Well documented, Rick Rampton. May Mormons near and far embrace governance equality sooner than later: the cause is just, and the proposed means (revelation to ordain women) an appropriate one.
|Ordain Women leaders|
"Brad, as you know I disagree with you on this topic. I find it telling that a willingness to submit to God's will was never mentioned. A desire to fulfill the purposes of the priesthood was never mentioned. Christ was not mentioned once in this video. "God" was mentioned only as one women claimed to be advocating His truth.
What was mentioned often was individuals' feelings. It was about the women's feelings, not the priesthood purposes. And yes, our individual feelings are important, that that's not what the priesthood is about. The priesthood is not inward-looking.
I would love to ask every one of those women this question: "If the prophet announced that he prayed about this topic, and that priesthood service is man's responsibility, what would you do?"
And Brad, I ask you that question. What would you do if the prophet announced that?"
"Thanks for the reply, *Jessie. Certainly, a willingness to submit to God's will is a virtue under a mainstream Mormon paradigm. To answer the question directly: also under mainstream Mormon practice (correct me if you perceive otherwise), are we not obligated only to follow a pronouncement made by a prophet that is confirmed to us by the Holy Ghost? Are we not also obligated to follow much other guidance that the prophet doesn't explicitly say, but which the Holy Ghost does confirm to us? Thus, prophetic announcement is insufficient to settle a question, and I would next ask what the Holy Ghost did or did not witness to me in the hypothetical you pose.
However, we need not appeal to a hypothetical, for two reasons. First, we have an actual example we can look to: black men who pushed for ordination of all worthy males. Faithful church members made exactly the same response you just did: "I find it telling that a willingness to submit to God's will was never mentioned... what was mentioned was individuals' feelings... priesthood is not inward-looking... if the prophet announced" etc. You're likely aware that many prophets were bold to declare that they had prayed about the topic, and that priesthood service is non-black man's responsibility. Notwithstanding, that policy changed: and neither you nor I can conclusively say that advocacy or consciousness-raising or direct action were not contributing factors to that shift.
Second, and more fundamentally in my view, the whole priesthood discrimination scheme fails for a rather objective reason: Mormons have not articulated a way to discern between males and females. As the Proclamation declares, the gender we care about is spiritual gender: yet we are not justified in assuming that physical sex maps to spiritual gender. Spiritual gender is an unambiguous binary, but physical sex in the real world is a spectrum. Just as some bishops and stake presidents disagreed about whether a person was "black enough" to merit exclusion, not all LDS decision makers agree about a particular individual's spiritual sex (think SRS or intersex individuals). Any test that can be considered an accurate discernment of spiritual sex must, at the least, be a binary one. I have yet to hear a Mormon decision maker articulate such a test.
Rather than squinting at peoples' anatomy (be it their genitals or their skin pigment), I think it would be reasonable to open the governance eligibility table to all adults, without respect to sex or race. Since in our tradition priesthood is a prerequisite to general governance (e.g. stake presidencies, the Quorum of the 12, the First Presidency, Stake High Councils, etc.), ordaining women to be elders is the most parsimonious path forward, if not also the most pragmatic."