Zelophehad’s Daughters

Tuesday’s Twice-Baked ZD: Called of God

Posted by ZD Past

In this trip to the ZD archives, Lynnette discusses those of different faiths who see their church participation, whether through ordination or otherwise, as a vocation. An acquaintance of mine was ordained in the Episcopal church last month. She’s a warm, lively person, probably around the age of my mother, who despite not knowing me […]

When will the female priesthood ban end?

Posted by Ziff

Monday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I was actually surprised at how badly I took the news of Kate Kelly’s excommunication. When I heard about it, I just felt sick, and even my usual coping strategy of information-seeking didn’t work very well. Every Facebook post and news story I read just […]

The Conundrum of Women’s Initiatories and the Two Paradigms for Priesthood

Posted by Kiskilili

How do we lance the following Gordian knot in our theology? Ordinances are only legitimate when they’re performed by authorized priesthood holders. All authorized priesthood holders are male, exclusively. Yet ordinances performed by authorized women are equally legitimate. There have been a number of attempts to develop a theological vocabulary that describes female-performed ordinances in […]

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 […]

Ordain Women, Women’s Ordination

Posted by Guest

A guest post from Jacob Baker, whose first guest post on ZD can be found here. This post is also on Jacob’s personal blog. At the outset, I should say that at this point nothing is going to stop Ordain Women, whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s clear that […]

Insider/Outsider Talk in the Church PR Response to Ordain Women

Posted by Ziff

The Church PR department’s response to Ordain Women’s request for tickets to the priesthood session of Conference makes the point that OW is a minority movement: Women in the Church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme. One question this […]

How to Disavow the Priesthood Ban

Posted by Mike C

For many years the Priesthood ban has been a matter of embarrassment and consternation to many Mormons. It makes us seem close-minded and exclusionary as a church, and seems to contradict many of our scriptures and core teachings–God not being a respecter of persons, all are alike unto God, etc. We struggle to explain it […]

To the Rescue

Posted by Mike C

I support Ordain Women and the call for Church leaders to ask God for new revelation on women receiving the Priesthood. I am impressed by the many women and men who eloquently express their pain and their faith through blog posts and Facebook comments, hoping and praying for change in the Church they love. I […]

Are gospel doctrines more vague when they are applied to women?

Posted by Beatrice

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is built upon the idea that we can seek answers to fundamental questions about ourselves and our relationship with God.  Many celebrate the peace they find in the church through having answers to life’s deepest questions. However, I would contend, that many of the essential doctrines […]

Please, Emperor, Prayerfully Consider a Wardrobe Change

Posted by Mike C

In the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, the Emperor is fooled by some charlatans into paying a lot of money for some invisible clothes. As he parades through the town in his underwear, the cowed crowds lining the street applaud and praise his marvelous new clothes. It is not until a boy yells out, […]

Which is it? Did Jesus say so, or are you going to use your Jedi mind tricks?

Posted by Ziff

In Peggy Fletcher Stack’s recent article on the Ordain Women movement, she quotes Church spokesperson Jessica Moody on the question of whether women could receive the priesthood: But a male-only priesthood “was established by Jesus Christ himself,” Moody said, “and is not a decision to be made by those on Earth.” This argument stands in […]

On Mission Hierarchy, Gender, and Organizational Communication

Posted by Galdralag

In support of RAH’s Sister Missionary Leadership Project over at fMh, here’s a post about my mission originally published at Both Sides Now in July of last year. In our mission we had APs and “Traveling Elders” who assisted with a lot of the nuts and bolts of mission organization (for a primer on the […]


Posted by Eve

Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. –Doctrine and Covenants […]

What Is Priesthood?

Posted by Kiskilili

On the heavenly side, it’s the “eternal power and authority of God” whereby Creation itself was undertaken; on the earthly side, it’s the “authority to . . . act in [God’s] name.” All sorts of grandiose claims have flown quite naturally from the claim that priesthood is the power of God; after all, if priesthood holders’ blessings […]

I Don’t Hear Any Complaints

Posted by Kiskilili

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 […]

Theory and Practice

Posted by Kiskilili

“I know it works in practice,” a French scholar (steeped in a tradition emphasizing Cartesian rationalism) is reported to have said, “but does it work in theory?” Certain churches may be the only institutions in this country that are more sexist in theory than they are in practice, as Mark Chaves suggests in his study Ordaining […]

Women and the Priesthood, Fifteen Years Later

Posted by Eve

Maxine Hanks’s 1992 anthology Women and Authority includes a chapter by D. Michael Quinn, provocatively entitled “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843.” Quinn makes it clear that he’s not arguing simply for what I’ll here call “soft” claims about women’s priesthood status, for example, that women hold the priesthood only “through temple marriage […]

Renaming the “Priesthood Ban”

Posted by Kiskilili

Today, by way of celebrating thirty years since the lifting of what’s commonly referred to as the “priesthood ban,” I wonder whether we can come up with a phrase that’s equally economical but more descriptive. To my knowledge, the “priesthood ban” comprised the following policies:

Unfulfilled Priesthood Blessings, and the Power of Religious Ritual

Posted by Lynnette

A recurrent problem in Mormonism is that of how to make sense of patriarchal blessings which make promises that don’t come to pass, or are even just plain wacky. (For some recent bloggernacle discussion of the issue, see here and here.) One common explanation when this happens is to interpret it as a communications breakdown, […]

Priesthood Attenuation

Posted by Kiskilili

There was a time not so long ago when only priesthood holders could offer sacramant meeting prayers. Priesthood blessings were said unequivocally to be more efficacious than ordinary prayer. And the priesthood may have even enabled those who held it to more appropriately interpret scripture and other sacred text than non-priesthood-holders.