Thanks for writing back Michelle, I can tell you have put a lot
of thought into this topic, and understand your concerns and feelings and am
impressed by, and thankful for, your insights.
I will try to respond in order.
In outlining the arguments of these women you explained: ".....they want to use the priesthood in combination with their womanly gifts they have to better bless the lives of others"
While that may be their desire, even sincere hope, it is still based in the false premise that somehow priesthood ordination will help them to better bless the lives of others. That is simply not the case. If it is true that women do not need the priesthood, that Sisters
actually are able to be complete, whole and perfect to their roles without it, then receiving it would mean nothing. The evil comes in that to assume that women are somehow less able to fulfill their divine potential, less able to serve others without it, presupposes superiority for men, who have, but do not share, what the group erroneously thinks would make women better. That is sexist, or in fact reverse sexism. It requires the sister who holds that belief to assume a lesser role, an inability to function fully, without that something they have been kept from holding. It is just another form of demeaning women. The world makes them feel lesser if they do not have a certain body shape, hair style, complexion. This movement makes them feel lesser if they do not have the priesthood.
Since their role is truly the center of creation, then to assume that position, subtly places those with that outlook in the ranks of the feminists who demand a different role, or see their role as something less than
it really is. That is the misconception that Satan uses in all denominations and among all women who seek ordinations, and it assumes a flawed God and subtly demeans the sacred powers, natures, and abilities of
This same point is highlighted in the statement about Kristy's feelings: "...Rather they hope the priesthood can be for all so we all can serve in the kingdom"
Again that presupposes the false notion that somehow women cannot serve in the kingdom, without the Priesthood, which simply is not the case. It astounds me that Sisters know so little about their true
natures, that they could ever think that somehow service in the kingdom, or better service in the kingdom, is linked to ordination to the priesthood? Thankfully millions of Sisters serve in the kingdom, and fulfill their divinely appointed roles, and bless generations to come, without ordination, and with a full understanding of their natures, which precludes even thinking about needing something more.
The example provides a great opportunity to reinforce the true doctrine I wrote before. Mothers roles are preeminent. Fathers, as good as we want to be, CANNOT do what they can, to the level that they can, with or without priesthood ordinations. If that doctrine is true, then it is selfish and harmful to the children for a less able person to demand to take priority in the role in parenting, and asking the more able person,
to leave her divinely appointed role and go off to do his priesthood duty. Role confusion has long been a tool of the adversary, and role envy motivates it and though Satan relishes role switching it actually only harms all involved. The truth of the matter is that the selfless husband will want to maximize the mothers time with the children, because her influence has, and always will have the potential to be the greatest. That is not to say
husbands do not spend as much time as they can with children, or seek to assist the mother in her primary role, but it is folly to demand more personal pleasure for oneself, at the expense of others. The deep doctrine here is why the brethren have for decades, encouraged mothers to stay home, to not work, to
sacrifice the perks and selfish benefits that come from a host of other pursuits, and suffer through the experience of motherhood, so that like Jesus presents the church pure and holy, mothers can present their children pure and holy. I remember Grandma Shurtleff used to cry every General Conference when this was taught, because as a working mother, she felt like she was not giving all she should to her sons. We of course would remind her that the brethren also taught that in circumstances were mothers have to work; the Lord would make up the difference. (Grace) That is a far different attitude than one wanting to expand her personal experiences at the expense of her children. The reason Paul calls fathers who fail to provide for their households "Infidels" is because in failing to do so , they put extra burden on the mother, who then has less time to focus on the needs of her children. Your own mother sacrificed many material things, praises of men, praise of her own father, nice clothes, fancy homes, big trips, because she chose to stay at home, with a deep desire to be there for her children, and she did so, based on her understanding of the divine and eternal nature of her calling. I supported her in that because I know, absolutely, that there is no greater work that can be done, and so I too
was willing to do whatever I could to maximize her contact with you children.
Now if maximizing the Mother's contact with children is the eternal and true goal, then it makes sense for God to give men the administration roles of the priesthood. As a Bishop, I am a huge administrator, I spend hours trying to keep order and the kingdom rolling forward. While your mother would honestly make a great bishop, in fact she actually would be far better Bishop than I am, since she has the natural abilities and charity I lack, it would still harm Rachel and Joseph in the eternities, for us to switch places. So, I rejoice and it brings me peace when I am working long hours in administration, using my priesthood keys, that I know your dear mother is working long hours using her naturally endowed gifts to bless our posterity.
I understand why the term "Most Important" bothers you" and it should to one degree. That is because as Paul taught both roles, both man and woman, are required for each to achieve the highest potential. In a
way it is so beautiful that mom cannot do it without me, nor I without her. So in that sense one could say that the roles are equally important, or at least both essential. However, in the sense the brethren use that term, it
means that given a resource constrained environment, if sacrifices must be made, then the highest priority should be to keep the mother in her divinely appointed role, not to keep the brother in his administrative priesthood duties. Thus if the time came that mom might have to get a job, the first option for me would be to ask for a release so that I could do 2 jobs and we could maximize her time in her role, particularly if there were small children in the home. I agree with your summation that what it really means is that the pursuit of spiritual nurturing, it is better than ANY other pursuit out there for women, only I would add, that there is no higher pursuit for men, then to assist the mother in that pursuit.
In ethics discussions we would always do hypothetical questions/cases to try and look at an issue more deeply, so that might help here. If there came a time when God had to choose to destroy all the males in the world, or all the females, and the world was at that point in time filled with young children, the "highest and holiest" title means God would choose to destroy the males. Similarly if I had to choose between me dying and the mother of my children dying, I would choose to die, so that the children would have THE BEST chance of being properly
nurtured. That is probably part of what was in the hearts and minds of the handcart brothers, who went without food, so that their wives and children might live. That is why in Godly kingdoms of the past, the men were asked to fight the wars, not the women, and they would often cry that they fought for their wives and children. In our day I have personally known soldiers, whose wives and children where the highest priority, even higher than their own lives. I see the doctrine as the husband being an essential part of, but also a supporting element to, the divine role of woman, and it does not bother me in the least. In fact I plan on supporting and serving and facilitating your mother's role for all eternity, and do not feel diminished by that perspective at all, nor do I desire to take on any aspect or assume any part of her role, but am content with my own.
This has even sweeter meaning when one considers that the whole purpose of the Church AND its priesthood, is to support the family, that means the family is MORE IMPORTANT than the church, and when sacrifices must be made, or a conflict arises with the family, the church backs down. We are all of us, as priesthood holders, and auxiliary leaders, acting in a supporting role to the central unit of creation, the family. The church, particularly the ordinances, is/are essential, but still only form a supporting role
I can tell from your remarks on submission that you truly understand the doctrine as expressed in scripture and the temple. I would note that the lack of perfection on our part does NOT excuse us from striving
to live the law of submission, as outlined in that doctrine. In your hypothetical examples, Brad's wanting to go into unnecessary debt, and his Sister's husband exercising unrighteous dominion, would both be unrighteous
acts that free the wife from the law of submission. Such scenarios do not change the underlying truth that submission to a righteous head, as a concept, is neither demeaning, nor evil, when exercised as intended within a unified and holy relationship. The Lord has clearly taught that in the decision of having children the highest consideration is the health of the mother, (including mental health) so if a husband demands pregnancy contrary to that counsel, it is unrighteous dominion. D & C section 121 makes it clear that if a priesthood holder exercises unrighteous dominion in any degree he loses his priesthood power, and so similarly the law of submission is no longer in effect.
The question about a husband and wife getting different revelations is a great one, and actually explains one reason why, in the kingdom of God , there must be a head, a presiding authority. It also causes the law of sustaining to come into effect. So the answer is, when a righteous husband and a righteous wife come to different conclusions as to how to best proceed, then the law of submission means that the wife will submit to the husband, (as long as he is not asking or demanding anything contrary to God's laws, or that is harmful, or illegal, etc.) That is the same law that governs a bishop submitting to his stake president. We say our piece, advocate for our point, and then if the Stake President overrules us, and moves against what we suggest, then we sustain him, and trust that God and Christ will make it right in the end. I have had to do this on some occasions, when I did not agree with or felt some action taken by a presiding authority was not correct, but I have always been blessed for sustaining my leaders, and have personally witnessed the grace of Christ make up the difference. Again, the relationship of husband and wife is deep strong and powerful, and love based, and so in any issues the wife will pray for her husband that he will see the truth, and seek to help him understand, and he will lovingly consider her council. I love the relationship between God and Christ as expressed in the Allegory of the Olive trees, as they labor with one purpose to save the trees, and Council together to arrive at the best conclusion, though on some occasions the Father does not take the counsel, i.e. counsel me not! Now here Michelle is where you perfectly detect one flaw in their reasoning. The major underlying issue for the Mormon Feminists, is a lack of faith, a lack of faith in God's leaders and the power of Christ. Another is their lack of faith in their own callings and an absence of a true understanding of their divine and supernal roles. It does not concern me too much, when my priesthood leaders do something I think is wrong, or could be done better, because I know, that the law of sustaining, includes the grace of Christ to make things right again. When I was forced to choose two counselors my first time as Bishop, which I knew where not who God had told me to call, I sustained my President, and the Lord made it turn out ok in the end, that is the power of Grace. In those issues when the final outcome is the wife submitting to the husband, in righteousness, if he is indeed in error, then the grace of Christ will make it right, and she will loose nothing for her actions.
Paul's teachings on submission cannot be understood dichotomously. It is not correct to assume that because all parts of the body are essential and have their role to play, that that necessarily means there is not a presiding authority, which actually is the true meaning in his reference to Christ as the Head of the Church. He did not mean Christ was just another part of the body, and choose the term Head randomly.
The key to understanding this is that order requires that there be a presiding authority, but the existence of that presiding authority does NOT mean those they preside over are somehow lesser individuals. Having one in charge, or presiding, does not mean they are better, except in the minds of the arrogant, who truly would rather be God then to submit to God, or be the head rather than some other part. They are who Paul was really
correcting, explaining that the members need not feel lesser or unimportant simply because they were not in other roles, including presiding. I was presided over by some really bad mission presidents, and there were
many who could have done a much better job, but they were presiding and so the law of sustaining had to come into play. My recognition of Heavenly Father as my head, my leader, the person to whom I truly submit and subject myself, does not diminish from my own worth, role mission, and importance to him. Even in the
area of governments, righteous kings are taught by God's prophets to be a good thing. Conversely, a pure democracy, or plebiscite leads to an oppressive majority and eventually anarchy, every one becoming a law unto themselves. Thus there must be a presiding authority, but that does not infer the presiding
person is better. Alma 1:26 describes it perfectly, the priest presiding, but not being better than the hearers. It is strange to think of one arguing that God is better than Jesus. What's more, when dealing with perfect souls, better has no meaning at all, yet presiding remains meaningful.
Your views on the movement were absolutely wonderful and truth in it purest form. Everything you have perceived was, from my view, correct and I am thankful for your great insights. That being the case, I would recommend that you lovingly share that same reasoning with Kristy, and then turn the issue over to God.
I started posting some comments on the website you sent me, not as delicate or well reasoned as yours, but the just of my point to them was that no matter how well versed, or intellectually based their arguments, the only way to know the truth about the movement, and its core deception, is by revelation from God. Of course
they claim revelation is guiding them, and as with the Homosexuals, and the Anti-Mormons, once they hit that level, the only thing we can do is to declare they are deceived and point out the only path to absolute truth……. then leave it to neutral parties to take the issue themselves to God and seek HIS revelation on the issue. Almost
never can you convert one who has reached the level of dogma, where they actually think they are doing GOD's work, like the Pharisees who murdered and destroyed Christians. However, often our efforts can touch the hearts and minds of the still open and sincere truth seeker. That is where we must focus our
I love you and am thankful for your witness of your divine role, and your desire to fulfill it before God.