Friday, April 11, 2014

Open letter to Ordain Women

Ordain Women - How would it work?
I am wondering if anyone in the OW network has stopped to think about how things would actually work in the Church if a revelation ever was received that lead to a change in the way things are currently managed in the Church.

I am not pretending to be any great authority on Church organization or doctrine, and I am certainly not a great writer on these sorts of things. I simply want to ask questions. If you have all the answers, well that’s great.

So let me ask some questions of you. How would this work?

With regard to ordinations - do you want women to receive the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods? Would we start ordaining 12 year old girls to be Deacons, 14 year olds to become teachers and 16 year olds to become priests? Who would get to pass the sacrament? Boys one week, girls the next, or perhaps would should mix it up? What about preparing and blessing the sacrament? Would we have the girls prepare it one week and the boys pass it that week? And what about blessing the sacrament? Two boys and one girl or girls one week and boys the next? Why is all this important? Training.

We need to consider how Home Teaching would operate. This is essentially an Aaron Priesthood responsibility. If girls are receiving the Aaronic Priesthood they would need to be fulfilling this duty. We would suddenly have a great influx of junior companions ready to help out, but I suspect we would not have enough senior companions for them all. Maybe their Mums can be the senior companions then. Would this conflict with Relief Society Visiting Teaching and would it just load up faithful mothers, who are already laboring under a heavy load, with even more that they struggle to do? Or would we at last finally see Home Teaching statistics becoming somewhere close to Relief Society stats?

What about the Melchizedek Priesthood? When a girl turns 18 does she then decide to go to Elders Quorum or Relief Society meetings? Should women be ordained to be an Elders only? Or High Priests only? What about Patriarchs? Should we also now have Matriarchs? So when a person is due to receive a Patriarchal blessing, should they also have the choice to receive a Matriarchal blessing? Or should they get both? Who pronounces the lineage? Patriarch or Matriarch? What if they pronounce different lineages? Does one trump the other? Should a married couple be called to be the Stake Matriarch and Patriarch? When one of them dies, is the other automatically released or does the survivor need to get married in order for them to function properly?

Callings - do you want women to be able to receive all callings? If women are ordained to be High Priests, all ward and stake callings would theoretically be open to them, or would they? Will we have both men and women serving on the Stake Presidency and High Council and associated callings? Do we need to have exactly six men and six women high councillors (and in the Apostolic quorum too for that matter)? Which brings to mind the various quorums of Seventy? Would each gender need to be balanced equally in all those quoroms?

Would callings that are currently held by women only (Young Women Presidency, Primary Presidency and Relief Society Presidency, and associated callings) now be open to men to hold as well? How would that work?

What about non-priestood callings that are held by men, like Ward Clerk, Executive secretaries, Sunday School presidency – would they also be open to women? Why is it those callings are currently “male only” callings?

How would presidencies work? Could we have mixed gender presidencies? How would they work?

Would we still have separate Relief Society and Priesthood meetings?

Would Aaronic Priesthood meetings and Young Women meetings on Sundays now be held together? What about week night Mutual activities? Would the boys and girls need to decide each week if they are going with the Young Women or Young Men?

What about Gender identification issues – would ordaining women lead to de-masculinization of Mormon men, and the de-feminization of Mormon women. Could men lose sight of what it means to be a Mormon man and Mormon women lose sight of what it means to be a Mormon women? See Jacob Bakers excellent post at http://zelophehadsdaughters.com/2014/04/04/ordain-women-womens-ordination

What about in the home? What are men useful for, apart from inseminating wives and earning money? If wives can do all that a man can do, why is the man needed at home now? He doesn't need to give blessings, can he just go off hunting or fishing or surfing or whatever other activity he prefers, and then just come home when he needs to?

Why does a man now need to be worthy to exercise his priesthood if he can now just let the wife do it? If a man no longer needs to be worthy to give blessings or baptize his own children, what will that lead to?

Is this issue any different to many other issues that feminists have raised over the last 50 or so years? Will it mean that women would actually lose more than they would gain? Would men gain or lose by it? Would it be a win-win situation? Would children win by it? Would anyone win by it?

I have not seen answers to any of these questions on the OW website or in in other publication. I think we are talking about a complete re-structure of the LDS Church policies and procedures and Mormon society, are we not?

I think someone in the OW movement needs to start re-writing both General Handbooks of Instruction in preparation for when the revelation comes. Who's going to do that? I guess it would happen under the direction of the 15 men we call apostles and probably the people who only a few years ago revised the previous editions of the Church handbooks.


I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it sisters. I don't think it will happen.

2 comments:

  1. good questions. I think I am a "manifist" rather than a feminist. I could go on about how the feminist movement psychologically altered the role of and men's perceptions of themselves and this would likely be no different. but these thoughts are knee jerk reactions, I have not done a lot of research.

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