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Poll below the fold.
What kind of “change” are we talking about here?
It seems like one’s answer would depend at least somewhat on whether one were a man or a woman. Or maybe knowing that information would just make the answers more interesting.
Not sure if it would change my private/family life, but it would change my church life in interesting ways. KLS as Apostle…just saying.
One way it could change your family life:
Not calling another brother to administer to the sick in your household.
I can think of others, but carry on.
I thought of that, but didn’t know how to put it in the template.
mmiles, ii am not saying some things will not change, but the family dynamics…not so much. All such changes would be cool. Blessing a chiild WITH my wife. I had not thought of that. Made me teary thinking of it.
It would be awesome. Then I could go home teaching with my wife, oh wait, we already do….
I think it would cause changes in my life, but I don’t know that they would be significant. My wife and I have no children at present, and we have a pretty egalitarian marriage. Even in church, I am in a ward where the RS president is invited to attend PEC, so it isn’t as if the PEC is a men-only club.
For my wife, I imagine she would consider the changes rather significant, though.
Sorry to make you all start over, but the poll has been updated to make it a bit more educational.
Wouldn’t women be ordained on Sunday, Scott? ;-)
I would say, “Awesome!”
Would they have to change the wording in all of those manuals that refer to Priesthood holders, or would it not matter?
Dunno, Tod. I wasn’t ordained an Elder on a Sunday…
I have no problem with this.
Chris H., why don’t you bless your children with your wife now? I don’t see anything stopping you from giving your children a joint blessing on your authority as their parents. I’ve given my daughter a mother’s blessing on a couple of occasions.
@Scott I realize my joke was ill-conceived. I was referring to how a lot of men are ordained on Sunday. I also should have referred my comment mmiles anyway. Sorry to confuse. :(
I wasn’t ordained on a Sunday either.
My wife is not the radical that I am. Either way, we are not frequent blessing givers.
@mmiles I know I know: JOKE FAIL. I must have written that comment from somewhere inside Full House 1987.
I think that removing gender inequality would help me focus on other parts of the gospel in productive ways. I suspect I’d find new things in the gospel that I’d come to appreciate if this issue was removed.
I’m the wife in a part-member family, so I would be the sole priesthood holder in my house. It would affect me significantly, I think, because I’d take on all the responsibilities that normally come with the priesthood (ph meetings, blessings, more duties, etc.)
Chris H., I wouldn’t call myself a radical at all. I don’t feel women need to have the priesthood. I do feel that God granted me a certain amount of authority and responsibility as a mother and have no problem invoking that when necessary.
I chose the “i am a woman and it would not effect my life at all” I chose this because even if it were available to women, I would opt out at this point. I really don’t feel the need for the responsibility that that would entail at this point.
I guess the better way to put it is that neither of us feel particularly mystical about our faith. To her, the idea of her giving a mothers blessing would seem radical and weird. She would also find a post about women and the priesthood to be uncomfortable, even though she does not like the portrayal of gender roles in the temple.
I was one who said as a man this would be a significant change for me. My wife is much more likely to go to all meetings and to volunteer to do/be in charge of things. So it would mean my wife would be at home less.
Also, it would functionally mean the end of relief society, and thus possibly the end of the gender segregated third hour of church. This may cause single women\men to feel more marginalized, as couples will be more cliqueish.
Also, it would mean a number of members of the church would go inactive, as they are culturally not ready to deal with such a major change.
Finally, such a move may further limit our missionary possibilities in certain countries as well.
Why do you think RS would go away? or gender segregated church? Couldn’t women’s roles be the same with the priesthood as without it?
mmiles – If women had the priesthood, it would seem to follow that women with the priesthood would attend meetings with all priesthood holders. Couples already sit with each other in Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School. If they were together in the 3rd block as well, wouldn’t this continue?
That being said, I would see RS being a regular meeting in addition to the church block on Sunday. Of course, that already happens (or at least theoretically could). I think there would be a dramatic change to the organisation of the auxiliaries and the block of meetings on Sundays.
But don’t men who don’t have the priesthood also attend Sunday meetings with the other men? For unordained men, and men investigating the church, they still go to meetings called priesthood meetings. (As well as boys who are unordained still attend class with boys their age). So why would women suddenly go with the men?
What sudden responsibilities do you think you would have that you wouldn’t want, specifically?
Personally, I hate helping people move.
I can’t think of any way it would change my life in a significant way. Does it really matter if a female bishop is giving me a calling? Presiding over the Sacrament? Would I even notice after a month if Laural is blessing the Sacrament?
I know on the surface it seems like a huge deal, but is it really?
Would it mean that I would preside with my husband over our ward? I would hate the pressure, but would love to TALK about the issues he has to keep confidential now. And I don’t doubt that I would add something to the counseling. Does it mean that I could lay my hands on my children’s heads alongside my husband and even offer the blessing? That has been more a handbook issue than a doctrinal one for awhile. I tend to respect the Orthodox Jews’ interpretation of the Torah as a masculine thing, though, and would want to preserve the IMAGERY of marriage (male/female) in various ordinances. I would rather that a man, representing Jesus, bless the sacrament, but I would have no objection to portraying a disciple in serving it. (That seems quite natural for a woman in traditional roles anyway.)
“Would it mean that I would preside with my husband over our ward?”
When a man is called as a Sunday school teacher or primary worker–both non-priesthood callings, is his wife called too? I don’t think having the priesthood would make a spouse serve jointly in a calling anymore than it does now. But of course this is all hypothetical.
Mmiles-I think it would be a good idea to have a “father” and “mother” preside over a ward, but right now, I’m glad that’s not the case. I know very well how hard my husband works as a bishop. But as an eternal paradigm–I think husband and wife preside together. I suspect that paradigm will become better reflected in how we do things in many church arenas (in a century or so). No joke here at all.
Jointly holding the Priesthood doesn’t mean jointly holding the responsibilities of a specific Priesthood office. A bishop has two counselors, along with a clerk and a secretary, and they all attend Bishopric meetings together. The Bishop delegates certain responsibilities to his counselors, and they discuss the needs of those in the ward. But he doesn’t share confidential information with them unless it is necessary for them to fulfill their callings. He doesn’t share the information with his son, who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, or with his father, who is also a High Priest. So, no, I don’t see that a woman holding the Priesthood would allow her to jointly preside over the ward with her husband.
I don’t think it would allow the RS president to conduct TR interviews, either. That is a responsibility of the bishopric/stake presidency, not just a responsibility of those holding the Priesthood.
mmiles: Yes, men who do not hold the Priesthood attend Priesthood meetings, but that is because the church doesn’t have a third-block meeting for non-Priesthood holding men. If they are adult members, they are considered Prospective Elders and meet with the group of men with whom they are most comfortable. If they are not members, they meet with the men… why? Most likely because a) the RS isn’t a non-Priesthood holders organisation, it is a women’s organisation, b) there is no other meeting to attend and c) those visiting are invited to join the brethren to see what it is like (I guess).
If women were to receive the Priesthood, would they continue to go to RS instead of Priesthood meetings? That seems like it would cause all sorts of problems. It is bad enough that adults in the Primary never seem to know what is going on in the ward because they don’t attend PH or RS. The hypothetical female priesthood holders wouldn’t know what was going on in priesthood related events. Like I said, there would need to be a major reorganisation of the auxiliaries.
A couple of secondary questions to this hypothetical: Will the Relief Society continue to exist as a women’s organisation when women receive the Priesthood? Will another organisation be established that is a men’s only corollary to the Relief Society?
While I’ve liked all my bishops and their wives, I’m not sure all of their wives would be as great a presiding over the ward just because their husband is. If there was a woman presider, I don’t see why it would have to be the Bishop’s wife.
I guess I just don’t understand what meetings you are referring to where they are doing priesthood things.
What I’ve seen come out of this conversation so far is that many of the things we talk about being priesthood responsibilities are simply assigned to men because they are men, and have nothing to do with the priesthood whatsoever (ie moving people-though said in jest). There are priesthood ordinances, both salvific and non, and leadership assigned to priesthood authority. But beyond that, I don’t see anything that requires the priesthood to do, that men and women can’t both do within the church.
I think what Margaret is referring to in general makes perfect sense. As far as confessions and confidential info, women would probably seek out the female authority rather than the male, and men the male authority. They wouldn’t need to share details, but discuss how to meet the needs of others.
The RS works as an organization because it meets specific needs of ward members. If women had the priesthood, it wouldn’t make those needs go away. In other words, the RS is not there simply to be relegated to women because they don’t have the priesthood. It does actually have an important purpose.
“Personally, I hate helping people move.”
Then it’s a good thing we were told in the training today on the CHI that we need to stop helping all members move.
Whoah, what? That right there deserves a letter from the First Presidency being read in SM.
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