Deborah and her authority


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I have been thinking lately about priesthood authority and women.

I enjoy watching the history channel and have wondered about early Christian texts found that talk about how Mary Magdelene may have had authority. One passage referred to a female deacon (can't remember her name) who passed letters or writings between the prophets shortly after the death of Christ.

I am interested now in Deborah. Where did her authority to judge Israel come from? Was it religious or political? Or did she come by it because of her birth? In Jewish writings were there other important females who lead or who held positions of authority?


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Miss: I'm not sure that this will answer your question, but even in modern day temples there are women that perform priesthood ordinances. The initiatory is one example.

While I’m not exactly sure how this “transference of authority” works, it seems that it is possible for a woman to act with priesthood authority in some circumstances. My theory is that this authority is given to them as an extension of the temple president’s authority, but the exact doctrine is unclear.

Maybe there is a temple president here who could answer you more clearly. I just wanted to point out that it still happens today :)

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She was a prophetess. A woman does not have to hold priesthood authority to be a prophetess.

Israel was in such a great state of apostasy during the period of the Judges that it was hard for God to find worthwhile men to judge Israel. I mean, God chose Samson, who definitely was not that great a guy. And he chose Gideon, who was very doubtful of the calling. Most of the Judges were political generals, and not spiritual men.

Deborah was very different, because she WAS spiritual. She was given the spirit of prophesy, which allowed Israel to thrive under her.

Women who have been endowed and sealed in the temple DO hold the Patriarchal Priesthood in conjunction with her husband. It is a shared priesthood authority. Pres Packer once explained the Patriarchal Order in this manner: the man holds two keys. The first key opens a vault door. Within the vault is a chest with two key holes. His other key will fit one of the holes, however he cannot open it alone. Along comes the woman with the second key. Together they unlock the greatest treasures of heaven and the Patriarchal Priesthood.

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