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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 05:27PM

Two Parts

PART 1

Abandoned, earlier-acknowledged and officially-practiced Mormon Church doctrine (as taught, implemented and personally preached by Joseph Smith and other top Mormon Church leaders) stated that Mormon women actually--and inherently--possess the Priesthood in their own right. Of course, that inconvenient history has since been deleted, censored and otherwise manhandled--with the original LDS doctrinal position now having been male-ego jettisoned by the Mormon Man Clan of the Cumorah Cave Bear.

Welcome to the world of Mormon god-kings where it's do as we say, forget what we taught.

Excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn makes the compelling case that Mormon women have, in fact (as a matter of official Mormon Church doctrine and practice), operatively held and exercised the Mormon priesthood since 1843. Perhaps today's LDS Blue Suits didn't get the memo.

In his essay, published in the book, "Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism" (Maxine Hanks, ed., Signature Books: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1992), Quinn makes an historically-sound case for LDS women being both recognized priesthood holders and authorized priesthood exercisers from the early days of the Mormon Church.

To be sure, in terms of perception, practice and patriarchy, that no longer is the case. (Oh, if only we were back in Mormonism’s “good ol' days," if there ever was such a thing in the suffocating sexist sinkhole of obnoxious LDS attitude and altitude).

Quinn's documentation is direct, precise, detailed, referenced and irrefutable. (The Mormon male leadership therefore hopes that its devoted flock will be disinclined to read it and will be warned off by threats of ecclesiastical punishment if they dare believe it, much less practice it).

Let's do a rare thing in the world of today's morphing Mormonism, shall we? Let's take a trip down history lane. (As we do, a friendly reminder: In Latter-day Saint Lingo Land, the word "history" is divided into two parts: "his" and "story").
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--Blame Joseph Smith for Teaching This Diabolical Doctrine: Thanks to the Official LDS Church Doctrines Espoused by Mormonism's Founding (Albeit Philandering) Father, Mormon Women Hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, Thereby Giving Them the Power to Lead the LDS Church Co-Equally and to, Among Other Things, Administer Healing Blessings

Say it ain't so, Joe!

Quinn writes:

"For 150 years, Mormon women have performed sacred ordinances in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every person who has received the LDS temple endowment knows that women perform for other women the 'initiatory ordinances' of washing and anointing.

"Fewer know that LDS women also performed ordinances of healing from the 1840s until the 1940s.

"Yet, every Mormon knows that men who perform temple ordinances and healing ordinances must have the Melchizedek priesthood. Women are no exception.

"Two weeks after he organized the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith announced his intention to confer priesthood on women. He told them on 30 March 1842 that 'the Society should move according to the ancient Priesthood' and that he was 'going to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day—as in Paul’s day.'"
_____


--Ooops! Let the Dumbing-Down Redaction Action Begin

"In printing the original minutes of [Joseph Smith's] talk after his death, the official 'History of the Church' omitted Joseph’s first use of the word 'Society' and changed the second 'Society' to 'Church.' Those two alterations changed the entire meaning of his statement.

"More recently, an LDS General Authority removed even these diminished statements from a display in the LDS Museum of Church History and Art which commemorated the sesquicentennial of the Relief Society."
_____


--Joe and Tell: Joseph Smith Handed Mormon Women the Priesthood Keys to the Kingdom

"On 28 April 1842 [Smith] returned to this subject. He told the women that 'the Keys of the Kingdom are about to be given to them that they may be able to detect everything false, as well as to the Elders.' The keys 'to detect everything false' referred to the signs and tokens used in the 'True Order of Prayer,' still practiced in LDS temples.

"Then Joseph Smith said, 'I now turn the Key to you in the name of God, and this Society shall rejoice, and knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time . . .' For 19th-century LDS women, Joseph’s words were prophecy and inspiration to advance spiritually, intellectually, socially, professionally and politically."
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--Welcome to the film You Won't See on Temple Square: According to Joseph Smith, Giving Women the Priesthood Was Part of the Law-Giver Lord's Big-Picture Restoration of the Gospel

"Mormon women did not request Priesthood--Joseph Smith would soon confer it on them as part of the Restoration of the Gospel.

"His private journal, called the 'Book of the Law of the Lord,' specified the Priesthood promise in his instructions to the women on 28 April 1842: 'gave a lecture on the Pries[t]hood showing how the Sisters would come in possession of the privileges and blessings and gifts of the Priesthood and that the signs should follow them. such as healing the sick casting out devils, etc., that they might attain unto these blessings. by a virtuous life and conversation and diligence in keeping all the commandments.'

"Joseph clearly intended that Mormon women in 1842 understand their healings were to be 'gifts of the Priesthood,' not simply ministrations of faith."
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--Mowing Down the Divinely-Decreed Doctrines of Joe: Today's General Authorities Do a Sneaky Skinback on the Teachings of Mormonism's Founder

"Apostle Dallin H. Oaks observed in a 1992 General Conference talk, “'No Priesthood Keys were delivered to the Relief Society. Keys are conferred on individuals, not organizations.' The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as organizations are not even exempt from the limitation he describes for the Relief Society. Elder Oaks noted, for instance, that 'Priesthood Keys were delivered to the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, not to any organizations.'"

Bull pucky, thus saith the historical record.
_____


--Earth to Devious Dallin: Individual Women Were Given the Full-Bore Priesthood During the Early Days of the Mormon Church

"The conferral of Priesthood on individual women occurred through what Joseph Smith and associates called the 'Holy Order' or 'Anointed Quorum' (men and women who had received the Priesthood Endowment).

"On 4 May 1842, six days after his remarks to the Relief Society, Joseph introduced nine men to the Endowment. The following year, on 28 July 1843, Presiding Patriarch Hyrum Smith, an original member of the Holy Order, blessed Leonora Cannon Taylor: 'You shall be blessed with your portion of the Priesthood which belongeth to you, that you may be set apart for your Anointing and your Endowment.'

"Two months earlier, Joseph Smith and his wife Emma were the first couple to be 'sealed' in marriage for time and eternity on 28 May 1843.

"Then, in September, the Presiding Patriarch blessed Olive G. Frost, one of Joseph Smith’s plural wives, that 'you shall be blessed with a knowledge of the mysteries of God as well as the fullness of the Priesthood.'"

"The men who received the Holy Order Endowment in 1842 did not constitute a fully-organized 'quorum' until a woman was initiated in 1843. At 7 p.m. on 28 September 1843, Joseph Smith was 'by common consent and unanimous voice chosen president of the Quorum' by 11 other previously-endowed men."

What part of "Women Have the Priesthood" don't you understand? (Today's bull-slingin' Brethren hope you don't understand any of it).
_____


--The Mormon Church's Ultimate Power Couple: Joseph Smith Gave His Wife Emma the Full Priesthood in a Second Anointing on the Same Day He Anointed Himself the LDS Church's Priesthood President

Yup. Put that in your prophetic pipe and smoke it.

". . . Emma Hale Smith became the first woman to receive Priesthood and its fullness. Willard Richards had referred to the men as 'the Quorum' in their prayer meeting of 11 September 1843, but Joseph did not officially become the Anointed Quorum’s president until the day he admitted the Quorum’s first woman.

"As newly-sustained president of the Anointed Quorum, Joseph administered the initiatory ordinances and Priesthood Endowment to his wife in an upper room of the Nauvoo Mansion. The record of 'Meetings of the Anointed Quorum' shows that at this same meeting, Joseph and Emma also became the first couple to receive the 'Second Anointing' or 'Fullness of the Priesthood.' By this ceremony, they were each 'anointed and ordained to the Highest and Holiest Order of the Priesthood.'"
_____


--Getting Rid of the Emma Dilemma: Emma Smith's Name Was Disingenuously Deleted from Historical Accounts of Her Having Received Her Priesthood-Bestowing Second Anointing

"Later, Church historians in Utah deleted Emma’s name from the 1843 description of [Joseph Smith's] 'Second Anointing of the Highest and Holiest Order.'

"However, Church historians were more direct about the Second Anointing for Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith. Apostle and Church Historian Wilford Woodruff specifically called the ordinance a 'Second Anointing,' and the 'History of the Church' describes the ordinance as: 'My brother Hyrum and his wife were blessed, ordained and anointed.'"

"Even in the 19th-century, Church publications usually called the Second Anointing by such euphemisms as 'Fulness of the Priesthood,' 'Higher Ordinances,' 'Higher Blessings' or 'Second Blessings.' However, LDS publications in both the 19th and 20th centuries sometimes identified the ordinance by its actual name: Second Anointing."

All in favor, Second the motion by raising your right hand while shouting, "Women rule!"
_____


--Expanding and Commanding: The Second Anointing Gave Mormon Women Access to Kingdom-of-God Priesthood Power

"Of the relationship between the Endowment’s Initiatory Anointing and the Second Anointing, Heber C. Kimball explained: 'You have been anointed to be Kings and Priests (or Queens and Priestesses), but you have not been ordained to it yet, and you have got to get it by being faithful.' In the Second Anointing, the husband and wife are ordained 'King and Queen, Priest and Priestess to the Most High God for Time and Throughout All Eternity.'

"Thus, Emma Smith began the fulfillment of [Joseph Smith's] promise to make the Relief Society 'a Kingdom of Priests.' She was anointed to become a 'Queen and Priestess' in the Initiatory Ordinance of the Endowment and was ordained to the fulness of those offices by the Second Anointing. First counselor Sidney Rigdon later commented on this event: 'Emma was the one to whom the female priesthood was first given.'"

[Everybody, now! Sing Along with Queen; “We Will, We Will Anoint You! https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiH4Njz1pLcAhWRneAKHTdTBjgQtwIIKTAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-tJYN-eG1zk&usg=AOvVaw2a--9rxmiCc5xwkmDCVwCb]


"A common misunderstanding claims that women receive Priesthood only through temple marriage or through the Second Anointing--both of which a husband and wife must receive together.

"However, such was not the view expressed by many of the Anointed Quorum’s original members, who learned about the Endowment directly from Joseph Smith."
_____


--Even Brig the Pig Understood What Has Going On: Brigham Young Linked Women Getting Their Temple Endowment to Them Getting the Priesthood at the Same Time

"Brigham Young’s 1843 diary associated the endowment of women with receiving Priesthood. On 29 October 1843, for example, he noted that Thirza Cahoon, Lois Cutler, and Phebe Woodworth were 'taken into the order of the priesthood.' That was the day those three women individually received their endowment. They did not join with their husbands to receive the Second Anointing until 12 and 15 November 1843, respectively.

"When his own wife received the endowment on 1 November 1843, Brigham Young wrote: 'Mary A. Young admitted in to the highest order [of] Priesthood.' She did not receive the Second Anointing with him until three weeks later.

"On 3 February 1844, William Clayton’s diary noted that he 'was permitted to the ordinance of washing and anointing, and was received into the Quorum of Priesthood.'

"On that same occasion, Jane Bicknell Young was also endowed and received 'into the Quorum of the Priesthood.' [Joseph Smith's] secretary later noted: 'All the First Quorum with one or two exceptions were present, both male and female.'

"Joseph Smith’s uncle John Smith subsequently pronounced a patriarchal blessing on Maria Turnbow which specified that it was through the endowment ceremony that a woman receives the priesthood: 'Thou shalt have an Endowment in the Lord’s house [and] be clothed with the Power of the Holy Priesthood [to] be able to redeem thy fathers house . . . '

"Bathsheba W. Bigler Smith shared this view. She entered Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum in December 1843. 'I have always been pleased that I had my endowments when the Prophet lived. He taught us the true order of prayer. I never like to hear a sermon without hearing something of the Prophet, for he gave us everything, every order of the priesthood,' Bathsheba remarked. 'He said he had given the sisters instructions that they could administer to the sick and he wanted to make us, as the women were in Paul’s day, "A kingdom of priestesses.”'"
_____


--But Wait, There's More in Store: Mormon Women Were Regarded as Independently Having the Priesthood Through Their Man-Free Personal Birthright, as Well as Through Their Second Anointing

"In February 1844, stake patriarch John Smith told an LDS woman that she had a right to Priesthood from her birth. 'Thou art of the blood of Abraham thru the loins of Manasseh and lawful heir to the Priesthood,' he said to Louisa C. Jackson. She was not among the elite Mormon women who received the Endowment before the opening of the Nauvoo temple in December 1845.Referring to her eventual Sealing and Second Anointing, the patriarch added that this woman 'shall possess it [Priesthood] in common with thy companion.'

"Louisa’s blessing showed that any Mormon woman had a birthright to Priesthood which depended on no man.

"John Smith’s blessings to Maria Turnbow and Louisa Jackson clearly show that a Mormon woman receives the Priesthood for herself through the Endowment. A Mormon woman and a Mormon man receive the Higher Priesthood blessings only as a couple through the sealing of marriage and through the Second Anointing (or 'fulness').

"As Apostle James E. Talmage wrote: 'True, there are certain of the Higher Ordinances to which an unmarried woman cannot be admitted but the rule is equally in force as to a bachelor.'

"Uncle John Smith’s Church standing and experience make it difficult to regard him as misinformed when he affirmed that there is a female birthright to Priesthood. A special counselor in the First Presidency since 1837, John Smith became a member of the Anointed Quorum on 28 September 1843, the same day his nephew Joseph received the Second Anointing. From then until he blessed Louisa Jackson, John Smith received four months of private instruction from the Prophet about the Holy Order of the Priesthood during the frequent meetings of the Anointed Quorum.

"In fact, after his ordination as Patriarch to the Church in 1849, John Smith also described the ancient dimension of this female birthright to Priesthood.

"In his blessing to Caroline Cottam in March 1853, he referred to the 'Priesthood which Abraham sealed upon his daughters.' He also blessed Elizabeth Bean in May 1853: 'I seal upon you all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and all the Priesthood that was sealed upon the daughters of Joseph in the land of Egypt . . ..' He made a similar statement in a blessing to another LDS woman in November 1853."
_____


--Lining Up for What Was Rightfully Theirs: Giving the Mormon Priesthood to Women Was Officially Regarded as a Right of Lineage Originating with the Ancient Tribes of Israel

"According to the presiding patriarch, a female Priesthood continued throughout the centuries until the sojourn of the 12 tribes in Egypt.

"According to First Counselor Heber C. Kimball in 1857, Jewish women continued to have Priesthood in the early Christian era. 'Was every woman qualified to raise that child [Jesus]?' Kimball asked. 'No. You will find that Mary was of the Royal Priesthood, which is after the order of God . . .' Like her ancestors among the Hebrew women of ancient Egypt, Mary of Nazareth also held the 'Royal Priesthood' which is now called Melchizedek."
_____


--I Don't Need No Second Anointing to Exercise Equal Priesthood Power: Mormon Women Received the Priesthood Through Their Temple Endowment, Even If They Had Not Received the Second Anointing

"On 7 December 1845, Apostle Kimball had recorded the names of 23 men and 19 women who 'are members of the Holy Order of the Holy Priesthood having received it in the lifetime of Joseph and Hyrum, the Prophets.' Of these 19 women, three had not yet received the Second Anointing.

"In the temple a week later, Kimball’s diary noted that Brigham Young 'appointed W. W. Phelps and P. P. Pratt to instruct the brethren and sisters . . . more fully into the nature and importance of the blessings and powers of the Holy Priesthood which they had received . . ..'

"Kimball’s observations that women received the Priesthood through the Endowment are significant because he usually expressed misogynous views."
_____


--Step Aside, Brother: Mormon Women Did Not Require Men in Order to Receive and Administer the Priesthood

"That same month, Patriarch John Smith made it clear that a woman did not need a man to receive and use the Priesthood.

"To a woman whose husband was a non-Mormon, the patriarch said on 16 December 1845: '[T]hou hast a right to the Priesthood by inheritance from thy Fathers, and if thy companion refuses to take his place and receive the Gospel and you abide faithful you shall not be deprived of the privilege of having it sealed upon you in fulness in due time.'

"11 days later, he told Mehitable Duty that she would use her priesthood to bless both her non-Mormon husband and children: '[T]he Priesthood in its fullness shall be confer[r]ed upon thee in due time--[T]hou shalt have power over thy relatives and friends and thy husband and children to lead them whethersoever thou wilt in as much as you seek faithfully and truly to preserve them in the bonds of the new & ev[e]rlasting covenant.'

"When he gave these blessings in December 1845, John Smith was serving as the Church’s Presiding Patriarch after Patriarch William Smith’s excommunication two months earlier.

"In a published 1845 sermon, Apostle Orson Pratt also spoke of women receiving Priesthood but he did not specify how it was conferred. 'You too, my sisters, will take a part therein,' the 'Times and Seasons' reported, 'for you will hold a portion of the priesthood with your husbands, and you will thus do a work, as well as they, that will augment that glory which you will enjoy after your resurrection.'

"Another member of Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum, Joseph Young, also affirmed that LDS women received the Melchizedek Priesthood when they were endowed--not through the sealing or Second Anointing with their husbands."

Her Rah!
_____


--Temple Queens Don't Need No Kings: Early Mormon General Authorities Taught That Women Held the Priesthood Through Their Own Temple Blessings

"[Joseph Young] gave this blessing to Zina Young Card in 1878: 'These blessings are yours, the blessings and power according to the holy Melchizedek Priesthood you received in your Endowments, and you shall have them.'

"Young had been senior president of the First Council of Seventy since 1837 and an ordained patriarch since 1873. Zina was his niece and Brigham Young’s daughter.

"In 1877, Edward Tullidge’s 'Women of Mormondom' reflected the view expressed by General Authorities for 35 years: 'The Mormon women, as well as men, hold the Priesthood.'"
_____


--Insecure Mormon Men Feeling Penned: More Male Hemming and Hawing

"Several other early LDS General Authorities held similar views about women and Priesthood. However, they were more tentative than Joseph Smith and those who received the Prophet’s personal instruction about the Endowment: 'They have the Priesthood,'

"Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter preached in 1877, 'a portion of Priesthood rests upon the sisters.' With even greater reserve, in 1888 Apostle Franklin D. Richards asked of the men 'present who have received their Endowments' the following question: 'Is it possible that we have the Holy Priesthood and our wives have none of it? Do you not see, by what I have read, that Joseph [Smith] desired to confer these keys of power upon them in connection with their husbands?'"
_____


--Open Your Eyes, Guys: Strong Evidence That Joseph Smith and Other High-Ranking Mormon Church Leaders Regarded Women as Having Received the Priesthood through Their Own Temple Endowments (As Well as Through Individual Birthright)

". . . Joseph Smith’s 1842 promise, Hyrum Smith’s patriarchal blessings in 1843, Brigham Young’s 1843 diary, William Clayton’s 1844-45 diary, Heber C. Kimball’s 1845 diary and patriarchal blessings by John Smith from 1844 on and by Joseph Young in 1878 all show that LDS women receive the Melchizedek Priesthood through the endowment alone. Local patriarchs in pioneer Utah also referred to women’s Priesthood rights.

"For example, stake patriarch Charles W. Hyde blessed a woman in 1875 that she was 'a daughter of Ephraim and [had] a right to the fullness of the Priesthood and thy children to the fourth generation.' Hyde was the last man admitted to Nauvoo’s Anointed Quorum and had given similar blessings to women since his ordination as a patriarch in 1853.50 Patriarch Ola N. Liljenquist indicated that this female birthright to priesthood was by pre-mortal foreordination.

"He told Mary Ann Dowdle that she 'was chosen in the eternal worlds to receive the fullness of the holy Priesthood with crowns and principalities and powers. Thou art of the lineage of Ephraim and an heir to all the blessings by birthright and election.

"Patriarch Liljenquist made explicit what is implied in Mormon theology--that women were also forechosen to priesthood authority before birth.

"In 1844, Joseph Smith made that specific claim regarding LDS men: 'Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before the world was.' This reflected Old Testament and Book of Mormon statements about foreordination of men to priesthood office and to an 'order' of the priesthood (such as Melchizedek)."
_____


--Women Foreordained for Priesthood Reign: Canonized LDS Scripture Does Not Exclude Women from Being Foreordained to the Priesthood

". . . Mormon scripture’s most detailed view of the pre-mortal world did not differentiate between men and women in this forechoosing to authority: 'Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these [not just the male ones] there were many of the noble and great ones; and God . . . said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits [not just male spirits], and he saw that they were good . . . ' (Book of Abraham, 3:22-23). This includes females among 'all' God’s intelligences and spirits who were noble, good and forechosen (or foreordained) to be leaders and to receive authority.

"Currently for males, this foreordination to authority is fulfilled in LDS Priesthood office.

"For females. this foreordination is fulfilled in their receiving the Priesthood Endowment and opportunities for Church service. This foreordination is the theological basis for Patriarch John Smith’s blessings during Joseph Smith’s lifetime that women have a 'birthright' to Priesthood."
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--The Retreat of Weak-Kneed Mormon Males Picks Up Speed: LDS Church Leaders Began Hedging on LDS Church Doctrine That Acknowledged Reception of Female Priesthood (While Still Preaching That Women Received the Priesthood Through Their Own Temple Endowment)

"For those who marshal other proof-texts that women do not hold priesthood separate from their husbands, the earliest example came from Brigham Young. LDS women 'have no right to meddle in the affairs of the Kingdom of God,' he preached in March 1845. 'Outside the pale of this, they have a right to meddle because many of them are more sagacious and shrewd and more competent [than men] to attend to things of financial affairs.' Then he added, 'They never can hold the keys of the Priesthood apart from their husbands.'

"This earliest limitation on women’s ecclesiastical authority did not deny that endowed women receive a conferral of Melchizedek Priesthood. Instead, Brigham Young first denied that women had any claim to administrative authority within the Church, 'to meddle in the affairs of the Kingdom of God.'

"Second, he denied that a woman 'can hold the keys of the Priesthood' by herself, for the reason that this right of Presidency comes to women only through the second anointing.

"These were not denials that Mormon women receive priesthood through the endowment, as indicated by President Young later.

"In January 1846, he wrote of 'the anxiety manifested by the Saints [not just men] to receive the ordinances of the Endowment and no less on our part to have them get the Keys of the Priesthood . . ..'

"In 1867, he preached that God was 'bestowing upon His sons and daughters, who are worthy, this Priesthood, and Kingly Power to increase subjects and obtain territory, to extend the greatness of their Kingdom forever . . .'

"In an 1874 sermon, he also said: 'Now. brethren, the man that honors his Priesthood, the woman that honors her Priesthood, will receive an everlasting inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

"As indicated in Brigham Young’s 1843 diary and the Nauvoo blessings by Hyrum Smith and John Smith, women Receive priesthood through the Endowment. Women receive the keys of Presidency with their husbands through the Second Anointing. This 'fullness of Priesthood' confers on women the right to rule and reign as eternal Queens and Priestesses."
_____


--Words Matter, Fellas: Mormon Women Receive the Priesthood by the Very Definition of the Term "Priesthood Keys"

"The historical evidence that women hold Priesthood is also consistent with the definition of Priesthood 'Keys' in the LDS Church’s 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism.' 'The Keys of the Priesthood refer to the right to exercise power in the name of Jesus Christ,' explains the article and then adds, 'or to preside over a Priesthood function, quorum, or organizational division of the Church.'

"In the previously cited, uncensored minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society, Joseph Smith promised 'Keys of the Kingdom' to women in 1842.

"As indicated, Brigham Young and Franklin D. Richards reaffirmed the conferral of Priesthood keys upon women through the temple ordinances.

"In concert with the 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism ‘s first definition of "Priesthood Keys, Apostle Richards also affirmed the right of women to 'exercise power in the name of Jesus Christ' . . .

"Joseph Smith’s wife Emma presided over the Relief Society but the record does not indicate whether he promised women the Keys of Priesthood presidency within the Church, which is the second part of the 'Encyclopedia ‘s' definition."
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--Stripping Mormon Women of Their Priesthood Rights: The Mormon Church’s Emerging Male Leadership Rationale for Denying the Joseph Smith's Official Mormon Doctrine that LDS Women Inherently Possess the Priesthood

"As in Brigham Young’s 1845 statement, Church administrative power is the real context for all subsequent denials that women have Priesthood. If women have Priesthood, the often-unexpressed fear goes, they might challenge the administrative powers of males who have been ordained deacons, teachers, priests, elders, seventies, high priests and apostles.

"Conversely, the argument is that since women have not been ordained to one of those offices, they do not have Priesthood.

"First Presidency Counselor Charles W. Penrose made this argument specific in 1921: 'Sisters have said to me sometimes, "But I hold the Priesthood with my husband." ‘Well,’ I asked, "what office do you hold in the Priesthood?" Then they could not say much more. The sisters are not ordained to any office in the Priesthood . . . '

"However, such reasoning ignores Joseph Smith’s earliest revelation defining the Priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 84. Ordained offices are not the Priesthood but only 'appendages' to the Priesthood: 'And again the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the High Priesthood. And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the Lesser Priesthood, which Priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons' (Doctrine and Covenants, 84:29-30).

"According to an 1835 revelation, even the apostleship is an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood, for 'all other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood' (D&C 107:5).

"Priesthood exists independently of Church offices, but Church offices are appendages which cannot exist without the Priesthood.

"As Church president Joseph F. Smith told General Conference, 'If an Apostle has any authority at all, he derives it from the Melchizedek Priesthood.' He added that 'all the offices in the Church are simply appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and grow out of it.'"
_____


--Joe Knows What Goes When It Comes to Female Priesthood: According to His Own Teachings, Mormon Women Do Not Need Priesthood Offices in Order to Hold the Priesthood

"A woman does not need an appendage to have priesthood. According to Joseph Smith’s teachings to the Relief Society and to the Anointed Quorum, a woman receives Melchizedek priesthood when she receives the endowment. The confusion of priesthood office with priesthood has characterized many contemporary discussions of women and Priesthood."
_____


--Follow This, Fellas: Mormon Women in the Early LDS Church Were Ordained and Given Priesthood Power in Order to Preside

"However, just as counselors in the First Presidency were 'ordained' by Joseph Smith, Emma Smith was 'ordained to expound the Scriptures' and her counselors were ordained to preside over the Nauvoo Relief Society. In the 19th century the word 'ordain' was also used for appointing persons to proselyting missions and to heal. However, I [Quinn] find no evidence that Mormon men ever ordained a woman to a specific priesthood office of the Church."
_____


--Women Priesthood Power Persists, Despite Patriarchy Pushback: Mormon Women Presently Continue to Personally Obtain the Priesthood Through Receiving Their Temple Endowment, Even If They Are Not Assigned Particular Priesthood Ranks

". . . [E]very endowed Mormon woman has received the Melchizedek Priesthood from 1843 to the present. In 1912, Apostle James E. Talmage affirmed: 'It is a precept of the Church that women of the Church share the authority of the Priesthood with their husbands, actual or prospective; and therefore women, whether taking the endowment for themselves or for the dead, are not ordained to specific rank in the Priesthood. Nevertheless, there is no grade, rank, or phase of the Temple Endowment to which women are not eligible on an equality with men.'"
_____


--Desperate Comparisons Made by Mormon-Manager Male Apologists: Women Being Granted the Mormon Priesthood Is Not the Same as Black Men Being Granted the Mormon Priesthood, Since Women Historically Received the Priesthood Through Their Temple Endowments (a Privilege that Black Men Were Not Afforded Until It Was Later "Revealed" to Do So)

". . . [T]he relationship of women to Priesthood should not be compared to the LDS Church’s pre-1978 denial of Priesthood to anyone of black African ancestry. In that case Joseph Smith authorized the ordination of one African-American, Elijah Abel, to the offices of elder and seventy.

"Brigham Young reversed this and taught that it was contrary to God’s will for anyone of Black African ancestry to hold Priesthood. This became doctrine and all persons of Black African descent were denied Priesthood and the temple Endowment.

"A subsequent prophet had to obtain new revelation allowing ordination of Blacks to Priesthood.

"In contrast, the documents and leaders of early Mormonism affirm that women receive Priesthood through the Endowment. New revelation would only confirm this reality, not create it. However, unaware of the female Priesthood theology in Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum, current LDS presidents and apostles regard new revelation as necessary to change a 20th-century definition that is now regarded as doctrinal.

"For example, President Spencer W. Kimball announced in June 1978: 'We pray to God to reveal his mind and we always will, but we don’t expect any revelation regarding women and the Priesthood.' This was just after his announcement of the revelation authorizing the priesthood to men of Black African descent.

"Without an appeal to new revelation about female Priesthood office, Eliza R. Snow, Zina D. Young and Sarah M. Kimball presumed to organize the Relief Societies of pioneer Utah wards with women as 'deaconesses,' 'teachers' and 'priestesses.'"
_____


--Title This: Priesthood Titles Which Mormon Women Have Held in Times Past

"Existing records do not show precedent in Joseph Smith’s teachings for ordaining women to Church offices of deacon, elder, priest, bishop or high priest, or for feminizing those titles.

"However, Eliza R. Snow held the honorary title of 'Presidentess' as president of the Relief Society. Some women called Eliza, Zina D. Young, and Bathsheba W. Smith by the less appropriate title of 'Presiding High Priestess.' This referred to their role as 'President of the Women’s Department” of female ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Endowment House and Salt Lake temple.

"The Endowment anoints Mormon women to become Queens and Priestesses. From 1843 to the 1920s, thousands of women also received confirmation as eternal Queens and Priestesses through the Second Anointing.

"Currently, some women have received this 'Fullness of the Priesthood' with their husbands. In the Salt Lake temple, the Second Anointing still occurs in the 'Holy of Holies' room which James E. Talmage wrote 'is reserved for the Higher Ordinances in the Priesthood . . ..'

"The Second Anointing for both men and women is distinct from ordination to Church Priesthood offices.

"Like Miriam of the Old Testament and Anna of the New Testament, any LDS woman may have the gift to be a prophetess. That personal relationship with God has nothing to do with Church office. It was not uncommon in the 19th century for patriarchs to promise a Mormon woman that 'thou shalt be a natural Prophetess in the house of Joseph . . .'

"One Church president even maintained that a Mormon woman could be a revelator for the entire Church. Concerning the hymn 'O My Father,' President Wilford Woodruff told the April 1894 General Conference: 'That hymn is a revelation, though it was given unto us by a woman--Sister Eliza R. Snow. There are a great many sisters who have the spirit of revelation. There is no reason why they should not be inspired as well as men.' This hymn-revelation from Eliza R. Snow to the Church is one of the earliest statements in Mormon theology about a supreme goddess, the 'Heavenly Mother.'

"A Church president continued to affirm the role of women as prophetesses into the 20th century. 'I believe that every mother has the right to be a prophetess and to have the gift of sight, foreseeing prescience, to foresee danger and evil and to know what to do in her family and in her sphere,'

"Joseph F. Smith affirmed in 1913. 'They are prophetesses, they are seers, they are revelators to their households and to their families . . . '

"Without ordination to specific offices of Priesthood, women have avoided aspirations and abuses common to Church offices reserved for men (D&C 121:34-40)."
_____


--Enough to Make Mormon Male Chauvinists Sick: Mormon Women Have Exercised Their Own Priesthood Power Through Bestowing Healing Blessings

"For 100 years after Joseph Smith said 'I now turn the key to' LDS women, their most common and well-known priesthood activity was in performing the ordinances of healing. The focus on healing may have resulted from Brigham Young’s distrust of 19th-century medical practice combined with the fact that Mormon women received gynecological and obstetrical care from midwives and female physicians. These two factors spared LDS women the questionable treatment which the male medical establishment inflicted on women throughout the rest of Victorian America.

"It is essential to recognize that 19-century Mormon women performed healing ordinances by virtue of the Priesthood they held, not simply as an act of faith.

"For example, in the previously cited blessing to Caroline Cottam in March 1853, the Presiding Patriarch sealed on her 'the blessings and Priesthood which Abraham sealed upon his daughters, with power to heal the sick in your house . . . '

"In the patriarchal blessing to Elizabeth Bean two months later, John Smith also said that her Priesthood gave 'you the power to heal the sick and to understand all the principles of the Priesthood, and mysteries that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world.'

"Eliza R. Snow and Zina D. Young wanted to limit the exercise of healing ordinances to women who had received the Endowment because they believed that endowed women had received Priesthood.

"LDS Church leaders continued to authorize women to perform healing ordinances even after the hierarchy stopped affirming that women received Priesthood through the endowment.

"Two factors guaranteed the continuation of these healing ordinances by LDS women.

"First, consecrated oil was applied directly to the affected part of the body.

"Second, the Victorian era’s attitudes (despite their repressiveness toward women) enhanced Mormon women’s role as healers. It was unthinkable for LDS leaders to allow men to touch any private region of a woman’s body to accomplish healing, especially in connection with pregnancy, childbirth, or a 'female problem.'"
_____


--More Mormon Church Ducking, Dodging and Denying: Backpedaling on Mormon Women's Priesthood Authority to Perform Healing Blessings

"In 1878, [a] Salt Lake stake president both undercut and reaffirmed the Priesthood authority of women. 'Women could only hold the Priesthood in connection with their husbands; man held the priesthood independent of woman,' Angus M. Cannon began, then he concluded: 'but women must be careful how they use the authority of the priesthood in administering to the sick.' Aside from being president of the central stake, Angus was also brother of first presidency counselor George Q. Cannon.

"His counselor in the Salt Lake stake presidency acknowledged in 1884 what he saw as the only reason that women performed [379] healing ordinances for women: 'There are often cases when it would be indelicate for an Elder to anoint, especially certain parts of the body, and the sisters are called to do this and blessing follows, but in each instance let her act by request of the Priesthood.'

"The stake counselor next expressed his own discomfort with 'sisters who claim they have been blessed and set apart by the authority of God to anoint the sick of their own sex.'

"He emphasized that each LDS woman 'holds Priesthood in connection with her husband, but not separate from him.'

"He concluded with a tirade against the 'vain ambition' and 'grave mistakes some of our sisters have made in seeking to raise herself to an equality with man in all things.'

"This was a significant retreat from the confident affirmations of female priesthood by the men in Nauvoo’s Anointed Quorum. These 1884 statements by the Salt Lake Stake counselor were symptoms of a growing misogyny in the guise of male Priesthood superiority."
_____


--The Death of Early Mormon Church Leaders (Combined with the Rise of Mormon Misogyny), Led to the Ultimate Reversal of the LDS Doctrine Giving Women the Priesthood (Although for a Time, Mormon Women Were Still Regarded as Empowered to Give Healing Blessings)

"By the early 1880s, death had taken all the General Authorities who had specifically stated that the endowment conferred priesthood upon women. Joseph and Hyrum Smith died in 1844, and John Smith joined them a decade later. Heber C. Kimball died in 1868, and Brigham Young in 1877. Sidney Rigdon had been excommunicated in 1844 but continued to affirm Nauvoo’s 'female priesthood' until his death in 1876. In 1881, both Orson Pratt and Joseph Young died.

"By 1888, Mormon misogyny was linked with denials of women’s authority, and this resulted in a public comment by Apostle Franklin D. Richards. He said: 'Every now and again we hear men speak tauntingly of the sisters and lightly of their public duties, instead of supporting and encouraging them.'

"Apostle Richards added: 'There are also some who look with jealousy upon the moves of the sisters as though they might come to possess some of the gifts, and are afraid they [LDS women] will get away with some of the blessings of the Gospel which only men ought to possess.' Because of this 'envy and jealousy,' Apostle Richards said some Mormon men 'don’t like to accord to them [Mormon women] anything that will raise them up and make their talents to shine forth as the daughters of Eve and Sarah.'

"Franklin D. Richards is the only General Authority to publicly acknowledge that jealousy and fear are the basis for the opposition of some Mormon men against the spiritual growth of all Mormon women.

"As late as April 1896, Apostle Richards reaffirmed the independent source of women’s authority to perform healing ordinances. This senior apostle and Church historian instructed LDS women that they have 'the right' to say these words in administering to the sick: 'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Anointing which I have received.'

"Until 1900, the First Presidency also authorized women to use the word 'seal' in this ordinance.

"Although Church president Joseph F. Smith endorsed the role of women in performing healing ordinances, he diminished the basis on which they did so. President Smith and his wives jointly performed healing administrations for Church members.

"In 1903, for example, Alice Kimball Smith anointed a stake president’s daughter and then President Smith sealed the ordinance."
_____


--The Encroaching Death of the Priesthood Rights of Mormon Women: The Decision to Deny Mormon Women Their Personal Priesthood Authority and Power to Perform Healing Blessings

"Beginning in 1908, . . . Joseph F. Smith instructed that it was not necessary for a woman to be endowed to perform anointings and blessings for the sick. That statement removed for the first time the ordinance of healing from the Priesthood conferred upon women by the Endowment.

"From the 1890 Manifesto ostensibly banning polygamy to the early 1900s, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve redefined many LDS doctrines. The relation of women to the Priesthood endowment was only one of these redefinitions.

"However, the First Presidency continued to authorize women to anoint women for healing--only because of the Church practice of using consecrated oil directly on the affected parts of the body.

"In December 1935, the Presiding Bishopric and First Presidency discussed a report that Apostle John A. Widtsoe had instructed missionaries in Europe to 'anoint the head only. ‘The Presidency disagreed with this change and decided that 'if the sick person desires to be anointed by the elders on the afflicted part, this may be done and the sick person [be] allowed to drink some of the consecrated oil.'

"Consequently, when men stopped anointing various parts of men’s bodies with consecrated oil for healing, it became possible to exclude women from anointing and blessing the sick.

"That policy change did not become final for another decade. In 1946, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith informed the Relief Society General Presidency that it was no longer approved 'for sisters to wash and anoint other sisters.' Instead, he said that women should 'send for the Elders of the Church to come and administer to the sick and afflicted.'

"Thus, a century of Mormon women’s sacred ordinances no longer had the approval of the Church’s hierarchy. An era had officially ended."
_____


--Bludgeoning Mormon Women into Submission by Fostering Undeserved Doubt: Some LDS Women Began Questioning Whether They Had Official Church Approval to Perform Healing Priesthood Blessings

". . . [S]ome LDS women had been undermining their own Priesthood ordinances by questioning whether their gift of healing had institutional approval. As early as 1913, Relief Society General President Emmeline B. Wells expressed hope that 'the blessing will not be taken from us' by disapproving General Authorities.

"And in 1935, a woman asked if it was 'orthodox and sanctioned by the Church today' for women to perform such healing ordinances. Relief Society General President Louise Y. Robison replied that 'it is our earnest hope that we may continue to have that privilege, and up to the present time the Presidents of the Church have always allowed it to us.' [Gag]

"Female blessings and healings could not long survive such tentativeness expressed from top to bottom in the Mormon women’s ranks."
_____


--The Eventual Demeaning Demise of the Official Mormon Church Doctrine of Women Holding and Exercising Their Priesthood Power

"The Book of Mormon warned that gifts of the spirit such as healing would die only through unbelief (Moroni 10:8, 11, 19, 26). LDS women have the same access to gifts of the spirit as men and can exercise their faith in healing.

"Anciently, the apostles tried to circumscribe the exercise of spiritual gifts by condemning a person who healed the sick but who was not a follower of Jesus. Jesus answered their objection with the words, 'Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us' (Luke 9:50).

"Mormon men need this biblical reminder updated, 'Forbid her not, for she that is not against us is for us.'

"No woman needs a man’s permission to lay her hands on her child’s head and utter a blessing. Whether by Priesthood Endowment or spiritual gift, an LDS woman may give a blessing to anyone, in or out of her family, in or out of the Church.

"To some LDS men this is a frightening prospect.

"Several even reportedly threatened to kill a devoted Mormon who recently suggested that women should have the opportunity for ordination to every Priesthood office. A death threat has no bearing on what God confers on women but it is unfortunate evidence of misogyny in modern Mormonism.

"Such death threats are also an extreme version of the attitude about women expressed in a well-publicized statement by . . . General Authority [Hartman Rector]. If the female portion of humankind were to receive the priesthood, he wrote, then 'the male would be so far below the female in power and influence that there would be little or no purpose for his existence-- in fact [he] would probably be eaten by the female as is the case with the black widow spider.'

"Perhaps if persons with that view learn that every endowed LDS woman already has the priesthood, they will not feel threatened by women who desire to exercise the gifts of God to them in faith, power and humility.

"In any event the contemporary cliché 'Women hold the Priesthood only when they hold their husbands' is as demeaning as it is untrue. Neither should Priesthood-endowed women be limited by the condescension of one Church leader: 'We can hold it [Priesthood] and share it with our wives.'

"Nor constrained by his claim that every Mormon husband 'needs to feel dominant: '. . . Young sisters, if you take that role from him, the one he needs, you reduce his manhood . . .' That is very close to the other General Authority’s view of independent women as man-eating spiders.

"In the contemporary LDS Church, there are uncomfortable evidences for Apostle Franklin D. Richards’ century-old observation that jealousy and fear motivate LDS men to limit LDS women. . ..

"In fact, LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball spoke against gender condescension. 'Our sisters do not wish to be indulged or to be treated condescendingly; they desire to be respected and revered as our sisters and our equals,' he told General Priesthood Conference. 'I mention these things, my brethren, . . . because in some situations our behavior is of doubtful quality.'

"President Kimball also wrote a foreword to the Brigham Young University publication of Hugh W. Nibley’s discourse on the ideal of marriage in God’s Eden: 'There is no patriarchy or matriarchy in the Garden; the two supervise each other--and [are] just as dependent on each other.'

"In effect, nearly all authoritative statements by modern apostles have been inaccurate concerning the matter of women holding the Priesthood.

"Church historian and apostle Joseph Fielding Smith juxtaposed such an inaccurate perception with its actual contradiction: 'Women do not hold the Priesthood but if they are faithful and true, they will become Priestesses and Queens in the Kingdom of God and that implies that they will be given authority.'

"As indicated by the earlier quotes from Elder Smith’s own relatives in the Mormon hierarchy, it is through the temple ordinances that women receive Priesthood on earth in training for their role as Queens and Priestesses in eternity.

"In 1958, Elder Smith highlighted this contradiction between the official denial that women have Priesthood and the actual authority they have through the Temple Endowment. He began with the unambiguous declaration that 'the sisters have not been given the Priesthood.'

"However, he immediately undercut his argument by describing women’s role in the temple: 'And you sisters who labor in the House of the Lord can lay your hands upon your sisters, and with divine authority, because the Lord recognizes positions which you occupy . . . because the Lord has placed authority upon you.'

"He added that temple ordinances performed by women are 'binding just as thoroughly as are the blessings that are given by the men who hold the Priesthood.'

"His only resolution for the paradox between modern denial and temple experience: 'Authority and Priesthood are two different things.'"
_____


--Splitting Heirs to the Throne: Defining "Authority" vis-a-vis "Priesthood" in the Mormon Church When It Comes to Alleged Female Power and Authority

"[Joseph Fielding Smith's] distinction works only because contemporary Mormon theology gives two meanings to the word 'authority':

"'Authority' means both power and permission. In the first sense. authority is the Priesthood power of God. Through the Endowment, both men and women receive God’s authority or power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Men also receive Priesthood power through ordination to specific office.

"The second sense of authority is the permission of the Church. Neither males nor females can exercise their Priesthood without permission of the Church. However, both males and females have received such permission from the Church in various ways.

"For LDS males, conferral of power and the permission to exercise Priesthood in the Church come in stages.

"First, males are ordained to Priesthood office which is defined in terms of administering to others. The Priesthood that they receive in the Endowment is the same Priesthood power conferred on them in stages by ordination to office. The offices of 'King and Priest' come provisionally to men through the Endowment and in fullness through the second anointing. As Brigham Young preached in 1843, 'For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and a priest . . .. A man may be anointed King and Priest [in the Endowment] long before he receives his kingdom [in the Second Anointing].

"Second, males receive formal permission from the Church to exercise their priesthood in behalf of others.

"There are two ways in which the LDS Church gives formal authority for males to exercise the Priesthood they receive by ordination and the Endowment.

"First, through the ordinance of being "set apart” --as a missionary, temple ordinance worker, or Church presiding officer such as stake president or auxiliary president.

"Second, Church leaders give verbal 'authority' for males to use their Priesthood for specific occasions or ordinances such as administering the sacrament, baptism, confirmation, and administering to the sick through anointing, sealing the anointing and blessing. This applies to Mormon males from the age of 12 onward."
_____


--Scroll Forward, Guys, Not Backward: How Mormon Women, Even to This Day, Get Their Own Priesthood Power and Authority

"For LDS women, Melchizedek priesthood does not come in stages of ordination but in the temple endowment. Historically LDS women also have received Church authority to exercise their Melchizedek priesthood power in behalf of others.

"Like LDS boys and men, females receive the ordinance of being set apart as missionaries, temple ordinance workers, and presiding officers such as auxiliary presidents.

"And as already discussed, LDS Church leaders have given verbal and written authority for LDS women to perform priesthood ordinances including blessing and healing.

"Church policy revoked that permission in 1946 but could reinstate it at any time.

"In addition, LDS Church leaders could extend permission for endowed women to administer the sacrament, baptize, confirm, and confer the gift of the Holy Ghost since those ordinances are within the powers of anyone who has received the Melchizedek priesthood.

"In today’s Church, a woman who has received the temple endowment has more priesthood power than a boy who holds the office of priest.

"However, the priest has more permission to exercise his priesthood than does the endowed woman to exercise hers.

"The temple endowment has not changed in fundamental ways since its introduction. The endowment gives today exactly what it conferred from 1842 to 1846.

"During those four years, Joseph Smith and those he endowed all affirmed that women receive the Melchizedek priesthood when they receive the endowment.

"The documents of 19th-century Mormon history also indicate that women have been heirs and recipients of the Melchizedek priesthood since the days of biblical patriarchs. Melchizedek priesthood conferral has always been independent of the offices of the LDS Church.

"Mormon women already have God’s priesthood of spiritual power. Without asking permission they may draw on the power of the Melchizedek priesthood that is theirs by birthright and by divine endowment.

"However, it is necessary for endowed women to receive permission of the Church to use their priesthood in Church settings to administer the sacrament, baptize, confirm or administer temple ordinances.

"Without ordination to priesthood offices, each endowed LDS woman already has the opportunity to fulfill in her life the prophet’s promise: 'I now turn the key to you in the name of God.'"

(D. Michael Quinn, "Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843," Chapter 17, "Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism," Maxine Hanks, ed., Signature Books: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1992, text and footnotes)
_____



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2018 05:42PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 05:29PM

PART 2 Of 2

Finally, below is the case for inherent LDS female priesthood power and authority, as made by a website advocating for a good dose of enlightening "liberalism" in the Mormon Church:

"Women and Priesthood

"The scriptures teach that male and female are alike to God. It is difficult to see how that teaching can be reconciled with excluding women from priesthood offices, just as it was difficult to see how the pre-1978 black priesthood ban could be reconciled with the teaching that black and white are alike to God (2 Ne. 26:33).

"Claims that men and women have 'equal but complimentary" roles sound uncomfortably like the "separate but equal' rhetoric that once justified racism.

"Given that women serve priestly functions during temple ordinances, it is not obvious why they could not do the same in other areas of Church service.

"During the 19th century, Mormon women also anointed and blessed the sick.

"Ordaining women and girls to priesthood office would require a new understanding of gender among the Saints and perhaps a new understanding of priesthood itself.

"It remains to be seen whether the Saints may someday come into new light on this issue.

"A first step might be to understand priesthood not as authority bestowed on individuals but as a gift to the Church as a whole. The restoration of the priesthood commissioned the Church collectively to undertake God's work. All members, male and female, are empowered for service through priesthood ordinances: baptism, confirmation, the endowment. Priesthood offices are just some of the diverse capacities in which Latter-day Saints are called to use their spiritual gifts to bless others' lives (D&C 46:15-16).

"Eliza R. Snow:

"'Is it necessary for sisters to be set apart to officiate in the sacred ordinances of washing, anointing and laying on of hands in administering to the sick? . . . It certainly is not.

"'Any and all sisters who honor their holy endowments, not only have the right, but should feel it a duty whenever called upon to administer to our sisters in these ordinances, which God has graciously committed to His daughters as well to His sons; and we testify that when administered and received in faith and humility they are accompanied with all mighty power. Inasmuch as God our Father has revealed these sacred ordinances and committed them to His saints, it is not only our privilege but our imperative duty to apply them for the relief of human suffering.'

("Woman's Exponent," 15 September 1884, 61; quoted in Linda King Newell, "A Gift Given, A Gift Taken:
Washing, Anointing, and Blessing the Sick among Mormon Women," in "The New Mormon History" [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992], p. 105


"'Bathsheba W. Smith:

"'I never like to hear a sermon without hearing something of the Prophet, for he gave us everything, every order of the priesthood. He said he had given the sisters instructions that they could administer to the sick and he wanted to make us, as the women were in Paul's day, "A kingdom of priestesses.'

("Pioneer Stake Relief Society Minutes," 9 June 1905; quoted in D. Michael Quinn, "Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843," in "Women and Authority" [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992], p. 369


John A. Widtsoe:

"'Paul the Apostle, speaking in an earlier day, said that "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:11.) This notable statement implies that woman . . . bears joint responsibility with the man in establishing the Kingdom of God; and, that the work will fail unless both do their duty. . .. There can be no question in the Church about man's rights versus woman's rights. They have the same rights.'

("Relief Society Magazine," June-July 1943, p. 372)


"'Eldred G. Smith:

"'If service is the work of God and if we are to become as he is and return to live with him in his kingdom, our work must be to serve others. There are many ways to serve. Every activity of the Church provides an opportunity to serve—priesthood, Relief Society, genealogy, the paying of tithes; all of the auxiliary organizations are mediums through which we may serve.'

("Conference Report," April 1967, p. 78)


"'Ardeth Greene Kapp:

"'If we were to begin with the time a child is given a name and a blessing--and then continue on through baptism, confirmation, the sacrament, callings and being set apart, patriarchal blessings, administrations, the endowment and finally celestial marriage--we would quickly realize that all the saving blessings of the priesthood are for everyone, male and female.'

("My Neighbor, My Sister, My Friend" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990], pp. 75-76


"'Chieko N. Okazaki:

"'Priesthood isn't a matter of who's in charge and who gets to give orders. It's a matter of serving others. Every officer and every member, whether man or woman or child, needs that feeling of being sustained, both by members who hold the priesthood and by those who do not, so that all the members, men and women, can be strengthened."

("Disciples" (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), p. 65; above commentary and quotations found at: http://www.liberalmormon.net/303wom.shtml)

**********


In early Mormon doctrine and practice, LDS women were recognized as full and equal priesthood holders, participators and exercisers.

No more.

The patriarchal pigs have doubled down and are ruthlessly running the farm.

Geezus, Blessed Mary Mother of God, and What-the-Hell??

Why LDS women would even want the Mormon priesthood--especially when it is Mormon men who ultimately invent the Mormon Church's rules and who then change those rules in order to jealously maintain their delusional "divinely-dictated" power and dominance over women (all in the name of their invented Mormon male god, of course) --is, well, completely beyond me.

(Don't get me started on Joseph Smith's obsessive, predatory, narcissistic, god-invoking, multi-wifing, schizophrenic, sociopathological chasing of teenage girls. Mormonism: What a messed-up, conflicted, weirded-out lurchy churchy).




"First counselor Sidney Rigdon later commented on this event: 'Emma was the one to whom the female priesthood was first given.”'

"A common misunderstanding claims that women receive priesthood only through temple marriage or through the Second Anointing--both of which a husband and wife must receive together.

"However, such was not the view expressed by many of the Anointed Quorum’s original members, who learned about the endowment directly from Joseph Smith."
_____


--Brigham Young Linked Females Getting Their Temple Endowment to Them Getting the Priesthood at the Same Time

"Brigham Young’s 1843 diary associated the endowment of women with receiving priesthood. On 29 October 1843, for example, he noted that Thirza Cahoon, Lois Cutler, and Phebe Woodworth were 'taken into the order of the priesthood.' That was the day those three women individually received their endowment. They did not join with their husbands to receive the Second Anointing until 12 and 15 November 1843, respectively.

"When his own wife received the endowment on 1 November 1843, Brigham Young wrote: 'Mary A. Young admitted in to the highest order [of] Priesthood.' She did not receive the Second Anointing with him until three weeks later.

"On 3 February 1844, William Clayton’s diary noted that he 'was permitted to the ordinance of washing and anointing, and was received into the Quorum of Priesthood.'

"On that same occasion, Jane Bicknell Young was also endowed and received 'into the Quorum of the Priesthood.' [Joseph Smith's] secretary later noted: 'All the first quorum with one or two exceptions were present both male and female.

"Joseph Smith’s uncle John Smith subsequently pronounced a patriarchal blessing on Maria Turnbow which specified that it was through the endowment ceremony that a woman receives the priesthood: 'Thou shalt have an Endowment in the Lord’s house [and] be clothed with the Power of the Holy Priesthood [to] be able to redeem thy fathers house . . . '

"Bathsheba W. Bigler Smith shared this view. She entered Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum in December 1843. 'I have always been pleased that I had my endowments when the Prophet lived. He taught us the true order of prayer. I never like to hear a sermon without hearing something of the Prophet, for he gave us everything, every order of the priesthood,' Bathsheba remarked. 'He said he had given the sisters instructions that they could administer to the sick and he wanted to make us, as the women were in Paul’s day, "A kingdom of priestesses.”'"
_____


--Mormon Women Were Regarded as Having the Priesthood Through Personal Birthright, as Well as Through the Second Anointing

"In February 1844 stake patriarch John Smith told an LDS woman that she had a right to priesthood from her birth. 'Thou art of the blood of Abraham thru the Loins of Manasseh and lawful heir to the Priesthood,' he said to Louisa C. Jackson. She was not among the elite Mormon women who received the endowment before the opening of the Nauvoo temple in December 1845.Referring to her eventual sealing and Second Anointing, the patriarch added that this woman 'shall possess it [priesthood] in common with thy companion.'

"Louisa’s blessing showed that any Mormon woman had a birthright to priesthood which depended on no man.

"John Smith’s blessings to Maria Turnbow and Louisa Jackson clearly show that a Mormon woman receives the priesthood for herself through the endowment. A Mormon woman and a Mormon man receive the higher priesthood blessings only as a couple through the sealing of marriage and through the Second Anointing (or 'fullness').

"As Apostle James E. Talmage wrote: 'True, there are certain of the higher ordinances to which an unmarried woman cannot be admitted but the rule is equally in force as to a bachelor.'

"Uncle John Smith’s Church standing and experience make it difficult to regard him as misinformed when he affirmed that there is a female birthright to priesthood. A special counselor in the First [370] Presidency since 1837, John Smith became a member of the Anointed Quorum on 28 September 1843, the same day his nephew Joseph received the second anointing. From then until he blessed Louisa Jackson, John Smith received four months of private instruction from the prophet about the Holy Order of the Priesthood during the frequent meetings of the Anointed Quorum.

"In fact, after his ordination as Patriarch to the Church in 1849, John Smith also described the ancient dimension of this female birthright to priesthood.

"In his blessing to Caroline Cottam in March 1853, he referred to the 'Priesthood which Abraham sealed upon his daughters.'

"He also blessed Elizabeth Bean in May 1853: 'I seal upon you all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and all the priesthood that was sealed upon the daughters of Joseph in the land of Egypt . . . '

"He made a similar statement in a blessing to another LDS woman in November 1853."
_____


--Giving Mormon Priesthood to Women Was Viewed as a Right of Lineage Originating with the Ancient Tribes of Israel

"According to the presiding patriarch, a female priesthood continued throughout the centuries until the sojourn of the 12 tribes in Egypt.

"According to first counselor Heber C. Kimball in 1857, Jewish women continued to have priesthood in the early Christian era. 'Was every woman qualified to raise that child [Jesus]?' Kimball asked. 'No. You will find that Mary was of the Royal Priesthood, which is after the order of God . . .' Like her ancestors among the Hebrew women of ancient Egypt, Mary of Nazareth also held the 'Royal Priesthood' which is now called Melchizedek."
_____


--Mormon Women Received the Priesthood Through Their Temple Endowment, Even If They Had Not Received the Second Anointing

"On 7 December 1845, Apostle Kimball had recorded the names of 23 men and 19 women who 'are members of the Holy Order of the Holy Priesthood having received it in the lifetime of Joseph and Hyrum, the Prophets.' Of these 19 women, three had not yet received the second anointing.

"In the temple a week later, Kimball’s diary noted that Brigham Young 'appointed W. W. Phelps and P. P. Pratt to instruct the brethren and sisters . . . more fully into the nature and importance of the blessings and powers of the Holy Priesthood which they had received . . . '

"Kimball’s observations that women received the priesthood through the endowment are significant because he usually expressed misogynous views."
_____


--Mormon Women Did Not Require Men in Order to Receive and Administer the Priesthood

"That same month, Patriarch John Smith made it clear that a woman did not need a man to receive and use the priesthood.

"To a woman whose husband was a non-Mormon, the patriarch said on 16 December 1845: '[T]hou hast a right to the Priesthood by inheritance from thy Fathers, and if thy companion refuses to take his place and receive the gospel and you abide faithful you shall not be deprived of the privilege of having it sealed upon you in fullness in due time.'

"11 days later, he told 'Mehitable Duty' that she would use her priesthood to bless both her non-Mormon husband and children: '[T]he Priesthood in its fullness shall be confer[r]ed upon thee in due time--[T]hou shalt have power over thy relatives and friends and thy husband and children to lead them whethersoever thou wilt in as much as you seek faithfully and truly to preserve them in the bonds of the new & ev[e]rlasting covenant.'

"When he gave these blessings in December 1845, John Smith was serving as the Church’s presiding patriarch after Patriarch William Smith’s excommunication two months earlier.

"In a published 1845 sermon, Apostle Orson Pratt also spoke of women receiving priesthood but he did not specify how it was conferred. 'You too, my sisters, will take a part therein,' the 'Times and Seasons' reported, 'for you will hold a portion of the priesthood with your husbands, and you will thus do a work, as well as they, that will augment that glory which you will enjoy after your resurrection.'

"Another member of Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum, Joseph Young, also affirmed that LDS women received the Melchizedek priesthood when they were endowed--not through the sealing or Second Anointing with their husbands."
_____


--Early Mormon General Authorities Taught That Women Held the Priesthood Through Their Own Temple Blessings

"[Joseph Young] gave this blessing to Zina Young Card in 1878: 'These blessings are yours, the blessings and power according to the holy Melchizedek Priesthood you received in your Endowments, and you shall have them.'

"Young had been senior president of the First Council of Seventy since 1837 and an ordained patriarch since 1873. Zina was his niece and Brigham Young’s daughter.

"In 1877, Edward Tullidge’s 'Women of Mormondom 'reflected the view expressed by General Authorities for 35 years: 'The Mormon women, as well as men, hold the priesthood.'

"Several other early LDS General Authorities held similar views about women and priesthood.

"However, they were more tentative than Joseph Smith and those who received the prophet’s personal instruction about the endowment. 'They have the Priesthood,'

"Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter preached in 1877, 'a portion of priesthood rests upon the sisters.'

"With even greater reserve, in 1888 Apostle Franklin D. Richards asked of the men 'present who have received their endowments' the following question: 'Is it possible that we have the holy priesthood and our wives have none of it? Do you not see, by what I have read, that Joseph [Smith] desired to confer these keys of power upon them in connection with their husbands?'"
_____


--Strong Evidence That Joseph Smith and Other High-Ranking Mormon Church Leaders Regarded Women as Having Received the Priesthood through Their Own Temple Endowments (As Well as Through Individual Birthright)

". . . Joseph Smith’s 1842 promise, Hyrum Smith’s patriarchal blessings in 1843, Brigham Young’s 1843 diary, William Clayton’s 1844-45 diary, Heber C. Kimball’s 1845 diary and patriarchal blessings by John Smith from 1844 on and by Joseph Young in 1878 all show that LDS women receive the Melchizedek priesthood through the endowment alone. Local patriarchs in pioneer Utah also referred to women’s priesthood rights.

"For example, stake patriarch Charles W. Hyde blessed a woman in 1875 that she was 'a daughter of Ephraim and [had] a right to the fullness of the Priesthood and thy children to the fourth generation.' Hyde was the last man admitted to Nauvoo’s Anointed Quorum and had given similar blessings to women since his ordination as a patriarch in 1853.50 Patriarch Ola N. Liljenquist indicated that this female birthright to priesthood was by pre-mortal foreordination.

"He told Mary Ann Dowdle that she 'was chosen in the eternal worlds to receive the fullness of the holy Priesthood with crowns and principalities and powers. Thou art of the lineage of Ephraim and an heir to all the blessings by birthright and election.

"Patriarch Liljenquist made explicit what is implied in Mormon theology--that women were also forechosen to priesthood authority before birth.

"In 1844, Joseph Smith made that specific claim regarding LDS men: 'Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before the world was.' This reflected Old Testament and Book of Mormon statements about foreordination of men to priesthood office and to an 'order' of the priesthood (such as Melchizedek)."
_____


--Canonized LDS Scripture Does Not Exclude Women from Being Foreordained to the Priesthood

". . . Mormon scripture’s most detailed view of the pre-mortal world did not differentiate between men and women in this forechoosing to authority: 'Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these [not just the male ones] there were many of the noble and great ones; and God . . . said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits [not just male spirits], and he saw that they were good . . . ' (Abr. 3:22-23). This includes females among 'all' God’s intelligences and spirits who were noble, good, and forechosen (or foreordained) to be leaders and to receive authority.

"Currently for males, this foreordination to authority is fulfilled in LDS priesthood office.

"For females this foreordination is fulfilled in their receiving the priesthood endowment and opportunities for Church service. This foreordination is the theological basis for Patriarch John Smith’s blessings during Joseph Smith’s lifetime that women have a 'birthright' to priesthood."
_____


--Mormon Church Leaders Began Hedging on LDS Church Doctrine That Acknowledged Reception of Female Priesthood (While Still Preaching That Women Received the Priesthood Through Their Own Temple Endowment)

"For those who marshal other proof-texts that women do not hold priesthood separate from their husbands, the earliest example came from Brigham Young. LDS women 'have no right to meddle in the affairs of the Kingdom of God,' he preached in March 1845. 'Outside the pale of this they have a right to meddle because many of them are more sagacious and shrewd and more competent [than men] to attend to things of financial affairs.' Then he added, 'They never can hold the keys of the Priesthood apart from their husbands.'

"This earliest limitation on women’s ecclesiastical authority did not deny that endowed women receive a conferral of Melchizedek priesthood. Instead, Brigham Young first denied that women had any claim to administrative authority within the Church, 'to meddle in the affairs of the Kingdom of God.'

"Second, he denied that a woman 'can hold the keys of the Priesthood' by herself, for the reason that this right of presidency comes to women only through the second anointing.

"These were not denials that Mormon women receive priesthood through the endowment, as indicated by President Young later.

"In January 1846, he wrote of 'the anxiety manifested by the Saints [not just men] to receive the ordinances of the Endowment and no less on our part to have them get the Keys of the Priesthood . . . '

"In 1867 he preached that God was 'bestowing upon His sons and daughters, who are worthy, this priesthood, and kingly power to increase subjects and obtain territory, to extend the greatness of their kingdom forever . . .'

"In an 1874 sermon he also said: 'Now brethren, the man that honors his Priesthood, the woman that honors her Priesthood, will receive an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of God./

"As indicated in Brigham Young’s 1843 diary and the Nauvoo blessings by Hyrum Smith and John Smith, women receive priesthood through the endowment. Women receive the keys of presidency with their husbands through the Second Anointing. This 'fullness of priesthood' confers on women the right to rule and reign as eternal queens and priestesses."
_____


--Mormon Women Receive the Priesthood by the Very Definition of the Term "Priesthood Keys"

"The historical evidence that women hold priesthood is also consistent with the definition of priesthood 'keys' in the LDS Church’s 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism.' 'The keys of the priesthood refer to the right to exercise power in the name of Jesus Christ,' explains the article and then adds, 'or to preside over a priesthood function, quorum, or organizational division of the Church.'

"In the previously cited, uncensored minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society, Joseph Smith promised 'keys of the kingdom' to women in 1842.

"As indicated, Brigham Young and Franklin D. Richards reaffirmed the conferral of priesthood keys upon women through the temple ordinances.

"In concert with the 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism ‘s' first definition of priesthood keys, Apostle Richards also affirmed the right of women to 'exercise power in the name of Jesus Christ' . . .

"Joseph Smith’s wife Emma presided over the Relief Society but the record does not indicate whether he promised women the keys of priesthood presidency within the Church, which is the second part of the 'Encyclopedia ‘s' definition."
_____


--Mormon Male Church Leadership's Emerging Rationale for Denying That LDS Women Have the Priesthood

"As in Brigham Young’s 1845 statement, Church administrative power is the real context for all subsequent denials that women have priesthood. If women have priesthood, the often unexpressed fear goes, they might challenge the administrative powers of males who have been ordained deacons, teachers, priests, elders, seventies, high priests and apostles.

"Conversely the argument is that since women have not been ordained to one of those offices, they do not have priesthood.

"First Presidency counselor Charles W. Penrose made this argument specific in 1921: 'Sisters have said to me sometimes, "But I hold the Priesthood with my husband." ‘Well,’ I asked, "what office do you hold in the Priesthood?" Then they could not say much more. The sisters are not ordained to any office in the Priesthood . . . '

"However, such reasoning ignores Joseph Smith’s earliest revelation defining the priesthood in Doctrine and Covenants 84. Ordained offices are not the priesthood but only 'appendages' to the priesthood: 'And again the offices of elder and bishop are necessary appendages belonging unto the high priesthood. And again, the offices of teacher and deacon are necessary appendages belonging to the lesser priesthood which priesthood was confirmed upon Aaron and his sons' (D&C 84:29-30).

"According to an 1835 revelation, even the apostleship is an appendage to the Melchizedek priesthood, for 'all other authorities or offices in the Church are appendages to this priesthood' (107:5).

"Priesthood exists independently of Church offices, but Church offices are appendages which cannot exist without the priesthood.

"As Church president Joseph F. Smith told General Conference, 'If an Apostle has any authority at all, he derives it from the Melchizedek Priesthood.' He added that 'all the offices in the Church are simply appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and grow out of it.'"
_____


--JPer Jospeh Smith's Teachings, Mormon Women Do Not Need Priesthood Offices In Order to Hold the Priesthood

"A woman does not need an appendage to have priesthood. According to Joseph Smith’s teachings to the Relief Society and to the Anointed Quorum, a woman receives Melchizedek priesthood when she receives the endowment. The confusion of priesthood office with priesthood has characterized many contemporary discussions of women and priesthood."
_____


--Mormon Women in the Early LDS Church Were Ordained and Given Priesthood Power in Order to Preside

"However, just as counselors in the First Presidency were 'ordained' by Joseph Smith, Emma Smith was 'ordained to expound the Scriptures' and her counselors were ordained to preside over the Nauvoo Relief Society. In the 19th century the word 'ordain' was also used for appointing persons to proselyting missions and to heal. However, I [Quinn] find no evidence that Mormon men ever ordained a woman to a specific priesthood office of the Church."
_____


--Mormon Women Presently Continue to Personally Obtain the Priesthood Through Receiving Their Temple Endowment, Even If They Are Not Assigned Particular Priesthood Ranks

". . . [E]very endowed Mormon woman has received the Melchizedek priesthood from 1843 to the present. In 1912, Apostle James E. Talmage affirmed: 'It is a precept of the Church that women of the Church share the authority of the Priesthood with their husbands, actual or prospective; and therefore women, whether taking the endowment for themselves or for the dead, are not ordained to specific rank in the Priesthood. Nevertheless, there is no grade, rank, or phase of the temple endowment to which women are not eligible on an equality with men.'"
_____


--Women Being Granted the Mormon Priesthood Is Not the Same as Black Men Being Granted the Mormon Priesthood--Since Women Historically Received the Priesthood Through Their Temple Endowments (a Privilege that Black Men Were Not Afforded Until TI Was Later "Revealed" to Do So)

". . . [T]he relationship of women to priesthood should not be compared to the LDS Church’s pre-1978 denial of priesthood to anyone of black African ancestry. In that case Joseph Smith authorized the ordination of one African-American, Elijah Abel, to the offices of elder and seventy.

"Brigham Young reversed this and taught that it was contrary to God’s will for anyone of black African ancestry to hold priesthood. This became doctrine and all persons of black African descent were denied priesthood and the temple endowment.

"A subsequent prophet had to obtain new revelation allowing ordination of Blacks to priesthood.

"In contrast, the documents and leaders of early Mormonism affirm that women receive priesthood through the endowment. New revelation would only confirm this reality not create it. However, unaware of the female priesthood theology in Joseph Smith’s Anointed Quorum, current LDS presidents and apostles regard new revelation as necessary to change a twentieth-century definition that is now regarded as doctrinal.

"For example, President Spencer W. Kimball announced in June 1978: 'We pray to God to reveal his mind and we always will, but we don’t expect any revelation regarding women and the priesthood.' This was just after his announcement of the revelation authorizing the priesthood to men of black African descent.

"Without an appeal to new revelation about female priesthood office, Eliza R. Snow, Zina D. Young and Sarah M. Kimball presumed to organize the Relief Societies of pioneer Utah wards with women as 'deaconesses,' 'teachers' and 'priestesses.'"
_____


--Priesthood Titles Which Mormon Women Have Held in Times Past

"Existing records do not show precedent in Joseph Smith’s teachings for ordaining women to Church offices of deacon, elder, priest, bishop or high priest, or for feminizing those titles.

"However, Eliza R. Snow held the honorary title of 'Presidentess' as president of the Relief Society. Some women called Eliza, Zina D. Young, and Bathsheba W. Smith by the less appropriate title of 'Presiding High Priestess.' This referred to their role as 'president of the women’s department” of female ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Endowment House and Salt Lake temple.

"The endowment anoints Mormon women to become queens and priestesses. From 1843 to the 1920s, thousands of women also received confirmation as eternal queens and priestesses through the Second Anointing.

"Currently some women have received this 'fullness of the priesthood' with their husbands. In the Salt Lake temple, the Second Anointing still occurs in the 'Holy of Holies' room which James E. Talmage wrote 'is reserved for the higher ordinances in the Priesthood . . . '

"The Second Anointing for both men and women is distinct from ordination to Church priesthood offices.

"Like Miriam of the Old Testament and Anna of the New Testament, any LDS woman may have the gift to be a prophetess. That personal relationship with God has nothing to do with Church office. It was not uncommon in the 19th century for patriarchs to promise a Mormon woman that 'thou shalt be a natural Prophetess in the house of Joseph . . .'

"One Church president even maintained that a Mormon woman could be a revelator for the entire Church. Concerning the hymn 'O My Father,' President Wilford Woodruff told the April 1894 General Conference: 'That hymn is a revelation, though it was given unto us by a woman--Sister Eliza R. Snow. There are a great many sisters who have the spirit of revelation. There is no reason why they should not be inspired as well as men.' This hymn-revelation from Eliza R. Snow to the Church is one of the earliest statements in Mormon theology about a supreme goddess, the 'Heavenly Mother.'

"A Church president continued to affirm the role of women as prophetesses into the 20th century. 'I believe that every mother has the right to be a prophetess and to have the gift of sight, foreseeing prescience, to foresee danger and evil and to know what to do in her family and in her sphere,'

"Joseph F. Smith affirmed in 1913. 'They are prophetesses, they are seers, they are revelators to their households and to their families . . . '

"Without ordination to specific offices of priesthood, women have avoided aspirations and abuses common to Church offices reserved for men (D&C 121:34-40)."
_____


--Mormon Women Exercised Their Own Priesthood Power Through Giving Healing Blessings

"For 100 years after Joseph Smith said 'I now turn the key to' LDS women, their most common and well-known priesthood activity was in performing the ordinances of healing. The focus on healing may have resulted from Brigham Young’s distrust of 19th-century medical practice combined with the fact that Mormon women received gynecological and obstetrical care from midwives and female physicians. These two factors spared LDS women the questionable treatment which the male medical establishment inflicted on women throughout the rest of Victorian America.

"It is essential to recognize that 19-century Mormon women performed healing ordinances by virtue of the priesthood they held, not simply as an act of faith.

"For example, in the previously cited blessing to Caroline Cottam in March 1853, the presiding patriarch sealed on her 'the blessings and Priesthood which Abraham sealed upon his daughters, with power to heal the sick in your house . . . '

"In the patriarchal blessing to Elizabeth Bean two months later, John Smith also said that her priesthood gave 'you the power to heal the sick and to understand all the principles of the priesthood, and mysteries that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world.'

"Eliza R. Snow and Zina D. Young wanted to limit the exercise of healing ordinances to women who had received the endowment because they believed that endowed women had received priesthood.

"LDS Church leaders continued to authorize women to perform healing ordinances even after the hierarchy stopped affirming that women received priesthood through the endowment.

"Two factors guaranteed the continuation of these healing ordinances by LDS women.

"First, consecrated oil was applied directly to the affected part of the body.

"Second, the Victorian era’s attitudes (despite their repressiveness toward women) enhanced Mormon women’s role as healers. It was unthinkable for LDS leaders to allow men to touch any private region of a woman’s body to accomplish healing, especially in connection with pregnancy, childbirth, or a 'female problem.'"
_____


--Backpedaling on Mormon Women's Priesthood Authority to Perform Healing Blessings

"In 1878, [a] Salt Lake stake president both undercut and reaffirmed the priesthood authority of women. 'Women could only hold the priesthood in connection with their husbands; man held the priesthood independent of woman,' Angus M. Cannon began, then he concluded: 'but women must be careful how they use the authority of the priesthood in administering to the sick.' Aside from being president of the central stake, Angus was also brother of first presidency counselor George Q. Cannon.

"His counselor in the Salt Lake stake presidency acknowledged in 1884 what he saw as the only reason that women performed [379] healing ordinances for women: 'There are often cases when it would be indelicate for an Elder to anoint, especially certain parts of the body, and the sisters are called to do this and blessing follows, but in each instance let her act by request of the Priesthood.'

"The stake counselor next expressed his own discomfort with 'sisters who claim they have been blessed and set apart by the authority of God to anoint the sick of their own sex.'

"He emphasized that each LDS woman 'holds Priesthood in connection with her husband, but not separate from him.'

"He concluded with a tirade against the 'vain ambition' and 'grave mistakes some of our sisters have made in seeking to raise herself to an equality with man in all things.'

"This was a significant retreat from the confident affirmations of female priesthood by the men in Nauvoo’s Anointed Quorum. These 1884 statements by the Salt Lake Stake counselor were symptoms of a growing misogyny in the guise of male priesthood superiority."
_____


--The Death of Early Mormon Church Leaders (Combined with the Triumph of Mormon Misogyny), Led to the Ultimate Reversal of the LDS Doctrine Giving Women the Priesthood (Although for a Time, Mormon Women Still Were Regarded as Empowered to Give Healing Blessings)

"By the early 1880s death had taken all the General Authorities who had specifically stated that the endowment conferred priesthood upon women. Joseph and Hyrum Smith died in 1844, and John Smith joined them a decade later. Heber C. Kimball died in 1868, and Brigham Young in 1877. Sidney Rigdon had been excommunicated in 1844 but continued to affirm Nauvoo’s 'female priesthood' until his death in 1876. In 1881, both Orson Pratt and Joseph Young died.

"By 1888, Mormon misogyny was linked with denials of women’s authority, and this resulted in a public comment by Apostle Franklin D. Richards. He said: 'Every now and again we hear men speak tauntingly of the sisters and lightly of their public duties, instead of supporting and encouraging them.'

"Apostle Richards added: 'There are also some who look with jealousy upon the moves of the sisters as though they might come to possess some of the gifts, and are afraid they [LDS women] will get away with some of the blessings of the gospel which only men ought to possess.' Because of this 'envy and jealousy,' Apostle Richards said some Mormon men 'don’t like to accord to them [Mormon women] anything that will raise them up and make their talents to shine forth as the daughters of Eve and Sarah.'

"Franklin D. Richards is the only General Authority to publicly acknowledge that jealousy and fear are the basis for the opposition of some Mormon men against the spiritual growth of all [380] Mormon women.

"As late as April 1896, Apostle Richards reaffirmed the independent source of women’s authority to perform healing ordinances. This senior apostle and Church historian instructed LDS women that they have 'the right' to say these words in administering to the sick: 'In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Anointing which I have received.'

"Until 1900, the First Presidency also authorized women to use the word 'seal' in this ordinance.

"Although Church president Joseph F. Smith endorsed the role of women in performing healing ordinances, he diminished the basis on which they did so. President Smith and his wives jointly performed healing administrations for church members.

"In 1903, for example, Alice Kimball Smith anointed a stake president’s daughter and then President Smith sealed the ordinance."
_____


--The Eventual Denial to Mormon Women of Their Priesthood Right and Power to Perform Healing Blessings

"Beginning in 1908, however, Joseph F. Smith instructed that it was not necessary for a woman to be endowed to perform anointings and blessings for the sick. That statement removed for the first time the ordinance of healing from the priesthood conferred upon women by the endowment.

"From the 1890 Manifesto ostensibly banning polygamy to the early 1900s, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve redefined many LDS doctrines. The relation of women to the priesthood endowment was only one of these redefinitions.

"However, the First Presidency continued to authorize women to anoint women for healing--only because of the Church practice of using consecrated oil directly on the affected parts of the body.

"In December 1935, the Presiding Bishopric and First Presidency discussed a report that Apostle John A. Widtsoe had instructed missionaries in Europe to 'anoint the head only.'The Presidency disagreed with this change and decided that 'if the sick person desires to be anointed by the elders on the afflicted part, this may be done and the sick person [be] allowed to drink some of the consecrated oil.'

"Consequently, when men stopped anointing various parts of men’s bodies with consecrated oil for healing, it became possible to exclude women from anointing and blessing the sick.

"That policy change did not become final for another decade. In 1946 Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith informed the Relief Society General Presidency that it was no longer approved 'for sisters to wash and anoint other sisters.' Instead, he said that women should 'send for the Elders of the Church to come and administer to the sick and afflicted.'

"Thus, a century of Mormon women’s sacred ordinances no longer had the approval of the Church’s hierarchy. An era had officially ended."
_____


--Some Mormon Women Began Questioning Whether They Had Official Church Approval to Perform Healing Priesthood Bleesings

". . . [S]ome LDS women had been undermining their own priesthood ordinances by questioning whether their gift of healing had institutional approval. As early as 1913, Relief Society general president Emmeline B. Wells expressed hope that 'the blessing will not be taken from us' by disapproving General Authorities.

"And in 1935, a woman asked if it was 'orthodox and sanctioned by the Church today' for women to perform such healing ordinances. Relief Society general president Louise Y. Robison replied that 'it is our earnest hope that we may continue to have that privilege, and up to the present time the Presidents of the Church have always allowed it to us.'

"Female blessings and healings could not long survive such tentativeness expressed from top to bottom in the Mormon women’s ranks."
_____


--The Eventual Death of the Mormon Church Doctrine of Women Holding and Exercising Their Priesthood Power

"The Book of Mormon warned that gifts of the spirit such as healing would die only through unbelief (Moro. 10:8, 11, 19, 26). LDS women have the same access to gifts of the spirit as men and can exercise their faith in healing.

"Anciently, the apostles tried to circumscribe the exercise of spiritual gifts by condemning a person who healed the sick but who was not a follower of Jesus. Jesus answered their objection with the words, 'Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us' (Luke 9:50).

"Mormon men need this biblical reminder updated, 'Forbid her not, for she that is not against us is for us.'

"No woman needs a man’s permission to lay her hands on her child’s head and utter a blessing. Whether by priesthood endowment or spiritual gift, an LDS woman may give a blessing to anyone, in or out of her family, in or out of the Church.

"To some LDS men this is a frightening prospect.

"Several even reportedly threatened to kill a devoted Mormon who recently suggested that women should have the opportunity for ordination to every priesthood office. A death threat has no bearing on what God confers on women but it is unfortunate evidence of misogyny in modern Mormonism.

"Such death threats are also an extreme version of the attitude about women expressed in a well-publicized statement by a current General Authority [Hartman Rector]. If the female portion of humankind were to receive the priesthood, he wrote, then 'the male would be so far below the female in power and influence that there would be little or no purpose for his existence-- in fact [he] would probably be eaten by the female as is the case with the black widow Spider.'

"Perhaps if persons with that view learn that every endowed LDS woman already has the priesthood, they will not feel threatened by women who desire to exercise the gifts of God to them in faith, power and humility.

"In any event the contemporary cliché 'Women hold the priesthood only when they hold their husbands' is as demeaning as it is untrue. Neither should priesthood-endowed women be limited by the condescension of one Church leader: 'We can hold it [priesthood] and share it with our wives.'

"Nor constrained by his claim that every Mormon husband 'needs to feel dominant . . .Young sisters,'if you take that role from him, the one he needs, you reduce his manhood . . .' That is very close to the other General Authority’s view of independent women as man-eating spiders.

"In the contemporary LDS Church, there are uncomfortable evidences for Apostle Franklin D. Richards’ century-old observation that jealousy and fear motivate LDS men to limit LDS women. . . .

"In fact, LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball spoke against gender condescension. 'Our sisters do not wish to be indulged or to be treated condescendingly; they desire to be respected and revered as our sisters and our equals,' he told General Priesthood Conference. 'I mention these things, my brethren, . . . because in some situations our behavior is of doubtful quality.'

"President Kimball also wrote a foreword to the Brigham Young University publication of Hugh W. Nibley’s discourse on the ideal of marriage in God’s Eden: 'There is no patriarchy or matriarchy in the Garden; the two supervise each other--and [are] just as dependent on each other.'

"In effect, nearly all authoritative statements by modern apostles have been inaccurate concerning the matter of women holding the priesthood.

"Church historian and apostle Joseph Fielding Smith juxtaposed such an inaccurate perception with its actual contradiction: 'Women do not hold the priesthood but if they are faithful and true, they will become priestesses and queens in the Kingdom of God and that implies that they will be given authority.'

"As indicated by the earlier quotes from Elder Smith’s own relatives in the Mormon hierarchy, it is through the temple ordinances that women receive priesthood on earth in training for their role as queens and priestesses in eternity.

"In 1958, Elder Smith highlighted this contradiction between the official denial that women have priesthood and the actual authority they have through the temple endowment. He began with the unambiguous declaration that 'the sisters have not been given the Priesthood.'

"However, he immediately undercut his argument by describing women’s role in the temple: 'And you sisters who labor in the House of the Lord can lay your hands upon your sisters, and with divine authority, because the Lord recognizes positions which you occupy . . . because the Lord has placed authority upon you.'

"He added that temple ordinances performed by women are 'binding just as thoroughly as are the blessings that are given by the men who hold the Priesthood.'

"His only resolution for the paradox between modern denial and temple experience: 'Authority and Priesthood are two different things.'"
_____


--Defining "Authority" vis-a-vis "Priesthood" in the Mormon Church When It Comes to Female Power and Authority

"[Jospeh Fielding Smith's] distinction works only because contemporary Mormon theology gives two meanings to the word 'authority.'

'Authority' means both power and permission. In the first sense authority is the priesthood power of God. Through the endowment both men and women receive God’s authority or power of the Melchizedek priesthood. Men also receive priesthood power through ordination to specific office.

"The second sense of authority is the permission of the Church. Neither males nor females can exercise their priesthood without permission of the Church. However, both males and females have received such permission from the Church in various ways.

"For LDS males conferral of power and the permission to exercise priesthood in the Church come in stages.

"First, males are ordained to priesthood office which is defined in terms of administering to others. The priesthood that they receive in the endowment is the same priesthood power conferred on them in stages by ordination to office.103 The offices of 'king and priest' come provisionally to men through the endowment and in fullness through the second anointing. As Brigham Young preached in 1843, 'For any person [384] to have the fullness of that priesthood, he must be a king and a priest . . . A man may be anointed king and priest [in the endowment] long before he receives his kingdom [in the second anointing].;

"Second, males receive formal permission from the Church to exercise their priesthood in behalf of others.

"There are two ways in which the LDS Church gives formal authority for males to exercise the priesthood they receive by ordination and the endowment. '

"First, through the ordinance of being 'set apart”--as a missionary, temple ordinance worker, or Church presiding officer such as stake president or auxiliary president.

"Second, Church leaders give verbal 'authority' for males to use their priesthood for specific occasions or ordinances such as administering the sacrament, baptism, confirmation, and administering to the sick through anointing, sealing the anointing and blessing. This applies to Mormon males from the age of 12 onward."
_____


--How Mormon Women, Even to This Day, Get Their Own Priesthood Power and Authority

"For LDS women, Melchizedek priesthood does not come in stages of ordination but in the temple endowment. Historically LDS women also have received Church authority to exercise their Melchizedek priesthood power in behalf of others.

"Like LDS boys and men, females receive the ordinance of being set apart as missionaries, temple ordinance workers, and presiding officers such as auxiliary presidents.

"And as already discussed, LDS Church leaders have given verbal and written authority for LDS women to perform priesthood ordinances including blessing and healing.

"Church policy revoked that permission in 1946 but could reinstate it at any time.

"In addition, LDS Church leaders could extend permission for endowed women to administer the sacrament, baptize, confirm, and confer the gift of the Holy Ghost since those ordinances are within the powers of anyone who has received the Melchizedek priesthood.

"In today’s Church, a woman who has received the temple endowment has more priesthood power than a boy who holds the office of priest.

"However, the priest has more permission to exercise his priesthood than does the endowed woman to exercise hers.

"The temple endowment has not changed in fundamental ways since its introduction. The endowment gives today exactly what it conferred from 1842 to 1846.

"During those four years, Joseph Smith and those he endowed all affirmed that women receive the Melchizedek priesthood when they receive the endowment.

"The documents of 19th-century Mormon history also indicate that women have been heirs and recipients of the Melchizedek priesthood since the days of biblical patriarchs. Melchizedek priesthood conferral has always been independent of the offices of the LDS Church.

"Mormon women already have God’s priesthood of spiritual power. Without asking permission they may draw on the power of the Melchizedek priesthood that is theirs by birthright and by divine endowment.

"However, it is necessary for endowed women to receive permission of the Church to use their priesthood in Church settings to administer the sacrament, baptize, confirm or administer temple ordinances.

"Without ordination to priesthood offices, each endowed LDS woman already has the opportunity to fulfill in her life the prophet’s promise: 'I now turn the key to you in the name of God.'"

(D. Michael Quinn, "Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843," Chapter 17, "Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism," Maxine Hanks, ed., Signature Books: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1992)
_____


Finally, below is the case for inherent LDS female priesthood power and authority, as made by a website advocating for a good dose of enlightening "liberalism" in the Mormon Church:

"Women and Priesthood

"The scriptures teach that male and female are alike to God. It is difficult to see how that teaching can be reconciled with excluding women from Priesthood offices, just as it was difficult to see how the pre-1978 black priesthood ban could be reconciled with the teaching that black and white are alike to God (2 Nephi 26:33).

"Claims that men and women have 'equal but complimentary’ roles sound uncomfortably like the ‘separate but equal' rhetoric that once justified racism.

"Given that women serve priestly functions during temple ordinances, it is not obvious why they could not do the same in other areas of Church service.

"During the 19th century, Mormon women also anointed and blessed the sick.

"Ordaining women and girls to Priesthood office would require a new understanding of gender among the Saints and perhaps a new understanding of Priesthood itself.

"It remains to be seen whether the Saints may someday come into new light on this issue.

"A first step might be to understand priesthood not as authority bestowed on individuals but as a gift to the Church as a whole. The restoration of the Priesthood commissioned the Church collectively to undertake God's work. All members, male and female, are empowered for service through Priesthood ordinances: baptism, confirmation, the Endowment. Priesthood offices are just some of the diverse capacities in which Latter-day Saints are called to use their spiritual gifts to bless others' lives (D&C 46:15-16).

"Eliza R. Snow:

"'Is it necessary for sisters to be set apart to officiate in the sacred ordinances of washing, anointing and laying on of hands in administering to the sick? . . . It certainly is not.

"'Any and all sisters who honor their Holy Endowments, not only have the right, but should feel it a duty whenever called upon to administer to our sisters in these ordinances, which God has graciously committed to His daughters as well to His sons; and we testify that when administered and received in faith and humility they are accompanied with all mighty power. Inasmuch as God our Father has revealed these sacred ordinances and committed them to His saints, it is not only our privilege but our imperative duty to apply them for the relief of human suffering.'

("Woman's Exponent," 15 September 1884, 61; quoted in Linda King Newell, "A Gift Given, A Gift Taken: Washing, Anointing, and Blessing the Sick among Mormon Women," in "The New Mormon History" [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992], p. 105)


"'Bathsheba W. Smith:

"'I never like to hear a sermon without hearing something of the Prophet, for he gave us everything, every order of the Priesthood. He said he had given the sisters instructions that they could administer to the sick and he wanted to make us, as the women were in Paul's day, "A Kingdom of Priestesses.'

("Pioneer Stake Relief Society Minutes," 9 June 1905; quoted in D. Michael Quinn, "Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843," in "Women and Authority" [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992], p. 369


"John A. Widtsoe:

"'Paul the Apostle, speaking in an earlier day, said that "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 11:11). This notable statement implies that woman . . . bears joint responsibility with the man in establishing the Kingdom of God; and, that the work will fail unless both do their duty. . . . There can be no question in the Church about man's rights versus woman's rights. They have the same rights.'

("Relief Society Magazine," June-July 1943, p. 372)


"'Eldred G. Smith:

"'If service is the work of God and if we are to become as he is and return to live with him in his Kingdom, our work must be to serve others. There are many ways to serve. Every activity of the Church provides an opportunity to serve—Priesthood, Relief Society, genealogy, the paying of tithes; all of the auxiliary organizations are mediums through which we may serve.'

("Conference Report," April 1967, p. 78)


"'Ardeth Greene Kapp:

"'If we were to begin with the time a child is given a name and a blessing--and then continue on through baptism, confirmation, the sacrament, callings and being set apart, patriarchal blessings, administrations, the Endowment and finally Celestial marriage--we would quickly realize that all the saving blessings of the Priesthood are for everyone, male and female.'

("My Neighbor, My Sister, My Friend" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990], pp. 75-76


"'Chieko N. Okazaki:

"'Priesthood isn't a matter of who's in charge and who gets to give orders. It's a matter of serving others. Every officer and every member, whether man or woman or child, needs that feeling of being sustained, both by members who hold the Priesthood and by those who do not, so that all the members, men and women, can be strengthened."

("Disciples" (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998), p. 65; above commentary and quotations found at: http://www.liberalmormon.net/303wom.shtml)

**********


In early Mormon doctrine and practice, LDS women were recognized as full and equal Priesthood holders, participators and exercisers.

No more.

Its patriarchal powerbrokers have doubled down and are ruthlessly running the farm in the name of a god that they have created in their own image.

Why women would even want the Mormon Priesthood--especially when it is Mormon men who ultimately invent the Mormon Church's rules --and who then change those rules in order to maintain their delusional "divinely-dictated" power and dominance over women (all in the name of their white Mormon male god)--is completely beyond me.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: TLDR ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:30PM

Executive Summary?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 12:45AM


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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 05:52PM

Good to see you back at it bro.

I'll be reading for a while looks like.

By the way, have you done a cartoon about the FART act yet?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2018 06:35PM by Shummy.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 05:57PM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2018 05:58PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:42PM

As if the priesthood meant anything anyway.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 06:48PM


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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 11:12PM


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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: July 09, 2018 11:16PM

That's the pseudonym of the resurrected Imhotep (Boris Karloff) in "The Mummy" (1932)

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 04:46PM

". . . Latter-day Saint women . . . exercise priesthood authority even though they are not ordained to priesthood office. Such service and leadership would require ordination in many other religious traditions."

Tell that to Joseph Smith, you shamelessly dishonest-and-deceiving history re-writers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2018 04:49PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: FTG ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 09:22PM

You are welcome. I'm trying to figure out just what priesthood authority I hold and how I exercise it, :-)

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Posted by: mythb4meat ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 10:34PM

Love this post, thanks so much Steve. This is great information...

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Posted by: JoeSmith666 ( )
Date: July 13, 2018 05:14AM

"Two months earlier, Joseph Smith and his wife Emma were the first couple to be 'sealed' in marriage for time and eternity on 28 May 1843."

How could they be the "first couple" if Joe had married 20+ other women already - with his Priesthood power?

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