not in Primary anymore

this is not for you

On Saturday, I walked with Ordain Women supporters to Temple Square. I had already been told, “This is not for you.” I had been told this because the priesthood is for men, because God is a man, because the power of god is masculine, because I was born a woman.

I had been told that motherhood is the parallel to priesthood, that my uterus should satisfy my desire to serve my fellow children of God, that the meeting I had attended the week before where men presided and gave me counsel on how to be a woman was sufficient for my spiritual education. Why would I want it, anyways? Isn’t it just more meetings and responsibility? The priesthood is nothing more than putting away chairs, right? I shouldn’t want it, right?

When I approached the closed gate, the gate we had announced publicly we would be entering Temple Square through, the gate we had been told had been unusually locked moments before we gathered in the park, the gate that we had carefully chosen so that we would not block any sidewalks with our crowd of 510 participants carrying the names of over 400 more- I could see through the bars the holy grounds I have prayed on throughout my life.

When we were within a few feet of those dark metal gates, I watched a random man in street clothes walk up to the gate from the inside and push open the door to let his female companion exit. I watched him look up, see us, and turn back to the gate quickly to try to push it shut. I watched Kate Kelly take the gate in her determined hands and open it the rest of the way so that myself and other followers of Jesus Christ, other faithful Mormon women, other partakers of a divine nature, other children of God with eyes of hope, could enter onto the ground our tithing dollars and our pioneer ancestors and our hours of service had contributed to build.

The gate had been closed because I am a woman, because women with questions are not welcome in our church, because women who want to serve more are not welcome in our church, because women who try to be heard in their desire to serve are protestors. They are like the gruff men who held signs and shouted at us as we walked over to Temple Square that we were faggots, that we should be submissive to our husbands, that we were blasphemers before God because we weren’t Christian, that we were making our children cry.

Women with questions do not understand the gospel. Women with questions need to look to their scriptures for answers. Women who read the scriptures and find more pain and exclusion because of their gender need to pray harder. Women with questions need to go to the temple. Women who go to the temple and find more pain and exclusion because of their gender simply need to go more, to feel more of the pain, to find ways to bottle it up inside and pretend it isn’t happening and pretend they don’t feel it and pretend that it’s all how God wants it to be and that’s okay.

I am intimately familiar with that pain. You can see it on my face in the photo of me asking for admittance to the priesthood session last October. You can see that I am miserable at having to actually ask for physical inclusion into a space from which I have been barred because I look like a woman. You can see that there are a million thoughts swirling in my head- non-Mormon and ex-Mormon men were able to strut right past me because they looked like men. You can see that I know what the answer will be. You can see that the answer is something that has been suffocating me, like so many other women, some for decades in our church. You can see that I do not think this is fair, but more than that, you can see that it hurts me.

On Saturday, I walked through that previously closed gate towards the tabernacle. A strange woman I did not recognize called to Kate Kelly, with whom I was sharing an umbrella. The woman called out “Hi Kate!” to which Kate said, “Hi!” and kept walking. The woman seemed a little confused and called out again, a little more emphatically, “Hi Kate!” to which Kate again responded, “Hi!” and kept walking. It wasn’t the first time someone has thought they could just acknowledge women’s presence in the church and that would resolve our pain. Not the first time that someone thought a smile and conciliatory glance could substitute for empathy and understanding and dialogue. Not the first time that such an interaction only came about because the woman dared to enter where she had not been invited. Not the first time that the woman’s quest was met with passive aggressive responses and not the first time that the woman kept her eye single to the glory and service of God and walked with determination towards it.

We approached the end of the standby line, a roped off path around the outer wall of the tabernacle leading to its main door. A large white male usher stepped in the middle of the line saying it was for men. Kate Kelly and two others stepped around him to enter the line. When I went to follow them, the man stepped further in my way, bumping into me. Looking down at me, he said with a toss of his head and dismissive condescension in his voice, “This is not for you.”

I was once again, in that moment, a child looking out over the high wood of the pews in my church, wondering silently why my brothers could bless and pass the sacrament and I could not. I sat back down, pulling out my connect-the-dots book and busied myself while the ordinance continued.

I was once again, in that moment, a teenager in my Young Women’s class, hounding my leaders for an answer on why the Personal Progress handbook was so full of things that would prepare me to be a stay at home mom but would do little to help me develop my individual skills, prepare for a career, think for myself. I was in the MiaMaid’s class where my teacher insisted that women are more divine than men and would not hear my disagreement, my frustration, my plea that she acknowledge God’s insistence that He is no respecter of persons.

I was once again, in that moment, crying to the heavens to know why my prayers to know my Heavenly Mother had long gone unanswered, why when I brought up her mere existence at church I was told that to talk about her was off limits, to know of her was not an essential doctrine in our church, to pray to her was inappropriate. I was sitting in the pews for every Sunday of my life while men performed essential ordinances and I held a baby. I was reading Genesis 3:16 all over again, asking once more if God really thought that men rule over women, if women are really second class citizens, if in the eternities I will be eternally pregnant and nothing more, if I am no more than my physical body and its limitations, if I have no role to play beyond parenthood as my husband performs his role as parent as well as his role as a priesthood holder.

“This is not for you.”

I could not accept these words. I could not be told no again.

I stepped around him and entered the standby line. I asked for admittance to the priesthood session from a male usher who shook his head, his jowels wobbling from side to side as he responded, “Nope.”

And then I watched as hundreds of women, women who had traveled from New Zealand and Ohio and Germany and Georgia and Alaska and Oregon and Quebec and D.C. and Mexico City and California, women who had come cautiously and tearfully and humbly and prayerfully, women who did not expect to but who broke down in tears as they moved in front of Kim Farah, an employee of the Church Public Affairs department, to ask for admittance. I watched them each turned away one by one. “This is not for you.”

Women are only necessary in our church to create more members born in the covenant. If no women showed up to sacrament meeting this Sunday or any Sunday, every single essential ordinance could continue. The bishop could carry on his business. The ward clerk would collect tithing. The men would home teach. The missionaries would baptize new members. Women have dedicated immense amounts of service, have served in so many callings, have loved this church- but they are not necessary. Women have reached their hands for more for decades just as I reached for more before the usher stepped in front of me. Their hands have been swatted away, or in some instances, cut off.

“This is not for you.”

The “this” of which those church employees spoke is the priesthood of God. “This” is the power unto exaltation in our church. “This” is the organizing body around which administrative decision makers are structured and chosen. “This” is divine spiritual authority, which women are only permitted to exercise under male supervision at every single level of our church. “This” is the ability to exercise God’s power, to grow through that exercise to become more God-like, to receive the blessings of exercising the priesthood. “This” is accepting a calling to serve based on your individual talents, worthiness, and leadership- if you are a man.

“This” is the core of our church.

Because if you are a woman, this is not for you.

—–

You can see a storified version of the events of that day here. I have compiled some photos and tweets below as well.

Kate's a crier. #mormoncred. You can watch a video of her remarks at the park before we walked over to Temple Square here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yv9J39bcz0&feature=youtu.be

Kate’s a crier. #mormoncred.

You can watch a video of Kate’s remarks at the park before we walked over to Temple Square here.

510 people attended the Ordain Women action.

510 people attended the Ordain Women action.

Esther traveled to Salt Lake City from Quebec to attend the priesthood session.

Esther traveled to Salt Lake City from Quebec to attend the priesthood session.

More asking

So Mormon we had our own anti-Mormon protestors.

So Mormon we had our own anti-Mormon protestors.

Katie

Asking

While at the park, two men had given Kate and I tickets to the session. They said they wanted to remove any opportunity for excuse the church would have, like to deny us because of a lack of tickets. I showed these tickets to church security and was still denied. The man on the right claimed it was the men's session. "It's actually the priesthood session," Kate reminded him.

While at the park, two men had given Kate and I tickets to the session. They said they wanted to remove any opportunity for excuse the church would have, like to deny us because of a lack of tickets. I showed these tickets to church security and was still denied. The man on the right claimed it was the men’s session. “It’s actually the priesthood session,” Kate reminded him.

You can read the account of one of the brothers who gave us tickets here

Anya traveled from Mexico City to attend the priesthood session. You can read an essay by her here: http://www.the-exponent.com/y-me-dolio-and-it-hurt-me/

Anya traveled from Mexico City to attend the priesthood session.

You can read an essay by Anya here.

Temple

 

More asking

Hannah

Kim Farah told these OW supporters that the priesthood session wasn't being broadcast in the tabernacle anyways. When they responded that they could in fact hear the session from outside and it WAS being broadcast inside, she shook it off and claimed that there weren't any seats left insides anyways. When they again corrected her to say that they could see through the open door that there were seats, she told the Lydia she could not enter because it was only for men.

Kim Farah told these OW supporters that the priesthood session wasn’t being broadcast in the tabernacle anyways. When they responded that they could in fact hear the session from outside and it clearly was being broadcast inside, she shook it off and claimed that there weren’t any seats left inside anyways. When they again corrected her to say that they could see through the open door that there were empty seats, she told Lydia she could not enter because it was only for men.

 

Tabernacle
The line wrapped around the tabernacle.

Outside, the line wrapped around the tabernacle.

 

Tinesha's tweet

After being denied entrance to the priesthood session, Ordain Women supporters listen via mobile phones to the priesthood session.

After being denied entrance to the priesthood session, Ordain Women supporters listen via mobile phones to the priesthood session.

 

 

Elder Oaks

 

 

Sara has never been Mormon but attended the event in solidarity. When it was her turn to ask, she said "I'm not a member of your church but I've had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with these amazing, talented, educated and spiritual women. They have certainly blessed my life. As a member of the UU, we want these women. We would take them [Kim laughs] we try to get them, but their heart belongs to you. Some day these doors will open to these women and I hope that when that happens, you [Kim] will be helping hold those doors open, instead of helping keep them closed."

Sara has never been Mormon but attended the event in solidarity. When it was her turn to ask, she said “I’m not a member of your church, but I’ve had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with these amazing, talented, educated and spiritual women. They have certainly blessed my life. As a member of the Unitarian Universalists, we want these women. We would take them [Kim laughs], we try to get them, but their heart belongs to you. Some day these doors will open to these women and I hope that when that happens, you [Kim] will be helping hold those doors open, instead of helping keep them closed.” Kim responded, “Well, they have a women’s meeting where they can share their talents.” Sara responded: “Yeah, second class citizenship isn’t going to work for these women.”

Following the event, the church released a statement many have characterized as dishonest.
Relevant links you should read before commenting:

67 Responses to “this is not for you”

  1. EW

    Umm – you mean attending the meeting was not for you. Extrapolating beyond that is mere rhetoric.

    BTW – you were not prevented from participating in the meeting, just not in person. You could have participated in the meeting in the same way as does the vast majority of LDS brethren – via broadcast.

    Or are we to also extrapolate that they too are second class citizens because they cannot attend in person?

    Reply
    • hannahwheelwright

      Are you Mormon? I’m utterly baffled that you can claim it’s mere rhetoric. I would love to see your argument for how it is church doctrine and policy that women can currently be ordained to the priesthood but it is only the priesthood session that is for men and not women.

      And it DOES matter that women are prevented from physically participating in person in the meeting. If it didn’t matter, then we would have been able to attend- there were plenty of empty seats. But clearly it does matter that women are not permitted to attend in person.

      Reply
      • EW

        He didn’t say the priesthood was not for you. He didn’t have the authority to make that distinction, he was only a security detail. He spoke only of being seated in the meeting. You are the one who chose to draw metaphoric rhetoric that it also meant the priesthood. It wasn’t the case, but perhaps that fact will still be lost.

        You state that, “it is church doctrine and policy that women can currently be ordained to the priesthood” I can only reply that instead of standing in line to attend a meeting you knew well in advance was not giving access to you, you could have listened to Elder Oaks talk on the matter. The Spirit witnessed strongly, and his message was timely. Its not too late to be enlightened on the LDS Church’s true doctrine and policies on this matter – here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-hLrAjuLpE

        You also state, “but it is only the priesthood session that is for men and not women.”

        First, if that was the real issue (and we both know its not your real issue) its weak. The Relief Society meeting and new Women’s Conference meeting do not seat men either. Because it was specifically for women to attend. Even Stake Presidents and Bishops who came with their ward sisters have been turned away. Now if you have a problem with General Authorities , Apostles, and Prophets being seated on the stand, giving counsel, and being special witnesses of the Savior, then say so. I hope this is not a problem for you, but it has been an issue for some supporters of OW. It is sad to learn that some LDS women are so caught up in their perspectives of division, that this is a problem for them.

        Second, if we are to actually take you at your word that you believe “it is church doctrine and policy that women can currently be ordained to the priesthood but it is only the priesthood session that is for men and not women.” Perhaps it could be explained that the Priesthood session is not really for those that hold the priesthood, but those that hold keys, and offices of the Priesthood. Until the Lord reveals otherwise, that only includes men.

        But to refer back to Elder Oaks (an apostle, in case it still matters) the LDS Church is led by the Lord. He directs it, and is at its head. The matters of ordination, priesthood, and its role in the Church were well explained for over 16 minutes.

        I’m looking forward to your blog on how you sustain the Lord’s anointed, and how Elder Oaks message strengthened your testimony, and caused reflection/course correction. I hope its not a long wait. :-)

      • Hannah

        @hannahwheelwright

        “I would love to see your argument”

        Why would you love to see someone argue with you?

        You say, “…women with questions are not welcome in our church, because women who want to serve more are not welcome in our church..”

        What gives you the authority to say this on behalf of the entire church? Anyone is welcome in our Church. Jesus has his arms wide open ready to receive EVERYONE.

  2. Anonymous

    This was absolutely lovely. Thank you so much for sharing, Hannah.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    First, I must say, every word of this post was veritably shining with passion. You convinced me that you are very convinced you are right.

    Unfortunately, the OW movement doesn’t lack passion. What it does lack is a marketing director. Rather than warming LDS members up by proposing incremental policy changes that made sense to nearly everyone (maybe girls’ camp doesn’t really need a priesthood leader to function, maybe women really are capable of important leadership roles that don’t necessitate the priesthood) and moving towards more progress from a place of common agreement, OW has gone straight for the the jugular–the priesthood. By doing so, they alienated many potential allies within the church: all those that would agree women can do more but would hesitate to go so far as to say they need the priesthood. Even worse, OW’s impatient approach has made the church stiffen its neck against any progressive, feminist changes whatsoever, as we can see from their recents statements and the extra hammerings they gave gender roles in this past conference. OW’s platform and actions have only prompted the church to dig in its heels and shout all of its traditional mantras about gender, so it’s going to be very difficult for any future Mormon feminist movements, groups, or people to make any progress either.

    OW is just one more example of feminism failing at branding itself, thus alienating potential supporters and making progress even more difficult for themselves and future feminist movements.

    Ordain Women: you’re doing it wrong.

    Reply
    • Anon

      I can’t help but agree with this. The intentions of OW are good but they are going about it in the same way many justice groups have gone about before them- and have failed. If equality is the goal. Then inspire change in that spirit. People in the church should have the option of confessing to a woman as opposed to the bishop, women should be involved in every decision making process; tithing, leadership, etc. There is a lot we can do. But I don’t see how it will ever get done when OW comes off as hating the apostles and church leaders. How can you hate the priesthood and ask for it at the same time?

      Reply
    • saving grace

      Perhaps you are partly right. But ask our mothers how well their quiet “I don’t think this is right” worked for them. It got them a pat on the head and a response of “Oh, honey, don’t you worry about it.” In order to be heard, we have to, well, be heard. Maybe it’s too brash for some people, but until we can find the balance, I suppose we are erring on the side of “Listen to me!” There is just so much pain and hurt associated with how women are treated in the church that we sometimes lash out unintentionally to keep from being hurt again. Does that make sense?

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        I completely agree with you. Mumbling into a handkerchief isn’t getting anyone anywhere. The message needs to be heard.

        However, my issue is not with the presentation so much as the message itself. Going directly for the priesthood comes off as startling to most members, abrasive to many, and simply blasphemous to others. If Mormon feminists want to instigate actual changes within the church, they need to start on common ground and push forward (as you point out, assertively) starting with small, important changes.

        Also, you make an excellent point–gender discrimination within the church is a touchy subject that may have already caused many a lot of pain. I can definitely see how the climate would make Mormon feminists impatient for change; they want the pain from the insensitive/unfair policies to end. However, if Mormon feminists are looking to affect change, they need to focus on being effective as a group and find their space for catharsis elsewhere.

    • Liffey Banks

      I think if you’d like to help OW shape a different direction, you should submit a profile and sign up to be a part of one of the committees.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      You idiot. Why do you think SJ groups have done this? Because vying for incremental change does nothing, but asking for big change brings about incremental change. Just look at what has happened in the last year with women in the church! It’s rather incredible. Also, this will not end until the goal is realized or the church destroys those involved (and itself in the process).

      Reply
      • Tom Johnson

        The following is totally based on the belief that this Church is indeed the Church of Jesus Christ:

        The Church will roll forth until it fills the earth. We will all probably be dead by that time. The only question is how we will respond to the questions at judgement day, one of which will be: Did you support the direction given by the the Lord through the prophets?

        Choose wisely who you stand with. I stand with God and His direction through His prophets.

      • Anonymous

        Asking for incremental change brings incremental change. Notice how women are praying in conference now.

        Asking for extreme, immediate change brings enmity and harsh feelings on both sides, as evidenced by your name calling and passive aggressive threat. Enmity provides a very poor climate for cooperation. When everybody hates each other, nobody’s coming around (or even compromising).

        So that leaves you with another option, which you mentioned yourself; best of luck destroying a multibillion dollar entity.

    • Anonymous

      This is an excellent reply and I could not have said it better myself. I believe every Latter-Day Saint woman who rigorously studies the gospel, who deeply understands Christ’s teachings, and who knows without any doubt of her divine nature and power will refrain from aligning with the Ordain Women movement. I do declare myself as a Mormon feminist: a strong LDS woman who sustains and upholds the priesthood, the prophet, and especially the many thousands of women who hold leadership responsibilities around the world.

      My fellow feminist heroes are Sheri Dew and Julie B. Beck, not Kate Kelly. I encourage you to closely read from their writings and open your heart to the true LDS feminist perspective. If it is power and equality you are seeking, it will not be found by your present actions. Instead of raising money to bring “Mormon feminists of color” to Salt Lake City for a priesthood meeting they could have comfortably watched via broadcast in their own country, that money could have wisely been used to help women who deeply love the gospel and have yet to attain the beautiful, saving priesthood ordinances available in temples by affording them the opportunity to travel to the temple and receive those blessings.

      I do respect women who stand up for actions they feel discriminatory, and I do feel the church leadership can begin to make incremental changes is some church policies, however, from my own personal, intellectual, and spiritual experience the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offers women MORE opportunities for individual growth and development than any other organization in the world. For that I am truly grateful.

      Reply
  4. MS

    EW, the Priesthood session is not for men who hold Priesthood keys. Non LDS men are welcome.

    Reply
  5. Emmeline

    This is lovely and heartbreaking. After a decade of trying to be an honest progressive Mormon, this last conference has shown me that the church doesn’t want members who ask questions or want any kind of change. I’m not changing anything and it’s hurting me spiritually to stay. I feel so much peace with leaving.

    I admire those who can stay. They are the ones who will eventually make the church a better place. Thank you for your part in that.

    Reply
  6. christer1979

    I’m not an expert in public relations, but I will say this: OW has gotten everyday Mormons talking about gender in ways I’ve never seen in the 27 years of my life. My grad school friends from BYU are talking about priesthood, imagining what it would be like if women had it (whether they want it or not, the mere act of considering it is a huge change). I have very active LDS friends who don’t support OW but feel perfectly rational in saying they wish they had the priesthood so they could bless their husbands and children. I cannot imagine them saying that three years ago without being called heretic, power-hungry, unfeminine, someone who just doesn’t understand. I don’t know if women ever will be ordained to the priesthood or priestesshood, but I believe God tends not to give us revelations we, the body of the church, are not asking for, considering, praying for, ready for. I really don’t know if priestesshood ordination is in the cards or not, but I believe OW have jumpstarted the thousands of conversations that are enabling people to consider, perhaps for the first time, what the church could look like with more direct involvement and contributions from its female members. And I believe we will see the results of this action for decades to come.

    Reply
    • Liffey Banks

      here, here! at the very least, OW has opened up a left field, and now changes that seemed radical 5 years ago seem reasonable now.

      Reply
  7. Kassie

    Thank you very much for being brave and loving your spirituality enough to challenge it’s structure! You are truly acknowledging your Divine Nature. I wish you well in this fight, for it is not easy, but it is correct and true. May your god bless and keep you. May your families and loved ones come to support and aid you- and If they do not, know you have friends outside “the fold” that love and support what you do. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    This scripture from the Book of Abraham keeps coming to my mind:

    “finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”

    You’ll remember that Abraham was persecuted by the religious people of Chaldea the same as OW (probably worse actually). They had been deceived and began to worship false idols. I think there is a great deal of parallel between OW and Abraham (besides the ridiculous amounts of patriarchy).

    Reply
  9. Zack

    My current theory is that the man who opened the gate was one of the Three Nephites.

    …And now the Spirit has confirmed to me that this is true. Spread it far and wide, brothers and sisters: The Three Nephites support OW. If only they would submit profiles….

    Reply
  10. joerawlins

    What if all rules are the same? What if a “boys-only” rule and the Word of Wisdom are the same kind of rule? What if veiling your face and saying “yes” is the same kind of rule as attending all your meetings? What if being kicked out of the Church is no worse a punishment than getting thrown out of a meeting? What if being willing to give an ultimatum to “let us participate fully or we’ll find a place that’s more enlightened” is not an unpardonable sin? What if a mass exodus is the only thing that can bring your Sisters in Zion to fulfillment of the blessings you yearn for. what if this is a sign you were meant for something else?

    Reply
  11. Michael

    In reading this, four things jumped out at me. First, it is clear that you have a lot of anger and pain arising from your experience with the Church. I hurt for you when I read this post. It doesn’t matter whether I agree with the reasons you assign for that pain, I’m sorry to hear that you feel it. Second, I think it’s interesting that you confirm, at least in part, the Church’s statement that ushers tried to direct you away from the line. We’ve heard from a number of people on this page and elsewhere that this was a lie, but those individuals were not at the front of the line. Third, it was interesting to get more details about how you got onto Temple Square in the first instance. The fact that Kate Kelly grabbed the gate to hold it open while someone was attempting to keep it shut was not available publicly. Finally, I was struck by the lack of any comment on your part expressing fidelity to the Church. It may not have been intentionally omitted, but most communications from OW spokeswomen that I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot, include some statement or statements affirming the faithfulness of the author. This read more like a Dear John letter instead.

    Reply
    • Debra

      1. I agree, you can feel her pain in this post.

      2.The Church statement claimed that OW was asked to leave – this is not true and in the account above no one asked them to leave. In fact, the church representative who met us as we entered the Square requested that we not protest (we did not) and then that we form a line for security purposes (we were already in a line, but proceeded to where they asked us to line up quickly and quietly). When they wanted the press to leave, they said, “Please leave” and they did. They knew exactly how to ask people to leave, and they never asked us to go. And, most importantly, the woman who met individuals at the door said repeatedly that we were welcome on the Square and in the Church.

      3. Kate grabbed a gate that was unlocked and opened by a person in street clothes. She did nothing you wouldn’t do when entering the church building or the chapel or any other space. If the gate was not meant to be walked through, it would have been locked or guarded – it was neither.

      4. It is not the author’s job to prove to you her faithfulness. The account you just read is an accurate depiction of the events of Saturday, and her testimony is none of your business. That said, I feel confident, knowing her, that she could knock your socks off with a real doozey of a testimony.

      Reply
      • davidsonlaw

        As to point 4, I was merely commenting on the difference between this post and most of the others put out over the last year by OW spokeswomen. She doesn’t owe me anything, and I don’t think I stated that she did. I was just making a general observation informed by reading most of the stuff put out there by OW spokeswomen, and commenting on what I perceived was a change of tone.

        As to point 3, if Kate was merely opening an unlocked gate, then why build that up as some heroic moment? Perhaps I misread the account, but it seems that we were supposed to take away from the narrative that Kate had done something extraordinary in forcing the gate open and letting OW in.

        As to point 2, it seems that your account is different from Hannah’s. She described the ushers as hostile to your presence, while I am getting something different from you. Perhaps they were only hostile to Hannah and those at the front of the line and had calmed down by the time you encountered them?

        In addition to everything else, I do find it odd that this is the only word I’ve seen from OW organizationally or any of the appointed spokeswomen since Saturday afternoon. I’ve looked. Why the silence? At this point after last October’s conference we had heard a lot from Kelly and others, plus there had been a number of updates at OW.org. I looked a few minutes ago, and the website hasn’t changed from Saturday except for the addition of a couple of profiles.

      • JL

        OW has been pretty contradictory on point 2. You say you were welcomed at the gate. Kate Kelly said they were asked at the gate not to come onto temple square but that they went inside anyways.

        You say the Church could have just asked you to leave once you were on temple square but it seems pretty clear from Hannah’s account and Kate Kelly’s that OW was not going to do what they were asked. Kelly stepped around the representative at the gate, Hannah stepped around the representative at the line.

        It seems that the church then had two options. Either try to forcibly remove 200-500 women who made very clear they were not going anywhere or to concede and help make the situation as safe and organized as possible.

        (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57778960-78/women-church-square-ordain.html.csp?page=2.)

  12. andrea

    I can’t help but notice how many lies you included (and unfortunately believe) in this article. If that’s what you see, you’re not likely to see the truth. :/

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    It makes me sad that you have chosen to be so discontent in this church. It makes me sad that your protests have turned my wife away from investigating the church. It makes me sad that you have decided to take as many people with you as you can out of membership of the church. Its not about not asking questions – please ask! (how else can you gain a testimony?) but the key to to learning and growing is ACCEPTING the answer you get! (from God thru prayer or by His CHOSEN Prophets). Yes it can take time, I have wrestled with many questions about this church. But when the answer comes learn to accept the answer.

    Reply
    • Rachel

      interestingly enough, the prophets you speak of have told us repeatedly that no one can “make you” feel/do anything. maybe you could learn that principle first before passive-agressively commenting on one woman’s hurting and experience.

      Reply
      • Evelyn

        Ah the old passive aggressive bit. Maybe you should read this guy’s post again. No where does it say that prophets or anyone else is making you accept an answer. It does however say that you need to make yourself accept an answer given through divine channels. Do I agree with everything the prophet says? Not right away, which is why nice work to try and understand what the prophet is teaching, then when I receive my answer I accept it, learn from it, and move forward.

  14. Mindy

    I cried as I read this. It echoed so many of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences over the years. Thank you fir courageously sharing this powerful and difficult day.

    Reply
  15. Sarah

    This was a truly beautiful and heartbreaking post. Thank you for sharing it, I cried while reading it at work. I am an ex-Mormon woman, I applaud you and support you.

    Reply
  16. Big L

    Thank you for daring to stand and speak. You are changing –have already changed- the church for better. I and my daughters and their daughters are indebted to the brave women of OW for making room for this dialogue to happen, for creating space for women to tell their stories, for making something holy out of a pain that runs deep in the souls of many. Thank you for boldly telling the truth when it is not popular. Thank you for baring the brunt of conversations which revile and condemn you. There is so much beauty which shines from your bravery. Thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  17. Kelly

    Beautifully written. I sincerely hope that the brethren making the policy decisions see this article. That is where will start.

    Reply
  18. Tom Johnson

    Wolf or Lamb? Blessings for Eternity!

    The OW material I read a while back talked about how all OW wanted to do was ASK. So the did ask. They were given an answer by an apostle under the direction of a meeting where the prophet presided. So why are they continuing with their ways? Sounds like they lied to me. Was ASKING just the subtle words of a wolf to entice those that truly did want to just ASK? WOLF or Lamb?

    Why did OW persist with their protest when they were asked not to? Sounds like they were in a rebellious action to me. Wolf or Lamb?

    Now OW talks about how it is “not the end of a “CONVERSATION but just the start of one.” So are we seeing what the subtle word “CONVERSATION’ really means? It is another purr word to entice the unsuspecting to believe they are not really rebelling? “CONVERSATION” seems to really mean PROTEST and a continued effort to harass the Church. Wolf or Lamb?

    Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

    I plead with my sisters to get on the right boat. The direction from the prophets will take you to the place you want to eventually be and receive the ultimate blessings you want.

    1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Please get all the blessings you can in eternity. Stay on the boat that God directs. Stand with God.

    Reply
    • Ziff

      Uh, they didn’t get an answer. Nobody–least of all Elder Oaks–said “we’re going to ask God” or “we’re not going to ask God” or “we asked God and he said X.” All Elder Oaks did was to talk in a bunch of tangents related to the issue of the female priesthood ban.

      I plead with you to get on the right boat! Don’t listen to the whisperings of Satan that say that the time for the Ninth Article of Faith has passed, that say that the Church never changes, that say the current status quo is the way things always will be. Don’t be the one who harasses your sisters for articulating their righteous desires to serve more! The boat you’re on is a dangerous one!

      Reply
  19. Fashion

    Hannah, this post was so beautifully written! The repetition and nuanced use of the quote “this is not for you” was so powerful. Your passion and your pain are clearly evidenced in your writing. It takes a lot of courage to display such emotions publicly where so many people can trivialize and demean them, but it is exactly this kind of passion and vulnerability that makes the OW movement so compelling. Thank you for sharing and for your brave actions in trying to plant the seeds for much needed changes in an institution and a group of people that don’t like or want change. If this church is to survive our modern world it will be in part because of the conversations you and the OW movement got started, even though taking the actions required to start such conversations meant great personal sacrifice on your part!

    Reply
  20. kb

    I am not a mormon.

    The fact that the men posting here chide women for challenging the status quo of anything or y’know having feelings about the matter is pretty disgusting.

    Surprising as it may sound… women and men really aren’t that different. There are obvious biological things… but mentally pretty much equal.

    Yeah it’s your religion and oh my goodness- what you’ve known your whole life…. so it is theirs. But….they’ve been indoctrinated into it their entire lives as well while being excluded from the most significant rites.
    You are not excluded.
    You do not get it.

    Separate is not equal.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Seriously. Thank you. The US established in the 50s that “separate but equal” is essentially an impossibility (and if they’re equal, why are they separate?)

      And if one member of a relationship is designated to “preside” over another, that is inequality by definition.

      Reply
  21. KM

    Hannah:
    Thanks for telling this story from your perspective. I’m not sure who your audience is. Assuming that you are trying to appeal to a mainstream Mormon audience with this post, I hope you won’t be offended with a bit of feedback.

    I have read moving accounts of the OW action, but this one spoke to me not quite as much for a couple reasons. The main one is that it seems to be lacking charity for people who you encountered who didn’t know how to deal with your action. A woman said, “Hi!” and you assumed negative things about her motivations. For some reason it was important to mention the race of one of the male ushers and that another male usher had “jowels.” I’ve heard from other OW supporters that Kim Farah was kind and well-intentioned. Only the negative is portrayed here.

    I mention this simply because I feel that had one of the people you talk about in your post (the woman who said, “Hi,” one of the male ushers, or Kim Farah) written an account like this, that painted your group in very non-nuanced, negative, even personally insulting ways, you would be very hurt. It would give the story much more credibility and appeal to my sympathies significantly more if you had extended the same generosity to these people and their intentions that you demanded from them–and that you demand from people who are suspicious of OW.

    Just something to consider when in the future you are thinking about how to connect with different audiences.

    Reply
    • Sally

      I also think this is a good comment and should be considered by OW supporters. However, Hannah has obviously been really and deeply affected by gender inequality in a church she loves. I know it is hard for people who have not been hurt by a situation to feel how it really, truly is hurtful to someone else. We usually give victims space to vent when they need to because we comprehend that they are coming from a place of hurt that we can’t understand. So I think Hannah should be cut some slack if she has a jaded viewpoint. It is probably better to read more than one account from supporters who were there who all come from different places mentally in their support.

      Here’s mine. I was toward the back of the line. From my perspective it was all very peaceful and orderly. No one on temple square said anything negative to me at all or even looked at me funny. Kim was so pleasant that I asked her if she was with OW not realizing I’d reached the front of the line. I felt like I was on a big ward temple trip with a lot of nice, good people. I found it to be a really pleasant and positive experience and was surprised by the reports from the front of the line. But that’s the way it always is. The front liners do all the hard work paving the way for the rest of us. I feel it is a metaphor for the movement in general and I’m happy to be a part of it.

      Reply
  22. Kelsey

    Okay, so I wrote out this response and after reading this great article and seeing how long my comment was, I wasn’t sure if I should post it… but here goes. Bear with me in reading this large anecdote. In school recently we were talking about Civil Rights, more accurately the Supreme Court cases, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954). To explain it, Plessy v. Ferguson was a court case in which the Supreme Court famously ruled in favor of the legality of “Separate but Equal” doctrine, thus opening more doors into segregation, discrimination, and racial injustice. Fast forward over fifty years later, Brown v. Board of Education involved the NAACP fighting the said ruling. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson and did away with “Separate but Equal”, judging that it was against the 14th amendment. This sounds pretty reasonable, right? Every person having a right to use the same facilities or attend the same school as a person of a different race? Even so, people were maaaad. Even the SC governeor said that desegregation “would mark the beginning of the end of civilization in the South as we have known it.”

    Obviously there are some major, major differences between segregation and discrimination against the African-Americans in the mid-20th century and women and the priesthood, but I couldn’t help but draw some parallels. M. Russell Ballard gave a talk during the 1993 October General Conference, and said, “Free and open doctrinal discussion is important in gospel scholarship, but remember that most things have been put into place by God and simply are not subject to change. The doctrines and principles of the Church are established only through revelation, not legislation. This is God’s plan; we do not have the prerogative to alter or tamper with it.” Jim Crow laws in the south were deeeeeply rooted into their culture and communities. They probably thought that they were going to be in place forever, and that segregation was a very good thing. “Even though men and women are equal before God in their eternal opportunities, they have different, but equally significant, duties in His eternal plan.”

    In a Deseret News article by Richard and Linda Eyre, it is stated, “Mormon doctrine places women equal to and yet distinct from men… In such a union, striving for that kind of oneness and that kind of salvation, two priesthoods would be redundant and divisive.” The Eyres reject the notion that equality means sameness when it comes to members of the LDS Church and the priesthood.

    I know some people will think that comparing racial inequality to women not having the priesthood is overdoing it and maybe even inappropriate and picky, but I really think that African-Americans being considered separate but equal was so deeply rooted in the Southern Jim Crow laws, that the ginormous leap of desegregation, though very difficult and met with much resistance, was in the end the right decision. I liken it to the church’s “Different but Equal” stance, and hope that like in that landmark case in 1954, someday the church will change its stance and fully realize the potential of women by doing away with the whole “motherhood=priesthood” and the justification that women are made to be the primary nurturers of children and that men are the only priesthood holders, when I can clearly see in my mind women righteously using the priesthood and men being acknowledged as capable caregivers just like the women are.
    Gigantic comment over. :)

    Reply
    • JL

      Yes, there are a lot of similarities because of the “separate but equal” notion. However, while segregation was rooted in culture, the Priesthood being given to men is rooted in revelation from God. It’s what was done in every dispensation up until now, including Christ’s dispensation. Even if it is possible for the status quo to change (which Elder Oaks seemed to indicate it cannot), there can be no doubt as to who instituted the status quo.

      Reply
      • Ziff

        No, there’s zero evidence of this. The female priesthood ban is rooted in nothing but historical inertia.

  23. Chris Heyden

    Well, what it all comes down to is the fact that faith isn’t enough for these women. That’s the truth.
    Word of Wisdom. The Prophet asked about it, because of Emma Smith, and a new revelation was given.
    Blacks and the Priesthood. The Prophet asked, it was sustained by the twelve apostles as being true, and Blacks were thus given the priesthood from that day forward.
    Two examples of the Prophet, the head of the church, who you sustain and follow, regardless of personal preference, has asked about something and received an answer.
    Others wanted to see the original writings from the gold plates, and Joseph was told no, until they kept asking. And because of that, those records were lost, and he was punished for his lack of faith/inability to listen to the Lord at the time.

    So when a Prophet/Apostle says, “This isn’t how it is going to be, NOW” you say “Thank you for taking the time for me, to individually make me feel better and to ask.”
    Not, “Well, that’s not the answer I wanted so, I’m gonna keep being belligerent until I get my way, just like the rest of the world does.”
    If you’re of the LDS faith, you do not do the easy things. You do not follow the mainstream. You follow the prophet. You find happiness and solace in your callings. You do not wish for callings that you don’t have, and worry about being called to them. Instead, you do the best you can in the calling that you have. End of story.
    If any of these women had true faith, and weren’t just following the light of the oil lamps and ten virgins, then they would know that everything fine. That the church is true. That their questions WERE answered, and they didn’t get the answer they wanted. Doesn’t mean the worlds over. Doesn’t mean that their God has forsaken them. It just means he knows better.
    I have rarely met a man in the church who truly thinks he’s better than a woman. And I have rarely met a woman in the church who truly feels they are lowlier than a man. These women are the minority. Out of 15million. Out of 15,000,000 members, only 500 feel this way. Or rather, 500 feel strongly enough to protest. I’d say thats the minority, and that if it was truly an issue, there would be a greater populous.

    These women do not have the faith to claim to be LDS.

    If you have a problem with my fews, feel free to hash it out with me at:
    hashitoutlds@gmail.com
    and yes, that is a real email. It’s easy to claim anonymity, but hard to actually talk to somebody about something one on one. So feel free, convert me to why Women should have the Priesthood. Use doctrine. Because from everything I have read and know, you’re wrong.

    Reply
    • Sally

      Only about 5 mil out of the 15 are active and since (according to a survey of 3000) 47% of people who have left the church list gender issues as a significant reason for leaving, then that means that, in reality, it is more like 4.7 mil out of 15 mil that have problems with the church’s stance on women (10 mil x .47). That is playing with numbers but I think it is more accurate than 500 out of 15 mil. However, 500 (900 if you count the proxy cards) out of 5 mil is still pretty small so it is still a valid point for the present.

      I got my numbers from this article:

      http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2012-fair-conference/2012-to-do-the-business-of-the-church-a-cooperative-paradigm

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      I myself am a female member of the Church and I did not go to Salt Lake to attend the Priesthood session. I am not even sure that I support the Ordain Women movement at all.

      But I have been thinking about it. I believe in the gospel, and I have no intentions of leaving the church. You brought up some good points that have helped me figure out how I am feeling about the issue. For that, I do thank you.

      But saying that “These women do not have the faith to claim to be LDS” is a very hurtful and very wrong statement. Speaking for myself personally, I know that Iam coming from a place where I wish to understand, not a place where I wish to be combative and rebellious, or because I want to argue for the sake or arguing. We all have struggles and trying times of faith, and to denounce someone’s LDS identity because of a certain struggle doesn’t seem very Christlike, compassionate, or understanding to me.

      I wanted to post here to help other people reading understand why these statements like these are so hurtful, and for everyone, not just those that belong to the Ordain Women movement. If you want to further carry on this conversation, I would be happy to email you. Let me also be clear that there is a lot in your post I agree with, and I feel more informed after reading it, but I am also quite hurt by some of your implications.

      Reply
  24. Ms. Reynolds

    Hannah, thanks for your story. I have felt all your pain my whole life and I wish we had been in the same Mia Maids class to support each other through lessons that made us feel like our whole purpose was to support men. It breaks my heart to think of my 17-year-old self listening to a lesson on how we need to drop out of college to work so our husbands can finish their degrees. I have stayed devoted to the gospel, despite my pain because I have concluded I am better off with the gospel teachings than without so I make it work. But, man, I hope OW’s efforts yield more equality soon so my daughter grows up in a much better church.

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    You guys. Mormons aren’t sexist.

    This youtube video explains gender roles in the church.

    They should make sense to everyone now.

    Reply
  26. Daughter of Eve

    …[L]et’s be absolutely clear as to where women fall in the “hierarchy of power”: all women are already at the pinnacle of “power,” resting upon a Church, which has, as its foundation, “the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20). True that women are not ordained to the Priesthood, but we must remember that the power of the Priesthood can only be accessed in an act of service, and is inaccessable as an act of unrighteous dominion, self-aggrandizement, or in any situation where the bearer has any less than charitable feelings (see Moroni 7: 44-47) about his fellow man; women are of course free to render service, receive personal revelation for herself or her family, and serve in auxiliary programs which are patterned after the order of the Priesthood, and thus able to receive, by rights of calling, the blessings of the Priesthood, including personal revelation for those within her stewardship. Women in the LDS Church are already “daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves them;” they are already heirs of salvation, together with their husbands, who cannot receive exaltation without a wife by their side, as an equal partner. There is no glass ceiling in the LDS Church, where women are concerned. The Church exists to support families. Standing at the head of every family, at least in the eternities, will be a mother and a father, and while not all women may currently find themselves in that position, they have, by right of divine nature, and through righteous choices, every opportunity for every blessing Eternity and Exaltation, have to offer. http://lightsandintelligences.blogspot.com/2011/03/paradigm-shift.html

    Reply
  27. Josh

    Well done, Hannah, this is a great round-up of what happened that day.

    Most distressing to me was how the church described the events that day. The event was phenomenal, beautiful, and mostly encouraging. The news version of events, after not being allowed in to watch, was incredibly discouraging. The church really spun this. It made it very clear to me that not all are welcome.

    Reply
  28. Alyssa

    Let’s remember that Satan can take one good thing and completely twist it into something that is evil and ugly and drives us away from the truth. Your questions aren’t questions any more. You have your answers as Elder Oaks beautifully answered. As a returned sister missionary I’m telling you from understanding what it’s like to work with the men of this church, WE ARE NOT OPPRESSED. Please stop making the women of this church look so desperate. Please listen to the prophets. The world is watching and they are getting very confused. I don’t even want to think of the consequences of anyone who hinders the work of the Lord. Go back to the basics because I really think deep down you know the truth. Please remember Alma and the change of heart he had after he went against the teachings of the church. The Lord loves you and knows your heart. Please please please just listen to that quiet voice that is trying so hard to whisper past all the emotion and all of the hurt you’ve let build up inside of you. You know what is right.

    Reply
  29. senso123

    I have struggled with this movement. As a woman and mother of three young children I have never felt second class in the eyes of the Lord. I don’t feel repressed, subdued or oppressed (yes, those are all synonyms) as a female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have two wonderful parents who taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to do. Boys jobs and girls jobs didn’t exist in my family. I mowed the lawn outside and the boys had to do laundry and dishes. Both my father and mother have served faithfully in their callings – from Stake Presidency to Deacons Quorum adviser and RS President to nursery leader. They are currently serving together as missionaries. One is not more important than the other in the eyes of the church or in the eyes of God. They are a team. They have different skill sets and they complement each other nicely. One without the other would be less than half as effective. Together they have achieved so much. I also have a wonderful husband who values and honors his priesthood – as well as me as his wife. I have always felt that I have had access to the healing and comforting power of the priesthood throughout my life. Priesthood in my family isn’t lacking because I have not been ordained to the priesthood. I am not lacking.

    I currently serve as YW President while my husband teaches the 4 year olds in primary. Do I think I’m more important than he is because I “get” to go to ward council or because I have the title of president? Uh. No. Seriously, service in the church isn’t about where you serve but how you serve. I’m lobbying to be my husband’s team teacher next!

    Now this said, I have served on different ward and stake councils and let’s be honest not all people – men and women alike – are PERFECT. We are all just trying to do our best on our path home. Sure I have been offended by what someone has said or when someone has disregarding my voice as a woman, but that is not the church. It is not the Lord speaking. It’s imperfect people. I’m going to venture out there and say that Elaine Dalton didn’t feel oppressed by the prophet and apostles when she served as YW General President. And her impact on the women of the church has been far reaching. I can say that about countless women in the church. I love that the new YW Board includes women from all over the world. What a great step in the right direction.

    I think it does a disservice to all women to say that because we as women have not been ordained to the priesthood that we are not equal in God’s eyes. Or that our service is not as important. I firmly believe that God leads and guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a living prophet. To obtain the highest blessings that God has in store for his children, a man and a woman need to come together in the priesthood through celestial marriage. Man cannot do it on his own – neither can women. We are equally important.

    To be honest, I feel that this movement is detrimental to the men of the church. It is saying, “Women don’t need men. We can do it all.” Sure, women have great organizational and leadership skills that often run circles around men. We can multi-task like no other. But if women (not God) take away the need to have men hold the priesthood what gives men the motivation, ownership and desire to fulfill their sacred obligations? Do we really want to go down that path?

    Reply
  30. Ex-Mormon

    This woman only wants to be accepted in the same way men are in your religion. She has figured out that your arrogant and sexist male dominant cult only values women when they pump out kids, clean, and cook for their men. That is disgusting. I was a part of Mormonism from childhood to my mid teens, and immediately left when I saw through the bullshit to what was really going on. Your women deserve so much better, and its a miracle that they choose to stay with you and accept being so degraded. Have kids. Cook. Clean. Obey your husband. That’s your only duty, and the only duty you deserve. Oh, and yes, I’m a male standing up for “your” females.

    Reply
    • Dani

      There is so much missing from the account as to the blessings of being a woman in the LDS church. I am a single woman in the church, and yet have a strong belief in the priesthood of God and the power that I have enjoyed in my life. My ability to contribute children to the church membership did not come to fruition. Yes my testimony of the priesthood of God burns bright. I cannot bless and pass the sacrament, but I can accept it and make the important covenants that it symbolizes. I also work in the temple, I have done that for more then 10 years. I have seen the immense blessings of that service. The argument that if women did not show up for church everything would go forward without them is erroneous. Yes the meetings could go forward, but why would it if it is not serving and saving all of the children of God on the earth. Please do not judge all of God’s work on the earth based upon a secular desire by a few.

      Reply
  31. Caleb

    Hey Hannah,

    I read through your post, and I am very grateful to you for writing it. I don’t have time to write all the thoughts I have, but I will share a good bit.
    I liked your post because it helped me see the viewpoint of Ordain Women. I am male, so it has been easy to shrug off some of the concerns in the past, but reading your letter reminded me of the concerns I have had in the church, and the real, extreme conflict they caused me. I imagine the same for you. I wanted to share some things that made me feel better. Before I do though, I hope that even if at the end of the post you still disagree with me, we can be filled with love to each other. I am a stranger to you, but I respect you, and I will pray for you.
    There have been times in my life, I disagreed with things I read in the Book of Mormon, in church, and what I have been taught. I would consider what my view of God would be, as a perfect, just, and fair being. Sometimes in seemed these things conflicted with each other, and I felt absolutely horrible and without direction. I wanted to give my soul to this church, but how could I if it was not correct? The only answer is prayer. I have prayed many times to know if this church is true, and if so why some things seemed to go against my logic. Some concerns have been fixed with direct answers; Some have been fixed by a sense of peace that I did not need to know that answer yet.
    I am not asking you to just blindly accept that Women can’t have the priesthood. There is nothing wrong with your question. I just wanted you to know that God will have an answer for you. If you read “The Family, a Proclamation to the World” and the Ensign, specifically President Oaks talk, I believe that will be very helpful to understand what the Church teaches as doctrine, but KNOWING what is right will only come through prayer. Through prayer, fasting, temple service, and scripture study you can know what course to do. You can know if you are going against God’s will, or for it. You might get the answer: “keep up your work in trying to gain women the priesthood!” and then find the needed comfort to stand the huge opposition that would come your way. You might be directed to “do nothing and be patient.” I can promise you that God will speak to you, and you will be filled with an inner strength: The peace that you need can come to you during your life time. It can begin right now. You can have enough of an answer to know that God is real, that he is Good, and that following him will make you happier than you can imagine.
    Concerning the view of heavenly Mother, I believe she exists. I only know one hymn which speaks of her which is 292 “O my Father”. I believe she is just as sacred as our Heavenly Father. Why do we not talk about her? Why do we not pray to her? I have no idea. I only know what I have been commanded, and that I believe it is right to live by those commandments. (That is concerning not praying to her. Never heard a commandment saying we couldn’t talk about her. I can’t think of anything wrong about that). My current Bishop on the topic gives his opinion, not an official doctrine of the church, which is that Heavenly Father chooses to not speak of Heavenly Mother to us to protect her. Imagine how many people slander the name of God? Use it as a curse word, or savagely. My Bishop thought that perhaps Heavenly Father did not want to see the name of his precious Wife slandered. Perhaps this is a bit chivalrous in the negative sense of the word. As I said it is not doctrine, but without a revelation from God on the subject, speculation is all there is, and must be remembered as speculation.
    I know that God answers prayers, because he has given me answers when I thought there was no answer. I know that God loves you, and you are a precious daughter of God. Men are not better than Women. Women are not better than Men. We are equal. Why are the roles divided as they are? We have only the words of the Prophets. I promise that as you study them, and pray to know if they are true, you will get an answer of whether or not they are true if you are willing to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and act on that answer even if it is hard. Like the story of Abraham offering up Isaac, he must have thought what he was asked to do was mad. Break one of the most important commandments? Do something that has no purpose and seems so utterly wrong? Yet I do not believe that Abraham followed on Blind Faith. I believe he prayed and came to know that this was truly a commandment of the True God of righteousness, and not a trick of the devil. Once he had gained that witness for himself, he was left with a choice: Too sin or trust God and the witness he had received and give his only son. He choose to sacrifice his son, but before the deed was done God stopped him. Abraham, willing to do all things for God even though he could not understand it, had his answer the very day he decided to trust God. He also found the reason to be perfectly compatible with his logic and the reasons he had trusted God before that time. What had seemed evil turned out to one of the best things Abraham did during his life: It became a source of strength to Abraham that blessed him the rest of his life and millions of people who have read that story and understand that and other truths from it.
    You have likely heard this verse from Moroni before:

    ” 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

    4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

    God loves you . He will answer you. He is intimately aware of the concerns, that no man or woman could answer, that you have. Put your trust in him, and you will find the answer you are looking for. I love you friend, and I will pray for you. I will also try to listen to the concerns of Ordain Women and its supporters with greater sympathy and compassion than I have in the past. If there is anything that you do not agree with and you would like to talk about, please email me and I will try to get back to you. If it would be helpful, I would also talk about more specific concerns. The only reason I choose not to now, other than time, is that my logic might not satisfy you. I would be okay with that, if that were the case. The source of true knowledge is always God because he is the only one that can give you the peace that you have finally found the answer. That type of answer is unmistakable when it comes. If I can be helpful though, I am willing to help whatever way I can. When two people talk and discuss about the Gospel, both are edified, and come to learn more together, as long as they speak to each other with humility and faith. I promise to be meek to any reply you give me, even if I disagree with it, so that we can have such an experience, if you could find my help useful. If you feel that is unnecessary, no worries. I hope you and your family have lots of happiness, and a really great day :)

    Your new friend,
    -Caleb D. Kemp

    Reply
  32. Ziff

    Hannah, this post is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experience! Thanks for the work you and the other wonderful people of OW are doing!

    Reply
  33. cindy mexico

    Jesus Christ visits the people of Corianton; and ordains women

    The Other Book of Mormon-Greater Things

    Mentinah Archives vol. 1

    The Second Book of Shi-Muel ( Samuel the Lamanite )

    Page 78

    Chapter Six
    1) Now, it was while I labored as High Priest to the people of Corianton, before the year wherein my father returned unto our fathers, that the signs which I had prophesied unto the people of Zarahemlah concerning the birth of the Christ were accomplished. And when my son Corianton and I did labor together in that capacity the signs of His death came, and the people were amazed and affrighted.

    2) But behold, the Spirit did whisper peace to our minds and to our souls so that we did patiently bear the day, the night and the day of darkness. For, though the occurrence was frightful, still, the Spirit did sing a song of sweet redemption to our souls. And many dreamed dreams and saw visions. And even some few did receive commandments as to what should be done when the Lord did come to visit the people of Corianton.

    3) And He did come unto us, in accordance with the visions that I too had received when I was but a young man. For, we had gathered together to worship when the signs came. Yea, and all the people in the cities had gathered to Corianton. And all the people in the forests had gathered, and also from the lakes and rivers. And we were all together, a great concourse of people awaiting the coming of the Lord.

    Page 79
    4) And we did hear His voice from afar off and we did shout with joy when we heard it. For, it caused our hearts to leap. Yea, our hearts did leap within our breasts and nothing could haveprevented us from crying out our joy when we heard His voice.

    5) But the voice was first a voice of warning unto all those who did wickedness. And from this we understood in our hearts that not all the wicked were destroyed. But behold, many were destroyed, even the most part, and that so that all might have one or many accounts to tell of the signs that preceded the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the voice was as the voice of an Angel, not of a trump or of thunder. But it did pierce us to the core. And behold, the voice did also separate the good from the bad. For, those who feared the retribution of a just God, trembled and sought to hide themselves. Yea, and they were
    filled with great loathing to see Him. But those who did good works were filled with joy and they ran out into the streets and clearings to see what was about tobefall. Yea, they welcomed their Lord with praise and singing.

    6) And in the day that He did come amongst us, and it was not long after the signs of His death had abated, we did according to the things we had been commanded in the visions and revelations that many had received during the days of darkness.

    7) Behold, we did greet Him as our King and our High Priest. And I did take Him by the hand and I did lead Him to the seat of the High Priest. And I did place upon Him the robes of the High Priest and He did sit upon the seat. And behold, I did declare to all the people that this was the Christ, the Son of the Living God; He who was killed by His own; He who had paid the uttermost price for our redemption and who had sealed it with the sacrifice mostdear. And the people did gather to the Temple to see Him and to hear His words.

    8) And behold, my son Corianton did approach the seat and, bowing himself down before his Lord, he did wash His feet, hands, and head, and he did anoint Him with oil most precious. And when he had done this, the Lord did place His hands upon the head of Corianton and blessed him, and bid him arise.

    9) And behold, Pa-Sabel approached also the seat and bowed herself down before the Lord. And she did break bread and blessed it, as she had been taught to do upon the Way. And she offered it to the Lord, and He did eat. And she did pour out pure wine into a grail and blessed it, as she had been taught to do upon the Way. And she offered it to the Lord, and He did drink. And when this was done He took her by the hand and arose from the seat. And He said in the hearing of all the people gathered there:

    10) Behold, this is well, what these two have done unto me. For they did approach me upon the Way. Yea, they did seek My face and I did acknowledge them. And behold, I did teach them these things upon the Way when I did show Myself unto them who sought Me. Let them be an ensample unto all those who would come unto Me and diligently seek Me. Unto such shall I give My kingdom. Yea, of such shall I make up My jewels.

    Reply
  34. cindy mexico

    11) And behold, when He had said these words, He did join the hands of Corianton, my son, and Pa-Sabel and presented them together to the host, saying:

    12) These two have become First Man and First Woman. Surely, they shall always administer My sacraments together. For, the one is not without the other in Me. Wherefore, I shall bless and sanctify all that they do.

    13) And unto the two, He said:

    14) Go now and do like as you did unto Me also unto all this people, teaching them to do likewise unto every person. And they went straightway and ministered unto the people, teaching them the ordinance of these two sacraments.

    15) And when they had done this and returned again, He turned again unto me and said:

    16) Are there any sick and afflicted among you? Let them come up unto Me and I will bless them. And by their faith, they shall be made whole.

    17) And we did cause that all those who were sick and afflicted to approach Him and He was pleased. For there were not so many who were sick and afflicted because of the many healers that worked their gifts among us. But there were some who had met with accidents who were halt and some who had complaints that they had borne for many years for which the Healers had no cure. But behold, these were not many.

    18) Now, when they had approached the Lord, He did lay hands on them and blessed them. And behold, they did arise and were free of their afflictions. And thiswas a great confirmation of what we had always
    Page 80
    believed about the Lord, that He is mighty to saveboth quick and dead. And we rejoiced in this affirmation.

    19) And when He had blessed all the sick and the afflicted, He turned again unto me and said:

    20) Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    21) And we did suffer all the parents to gather the little children and bring them to the Lord. And He did teach them many things that cannot be written. And He raised His hands into the air and He blessed all the little ones. Now when He had done this, a great light was seen in the sky above their heads and they were all enveloped in light. And it was to be seen within the light that Angels descended and did minister to the children. And voices were heard that we did not understand, and songs were voiced that we did not know.
    And all the people marveled at this thing. And when the Angels had again ascended and the light had gone away, behold, the countenances of the children shone still and they did prophecy.

    Reply
  35. cindy mexico

    Chapter Seven

    1) Now, after all these things had taken place, Jesus turned once again to me and said:

    2) Behold, the people of Corianton are Nemenhah indeed. Great should be your joy and also your cause to give thanks and rejoice. For, you have listened toMy voice and you have soughtMy face. Wherefore, I have manifested Myself unto you at many times, and you are not surprised nor too much amazed by My appearance unto you this day. This thing does please Me very much. Now I go unto the Nemenhah of Mentinah again to teach them. Continue faithful and I will visit you often to teach you also.

    3) And after He had said this, a cloud did descend fromheaven and He was taken up in it and carried away with a great sound.

    4) And I, and all the people, did stand in amazement and in joy. Yea, we felt a joy that could not find expression. And we could not find it in ourselves to depart one from another for the space of many hours because of the Spirit that was in us. For, of a sudden one person or another would burst forth in prophecy and we were loathe to be absent from such miracles.

    5) Now, in three days time the people had meant to meet to worship together because of the signs that had been shown in the heavens. And now that Jesus had visited them and manifested Himself unto them, they were all the more anxious to meet and offer oblations unto Him. And it was while we were thus met and employed that we looked and behold, Jesus stood in our midst. And when we had seen Him, all the people bowed down to the earth before Him. And He sat with us and taught us upon the bench, saying:

    6) Samuel, you who have been my mouthpiece in times past, be so now even unto this people. And take twelve of your people, of both men and women, and behold, I shall touch them and place upon them the priesthood. And they shall listen to My words and take them to the people. For the multitude gathered is great and My voice shall reach them all through Myanointed ones. And all those who are of the Nemenhah of Corianton who are not present must also hear My words. Wherefore, these whom you appoint and upon whom I lay this great charge, shall take other twelve from each city and region, to begin
    the spreading of My gospel to all the people.

    7) Then, when all the people have received of My word, let them all strive to obtain for themselves the anointing. And if they do this with singleness of heart, seeking My face, behold, I shall manifest Myself unto them upon the Way. For I am the Way, the Truth and the Light. If anyone seeks Me in this spirit, they shall find Me.

    8) And I did all that the Lord commanded me, choosing out six men and six women who were known to me to be upright people with good intentions. And He took them one by one and touched them and called them to be His servants. And these are the words He used:

    9) Upon you, my servant, I lay a certain charge and commission. And I give you authority to act in all things that the Spirit does manifest that I would do were I present to do them. Wherefore, be diligent in study, and also in fasting and in prayer. In this shall you know My doctrine. Yea, in this shall you know of Me, through the whisperings of the Spirit, that which isMy will and that which is not. And I give unto you power to command the elements as often as the Spirit dictates. Wherefore, pray always that you be not deceived and carried away in pride.

    10) Then, casting His eyes about, He taught us concerning this priesthood, saying:
    Page 81
    11) Behold, I do perceive your thoughts. Marvel not that I have given mine authority to women and men alike. Yea, this thing has been of concern to some since the day that Pa-Sabel received word from Me of the ordinance she should perform when I came. Behold, I do confer the priesthood upon those men who
    would follow Me and do the things they see Me do. And unto such is made an ordination, that they may speak and act in My name, and be justified in so doing. But I do not confer such upon the women, for they have of My Mother in Heaven that which I cannot give. Wherefore, I do ordain them. But the priesthood they have already cannot be given, nor taken away, but by that person who gave it. Wherefore, if there be any woman who desires to follow Me and do the thingsthey see Me do, they are authorized from the foundation of the world, and I do justify them.

    12) For, the daughters of Eve do sacrifice of themselves freely for the sake of all living. For this cause did Adam call her name Eve. For she is the Mother of all Living. She does give of herself, even to the laying down of her life, in order that man might be, and in order that the purposes of heaven may go forward. She is a Priestess and Queen unto the Most High God forever.

    13) Wherefore, if by the Spirit she is moved upon to take up emblems of My life and death, and bless them, and administer them to the people, what is that to you? She does it unto Me. Wherefore, restrain her not at all.

    14) But behold, men received not such power by their creation and come into the world without the natural inclination to do good. Wherefore have I said, the natural man is an enemy to God. By the sweat of his face shall Adam earn his bread all the days of his life. And through constancy in service and in sacrifice shall he learn, order by order, line upon line, even precept on precept, to become like Me and do the things they see Me do. Wherefore, I confer priesthood upon men who would be My servants, and I give them
    authority to minister. But woman are ministers from the foundation of the world.

    15) And when a man wishes to engage in the work ofmy Father which is in Heaven, you unto whom I have given this authority may confer it unto him and ordain him to that stewardship that I shall provide for him. That he may also take up his cross and learn by the application of the Law of the Gospel to give freely of himself, breaking his heart and humbling his spirit. For,this is the sacrifice which I will accept of him.
    Yea, he shall bend his own will and tame it, and do whatsoever I shall command him. And this he shall learn to do without coercion or compulsion, but freely ofhis own accord. This is the sacrifice of the heart and the spirit which I require of all those who would call themselves My servants.

    16) And that man shall attend to do his duty unto the people, administering the sacraments unto them, keeping My Holy House, and teaching the people. This is the work that I shall require of him. And behold, he shall do all this freely and shall not be compelled to do it in any way. For, though the priesthood appear to be that by which service is rendered unto others, it is a service unto Me and unto My Father. Wherefore, let him do it with an eye single to the glory of God and not tohis own. And if he do this, he shall attain to that
    state of happiness of which the prophets have spoken, both in this life as also in the life to come.

    17) And when a woman wishes to engage in the work of My Father which is in Heaven, in addition to that great work which the Mother has given unto her by virtue of her very creation, you, unto whom I have given My authority, may ordain her unto that stewardship that I shall provide for her. And she shall apply that great gift, which My Mother which is in Heaven has given her, to the ministering unto the people as
    the man does. She shall also bend her own will and do whatsoever I shall command her. But remember, whereas the stewardship that I shall provide for every man is a necessary thing for most men, in order that they might overcome the natural man, that which has been provided women by the Mother does already accomplish this end for them. Wherefore, priesthood, though a woman may officiate in the sacraments and
    in every holy ordinance, is not requisite for her salvation. Whereas, men must have this device in order to truly come unto me. And where the priesthood is not available for them, surely I shall provide another means whereby men may overcome that which prevents them from the Way.

    18) And these are the sacraments which I command you to administer unto My children:

    19) You shall bless your little ones, calling upon My name. For, in the day that I began the work of Atonement for them, they were given to Me by the Father and the Mother. Wherefore, ye are My children, notwithstanding, I am also My Father’s son.

    Posted in Let’s Share Our Dreams and Visions | Leave a comment

    Reply
  36. cindy mexico

    Women’s Priesthood Daughters of Adam and Eve

    Posted on April 18, 2014 by c j

    For I Am the Lord;

    Now, behold ye Nemenhah, the daughters of Adam are blessed from before the foundation of the world.
    Behold, My daughters, by the nature of your creation, ye do serve all people. Yea, it is good that ye do organize yourselves in all your good and that ye do uphold this nation as ye presently do. But behold the orders of the priesthood are for the sons of Adam, to be an instrument unto them that they may train their natures to be more like unto the daughters of Eve.

    Yea, that by the sweat of their face, even by their strength, they might learn to give of themselves for the sake of others. For how shall they become like Me if they do not that which I have done? But, ye Daughters of Eve, ye do it already.

    Wherefore, covet not that which I have given unto men, but rejoice and know that ye may seek My face without other preparation than that which ye have received by your nature. For ye receive of the Mother even a more complete priesthood than the orders of the priesthood that I give unto men, in order that they may prove themselves thereby.

    Posted in Let’s Share Our Dreams and Visions | Leave a comment

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,065 other followers

%d bloggers like this: