If I Were the King of the Forest…

…and I wanted to make a convincing case that I regarded women as equal partners in gospel work, I would not

a) have them meet in conference only once a year instead of twice, like the priesthood
b) have that conference separate from the General Conference of the body of the church
and
c) reprint the proceedings of that meeting at the very back of the Ensign, even though the reports of all the other sessions are printed chronologically.

Just sayin’.

Comments

  1. Personally, I wish the men would follow the women’s lead on this, and just meet once a year. (If I were a woman I would not want to meet twice a year; once is plenty.) Maybe we could alternate conferences–RS and YW meet Saturday night one conference, and men and YM meet Saturday night the next one. And the reports could appear chronologically. Just saying.

  2. d) allow anyone to watch the R.S. Conference live online, but decline to broadcast the Priesthood Conference live online, and instead require the men to attend the Priesthood Conference at their local chapels.

  3. Yeah as I was reading the post, I thought gee, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to meet twice a year! DavidH’s idea has the benefit that it would also allow women’s meeting to be conference weekend, instead of the week before.

  4. I would also change the Sunday morning meetings. If the YM and the YW are truly equal, there is absolutely no reason why they don’t attend the same meetings. Why does the YM president go every week, but the YW president once a month?

    I would therefore get rid of PEC, Ward council, etc. and just have a meeting with the same participants, men and women including RS, YW, etc. every week or two as needed for planning purposes.

  5. Also, if the title under the General YM President on TV is going to be President So-and-so, I would have the title under the General YW President also be President So-and-so, not Sister.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    Mike S. no. 4, i agree. I always thought it was a little bit silly to have Ward Council, then PEC, then Welfare, then another PEC during the course of a month. To my perception, they all pretty much looked like the same meeting. I always thought it should be given a single name with stable participation by the RSP.

  7. Aaron Brown says:

    Meanwhile, as Prince of the Forest (Hi, Mom!), I’d appoint myself editor of the Church News. First order of business: Quit announcing to the world how many children and grandchildren the incoming mission presidents have had, implying that vast progeny is a prerequisite to mission service.

  8. Re: 4 & 6

    Amen, and we should require that equal resources are spent trying to bring back less active women as are spent finding,loving, inviting, cajoling, guilting,hectoring less active men to return to full activity. I’m amazed at how much effort is spent on less active men while comparatively little effort is spent on the less active women, at least in my experience.

  9. Hammie (formerly Natalie K.) says:

    I would also allow women to exist independently in a cosmological sense, and not make their access to God dependent upon their relationship with one of his (male) representatives.

  10. Natalie, your wish is already granted.

  11. wow… I could add so many things here.

    I do like the things mentioned though. :)

  12. #6 Kevin Barney

    at least they made a move last year in this direction by eliminating Welfare Meeting and making that meeting another Ward Council. Now if they just do the same for PEC, you will have your wish. The upside is the RS president is represented every sunday, the downside is you really don’t need to have the SS President or Activities Committe Chair meet every Sunday. Once a month is plenty, and I think still excessive in the case of the SS President.

  13. As a side note, when RS first started holding general conferences, they were twice a year.

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    I wasn’t aware they had done away with Welfare. Good for them; that was really my main complaint. It always bugged me when the RSP wasn’t there for PEC, and she was often the most knowledgeable source about the people we were discussing. She needs to be at that meeting, in my view. If they want to keep the larger list of attendees for a once monthly ward council, that makes sense.

  15. Alex T. Valencic says:

    Welfare Committee meetings are still held, Steve G, at least out here in the dark lands of East Central Illinois, where Kevin used to reside.

    According to the GHI, the Bishop may invite anyone to sit in on PEC. He asked our RS President if she would like to attend, and her answer was a horrified, “Oh, goodness, no!”

    The YM president attends PEC and Welfare as a representative of the AP quorums (separate from the Bishop) so as to be able to direct the YM to serve those in need, per the responsibility of the AP.

    I agree that the Activities’ Committee Chair, SS President, and Primary president probably don’t need to meet weekly.

    Regarding the OP, I agree. A member of my Stake Presidency recently told our newly-called Bishop that the only members of ward who should be called Presidents are those with Priesthood keys. I think that anyone called as a president, being it SS, Primary, RS, YM, YW, or EQ, should be called as such. (But, then, I also think that the membership records should denote a Patriarch by his Priesthood office, rather than listing him as a High Priest. Same goes for the Bishop.)

  16. @8
    From what I understand certain things are based on attendance of PH (like Temple boundaries, where new ones are built). So some areas are more keen to get more PH active simply because that is the # that counts.

  17. RE: 16

    You’re correct. So to supplement the King’s royal list:

    d) decide where to build new chapels and temples based on the number of active men in the area.

  18. I would also equalize the YM/YW budgets (including scouting). My daughter complains because my son can “do cool things”. The excuse that that they’re not really “Church” activities bound in the budget, but are “scouting” activities with their own budget. If scouting truly is the “activity arm” of the priesthood, they can’t split hairs like this.

    To get an idea of how ridiculous the “unified budget” is, the YW have $200/year for each class, or around $16-17/month. This is for classes of around 20 each (over 60 YW). Even buying an ice cream once a month for each girl is more than the budget. And for combined activities (over 120 kids), they now have $25 / month for that.

    Yet the scouts have thousands of dollars, go on campouts out of town every month, and do all sorts of things.

  19. Alex, there was a First Presidency letter in May or June of 2009 which ended Welfare meetings. Your Bishop might want to check into that.

    I can understand if it was missed, keeping track of the current church policy via a file of letters since the last printing of the Handbook of Instruction is difficult to maintain and sort through. If the church doesn’t want to maintain a website which stores all letters relevant to current policy, the least they could do is make the Handbook of Instruction a 3 ring binder and send out updated pages that can take place of the outdated pages. It would be less work to maintain and cause less confusion when somebody refers vaguely to a letter such as I did.

  20. 18
    Budgets are divided up by the Bishop. Any perceived disparity can be corrected at that level of Church administration if the Bishop is willing.

  21. I thought the women’s change from twice a year to once a year was proof of our superiority…let’s not go backwards where we have gained ground.

  22. 15: I think the reason Bishop is not listed as priesthood office is because it’s an office in the Aaronic PH. Not sure about patriarchs, though

  23. Hammie (formerly Natalie K.) says:

    Steve, I could accept that that is the case. Perhaps I should re-phrase my point….. I would do away with representations of eternity that place women in a dependent and inferior status to men, so that our full ritual and liturgy aligns with our true (in some opinions) doctrine.

    If it’s not true, why are we still saying it (in high and holy places)?

  24. Natalie Hammie, probably for the same reason why the most progressive Adam still has a 1992 haircut.

  25. Can I add another?

    have a woman say opening or closing prayer in a session of General Conference.

  26. Sorry, that should be I WOULD NOT have only men say opening and closing prayer in all General Conference sessions.

  27. Steve G.,

    The Church does maintain a website with all the bulletins, but its accessible only by Stake Presidents. I was given temporary access recently to download all of the letters and prepare a look up tool for use in our stake. I found no letter from the First Presidency indicating that ward welfare committee meetings were being discontinued.

    You may have misunderstood the March 27, 2009 letter that stated that regional welfare committees were being discontinued, but that’s a little different. In that same letter, it was stated that welfare issues should be discussed in all ward and stake councils, but it did stop short of the claim that welfare committee meetings were no longer being held.

    Paul was correct when he said that Bishop isn’t listed as a priesthood holder’s office because it is an office of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the Church generally lists the highest office that the person holds. This poses an interesting conundrum for Patriarch and Seventy, however, since these offices aren’t purely hierarchical. That is, patriarch is not a higher office than high priest, nor is high priest a higher office than patriarch.

  28. Benjamin,
    Steve G is correct. Welfare meetings were discontinued in April/May 2009 (the last welfare meeting listed on our official Stake/Ward website was in April 2009) and all welfare meeting topics were rolled into Ward Council and/or PEC.

    I remember hearing the letter read and dreading the change, because I feared it meant I had to hear a whole lot of personal stuff I didn’t think I should hear simply because I was on the Ward Council. My fears were spot on.

  29. This thread has gotten a little funny, no? Odd how gender discussions so often veer well off course…

  30. Kristine and I are both feeling full of feminist angst today. Although I experience it nearly daily, so it was bound to happen sooner or later.

    http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=2937

  31. That absolutely fascinates me. I just checked the online library again and couldn’t find any such letter, and my stake is still doing welfare committee meetings. We’ve receive no instruction at all to discontinue these meetings. I wonder if it might be a regional thing.

  32. Benjamin, that’s interesting about the online library. I wish they’d at least give access to Bishops and ward clerks. I’ve spent many years as a ward clerk and had to deal with the problem of “There was a letter that discontinued…” statements. It was left up to me to sort through hundreds of letters (many of which were lost) sheet by sheet to see if I could find the fabled letter.

    The church does maintain some letters on the lds.org website for technical issues and policies faced by clerks, and you can occasssionally find them for organizations such as those addressing safety concerns.

    Also sorry for the derail from feminist issues, but the title of the OP is ‘If I were the KING of the forest’ does it not?

  33. Steve G., I’d guess the “King” aspect was deliberate, wouldn’t you?

  34. “Also, if the title under the General YM President on TV is going to be President So-and-so, I would have the title under the General YW President also be President So-and-so, not Sister.”

    My Bishop in my college singles ward made everyone call the RS Pres “President S.” Loved that guy.

  35. If I were King, I would not have only young men get a special blessing with the Bishop’s participation (ordinations) at ages 12, 14, & 16, but would also give young women special blessings with the Bishop’s participation at ages 12, 14, & 16.

    If I were King, I would either not have YM participating in Home Teaching, or would not have YW not participating as Visiting Teachers.

    If only these were my ideas…

  36. Right on, Kristine. I also find it exasperating that changes to church policy, new programs, etc., are frequently announced in the priesthood session–that sends a pretty strong message about which members are the core ones. I also find it telling that the GAs seem to be a bit more informal in the priesthood session. It reminds me of how you act when the visitors are gone; you relax a little, and get down to discussing the family issues. When it comes to the church, women so often seem to be the guests–treated graciously, but not really a central part of things. The Relief Society is, after all, an “auxiliary.”

  37. Why not also routinize:

    1) A regular pattern of Sundays — at least once a month — during which the Relief Society presidency plans the Sacrament Meeting service?

    2) A switch from Boy Scouting/no female counterpart to an organization that provides similar skills and adventures but doesn’t impose an unnecessary gender segregation?

    3) Father’s rooms as well as mother’s rooms at ward houses?

  38. Re: 35 – Visiting teaching is supposed to be done in the morning and early afternoon when YW are in school. Unless of course the woman being taught is in the unfortunate position of having to work outside the home and therefore visited in the evening, and if that’s the case, we need to carefully consider the influences in the lives of our YW…

  39. Nope, Alex. Not true at all. And if that’s your argument, how does it relate to the YM?

  40. Hammie (formerly Natalie K.) says:

    I am not a frequenter here, so I don’t know everybody…. but Alex’s comment was sarcastic, right? Please?

    If not, I thought there was a polite, silent agreement among us all to not tell those types about the Bloggernacle. ;)

  41. Excuse me everybody, but Alex is right. Suppose a father/husband dies and his widow selfishly tries to provide for her children. Is that really the type of person we want our YW associating with??? Perish the thought!

    Or if in this economy a woman decides to help pay the bills by working *gasp* during the day. Oh the horror.

    Alex is right, let us not corrupt the minds of our innocent youth by letting them talk to such people. In fact, I’m feeling pinched and tormented by such people. Witches I say, burn them at the stake! They’re witches!

  42. #40: There is also a polite, silent agreement to avoid nicknames like “Hammie.”

  43. Unfortunate nickname vs. unfortunate comment… we all lose. But Alex is a troll.

  44. Latter-day Guy says:

    37: “Father’s rooms as well as mother’s rooms at ward houses?”

    Oh yes, please. With fireplaces, a closet-full of smoking jackets, and dead animal heads on the wall.

    43: That’s sad. I honestly, honestly thought 35 was a joke. Is there an emoticon for “Just so you know, I make my wife read Fascinating Womanhood“? It would prevent these kinds of less-than-comfortable uncertainties.

  45. StillConfused says:

    Ban the Primary Voice!!

  46. Father’s rooms would have to have ‘non-smoking jackets’, please.

    We actually had our Laurels act as VT companions when I was YW President. It would have worked better if anyone actually went Visiting Teaching.

  47. I would have the YW President attend ward welfare meeting (if we still have it), so I wouldn’t be the only woman at the meeting. (yuck!) They all stand up when you come in and make you feel very awkward!

    I would let women give the opening prayer in sacrament meeting and I would send 25 letters to reinforce that, yes, it is OK and won’t cause the church to be struck by lighting.

    And I second the YW/YM budgets need to be equal, whatever it takes to do that.

    Oh, and I would ask for a divine manifestation that those horrid veils are really necessary for salvation.

  48. I think I’m right in assuming that YM activities during the week are scouting-related. Is that right? So what option do YM have if they don’t want to do scouting?

  49. Latter-day Guy says:

    48: Basketball mostly.

  50. Kristine (47) is a different Kristine from the author of the OP. I’ll be KristineH for a bit.

    I actually find it interesting that this generated such wide-ranging comments. My post was really just venting a bit–I’m preparing an RS lesson for next week and got annoyed that the RS meeting messages were in the back of the magazine.

    And, of course, you can argue that it’s an utterly trivial point to make, that no offense is intended by the placement, that the women don’t mind meeting only once a year, that they like meeting separately because otherwise Conference weekend would be too busy, etc. But I think if the message that women are equal partners were an institutional priority*, we would find ways to avoid contradicting that message with an accretion of small signals like this one (and the others mentioned in the comments).

    (*I should note, for the record, that I’m very happy not to be in charge of deciding institutional priorities, and I trust that those who are in charge have good and sufficient reasons that I am content not to understand for now.)

  51. I would not emphasize in talks that women are as important as men, or imply that they may be more important. It comes across as words of consolation.

  52. Latter-day Guy: thanks for clowning about the father’s room idea. But for those of us who are men and serious about co-parenting, this is a real challenge. There’s no quiet place I can go to help our newborn fall asleep for her afternoon nap during church.

  53. J. Nelson-Seawright: You think the mother’s rooms are quiet places? Mostly they are cramped and smell like poopy diapers, not to mention awkward if you’re in there for anything other than feeding a baby.

  54. objection, your honor says:

    As exec sec, the bishop would ask me to find people for sac prayers. One day I asked a woman to say the opening prayer. She was completely shocked, then asked, “Can I do that?” I had no idea what she was talking about, so she explained it to me. After that I always asked a woman to say the opening prayer, and I was amazed at how many of them believed it was against policy – but none of them refused.

  55. My husband and I found a way for equality in parenting during church–we just use the janitors closet as our quiet naptime place. He would even pull a chair in there so he could sit down. Because, yeah, the mothers’ rooms aren’t great sleeping places. (And after being the one to battle naps all week, Sunday’s are his turn).

    In fact, once my babies are past about 3 months, they get way too distracted in the mothers’ lounge to eat. Its easier to just sit in an empty foyer.

  56. Sorry not to respond sooner, but yes, 38 was supposed to be a joke. You know, sarcasm. I guess I’ve been watching too much Colbert Report.

  57. Jennifer, I trust my wife’s report, as well as the observational evidence, that the mother’s room works well for our daughter at present. What I’m proposing wouldn’t actually have to be a father’s room — how about a designated nap space that parents of either sex could use? We’re a family-friendly church, right? (No, we’re not. As proven by the existence of 1:00pm church.)

  58. Aaron Brown says:

    Some of us are so progressive in orientation, we bravely strive to create father’s rooms, even when there are none:

    http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/02/12/melee-in-the-mothers-lounge/

  59. Alex T. Valencic says:

    Regarding the prayers in Sacrament meeting… I am the exec sec in my ward, and so of course I make the assignments for prayers in Sacrament meeting. Interestingly enough, I have no idea why this is the practice… the GHI has all of two paragraphs for what I do, and this is definitely not part of it. But I digress…

    We recently got a new bishop, and he decided it was time for me to actually call people on Saturday night for prayers. So I made a schedule, which utilises all of the active members of the ward who regularly attend Sacrament meetings. I discovered we have far more active sisters then active brethren, and the schedule now looks something like this:

    Week One: Brother Sister
    Week Two: Sister Brother
    Week Three: Sister Sister
    Repeat

    Nobody has once complained or indicated that there is some high holy sin being committed. (I would have had a week of Brother Brother, but there aren’t enough of them.)

    Regarding the Mothers’ Room, I always thought it was intended as a quiet unobtrusive place to nurse a child. Don’t really see the need for fathers to have a room for that purpose.

    Oh, and one last note here: our YM have to raise money in an annual church-approved fundraiser for Scouting. Their budget is equivalent to the YW otherwise. Primary gets the lion’s share of the budget, though.

  60. Re: 37, I would love to have a father’s room (or maybe just a gender-neutral parent’s room). I have to go to the filthy men’s bathroom to change diapers and when I need to feed our child, most of the seating in the foyer is taken by folks in the other ward who aren’t going to sacrament meeting. I am afraid I would make some mothers uncomfortable if I went into the mother’s lounge while they were breastfeeding. I have to admit, I would be a little uncomfortable myself.

  61. #60: Agree with your last paragraph. But why can’t we have an annual church-approved fundraiser for YW that raises the same amount for them to have activities throughout the year?

  62. Gee mike, our ward does. It’s not policy. Other wards I have been in do the same. In our last ward the YW and YM split the work for the fundraiser and the funds.

  63. With regards to budget equalization, the ward can set YW and YM budgets to be the same, but the burden of BSA Sustaining Membership Enrollment, which the ward or stake must participate in, is huge. In our stake, they just subtract it out before they give the money to the wards, so it is hidden, but the assessment for scouts which is imposed by the BSA accounts for hundreds of dollars each year which wards never see, or which they must come up with.

  64. There used to be much more equality in the Church :)

    “Because women were not originally intended to be a part of the endowment ceremony, when they were finally admitted, women received the same garment as the men. Women and men in the church wore the very same garments until 1965. Thus, all Mormon pioneer women wore the men’s garment, which were 100% cotton longjohns.”

  65. Mike S,

    Young Women can have fundraisers. Fundraisers may be approved by a bishop for one annual camp for young men, one annual camp for young women, or for equipment needs for the group (money obtained through fundraising can’t be used to purchase personal equipment).

    I’d say tell the young women to grab the lawn mowers and start raising collecting some cash.

  66. #66: Is that historically true that women were never intended to be part of the endowment ceremony? I’d be interested in hearing more on that topic.

    #64: That’s a great point about the hidden costs of BSA. As a young women, what bothered me far more than the small size of the budget was the sheer fact that so much less attention and money was given to the YW than to the YM.

  67. Lana #65 – where did that quote come from?

  68. 68. It doesn’t particularly matter, because it isn’t accurate.

  69. Stapley, indeed — not even close. Women were involved in the Endowment long before the advent of standardized, industrial-production-style garments.

  70. I can haz Google says:

    So that there is no mistake about it, the quotation in 65 comes from the anti-Mormon site “Rethinking Mormonism,” which specializes in defaming all things temple related.

  71. Lana, if you want to stick around, you’ll need to stay clear of posting anti-Mormon quotes.

  72. Alex T. Valencic says:

    Mike S (62) The YW in our ward also have an annual fundraiser. I believe that the YM post flags around the community, and the YW make pies. Both activities were originally thought-up by the youth.

  73. Mommie Dearest says:

    Women have been a part of the endowment from the very beginning, when the first members were endowed in the upper room of the Red Brick Store, 35 married couples, men and women in equal numbers. JS needed to give priesthood keys to the Twelve and was under rather a lot of pressure not to wait until the Temple was finished so he used what space he had at hand. Emma was instrumental as matron, and she was the designer of the first garments in a way. JS sent her to St Louis just prior to this to get the materials for the original garments given to the first endowed members, and the design was based somewhat on what people ordinarily wore at that time, ie. union suits.
    My source for this is a friend who is crazy for Church history and shares generously, and I welcome your corrections if I have repeated any of this erroneously.

    If I were queen of the forest, I’d make sure the Doctrine of Eternal Families takes its rightful place–lesser to Christ and the healing power of the atonement.

  74. MD, your history is also mistaken.

  75. Mommie Dearest says:

    So tell me what I got wrong so I won’t be mistaken :)

  76. Though it is clear that Joseph Smith intended to include women in the Nauvoo Temple liturgy from the get go (see his sermons to the RS in April 1842), he first initiated 9 men in the upper room of the red brick store on May 4, 1842. It was not until the fall of 1843 that he initiated women, the first being his wife. Smith created a “quorum” or “order” to act as the guardians of the rituals and mediate their transmission. Estimates of quorum membership are available from various authors.

    According to Thomas Alexander’s discussion of the 1920s liturgical reformation in his Mormonism in Transition, 300-1:

    The redesign of the temple clothing and garments was completed first. In April 1923 the First Presidency referred the question to a committee consisting of Elder Richards, Rudger Clawson, Joseph Fielding Smith, and Orson F. Whitney. The suggestion for the reconsideration apparently came because of Elder Richards’s questions raised after a conversation with Sister Maria Dougall in October 1922. At that time he learned that Joseph Smith had not designed the garments and temple clothing. In fact, a group of sisters led by Emma Smith and including Bathsheba Smith had fashioned both the garments and the temple clothing, and presented them to Joseph Smith for his approval. The collar on the garments had been put on because the sisters could think of no other way to finish it at the top, and they added ties because they had no buttons. The original cap in the temple clothing had looked something like a crown, but Joseph Smith had them redesign it to look more like a baker’s cap.

    Various family traditions deviate from this a bit.

  77. I also seem to remember Mormon Enigma discussing how women were held back from receiving the endowment until Emma got on board with polygamy.

  78. Mommie Dearest says:

    Thanks. I knew there’d be a few history buffs on board, and the citations are appreciated. I have read Mormon Enigma, but it’s been quite a while.

  79. In reference to all comments involving YW fundraising:

    When I was Mia Maid President (all about4 years ago?) we were specifically told by the Stake President that we, as Young Women, could not hold a fundraiser for Girls Camp (much less equipment needs). I remember being in the BYC meeting where my YW leader went off about how blatantly prejudiced such a policy was, much less unfounded in *Church* policy.

    Granted, I can’t remember his reasoning, so it may have been legit, like having to do with our previous year’s fundraising: selling Costco pizzas for Valentines Day? Yes, lazy husbands came to us to buy pizzas for their kids so they could go out with their wives…but to go out with your wife and leave your kids home you need a babysitter…so why not ask this lovely YW who is selling you the pizza to begin with? Yeah, yeah? Theoretically, we were supposed to put THAT money towards camp too…

  80. J. Stapley, thanks. I thought there was nothing anti-mormon in this particular quote, as women did wear the same garment, and did not participate in the first endowment ceremonies. I’ve read in a book (maybe internet) before that women complained about not being equal in that they did not have endowment and the garment), and they finally got it. Your reference to J. Smith talk that women were supposed to be part of it from the very beginning proves that this was not the case.

  81. Mommie Dearest wrote: “If I were queen of the forest, I’d make sure the Doctrine of Eternal Families takes its rightful place–lesser to Christ and the healing power of the atonement.”

    I absolutely agree with this.

  82. Lana, I imagine that you may have conflated the experience in Kirtland with the experience in Nauvoo. The Kirtland Temple liturgy was very different than Nauvoo (no dramatic ritual, garment, etc.), and it was limited to male priesthood holders.

  83. Can’t say that I agree with Mommie Dearest or [nr]. The comment supposes a distinction between the notion of eternal families and the Atonement, whereas it has been clear in our doctrine since Joseph Smith that the two are incredibly intertwined, to the point of near synonymity. As such, Mommie Dearest’s comment seems to misunderstand both the doctrine of eternal families and the nature of the Atonement.

    Now, if the comment was instead just trying to make a statement about recent policy positions on nuclear heterosexual couples, that’s a different matter.

  84. But, in MD’s defense, Steve, I think the argument can be reasonably made that the current LDS discourse on “The Family” and “Families Can Be Together Forever” also misunderstands both the doctrine of family salvation as well as the nature of atonement.

  85. Brad, to be sure our current discourse can result in some weird prioritizations and can actually damage some families if we let things run amok. But I don’t think that changes my overall point, which is that families and salvation are inseparable.

  86. But I don’t think that changes my overall point, which is that families and salvation are inseparable.

    I completely agree.

  87. (84) Possibly its a distiction of focus: If we focus on the eternal nature of the family, it is very possible to over-emphasize the family and introduce false beliefs/doctrines. I could elaborate on this if I’m not understood.

    However if one focuses on the life and atonement of Jesus and tries to emulate his love, and repent through his sacrifice, its much harder to find onesself on the wrong course. I agree with you that the two are deeply intertwined, but possibly MD meant that while Faith in Christ is a saving ordinance; Faith in family is not. Just some thoughts.

  88. Late to the game, but I would not

    d) restrict Teachings for our Times lessons to General Conference talks only, but rather open them up to all talks in the Conference edition of the Ensign/Liahona.

    If the women can benefit from a lesson based on Priesthood session talks, the men surely could benefit from R.S. or Y.W. conference talks.

  89. Families and salvation are intertwined, but without Christ and the Atonement it wouldn’t matter.

  90. nr, sure, I guess, but you’re missing the fact that a reversed form of your comment is also true.

  91. Without families we wouldn’t need the Atonement?

  92. without families there’d be no point.

  93. Zehill, I think the Teachings for our Times lessons are picked either by the stake president or the ward’s bishop. We’ve studied a talk from the Young Women’s section for one of our TfoT lessons in my ward.

  94. Mommie Dearest says:

    I wasn’t very clear about what doctrine I intended to say should be less important than faith in Christ and his atonement. I should’ve titled it the “Doctrine of How To Get an Uber-blessed Family Like Mine.” The true doctrine of eternal families is something I have no problem with.

    No more late night shootin from the hip from me. Now pardon me while I go read up on my Bushman and friends.

  95. Still don’t agree, Steve. Without the Atonement there would be no physical resurrection or immortality, and eternal life is possible only after those two condititions are met. We are told that those who do not marry in this existence will still have a chance for eternal life in the next. Granted, we are all part of some kind of family here on earth, but not always the eternal kind. Does that mean thee is no point in going to church for those folks?

  96. sigh. nr, the concept of eternal families in LDS theology is far, far more than whether or not you are married or your relations with your immediate family. I strongly suspect that you are referring to a completely different notion, and as such we’re not going to come to any conclusions here. Moving on.

    Mommie Dearest, high five, couldn’t agree more.

  97. I do agree it is time to move on.

  98. Mary AA (#94) – I’m happy your local leaders are open to that. What I’m referring to is the recent change in TFOT instructions from “All ‘Teachings for Our Time’ lessons will be taught from talks in the most recent general conference issue of the Liahona or Ensign” to “Each lesson can be prepared from one or more talks given in the most recent general conference” starting in May 2009. This was a deliberate change by the Curriculum department to include only General Conference talks in the TFOT curriculum.

  99. Families? Salvation? I say, if we die and still exist, we win. The rest is frosting.

  100. Aren’t the talks from the Young Women’s meeting in the spring and the RS meeting in the fall published in the conference edition Ensigns? Aren’t they to be considered part of General Conference?

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