Subject: 9 year old daughter sobbing about not being able to hold the priesthood.
Date: Oct 18, 2007
Author: Provo Girl

Last night my 9-year-old daughter, who is bright and confident and is a keen observer of things had an outburst that truly surprised me. (A little background -- my husband is still TBM [Mormon], we live in the heart of Utah Valley and I still attend church.)

She began sobbing and saying the boys get all the attention -- they are allowed to hold the priesthood, pass the sacrament, are told they can do whatever they want. We have babies and do stuff in the kitchen, we are never in stories about church, the scriptures, or history she said.

Good God. I truly hurt for her because I didn't see these things till I was in my 20s. I told she can do whatever she wants to do with her life and told her there are other religions in which women get to be priests, etc. She said they were very lucky . . . .

I will try to help her understand that Deity loves her and values her as much as the men on this planet, that she can make choices for herself and not have them dictated by anyone or an institution.

I can't tell you how lonely I felt as I held her while she sobbed and told me these things. I felt my words were empty. I can try to be an example to her -- I am educated and work full time outside the home and do a lot of volunteer work in our school.

She has asked me several times about why the boys get to pass Sacrament and hold the priesthood. But this passionate dialog really stunned me--it goes deeper than just the issue of the boys holding the priesthood, it goes deeper than this insignificant LDS cult--it's an overall statement of how undervalued women still are, even in Western society.

She is only 9 years old.

Thoughts anyone?

[Admin note:  Mormon boys at age 12 are ordained to the priesthood in progressive ranks: age 12 - Deacon, 14 - Teacher ,16 - Priest , 19 (usually) Elder]


Subject: Tell her that........
Date: Oct 18 11:49
Author: UK Sinner

She doesn't have to serve a mission, won't be called as a Bishop or Stake President and will have one or two extra evenings per week to herself between the ages of 21-99.

She ain't missing out...she's one of the lucky ones.


Subject: I'd suggest she be guided to find the things that women can do. They can be scientists, engineers,
Date: Oct 18 11:59
Author: SusieQ#1

teachers, doctors, lawyers, CEO's, authors, etc.etc. The list is endless.
A few things men do in a religion are minor compared to the other important contributions that women can and do make.

She is only limited by her imagination, goals, desires, etc.

We are always going to be left out of something, someone is always going to do something better than us. That's OK. Life is not a contest.

Get her to think about what she can do, rather than what she cannot do. At about the same age, I still recall my grand father, who was my only consistent father influence in my life tell me: "Susie, take the T out of can't and you can!"


Subject: Re: She can also hold the priesthood
Date: Oct 18 21:31
Author: Daphne

just not in Mormonism. Many Episcopal priests are women. If she has a true interest (or sense of call) in a religious life, ordination is available to women in many denominations.

You can let her know that other churches treat women differently -- I believe the Episcopal Bishop of Utah is still Caroline Tanner Irish. She was raised in a prominent SLC Mormon family and converted out when she was in high school. The Episcopal Diocesan office might be a useful contact for you if you want to show her ways that women can still be in church and have authority.


Subject: Great - this is a "teachable" moment - take advantage of it!
Date: Oct 18 11:57
Author: Lucyfer (not logged in)

I have a 9 year old daughter too - isn't that a great age? They are so full of questions and have such energy! At this age, girls feel superior to boys and don't understand the whole sexism thing we adult females have to deal with.

I would go for the gusto. I would tell her all the reasons the buttheads at the top give for why the Mormon Church is patriarchal and let her decide what she thinks about them. A bit of facilitated discussion with you and she will see right through the whole thing. This could possibly turn her off on Mormonism permanently.

Do this NOW before she gets into YM [Young Women - Mormon youth organization] - that is where all the real damaging gender stereotyping comes into play. If you can inoculate her against it early, maybe she will be safe from the psychological damage Mormonism does to females.

Just my two-cents.


Subject: Yes, now is when she can learn
Date: Oct 18 12:04
Author: BadGirl

that when something feels so wrong, it probably is.
She should trust her gut and get out of that evil system. Please back her up on this.
Western society as a whole is NOT like this anymore.
In fact, MOST modern religions, and even some OLD religions like Buddhism, do not discriminate against women in the "priesthood" or any other level of spiritual endeavor.


Subject: Don't subject her to this chauvanistic religion
Date: Oct 18 11:59
Author: meatyboy

My advice would be to not subject your daughter to this chauvanistic, sexist religion that is Mormonism. Your daughter has already been reduced to tears because the church teaches her that she is not as good as a man, not as powerful as a man, and not as blessed as a man. I mean, this is a religion that teaches it's women that they cannot obtain the highest salvation unless they are married to a worthy man. What a load of sexist crap.

Her distress would signal to me that this religion is doing her more harm then good. There are many religions out there that do not not oppress their female members. If you feel that religion and church are important to your children's upbringing, then I would advise you to check out these churches.

If you feel like you can't leave the church because of your TBM husband, family or social pressures, then at least do it for your daughter.


Subject: I agree... plus you have giver her the truth
Date: Oct 18 12:03
Author: cartman

before she starts getting the answer from church leaders that "women are special spirits and don't need the priesthood like men do." I always loved that response.


Subject: About Mormonism and the priesthood: technically, women wear the same garment of the holy priesthood
Date: Oct 18 12:11
Author: SusieQ#1

as men do and make the same basic covenants that men do in the temple ceremonies.

And, of course, women officiate in the temple ordinances in the temple.

Here is where the rub comes: only men officiate in the ordinances and have the rights under the "line of priesthood authority" in the LDS Church.
That is not much different than most religions. Men are predominately (but not exclusively) the leaders, prophets, ministers, etc.

If a woman wants to be part of a religious organization as a leader, preacher, minister, have a congregation,etc, she needs to find one that accepts women in those positions. That was not available to me in the late 50's when I considered going into the ministry. The only thing available for a woman in those days was as a Music Minister.

Times have changed, but not that much. Men are still predominately the religious leaders especially of the larger religions. I know women in those positions - leaders of congregations in churches and I find that very refreshing!

The girl is nine, and full of curiosity about the world. This is an excellent time for her to think about what she wants to do with her life and work toward some goals and learn what it takes to be dedicated to something like sports, or music, or dance, or ....whatever!


Subject: Re: The UCC began ordaining women in the late 1940s /nt


Subject: Re: 9 year old daughter sobbing about not being to hold the priesthood.
Date: Oct 18 12:29
Author: heresy

How lucky you are to have such a beautiful wise daughter. Why on earth would you subject her to the beating down she'll take from this church?


Subject: I would reassure her.......she's brilliant and observant.........then
Date: Oct 18 12:46
Author: Anony

I'd suggest she also ask her Dad about her concerns.
Let him do the hard answer from the priesthood point of view.

She's a lucky girl to you have as an example.

I feel for her. I have a 9 year old grand daughter who is feeling quite powerful and wonderful. She's not stuck in any religion.

I love being a you? Did you tell her
that? (woman)

Hugs to you
Anony Gram


Subject: Thanks for the input
Date: Oct 18 13:23
Author: Provo Girl

Thanks, folks, for your input.

I gotta get my family outta here!


Subject: Example is the most powerful teacher.
Date: Oct 18 14:02
Author: forestpal

You are setting a wonderful example for her, by the way you are living your life. (((hugs)))

I am assuming you won't leave the mormon church and take your daughter with you, which would be my first recommendation to you, based on my own daughter's experiences, and the experiences of some of my cousins and nieces in Provo.

If you must stay in, at least take the focus off of TSCC. You are already showing your little girl some of the things she CAN do: have fun, enjoy hobbies, volunteer at school, do well in her school work, develop her individual skills and talents, aim for college, think about possible careers someday. If she has brothers, you can treat them equally in your home.

Not only was my daughter devastated by the not holding the priesthood thing, but she was taught in primary that in heaven, she would walk right past me and her brothers, and not even know us! That church would have my little girl lose her family forever! I told her that was false doctrine, which I thought it was at the time. Now I know that the church really does believe that, I have left.

My daughter (and I, and my mother before me) went through life as a "second-class citizen" for many years. We discovered that the world outside the church was much larger, more varied, and held more opportunities for women--especially creative women. The church actually held my daughter back, so she branched out into the community. She volunteered to do art with the kids at the children's museum in the summers. She always had a great sense of humor, and became a published cartoonist (not highly valued at church). She always had low self-esteem, inflicted by the mormon teachings and also the mormon society, which labeled her as someone from "a broken home," who didn't have a lot of money. She had high moral values, and didn't want to enter into the early dating and sexual adventures the other mormon girls her age were having.

How do mormons do that? How do they make a wonderful and special girl feel like she is nothing? How did I allow them to do that so long? She was beautiful looking, and had a good personality, and liked people, so it was not that she was unpleasant, or anything. She didn't date until college. Considering how most of the other girls ended up, that was a good thing.

Your daughter will need to be very strong, and she is lucky to have a great mom to comfort her, and be on her side. I'm sure you love her, and will listen to her, and talk truth and common sense to her.

Your dilemma is that you live in Provo. It seems like either a girl is a complete molly-mormon early marriage breeder, or a complete rebel on drugs. In order to live in between these two extremes, she will need to be an individual. Being outside of a group gives a girl more freedom and room to grow, but it can also be lonely.

I worked, and my daughter always worked after school, like her brothers did, and that made her feel useful. Her passion was art, and she worked on several art projects at school, and was president of the art club, which was considered off-beat. She also took piano lessons and sang in the choir. If your daughter longs for attention, then the performance arts will give her that.

My daughter had a lot of fun skiing and snowboarding, and wake boarding with her brothers and their friends, and we went on hiking and mountain biking expeditions to Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, and the grandparents had a cabin in Idaho. and for a while. She did everything the boys did, plus she loved clothes shopping, and experimenting with her hair and makeup, cooking, and interior decorating. I was ecstatic when one day she told me, "I'm glad I'm a girl!" I miss her at Halloween, because her friends used to come over early, and she would put together some great costumes for them.

The point of all this rambling is, that there is a huge world and tons of opportunities out there--OUTSIDE the mormon church. Really, for a girl of intelligence and ambition (seems like your 9-year-old daughter has that already!) staying within the confines of the mormon church can be like batting her head against a brick wall.

Your little girl seems to crave leadership. Honestly, the church offers very little of that to men and women alike, because they are trained to obey and follow. She could be a wonderful executive, teacher, principal, or counselor, even if she can't ever be a priest, and still do a lot of good in the world.

My daughter chose to remain active in the church, and she graduated college, fell in love, and got married in the temple when she was 26, to a wonderful young man, who is not an overly strict mormon. They live out of state, where he is an attorney, and she is a freelance artist, now. They have a baby girl, who already is an individual. Life goes on!


Subject: Not so sure about the example that is being set
Date: Oct 18 14:14
Author: meatyboy

Yes, the original poster states that she sets an example by working outside the home and having an education. However, she also states that, as an unbeliever, she still goes to church and obviously she exposes her daughter to the damaging teachings of the church, when deep down she knows better.

A better example would be if this poster showed the courage to practice what she believes instead of faking it. If she does not believe in the church, and can see that it is so dramatically affecting her daughter in such a negative manner, then she needs to get out, and take her daughtter with her.

The only example being set is that a woman can be independent and educated, but she is still a second-class citizen in the eyes of the lord. How is that a good example?


Subject: Meaty Boy, you are bang on
Date: Oct 18 14:36
Author: Provo Girl

Meaty Boy, I must agree with you -- I can encourage my daughter, preach to her about equality, etc, but the ultimate statement would be stand up and walk out of the church. I'll get there.


Subject: I know it's easier said than done...all the best in your journey out of the Morg.....nt


Subject: I also have a 9 yo daughter.
Date: Oct 18 15:00
Author: No name for now

She has become very observant of women being treated as second class. She is well aware that I chose to leave the church for that very reason.

Something that I have not seen mentioned in the above replies is what I recommend. You say that your husband is still TBM. Has your daughter told him how she feels? I talked to my husband for years about the second class status of women in the church. He always seemed to have an answer like, "We don't understand," "God has a different role for women," etc. But, when my two daughters went to my husband with broken bread and said that they were playing girls' church, it got my husband thinking. He began researching for himself why women were barred from the priesthood; why they could not do exactly what his daughters were pretending -- pass the sacrament. He wanted to be able to answer their questions. What he found, however, was that there were no good answers. He learned that women at one time gave blessings, which they can no longer do. And he was appalled to learn that in the 60s and 70s women couldn't even pray in sacrament meeting. This was the beginning of the end of his belief in the church.

I think it would be wise to get your daughter to talk to your husband. Have him try to honestly answer her questions. If your husband can see the damage it is causing to his daughter and that there is no good explanation for it, then maybe he will see the problems within the LDS church and decide to leave it.


Subject: You have a very bright kid...
Date: Oct 18 15:02
Author: ExScriptureChaser

this issue always bothered me. In priesthood, I would say things like, 'in the temple ceremony when a woman is endowed, they also get the priesthood'. I would get a whopping from the brotheren every time. I heard: 'woman do HOLD the priesthood, EVERY NIGHT WHEN THEY GO TO BED'. That used to piss me off.

If I was gone and the kids were sick, I told my wife to give them a blessing. She never would. This inferiority is so wrong. Even in Joes day, the woman in the church layed hands and gave blessings. Its become a male chauvinistic view and I never did like it. But in a supremacy religion, where we are right, the world is wrong, its what you can expect in the Morg.

I still like to give blessing of love to my family. If there is a God, then God cares about our love for one another, not what sex we are.


Subject: Ordain her yourself. n/t


Subject: ? about current Utah/Crazy family story -
Date: Oct 18 15:22
Author: Susan I/S

It has been a looooong time since I lived in Utah and I was rather young. Do girls seem to hold equal leadership roles in the schools? In CA I would say it is equal or maybe a few more girls.

I have one aunt that is... well, to be kind I will just say VERY TBM and her husband I won't even comment on. Same couple that thinks Disney's Beauty and the Beast is horrific because Belle wants to learn instead of marry. They have seven kids, the two oldest being the only girls. The oldest girl is...5-7 years older than the oldest boy. Yet, when he turned 12 and the father was gone HE ran the house. Decided what was for dinner, punished his sibs INCLUDING his older sisters and ran his mother as well. I swear I would not have believed it if I had not seen it. A grown woman, BYU grad, asking a 12 year old boy permission for things. Shocking.


Subject: talk about your views
Date: Oct 18 15:31
Author: annie

my 7 year old daughter (quite bright/observant) said the other day she doesnt' believe in the priesthood, which was interesting. My DH attends faithfully, but I only go occasionally to keep the peace; I've used her questions to explain my own beliefs and encourage her to THINK about all this about your feelings and beliefs on this ridiculous stuff.

The real problem is, I was raised in a fairly liberal mormon home, BUT at the end of the day, no matter how relaxed my parents were about it all, after all the YW and seminary and church indocrination, I fully believed that GODS PLAN for me as a woman was to get married and have kids and do housework all the real problem is you can talk to them all you want but once they get it in their heads that the all powerful god wants this subservient life for them, that trumps all. Which is why I want my girls OUT before YW age. sooner would be better, but I'm working on it...


Subject: Re: 9 year old daughter sobbing about not being to hold the priesthood.
Date: Oct 18 17:02
Author: anon

Would it be possible to take her to another church where women are ordained, even for a single visit? Episcopalians, ELCA Lutherans and Methodists will often have female pastors, music ministers, assistant pastors, etc. It might be good for her to actually see women in leadership roles rather than just being told about it.

Two weeks ago in my congregation we had a female pastor, two female assisting pastors, a female scripture reader, two female communion assistants, a female crucifer and two female acolytes. The last two roles were filled by girls just a couple years older than your daughter. Men were serving in the roles of usher, organist, choir, altar guild, etc. It was just a quirk of scheduling that so many women were serving on the same day as it's usually more evenly split up between the sexes. My Catholic-raised husband didn't bat an eye--he's comfortable now with women clergy and often prefers their preaching style.


Subject: Girls need role models---women who are doing the things
Date: Oct 18 17:03

girls dream about doing. She will be hard-pressed to find those role models in modom since the cult's teachings permeate everything associated with it. Besides, the Mo' heirarchy's insidious but sometimes overt vilification of accomplished Mo' women who dare work outside the home for their gratification isn't lost on your daughter. Beck stood up in Mo' conference and rhetorically raped these women in front of a worldwide audience! She is getting mixed messages from you as well. You are still part of the same organization that is shreading her self-confidence and self-image but you tell her she can be anything she wants to be---well meaning but ultimately cruel, empty words because accomplished, ambitious women CAN NEVER LIVE AUTHENTIC LIVES IN THE CULT! Does your husband's ego, the cult's twisted needs and your own security come before your daughter's peace of mind? Do you really want to sacrifice her to the Morg Corporation? The greatest gift you can give your daughter---BAR NONE---is rescuing her from the clutches of the misogynistic, phallo-centric cult ASAP! Get her and yourself OUT! And it will be a gift to yourself as well---the gift that keeps on giving! TAKE IT FROM A WOMAN WHO KNOWS!!!!


Subject: So ... I take it you've ruled out telling her the priesthood's totally imaginary? nt


Subject: The girl will ask herself, "If it's imaginary, why do I have to go to church? And why,
Date: Oct 19 21:13
Author: No Way

if it's imaginary, does my father belong to it and why is my mother involved in the cult even though she's not a member?" The priesthood's a pretty powerful force in this girl's life for something imaginary! Besides, why should she play a game of "I'll pretend I believe it even if it isn't true"? That's cognitive dissonance at its worst.


Subject: I think it's better to be honest with kids. nt


Subject: Only the one...
Date: Oct 19 21:37
Author: Pan

...why wasn't your answer, "Yeah, that's because the Morg is bullshit and wants to teach you to mindlessly obey like a dog and play the role it picked out for you. That's how it's going to be. You don't have to play that game if you don't want to, but if you think the Morg is real, then get used to it."

At least, that's what went through my head when I read your post.

Hopefully, she'll come to realize this on her own before she has to undo too much.


Subject: I asked my 9 yr old niece whether she minded and I cheered her answer
Date: Oct 19 23:16
Author: Uncle Max

"Oh that doesn't matter. It's only church, it's not real life."

He he he - I wonder if my little brother knows what she's thinking.

Of course, I waded in with as much positive re-inforcement as I could.

Why are the women in my family so smart and the men so thick?


Subject: Re: 9 year old daughter sobbing about not being to hold the priesthood.
Date: Oct 19 23:15
Author: Baura

My revolutionary advice is . . .

Ask your daughter if she would like to attend a church that does allow women to hold the priesthood. Tell her it will be an experience in seeing how other churches do things. Then find a church or two with female ministers and go to them instead of the LDS church for that Sunday. If your husband objects pat him on the head and say he's SOOOOO cute when he exercises his priesthood muscle.


Subject: self-esteem issues are so much harder to combat when you're faced with HOLY gender discrimination nt

Subject: Sexist Mormonism? What if gender roles were reversed?!
Date: Oct 21 11:19
Author: Deconstructor

Being born in a Mormon family in a Mormon culture, it can be hard to see the sexist nature of the church - especially if you are a man.

You can better see how sexist the Mormon Church is if you imagine what it would be like if the gender roles were reversed.

Look at the list below and ask yourself, would any rational man join a church that..

...women held all priesthood leadership positions, including Prophet, Apostles, Stake Presidents and Bishops etc...

...God was a woman and any mention of Father in Heaven was forbidden

...only women were allowed to speak for God

...under no circumstance could a man hold a position of authority over a woman

...only women could perform church ordinances - i.e. pass the sacrament, perform baptisms or bless their own children the temple women covenanted to obey Mother in Heaven but the men covenanted to obey their wives

...the fundamental narrative upon which the entire religion were based had a man obeying Satan to eat a forbidden fruit first, which would explain why all men are so subservient to women were told time and again in General Conference from their all-female leaders that their main purpose was to be submissive to their wives age 12 the girls got the priesthood with subsequent advancement during the teen years. But the boys got nothing but a "Manhood Medallion"

...the only men's group in the church called the "Relief Society" was really run by the women apostles who made all the real decisions, controlled the budget and provided all the curriculum

...the church had a history of treating men like mindless property. Its founding leaders taught that God commanded that one woman should have plural husbands that lived by themselves and had to share the one wife with other men.

...the church founder (a woman) had over 30 secret husbands. Some of them were pre-pubescent boys she emotionally blackmailed into secret sex. Some were happily-married men who she commanded to marry her in order to "save" their families.

...the church's scriptures (D&C 132) contained a revelation by the church founder (a woman) that has Heavenly Mother saying she gives young virgin men to the founder and her husband must accept it or suffer destruction and eternal damnation

...the Book of Mormon had only four pathetic references to men but the whole rest of this "divinely inspired" book was about women

...women frequently gave men priesthood blessings of counsel, pretending to speak in the name of Heavenly Mother commanding them to obey their wives and "be faithful"

...the most precious thing a man could give his wife were his virginity/virtue who had lost their virginity before marriage were called "used cars" or "already-chewed gum"

...single men were told that they could only be exalted if their wives called upon them through the veil for exaltation the next life a woman could have as many husbands as she wanted while the husband could only have one wife

...the men were expected to take mini classes on how to change toilet flappers, sharpen lawn mower blades, or fix fences while the women met to discuss leadership doctrine

...a man who had a huge business empire and a great education was only allowed to be in charge of other men or children...never church wondered what their wife's temple names might be

Would any man in his right mind join such a church?


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