The Awakening: Priestesshood

Another note: I intended to reply to several comments on my last post, but I want to be very thoughtful in my responses and school has left me little time to devote to my blog. Again, I’m reading and considering all of them, but these posts are quite time intensive to write, edit, etc, and so I’m not going to be able to address as many comments as I’d like. Thank you to all those who are taking the time to add to the discussion. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far. 

The topic of women getting the priesthood in the LDS church has come up quite frequently on my Formspring page. Questions related to this issue can be found here, here, and here. As I change, it’s hard not to want to feel embarrassed about what I said, but back then I really believed it and felt it was right. I think what I said here was key:

But for me, this is never an issue, because I feel like it’s asking “Why can’t I have more responsibility in life?” I don’t know about you, but I have more than enough responsibility. There are a million areas that I want to be better at already, and heaping the job of cleaning the church each week isn’t going to make me feel happier or draw closer to God. That will happen through praying, reading scriptures, etc.

I didn’t understand those who wanted women to have the priesthood, because in my mind they were saying that they wanted to be the bishop. Why would anyone want that? If God wants someone to lead one of His congregations that is certainly a great honor, it’s time-consuming, emotionally exhausting, and makes spending time with family difficult because you’re working full-time at your job while simultaneously managing a church congregation.

One day I clicked over to Feminist Mormon Housewives, and it all clicked with this post. These women aren’t asking for the priesthood, they want the priestesshood. They want something of their own, a direct way to conduit the power of God for righteous purposes. It was brought up on that site in 2010, and way back in 2005.

Wow. This is something I can believe in. A Heavenly Father and Mother who are their own Beings, separate, but truly equal. During our time on earth, my husband would be a priest, and I would be a priestess. We would exercise the power of God in our own ways bringing about good works and changing the world for the better.

An article in Sunstone titled “A Gift Given: A Gift Taken” helped me finally come around to my new position of advocating for the priestesshood. I was shocked to realize that advocating for the priestesshood isn’t introducing something new, it is asking for women to be given back what they already had.

Imagine, you are in labor. The contractions are coming fast and strong, and you’re experiencing some very intense back labor. Instead of calling your home teacher, a man you are only mildly comfortable with anyway (least of all when sweating and panting while half-dressed through the pain) you call your visiting teachers. Quickly, an group of women is assembled. They visit you, these women who understand your pain, and lay their hands upon your head and bless you. You feel uplifted, supported, and strengthened by the collective wisdom and empathy in the group.

During the time of Joseph Smith, women did this. And when he was asked how he felt about it, he replied:

“there could be no evil in it, if God gave his sanction by healing . . . there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on the sick than in wetting the face with water.”

In the Sunstone article referenced above, Linda King Newell writes:

There is considerable evidence within the minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society Meetings to suggest that Joseph Smith seemed to envision the Relief Society as an independent organization for women parallel to the priesthood organization for men.

When I study this idea out (by reading within the documents published about such meetings), take it before God and try to puzzle out what He might be trying to tell me about it, I feel good. This idea of a parallel organization is beautiful to me, and I believe it is beautiful to God as well.

Imagine the uproar that would commence in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today if women were laying their hands on the sick and calling down the power of God for them to be healed. Such acts are certainly not equated with wetting the face with water anymore. But not that long ago women were speaking in tongues, laying their hands on the sick and healing them, and using their own form of God’s power in the temple.

Regarding my previous statements made on Formspring and elsewhere about this topic: I personally still don’t want the priesthood. However I have come to agree with the Catholic who suggested that women being excluded from the priesthood is a product of patriarchy rather than divine ordinance, which is also evident in the history of the Mormon church. I don’t want the priesthood, but I do hope that God does again restore the priestesshood to His church:

I hope to lay my hands on my husband’s head and speak to God about what he needs.

I hope to lay my hands upon the heads of my children, blessing them before school, big events, when they are ill.

I hope to be called to visit teach women who I will commune with and bless.

I hop a group of women surround me before I give birth (walk through the valley of the shadow of death), a group of women who have been what I have been through and can reach out to God pleading for what I need most.

I hope to gather my family around me before I die, bless my sons and daughters and grandchildren with the power of the Priesesshood, bear testimony to them of the things I hold most dear, and leave this world for the next, where I know my Heavenly Parents will be waiting.

 

145 thoughts on “The Awakening: Priestesshood

  1. Dear Jenna, I want to share these Bible verses with you: Galatians 3: 26 – 29. Obviously I’m not Mormon and according to the Bible I don’t believe men carry priesthood. Jesus is the only high priest. However if you have faith in Jesus, then you have authority in Him to do all those things you just mentioned! Men, women, children, everyone of all ages. Great post.

  2. A friend and I were just discussing this exact issue. I think it’s very interesting and quite thought-provoking. I’m not 100% sure where I come down on it, simply because I haven’t really thought about it in great depth.

    In some ways, I think that women already have these powers – except for the obvious laying on of hands. I pray together with the sisters that I visit teach, I pray with my husband when he is ill, I imagine that I’ll offer prayers for future children at the time of life events. I can’t say that I have felt a strong desire to lay hands on others – again, simply because I haven’t thought about it. That being said, when I have participated in giving ordinances to women in our church, it has been a profoundly moving experience. I really can’t imagine feeling anything but welcoming of the opportunity to participate in an organization that would theoretically exist under this model.

    Jenna Reply:

    I certainly don’t feel a strong desire to take on more responsibility (I’m inherently lazy), but when I think about my friend who is about to give birth, I feel this really strong desire to be the one to lay my hands on her and minister to her, instead of calling a man who could never possibly understand what she is about to go through (there’s a reason they call it “a walk through the valley of the shadow of death”). And what about T1 being really sick (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen), it would be so wonderful to share in the responsibility of blessing him and seeking out the inspiration of God as I search for the words to say.

    When men say that the words “come to them” when they are laying their hands on another… I have no idea what that means. And I would like to.

    Senora H-B Reply:

    I can definitely see your point with these situations. I just hadn’t thought about it – but I guarantee you that I will be!

  3. I guess I’m confused.

    Because even though I didn’t grow up knowing anything really about any church or really the Bible..I was always under the assumption that God works through all of us, giving each of us the power to do the things you mentioned in your post. Not just a select few.

    So are you saying that the only person who can bless your son (for example) are those who hold a priesthood, as of right now? If so, that just doesn’t sit right with me.

    What kind of movement needs to happen in order to get this rolling? Do you think it is something you’ll see in your life time, or even your children’s?

    Jenna Reply:

    We rely on what are known as Priesthood blessings to provide comfort, healing, and as a way for God to talk to us through the voice of another. For instance when someone is very sick, a priesthood holder will anoint them with oil and lay their hands on their head and bless them. Sometimes they will say the person will be healed. Sometimes they say the person will be comforted.

    For now in the LDS Church, only men can do this.

    Women can certainly pray, and do, but it’s a different experience altogether to be the one who is administering.

    There is also a tradition before each school year for father’s to give a blessing to their children by laying their hands on their head and speaking about the coming year. I would like an avenue to do the same.

  4. I’m not Mormon, so our beliefs are very different.
    But I believe in what the Bible calls the Priesthood of the Believer… that’s me, that’s my husband, that’s our son, and I pray that one day it will be our daughter. We ALL have the power of Jesus in us, and He speaks and tell us how and when He wants us to use it. I absolutely lay hands on my children and pray for them when they’re ill. My prayers are just as powerful as my husbands, and I’ve every bit God’s child… just like he is.

    Jenna Reply:

    I don’t think God values men and women any differently either 🙂

    Chelsea Reply:

    I will point out… because I don’t think any one has said this… I believe Men & Women are equal in the sight of God, but not that we’re MEANT to do the same jobs. I have the exact same power of the Lord in me that my husband does, but God has made men & women different, and therefore better suited to different leadership roles in the church. We can approach Him the same, pray the same, bless the same, heal the same. But the way we’re meant to interact with OTHERS is different… or at least, the way that I interpret the Bible, I believe our leadership roles to be different.
    “Equal but different” has always been hard for humans, I think. If we’re different than someone, it’s easy to assign a “better or worse” mindset to those differences. But I’m so SO happy to read that you’re recognizing that your power in the Lord… although different than TH’s… is no less.

    Senora H-B Reply:

    Chelsea, I really liked this comment. That’s all. 🙂

  5. Does LDS doctrine teach that your prayers and blessings that you give right now (without an “official” preiesthood calling from the LDS church) are null and void? Do you think that any prayer that you have prayed over your son up until now hasn’t been heard unless TH has given an official, priesthood holder’s blessing? What is the difference you are expecting to feel in the power of your words (in the form of a blessing) that an “official LDS” sanction of the priestesshood would give you?

    It saddens me to think that your relationship with your Heavenly Father is dependent on a group of LDS men that must give an official appointment to a man-made office of “priestesshood” for you to feel that you blessings over another would be heard. I’m sure you’re thinking, “but it’s not a man-made office…it’s an office designed by God and established by His men on earth.” Isn’t there a possibility that it’s not? Isn’t there a great chance that the reason you feel you need an official appointment to a “priestesshood” is because you have been told by men this is the case?

    Within the Scriptures, Jesus Christ intercedes on our behalf. Period. Not interceding for male priesthood holders only, but for all who accept His sacrifice as sufficient, and follow with repentence and belief in Him.

    Chelsea Reply:

    YES. If this was on Facebook, I’d “like” it. A lot.

    Meg @ Moments Like This Reply:

    LIKE

    Senora H-B Reply:

    You know, Amy, I think this might be why I haven’t really thought about this. I haven’t ever felt like my prayers and blessings weren’t answered because I don’t have the priesthood.

    Katy Reply:

    This is how I feel too and why the issue of not having a formal priesthood has never bothered me. Now, if in some future time God reveals that He wants to give us some additional priestesshood of our own, that will be great, but it’s not going to happen..until it happens. Does that make any sense?

    If priesthood was something given from the men in the church and largely up to *them*, I’d hope and petition that women who want it, could get it, but seeing as how it comes from God, I just don’t worry about having it because maybe it’s just not time yet. If/when it should happen, it will, and I don’t plan on worrying about it until it does. I know that if I want to bless my family, children, and others, I can and don’t feel like God hears me less.

    Jo(ke) Reply:

    Amen to your comment and especially your last paragraph.

    Jenna Reply:

    Oh I don’t think anything about Church doctrine implies that God doesn’t listen to your prayers, no matter your gender or belief system. Within the current LDS guidelines, I am free to pray for my son as often as I’d like, but I am never allowed to pray *over* him. (Barring some extreme circumstance where a priesthood leader is unavailable and I act in the name of the Priesthood to save a life or heal someone at a time when it must be done immediately).

    Within the Church the Priesthood is passed down from one man to another, typically given at the age of 12, in an unbroken chain. Emphasis is placed on being worthy, of growing closer to the Lord, of the great power that can come as acting as an instrument for the Lord for those in need.

    I want a similar experience for women.

    Zoe Reply:

    I’m sorry, I missed the difference…what does it mean to pray “over” someone vs praying for them?

    Jenna Reply:

    Using the Priesthood men lay hands on a person, use specific words and phrases. Women are not allowed to do this.

    Amy Reply:

    To me, this continues to drive home the point that it is never about the “stuff” we do in an effort to prove ourselves worthy by following the letter of a man-made law. It is solely about the faith behind our actions. Yes, we are absolutely called to live in a way that is Christ-like, with our actions following our hearts accordingly. But, I will never believe that it matters whether or not the hands that are laid on someone for a blessing, or to pray over a child or the sick, are male hands or not. The Lord hears those who call out to Him – whether they be male or female, widow or orphan…He hears the cry of His people. How sad to think that you, the child’s mother, aren’t allowed to lay hands on your child and pray over him if he is sick because it doesn’t have the power that Bishop So-and-so’s hands do because he is a priesthood holder, by LDS definition! We are all humans in need of the saving power of Christ’s sacrifice. No one person needs that any more than another, male or female. No male has any more special power in his hands than any other in which to give a blessing. It’s is only tied to the power of Christ.

    I completely agree that there are different responsbilities that men and women are called to within the body of Christ. (Excellent comment, Chelsea!)

    claire Reply:

    Where did LDS doctrine come up with the idea of the priesthood? Is it in the Bible or BOM?

  6. All I could think of while reading this was the post on my RS Facebook page earlier today reminding us to bring $5 to tomorrow’s activity if we want to take the class that makes this incredibly ugly plaque. Like, really? The RS and women’s role in the church are far more inspiring and influential in church history and literature than we manage to trivialise it to in current culture.

    Senora H-B Reply:

    Hailey, I’m in charge of activities for our ward and we have almost completely eliminated crafts. We did make a nativity at Christmas, but it was simple. This year we are focusing on being self-reliant. For example, in January we learned to make homemade cleaning products. Our next activity will get the women in our RS certified in CPR and will teach basic first aid. We also have plans for teaching classes on financial preparedness and spiritual/mental/emotional health, among others.

    I have definitely felt like we are better fulfilling the purpose of the RS as we teach women to take care of themselves and give them the tools to take care of others. As you said, there are so many examples of strong, powerful women in church history. I think our world could benefit from many more women like those.

    I do feel like the general RS presidency is aware of the tendency to trivialize the role of women with silly craft activities – hence the publication of the new manual teaching about the history of the RS. I hope that this will spark a general trend toward encouraging women in the church to refuse to be trivialized.

    Jenna Reply:

    First, your RS has a Facebook page? This is a good idea. I’m going to start one in our next ward if it doesn’t exist already (we have a listserv via Yahoo, but a Facebook page would be much better).

    Second, my ward is (happily) more like Senora described. I am actually on the Activities council (I can never remember what they are calling it now since they change it all the time) and I love our ideas for the next few months. Our first activity was a “welcome dinner” aimed at introducing everyone to each other because we have such high turnover. The next was a Chicago Winter Survival night, with ideas for things to do and a silly but practical fashion show with long-time residents sharing what they wear in the cold. January a re-boot theme, where people talked about ways to better yourself spiritually, financially, physically, etc. This month we are doing a service auction, where people bring an offering (like babysitting or photography lessons, and take an offering home). April is going to be relationship seminar night, where http://www.finlayson-fife.com/html/homepage.html is going to come and answer our questions about relationships. I’m SO excited for that one.

    Third, I want to share a phrase with you that someone recently said to me. “Make your church experience what you want and need.” Speak up if you want things to change. And don’t go if you don’t think that the activity is the appropriate use of your personal time!

  7. Did you know that priestesshood is one of the main plot points of the later seasons of hbo’s big love? I think there are parts of that show that are too racy for you and yes I realize they are FLDS which is not LDS, but they have some really I interesting discussions about this subject. It’s actually critical to how the entire series ends particularly in terms of healing like you’re talking about.

    Sam Reply:

    Yes to this! I’m NOT equating the two religions, but I feel like Barb’s struggle is exactly what Jenna is talking about. Fascinating.

  8. This is why I love doing Initiatories at the temple so much. I won’t go into detail online, but I think that is the way it is supposed to be done and is being done. Also, I have a female LDS cousin who has laid her hands on a sick child in her husbands absence and blessed and healed him, also on her car oddly enough. God will not disregard an ernest, faithful, plea for healing just because the words are not uttered out of the mouth of someone with the priesthood. Faith to heal or have prayers answered extends beyond that.

    Stacy Marie Reply:

    I like this–if you feel that strong desire and pull within you, what is stopping you from going for it? God will not disregard and earnest plea just because the direct authorization has not been handed down. You are a child of God, I feel like the right to lay hands is already yours, you know?

  9. Is there anyone who practices Judaism who can clarify this claim I’m about to make?

    I recall reading in Dr. Margaret Meeker’s book (Fathers & Sons), that part of celebrating Shabbat is to have fathers AND mothers lay their hands on their child’s head and profess God’s blessings.

    What a beautiful idea and loving concept. It really spoke to me even though I don’t know much about Judaism.

    It would be beautiful to bless ones’ children on the Sabbath.

    Em Reply:

    I’m not Jewish (Evangelical Christian) but my husband and I do this every Sunday to our sons. It a soothing time for us and them, and helps us model faithfulness on and reliance on Christ for our kids…and now that this has been brought up (I did not know much about the LDS priesthood, despite growing up in Mesa, AZ!) it models to my sons that women can communicate with God and have God speak through them just like men.

    Jess Reply:

    It depends on the family, but it can be both parents (usually more liberal Jews–Reform, Conservative, etc.). Traditionally, it was the father. It’s a separate blessing for each child, depending on gender, because the blessing asks G-d to make the children like specific biblical figures worthy of admiration who are divided along gender lines.

    Jewish woman do light the candles on Shabbat, though, and pray to G-d on behalf of the entire household. There’s no question that they are speaking to Him directly. Some (most?) also offer up a silent prayer for their families. I don’t know quite how to put it, but it’s a “good” time to do that. I think there’s a sense that G-d’s especially receptive.

    MM-Genealogy Reply:

    Thank you Em! What a lovely way to model a strong Christian woman!

    Jess, thanks for the explanations. I love that the Jewish women have a specific role to play in Shabbat celebrations.

    Molly P Reply:

    In addition, on Friday night, part of the Kabbalat Shabbat service is the song “lekhah dodi,” which welcomes the sabbath “bride”. In the last verse, we rise and bow to the “Shabbat Queen.”

    Molly P Reply:

    I don’t quite fit the mold- I’m Jewish and my husband is a non-practicing Catholic (actually, he considers himself atheist), but we are raising our children Jewish. So yes, I bless my children every Shabbat. The tradition asks the parents to bless- so it can be the mother, father, or both together.

    A rabbi is not a priest in that he/she is more of a leader, teacher, and facilitator- but he/she has no more authority to perform rituals than any other member of the community. Anyone can lead the service, recite blessings, etc. For example, everyone sings the blessing for the sick together.

    There used to be a very limited kind of priest in Judaism, related to the temple (esp. animal sacrifice)- these were the Kohanim (referring to lineage, descendants of Aaron)- but when the temple was destroyed, the role of Kohanim ended.

  10. I saw an article on feminist Mormon housewives about this and my thought was that I have enough responsibility in my life and don’t need or want more. Funny that we thought the exact same thing about it!

  11. This makes me think about a time when I was out of the country with three other girls from BYU. One of the girl’s had just found out that her mother was having emergency surgery to remove a growth they had found in her brain. She was in shock after watching her dad battle cancer for 5 years, and was so worried that her mother would have the same fate. She sobbed as she told me she felt so alone, and wished she could be home with her family. I asked if she wanted me to go get one of the guys in our group to give her a blessing for comfort, but she said no, it was too personal to share with the boys she didn’t know well.

    Long story short, the girl, me, and one other girl went and found a quiet spot outside and knelt together. She asked me to pray, because she couldn’t get the words out through her tears. This was three years ago, but I still vividly remember feeling as though I was being prompted to know what to say in my prayer. To be honest, as someone mentioned above, I believe things are done the way they are at certain rites and rituals in the temple for a reason. Thinking about those moments of temple participation coupled with my own experiences with prayer I do not doubt that there are more power and privileges that await the women of the church. I am not sure what form that will be or how it will be carried out, but I believe there is more…and to be focusing on making wood block letters for our homes while ignoring the eternal and weightier matters of the gospel and our roles as women is selling ourselves short. I especially struggle with this among the wards here in Utah 🙁

  12. Out of curiosity, is the concept of having a Heavenly Mother an ‘orthodox’ Mormon one?

    Jenna Reply:

    Yes

    Em Reply:

    and to expand is it that your perception of God is that there are two of them? A Mother God and a Father God?

    Jenna Reply:

    Yes, that is my belief, and I think the belief of the LDS Church as well.

  13. I agree with some of the comments that we already have these powers, whether we tap them by our faith and prayers or by actual laying on of hands. What merits advocation is for women to realize that they already have these powers. I was taught about this in the temple during my own sealing to my husband. I’ve also heard of women using the priesthood to administer by the laying on of hands, by the power in the priesthood that their husband or father holds. I don’t know that ‘priestesshood’ was really taken away, if you think about all the temple ordinances we participate in.
    (And to Blythe above, I’ll add that yes, the concept of a Heavenly Mother is doctrinal, though not widely discussed.)

    Gwendolyn Reply:

    Without going too much into it (I’ve had several very sacred experiences I just won’t ever be sharing publicly or online)…I know that all woman are BORN with the power of womanhood and just like the priesthood given to men it must be used righteously.

  14. While I feel that most of what I would like to say about this is too sacred to discuss, as it would involve talking about temple ordinances–but I know that as we go to the temple, we are definitely given more light and knowledge about our relationship with Heavenly Father as women. I’m not sure I feel that I’m withheld any blessings or answers to prayers just because I’m a woman. My prayers about my children are heard and answered. And honestly, I think women are closer and more sensitive to the Spirit to begin with–so I’m not sure giving someone a blessing would somehow help me understand the Spirit better.

    I understand what you’re saying about wanting women to have a similar rites-of-passage experience as men do, starting at age 12. I know this sounds trite, but I believe this through and through–men NEED that experience. I honestly think women would naturally be better at running the Church, holding the priesthood/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, overcoming the “natural man.” I feel like it would almost de-masculinize men and take away from their motivation to stay worthy and righteous to be able to act officially in the name of Christ. Because we already know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Relief Society is possibly 100 times more efficient than the Elder’s Quorum. I feel like the men need a few things that are just “their own” in order to learn the life experiences that they need to and draw closer to God. Why would they sacrifice and go give blessings if the women could do it? It’s sort of not fair, but I really think it’s true.

    I’m sure not every relationship is the same, but I know I’m much better than my husband at multi-tasking. I think all day long about how our family can be better and what we need to do better–and because of that, maybe I would be better at “presiding” over our home. But you know what? My husband NEEDS that. He NEEDS the experience of keeping his priorities in line and it sort of gives him the experience of being “in tune” with the family when he has to remember to call us in for family scripture study and prayer (with gentle, “loving” reminders from his wife, of course… hahaha). I don’t NEED it the way he does, in order for us to function.

    I understand what you’re saying though about not wanting the “priesthood” but just wanting more of an earthly experience with “priestesshood.” And again, trite-sounding as it may be–we already do. We create and grow life within us. We raise beautiful children and are interested in creating beauty all around us. I don’t believe this just because the LDS Church has brainwashed me to believe so. I’ve prayed and studied as you have. The key is understanding our own divine nature–and not forcing it to mimic the priesthood, because it isn’t. It’s different.

    It would be a lovely bonding experience to give my child a “mother’s” blessing. But you know what? Those are some of the most wonderful memories I have of my relationship with my father specifically. I loved that it was something special just he could do. My mom and I had PLENTY of things to bond over. I hope my children feel the same about my husband some day. I’ve already bonded spiritually with my children 100 times more than my husband has–that’s just part of being a mom. I don’t need to take that away from him, too.

    I am intrigued, however, about the whole ministering before the birth of a child. I had read about and thought about that before, and that does seem like something very womanly and beautiful that DOES seem more like something women should do. Although, like a previous commenter said, I don’t understand why it would be any different to have your close girlfriends pray with you in that situation? Why does this need to be called a priestesshood blessing? We can already do this.

    Anyway, interesting things to think about on a boring Wednesday afternoon! 🙂

  15. Jenna, this is really powerful. I can’t help but think that the strong yearning you are feeling to lay hands is a sort of calling from a higher power in and of itself. Is there any course of action you can take with this, or is it something you need to wait for the church to come around on?

  16. The thing I find most interesting about this post is that what you are describing (in general) already exists within the LDS church (especially within the temple). It’s just not bound by a rigid “priestesshood.” I love what is said in previous comments about earnest prayer, and I think as women, we have just as much power to call upon the Heavens for blessings… and to speak through divine inspiration while doing so.

    To me, the difference comes to the topic of anointing with priesthood authority. And that is something women don’t have because we don’t need it. Men do. As Latter-Day Saints we believe that we can become Gods in the afterlife, that we can have the same power that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have. And on this earth they have given us a way to be like them. For women, our ability to create life is how we are like them. To create and grow a human being and to bring forth life is a godly ability. Men do not have that ability. They provide the seed, but cannot bring forth life. That is where the priesthood comes in. The power to act in God’s name is their godly ability.

    And I think that just how important the LDS church views women and their role in the eternities is lost on the general public not because it isn’t there, but because of the sacredness of it. As women, our roles are diverse and far-reaching and not always apparent because the “world” has a tendency to mock and adulturate things. It’s for that very reason we do not speak of or know very much about our Heavenly Mother. She is much too sacred to risk ridicule. For me, going through the temple is how I learned of the vast potential I have as a woman in this Gospel. And perhaps this knowledge is one of the reasons we’re so strongly encouraged to go to the temple. (as opposed to the more talked about reason of worthiness)

    (And a disclaimer: I’m just touching on one very small part of a very deep and complex Gospel and this little bit is not an end-all answer for every question about women and the church.)

    Gwendolyn Reply:

    Jax, thank you! These are my thoughts exactly!
    Women absolutely have divine power! And the abilities to use it righteously.
    I didn’t want to share personal things with the group because I want to keep it sacred and personal…and yet I didn’t know what to say without sharing it all. Thank you again.

    TB Reply:

    I Loved this!

  17. This post was So good. I am friends with a friend of your friend Coco, and am LDS and have been studying Heavenly Mother and women issues since 2008. For BYU’s philosophy department and for myself.

    I think the best thing you said was that the women who desire the priesthood don’t want the priesthood, they want the preistesshood. I also appreciate your words because it demonstrates that the church is big and has room for many voices and many desires. When I was in my first grad school program and was in a difficult romantic relationship, I wanted my visiting teachers to be able to bless me. I couldn’t trust my home teachers to reveal all of the reasons why I needed help, but I could trust women.

  18. Jenna! I felt sad reading this post! As a Catholic Christian one of my greatest privileges is praying over others, especially over young people who are wanting to accept Jesus for themselves for the first time… The holy spirit gives the words to pray and would for you because you are obviously friends already 🙂

    I hope all those hopes for you too.

  19. hummmm, interesting.

    I think this is a very sacred topic.

    Men and women are created with divine purposes but they are different purposes. If Women say “why can’t I have the priesthood?” Then whats to stop a man saying “Why can’t I bear children?”

    God created us with different purposes I truly believe that just because women don’t hold the priesthood doesn’t mean that they can not act with Gods power we just manifest it in different ways.

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