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Women and the Priesthood


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#1 Royalohh

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:54 PM

I am looking for any information Gospel Doctrine on the following issue. Now what I am going to talk about gets a bit deep and can be confusing. I will try to keep it clear. OK where to start, My wife was in relief Society and a Question was asked. She admitted to me later she only caught part of what was asked and wishes she had never said anything at all. The question had to do with women giving healing blessings through their husbands priesthood authority if the husband is not present. My wife answered that their have been instances in the church where this has happened but didn't get much further then that before she was pounced upon and mauled. Needless to say she is very embarrassed. Now it does not end there. Someone went to the bishop who then called the Relief Society President. This Sister then informed my wife she mistaken in her belief and it went down hill from there. Now my wife has done a lot of research on many things and she happened to find a few articles from earlier leaders of the church talking about sisters and healing blessings and priesthood authority and healings of Faith and such. What she found goes a long way in explaining what she was trying to say but it is very old, and I mean 1900 to 1914 (edited dates) kind of old and I have not been able to find anything recent that touches on this subject. Now we have talked to our Bishop and his explanation was simple well that was a long time ago. Well I am sorry I need something more then that. So if there is anyone out there that can help me find anything that has to do with wives using their husbands priesthood authority or standing in and laying on hands with the husband while giving a blessing. I do have the Talks and may even have a link to find some of what I was talking about earlier I just do not have access to it at the moment so if you want it let me know and I will get it to you. Thank you in advance for your time.

#2 Vanhin

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:31 PM

So if there is anyone out there that can help me find anything that has to do with wives using their husbands priesthood authority or standing in and laying on hands with the husband while giving a blessing.


Just to point out that, although we have tradition, a single Mechizedek Priesthood holder can give blessings, including blessing the sick (both parts). So, a stand in is not necessary. ( LDS.org - Family Chapter Detail - Priesthood Ordinances and Blessings )

And I also know that anyone can call upon the blessings from heaven according to their faith, and that God is a God of miracles and works miracles among the children of men according to their faith (Moroni 10:19).


Other than that I don't really know of anything else to contribute. :)

Regards,
Vanhin

#3 Hemidakota

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:37 PM

Vanhin. remember the story of Sister Snow giving a blessing to her oxen when crossing the plains to Utah?

#4 Vanhin

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:40 PM

Vanhin. remember the story of Sister Snow giving a blessing to her oxen when crossing the plains to Utah?


I do actually remeber that. That would definetly fall into the catergory of miracles by faith.

Vanhin

#5 Moksha

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:15 PM

Royalohh, here is a thread that will give you the information you need. The original poster Gaia, is possibly the foremost scriptorian on this issue. Be forewarned that this is a thorny issue - especially for some men. :rolleyes:

http://www.lds.net/f...priesthood.html
Jesus said, "The first in importance is, love the Lord God.'
And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
There is no other commandment that ranks with these."


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#6 tomk

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:17 PM

Vanhin. remember the story of Sister Snow giving a blessing to her oxen when crossing the plains to Utah?



It wasn't a blessing was it?

Wasn't it "just" a prayer? She did not declare any authority of Priesthood.

#7 Moksha

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:28 PM

Here are some random quotes from some LDS people"

"That higher state, promised in the eternal marriage covenant, is called becoming kings and queens, priests and priestesses unto the most high God.
(As Women of Faith: Talks Selected from the BYU Women's Conferences [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 117.)

Nyman and Tate:
"The Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God is from eternity to eternity, from everlasting to everlasting, meaning from one existence to the next. It was in operation in the first estate, it blesses lives and seals souls to eternal life in mortality, and it will continue into the world of spirits and beyond, on into the kingdoms of glory wherein dwell kings and queens, priests and priestesses."
(Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds., Alma, the Testimony of the Word [Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1992], 70.)

Sister Chieko Okazaki:
"Esther was a queen, but all of us have the potential of being kings and queens, priests and priestesses, gods and goddesses. Like Esther we are called to live with faith and with service. We, too, whatever our circumstances, must meet those circumstances as queens and kings who are called and challenged to be here in this hour."
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Aloha! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 126.)

Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith:
"The main purpose for our mortal existence is that we might obtain tabernacles of flesh and bones for our spirits that we might advance after the resurrection to the fulness of the blessings which the Lord has promised to those who are faithful. They have been promised that they shall become sons and daughters of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and if they have been true to the commandments and covenants the Lord has given us, to be kings and priests and queens and priestesses, possessing the fulness of the blessings of the celestial kingdom."
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 4: 61.)

RS President Eliza R Snow Smith:
"Inasmuch as we continue faithful, we shall be those that will be crowned in the presence of God and the lamb. You, my sisters, if you are faithful, will become Queens of Queens, and Priestesses unto the Most High God. These are your callings. We have only to discharge our duties."
(Eliza R. Snow and the Woman Question by Jill C. Mulvay Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 16 (1975-1976), Number 2 - Winter 1976 264.)

"Judging from such indications as the floor plan of the Nauvoo Temple fn and public statements made about its ordinances, one can conclude that this temple offered a model for understanding eternal human existence that taught and embraced, among other things, the following elements: ... a promise that all righteous men and women may become kings and priests, queens and priestesses, to rule eternally and become like God."
(Doctrine and the Temple in Nauvoo by Larry C. Porter and Milton V. Backman, Jr. Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 32 (1992), Num. 1 and 2 - Winter and Spring 1992 45.)

"We are priestesses and queens, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory";
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Disciples [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 23.)

"...But, the central purpose of the holy endowment as it relates to the temple program is to build a patriarchal family, and to give those who have been anointed to become kings and priests, and queens and priestesses, the higher ordinances of the priesthood through which they can become patriarchs and matriarchs, or fathers and mothers, spiritually."
(Hyrum L. Andrus, The Divine Patriarchal Order [1972], 13.)
Jesus said, "The first in importance is, love the Lord God.'
And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
There is no other commandment that ranks with these."


Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace


#8 Hemidakota

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:54 PM

It wasn't a blessing was it?

Wasn't it "just" a prayer? She did not declare any authority of Priesthood.


My memory serves me right, she used her decease's [hate to use that word] husband priesthood since no other would give the last surviving animal a blessing. I have to look it up when I can find time.

I do believe her name was Eliza R. Snow

#9 Hemidakota

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:12 PM

It figures...:lol:...when searching something you learn over a few years, the mind cannot even recall. This one got me stumped.

However, I do believe it was her. Someone will correct me though.

Jane McBride Choate, “Eliza R. Snow,” Friend, Oct 1986, 34



During the exodus of the Latter-day Saints from Missouri, ordered by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, a man taunted Eliza R. Snow, saying, “Well, I think this will cure you of your faith.” She retorted, “No, sir, it will take more than this to cure me of my faith.” He humbly responded, “I must confess you are a better soldier than I am.” Later Eliza would write, “I passed on, thinking that, unless he was above the average of his fellows in that section, I was not complimented by his confession.”
Born on January 21, 1804, in Becket, Massachusetts, Eliza Roxey Snow was the second daughter of Oliver and Rosetta L. Pettibone Snow. Her grandfather was a Revolutionary War hero. Her brother, Lorenzo, would serve as the fifth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Eliza showed talent in writing at an early age. When she was twenty-two years old, she wrote, at the request of several newspapers, a requiem for former Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died on July 4, 1826.
Though Baptists, the Snow family invited members of other religions into their home, including Sidney Rigdon. Eliza’s parents soon joined the Church. After searching for and receiving answers to her questions, Eliza was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 5, 1835. Shortly after her baptism, Eliza moved to Kirtland, Ohio, where she taught school and acted as governess to Joseph Smith’s children. On June 29, 1842, she and Joseph were sealed in marriage for time and eternity.
Mob persecution forced the Snow family to move often, leaving homes and friends. On one occasion, during the move to Far West, all the family’s food froze. So they soaked thinly sliced frozen bread in fresh warm milk from the cow for their meals. Eliza met hardships bravely and uncomplainingly, and she helped to shelter and care for her elderly parents, who would later die on the journey to Winter Quarters.
On the trek to Winter Quarters Eliza drove an ox team. Though she had no experience with oxen, Eliza quickly learned to haw and gee with the other ox team drivers.
Eliza spent much time writing, and many of her poems were set to music. Her songs promise hope and peace and helped to comfort the Saints during their migration to Utah. Though she suffered persecution for her beliefs, none of her songs contain a desire for vengeance. Instead, they reflect her very sure faith in the prophets and her love for the scriptures. She composed the words to many hymns, including “O My Father” and “How Great the Wisdom and the Love.” Eliza also wrote several songs for children, including “I’ll Serve the Lord While I Am Young” and “In Our Lovely Deseret.” In addition, she published volumes of poetry, hymns, and tune books.
President Brigham Young called Eliza to preside over the Women’s Department of the Endowment House when it was dedicated in 1855. With Aurelia Rogers she organized the first Primary. When the first Relief Society was organized on March 17, 1842, Eliza served as secretary to President Emma Smith; in 1866 she was set apart to preside over all the Relief Societies of the Church, and she served as president for twenty-one years, until shortly before her death in 1887. When the Deseret Hospital was established on July 17, 1882, she was made its first president.
Eliza R. Snow—teacher, oxteam driver, poet, president—helped to shape the early years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[photo] Board of directors of the Deseret Hospital (Eliza R. Snow, center)
[illustration] The first Primary, Farmington, Utah (Eliza R. Snow, left)
[photo] Photo by Michael McConkie



#10 Hemidakota

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:20 PM

See reference: LDS.org - Liahona Article - Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church

#11 MaidservantX

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:26 PM

I know for a fact that my husband's great-grandmother healed and blessed by the laying on of hands (I think only for other women). I do not know if this was priesthood or faith, or what it was exactly that she declared in her blessings and healings. I do know that this took place post 1900 (very early in that century). I know that people (women? about to give birth?) would call upon her for if they needed blessings. I do not know if it was just this women (the great-grandmother) that did laying on of hands, or if other women in the church in this community also were in the habit.

At present I would feel uncomfortable doing the same unless there was some clear direction on it coming down from the present prophet.

On the other hand, in my interviews with my children (weekly in general, although we are on again, off again at times) -- I always conclude the interview by having the child and myself kneel; then I touch their shoulder or put my arm around them; and then I pray to the Father on behalf of that child specifically and individually. I often will say, "All right, now I will pray over you." I didn't intentionally start out to say that, but that is what I commonly call it. In my prayers I ask for whatever I feel my child needs and I ask in a confidence that my prayers will be directly effective. I don't consider this prayer an act of the priesthood per se, but I do feel that I have authority through my stewardship as a mother to be heard for this child and to call upon blessings from the Father for my child. It is a very sacred moment.

All of God's work is done by priesthood power, I believe. That is . . . if you sum up the priesthood into the Aaronic and the Melchizedek and its offices that are evident in the church government, you have not gotten the whole sum of the priesthood power that exists in the universe with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost as its source; or even all the priesthood power that may be understood to be on the earth at this time. Of course, all priesthood power must also have authority. Authority and power must work together for priesthood to be . . . effective? true? (better words?). It is my personal opinion that God can organize his priesthood power into whatever organization, government and authority scheme best suits his purpose for the salvation of his children at any given time on the earth, and perhaps also dependent upon our faith and faithfulness to what we already possess. It is evident that he has used a few different set ups over mortal history.

Although I have studied and thought on this matter (women and priesthood) a great deal and I personally think that I understand some things that others are not willing to, I find also that there is nothing to gain by attempting to "get ahead" of what the Lord and his prophet choose to instruct us with at the present. Perhaps in the future I will find my personal understandings either confirmed or corrected by continuing revelation from the prophet on the subject.

#12 lilered

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 04:55 PM

The fact still remains that women have never been given the Priesthood in the history of the church. If married to a priesthood holder then they are co-holders, but the fact still remains the husband holds the keys and is the Primary Priesthood holder.

#13 HiJolly

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 05:17 PM

The fact still remains that women have never been given the Priesthood in the history of the church.


I don't think that's exactly accurate... But as of April 2008, you won't find it in any official Church publication, that's for sure.

If married to a priesthood holder then they are co-holders, but the fact still remains the husband holds the keys and is the Primary Priesthood holder.

That's certainly the case today, yes.

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#14 Still_Small_Voice

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 08:31 PM

I know women who are followers of Christ can work great miracles by the power of faith and prayer. Do not feel that you cannot draw down the powers of heaven just because you do not hold the priesthood. A woman or an unordained man cannot use the authority of the priesthood to bless others, but as I have just stated, they can draw down the powers of heaven with faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." Moroni 7:33
For if ye love only them which love you what reward have you?" -- Matthew 5:46 Inspired Version (changed to verse 48)

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#15 jadams_4040

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:03 PM

I am looking for any information Gospel Doctrine on the following issue.

Now what I am going to talk about gets a bit deep and can be confusing. I will try to keep it clear.

OK where to start, My wife was in relief Society and a Question was asked. She admitted to me later she only caught part of what was asked and wishes she had never said anything at all. The question had to do with women giving healing blessings through their husbands priesthood authority if the husband is not present. My wife answered that their have been instances in the church where this has happened but didn't get much further then that before she was pounced upon and mauled. Needless to say she is very embarrassed.

Now it does not end there. Someone went to the bishop who then called the Relief Society President. This Sister then informed my wife she mistaken in her belief and it went down hill from there. Now my wife has done a lot of research on many things and she happened to find a few articles from earlier leaders of the church talking about sisters and healing blessings and priesthood authority and healings of Faith and such. What she found goes a long way in explaining what she was trying to say but it is very old, and I mean 1800 to 1814 kind of old and I have not been able to find anything recent that touches on this subject. Now we have talked to our Bishop and his explanation was simple well that was a long time ago. Well I am sorry I need something more then that.

So if there is anyone out there that can help me find anything that has to do with wives using their husbands priesthood authority or standing in and laying on hands with the husband while giving a blessing.

I do have the Talks and may even have a link to find some of what I was talking about earlier I just do not have access to it at the moment so if you want it let me know and I will get it to you.

Thank you in advance for your time.


I know the official preisthood authority is given to men only, but that doesa not mean a female cannot bless someone thru the power of prayer. the Holy preisthood is not simply for the putting on of hands, it is for guidance,strengh,knowledge,wisdom, and excample.Yes it is true only a man whom holds the preisthood worthily; can ordain or baptize, and other things. But this is not to distract from a womans sacred power of pure love and sincerity that only a woman can offer. a woiman can add her hands upon the head of one being blessed if she feels the need to do so and is guided to do so by spirit. But there "must" be also a worthy preisthood holder in attendance with hands on as well. The lord will answer a womans honest and worthy prayer just as much as he will a mans, I know this to be true from experiancing it many times in my life, a woman has sacred power of love that is unmatched by anything else on this earth. and the lord regognizes it. but it is not the same power of the preisthood, it is just as wonderfull and excepted of God but not the same purpose in being.:)

#16 WillowTheWhisp

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:10 AM

Many years ago when the little daughter of one of our previous Bishops was ill (this girl is now a married woman) her father was not at home and her mother had no access to other priesthood holders. She had called for medical help but the child was at death's door there in her arms. The mother did not of course have the priesthood but she was a worthy and faithful member and she called upon the Lord to bless the child and in her prayer she pleaded that as no priesthood holder could giver her a blessing would the Holy Ghost do that for her. She bore her testimony that she then felt inspired to say the words to her daughter confirming that she had been blessed and that she would be well. She bore a very moving testimony of this experience and as I say the child is now a married woman and mother herself.

What you think you heard me say may not necessarily be what I thought I meant.


;)


#17 lilered

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:11 AM

But I repeat myself. I do not mean this in a condecending way, but the fact still remains that women have never been given the Priesthood in the history of the church, that I am aware of.

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that this relationship extends to the home. “There is nothing in the teachings of the gospel which declares that men are superior to women,” he said. “The Lord has given unto men the power of priesthood and sent them forth to labor in his service. The woman’s calling is in a different direction. The most noble, exalting calling of all is that which has been given to women as the mothers of men. Women do not hold the priesthood, but if they are faithful and true they will become priestesses and queens in the kingdom of God, and that implies that they will be given authority. The women do not hold the priesthood with their husbands, but they do reap the benefits coming from that priesthood.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., comp. Bruce R. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–

This does not prevent women if they are faithful and worthy from being able to give blessings and call upon the Lord for help.

#18 VisionOfLehi

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:23 AM

I think it's important to remember the power of prayer, which can work wonders for so many WITHOUT the Priesthood. I've often heard this story about a young boy, who didn't have the Priesthood. He went into a grove in mighty prayer... And the Father and the Son appeared to him! How amazing is that!?

#19 lilered

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:41 AM

I think it's important to remember the power of prayer, which can work wonders for so many WITHOUT the Priesthood.

I've often heard this story about a young boy, who didn't have the Priesthood. He went into a grove in mighty prayer... And the Father and the Son appeared to him!

How amazing is that!?


Excellent point!:)

#20 splendidsun

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:43 AM

Note that there are several different topics on this thread. Female ritual healing started in Kirtland and Joseph taught the Relief society "according to revelation" that they could administer healing rituals. The first presidency wrote a circular letter in 1914 that described the rituals that women could administer. This was very common until the 1920's and died out practically-speaking in the 1940's.

The story that Mary Fielding administered to her oxen is an urban legend. She asked men in her company to do it. There are accounts of healing animals sporadically into the Utah era.

Note that healing wasn't considered a uniquely priesthood ordinance until the twentieth century. So, be careful not to conflate healing power and participation in healing rituals with priesthood authority.

Here is a brief update on my research that deals with this. You can also listen to my presentation at the Mormon History Association last spring, that deals with this topic entitled "Baptism for Healing and Women as Healers: Twin Trajectories of Early Mormon Ritual." As far as women and the priesthood, see here.




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