Girls Should Be Passing the Sacrament. Full Stop.

I’ve written about this twice before, but this time I’m going to be completely blunt: the church needs to allow women and girls to pass and prepare the sacrament. Like yesterday. The Doctrine and Covenants expressly prohibits deacons and teachers from administering the sacrament, which means passing and preparing it are not administering it. Thus, the only grounding for requiring priesthood to do those things is tradition.

And here’s the thing: if we’re arbitrarily preventing women and girls from doing something on the basis that we’ve always prohibited them from doing it, we’re sending them a message. And that message is, “You’re second class, and your contributions are less important.” It doesn’t matter how many times we tell women and girls that they’re important, because our actions and policies send the second message.

So why am I posting this for a third time? For one thing, apparently I haven’t been blunt enough in the past. A second is an email from my ward that I just received. For various reasons, we don’t have a lot of youth. (I think we have one young man (though the continuing pandemic means I may be off by one or two.) But I know we have at least two young women, because those two are my daughters.) Because of that, the email asks members of the Elders Quorum to sign up to prepare and pass the sacrament, explaining (accurately) that it’s a way strengthen our relationship with the Savior and serve the ward.

Guess who doesn’t get to strengthen their relationship with the Savior and serve the ward in that way? That’s right: my daughters. Again, based on a cultural limitation that has no scriptural foundation at all.

The young man in our ward has mentioned that being able to pass the sacrament has significantly improved his engagement with and enjoyment of church. And I’m truly happy for him. But it also hurts my heart and my soul because my daughters (again arbitrarily) don’t get the chance to do that.

I don’t know why the church has maintained this policy, even as it has walked back from other nonscriptural policy choices. But this is one that needs to change immediately. It doesn’t require any revelation. It doesn’t require any change to our doctrinal position. It doesn’t require giving women and girls priesthood. It doesn’t require rereading or reinterpreting scripture. Because again, to be clear, administering the sacrament can only be done by Melchizedek priesthood holders and priests. What deacons and teachers do is not by virtue of priesthood, and there is absolutely no scriptural reason it can’t be done by people who do not hold the priesthood.

Which, again, means these gendered restrictions send a very clear message to women and girls.

Update: A friend on Twitter had an ingenious idea about how wards could implement this immediately (like, literally tomorrow) without any policy change:

Several years ago, the bishop of the Hyde Park Ward here in Chicago started having girls stand outside the nursing room. A deacon would bring the sacrament tray to a girl, who would carry it inside. And the church gave its stamp of approval to the innovation. And honestly, there’s no theological difference between giving a girl the tray outside of a room and giving it to her immediately after handing it to the deacon.

So let’s move forward in actually showing women and girls that they are as central to the church’s function as we say they are. Let’s let girls strengthen their relationship to the Savior, serve the ward, and find meaning at church in the same way we let boys. There’s nothing standing in our way.

Comments

  1. Mennoguy says:

    Have you sent this to President Nelson? Has he responded?

  2. Deborah says:

    At this point, I’ve become so beaten down and cynical that I believe these messages that women are second-class and unimportant are the messages they do intend to send. Why let girls feel like they have any real responsibility when they are just going to be put in their place later? (I mean, some of those uppity returned missionary women now think they should be able to make decisions and lead!) Clearly, as Kristine said better than I can, women don’t matter (https://bycommonconsent.com/2018/08/28/can-women-matter/). The leaders don’t think of us as fully-actualized human beings, and we’re only important as an appendage of a man (wife, daughter, etc.) or possibly as someone who can play the piano or organ (see the previous post!).

  3. Growing up on a branch with few youth, it didn’t take long for Sacrament to become pure drudge work. No matter how you felt or how much you needed a break, there was simply no one else to do it.
    It’s breaking my heart that my daughter, the only child still enthusiastic about Church; has to watch every week while our larger ward struggles for more hands.

  4. I agree with Debora. The message they want to send women is that women are appendages to men. It is everywhere in the church and has been since the days of polygamy. It may have been more obvious 10-50 years ago, but it is still the underlying message. I gave myself to my husband, is if he was my owner and I was chattel. I made covenants to him in the endowment, then he took me through the veil, clearly showing me that The Father was his God, but that my husband was my God. I was promised that I would hold the priesthood of my husband/god, as in I would be a priestess unto him. Yeah, I should obey his just exactly as he is supposed to obey God.

    People tried to tell me that the temple ceremonies didn’t mean what they clearly said, but yeah I still heard what it said.

    But they are beginning to have trouble selling their world view, so they keep trying to speak out of both sides of their mouth. They tell women to speak up more, because our viewpoint is needed, then in the next sentence they tell women not to talk too much. (I can’t remember the GA who did this in conference. They make some cosmetic changes to the endowment to make it sound like women are close to equal, just not quite, then they toss the word “preside” into the marriage ceremony. They say that husband and wife are equal partners, but husbands preside. And that is impossible because preside means that he is boss. They want to keep the women as members, so they tell them what they want to hear, but keep doing what they have always done.

    I think letting girls pass the sacrament would just make them more unhappy in the adult female role of disappearing behind the all important priesthood. It would give them a taste of being a trusted, respected, needed member, only to have them be demoted to second class status as adult women.

    I have come to the conclusion that the bandaids the church has been putting on for years now are just not stopping the bleeding. They need to accept that women are fully functioning, separate, adult, human beings. They need to recognize that and extend full equality, which means priesthood.

  5. Even though I would like to be a member and feel at peace with the Savior, I am no longer allowed to become a member again because I am in a same-sex marriage, so maybe I can say this because the can’t excommunicate me again:
    Women should hold the Priesthood – Full Stop.

  6. Thanks Sam, for your efforts on behalf of women. If I had daughters, I would struggle even more that I already do in relation to the church. My wife, as aware of the concerns as me, still manages to have hope and understanding, where mine has all but gone out years ago. I often wonder how members with daughters can stay. I know that usual replies to this wonderment: the Church is lead by fallible men, things will be worked in the next life, women have different roles, etc., but the damage to their psyche (despite what good the gospel provides them) seems to me to be too much. Strength, hope, and faith to everyone attempting to raise daughters in the Church.

  7. Thanks for your comments, everybody!

  8. Leadership can get pretty weird about women/girls helping with the sacrament ordinance. A hard of hearing woman I know once had to argue with her bishop about her translator being allowed to sign the sacrament prayer because the translator was a woman. He wanted my friend to teach a man how to do it.

  9. Michinita says:

    Yes. Yes. And yes again. And may I add that when ward boundaries are created the number of youth and primary should be considered. Currently only Melchizedek priesthood and total number are counted. Talk about second class citizens. A few years ago my daughter was the only primary girl age 8-12. The ward next door had 22. Were they interested in combining activity days? No. They were overwhelmed.

  10. Thanks Michinita. I think my son is the only (or one of very few) kid in his multi-year primary class. Here, unfortunately, that’s probably not an issue that church could resolve; Mormons from the West are happy to come to big cities for their educations and early careers, but tend to leave (for the suburbs or to go back west) when their kids start getting into school. So we tend to have a fairly large nursery, a reasonably large junior primary, and then almost nothing (aside from a few families that enjoy city life). Still, even here the church could put more thought into how to group older children and teenagers.

  11. Michinita says:

    Anna,

    I recently attended a youth fireside where a young woman conducted. I left in tears because I suddenly realized that while I had similarly lead co-ed meetings in my youth, now that I have matured and grown in every way, I am ineligible to ever lead a mixed group at church. It felt like a bait and switch. Trick the young woman into thinking we value her. Then when she’s too invested to walk away, shove her in a corner to collect dust.

  12. Love this! Thank you so much.

    I spent 18 months at home preparing and passing the sacrament and loved it. My husband said the prayer, I checked it and gave him the “bishop’s nod,” it was fantastic. This practice gave my sabbath more meaning. I found myself looking forward to it and thinking about all week. Truly remembering.

  13. Thanks Laura. I’m so happy you were able to do that.

  14. Chadwick says:

    Hi Sam:

    It truly is our collective loss when we restrict your daughters’ ability to serve us. Were it up to me, I would gladly welcome this change.

  15. Thank you, Chadwick!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Teach your daughters to have a relationship with God and Christ. Then their relationship with the church won’t matter so much. I’ve had good priesthood leaders, bad ones and indifferent ones, but God is always there. He answers when I ask, He comforts, He assures me of His love. I attend church because that is where I found Him, forty-six years ago, and one of the places I feel His spirit. The church is administered by men, often good, humble men, but still fallible, doing the best they can, but not necessarily the best. We need to show them grace, just as the Lord shows us. Keep plugging away Sam, it may well happen. I just attended a baptism with a sister witness. It felt good!

  17. I’m 69 and have four daughters. I have given up hope that Young Women will ever get to pass the sacrament – let alone receive the Priesthood. It is the Church’s loss because only two of my daughters have stayed in the Church. The “twin relics of barbarism” – Polygamy and Priesthood access have wreaked havoc in our congregations.

  18. On the one hand I have had a similar experience with my daughter and have stood up and pushed for more progressive policies–for example, I have been vocal and am glad that the church dropped its relationship with BSA on the basis of unequal funding to the YM and YW alone and that already seems to be bearing some fruit in my neck of the woods.

    But on the other, I don’t believe that the current leadership of the church has to be locked into scripture for it to institute a policy. After all, priesthood keys are for enacting policy to match current times. This would be pretty disruptive culturally speaking to the more conservative members of the church than either you or I–and by that, I mean about 70% of the active membership. There’s a whole lot of policy changes towards the YW program that I would like to see put in place that would move in a better direction that I think would not cause this level of upheaval before we got to this. Like, for example, actually giving the YW age groups meaningful names instead of 14-15 year olds or the previous “Beehives”, “Miamaids”, etc.

  19. @0t: If I understand correctly, you assert that because you think a large percentage of people in the church would be culturally uncomfortable expanding who can pass the sacrament that you are ok leaving a practice in place that has no doctrinal basis yet wreaks havoc on the psyche of girls and women in the church and causes pain to those who love them? Cool, cool. Yeah, definitely don’t want to make anyone the least bit uncomfortable.

  20. 0t, you’re right that the church isn’t limited in its policy choices by scripture. But to the degree a policy is (a) not rooted in scripture or revelation and (b) is harmful to an individual or group of individuals, it strikes me as incumbent that the church reevaluate why it continues with a particular policy. And I’m at a loss to say any compelling reason beyond, “This is what we’ve always done.”

    Would it be culturally disruptive? I doubt it. I don’t think anybody’s only committed to the church because we don’t let girls or women pass the sacrament. Especially where the justification for the policy is nonexistent and the benefits are so self-evident.

  21. Passing the sacrament would be so valuable for my daughters. They notice. A clear message is sent about whether or not their participation is valued.
    My youngest was almost 7 when her older brother turned 12 and she was so proud whenever he would pass the sacrament to our row. She wanted to be just like him someday and was so excited to follow in his footsteps…

    Until she realized she would never be able to. As a parent there is absolutely no way to explain around what is obvious to a child. Especially when there are no scriptures to back you up or doctrine to draw on.

  22. At some point gendered roles were probably obvious for everyone. Now, for a lot of people, it doesn’t mean anything anymore. It is even, as Sam shows it, harmful for many. Concerning that matter, we could add : gender limitations in primary (a brother has to teach with his wife or another brother – I can’t help to find that ridiculous), non-mixity in presidencies (why not a sister in the young men’s presidency, why not a brother in the primary presidency ?), the masculinity of Sunday School (why not a sister Sunday School president ?), sitting where you want in Temple endowments…

  23. M. David says:

    Preach.

  24. @Sam: “This is what we’ve always done” is a flimsy rationale, indeed, given “always” is actually “since 1916” and these other duties have disappeared:

    “In 1916, the Church Priesthood Committee recommended duties for Aaronic Priesthood holders. Along with administering the sacrament, young men were asked to “haul gravel,” “make cement walks about meeting houses,” and to “help with teams to level public squares.” Priests were asked to serve as ward choristers, teachers as choir members, and deacons as organ pumpers (see Improvement Era, July 1916, 847).” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2000/01/now-and-then/a-century-of-aaronic-priesthood

  25. Spot on Sam. As our mutual friend Claudia once said to me back in the day, “Girls and women pass the sacrament all the time–they pass it to the person sitting next to them, and (gasp) if there is no deacon at the end of the row you can hand it to the person behind you.” So you are right, clearly no priesthood only ordinance going on here. When my daughter was born (in our quasi-heretical former ward) I decided that I would never teach her a single thing about the priesthood–tricky, but doable. I wanted her to watch/experience and see how long it took for her to come to a conclusion. When she was 5/6 at the most it happened. “Mommy, how come only boys pass the sacrament?” I had my answer ready, including the final sentence–“Things change in the church. They have changed before, and this will eventually change.” It didn’t take 2 seconds for her to respond to my explanation of the priesthood–“That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard!” And she’s right–it is the stupidest thing. Unfortunately, she never saw that change and like many millennials has voted with her feet. So back then, I used to say in 20-30 years women will have the priesthood. That was twenty to 30 years ago. I fantasized that it would be like blacks and the priesthood–the absolute only advantage of our top-down, highly correlated, do what your told church, is that when the “revelation” came down it would be doctrine and practice in every unit in the church. No dissent allowed. If you don’t like it you know where the door is. Hopefully it wouldn’t take 50 years for a Gospel Topics Essay to at least admit the injustice done, although (at least for my African-American LDS friends) it still leaves many unsettling questions. Having 20 to 30 years to think it out, I’m now quite pessimistic about the dismantling of the patriarchal priesthood. It is not analogues to blacks and the priesthood. “Oops, our bad, no doctrinal basis, JOSEPH SMITH NEVER TAUGHT THAT, everything’s OK now.” And then the never ending, so blatant and misleading it’s almost painful to watch PR blitz. This will not happen so easily with women and the priesthood, because I don’t see the Q15 denouncing polygamy–at all. And that’s what needs to happen. Too many sacred cows to be killed there. We’re talking the “status” of more Mormon’s ancestors than we can count. What happens to them? Are they “unsealed” drifting off into the netherworld of the sad heaven? And all their descendants? Would they ever say JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT AND PRACTICED THIS, INFLUENCED BY THE PATRIARCHAL SENSIBILITIES OF HIS TIME AND PLACE–BUT IT WAS A MISTAKE? I’m still amazed they threw BY under the bus. Forget sad heaven–sad earth is depressing enough.

  26. A Goddess helped organize his spirit.
    A woman (Eve) gave birth to the messiahs body.
    Women financed the Lord’s ministry (luke8).
    Mary of Bethany anointed the Lord’s body
    in preparation for his burial (mark14:8-9)
    Women witnessed the Saviors crucifixion, prepared his body for burial and were the first to visit the tomb and witness the resurrection.
    When Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary testified to the resurrection the 11 apostles did not believe and thought it was nonsense. (Luke24:10-11)
    Phoebe was a Deacon Emissary of the church to rome, (Romans 16:1-2)
    Lois and Eunice were teachers of the scriptures, (Acts 16:1-3)

    and yet our church actually believes that only boys (deacons and teachers quorum presidents) can hold priesthood keys and bless, prepare and pass the sacrament?

  27. Rockwell says:

    Girls cannot pass the sacrament for the same reason they can’t witness baptisms. It isn’t Gods will and it will never hap…

    [ mysterious man interrupts speaker, whispering in his ear]

    Wait. What’s that you say? Hold on everyone, I’ll be right back with you.

    [confers with mysterious man, both gesticulating wildly, returns to podium]

    Ahem. Girls cannot pass the sacrament for the same reason they used to not be able witness baptisms. That’s all I have to say at this time.

  28. Rockwell says:

    But here is what I’m waiting to see. When they eventually let girls pass the sacrament, is it suddenly going to become a duty for young children, in the 8-12 year old range? Church leadership seems to think that anything women can do can also be done by young children. (Viz., the general women’s meeting at conference, witnessing baptisms).

  29. Antonio Parr says:

    ScottR: You wrote this (referring to Jesus): “A Goddess helped organize his spirit.” Could you add a scriptural reference to this? (I appreciate the scriptural citations to the other points in your post.)

  30. Karen Maxfield says:

    I agree with this but one thing that continues to bother me– when the church does increase women participation it’s often in conjunction with giving female YOUTH the same privilege– ie temple baptisms witnessing and recording.
    Women are still treated as children. It’s like a pat on the head.

  31. Did you reply to the email?

    What did they say?

    My daughter did during the pandemic.

  32. A different perspective says:

    I don’t think children, especially teenagers, should be passing the sacrament.

    First, they are the most efficient vectors of the transmission of disease. They have wide social circles and slop through washing their hands. They dress like they just rolled out of a gutter after a hard night of drinking. They appear to not be acquainted with the concept of a comb. They grow so fast their cloths seldom fit. I think the girls would do a better job with their attire.

    They do not appreciate the gravity of the sacrament, with few exceptions. They make it that much easier for the rest of us to get into a thoughtless rut. They stumble around like lost sheep. It is such a big deal if they miss one word in the prayer. Who cares, besides the Pharisees among us? Most are not thinking about what they are saying means, they just want to have a cool masculine voice to impress the girls with their spirituality.

    A few ghost stories, basically low lights of sacrament passing in my time. It was the practice of deacons when I was one to bring squirt guns and make the priests look like they wet themselves. “Slosh trays” had small holes drilled about a half an inch from the bottom and we could tip them and slosh people, usually girls our age. Especially their low cut neckline. We don’t talk about the frequent belching, poofing and arousal. As far as female attire, one ward had a group of teenage girls who stuffed their bras with water balloons. Some even put jello in it to get the right jiggle. Imagine them passing the sacrament.

    One deacon went out into the foyer and then continued into the parking lot. He was such a space case he got lost. One of the priests had to hunt him down. We frequently had to sprint for bread and the people living in the other ward close to the church stopped answering their door on Sunday morning. Some wards had the church freezer packed with months of bread and it was usually thawed out, mostly. We sometimes used stale and moldy bread as a joke. A little squirt of lemon in some of the cups of water was a gag.

    One of the practices I have observed in protestant churches is for the congregation to come forward to receive the sacrament, usually from the pastors, elders, and their wives. Another sanitary practice is purchasing little wafers and a little cup of unfermented grape juice exactly the same size as our water cups. These are individually packed and eliminate the risk of infection. Gluten free and other dietary considerations are much easier and more discrete to handle. I suspect if the whole 20 plus centuries of Christin history were examined, we would find quite an array of sacrament practices.

    .Jesus broke bread with his disciples on the last night he was with them. We know nothing about the details. Although I think Da Vinci’s painting is a good first approximation. We don’t know how they passed it and we don’t know if women were present, helped or not. My guess is yes on both accounts.

  33. Creepy, pompous, self-righteous, and unchairtable. I’d prefer fragile, wonderful, and still learning teenagers any day to ‘adults’ like ‘A Different Perspective.’ Sheesh.

  34. Mhermitmom says:

    I am pretty sure the only reason they allow YW to pass the tray into the mother’s room is to prevent impressionable young men from getting inappropriate thoughts from seeing a mother breastfeed her child.

  35. IMO they won’t change this because it borders too closely to a priesthood function, and with no ordination possibilities for young women on the horizon it would be an uncomfortable dead end opportunity. I wish, though.

  36. The inconsistency in church doctrine and policy is astounding. You can see how when positive changes are made for women, it is only done as a last resort or out of absolute necessity. Changes are never framed as the church being wrong. They are never framed as a demonstration of women’s inherent worth and potential. The changes are obfuscated by pairing them with children’s policies or hushed up (like the temple changes).

    Girls and women should have been preparing, passing, and blessing the sacrament since 2014, when Dallin Oaks had his epiphany that women use delegated priesthood authority. This was his argument in that General Conference talk: women can perform temple ordinances (which only Melchizedek priesthood holders can do) because women operate with delegated authority from the temple president, who has keys.

    So girls and women can bless, pass, and prepare the sacrament with delegated priesthood authority from the Bishop, who holds keys. Ta da! There you go. So the sacrament in term of gender should be a non-issue, if the church were to actually be consistent in its own purported beliefs about women and the priesthood.

  37. Sam, thank you for this. I agree with you a hundred percent. I do wonder if part of the reluctance to make it happen is the question: What happens when the young women who have been passing the sacrament turn 16? At that point we’d be just pushing the exclusion out five years – unless the church is willing to tackle the larger question about the priesthood and who can be ordained and THAT looks like a dead end road.

    All of which is still not a reason to withhold the experience of passing the sacrament from girls. Just throwing it into the mix.

  38. Geoff - Aus says:

    I hava a daughter who is bomb disposal specialist with the Australian Federal Police equivalent of FBI and CIA together. In her spare time she is a rural fire officer, and the last few years Australia has set up Remote Area Fire Fighters (smoke Jumpers) and she was invited to join, and has.
    At church there is an emergency plan. First item is find a priesthood person to report the problem to.
    She has more training in dealing with emergencies than any priesthood holder 200Ain our stake, but members should go past her and find any priesthood holder.

    Totally support priesthood for woman, and in the mean time pass the sacrament.

  39. Geoff - Aus says:

    The catholic church is having national meetings of Bishops and clergy. The Australian Bishops were going to continue the status quo with reguatd to priesthood. They were persuaded to change, and the statement from the meeting is the support of women deacons. Appearently the Pope has said he woud allow/encourage women deacons if the national groups recommend it.
    Leader envy?

  40. A different perspective says:

    Brian:

    In a twisted way I agree with you. Except the logical conclusion then, is that neither teenager nor adult is worthy to pass the sacrament. Which is true in the sense that we are all unworthy and unprofitable servants.

    What I described were low lights. What you prefer are high lights. With teenagers, both are true. If we want consistency over the long haul and across a broad spectrum, I would tend to bet on the adults (and women over men).

    For balance: a highlight:

    One ward I attended had a disabled boy named Bobby. His IQ was somewhat lower than that of a person affected with Down’s syndrome, he was not as base-line happy, but he was determined. He stuttered so severely he could barely speak. He could barely read. He turned 12 and with the help of mostly other adult men (because we had few youth), he could pass the sacrament. He turned 16 and after practicing for months at home he was able to stutter out a barely recognizable sacrament prayer. Oh, Oh, Oh G,G,G, God. I timed him and others. He averaged over a minute and as long as 2 minutes while the others were 15-25 seconds. It was the highlight of his life and he insisted on doing it every week. I think most of the ward was quietly rooting for him. Come on Bobby, my boy, spit it out. Bless. you can do it. Regular attenders soon had those prayers memorized like never before. The problem was that Bobby never graduated. He remained a Priest for a decade or more. He aged quickly and his health deteriorated. He made more mistakes and took longer.

    There came a time when we had only 2 other Priests and 2 deacons. One was a typical Mormon golden boy and the other resembled his Viking ancestors. He was big and freakishly strong. He did not cut his curly blond hair from about age 10. He had a reddish beard. He was quiet, independent, and usually intensely focused. And he owned the sacrament. He politely but firmly asked adult men to participate and no excuses were ever offered. He and his unlikely comrade made it work with military stealth efficiency. When these two Priests later graduated, it was like the ward had forgotten how to do the sacrament and botched it up for a few weeks.

    The day came when Bobby could not get through the prayer and he knew it. He broke down blubbering and sobbing. All the agony he felt not being able to live a normal life. The Viking wrapped his arm around Bobby and said to him (broadcast over the microphone). You are going to be fine, Bobby. You did your best. You blessed the sacrament for 10 years, longer than anyone else. Then he repeated the words of the prayer, obviously not reading them. I almost imagined it was the voice of the foremost of the Sons of Helamen. I felt like I was Bobby and the Lord was speaking to me.

    Bobby sat at the sacrament table happily the weeks following but did not want to say the prayer. Within months he had worsening health and no longer attended church. He went to his reward not long after that. The golden boy has a nice wife and programs computers. The Viking earned a PhD in mathematics. He taught in China, instead of a mission. Last word, he is secretly fighting or something in Ukraine. Probably exaggerated rumors originating from his hysterical mother. She has greater worries than girls passing the sacrament and whether to pray to Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother.

  41. The observation in the OP about deacons and teachers not using the priesthood, i.e., they are not allowed to “administer” the sacrament, is an interesting one. I imagine I’m late to the game on this, but has anyone ever researched/published about how/when the practice germinated that deacons pass and teachers prepare? As noted, it’s not scriptural – so when did it solidify into its current form? What’s the history/genesis of this?

  42. Aussie Mormon says:

    Geoff: “They were persuaded to change, and the statement from the meeting is the support of women deacons.”

    According to https://catholicoutlook.org/fr-franks-homily-10-july-2022/ the motion that actually ended up passing was “That, should the universal law of the Church be modified to authorise the diaconate for women, the Plenary Council recommends that the Australian Bishops examine how best to implement it in the context of the Church in Australia.”

    The article says that one of the rejected motions related to ‘considering women for ministry as deacon – should Pope Francis authorise such ministry’, but hat was rejected too. So it just seems to me that they agreed to do their job of following the rules, rather that giving actual support to female ordination.

  43. Villate says:

    Adam F – You should read William G. Hartley’s “From Men to Boys: LDS Aaronic Priesthood Offices 1829-1996”, which was originally published in The Journal of Mormon History and is easily available online as a PDF if you search for the article by title.

  44. Kristine says:
  45. Kristine says:

    Or, what Villate said!

  46. Thanks Villate and Kristine, I’ll take a look!

  47. From page 22 of the 1976 article that was linked by Kristine, I found this on point to the OP: “But, except for the priests’ duty to baptize and bless the sacrament, and the priests’ and teachers’ duties to visit teach and to ordain, most assignments given to Aaronic boys in this century [1976] require no actual priesthood authority to perform. During World War II, for example, girls collected fast offerings. Women have also prepared the sacrament tables [no cite]. President Heber J. Grant once authorized boys with no priesthood to pass the sacrament when ordained boys with no priesthood to pass the sacrament when ordained boys were unavailable.”

  48. Late in the game: the solution is simple. Confer the Melchizedek priesthood on all women over 18 without ordaining them to an office, like Elder or High Priest or Bishop. Delineate what this allows women to do, like bless children, bless the sacrament, bless the sick and lead organizations. Likewise confer the Arronic Priesthood on all women between 12 and 18 without ordaining them to any office. Then delineate what they can do, like pass the sacrament, bless the sacrament, baptize,

    The future is egalitarian, any moron can see that. Why be always at the tail end of idiocy and struggle against the future.

  49. Doyle McClellan says:

    Seems reasonable to me.

    My wife passes the sacrament to whoever is next to her. Young children do as well. Even non-members serve the sacrament when they hold the tray for the next person.

    It would seem odd to think there is something particularly sacred about taking the tray from the person at the end of one row and handing it to the person behind.

    These things can just take time. Remember how Coke was always bad until it was never bad?

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