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hzdbl5

Women and children as witnesses

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https://www.deseret.com/2019/10/2/20894166/church-women-policy-witnesses-lds-mormon-conference

The Deseret news is reporting an announcement from the Church indicating that women can serve as witnesses at baptisms and temple sealings.  Additionally, children who have been baptized can also serve as witnesses at baptisms.  Youth with limited use recommends can act as witnesses for baptisms in the temple.

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16 minutes ago, hzdbl5 said:

https://www.deseret.com/2019/10/2/20894166/church-women-policy-witnesses-lds-mormon-conference

The Deseret news is reporting an announcement from the Church indicating that women can serve as witnesses at baptisms and temple sealings.  Additionally, children who have been baptized can also serve as witnesses at baptisms.  Youth with limited use recommends can act as witnesses for baptisms in the temple.

Anyone with a temple recommend can witness a baptism

Any endowed member with a recommend can witness a sealing.

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6 minutes ago, mikbone said:

Anyone with a temple recommend can witness a baptism

Any endowed member with a recommend can witness a sealing.

If I understand the article, a temple recommend is required to witness baptisms for the dead in the temple (because being in the temple is necessary to witness those). However, any baptized member -- with or without a recommend -- may serve as a witness to baptism for the living outside of the temple. Again, assuming I am understanding the Des News reporting.

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official email subscription

===============

Early in this dispensation, the Lord instructed that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" (Doctrine and Covenants 6:28). Consistent with this direction, members of the Church serve as witnesses when sacred ordinances of salvation and exaltation are performed.
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We are pleased to announce procedural adjustments for the two individuals who serve as witnesses to baptisms and sealing ordinances. These adjustments are effective immediately in all temples and in all Church units. As invited by presiding authorities:

  1. Any member holding a current temple recommend, including a limited-use recommend, may serve as a witness to a proxy baptism.
  2. Any endowed member with a current temple recommend may serve as a witness to a living or proxy sealing.
  3. Any baptized member of the Church, including children and youth, may serve as a witness to the baptism of a living person.

We trust that you, as individuals and families, will find great joy in your service as you help provide saving ordinances to Heavenly Father's children.

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24 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

If I understand the article, a temple recommend is required to witness baptisms for the dead in the temple (because being in the temple is necessary to witness those). However, any baptized member -- with or without a recommend -- may serve as a witness to baptism for the living outside of the temple. Again, assuming I am understanding the Des News reporting.

That's what I'm understanding as well.

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If you think about all the procedures and policies that exist in the Church that have no particular scriptural requirements, there is still a great deal of room for adjustments.

Perhaps Sisters will soon be able to serve as APs, Zone Leaders, or District Leaders on missions? As for me, I trust the Lord's timetable and direction in these matters through His authorized servants, but I've always told my wife that it would be wonderful if we could one day bless our children together 👫, and I would love to see wives sitting with their husbands (or visa-versa) on the stands at church and General Conference.

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14 minutes ago, clwnuke said:

If you think about all the procedures and policies that exist in the Church that have no particular scriptural requirements, there is still a great deal of room for adjustments.

Perhaps Sisters will soon be able to serve as APs, Zone Leaders, or District Leaders on missions? As for me, I trust the Lord's timetable and direction in these matters through His authorized servants, but I've always told my wife that it would be wonderful if we could one day bless our children together 👫, and I would love to see wives sitting with their husbands (or visa-versa) on the stands at church and General Conference.

I have asked my wife to assist with blessings before.  I state my authority and by virtue of her faith.  Never underestimate the faith of a mother.

 

Whoever told you that you could not do it that way.

 

Joseph Smith Jr.

Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, there could be no evil in it, if God gave his sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 224)

 

Joseph Fielding Smith

Q: "If a man and his wife were alone with a sick person, could he anoint with the oil and then seal the anointing with his wife assisting using the priesthood she holds jointly with her husband?"   

 

President Joseph F. Smith in The Improvement Era, Vol. 10, page 308, answered this question as follows:   

"Does a wife hold the priesthood with her husband and may she lay hands on the sick with him, with authority?"   

A wife does not hold the priesthood with her husband, but she enjoys the benefits thereof with him; and if she is requested to lay hands on the sick with him, or with any other officer holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, she may do so with perfect propriety. It is no uncommon thing for a man and wife unitedly to administer to their children. . . .   

The wife would lay on hands just as would a member of the Aaronic Priesthood, or a faithful brother without the priesthood, thus giving support by faith to the ordinance....

Such an administration would not be by virtue of the priesthood, but a manifestation of faith. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:149-150)

 

Edited by mikbone

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2 minutes ago, mikbone said:

I have asked my wife to assist with blessings before.  I state my authority and by virtue of her faith.  Never underestimate the faith of a mother.

Whoever told you that you could not do it that way.

I should have been more specific to say that I have never been opposed to Sisters receiving callings to the Priesthood, should the Lord ever choose to make a change in that respect. 

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There seems to be a USA feminist / liberal agenda to strike down any form of male gender oppression.

The priesthood has never given anyone the power to oppress.  Priesthood is the power of God to give service.

 

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Very interesting article.  I had thought that the calling of being a witness of a priesthood ordinance was not based in gender but rather was based in the Priesthood; thus a calling of priesthood holders.  As I read the article - it was made clear that any worthy baptized member can serve as a witness for priesthood ordinances necessary for salvation.  I will have to ponder this in order to understand what I have missed or misunderstood - or if it is more a case of much to do about nothing.

There is another part about the article that relates to gender.  It seemed to say something about gender confusion.  This part seemed to me to do a couple of things.  First that science supports the notion that gender is a scientific biological demonstrable reality.  I have attempted several times in the past to make a point that diversity in this matter (lack of specific or singular cause) lacking universal proof that the confusion is acquired through genetic or biology - points empirically (preponderance of evidence) that confusion is learned or acquired from responses to stimulus or circumstance. 

The second part is that regardless of specific cause that all those caught in this web of gender confusion – that the Saints of G-d should be loving, kind, compassionate and supportive of the notion that all of mankind that are accountable and have the power to determine how they will respond to the stimulus and circumstances of their environment.  And that the Saints of G-d should lovingly encourage that the laws and covenants of G-d be respected and upheld – especially among our own that enter with us into the sacred covenants (represented each Sabbath with the sacrament) with G-d.

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, clwnuke said:

Perhaps Sisters will soon be able to serve as APs, Zone Leaders, or District Leaders on missions?

Oh please no...

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2 hours ago, mikbone said:

I have asked my wife to assist with blessings before.  I state my authority and by virtue of her faith.  Never underestimate the faith of a mother. Whoever told you that you could not do it that way.

It is an interesting idea, and one that maybe needs its own thread to really explore rather than a threadjack. However, when has that stopped anyone from making a threadjack, right?

I note the following from Handbook 2:

For the ordinance of administering to the sick (section 20.6): " Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted. "

For Father's blessings and blessings of comfort (section 20.8): "... one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place ..."

In the one case, the word "Only" would seem to preclude women's participation in the ordinance. In the other case, the wording is less strict, but still makes no mention of women participating.

I notice that your two statements are from the early and mid 20th century. From what I know of the history (without any expertise to verify the research presented to me), the trend was towards less women participating in ordinances like these throughout the 20th century. Like @clwnuke, I was under the impression that women could not participate at all in performing these ordinances.

Not knowing the official answer to the question, I offer these thoughts. 1) Is it a case of "if it is not explicitly forbidden it is allowed" or "if it is not explicitly allowed it is forbidden"? 2) We often talk about not relying on "old" quotes from past Church leaders. Do we have anything newer than the '70s or '80s that would validate the older positions of Joseph, Joseph F, and Joseph Fielding Smith(s)? 3) In the spirit of "home centered -- church supported" does a wife/mother even need the Church's permission to participate with her husband in these ordinances?

Like @clwnuke, I have always been under the impression that women should not participate in these ordinances, though I cannot find a specific prohibition against such. Part of me (the rebellious part, probably) would like to think that women can claim the right to participate whether the Church officially grants permission or not, but I am also mindful of AoF #5. I would feel a lot better about this practice if there was a newer affirmation that women could participate in these ordinances like you describe. With the steam that the feminist movement has (even among Church members), if we were at all comfortable with the older statements, I would think there would be more recent affirmations of the practice. In the absence of those affirmations, I am hesitant to accept the practice by virtue of the older statements alone.

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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

It is an interesting idea, and one that maybe needs its own thread to really explore rather than a threadjack. However, when has that stopped anyone from making a threadjack, right?

I note the following from Handbook 2:

For the ordinance of administering to the sick (section 20.6): " Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted. "

For Father's blessings and blessings of comfort (section 20.8): "... one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place ..."

In the one case, the word "Only" would seem to preclude women's participation in the ordinance. In the other case, the wording is less strict, but still makes no mention of women participating.

I notice that your two statements are from the early and mid 20th century. From what I know of the history (without any expertise to verify the research presented to me), the trend was towards less women participating in ordinances like these throughout the 20th century. Like @clwnuke, I was under the impression that women could not participate at all in performing these ordinances.

Not knowing the official answer to the question, I offer these thoughts. 1) Is it a case of "if it is not explicitly forbidden it is allowed" or "if it is not explicitly allowed it is forbidden"? 2) We often talk about not relying on "old" quotes from past Church leaders. Do we have anything newer than the '70s or '80s that would validate the older positions of Joseph, Joseph F, and Joseph Fielding Smith(s)? 3) In the spirit of "home centered -- church supported" does a wife/mother even need the Church's permission to participate with her husband in these ordinances?

Like @clwnuke, I have always been under the impression that women should not participate in these ordinances, though I cannot find a specific prohibition against such. Part of me (the rebellious part, probably) would like to think that women can claim the right to participate whether the Church officially grants permission or not, but I am also mindful of AoF #5. I would feel a lot better about this practice if there was a newer affirmation that women could participate in these ordinances like you describe. With the steam that the feminist movement has (even among Church members), if we were at all comfortable with the older statements, I would think there would be more recent affirmations of the practice. In the absence of those affirmations, I am hesitant to accept the practice by virtue of the older statements alone.

Joseph Smith’s opinion carries weight in my mind.

The restoration will continue.

Obviously, witnessing a baptism or even a sealing is NOT a priesthood ordinance.  It is a peripheral event that occurs during the ordinance.  Just like how we partake of the sacrament even though we have not blessed it.

In the example I gave of my wife accompanying during a blessing, she does not use her priesthood to do so.  And I surely do not evoke it.

There is a whole lot of misunderstanding about the priesthood.

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20 hours ago, clwnuke said:

Perhaps Sisters will soon be able to serve as APs, Zone Leaders, or District Leaders on missions?

Not so sure about that.  While I may have been misinformed, I was taught that DL/ZL/AP were priesthood callings, but that the Ordination as an Elder superseded and included the authority for those callings, and as a result, formal ordination was not required.

As Anddenex noted, the key here is "witness".  My wife said that many people see this as some massive change (especially those who want priesthood for women), however, it is actually rather minimal.  The Church is simply going through and changing policies to make them as inclusive as possible.  I agree with the desire to do this; I assume there will be more similar things to come.

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14 minutes ago, person0 said:

As Anddenex noted, the key here is "witness".  My wife said that many people see this as some massive change (especially those who want priesthood for women), however, it is actually rather minimal.  The Church is simply going through and changing policies to make them as inclusive as possible.  I agree with the desire to do this; I assume there will be more similar things to come.

Same here.

Being a witness was never a priesthood specific callings.  Honestly, the list of priesthood-specific tasks is very short.  

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30 minutes ago, person0 said:

As Anddenex noted, the key here is "witness".  My wife said that many people see this as some massive change (especially those who want priesthood for women), however, it is actually rather minimal.  The Church is simply going through and changing policies to make them as inclusive as possible.  I agree with the desire to do this; I assume there will be more similar things to come.

Indeed..  We have Culture, or the Unwritten Order of things... Which I think is very similar to what the scripture call 'Traditions of our Fathers'  This is not doctrine or truth...  It might however have been a good idea or helpful or even necessary at some point in our history. And maybe it still is or maybe it is not any more.  It is nice to see those with the proper stewardship going through and removing that which they determine is no longer useful or correct at this time

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On 10/3/2019 at 9:03 AM, estradling75 said:

Indeed..  We have Culture, or the Unwritten Order of things... Which I think is very similar to what the scripture call 'Traditions of our Fathers'  This is not doctrine or truth...  It might however have been a good idea or helpful or even necessary at some point in our history. And maybe it still is or maybe it is not any more.  It is nice to see those with the proper stewardship going through and removing that which they determine is no longer useful or correct at this time

I was at a German Mission reunion last night for all German speaking missions.  Elder Bednar and his wife spoke to us and he specifically touched on this topic. He asked us to please stop with the myths, etc. that so many of us adhere to. He said the policy changes such as witnesses, ministering, youth program, missionaries able to call home on a weekly basis, etc. are because we are a world wide church. It needs to be simplified, but the eternal truths are there. It needs to be family based. For example, he talked about Africa, and the growth there. Young adults  have the obligation to care for their parents and support the family. Often times, the young person is the only member. If they go on a mission they are unable to to help support the family. If they have no contact with the parents for the two years while serving, the parents become more antagonistic towards the church. The change in policy for missionaries to call home was for them, not us (Utahns, Americans), but we benefit. I wish I could state this the way Elder Bednar did.

He talked about the Saints in Africa who are the poorest in the world. They pay their pennies and other meager change for fast offerings, which goes into the coffers of the church, so someone here in Utah can pay their mortgage because they were unwise with their money, He was blunt.

He talked about revelation and how it is often given, line upon line, precept upon precept. Most of the church policy changes are not abrupt changes. Each particular prophet has been working for years in specific areas of their stewardship. These are not new ideas to them, but it comes line upon line. 

I’m grateful I was able to hear Elder Bednar talk. The Spirit was so strong. His wife’s comments were just as powerful. I truly feel blessed to have been there.

Edited by classylady

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42 minutes ago, classylady said:

I was at a German Mission reunion last night for all German speaking missions.  Elder Bednar and his wife spoke to us and he specifically touched on this topic. He asked us to please stop with the myths, etc. that so many of us adhere to. He said the policy changes such as witnesses, ministering, youth program, missionaries able to call home on a weekly basis, etc. are because we are a world wide church. It needs to be simplified, but the eternal truths are there. It needs to be family based.

i.e. The myths that are sadly being perpetuated by Third Hour articles and the reasons they give for these changes. I am remembering a particular article regarding home teaching and ministering and how High Priests were given a "smack down" by the prophet.

I agree wholeheartedly. Myths need to stop.

I would be more interested in his exact words pertaining to fast offerings.

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34 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

i.e. The myths that are sadly being perpetuated by Third Hour articles and the reasons they give for these changes. I am remembering a particular article regarding home teaching and ministering and how High Priests were given a "smack down" by the prophet.

I agree wholeheartedly. Myths need to stop.

I would be more interested in his exact words pertaining to fast offerings.

I wish I could remember exactly what he said. We were asked not to record, video tape, or take photographs. He talked about how so many in Africa only have one meal a day. The average length of life for men is around 44 years of age. He mentioned AIDS being one of the causes of the young death rate. They live in very small houses, perhaps one room, often caring not only for their own family, but often the children of their brother because he has died. The young men (and women) are needed to help support the family. If they go on missions that financial support is not there. And, as I mentioned earlier, some of these young men and women are the only members.

As to fast offerings, he didn’t say much more than, here they are, poorest of poor, hungry, how they give of their meager earnings—pennies, nickels, and need food and basics to survive, and in Utah some are unwise with their income and now need help in paying their mortgage using fast offering money. I think he was trying to portray the huge difference in needs and wants. It sounded like he said these poor saints are willing to help us in Utah, and it’s usually due to our unwise decisions, yet they need the very basics.

Edited by classylady

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This is as significant as when the Church started using plastic sacrament cups.  Not a big deal except on a personal level for some.  There will be mothers asked to witness sealings instead of fathers and if that's what the bride and groom want have at it.  As a doctrinal issue it is meaningless though.

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1 hour ago, Anddenex said:

i.e. The myths that are sadly being perpetuated by Third Hour articles and the reasons they give for these changes. I am remembering a particular article regarding home teaching and ministering and how High Priests were given a "smack down" by the prophet.

I agree wholeheartedly. Myths need to stop.

I would be more interested in his exact words pertaining to fast offerings.

I took a glance over at Mormondialogue to see how they were responding to it and there seemed to be a unanimous belief that this was one step closer to sisters getting the priesthood.

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