Exclusive: Interview with Kate Kelly, from Ordain Women

 

Jason Cronin has an exclusive interview with Kate Kelly, one of the founders of the Ordain Women organization. 

First, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Kate Kelly (view her Ordain Women profile here). I grew up in Oregon and was one of very few Mormon kids in my school. I always considered being Mormon as something that was really special about me, because we were so few and far between. In grade school they called me “BYU girl” because all of my school supplies—pencils, folders, erasers, supply box, etc.—were BYU themed.  I was baptized by my dad when I was 8, and as predicted by my school supplies, I did go to BYU for college.  Go, Cougars!

I had an absolute blast at BYU. It was a really wonderful time for me because after swimming upstream growing up, I was awash in a sea of really enthusiastic young Mormons like me. It was so delightful to be among my people. I sang hymns in the tunnels, hiked the Y, went on creative group dates and had a generally fabulous experience. (I also studied, on occasion.)

After a few years at BYU I served a mission for the church in Barcelona, Spain. My mission was such a positive eye-opener for me. For the first time I learned a new language and was able to reach out to total strangers and a wide variety of people that were really different from me. The people of Spain taught me what true hope is. They helped me learn the living, breathing definition of charity.

In May 2012 I graduated from law school at American University’s Washington College of Law, the only law school in the world founded by women. I’m now an international human rights law attorney and I help human rights defenders around the world bring their cases before international human rights bodies. The work is fascinating and my clients are truly inspirational people.

 

So this is about equality in the Church. Some say that women receive the same exact blessings as men. What’s your response to that?

Women are blessed by their church membership and service in countless ways. I simply want women to be able to have the full range of opportunity of service open to them. I want women to be given the mantle of God, and the chance to take their turn serving and directing others.

 

Was there a definitive moment in your life when you realized that women should be ordained, and that this was a cause that you should lead?

I was raised in a very egalitarian home. My dad called himself the “Laundry King” and shared equally in all parental duties and my mom worked as an attorney. This model of parity always resonated with me, and in some ways ordination and equality have always made some intuitive sense to me. However, the messages I received in church created some dissonance with what my parents taught me by example. This dissonance became more and more irksome to me over the years.

Taking my new job and being able to interact with such courageous human rights defenders who risk brutal beatings, imprisonment and total ostracization from their communities for standing up for themselves gave me pause. They helped me see that to be my authentic self I need to speak about what was true to me, even at great cost. Before I kept thinking that ordination was an issue that “somebody needed to do something about” and finally I realized: I am somebody.

This experience has been an act of faith for me. I have faith in the church, and that the institution can change and improve to be a more inclusive community. I have faith that our message will be respectfully received, even by those who disagree. I have faith that others will join us, and end their silence on the issue of female ordination.

 

As far as you know, has anything like this ever been done before, in such a large scale?

The cry for female ordination is by no means a new cry. Mormon women have been talking about ordination since the 1950s, and probably the 1850s. Many have paved the way for our group by laying the theological groundwork. I am certainly not alone in this effort.

All Are Alike unto God is a carefully crafted document in support of female ordination, and that recently gathered signatures online. It was also sent to all General Authorities of the church.  There have also been many sympathetic voices within groups like Exponent II, The Mormon Women’s Forum, and the original Women’s Exponent, to name a few. Those groups have made great strides at discussing and articulating the issues around the question of female ordination.

I think the moment now is ripe for a full “coming out” process for many Mormon women over the issue of ordination, myself included. A widespread, coordinated, action-oriented movement that is inclusive of all voices has never existed. We at Ordain Women intend to create a space for all to publicly make their honest, respectful calls for ordination from the Relief Society president to the radical.

 

Is there a limit to what you want to do here? I mean, we’re talking about female bishops, stake presidents, how about a prophet?

The ordination of women would put us on completely equal spiritual footing with our brethren, and nothing less will suffice.

 

You served a mission. Should women serve 2-year missions? Why or why not?

There is no reason to treat young women, eager to serve, any differently.

 

Sister missionary zone leaders and assistants?

In some missions, sisters do serve in leadership roles already. For example, in the Temple Square mission, where there are no elders currently serving. Priesthood holders, men and women, will enter the field on equal ground.

 

For you, why didn’t Joseph Smith’s original plan to “make of this Society a kingdom of Priests . . .” realized? Where did things go astray?

Not everything that Joseph Smith originally envisioned for the church has come to fruition yet. For example, we are not currently living the law of consecration. I don’t know how or why the priesthood has not been extended to women. But, I do know that we are ready and willing to receive it. We are a church keenly invested in the concept of restoration—we want to see the church restore women to their rightful place as leaders and priesthood holders.

 

How has the overall reaction been so far?

The overall reaction has been largely positive. People have joined us who I was pleasantly shocked to see join. We have had profile submissions on www.ordainwomen.org from a woman currently serving in her stake’s Relief Society presidency. We have had a submission from a currently serving bishop. We have a profile from a brave girl named Emma who is a high school student.  I am really moved by their courage and willingness to use their stories to support the cause of ordination.

Most of the negative reactions have been ad hominem attacks about perceived “activity” in the church, or “apostasy.” We have already been called “pawns in Lucifer’s hands” quite a few times, but I have found in life, generally, that when the best response to your argument your opponent has is to attack you personally, you’ve got a pretty solid argument. So, I take those personal attacks as a good sign. I encourage everyone to read our FAQ section before making a snap judgment about who we are.

 

Has the opposition that you’ve personally encountered been more from men or women, or about equal?

I think the proportion is about the same, but so far the arguments from women tend to be of the “I’m too busy to have added responsibilities,” or “how dare you disrupt the status quo” variety, and not the “I demand you repent of your sins and apostasy” variety.

 

Any direct reactions from the Church?

My local leaders have thus far been very understanding and supportive, but some members of our group have been called into their individual bishop’s offices to discuss their involvement with the group and their profiles. Thus far, some leaders have expressed concern, but no disciplinary action has taken place.

We’ve not heard anything official from Church Headquarters.

 

Despite this opposition, what is it that keeps you going?

What keeps me going is my faith. I think about myself as a 12-year-old girl and about my nieces. I want things to be different for them. I want them to see themselves as having equal roles in God’s kingdom and equal access to his power. I want them to be valued and utilized. I want them to grow up thinking anything is possible for them. I have faith that they will.

 

You must have a role model.

My historical hero is Susan B. Anthony. She was a steadfast and conservative Quaker woman and also a ferocious fighter for universal suffrage. Like me, in many ways she was prim and proper and an unlikely agitator. Her unwavering devotion to an idea that so few thought was possible when her work began encourages me. She said, “I pray every single second of my life; not on my knees but with my work. My prayer is to lift women to equality with men. Work and worship are one with me.”

 

Aside from making a profile on your website, what are some things you’d like sympathizers to the cause to do?

The website is the very first step for Ordain Women. We started this group as one committed to thoughtful, faith-affirming strategic action. We invite everyone to submit a profile, send us an email if you’d like to volunteer and to stay tuned for action announcements. We’d like everyone to join us in person for our actions, especially BYU students!

 

Anything else you’d like the BYU community to hear from you, Kate?

We ask the BYU community to really think about why women don’t currently have the priesthood and ask themselves: Why? We understand that for some it is extremely difficult to separate the concept of the priesthood from maleness, but please try. Try thinking about a church where women can participate fully: giving blessings, teaching with authority, and leading. Try seeing this image of the church, not as intimidating or threatening, but as one filled with promise and exhilarating possibility. At the bare minimum, try seeing those of us that advocate for ordination as sisters in Zion who are trying to faithfully invest in our beloved community. Because that is what we are.

Matthew 7:7 teaches us, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” And so we ask. And we seek. And we stand at the door and knock.

 

124 comments

  1. Another great article. Keep up the good work Jason. You have a bright future in journalism ahead of you.

    • Here are my thoughts on the ordination of women in the LDS church: http://naturalfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/my-thoughts-on-the-ordination-of-women-in-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints/

      “I believe this group of activist women are an organized cabal of professionally trained leftist agitators who have been tasked with doing a well publicized stunt in order to be excommunicated so they can then then whine to the media for the next twenty years about how evil and patriarchal the church is, having put their Feminist beliefs on the line and paid the seemingly ultimate sacrifice. I just wonder how much money they have been paid to do it…”

    • Ugh. No. Kate, why do you think you’re this crusader for us? You’re like the over eager student in the front waving your hand wildly for attention and then volunteering the whole class to do an essay.
      It might be your crisis of faith to NOT have the priesthood, but it would be MY crisis of faith to have it.
      1-I don’t want to be a bishop or a stake president. I don’t want to have any extra responsibility. BUT if the prophet said that we were now being ordained to the priesthood, I’d suck it up. I just wouldn’t like it and would have to have the faith to accept it. I think what people don’t understand who aren’t in our church is that a leadership position isn’t applied for, it is given. And knowing my luck, I’d be given more to do (and I’d take the position because I’d know it’s good for me in the end, yadda yadda–but it is like taking out the garbage–it makes you strong and all, but you’d rather let someone else do it). Yes, I’m sorry that makes me lazy BUT I’m already mowing the lawn and chopping down wood–my arms are tired! However, if God said take out the garbage, I’d be more keen to do it than if YOU said take out the garbage, Kate. And let’s face it, if the revelation came out right away to give us the priesthood than it would just be Kate’s church because Kate makes all the decisions, not God. Yup, crisis of faith right there.
      2-Also, would the men then become relief society presidents, etc? I actually LIKE my relief society the way that it is. Call me shortsighted, I don’t care. Besides that, I STILL need to learn to fulfill the responsibilities that I have now. And then I’m given more? I’d have to do visiting teaching AND home teaching? SURE, I need a better attitude, but I still have to kick my rear in gear to go out and visit people like a proper person should do. I guess when we all have a 100% visiting teaching/ home teaching then maybe we might be given more to do–and that’s when that law of consecration will come into practice (you don’t see anyone rallying for that).
      3-I have NEVER felt unequal–that’s why I actually think of this as a threat–I don’t have to prove myself and I know my power. Sure, we have different jobs to do on the counsel (the guys and the girls), but I’ve sat in counsel meetings and had to make decisions, etc., and the bishop listened to me just as much as he listened to the elder’s quorum president. I was over the girls. The Quorum leader was over the guys. Big deal. I didn’t want to be over the guys and I don’t think that he wanted to be over the girls. And the bishop was just glad that both of us were doing our jobs because he could actually see his family every once in awhile because of us. PS: I learned a lot from my calling, but you won’t see me pushing my way to the front of the line to serve again…though it’ll happen again, you can count on that.
      And this brings me to my conclusion: I get it that you have righteous desires and all that, but could you please turn all of your energy and eagerness to serve others towards a third world country? Build some schools and orphanages or something? Something that won’t turn my personal life upside down. You’re not doing me (or any of the girls in my life) a favor.
      Meanwhile my lazy fingers are crossed that God isn’t on the verge of giving us the priesthood (but believe me if he was, he didn’t come to the conclusion because of you, although judging by all the publicity stunts being pulled right now I bet you’d be crowing all over the place if you thought so–another crisis of faith for me, right?).
      Although I have a feeling in the afterlife (more than a hunch) that we girls will all be priestesses, etc–you know the drill. That, of course, means more responsibility–it’s just hard right now as a mortal to run faster than I have strength to run. So, if God wants to call us to the priesthood now (even tomorrow), let Him be the one to do it. I think, personally, I’d take it better if it was from Him.

      • Kristen /

        I don’t know if women ar supposed to have he priesthood one day or not. But I do know that just because you’re not willing to be a Bishop doesn’t mean that other women wouldn’t gladly be in some sort of bishopric position. Your entire argument is ludicrously selfish. Simply because you feel comfortable with the current status of women doesn’t mean others are, or even the majority. I don’t personally feel the need to have the priesthood, but I’d gladly accept it if it was what God wanted. If you don’t have enough faith to take any additions to Gods gospel then maybe you should reevaluate your religion. We aren’t on “ordain women” and “traditionalist” sides. We are all on the same side and we all feel and experience differently. Be sensitive to that sometime

      • samantha /

        Perfectly said.

    • trinka /

      Why did she take it to the media when the letter came from a priesthood leader?
      Where is the reverence for this power she says is from God? The same power she says we all should want. Nonsensical!!

      • ChrisWir /

        She does not say that ALL women should want the priesthood, nor does she say that ALL men of black African descent should want the priesthood prior to June 9, 1978.

  2. Awesome. All for it. Thanks for the brave work you and your colleagues do, Kate.

  3. Jon Marlowe /

    If this woman had said that she had received a revelation that the Church wasn’t operating the way it’s supposed to be, we would label her a “false prophet” and that would be the end of it. But since she is framing this as a “social movement for reform,” people listen to her, even though the overall idea is the same. She thinks that she knows, better than the General Authorities, how the Church should be operating. That’s not just a dangerous idea–it’s a completely false one.

    I think that if anything of this sort were to ever happen, the revelation would come through God’s chosen prophet, and not through a random woman or man starting a social campaign. If you follow the prophet, you will never go astray. We don’t have the same guarantee for following Kate Kelly.

  4. Heather /

    This is wonderful! Thank you for your efforts!

  5. Al Thomson /

    Giving the priesthood to women is a cause to stir people up so that they will be disaffected with the Church. They don’t understand the doctrine of the priesthood. Men and Women are completely equal in the eyes of God. He is not a respecter of persons. Our Heavenly Father is 100% fair and treats all of His children the same. If a man or a woman follows and keeps the commandments they have the complete promise of the Lord. If a man or a woman don’t keep the commandments they have no promise unless they repent.

    The doctrine of the priesthood is very misunderstood in the church and it is taught in D&C 121:34-45 (reread it). To paraphrase many are called and few are chosen and why are they not chosen because they don’t learn this one lesson that the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and the principles of righteousness. Priesthood only has power when exercised under the principles of righteousness Priesthood has no power unless it is used to serve others and done only to lift others and done without any pride or ego. As soon as a priesthood holder use the priesthood outside these bound it has no power.

    Now most priesthood holders have the right and good intentions but we are all imperfect and mistakes will be made. When priesthood don’t repent and admit their mistake and try to cover it up that’s when sisters and others feel that they are not heard and represented. In all governing models there has to be one who is in charge and God’s plan has given that responsibility to the priesthood. That responsibility is huge and requires complete humility and service and righteousness. Brothers have the priesthood and sisters have procreation. Men can’t carry and bear children. Both are needed to create life but both have great power. One has the priesthood (only works in righteousness) and one has the power of life. Only together can they become Gods. There is no such things as a single male God or a single female God. Single male and female celestial beings are angels and not Gods. To become like our Heavenly Father is takes a man and a woman both using the divine power that Heavenly Father has given them so that if they make it to the celestial kingdom they can continue to use the power of the priesthood and procreation together creating worlds and children without number.

    Another way to put it: Only those couples who righteously use the power of the priesthood and procreation in this life will be able to use it in the next life as Gods. Only couples will be able to use both powers in the next life.

    Regarding celestial marriage or the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage a man can have more than one wife. There are two reasons. First, there will be more righteous celestial women than men. The data on this is very simple. In every ward and branch in the entire Church there are always more faithful sisters than bothers. Since righteous sisters who earn the celestial kingdom can not be denied all the blessings of the Church including becoming like God (being a couple and married so that you can use the power of the priesthood and procreation into the eternities). Second, only Gods can have children like our Heavenly Father and one of the key purposes of marriage is to properly use the power of procreation and have children. If a women had multiple husbands we wouldn’t know who is the father of the children without knowing who is the father would introduction doubt and confusion into the family and destroy the plan of God (yes technology could maybe detect this but technology isn’t full proof and only our generation has had this and we may not always have access to it for one reason or another).

    The bottom line is doubt and causing people to get all worked up on causes as it root in truly not understanding the gospel plan and its doctrine. The doctrine is perfect even though all of us are very imperfect. I hope this helps.

    • So…the reason for my eternal life is to procreate? I’ve already had enough of that. What now. If my purpose in the eternities in the celestial kingdom is to have babies, I don’t want to go there. It certainly doesn’t sound like a heaven for me.

      • Bernard Gui /

        That might be an issue for you if it were known to be true, but since no one knows the process of spiritual creation, it is a strawman argument.

      • Jared /

        You make it sound like having babies is a bad thing? Do you not enjoy being a mother? If you don’t you may want to consider that this may be a “you problem!”

        • Dianne Hardy /

          What a judgmental statement, Jared. You are full of arrogance.

      • Jerry /

        There is life on this earth because of women. A man cannot get to the highest glory without a woman. The most important unit in the world is a home. And the nurturer of that home is a woman. Behind every successful man, is a strong woman. Ironically, it was through a woman, that sin and knowledge was born in the Garden of Eden. What else can I say to you that will make you understand that, women have callings that are significantly important in this life and the life after. A priesthood holder cannot do it all by himself !!. You are a critical part of this spiritual equation. This is how HE planned it. This is how HE wants it. Why are you asking for something that HE never intended for you to have? Maybe HE will. But until then, keep the faith, and push on.

      • Hi Amy, answering late here…I realize it’s been a year since you wrote this, but according to our theology, it’s also falls to a man to create a family in the next life. It’s not a bad thing–God did it. How do you think we came about? We are his work and glory. And who knows how it will be done?
        Also, on a note that everyone else will scoff at except for LDS members: women have been ordained to be priestesses, queens, goddesses etc (and you know where), soooo yes, we will also have that responsibility. But like I said earlier, we work on God’s timeline and that’s the one I’m going with–meaning I belong to His church, not Kate’s, which actually is a relief.

      • This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Whatever the celestial kingdom entails, we will love it.

      • Darell /

        Do you allow your children to sing “Follow the Prophet”?

    • Kate /

      Oh, barf. Al, you come across as the kind of male that makes dating in the Church so awful. I hopoe your wife/wive are looking forward to an eternity of your “unrighteous dominion”.

      • Bernard Gui /

        “Oh, barf?” That’s the best argument you can muster?

      • Jared /

        Hahaha. Oh barf. Hahaha. That was very insightful. Great comeback.

    • I’d love to see the doctrine to back up this ‘evidence’. It’s basically your opinion mixed in with Mormon culture and hokum. There IS and equivalent to motherhood aka female procreative power. It’s called fatherhood aka male procreative power. So let me pose this question. If a righteous LDS woman, through no fault of her own, could not procreate – then what? Unfortunate accident? Not righteous enough? She’s getting tested? What she not chosen enough? When do you ever see a righteous LDS man not receive the priesthood? You don’t. That’s because female procreative powers and priesthood and NOT the same thing. Humans have procreative power regardless of their gender. Men have priesthood power because they’re men. I can get on board with the idea that the ‘revelation’ for female ordination must be given in God’s time, but I can not and will never support the idea that procreation is a woman’s compensation for not receiving the priesthood. It doesn’t even make logical sense and it is certainly not supported by any doctrine that I’ve read.

      • Why does god have to “compensate” us for giving men the priesthood? Or anything else, for that matter?

      • Janie /

        Perfectly said Joel.

    • Kristen /

      I disagree. I think rather a sensitive and split opinion being agitated will make members bicker and argue and some rate amoungst themselves. Don’t blame Kate for being angry, blame yourself. You may whole heartedly disagree with sister Kelly but you are responsible for how you treat others and how you feel. You don’t know heat God wants for this church. Perhaps it’s ordaining women. Perhaps it’s not. There’s no gospel verifying either. But you do have this commandment :love one another. And : do not judge. Leave that burden to Christ and just love. Theres where the trickery really lies. Not in mass movements or liberal thinking, rather the pride that crops up between two different ideas that causes contention. Just because you believe you’re right doesn’t mean you’re judgements are validated. Again the only commandment here you know is to love one another.

  6. D. Jack /

    President George Q. Cannon commented on the extent to which counsel may be ignored or resisted: “a friend wished to know whether we considered an honest difference of opinion between a member of the church and the authorities of the church was apostasy… We replied that we had not stated that an honest difference of opinion between a member of the church and the authorities constituted apostasy…. But we could not conceive of a man publishing those differences of opinion, and seeking by arguments, sophistry and special pleading to enforce upon the people to produce division and strife, and to place the acts and counsels of the authorities of the church, if possible, in a wrong light, and not be apostate, for such conduct was apostasy as we understood the term.” (Deseret News 3 Nov. 1896 pg 457).
    My question is, when does a group such as this cross the line into apostasy? This group is publishing arguments that suggest the authority of the church is marginalizing women, and is seeking to place leaders of the church in a “wrong light” if they do not concede.. I am saddened to think that members of the church would choose to do this…

    • Chris Duce /

      Lots of male dummies commenting on this article. Nothing more irritating than a man who compares the priesthood to child-bearing or a man who elevates himself by accusing others of apostasy. I wanna swat ‘em like flies, what a nuisance. Do you realize how annoying you are? You’re not supporting the kingdom, you’re covering it in your fly germs. Shoo fly! Don’t bother the people who want equality.

      • Bernard Gui /

        Do you realize how sexist your comment is?

        • Janie /

          Bernard and Jared – You’re every woman’s worst nightmare.

          • Bernard Gui /

            Do you realize how judgmental that is?

          • Tori Whit /

            Here is what I think.
            I don’t want the priesthood, never in a second! I don’t think we are treated less in anyway. We are RS PRESIDENTS, PRIMARY & YW PRESIDENTS, so are you saying that men should also be taking these callings. I truly believe that the proclamation to the family is spot on, we all have different roles. No one is above the other, and if they are, that’s the HUMAN BEING part of us, NOT the church’s been unequal. As a woman, I think we have WAY more that men, we get to carry children, feel them kicking inside of us, birth them, something that they will never experience.
            So, yes, Men might hold the priesthood, and if you ask most of the women in the church, they don’t want it.. at all!!!!

            We have heard a lot of * attention* about your church membership Kate, but honestly, if you belonged to ANY church, organization that you break * the rules* you are asked to stop or leave.. You are also asked in your temple recommend interview, if you affiliate with any group that is not living by the standards we believe.. well you are not living those standards. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
            I heard a quote once that I loved, and this goes for a lot of people ” they can leave the church, but they can’t leave the church alone” so true.

      • Jared /

        If it isn’t apostasy, what is it, Chris? An honest difference of opinion? Besides, he wasn’t accusing, he was asking an honest question. When does something like this become apostasy? According the the quote by George Q. Cannon, it sounds like it is to me.

        The real question for me is not a question of apostasy, it’s a question of authority. If the ordain women actually believe in the authority of the prophet and apostles, then they should probably exercise faith in that authority.

        While I am not a believer in blind faith, there is plenty of evidence that this is as The Lord wants it to be.

        I respect your opinion and especially respect your right to disagree and speak out about it. It would be wise I think, for you to also respect the rights of those whose opinions you wish to shoo away.

        • toast /

          There was plenty of “evidence” in 1968 as well, and gobs of people using similar narrative on why black’s should not receive the priesthood. I’m glad the revelation came in time to save that tax exemption though. Maybe the change will come with similar circumstances this time around.

    • Mikhail /

      D. Jack. Your comment is well taken and is true. Regardless of that, you will be accused of marginalizing women because this truth will put those that support Sister Kelly on the defensive because such individuals are of the opinion that only those opinions that support their words and actions truly matter. Mr. Cronin didn’t ask these questions – as set forth in your comments – because this wasn’t meant to be an effective journalistic piece. Rather it was meant to provide another forum for those who see things differently than the “old fashioned” white males who “oppress” everyone else and who stand in the way of “true” progression.

      We don’t know why God’s Church – and this is His Church – is established the way that it is. However, we do have an idea as to what His commandments are. He gave us His commandments because He loves all of us.

      Might it not be likely that He established His Church the way that He did because He loves us and understands what we need – even when it is contrary to what we think we want?

  7. Jon, there is no god. We are all we have. The apostles and profit knows this. The only thing they acare about is image and money. Ordaining women is something that has to happen if the church ever wants to stand a chance at maintaining relevance and, more importantly, doing what is right. Ordaining women is what is right. It will lead to much more vibrant communities. Of course, soudns like you’de like to go back to the days we burned people at the stake for suspecting them of being a witch eh?

    • Bernard Gui /

      Wait…the prophets want profit and image, but insist on a course that in your opinion makes the church irrelevant and ridiculous? If you do not believe in God, why is it important to you that women be ordained to a false priesthood? How will burning witches gain money an popularity for the church? Maybe you should rethink……….

  8. Bernard Gui /

    Could Ms Kelly clarify whether or not she believes such foundational changes in Church doctrine, practice, and policy are to be revealed to the Prophet or demanded by the members?

  9. Ncbradbury /

    “Wear pants to church day” was an innocent enough way to demonstrate against some procedures in the church that women perceive as unequal. Priesthood ordination was not one of them. I’m glad SR published this interview, but only so that the above comments from D. Jack and Al Thomson could accompany it. The Proclamation on the Family is becoming, or has become, the most important, clear, simple, and plain doctrinal statement available to guide us in questions of gender equality. I agree some procedural practices in some wards of the church are not founded in doctrine, like why a man should be the final speaker in every sacrament meeting, or certain prayers before and after the meeting be given by a man or woman. Those are things that would annoy any woman, and provoke, perhaps, the wearing pants to church one day. But the blessings of the Gospel depend on obedience and faith–faith in what God has revealed and what He does now reveal. No blessings are promised for faith in what in one’s own mind He might reveal one day. Yes, we believe He will yet reveal many great and important things, but we don’t suppose to tell Him what those will be. It is hard enough to consecrate ourselves to fully understand and live the Gospel as it has been revealed. Let’s rededicate ourselves to scripture study, temple attendance, home evening, home teaching, visiting teaching, and magnifying our callings. Memorize the Proclamation on the Family. That is energy well spent. Supposing to publicly command the Lord or the Prophet through an organization called “Ordain Women” is borderline or (IMO) over the border for apostasy. Yes, the website is seemingly innocent with Pinterest-worthy fonts, photos, and color pallette, but the underlying message denies what has been revealed by God. Will you be there on Temple Square in April and October with pickets in hand with banners saying, “Ordain Women” and handing out pamphlets to people on their way to General Conference? Everyone take a step back and see if your energies couldn’t be better spent by embracing the Gospel and building up the Kingdom of God by strengthening your brothers and sisters to live the Gospel as it is. If you have energy left, why not hold a fundraiser to support missionaries from poor backgrounds? There is sufficient challenge for anyone’s time on Earth without needing to organize a group to tell the Lord what to do.

  10. Gary /

    Just a thought — Priesthood has never been “a guy thing.” All have access to God’s power through faithfulness — always have, always will! The simple fact that God has generally asked His sons to perform ordinances in no way creates inequality. Father has simply found that His daughters are generally by nature more inclined to kindness and service to others than His sons are. The performance of Priesthood ordinances is a beautiful way for Father to help His sons acquire those same traits that are perhaps not so intuitive for them. The Priesthood is entirely selfless — it can never be used except to bless someone else — and Priesthood ordinances persuade His sons to focus their efforts on others. Perhaps this is in line with what President Faust taught in October 1999 COnference: “In His infinite wisdom, the Lord requires worthy brethren to wear the mantle of the priesthood in order to enter the temple, but He permits the sisters to enter solely by virtue of their personal worthiness.”
    Just a thought. . .

    • “Father has simply found that His daughters are generally by nature more inclined to kindness and service to others than His sons are.”

      Is this scriptural? Why would something Faust said in 1999 apply to the whole of humanity from Adam to us?

      • Gary /

        Nope — just obvious.

        • Yes, obvious. Like the fact that the sun revolves around the earth.

          • Gary /

            Hmmmmmm…Just in the mood to argue? Fascinating! It was just a simple observation — are there exceptions? (Men who are naturally given to kindness and service, and women who are not) Of course! But as a general rule. . .

          • Gary /

            Here’s the Church’s response from Channel 4 news the other night:
            The LDS Church spokeswoman Jessica Moody released this official statement:

            “There is nothing in the scriptures which suggests that to be a man rather than a woman is preferred in the sight of God, or that He places a higher value on sons than on daughters. The worth of a human soul is not defined by a set of duties or responsibilities. In God’s plan for His children, both women and men have the same access to the guidance of His spirit, to personal revelation, faith and repentance, to grace and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, and are received equally as they approach Him in prayer. The practice of ordaining men to the priesthood was established by Jesus Christ himself, and is not a decision to be made by those on earth.”

            Here’s the link for the full article:
            http://www.abc4.com/mostpopular/story/Group-pushing-to-ordain-LDS-women/U66p73-Ko0GYTXT2-ITrqw.cspx
            Interesting response and it will be fascinating to see the response in turn of this group.

          • I’m in the mood for ask everyone to question assumptions of the ‘obvious’. The Church’s spokeswoman might say that men and women are equally important but the fact of the matter is that if there were no women at all in the Church it would be able to continue through baptizing more males, but the same cannot be said if there were no men because women are not permitted to hold the Priesthood. The Church is currently set up so that men are essential and women are not. You can take words at their face value but people who do that often turn out to be suckers. And if not sucker, just nightmares at holding a conversation.

      • Mark Jasinski /

        In the whole of humanity from Adam to us, have any women been ordained to th Aaronic or Melchezidek priesthoods or have any prophets hinted at such?

        • From what i have seen are a handful scriptural indications that some women were given titles now common among the Church’s (e.g. prophet, deacon). http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_women.htm

          The Book of Mormon is unfortunately vague about the priesthood. The D&C, on the other hand, seems to assume all priesthood holders are men. However, reading the minutes of the organization of the Nauvoo Relief Society you will run across the terms “ordained” and “set apart”. http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/nauvoo-relief-society-minute-book?dm=image-and-text&zm=zoom-inner&tm=expanded&p=1&s=undefined&sm=none

          If you go to the Church website and look for answers on the topic you’ll be directed here: http://mormon.org/faq/women-in-the-church. There is no scriptural explanation offered in Hinckley’s quote. But there is another Hinckley quote that indicates the Priesthood might be available to women if they asked for it. http://www.abc.net.au/compass/intervs/hinckley.htm

          In addition to these points of entry, I would suggest we ask the question: even if no woman has ever been properly ordained in the history of humanity, why would that pose a challenge to God? Don’t we believe women will hold the highest priesthood and all the keys to the Kingdom in the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom? If so it seems we cannot draw the conclusion that biological sex is a permanent limit on holding the Priesthood.

          • Bernard Gui /

            You avoided the question.

          • Bernard Gui /

            There is no evidence in the scriptures that women were ordained to the priesthood or that they should be. The promise of the patriarchal priesthood is to take place after the resurrection. The Joseph Smith quote is out of context. The prophet does not change doctrine or practice or hint at it on Australian television. The Godhead consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus was fore-ordained to his calling as savior. All priests and prophets were also foreordained to their callings (Alma 13) because their faith exceeds that of their “brethren.”

          • The titles are those reserved for people who have been ordained. Joseph uses the word ordained. You have to explain that somehow.

    • Kristen /

      I’m sorry but I wholeheartedly disapprove of the “women are just naturally better” idea. First of all, don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m not incredibly nurturing, nor necessarily kind. And my kindness has for the most part, been learned from my father, not my mother. Secondly I see no real margins between genders when it comes to selfishness. I’d say both genders are really selfish. I’d say humans are really selfish.

      Truth is no one knows why it’s the way it is. But I’m certain it’s more to do with ordinances and laws we don’t fully understand or know yet rather than predetermined character traits of human souls or ridiculous labeling of gender traits. I know you meant well but really you’re not being fair to men or women here

  11. Patrick Holley /

    In D&C class we learned of Section 67, which goes over examples of people that think they know better than God’s servants. While appealing to God or His servants about this is not wrong, teaching that ordination for women is of God when He has not spoken on it IS APOSTASY.

    In addition, this is not the way The Lord works. Leave these decisions to Him.

    • Patrick Holley /

      As a postscript, might I add that the website does denounce certain principles of the Proclamation to the World. Be careful where you tread; I will acknowledge perhaps some are seeking to do righteously, but this is deceitful.

  12. A quick read through of their website shows several inconsistencies and distortions that are easy for any member to see through.

    Ordain Women attacks the Family: A Proclamation to the World by saying on their FAQ page, “The Church’s Proclamation on the Family declares that men preside over their wives and families, thus preserving an antiquated and unequal model in both the domestic and ecclesiastical realms.”

    They falsely quote President Hinckley on their website when he commented on the issue.

    Their historical claims are shaky at best, with the Joseph Smith “society of priests” quote being the best evidence that they can come up with.

    They claim that they want to help young women stay in the church, but I suspect their efforts will further confuse and drive away these same young women.

    They fail to mention women officiating in temple priesthood ordinances.

    Blacks did not get the Priesthood because of a social movement. Non-ordination of blacks was church policy, not doctrine. Ordain Women tries to cast this argument as a church policy issue, which it is not.

    This organization is treading awfully close to apostasy and should resist spreading false doctrine within the church. If they want to be ordained female priesthood holders while retaining their Mormon-ness, I suggest they unite with the Community of Christ.

    • How do you distinguish ‘policy’ from ‘doctrine? Where exactly can we find the ‘doctrine’ that women cannot have the Priesthood? What do you think Moses was doing in Exodus 18:15-20 and 19:9? Would you have condemned the Israelites for taking initiative and Moses for intervening on their behalf? When you mention the temple aren’t you suggesting that women already have the Priesthood when it comes to officiating? Last question, what should women do if they have a testimony of the CofJCofLDS and not the CofC? Shut up and find their seats?

    • In terms of the blacks getting the priesthood not being the result of a social movement, what then of the civil rights movement or, in a more direct parallel, he Genisis group, which consisted of a number of black Mormons who were very vocal in the period leading up to the change? I honestly don’t know where I fall on this one but the mathew 7:7 principle Kate is using seems to have been at play before and so a part of me (to which I know a plethora of ppl will happily respond to following to following this comment) wonders if in fact Goe has been waiting for his daughters to enact change regarding their roles in the church, whatever that change may be.

      • *waiting for his daughters before enacting change (I do believe that ultimately that change has to come from on high)

  13. Daniel /

    Correction: we are currently living the law of consecration.

  14. Gary /

    Re: SRP:
    “The Church is currently set up so that men are essential (absolutely correct) and women are not (absolutely false).”
    What a terrible misunderstanding of how different does not equate with unequal. Sorry to hear that’s how you feel. Your desire to contend instead of discuss is childish at best and destructive (but only to you) at worst. I’ll simply conclude with the insightful words of Rabbi Gamaliel in Acts 5:38-39:
    38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
    39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
    Have a great Conference weekend!

    • Your response is, among other things, condescending. Your willingness to condemn my side of the conversation, unwarranted.

      • Daniel T. N. /

        SRP. I can see the reasoning behind your previous point about the Church continuing with the absence of women, yet I feel this demonstrates a clear difference between the relative continuation of the Church as an institution as opposed to the divine purposes of the Gospel: that the Gospel is about much more than just the perpetuation of the priesthood.

        The focus of the Gospel is becoming like our Heavenly Father, and families, as ordained by our Heavenly Father, are the best way to become more like Him.

        It is in the family unit where we have the greatest opportunities to grow. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a good mother and father to have been raised by, and both parents had equal, but different impacts on me.
        Even though in many ways my mother played a more ubiquitous role than my father, that in no way detracted from the immensity of her service to me.

        My father had the priesthood and my mother had her distinct feminine qualities to contribute to our eternal family. If my mother could have had the priesthood too, that would have been redundant. My father already fulfilled that role. The same as if he could spontaneously develop the deeply spiritual characteristics of femininity, that would be redundant, too.

        The reality is that men and women ARE different–physically, mentally, spiritually–this should not be a cause of division insomuch as a reason to celebrate! So much similarity, with enough differences to enable us to better perfect each other in the Lord.

        Of late society has been taken with making women exactly like men… I exaggerate of course, and in many ways these movements have proven beneficial for the sake of sheer physical equality (Women’s suffrage, equal-employment opportunities). Yet the issue of ordination is one of those times that instead of making women more like men, we should instead uplift women in illumination of their own divine roles as Daughters of Heavenly Father. I know few who can better portray this unique worth better than the testimony of former Young Woman’s General President Sister Elaine S. Dalton.

        In conclusion, women don’t need a priesthood ordination to be perfected through this life.

        Us men do.

        • Thank you for your comments though I cannot agree with many of your claims and am suspicious of your conclusion. The idea that feminists want to make men and women exactly the same typically comes from ill-informed opponents to more dynamic gender roles. My impression is that many fathers – my own included – would now enjoy a much closer relationship with their children if they didn’t worry so much about meeting the cultural criteria of cowboy-like stoicism so deeply revered in the United States.

          Let me reiterate that my comments here were aimed at seeing where members of the Church find the authorization to exclude women from Priesthood callings, if other members see a space for shared Priesthood, and support the practice of asking our leaders to take our collective desires and concerns to God.

  15. I would encourage those who feel Kate and those involved in OrdainWomen.org to take a look at the website’s FAQ section: Based on what I read there, what these women and men are calling for is not a completely new Church structure, but a return to things as they were under the very initial leadership of Joseph Smith.

    While my feelings are hugely mixed on this one, I found that whole area very enlightening and even comforting, in a way.

  16. Washington DC /

    Why are so many men commenting on here. Raise your hand if you are a women and agree/disagree with Kate.

    • You want equality but only for women. Men should not post here? And you are crying discrimination? I’m beginning to understand. Has it occurred to you that men, supportive of OW or not, care about this issue?

  17. I’ve been away from BYU for a long time. For some reason Student Review just popped back into my head. I remembered having a few laughs reading it back in the day–it was an ersatz, Provo version of The Onion–and I thought I’d check to see if it was still around. Sad to see what it’s become.

    My only comment on the merits of the argument is that I’ve never understood why some feel that not holding priesthood is standing on a lesser “spiritual footing” than holding priesthood. Perhaps a comparison to Aesop’s dog, who drops his steak to grab the “better” steak in the mouth of his reflection, is apropos?

  18. felecia /

    So to Kate and those who are a part of this group, 1. is this something you have prayed about and Heavenly Father has told you to move in this direction, or is this just something you want? 2. Help me understand the purpose of the wear pants to church sunday – I was also raised and taught to wear your sunday best to church. If pants are your best, then wear pants every week. What’s the point of the special Sunday to wear pants?

  19. Braiden Stevenson /

    The LDS church leaders receive revelation from god the issue I see with feminist argument is the perception is that this is controlled by the presidency of the church. God is who directs our church the presidency carries out what is shown to them. The argument is just as personal as the responses because religion is very personal to everyone.

  20. My observation from this interview and also from her profile on ordainwomen.org is that Sis. Kelly does not make an attempt to share a testimony or even speak of having one. Instead, in response to “why I’m a mormon” on her profile she responds with “Mormonism is the house I live in” and goes on to talk about how she was raised LDS, it is her culture. Does Sister Kelly have a testimony? Has she prayed to know whether the church is true or not? Has she gotten an answer? Apparently not. And this is truly sad. For if she had a testimony this would all be moot. I think if Sis. Kelly put half as much effort into receiving a testimony this inferiority complex of hers would be replaced with something a bit more enlightening.

    • Kristen /

      You should in turn spend more time gaining a larger testimony of love Han judging if you wish to criticize another human being so brashly

      • Erick /

        If you want to use the comeback of “you are judging” in the previous comment, then we could start a chain. I could easily say that you are judging him. Someone could then say I am judging you and so forth.
        This is not really about taking sides on whether the men are right or the women’s movement is right, but let’s just consider for a moment what Jesus once said ” Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

        This is God’s priesthood doctrine and only His, lets not confuse that the priesthood doctrine comes from “men” . The priesthood authority is eternal and we cannot change by popular opinion or by ballot. If that was the case, what good would it do us to try to change the law of gravity?

  21. The thing I keep thinking when I read about this issue is, “What if this happened? What if in my lifetime, I could receive the priesthood? Would I be worthy of that?” Which is eye opening and humbling to me, that perhaps I need to commit more to the callings I already have as a woman of God…that I could do better to be prepared for whatever the future may bring, ordinations or not.

  22. Kinchan /

    Maurine Proctor said it best: “You press for priesthood power, I assume, on the grounds that it is truly the power of God on the earth, yet at the same time you refuse to acknowledge that same power to act, discern, and reveal in the Lord’s anointed prophets. The implication of your agitation is that you don’t believe that the prophets act with real authority—the very priesthood power you are seeking for yourself.”

  23. KEVIN C HATCH /

    “I want women to be given the mantle of God.” Nice. Wasn’t there someone else who tried to elevate themselves to a position above God, according to the scriptures? I believe his name was Satan. Signs of the times… if the church isn’t excommunicating you for this, THEY SHOULD. But then, the church has watered down their response to just about every radical group these days (e.g. LGBT community, those actively working to get homosexuals into the BSA, the list is getting larger by the day). It will be interesting to see how things unfold…

    KEVIN C. HATCH, San Antonio Texas, BYU Grad 2001

  24. Jerry /

    Where is your faith? Where is your testimony? Whose church is this? You can form all kinds of movements, sign all kinds of petitions, but everything will only happen according to HIS own time and will.

  25. Suvi Purcell /

    All I can say to you KATE is ” YOU NEED TO REPENT. I challenged you to read Sheri Dew talk title: “WHAT DO LDS WOMEN GET” GO BACK AND STUDY MORE ABOUT THE GOSPEL AND the Lords teaching in the scriptures. YOU ARE ONE LOST DAUGHTER OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. DONT TRY TO REPRESENT US WOMEN OF THE CHURCH. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH THAT DO NOT AGREE WITH WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO PREACH.
    PLEASE!!!!!!! LEAVE THE CHURCH ! YOUR THOUGHTS AND WAY AND BEHAVIOR ARE NOT THE LORDS WAY. YOU ARE ALREADY FALLING INTO APOSTASY!!!

  26. Bernard Gui /

    “We understand that for some it is extremely difficult to separate the concept of the priesthood from maleness, but please try.”

    Would you please reconcile your request with D&C 107?

    1 There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.
    2 Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.
    3 Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.
    4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    13 The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations.

    16 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron

    40 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.

    41 This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
    42 From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth…….

  27. muucavwon /

    “PLEASE!!!!!!! LEAVE THE CHURCH !” contrasts pretty sharply with Elder Uchtdorf’s recent talk where he says “To those who have separated themselves from the Church, I say, my dear friends, there is yet a place for you here. Come and add your talents, gifts, and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result.”

    I guess you’re saying Suvi that there isn’t a place for anyone who thinks differently than the majority, even if they respectfully disagree. I’d like to believe you Elder Uchtdorf, but I really don’t feel there is a place in the Church for me after hearing all of the comments on this board.

    • Bernard Gui /

      Why would you leave the Church over some comments on an obscure website?

      • muucavwon /

        Haha. Yeah, I kinda made it sound like that huh? It would be more accurate to say that the comments here reflect a sentiment that I encounter among members in real life, and that sentiment causes me to conclude that there really isn’t a fulfilling place for someone like me who believes differently than the mainstream. Uchtdorf says there is a place for me, but there’s not. If you think differently and vocalize it, the majority of members will jump on you calling you an apostate, telling you to repent, or telling you to leave. As demonstrated by the commenters here.

        • Bernard Gui /

          Is your faith in Jesus and the ordinances you have received dependent on what others say?

          • muucavwon /

            Full disclosure to begin–I don’t have faith in Jesus Christ or the ordinances I received in the LDS Church. So there are two parts to my answer to your question.

            1. I watched Elder Uchtdorf’s talk with my wife (active LDS), and felt like I was a person in one of the situations that he envisioned to address. I don’t believe in God or Christ, but I think Uchtdorf was still inviting me back to participate in the Church. (So it’s not just a question of “have faith? participate no matter how poorly you are treated” or “don’t have faith? leave and never come back!”) I mean I wouldn’t mind hanging out with the Church community if it weren’t so darn dogmatic and judgemental.

            2. Back when I did have a faith in Christ, it became a major sore spot for me that only certain attitudes and beliefs were socially and culturally acceptable in Mormonism. So yes, when the context in which you practice, live, and experience your faith conflicts with your faith, it will definitely cause one to examine to one’s faith.

        • Bernard Gui /

          There are some issues that if vocalized and promoted in church could result in the reactions you find offensive. Demanding priesthood ordination for women might be one of them. It shouldn’t be too hard to identify some others.

  28. wreddyornot /

    An adopted boy/girl grows up and asks about his/her biological parent(s). Put yourself in his/her situation. Does he/she have a right to ask to know what may be known about the biological parent(s)? To seek him/her (them) out? To go to great lengths to learn what can be learned or not? To know what happened and what might be important to him/her regarding him/her (them).

    Try and have empathy, love one another and love God with all your might, mind and strength. Isn’t that the Gospel?

    I’ve been the adoptive parent of three children. I say yes, he/she has that right to ask, to seek, to knock. Or not. But he/she has the right to find out what he/she can if he/she wants to. And in my opinion, Kate Kelley has that right to ask after her Parent(s) and how she is treated by Him/Her (Them) over against male siblings. Now the biological parents might not want their child to know them, might do everything possible to prevent them from knowing for whatever reason, legit or not. But that doesn’t prevent the boy/girl from praying to learn what he/she might learn.

    I am a weak, flawed child, but I, too, want to know why males are privileged over females. As a male, it doesn’t seem fair to me and I like to be fair. I think love suggests fairness. But I could be wrong. I knock. Please answer. Many have cited various scriptures above that *show* a patriarchal privilege. I concur it’s there. Is it our HPs’ will? If so, why? I assert the right to know and to understand. There is nothing wrong with asking about that and wanting to know why females aren’t treated as favorably as males have been and are. Of course, the Parents have the right to stay hidden, too, to ignore the children.

    I have faith that our HPs want us to know about Them. I’m anxious to learn, as I sense Kate Kelley and OW are.

    • Mikhail /

      @wreddyornot
      Having four adopted children and one naturally born child, I was drawn to your analogy and believe I understand what you are saying about an adopted child’s yearning for a sense of identity. I think that the question of identity is a valid question and is worthy of consideration by all of us – especially in relation to your relationship with God.

      I believe that my problem with the analogy has to do with the means by which one approaches the question. If my adopted child comes to me and asks me about the identity of that child’s birth parents, I will do my best to answer the questions in a manner to the fullest of my ability and in consideration of the condition of the child that I love. I have even made efforts for such a child to meet her birth mother – a decision that I have come to regret.

      However, I believe that if that child had taken and advertisement out in the local newspaper and had been interviewed on television – while declaring her “right” to know the answer to her questions and for me to transport her to visit her birth mother – I might have thought differently about the situation and would have likely resisted her request. It would have appeared to me as though she was too immature to have such requests granted and I would have wanted for her to wait so as to be better prepared to handle the significance of requests (demands in this case) – especially considering the relationship of the parents who had raised her from infancy to adulthood.

      Actions are a good indicator of the condition of the situation. We don’t know the answers for everything – including the identity of a heavenly Mother, or why men are ordained to the Priesthood and women are not. However, we can trust in a loving heavenly Father and in his Son, our Savior. Prayer is a powerful and intimate way to receive answers that are relevant to us personally. Public demonstration and demand by someone not appointed to act on our behalf is an action that is hurtful and offensive to many.

  29. Carley /

    I have a few articles I would like to share. I have a testimony of this Gospel. It continuously heals my heart & I know that the Prophets are servants of God. General Conference outlined the doctrine in which we need to follow regarding social issues– to further understand what the Church’s stances are please read these articles. I strongly encourage all to read these talks, their words can give you peace if you open up your hearts & your minds to listening to what the Lord is trying to tell us. He loves us so much that he sent these servants to help guide us back to Him.

    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/do-we-know-what-we-have?lang=eng

    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/the-moral-force-of-women?lang=eng

    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/the-moral-force-of-women?lang=eng

    Here are other articles testifying of why we should follow the prophets today. Their words are more important than any doctrine or history because what they are saying is applicable to the world TODAY. Right now. & we must rise above our differences of opinion & obey. This is our test here on earth.

    http://www.lds.org/ensign/1989/05/follow-the-prophet

    http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

  30. Carley /

    I accidently posted the same one twice…here is the 3rd article I wanted to share.

    http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/power-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng

  31. Jennifer /

    Though I do not personally agree with Kate Kelly or the Ordain Women movement, I respect their right to independent thought. The questions I would ask the OW supporters and sister Kelly are:
    1. At what point does independent thought end and we cross a line into actively sowing the seeds of discontent and disbelief within the body of the church? I live in sister Kelly’s geographical area and this is a well-educated, strong-minded and capable group of LDS women who live in the Washington, DC metro region. Among all of the women I know in our LDS community out here, I have yet to see discontent among the sisters, when it comes to not holding the priesthood. I feel a patronizing tone from the OW movement. It is as if they are saying, “You’re discontented over this priesthood issue–you just haven’t realized it yet.” I am personally insulted at the condescending implications OW is suggesting about me as a Mormon woman.
    2. “Have ye inquired of the Lord?” She is asking our prophet and other leaders to inquire of the Lord if women might now be given the priesthood. I would ask her if she has inquired of the Lord on this issue, and what answer she has received. No where in her writings and interviews have I seen evidence that she, personally, has inquired of the Lord on this issue. If she has inquired and received an answer, I would be interested to know what that answer was. Normally, answers to prayer are personal, but since she has made this a public discussion, I think it would be appropriate for her to publicly share any personal revelation she might have received on this matter, so that we might better understand her position.
    3. Finally, I am genuinely interested in knowing what distinctions between males and females the OW movement (and the modern feminist movement in general) IS willing to acknowledge, and embrace. I love being a female, and all that that implies. I love the masculine and what men bring to the picture of humanity. I love the differences and am joyful at the beauty of working together with my husband, each with our own unique gifts and responsibilities–the masculine and the feminine. Why are the OW supporters so threatened by those differences, and why must they twist the meaning of the priesthood into something it is not? They are “calling good evil and evil good.” Different does not mean less.
    *One final thought: I am old enough to remember when the feminist movement told us we should “Celebrate the differences! Differences are good!” Now they seem to want all that is different or unique about each gender to be erased. I have observed over the decades that feminism sounds good on the face of it, but there is a “cannibalistic” element to this movement. It ultimately has destroyed more than it has built, and has been a primary cause of the disintegration of the natural family as the foundation of our society. If we are ever to be a Zion society, we will need to be of one heart. I didn’t say we need to be “of one mind”–but of one heart.

    • Mikhail /

      Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate your honest and contemplated response. I would have the same questions that you propounded, but in the atmosphere of modern thought – being male and LDS – I feel bound and believe that I cannot ask the same questions of a woman. Is this fair? Does this cultural of questioning of male LDS “authority” actually give me the authority to even ask the same questions that a woman can ask? If I were to ask the same questions, would I be deemed worthy of priesthood callings? Would I be deemed worthy to preside in my home?

      My point is, why do I feel that my sex determines my ability or authority to ask questions of those who are of the opposite sex? Who is being limited here and in the current climate of politically correct thought?

      Might we not want to trust that God is really in charge and that Jesus Christ is literally the head of this Church?

  32. Jonathan /

    Women claiming for priesthood ordination don’t understand the priesthood doctrine. Both, woman and man serve in leadership positions in the church, both of them can be endowed which in the deep menaning is recieving the fullness of the priesthood. Those who are templo goers know that women administer the ordinances for the sisters, and they are anointed priestesses and queens. To be sealed in marriage is to enter in the highest order of the priesthood. The oter stuffs have been directed by the Lord in order to do it de way they have been done.

  33. If you are seeking for truth as well as seeking to recognize truth it may make sense that we are equally yoked but we have different responsibilities. Do you know of any organization that the president does not have multiple vice presidents to help to run the company?
    It almost seems that you are a petulant child who cries and demands that it isn’t night time – that the sun is still shining – just because you don’t want to go to bed….your next demand will be that God must go back to the creation to recreate men’s bodies so they are capable of creating a newborn child.

    I do not trust the opinion of someone who has not had the life changing experience of giving birth and caring for a newborn infant – it is an unselfish action – your comments make you appear to be completely concerned with yourself – an attribute that can be identified with adolescent behavior and one who has not had any life experiences.

  34. Bernard Gui /

    Earlier, I asked this question, but no one responded. I think it is important because it goes to the foundation of the LDS doctrine of the Priesthood. Is there any reader who stands on the OW side of the issue who would respond? Thanks and best wishes.

    “We understand that for some it is extremely difficult to separate the concept of the priesthood from maleness, but please try.”

    Would you please reconcile your request with D&C 107?

    1 There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.
    2 Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.
    3 Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.
    4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
    13 The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations.
    16 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron
    40 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.
    41 This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
    42 From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth…….

  35. Billy /

    From the Teachings of Joseph Smith

    “The Presidents or [First] Presidency are over the Church; and revelations of the mind and will of God to the Church, are to come through the Presidency. This is the order of heaven, and the power and privilege of [the Melchizedek] Priesthood. It is also the privilege of any officer in this Church to obtain revelations, so far as relates to his particular calling and duty in the Church.”13

    “We do not consider ourselves bound to receive any revelation from any one man or woman without his being legally constituted and ordained to that authority, and giving sufficient proof of it.

    “… It is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instructions for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom.”14

    It is clear that the membership do not run the Church…it is the Lord’s Church and He gives authority to those He calls…for “no man can taketh this honour unto himself”

  36. It seems to me that the most vocal cries of “Sit down, Sister, and be quiet” are coming from the people whom the church was set up to serve- men. Don’t lie; it’s pretty nice being commanded by God to be in charge of the church, not to mention over your entire household. Whatever you desire is to be complied with, no questions asked.

    Being a Mormon woman is a bit like being a sherpa. Sherpas are brown people who follow a foreign white guy up the local mountain, carrying all his equipment, and stand back while he gets all the accolades. Being the “more righteous and faithful gender” but being commanded to following the gender who isn’t doesn’t make a lot of sense. And some of us have gotten tired of carrying your crap up the mountain.

    That said, I think Miss Kelly is wasting her time trying to get women ordained. When Joseph Smith set this business up, he knew what he was doing making men in charge. Why wouldn’t he? (Oh wait, he didn’t make it up? My bad.) She wants the leaders of the church to pray about it for an answer? Okay, hang on. Pray, pray, pray. “Nope. God likes things the way they are.” What does she think they’re going to say?

    According to scripture, men and women end up being separate but equal, but when you get down to brass tacks, men are most certainly reaping the benefits of advantage. Let me tell you why I left the church.

    A man in my ward was raping his six daughters. The oldest was my age, in Laurels, and the youngest was tiny, around 6, still in Primary.

    His wife, who took the appropriate step of kicking him out of the house to protect her children, and who asked the Bishop to provide her with protection, was chastised. She was asked what she’d done to cause it. She was told to repent and beg forgiveness not only from her husband but also from God for causing problems and bossing her husband out of the house. She was also told in no uncertain terms not to turn him in to the police. For raping his own children. Little girls! Violated! By their father!

    He, on the other hand, was given a slap on the wrist by the Bishop. “Don’t do it anymore, ‘kay?” The ward took care of him. They put pressure on his wife to forgive him and take him back. She ended up leaving the church. I, a young teen, was told to be nice to Brother So-and-so. Make him feel welcome because he had repented. (Oh, please! How does that make it right? Those poor girls!)

    So, to all of you Brothers who are very comfortable in your positions of authority: we women are not so comfortable. Even if we are not abused by men of the church, we are witness to those who are; those who are not protected, who are told, “Sit down, Sister, and be quiet.”

    I’m not saying women should hold the Priesthood. That goes against the way the church was laid out. If you’re going to believe any of it, you may as well believe all of it. But I am saying that you should pay attention to the ways men and women are treated differently and if you disagree with some guys getting away with murder, you should do something about it. If women in the church are actually *treated* well, maybe they’ll quit pulling shenanigans like protesting Conference.

    • Bernardo Gui /

      There is no way to verify your story, but if it is true, the father should have been excommunicated and the bishop released and disciplined. I have 5 decades of experience in the Church including high offices in ward and stake leadership, and I assure you that any Priesthood leader with whom I have associated would have reacted as I describe. I know that in in current practice, such a scenario would not be tolerated.

      • Bernardo Gui /

        And today the bishop would be required by Church policy and state law to report the abuse to legal authorities.

      • Should have been, absolutely, but wasn’t. Why? I didn’t mention the guy in the same ward whose kids I sat who (brother and sister) demonstrated they knew how to tongue-kiss. Horrified, I asked where they learned that. They told me their dad did it to them. I didn’t tell anyone because…

        The year before a guy at my high school confided in me that his dad had been molesting him since he was little. And how he now did everything to avoid it but he didn’t know what to do. He was too ashamed to tell an adult. I told my non-LDS step-mom who called the cops and his bishop. Same thing happened except the guy’s wife just rolled with it; didn’t leave him. My friend was chastised, was told it was his fault as much as his father’s and was banned from receiving Sacrament for a little while. Then everyone in the ward could see these two not taking Sacrament and he was further embarrassed by all the speculation as to why. I didn’t find out what happened in all of that because I moved at the end of the school year and my friend was no longer talking to me.

        I learned from the guy with 6 girls and my high school friend’s experience that nothing happens but an immediate shit-storm that doesn’t help the victims. I also realized that since I was now living with my LDS mom it would also affect her standing in the community and I would probably get chastised too- maybe prodded into saying I’d made it up, seeing as how it was unverifiable if the kids wouldn’t tell someone besides me. As an adult, I feel angry that my teen-age self felt helpless to do anything for those kids I babysat. If I’d said something then would I now be ashamed I’d wrecked another family? I don’t know.

        You mentioned that these events are unverifiable. That’s true. You can’t know for sure. But I know. And I know that as wonderful as your ward sounds, predator free, don’t be so sure. Unless you’re in the Bishopric, how do you know what they actually do when these things happen? How does the Bishop before you and after you handle it? (I’m assuming you’re speaking from experience.)

        I don’t want you to think that this is a diatribe against Mormons. I disagree with the doctrine and I’ve seen some bad things, but I admire the people. There are a lot of good ideas in the way Mormons conduct themselves. Out of hundreds of great families, only a few were… uh-oh.

        I’m saying be a protector. Eyes open. Let the good men deal appropriately with the bad men without worrying about a stain on the church’s reputation.

        • Bernardo Gui /

          A strange story. Certainly unacceptable if it is true, but it doesn’t conform with my knowledge of such things in the Church. I can’t imagine why you think you should lecture me about being a “protector.”

          • Not your job, eh? Not your business maybe? Me begging you to keep your eyes open to what’s going on with the families in your ward is a lecture? That’s where you’re taking this?

            Nice.

          • Bernardo Gui /

            Not at all, Emthe. It seems a bit presumptuous of you to assume I am not already doing that. Why would you jump to that conclusion?

  37. Sarah R. /

    Thank you, Kate Kelly, for all you have done for this movement. I am active in the Church, and love and support the cause. All are alike unto God. I, too, have faith that things will change, and am so glad to see this issue finally being discussed openly.

    • Bernardo Gui /

      Sarah…when you say all are alike unto God, do you have in mind 1 Corinthians 12 and Abraham 3:21-28, or do you mean something else?

  38. April Hagendorf /

    I have been very confused by the Ordain Women movement and their ultimate goals, so and decided to do some research on the Gender Identity movement world wide.
    If you go to Wikipedia and look up this movement, you will find that it is a movement started by the United Nations called Millennium Development Goal 5 to help women around the world to achieve equality in education, business, and access to better health care. These goals are positive, however, one of the goals that is disturbing to me is universal reproductive health and choices.
    In this interview, Kate Kelly states that her “historical hero is Susan B Anthony, who fought for women’s rights including abortion and eugenics.
    I wonder how many of the women in this movement have done their homework concerning Kate Kelly and her background as a civil justice attorney.
    I would like Kate to explain how her work in this area has influenced her decision to seek a change in the doctrine of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  39. Valerie /

    Sister……with all do respect…..confrence confirmed who leads and guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Women will never be ordained. I am a LDS women and love who I am! We are equal to our brothers in every way. Standing side by side. There are differences between us that is how we were created. Those things will stay as they are. The Pristhood has been designated by the holder of that Priest hood…God himself. …if you stop and think….we are already held in high reguard by God….remember we get in to the temple by virtue alone! What you are suggesting is demeaning of the perfect plan. Please stop and think about what you are doing….I don’t want what you want for women in the Church!
    I want the plan in place…..the perfect plan.

  40. Dianne Hardy /

    The best day of my life was in 1985 when I left the Mormon church, thus losing the monkey, or was it a gorilla? off my back.

  41. I disagree with the OW movement, but have no ill will towards its members. If you’d like a view of how most Mormon women feel, talk a look at Mormon Women Stand on Facebook. They out number the OW posts about 9-1. The some have spoken!

  42. One of the clearest indications of the fraudulent and dishonest nature of the OW movement is their penchant to censorship. (which is ironic since they complain about getting shut out of Church councils). I have been blocked from posting comments on their face book and other sites, not because of any angry or vile comments, which are not in my nature to make, but rather because they could not overcome the proof of flawed reasoning, and fallacies of logic that I pointed out. Thus they can make such false claims as “the movement has been largely popular,” because they shut out opposing views. They are in an apostate condition but do not want that to be known. I have written several blogs outlining those flaws on my own website.

    http://farwestjournal.weebly.com/far-west-commentary.html

  43. Cary M. /

    If these women who follow this movement are worthy members of the church, then I would assume that they attend the temple. Why not adhere to the concepts and doctrines taught there. The whole Adam and Eve story explains it all. Apparently they must throw that all under the bus to get what they demand, not ask for. God knows what is best for His church, not Kate Kelly. They have received their answer through an apostle of the Lord, Elder Oaks, but they still refuse to let it go because of PRIDE. So sorry that this may not end well for many of their supporters pertaining to their membership in the church. Just my opinion.

  44. Gabriel /

    Is it so impossible for you to believe that women are tired of being marginalized and openly discriminated against? Why is it that every time someone stands up for themselves, there are people ready to smack them back down as “agitators”? I guess if you’re willing to believe that Joseph Smith was told by God to marry 30+ women including a 14 year old, I shouldn’t be surprised you’re also ready to believe that Ordain Women is a “professionally trained leftist agitator” group.

  45. Doug /

    How about we all read the family proclamation. Men and women are different, we have different roles, the priesthood does not make a man greater than a woman, in fact a woman’s blessing in the temple is given, but a mans blessing is given based on faithfulness. Our ultimate goal is to return to our loving Heavenly Father, and he has provided a way for us all to return. If you actually believe in a all loving God, and His perfect plan, then does it matter, as long as you do what’s laid out for you to do? I have 4 boys and one girl, and I always tell my daughter that she made my life complete when she came into my life, just think of a loving Heavenly Father who loves men and women equally, women do not need the priesthood to receive all that our father in heaven has, but men need to up hold and honor the priesthood authority given to him to gain the same blessings given to women. In my eyes it is an easier path for women than men.

  46. Darell /

    Are Kate’s children allowed to sing “Follow the Prophet”?

  47. karen /

    Is she still praying, reading the scriptures and attending temple regularly? From what source has she gotten this doctrine of ordaining women. Our church is led by Jesus Christ not by mortal men. Our prophet Thomas S.Monsoon is the sole mouthpiece of the Lord. I know it and she knows it. Is rallying her cause would change Christ’s doctrine. She is not going against the church, she is going against God’s doctrine.

  48. Samantha /

    You might as well argue against God asking why men can’t have babies. God created laws and just because the priesthood for worthy men is intangible doesn’t mean it’s not a law he has given to us. You don’t question the way God leads His church. Let Him lead it. This isn’t your church. You say your life has been amazing because of it. And all this time it has been led by men. So why are you questioning the way God has been leading us so far? He has a time, place, and reason for everything. Quit trying to lead His church. It’s annoying and it’s not going to work.

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