Zelophehad’s Daughters

What Elder Oaks Did and Didn’t Say to OW

Posted by Ziff

Elder Oaks gave a talk in Priesthood Session tonight that was the most direct response to Ordain Women that I’ve yet heard a GA give. He hit a lot of points that have already been argued to death on the Bloggernacle. For example, have you ever heard that priesthood is for boys and motherhood is for girls? That one was certainly news to me!

But he did say one thing to OW that I thought was actually interesting. He said that the Quorum of Fifteen doesn’t have the authority to decide to end the female priesthood ban:

The First Presidency, and the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who preside over the Church, are empowered to make many decisions affecting church policies and procedures . . . But even though these presiding authorities hold and exercise all of the keys delegated to men in this dispensation, they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.

This seems pretty straightforward. What he’s saying is that ending the female priesthood ban isn’t something the Quorum of 15 believes can be done without a revelation from God. (Or at least he personally believes ending it would require a revelation.) Of everything he said in his talk, this comes closest to actually addressing what OW is asking for.

But what’s frustrating is that he either doesn’t know in any detail what OW is asking for, or he doesn’t care to address it. From their mission statement:

We are committed to work for equality and the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood. . . . We sincerely ask our leaders to take this matter to the Lord in prayer.

OW isn’t asking Church leaders to end the priesthood ban without God’s say-so. They’re actually asking the General Authorities to ask God about it. So Elder Oaks is sidestepping the question OW is asking, and jumping to answer a question that they haven’t asked. I can see two possible reasons why he would do this. First, it’s possible he’s simply unaware of what they’re asking for. He’s a busy man, and he doesn’t have time to delve into the details of who OW is or what they want beyond the name of the organization. Second, it’s possible that he knows what they’re asking, but that he thinks it’s not worth taking the question to God, since he’s sure already that the answer will be “no.” After all, he calls the female priesthood ban “divinely decreed.”

I have to say, neither possibility is terribly encouraging. I am glad, though, that at least he didn’t say that they’ve asked God and God said no. I’m sure all the OW critics will take what he said to mean this, but I’m glad he didn’t actually say it. This means the OW request is still out there, unasked and unanswered.

68 Responses to “What Elder Oaks Did and Didn’t Say to OW”

  1. 1.

    I feel like this gets right to the point of Elder Oaks’ talk, and also what will likely come up with the anti-OW crowd. The only difference in my interpretation of it was that I didn’t take it to necessarily mean that the question is still out there, unasked and unanswered. Rather I read (heard?) it as the question being unanswered, with the matter of it having been asked or not (conspicuously?) unaddressed.

  2. 2.

    I love your comments and agree with you.

  3. 3.

    There is a third option, which is they are asking and just not getting an answer, or at least not getting an answer they can share with the public.

  4. 4.

    Since he gave this talk in a place where there were only men to hear it, I suppose we’re pretty much guaranteed to have a few RS lessons on it. And since the YW/AP classes are going to be spending a month or so this summer talking about the priesthood, they’ll get to study this talk as well.

    It will be the gift that keeps on giving.

  5. 5.

    If he was saying that women can only be given the Priesthood after a revelation, wouldn’t he be saying that changing the missionary age was not from revelation? He gave the missionary age change as one of the examples of something they are authorized to do. He never made the clarification that Priesthood can be given to women if God says so. He said that divinely revealed things cannot be changed. To me Oaks is saying that the Q15 cannot change doctrines, they can only change policies and procedures. It’s a very anti-continuing revelation statement to me.

  6. 6.

    NateCC: interesting point! I was there last night and when I asked for admittance, the PR woman actually emphasized to me that the session was for “instruction for men” and last week’s was instruction for the women. So maybe the Oaks talk isn’t pertinent to OW at all?

  7. 7.

    Oops, I meant LRC, not Nate.

  8. 8.

    TopHat: Oaks said in the beginning of his talk that he is happy that Priesthood session is broadcast online because his talk is for both men and women.

  9. 9.

    I believe that a careful reading of Elder Oak’s talk will show that he has gone far beyond saying that “the brethren have asked, and have not received an answer”.

    He averred that Joseph Smith received all the Priesthood keys of this dispensation in the Kirtland temple from Jesus Christ. However, there were some Priesthood keys which were not included; he specifically mentioned the key of Creation, the key of Resurrection, and the key of Ordaining Women to the Priesthood.

    It would, therefore, take not merely a new revelation for the Council of the First Presidency to receive the authority to ordain women; it would take a new dispensation of the Gospel.

    Seen in the best possible light, Elder Oak’s address could be seen as saying, “Women, you have priesthood authority. In the endowment, you have a claim on priesthood power equal to men. Now go and use it to do good.”

    Regarding the venue: by presenting this in Priesthood meeting the implicit message is, this is for those who are listening: Ordain Women, and the (male) priesthood officeholders of the church.

  10. 10.

    Wherefore, now let every one learn their duty, and to act in the office in which they are appointed, in all diligence.

    (paraphrase of Doctrine & Covenants 107:99)

  11. 11.

    I think that Elder Oaks did answer OW’s basic question. They want the leaders of the church to take the matter to the Lord in prayer. Elder Oaks says that a revelation changing the divinely decreed pattern is required. This has been discerned from the scriptures or revelations previously given.

    Based upon the overwhelming evidence from this conference and multitudes of previous talks, books, etc. from church leaders, it is well known that the leaders of the church pray about a great many things, including almost every issue of the day. It is highly likely that the church leaders have prayed about this issue. If the OW want to take their petition further, they should take it to God, the only one who could change things.
    I believe that if they persist in petitioning the church leaders after this talk, they will eventually get a pointed response from the church president. This will make any movement on the OW issue less likely and further into the future.

  12. 12.

    Oaks never once said that a revelation is required to give women the Priesthood. He only said that they are not free to change it. Someone please show me where he said otherwise.

  13. 13.

    No, not Elder Oaks.

    From the famous David Ransom interview with Gordon B. Hinckley, oft-quoted by Ordain Women:

    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.

  14. 14.

    What I found fascinating was Elder Uchtdorf’s running theme of “the restoration is still in progress.” I saw, perhaps what I wanted to see, but I saw his talk as a gentle corollary to E. Oaks’ talk along these lines.

  15. 15.

    To wit:

    “The restoration is still in process and the exciting events of today are part of that process.”

  16. 16.

    Ziff,

    I read this blog often, but almost never comment. I just want you to know that I appreciate the thoughtful discussion going on here. This topic never really gained a foothold in my heart until I saw the pics from the last conference. That garbage truck really did me in.

    Anyway, thank you.

  17. 17.

    “The Church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro. Throughout the history of the original Christian church, the Negro never held the priesthood. There’s really nothing we can do to change this. It’s a law of God.’”
    Apostle N. Eldon Tanner, 1967

    “They are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.”
    Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, 2014

  18. 18.

    Where is the divine decree that women aren’t to hold the priesthood?

  19. 19.

    Paul–it’s in the Bible…somewhere in the back.

  20. 20.

    Maybe they’re paranoid about pulling a 116 pages. You wouldn’t want to ask so many times that you pressure God into changing his mind just to teach you a lesson…

  21. 21.

    Elder Oaks made it clear that the Lord has already answered the question. Only men are to be ordained to priesthood offices.

    Comparisons to blacks and the priesthood are invalid. At least as far back as Brigham Young`s day it was known that at some point that would change. There is no such prophecy indicating that women will ever be ordained to priesthood offices. Ordaining women to priesthood offices would be contrary to what God declared at the Fall, and contrary to D&C 20.
    http://thewhitestonelds.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-false-ideas-driving-ordain-women.html

  22. 22.

    Thanks, White Stone, I’m glad to hear that’s settled.

    Paul and JT, your comments reminded me of my missionary companion in California when he would Bible bash with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They would say that Joseph Smith was not a prophet because his name wasn’t in the Bible. My companion would get a confused look on his face and say, “But it is. I can show you in your own Bible where God says that Joseph Smith shall be my prophet in the latter-days.”

    He would then open up to one of their verses that had been replaced with a dash and say, “Oh no, you took it out!”

    I never got tired of his schtick with the JWs, it was hilarious. They were always stopped in their tracks.

  23. 23.

    Utchdorf on gratitude and Monson on kindness were highlights today.

    However, I’m still perplexed from last night at how Elder Oaks definitively claims that only men can fill priesthood offices and this by “divine decree”. I don’t think it was ever divinely decreed that 12-year-old prepubescent boys could or couldn’t hold offices in the priesthood, and yet they do.

    It is encouraging, however, that Oaks concedes that women exercise priesthood authority. I wonder how long before he realizes it’s not that much of a stretch to assume that if women can currently exercise priesthood authority, that it really shouldn’t be a big deal for them to also hold priesthood offices.

  24. 24.

    I’ve toyed with the idea for a long time that the corollary in Mormonism to the status Jesus occupies for many Christians and that the Qur’an occupies for Muslims is the institutional church. The church itself almost functions as a savior in its authorization to dispense saving ordinances, and one of the primary uses of the Old Testament in the church is to find passages prophesying the coming forth of the church, in the way Christians (Mormons included) often find passages prophesying the coming forth of the (other) Messiah, Jesus.

    So there might be some differences of opinion between members of Ordain Women and their more traditional counterparts about what constitutes a revelation. I suspect many members of Ordain Women understand a revelation proper to entail words spoken by God, such as those Joseph Smith received. (Even a meta-revelation—a report of a revelation or of inspiration, such as OD2—could presumably overturn policy.) There simply is no revelation of this sort anywhere in the canon suggesting women cannot be ordained. The institutional church is simply an anthropogenic structure striving toward and often touched by the divine.

    On the other hand, for many traditionalists the institutional church is itself the revelation, the ultimate manifestation of the divine, the eternal, and the transcendent on earth. No revelation with words is necessary: the current structure, in which women are denied priesthood, is itself a revelation that women should be denied priesthood.

  25. 25.

    Oaks said: “they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold *offices* in the priesthood.” It is possible to have the priesthood without holding *offices*, isn’t it? Women do not need to be Elders, etc. They could be ordained without the office. Ha.

  26. 26.

    The First Presidency, and the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who preside over the Church, are empowered to make many decisions affecting church policies and procedures . . . But even though these presiding authorities hold and exercise all of the keys delegated to men in this dispensation, they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.

    Am I understanding this right? They were playing a version of Simon Says with God, and God seems to have become distracted, so they’re all frozen in place indefinitely?

  27. 27.

    Instead of wasting our time trying to determine the extent to which the Apostles are guided by God, perhaps we should merely trust that The Lord is still at the head of the Church and “things will work out.”

    If The Lord intends for women to hold offices in the priesthood at any time, I am confident that it will happen when He wants it to happen, NOT because a group of indignant members have decided it’s time.

  28. 28.

    Thanks for expressing your odd belief that GAs have no agency, Matt, but in a Mormon context, that’s not a good argument.

  29. 29.

    “The church itself almost functions as a savior in its authorization to dispense saving ordinances”

    This is so interesting, Kiskilili! Do you think such a thing arose accidentally, or if it was a deliberate choice by someone to try to make the Church work that way?

  30. 30.

    Kiskilili, fascinating. I think you’ve hit a nail on the head that I didn’t even realise I was snagging my sleeve on

  31. 31.

    When I say no to my kids about something and they try to wear me down with repeated requests or looking for loopholes etc., I tell them they have to take the no. It’s time for this fringe group of sisters to take the no and I hope they do so like adults.

    Clean Cut:
    There is a difference between exercising delegated priesthood authority and holding a priesthood office and the keys that go with it.

    Ordaining women would run afoul of D&C 20 which uses only male pronouns in discussing ordinations to priesthood offices (verses 11, 38 and 60). Since the same section uses ‘he or she’ when discussing things like who is to be baptized (verses 73-74) it is clear that the omission of female pronouns in the prior verses is deliberate and meaningful. Ordaining women would also be contrary to what God declared in Moses 4:22/Gen3:16 since the priesthood holds the keys of presidency (the right to preside). It also runs contrary to what is said in the temple of what men and women are called to become.

    Cindy, there is no such thing as holding the priesthood without being ordained into an office of the priesthood and holding priesthood keys, they are synonymous.

  32. 32.

    Matt #27: these sisters are not “indignant” as you slander. Please read the 400+ profiles on OW. There is no indignation, but rather tremendous expressions of faith, humility, allegiance and respect. Your ignorance is unfair, but I trust you will soon do better and thank you for that in advance! Please read every profile—it doesn’t take very long. Then come back and tell us how you feel toward them. I look forward to your remarks.

  33. 33.

    White Stone. I find your first paragraph disturbing. Lets make one thing clear, women are not men’s children. Secondly, motherhood and priesthood do not equate. Fatherhood equates to motherhood.

    I found Oaks comment about not having the authority to change it to be a side-step of the issue. If the Apostles are just administrators of a church bureaucracy and not set-up to receive revelation for the whole church, I don’t know who is.

  34. 34.

    Lulea, any adult, male or female, can act childish when they don`t get what they want. OW got an answer, it wasn`t the one they wanted, and I hope they respond in an adult manner and disband.

    I never said women were men`s children I would not ever want it to be that way. I didn`t bring up Moses 4:22 because of motherhood or fatherhood, look at what is said at the end of the verse.

  35. 35.

    The answer OW got, White Stone, was that Elder Oaks can’t even imagine that the question is worth asking. He seems to think he already knows the answer. It sounds like you’re pretty sure you do too. All OW wants is for the GAs to *ask*.

  36. 36.

    el oso,
    No, it is not evident that the Brethren have prayed about this issue. You assume they have. They never once said they have prayed about it. You say it is well known that the church leaders pray about a great many things. I don’t think they have openly and honestly prayed directly about this specifically. It seems by elder oaks talk that he hasn’t made himself aware or knowledgeable about OW. Some of the things he said! He never would have said them if he knew what he was really addressing ( I hope, such as motherhood = priesthood, Barf!) Then to say it to a group of men instead of coming right out and explaining it to women. Another way of distancing women.

  37. 37.

    Thank you, Ziff. Exactly!

  38. 38.

    I find comment #31 interesting.

    “there is no such thing as holding the priesthood without being ordained into an office of the priesthood and holding priesthood keys, they are synonymous.”

    This runs contrary to what many women opposing OW are saying. Many say that they hold the priesthood in conjunction with their husbands, and feel no need for ordination. So, TWS is saying that these women are wrong?

    There are also many women opposing OW who say that they don’t need ordination, because they already exercise the priesthood in their home when no priesthood holder in available, like giving their children blessings in the middle of the night, etc.

    There is also the matter of female temple workers. They perform ordinances (under the keys held by the temple president) for women. As far as I know, these women are not ordained, but clearly they are performing priesthood activities.

  39. 39.

    Wheat Woman, thanks! I’m glad we could lure you out of lurkdom! :)

  40. 40.

    Yes, I am sure, and so are the GA`s, because God already gave the answer, and God just gave it again through his apostle. If they rose their hand and sustained them as prophets, seers and revelators then they are obligated to take their counsel on matters that are within the scope of their calling (like this is).

  41. 41.

    You’re jumping to the conclusion you want to hear, White Stone. The GAs have said no such thing.

  42. 42.

    X2 Dora, if they are claiming to hold a priesthood office they are wrong. As Elder Oaks said, they have priesthood authority delegated to them by those with the keys, but they can not hold a priesthood office. In my absence, my wife has authority to minister to our children in my place acting under my priesthood authority but she has no claim to holding any kind of priesthood office.

    The point I was making was that a priesthood ordination is about conferring a priesthood office on a person.

  43. 43.

    Ziff, Elder Oaks said there is a “divine decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.” and also said “The Lord has directed that only men will be ordained to offices in the priesthood”

    Divine decree = God said so
    The Lord has directed = God said so
    only men = no women

    That is the answer from God. Only men will hold offices in the priesthood. There is no grey area, no wiggle room. OW can accept the will of God and be blessed or harden their hearts against the word of God.

  44. 44.

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but since Oaks talk was basically a restatement of a talk he gave in 1992 title RS and the priesthood, but adjusting the term authority to be “priesthood authority” delegated to women, and in that this priesthood authority implies a further deliberate step towards something greater, I think this talk is an olive branch. ie- I can see women in an calling talking frankly and publicly about their priesthood authority and the priesthood power they possess via the endowment and the transformative nature that just this conceptualization could have in the long run on Mormonism. Here I am thinking of the almost absolute marginalization the husband “presiding” has gotten over the past 15 years I’ve been a member of the church, and how it has truly condensed the scope of presiding to a mere few cultural ticks in most families in modern America. This is not a smack down by Elder Oaks of the idea of women having the priesthood. Rather, it is a further expansion towards the same, even if at glacial speed. I think the Church seems to almost be making deliberate steps towards such an event by slowly acclimating the vast majority of members towards it. If this were the case, and if the church were pivoting toward such a move, I can see where OW attempting to push the turn to be faster than the church was able to bear would be problematic. In either case, (my version or yours) Perhaps OW should attempt some different forms of demonstration, like a “pray in” where they communally solicited prayer for their cause? Perhaps They could participate more fully in Women’s Conference as well as Phood conference in some meaningful way to make their presence known but still show support for the hierarchical structure which they are trying to have a greater role in. (Maybe sit as a large block in OW T-shirts or something). Maybe they could, as a group, visting the RS building at SLC and ask for some of the concerns that lead them to want Ordination to be met (Women’s roles in discipline, decision making, opportunities to serve, etc). In these ways they could then say they were meeting Oaks council to focus on responsibilities and not rights, by focusing on their responsibilities as women of faith and mothers to make sure that their daughters had the best.

    Just some thoughts. I’ll try to put together an Analysis of the sameness and variance in oaks words from 1992 to 2014 when I have time.

  45. 45.

    Wow, Matt, that’s really interesting! I’d love to see your analysis!

  46. 46.

    Here is the 1992 talk.

    As soon as the 2014 talk is published, I will do a word cluster analysis looking for patterns and non patterns in the text.

  47. 47.

    I also found Elder Eyring’s talk interesting in that he seemed to state that the current prophet and the one before him did not ask God about everything and often took things on faith. And then refrained from taking it to its logical conclusion which would have been to answer the question what would it take to get the prophet to seek revelation on any given topic?

  48. 48.

    JamieL1955

    I don’t really have time to read 400 profiles. I read a few of them. I admit that they have faith, and are striving to do what is right. I never said otherwise. However, I hold to my statement that they are indignant.

    dictionary.com defines ‘indignant’ as:
    “feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base”

    And to quote the FAQ section of the Ordain Women website, in context of female ordination:
    “We refuse to tolerate inequity in our secular institutions. Ordain Women asserts that we must also reject it in our homes and religious communities.”

    I think ‘refus[ing] to tolerate’ might count as ‘displeasure.’

    My point in using such a word is that it is clear to me, from exploring the opinions and statements of the Ordain Women organization, that there is a fundamental misunderstanding in the order of the Lord’s Church, as well as the seeds of apostasy.

    The following quote from their website is a good example:

    “The Church’s Proclamation on the Family declares that men preside over their wives and families, thus preserving an antiquated and unequal model in both the domestic and ecclesiastical realms.”

    The Proclamation of the Family was presented by the President of the Church – the living Prophet – God’s mouthpiece on the Earth. It was signed by all living Apostles – all men that have been called as special witnesses of Christ. This is as binding as it gets, and yet OW asserts that it is flawed. The point of my original post was to remind us that we will be safe if we FOLLOW the Lord’s servants.

  49. 49.

    In case anyone is still reading, Mormon Heretic has a much more detailed discussion of Elder Oaks’s talk over at Wheat and Tares.

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/14042/elder-oaks-lights-up-the-bloggernacle/

  50. 50.

    I think President Uchtdorf did a great job of highlighting what the real issue is here:

    “if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?”
    - Dieter F Uchtdorf 2012 Leadership Training

    Add to that quote these two:

    David Ransom: At present women are not allowed to be priests in your Church…Is it possible that the rules could change in the future..?

    Gordon B. Hinckley: He could change them yes…But there’s no agitation for that. We don’t find it.
    -Interview 11/9/1997

    “I am fearful they [mormons] settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way.”
    - Brigham Young 1862 General Conference (quoted again in General Conference by Ezra Taft Benson in 1963 and James E Faust in 1989)

    There you go, with just 3 quotes which even the most orthodox would accept, the problem is brought into dramatic clarity.

    Let’s continue our efforts to show our fellow members the hinges; it is a massive iron gate, not a wall.

  51. 51.

    There seems to be some difference of opinion about what Elder Oaks “said” – that is, not about the words that he uttered but about how he intended them to be interpreted.

    In most organizations I’ve ever belonged to, this kind of thing happens all the time.

    There is a solution – you simply ask the person who made the ambiguous remark to disambiguate it. Preferably, if the content of the remark is very significant, you ask for a set of exhaustive and mutually exclusive ideas to be partitioned into “intended” and “not intended”.

    Sometimes this even has the effect of causing the speaker to re-evaluate the intent of the remarks.

    Too bad that there appears to be no mechanism in *this* organization to make such a request and have it answered.

  52. 52.

    I’ll send him a letter, malkie. I bet it works this time.

  53. 53.

    Guys you should stop being blind. The doctrine of the priesthood was set before this world ever was created. A DOCTRINE IS SOMETHING THAT CANNOT CHANGE! It is an eternal truth and it will be so for ever and ever. Men have priesthood as authorized by God and that was part of the plan before the world was created. Understand this and realize you are actin like those who lead the church to apostasy.

  54. 54.

    The missionary age changing was not a doctrine, it is a revelation given from GOD! This is his church, it is set up as he wants it. You will never ever hear this change that you want because doctrine cannot change, you cannot change. I hope you all repent and follow the savior and his servants

  55. 55.

    Repent and follow the prophets or this will end bad for you guys.

  56. 56.

    I keep trying to repent, but for some reason it doesn’t take. Do you think I’m not using enough bleach?

  57. 57.

    Bill, that sounds awfully post hoc. So you’re hanging your hat on women not having the priesthood as DOCTRINE from GOD that CANNOT EVER CHANGE?

    So it seems like maybe Joseph Smith was kind of saying he was ordaining women back in the early church. And there are women in the Bible called prophetesses. Reality is just messier than your DOCTRINE = WHAT I CURRENTLY BELIEVE CANNOT CHANGE model. Come back in a decade or two when women are being ordained, and lecture us on how the female priesthood ban was only ever a policy.

  58. 58.

    To all of the OW supporters, I can empathize with you on feeling inequal, but the OW organization has nothing in its mission statement that alludes to asking the church leaders to ask God “if” women should have the priesthood. Their statements imply that they have received their own revelation and are waiting for SL to receive their own and make changes. That just seems like a backwards way to obtain change in the church. It is JC’s church and these are the leaders He has called to officiate. Why would He call them to lead but initiate change through another way?
    Secondly regarding examples of women holding the priesthood. I have asked and never had any cited sources of women being ordained, but references to women anointing or blessing or prophesying. Without any references, I can explain all of these activities by saying that while anointing and blessing are specific priesthood ordinances, they also have non priesthood meanings. They relate specifically to the gifts of the spirit which are available to all of God’s children and require only faith. Prophesying is another gift that can be done by a woman without the priesthood. Even being called a prophetess doesn’t guarantee that woman was ever ordained. Without evidence of ordination, what precedent do we have that women being ordained is even possible in God’s eyes?
    Lastly, Oaks’ talk seemed so clear to me that this would require revelation from God to change and that this revelation has not been received. Do you need the words, “We asked and He said no”, because that is the only way this would be any clearer. Hinckley said it, Oaks has said it, but if you are convinced it is going to happen, then what is the point in looking to the apostles anyway?

  59. 59.

    I’m glad you can see the possibility that people might be hurt by the inequality, Dcsouthgw.

    Regarding why Jesus would call leaders and then have change come another way, I think it makes total sense so long as we admit the possibility that even leaders called by Jesus might not be able to understand his will perfectly, or might not be able to implement his will perfectly. Which I don’t think is at all unreasonable.

  60. 60.

    I think the first possibility would be condemnable because if you’re going to give a talk that is obviously in response to OW, you’re responsible to find out what they are saying. Nobody’s so busy they can’t research their own talk topic.

    The second possibility I find quite likely. I doubt they’ve sincerely asked. Which I guess is OK at this point. I’d rather wait a prophet or two or ten until we get a Kimball type who is willing to wrestle with God over this than to have the 15 make a perfunctory “ask” and say that’s it, the answer is no forever.

  61. 61.

    Andrew C:

    “I’ll send him a letter, malkie. I bet it works this time.”

    Thanks Andrew. When you write, would you please include a request for permission to publish the reply on your blog? That way I’ll know where to go to read it.

    [btw, sorry if that sounds snarky - the snark is not directed at you =) ]

  62. 62.

    Kiskilili, I think you’re really on to something with your analysis of institutional church as savior. I’d love to see you develop this idea further–maybe as its own blog post?

  63. 63.

    I didn’t feel snarked at, malkie. Looking back at my post, I think I was venting a bit of the sadness that comes with feeling like we have no way of communicating back up the hierarchy.

    My brother-who-is-not-Mike C wrote about this feeling over at http://rationalfaiths.com/wont-ask/ I feel awkward promoting it in comments on another blog, but I think it’s worth a read.

  64. 64.

    Thanks, Laura and Olea! I should add that idea to the queue.

  65. 65.

    I appreciate that women are talked about in the exclusively male Priesthood Session. Why don’t they start talking about men during the broadcast for women? I guess maybe there isn’t anything to say?

  66. 66.

    Big L, we don’t have to talk about men during the Women’s (and teen’s and children’s) broadcast, because there are *always* men there to talk to us. Maybe we should have more women speaking at the “exclusively male Priesthood Session.”

  67. 67.

    Amen to that X2 Dora. I think the men need to see some women as their spiritual leaders. And it seems only logical that if men speak at (what is supposed to be) an all female meeting, that women would speak at the all male meeting.

  68. 68.

    I would yell at the men in my ward for not doing their home teaching.

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