling field and there is a whole system of therapy based on acceptance and cognitive restructuring or learning to retrain the mind to redefine the experience and to choose what to focus on. I’ve had to use it on my own pain and find parallels in how the prophets who suffer some of the greatest mortal losses can persevere.

      I don’t belittle the pain that OW minded individuals feel at the perceived inequalities. Just that they can justify the implications that go along with taking private questions public and admitting the rationale of exerting public pressure on the Lord’s anointed leaders. Implying that the Lord can’t find leaders that would listen to a revelation even if it went against social norms. Also implying that because there was an example of race being denied due to preconceived notions, that it is a pattern and God has been waiting for 6000 years to find a prophet willing to extend the priesthood to women.

      Lastly, I respect your enduring in your tough questions, and I highlight a purpose in the atonement that covers psychological and emotions pain. His burden is easy and His yoke is light.

      • @ dcsouthgw & Jessica – With respect to pain …. nothing in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is intended to bring pain, only peace and comfort. When we experience pain, it can be from an external source, (abuse, death, loss) or most often, and internal source (sin, self doubt). Then, we all have a choice – to seek comfort, forgiveness (giving or receiving), access faith, kick against the pricks, reject counsel, whatever. Either way, if we choose to access the atonement and exercise faith, all pain can be eventually eliminated if we endure to the end. That is the plain and simple Gospel truth.

        Pain elicits the very human responses of fight or flight, i.e.: work through it, or abandon the source of pain. It would be crazy to just sit and endure the pain without trying to relieve it in some way. In turning to the Savior, He will help us either fight the pain (help us work through while He gives us comfort) or flee the pain (help us work through it while He gives us comfort). I don’t think He ever wants us to abandon Him or His church, as they are not the source of pain, but when properly used, the resolution of it.

      • @Kathy, I totally agree that emotional pain is a mental construct, it is based on our reactions. I didn’t mean to imply that God is trying to give us pain, although I do believe that trial is one of His most useful tools to foster humility and faith. The atonement is designed to help with sin and pain.

        @Ann, Big surprise to find out you don’t care how you sound. Every post you make reeks of “I’m right and screw you”. I guess that is what you are calling blunt. That is your right, and it doesn’t “offend” me, but if you have ever preached the gospel, you would know that the gospel is best taught with love, not with self righteousness. It makes me wonder how you sound in person when you are being a missionary…hopefully not like this. You did make one great suggestion at the end that I plan on following. Thanks.

      • I really don’t care if you think my comments are compassionate or not. I’m not here to please you.

        You really can’t understand the tone through the internet. You have no idea how much thought goes into what I say (the longer comments). I’m just blunt. I don’t apologize for that. I won’t skirt around just to *hopefully* not offend, because no matter what I say, someone will be offended.

        Ironically, one of the talks in my sacrament today was about how you have to choose to be offended…

        If you really don’t like how I present myself, feel free to ignore my comments. Calling me out just to say you don’t feel compassion from my posts is unnecessary.

  38. I’ve multiple comments on here saying that many women want the priesthood. Even if that is the case it doesn’t matter. Let me put it this way. Let’s say life gets stressful and I want to drink some alcohol or calm my nerves by smoking some marijuana. I rally all my friends who are on board with me. I get 1,000 followers of “Let’s change (update) the Word of Wisdom because I don’t like it and I feel like I don’t fit in. I feel restricted and unequal in society. After all alcohol and marijuana are legal (in certain states). I go to the Prophet and ask him to ask the Lord to receive revelation for me to suit what I want.

    …Sound familiar?

    • Like how black people men wanted the priesthood, but they shouldn’t have ever asked for it, because asking for a privilege that is reserved for a few is EXACTLY like asking for something that is forbidden to all.

  39. I just re-read your blogs on the Ordain Women movement that has been going on and I want you to know that I feel like you’ve got it spot on! The thing about ALL of this that has broken my heart the most is what it’s doing to those brothers and sisters who had their foot in the door, ready to accept the Gospel only to take two steps back!

    I remember when my husband and I first moved into our house, we had this amazing neighbor (who is still a wonderful friend of ours) that was sooo full of God’s light! She started taking the lessons almost immediately! And then, in the news, there was that stunt pulled by non-members dressing up like missionaries and robbing people’s house! It was terrible. This caused our neighbor to be CONVINCED that the Elders that were teaching her were trying to break into her house (she even went as far as to have her brother sleep downstairs for weeks trying to catch them). We pleaded with her that she was mistaken, but she would have none of it and insisted that she could no longer take the lessons. It was heartbreaking– but at least I was able to stand firm in explaining to her that the men that were doing this to people’s homes were NOT Mormon.

    But you can’t do that with the Ordain Women… they ARE Mormon, they are from our church… we can’t just dismiss this away as someone “pretending” to understand… they know the blessings and consequences and they are still doing this. Leading fellow brothers and sisters of our church to revolt against the leaders of our church, and in turn, against God Himself. And we can’t just say, “oh they’re not members, they don’t actually understand what they’re doing” because they do. They must.

    All of this just breaks my heart. Yes, my heart aches for Sister Kelly and her loss… but more so it aches for Sister Kelly and her misguidance of herself and others… how far removed she must be from the Spirit and the truth of The Gospel for her to say such things as, “they’ve kicked me out of heaven” or (and this one really hit me in the gut) “I do not acknowledge that God recognizes this decision….I don’t think these men have control over that”.

    Why do these women want ordination of the Priesthood when they obviously don’t believe in it in the first place?

    And non-members, investigators, and struggling members alike are reading this and hearing this and seeing this.

    I’m just so heartbroken. I think about my family… who are all non-members and I wonder, are they reading this? Is my father who loves to read the “highlights” of everything going on in the world doing just that, reading the “highlights” of what’s going on in his daughters church and in turn baring down that much harder that he and my mom won’t be joining?

    Sister Kelly could have done this so much better. She could still have all the blessings of the Temple if she had just done things as The Lord commands, by His will. Not hers!

    And now what does she have to show for it? In her interview it seems like she’s taking steps closer to the world than to God. And she’s bringing as many souls down with her as she can grab at. Sweet souls that just don’t know any better… or worse, those that do and have been waiting for something like this to push their agenda against the church.

    Thank you for writing the blogs you did. They are really wonderful and informative without being aggressive. You have such a sweet, kind spirit and way about you. You follow the Gospel and adhere to The Lord’s will and it shows. I love reading your blog and I aspire to one day write my own blog… when I get brave.

    Love and blessings to you Sister! And P.S. I hope you get your baby soon… I’m 9 months pregnant and it took my husband and I some time to get pregnant and it truly is the most amazing miracle ever. I can’t wait for you to experience that– and you will. 🙂

    • Tiffany,
      Maybe instead of worrying about the non members who may or may not be influenced by what Mormons are doing that you don’t agree with you can instead hold your judgment (and your tongue) and be compassionate and realize that this life is our opportunity to grow and learn and perhaps fall. Worry about your own progression and your own path. That is the type of Mormon that people need to see. The non judgmental ones who are loving and compassionate of everyone. Members and non members alike and those strong with faith and those with doubts.

      • @Jolin- This conversation is happening only because OW decided to take their doctrinal questions public. They decided that being quiet, that persevering privately was too hard. They wanted to start a discourse and it is unrealistic to think that this discourse will only be with members who agree with them. They have the privilege to disagree with church doctrine and traditional members have the privilege to disagree with them and to be specific as to why we disagree. That isn’t disrespect, ostracism, or lacking love. That is having a discourse. We can love them while we explain why we disagree with their interpretation, their activism, and their publicity hounding. We can even love them while we ask the logical question about what keeps them in the church when they believe it’s leaders are misled.

  40. Pingback: När går man över gränsen? | Mormonlady & Friends

  41. Pingback: Bloggare i Mormonkyrkan stöder Kate Kelly i ett upprop | Mormonlady & Friends

  42. This blog post was relevant prior to KK being excommunicated. Now that she is I think it is appropriate to transition the dialog from if members are allowed to question to the outline that was offered KK for what she was being ex’d for. That letter put to rest the notion that members can’t have questions or doctrinal doubts. It put to rest the idea that we can’t disagree on doctrine with the church or even have public discourse on our doubts. The line drawn was that you can’t teach false doctrine or your own opinions as truth, try to rally support for it, and lobby the church for change. The church has no need for heretical activists. This is a simple case of the church exercising a doctrinal boundary.

  43. I just read this post and I have to say in the church we worry too much about not offending others when we share our opinions or when we talk about a topic like this one. The truth is that there is always a someone that is going to feel offended. Kayla, you asked we should ask questions in the media or to people that may find this being a stumble block in their lives. Well, I am surprised you asked a question like this. Many things in life can become a stumble block for different people. We cannot stop talking or communicating because what we say may potentially be a stumble block for someone, or may not. No one what can become a stumble block for someone or not. If it becomes a stumble block, then we deal with it the best we can. Yeah, you know God gives us more than we can handle many times. Yes, we will survive. Just keep in mind that silence can also be very damaging and become a stumbling block for other. Many ex- mormons complain that they were not able to talk about things in church or other mormons because of the culture we have in church to avoid confrontational issues. I think it is part of mormon culture to be told by our leaders that we should not talk about certain things because people can become inactive. This is culture, not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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