Caller: Since we’re getting into the 21st century, President Hinckley, what is the chance that women may hold a priesthood in the Mormon church?
Gordon B. Hinckley: Well, they don’t hold the priesthood at the present time. It would take another revelation to bring that about. I don’t anticipate it. The women of the church are not complaining about it. They have their own organization, a very strong organization, 4 million plus members. I don’t know of another women’s organization in the world which does so much for women as does that, as this church has. They’re happy. They sit on boards and governance in the church. I don’t hear any complaints about it.
(Larry King Live Interview, September 1998)
As I read this comment (in the context of broader Church claims), it contains two implicit messages constituting a catch-22:
(a) Since women aren’t complaining about their lack of priesthood, there’s no reason to ordain them. (If read straightforwardly, this statement would seem to suggest that if women did rasie objections to the current policy, ordination would be a very real possibility.)
(b) “Complaining,” a negative term, is inappropriate. Righteous women are happy with the current situation.
In other words, no one should complain, and since no one complains, there’s no reason to reevaluate the policy. It’s a self-reinforcing system.
- 16 August 2009