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LiterateParakeet

Women and Priesthood Power

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Since Pres. Nelson's talk, Spiritual Treasures, in October General Conference, I have been working on learning more about women and priesthood power.  Besides the scriptures, and conference talks, I have found a couple books that were really helpful.  The first one was The Priesthood Power of Women by Barbara Morgan Gardner.  She teaches church history at BYU, and I found her book so enlightening!   Recently, I found that LDS Living had her do a "5 Minute Fireside"....this is a great sample/teaser if you haven't read her book yet! 

Sister Gardner's book is The Priesthood Power of Women: In the Temple, Church and Family
https://deseretbook.com/p/priesthood-power-of-women?ref=Grid | Barbara Morgan Gardner | Taxon%3A 25088-2&variant_id=170500-hardcover

Another great book that has deepened my understanding is Wendy Ulrich's book:  Live Up to Our Privileges: Women, Power and Priesthood.
https://deseretbook.com/p/live-up-to-our-privileges-women-power-and-priesthood?ref=Grid | Search-25&variant_id=171677-hardcover

Sheri Dew also wrote a book about women and the priesthood:
https://deseretbook.com/p/women-priesthood-sheri-l-dew-89795?ref=Grid | Search-6&variant_id=6049-hardcover

Together these make great resources, each has something different and powerful to teach us!
  

 

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6 hours ago, Grunt said:

I REALLY struggle trying to understand women and the priesthood.

The concept that I believe helps is the difference between "authority" and "power." Power is individual righteousness. Authority is specifically accomplished by the laying on of hands.

Women who exercise faith (e.g. single mothers, widows, single women, etc...) when children are sick and pray believing God will grant blessings these blessings are accomplished via priesthood power.

An eye opening experience for me as a young father and my wife as a young mother was when our daughter was sick with a fever ranging between 102-104. At this time in our life I was working two full-time jobs (8-5pm and graveyard 11-7am). Around 12 AM in the morning the fever hit and and would not decrease in temperature no matter what she did. The infant pain medicine did not reduce the fever. As a young mother at 2 AM she couldn't call me as my position didn't allow a phone call and if she did it didn't mean it would reach me right away. She didn't have anyone to call that early, so she knelt by the side of the bed praying over our daughter. At the moment she ended the prayer, she checked again on our daughter and the fever was gone (no fever through the night, it never came back). It wasn't by the authority, but through personal faith and belief our daughter was healed by the power of the priesthood.

This experience and others have made it very clear that women are able to access power in the priesthood in all that they do. In every assignment, in every calling, and in all they do that is the work of the Lord.

Edited by Anddenex

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6 hours ago, Grunt said:

I REALLY struggle trying to understand women and the priesthood.

What specifically do you struggle with, Grunt?

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5 hours ago, Vort said:

What specifically do you struggle with, Grunt?

It's tough to even explain.  I believe Priesthood is the power and authority to act on behalf of God.  That includes blessings, ordinances, leadership, etc.  I can see examples of women exercising priesthood authority, but I'm not sure I see examples of them exercising priesthood power (unless something like what @Anddenex posted is an example of power).   Are blessings (healing, Sacrament, etc) examples of Priesthood authority, power, or both?

I also understand that men and women have different roles in the Church, just as in life.  My own home is a very clean example of that.  But that is by nature and choice.  

Now that I read what I wrote, I wonder if what I see is actually power being exercised, and authority comes from ordination to offices.  If that's the case, is the Primary President operating on borrowed authority?  Does she hold those keys?  If she has the power and authority of her office, and I'm the Primary Activities leader, does she hold that authority over me?  Does my wife, also Primary Activities leader (and a much better one) have the same power and authority in that area that I do?  Is the Primary President doing the same work, or more, as a someone ordained to office?  If so, is there something specifically that keeps her from holding that office?   

Maybe everyone has Priesthood authority and power?   Maybe Priesthood offices have additional authority and power that includes ordinances?  Only men can hold those offices?  If so, why?  Is it because (as I've been told is the interpretation) that women should not "teach or have authority over men"?  If so, then how is the Primary President in my ward explained?  She certainly appears to have authority over me and definitely teaches me.  

When I believed "men held the Priesthood" and that women exercised it under their authority, it made sense to me.  That puts the neat Patriarchal/Matriarchal lines in order for me.  Now it seems to be much mushier than that.  I'm no longer sure I understand what the Priesthood is, who has it, how they have it, what it means to exercise it (outside of the obvious use of office), what the keys are, who has them, why offices are gender-defined, etc.  

I completely realize what I wrote probably makes no sense to anyone.  I apologize, but even after reading it over I don't know how to clean it up so it makes better sense.  I also apologize if this sounds progressive, anti, or anything of the sort.  It's not intended to be that way.  It's simply a stream of consciousness.  I've been on this forum over 2 1/2 years, so most of you know I just ask things bluntly with good intentions.  This isn't a "faith crisis".  It's simply one thing in MANY that I don't understand.  I'm VERY accepting that I don't understand things.  I either research them until I do, ask questions of everyone, or put it on a shelf.  Things on my shelf no longer bother me.  I'll understand them in due time.

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3 minutes ago, Grunt said:

It's tough to even explain.  I believe Priesthood is the power and authority to act on behalf of God.  That includes blessings, ordinances, leadership, etc.  I can see examples of women exercising priesthood authority, but I'm not sure I see examples of them exercising priesthood power (unless something like what @Anddenex posted is an example of power).   Are blessings (healing, Sacrament, etc) examples of Priesthood authority, power, or both?

I also understand that men and women have different roles in the Church, just as in life.  My own home is a very clean example of that.  But that is by nature and choice.  

When I believed "men held the Priesthood" and that women exercised it under their authority, it made sense to me.  That puts the neat Patriarchal/Matriarchal lines in order for me.  

That's a good understanding of it in a basic sense, at least traditionally in the church. 

There can be a bit more in it, but as we have discussed on this forum, much of that boils down to individual opinions on the matter.

One of these items which there has been disagreement between various members is dealing with the shared priesthood which I will share my opinion (briefly, if I can do such a thing) below.

When a couple are joined in the temple the highest order of the Priesthood or Patriarchial order is given to them.  This order of the Priesthood has also been referred to as the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.  A man cannot attain it alone, and neither can a woman, but together and jointly.

It is NOT another priesthood, but is under the Melchizedek Priesthood and the keys thereof.  As the head of the Household and as the Patriarch of the Home the Father leads the home and thus is also the one who holds the keys of the Priesthood.  AS I understand it, his wife can also give or utilize his priesthood in his absence, though this is not really something that is taught or utilized these days.

Instead, what is taught is more of Faith. Faith in prayer and Faith in action is also utilizing the POWER of the Lord through Faith, but I do not perceive it directly as Priesthood Authority (as in the Priesthood authority men are granted as part of the Patriarchal order of the Lord, or parts of the Lower or Higher Priesthood).  This can be utilized as a conduit for the Lord to exercise blessings and other such things via faith, and faith can be mighty (if we have even the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains).  Such blessings can also bring about mighty things that many would be incredulous about.  However, there is a difference between the Orders of the Priesthood and the Priesthood authority given by such, and the blessings the Lord gives us by faith and prayer at times.

The Priesthood of the Aaronic and Melchizedek is where the one giving the prayer is acting in the place of, or with the direct guidance and in the authority (as if the Lord were there or would be there) of the Lord himself.

A prime example would be that of a King and his mouthpiece or slave/servant.  A Slave or Servant of a King (for example, Joseph of Egypt when representing Pharoah) was an extension of the ruler himself.  To act against one was to act directly against the King, and to adhere to one was as if one was directly adhering to a ruling of the King.

Counter that to when we ask in faith.  Instead of being the Lord's literal representative here on Earth, standing or representing him in his stead, we are asking for his help or his blessing in a specific or certain way.  Thus, woman can experience the power of the Lord through Faith and blessings in that way, but they normally do not act as the Lord's direct representative as those who hold the Priesthood authority of the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood.

One is being proxy or acting as the Lord's representative as Priesthood Authority, the other which I would imagine is being utilized as Priesthood Power in some sense is that of experiencing and asking for the Lord's power in being granted a blessing or other item.

At least that's an explanation I've utilized at times in the past.

 

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15 hours ago, Grunt said:

I REALLY struggle trying to understand women and the priesthood.

So Grunt, one of the Apostles (either Bednar or Oaks) made this analogy:

Priesthood Power is like a big Umbrella.  It works for everyone under the umbrella - men, women, children, and everyone in between.  Priesthood Authority is the authority to hold that umbrella up.  This authority is given to worthy men ordained to the Priesthood.  Priesthood holders are not the umbrella.  They're just the ones holding the umbrella up.  Women are not tasked with holding the umbrella except for very rare circumstances (like in initiatories).  They are tasked with gathering people, especially the children, under the umbrella.

 

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3 hours ago, Grunt said:

I completely realize what I wrote probably makes no sense to anyone.  I apologize, but even after reading it over I don't know how to clean it up so it makes better sense.  I also apologize if this sounds progressive, anti, or anything of the sort.  It's not intended to be that way.  It's simply a stream of consciousness.  I've been on this forum over 2 1/2 years, so most of you know I just ask things bluntly with good intentions.  This isn't a "faith crisis".  It's simply one thing in MANY that I don't understand.  I'm VERY accepting that I don't understand things.  I either research them until I do, ask questions of everyone, or put it on a shelf.  Things on my shelf no longer bother me.  I'll understand them in due time.

I would say your simple stream of consciousness is clear in what you are asking, and I believe the analogy provided by @anatess2 from one of the apostles should help you better understand.

In the thoughts above, particularly with the primary president, you are addressing three concepts: power, authority, and positions of stewardship. Both power and positions of stewardship are under the "umbrella" (keeping with the analogy) of the priesthood. A primary president will act in power of the priesthood within her position of stewardship as assigned/called by one who holds the umbrella. She is acting under the authority of the bishop, who acts under authority of the stake president, who acts under the authority of the general authority, and on up to the apostles and prophets and then to Christ >> whose priesthood it is.

So, if I am called to the primary I then would honor the position of stewardship the primary president has been called to by one who holds the authority (umbrella). In that light, I am honoring/respecting the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood as I accept the "servants" of Christ who have been called/chosen/assigned to their specific calling or assignment. I will be obedient to the primary president as long as she is obedient to the Lord (and his chosen servants who hold the umbrella > authority and stewardship).

Those who have priesthood authority is simply defined in our 5th Article of Faith. Everyone though man, woman, and child have access to priesthood power as priesthood power is connected to our individual righteousness and faith.

Also, I didn't assume the question was anti, progressive, or a faith crisis. You appear to handle a progression of knowledge the same way I do.

Edited by Anddenex

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1 minute ago, mordorbund said:

Now that people have explained priesthood, can we get an explanation on women?

So there was this guy who fished a lamp out of the Pacific Ocean while cast adrift on his way to California from Hawaii.  He rubbed the lamp and voila! a genie pops out asking him one wish.  This genie just happened to have only one wish to give.  The guy told the genie, "I want you to build a bridge between Hawaii and California!".  The genie replied, "you're mad, my dear fellow.  It is impossible to build a bridge between Hawaii and California!  Ask for another wish.".  The guy then asked, "Okay, genie, I want you to explain women."  The genie replied, "would that be a suspension bridge or a truss bridge?".

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18 hours ago, Grunt said:

I REALLY struggle trying to understand women and the priesthood.

As with other topics, I have found that the REAL teaching on this subject comes from the Holy Ghost, after I have done my homework, by reading the scriptures, Conference talks and perhaps books on the subject, praying throughout the process.   Pres. Nelson said the same (i.e. that the Holy Ghost would teach us):

Quote

“The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood. I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life. Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love.

“Now, you might be saying to yourself, “This sounds wonderful, but how do I do it? How do I draw the Savior’s power into my life?” 

“You won’t find this process spelled out in any manual. The Holy Ghost will be your personal tutor as you seek to understand what the Lord would have you know and do.”
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/36nelson?lang=eng

 

 

6 hours ago, Grunt said:

Now that I read what I wrote, I wonder if what I see is actually power being exercised, and authority comes from ordination to offices.  If that's the case, is the Primary President operating on borrowed authority?  Does she hold those keys?  If she has the power and authority of her office, and I'm the Primary Activities leader, does she hold that authority over me?  Does my wife, also Primary Activities leader (and a much better one) have the same power and authority in that area that I do?  

Sis. Gardner discusses this in her book. The answer is yes.  Women have priesthood power through their callings also.  So the Primary President has priesthood authority to act in her calling as Primary President, just as say the Sunday School President has authority to act in his.  His authority only pertains to Sunday School, and hers only to the Primary.  What I mean is they are each entitled to inspiration, guidance, etc, pertaining to their callings and the people they have stewardship over...within their calling.  
 

Edited by LiterateParakeet

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@Grunt, one of the best talks was from Dallin H. Oaks that really helped me to understand. You might have already read/listened to it, but it was what helped me:

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/04/the-keys-and-authority-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng


 

EDIT: Just thought I should add part of his talk here:

 

”I come now to the subject of priesthood authority. I begin with the three principles just discussed: (1) priesthood is the power of God delegated to man to act for the salvation of the human family, (2) priesthood authority is governed by priesthood holders who hold priesthood keys, and (3) since the scriptures state that “all other authorities [and] offices in the church are appendages to this [Melchizedek] priesthood” (D&C 107:5), all that is done under the direction of those priesthood keys is done with priesthood authority.

How does this apply to women? In an address to the Relief Society, President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said this: “While the sisters have not been given the Priesthood, it has not been conferred upon them, that does not mean that the Lord has not given unto them authority. … A person may have authority given to him, or a sister to her, to do certain things in the Church that are binding and absolutely necessary for our salvation, such as the work that our sisters do in the House of the Lord. They have authority given unto them to do some great and wonderful things, sacred unto the Lord, and binding just as thoroughly as are the blessings that are given by the men who hold the Priesthood.”7

In that notable address, President Smith said again and again that women have been given authority. To the women he said, “You can speak with authority, because the Lord has placed authority upon you.” He also said that the Relief Society “[has] been given power and authority to do a great many things. The work which they do is done by divine authority.” And, of course, the Church work done by women or men, whether in the temple or in the wards or branches, is done under the direction of those who hold priesthood keys. Thus, speaking of the Relief Society, President Smith explained, “[The Lord] has given to them this great organization where they have authority to serve under the directions of the bishops of the wards … , looking after the interest of our people both spiritually and temporally.”8

Thus, it is truly said that Relief Society is not just a class for women but something they belong to—a divinely established appendage to the priesthood.9

We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties.”

Edited by Colirio

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That talk from Pres. Oaks was great and very helpful.  Related to that is this part of Pres. Nelson's talk, Spiritual Treasures:

Quote

 

"When you are set apart to serve in a calling under the direction of one who holds priesthood keys—such as your bishop or stake president—you are given priesthood authority to function in that calling . . . If you are endowed but not currently married to a man who bears the priesthood and someone says to you, “I’m sorry you don’t have the priesthood in your home,” please understand that that statement is incorrect. You may not have a priesthood bearer in your home, but you have received and made sacred covenants with God in His temple. From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you. And remember, if your husband should die, youwould preside in your home.

As a righteous, endowed Latter-day Saint woman, you speak and teach with power and authority from God. Whether by exhortation or conversation, we need your voice teaching the doctrine of Christ. We need your input in family, ward, and stake councils. Your participation is essential and never ornamental!

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/36nelson?lang=eng

 

 

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Maybe believing every action we do as either men or women as some action of “priesthood power or authority” is causing some of the confusion.

women “having” access to the priesthood can be as simple as women do not have to visit a special exit on the road to reach God and can ask him directly for HIS hand to intervene.  They don’t need to seek approval or work through male leadership to expound scriptures or teach or preach the gospel.  To me, it’s just giving women their rightful place as equal children of God and disciples of Christ.  Men will officiate and perform ordinances and outside of that, we’re both the same regarding access to priesthood power that belongs to God.  Few men actually have priesthood keys.  Whenever someone acts on behalf of what God wants then they are essentially accessing and using that power.  

Thats the basics of what I believe.

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The more I learn about the Priesthood (following the admonition from Pres. Nelson) the more amazed I am to see that our leaders have been talking about this for years!  But apparently I didn't yet have eyes to see, and ears to hear...alas!  But I am ready now, and the Lord is filling my spiritual cup to overflowing!   

Here's a great talk...a shorter version of one she gave at Women's Conference at BYU apparently.  I need to track that down.  Here's the Ensign version...

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2014/06/priesthood-power-available-to-all?lang=eng

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On 2/6/2020 at 12:12 AM, Rimon said:

Whenever someone acts on behalf of what God wants then they are essentially accessing and using that power.  

At what point does this become the Protestant "Priesthood of all believers" idea where there is no need for any kind of formal ordination?

 

On 2/6/2020 at 12:12 AM, Rimon said:

Men will officiate and perform ordinances and outside of that, we’re both the same regarding access to priesthood power that belongs to God.  Few men actually have priesthood keys.

Since Pres. Nelson's talk in October, this maybe is the thing that has really been rattling around in my head -- Why am I ordained? As an Elder, I am not eligible to be called into most positions of Church government (What Ulrich called the Ecclesiastical Priesthood). In a thread started shortly after last conference, we talked about women being able to officiate in blessings for the sick and blessings of comfort, so those ordinances do not seem to require formal ordination (though I think there is some debate to be had on this). I guess I need to be formally ordained in order to perform baptisms and confirmations for my family members, which only happens a few times. As a youth, I needed to be formally ordained to pass, prepare, and bless the sacrament. Any other callings I am called to fulfill come with a "setting apart" in which I am given the requisite priesthood authority to perform those callings (and, the impression I am getting, is that this is new priesthood authority and not "activating" a latent authority that is already present in my ordination as I once thought). It just seems that my ordination grants me very little above and beyond what any non-ordained member of the Church has -- not that I need my ordination to grant me special privileges. It just seems that, at this stage in my life, I could abdicate my priesthood and still do everything I currently do in the Church and my family.

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@MrShorty forgive me if I miss your point, but I will take a stab at it.  

As a Priesthood holder you bless and pass the Sacrament, give blessings etc. Women still don't do those things. Women will not be Bishops etc. (I'm fine with that, BTW).  

But a man can't fully access Priesthood power without the temple covenants and at some point sealing. Women have Priesthood power through their temple covenants too, and they also need to be sealed to fully exercise that gift.

The understanding that is new to me, is that through my temple covenants, I have access to Priesthood power also!  I am not authorized to put my hands on someone's head, but I can draw down the powers of heaven in other ways. For example, once when Joseph and Hyrum were in jail, Joseph had a vision of his mother kneeling and offering a powerful prayer, basically calling down the powers of heaven on their behalf. They were released shortly afterwards and he credited her prayer.  

Women are also given Priesthood power through callings, so for example, my daughter as a missionary could testify and when moved by the Spirit, make promises/prophesy just as my sons did when they were missionaries.  

If the Spirit inspired me to do so I could command the elements through this Priesthood power and all kinds of other things. 

This knowledge is so empowering to me and sisters I have talked to. This does not diminish what the men have, it simply makes us better partners and covenant keepers. 

I hope that helps.

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On 2/5/2020 at 11:12 PM, Rimon said:

They don’t need to seek approval or work through male leadership to expound scriptures or teach or preach the gospel.  To me, it’s just giving women their rightful place as equal children of God and disciples of Christ.  Men will officiate and perform ordinances and outside of that, we’re both the same regarding access to priesthood power that belongs to God.  Few men actually have priesthood keys.  Whenever someone acts on behalf of what God wants then they are essentially accessing and using that power.  

I LOVE the first part of this. Yes!!!

About keys, Sis. Gardner said there are 40 different keys spoken of in the scriptures. Some of them are available to women also.  For example,  if I remember correctly Pres. Nelson, mentioned the "key of knowledge" in his Spiritual Treasures talk, that's one of them.

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25 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

At what point does this become the Protestant "Priesthood of all believers" idea where there is no need for any kind of formal ordination?

I agree, this is where the thought tends. I suppose the manifest ignorance of what the Priesthood is and what it means to hold the Priesthood underlies this problem.

26 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Since Pres. Nelson's talk in October, this maybe is the thing that has really been rattling around in my head -- Why am I ordained? As an Elder, I am not eligible to be called into most positions of Church government (What Ulrich called the Ecclesiastical Priesthood). In a thread started shortly after last conference, we talked about women being able to officiate in blessings for the sick and blessings of comfort, so those ordinances do not seem to require formal ordination (though I think there is some debate to be had on this). I guess I need to be formally ordained in order to perform baptisms and confirmations for my family members, which only happens a few times. As a youth, I needed to be formally ordained to pass, prepare, and bless the sacrament. Any other callings I am called to fulfill come with a "setting apart" in which I am given the requisite priesthood authority to perform those callings (and, the impression I am getting, is that this is new priesthood authority and not "activating" a latent authority that is already present in my ordination as I once thought). It just seems that my ordination grants me very little above and beyond what any non-ordained member of the Church has -- not that I need my ordination to grant me special privileges. It just seems that, at this stage in my life, I could abdicate my priesthood and still do everything I currently do in the Church and my family.

You are ordained to hold the Priesthood of the Lord. With that Priesthood, you are in a position to lead and protect your family. It is your right and also your duty as a son of God and member of the kingdom to hold and use that Priesthood.

The ecclesiastical positions and various offices within the Melchizedek Priesthood are irrelevant as far as your duty to your family goes. An elder has just as much Priesthood authority as an apostle. There is literally no difference. Priesthood office determines only keys and responsibilities within the kingdom. You have all the keys and authority you need to lead your family—indeed, you have all the keys and authority to lead your family that have ever been given to mankind. It's a priceless privilege and a solemn duty to hold the Priesthood. Don't underestimate the value you can be to your loved ones.

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14 minutes ago, Vort said:

With that Priesthood, you are in a position to lead and protect your family.

Except that I would still be in a position to lead and protect my family without the formal ordination to the Priesthood. A single mother is considered the leader and protector of her family without ordination. I don't think I am underestimating my value to my family -- I'm not seeing how my ordination to the Priesthood adds anything to that value.

30 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I am not authorized to put my hands on someone's head, but I can draw down the powers of heaven in other ways.

One part of the discussion has been whether or not women are authorized to lay on hands -- often citing the practice of women laying on hands for blessings earlier in this dispensation. I am not sure if those who advocate for this practice today are the last vestiges of the older practice as the practice finally dies out, or if I am seeing a resurgence of the older practice.

Another part is kind of the same thing. When my child is sick, I can lay my hands on their head and give a blessing. With some of this "new" rhetoric, I am seeing us say that my wife could keel at their bedside and give essentially the same blessing. In both cases, we are each calling upon the powers of God/Heaven to bless a child, and as I am understanding the rhetoric, each is equivalent. There is no real difference between me laying hands on head and invoking the Melchizedek Priesthood than my wife calling on God by virtue of her position as a woman and mother. I find myself back at the same point -- what does my formal ordination bring to the scenario?

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2 hours ago, MrShorty said:

Except that I would still be in a position to lead and protect my family without the formal ordination to the Priesthood. A single mother is considered the leader and protector of her family without ordination. I don't think I am underestimating my value to my family -- I'm not seeing how my ordination to the Priesthood adds anything to that value.

Wait!  Am I understanding this correctly?  You don't see that there's a difference between your random next-door neighbor leading and protecting his family from a faithful member leading and protecting his family through priesthood authority?  You, yourself, doesn't have to hold the Priesthood authority.  Your family, as much as they remain faithful to their covenants, are under the umbrella of the authority of the Father/Bishop/Stake/Area/First Presidency/Christ.  Any of those levels fail to apply to you, the next level will.  The difference between the Father's and the Bishop's authority is the same difference as the Mayor and the Governor of a city.  The Mayor is closer to the family and, therefore, can answer more specifically to the needs of his constituents.  Similary, the Father, as much as he remains faithful to qualify for his Priesthood, can answer more specifically to the needs of his sphere of authority, preparing the family for the next ordinance/covenant and helping the family keep the covenants they have already made.

 

 

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