not in Primary anymore

a response to sheri dew’s “what do LDS women get?”

This is a collaborative guest post written by several young Mormon feminists.

Sheri Dew herself is a powerful woman. She is the CEO of Deseret Book, a church owned business. She was in the Relief Society presidency, helping to run and lead what has been boasted as the largest women’s organization in the world. She’s also a member of many advisory boards and founded a charity called Chapters of Hope, which provides children with books. In a popular video clip, Dew answers the question “What Do LDS Women Get?” She describes how a male interviewer asked her that question, and she both shocked and bowled him over with her response. This, by the way, is a compliment – in many interviewing situations, the female is talked over, interrupted, and condescended to, so it is a point of pride when Dew can hold her own.

 

 

This video clip, however, is misleading. She starts off by saying what she has “gotten” as an LDS woman.

 

·         She was in General Relief Society Presidency

·         She has written biographies about church presidents

·         She has run an organization [Deseret Book] owned by the church for about a decade

 

Sheri Dew “Gets” to Be in the General Relief Society Presidency

Being in the General Relief Society Presidency is a position of leadership within the church. As a counselor, she spoke to all of the women of the church, advised on administrative decisions, and was a key representative of LDS women. We see that here in action in this video clip.

However, even the General Relief Society Presidency is under the umbrella of male leadership. In the hierarchy of general authorities, there is first the Prophet and president of the church, his two counselors, and the 12 apostles. In a way, this mimics the leadership of wards, where the bishop and his counselors are also above the Relief Society presidency in the pyramid. So while Dew was in a position of leadership, the final say in any decision came from a man above her. That man could also veto any decision. The General Relief Society Presidency is considered has the title of “General Auxiliary Leader,” not “General Authority.” This was particularly evident in the creation of the Proclamation to the Family, in which the RS president at the time was not involved in the process, and only became aware of the Proclamation after it was already completed (Page 136 of this link).

The fact that men are over women in the umbrella of authority is particularly poignant when we remember that in the very beginning of the creation of the Relief Society, it was a completely independent organization. Women made their own decisions regarding the organization without answering to men. They had the blessings of Joseph Smith (who in fact bestowed the mantle of authority on to Emma by ordaining her as the first Relief Society president), but then were free to handle their own finances and administrative details. The independent status of the Relief Society organization changed during the decade of 1960-1970. (Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society by Janeth Russell Cannon, p 340).

Sheri Dew “Gets” to Write a Biography

Dew was able to write and publish multiple books, one of which was a biography of President Ezra Taft Benson. This was also an impressive feat. However, in her clip she mentions only the biography, a book about a man. Four other recent biographies about presidents of the church (men) were written by women. LDS women have written about LDS women -for example, The Mormon Engima: Emma Hale Smith was written by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippets Avery. We should also note that most LDS women do not create and publish books (although neither do most LDS men). However, writing and publishing books is not exclusive to women of the LDS church. If we are boasting that LDS women “get” to write and publish books about prominent religious leaders, then we are woefully behind the secular and religious world.

 

Sheri Dew “Gets” to Be CEO of Deseret Book

We assume that she is talking about Deseret Book, the publishing house and religious bookstore is owned by the LDS church. This means, once again, that the Prophet has the final say and vetoing power. The church heavily influences all decisions made at Deseret Book. So even though being a CEO is an incredibly powerful position, it was very similar to being in the Relief Society Presidency. To be fair, most CEOs have a board of directors that always include men that they have to answer to.

Sheri Dew is the first and only woman to be CEO of Deseret Book. Being CEO of a large corporation is not something LDS women “get” – it is something Sheri Dew “gets.”

 

What Women “Get” in the Church

 

·         Women pray in public worship meetings, teach, speak, expound doctrine, lead organizations (YW, children) 

Women being able to pray in public, teach, speak, and expound doctrine is not unique to the LDS church. This statement is also misleading. Most modern members of the church are unaware that women were prohibited from praying in ward Sacrament Meetings from 1967-1978. Even though the prohibition of female prayers is now long outdated, some wards still only ask women to say the opening prayer, keeping the closing prayer reserved for male members. It wasn’t until 2013 that a woman ever prayed in General Conference – so a woman’s prayer had never once been broadcast to the entire worldwide membership of the church until this year. 

Leading organizations, such as the Young Womens program and Primary, is similar to being in the Relief Society presidency. Again, you are answering to men who are higher up in the hierarchy. But even more interesting is the fact that these leadership positions only allow women to be leaders over other females or children. The Primary Presidency does have authority over male Primary teachers, but the main subjects of the program are children. Women are never the directors of programs that are meant for men, or for men and women combined. Conversely, many male leadership positions are over programs meant for men and women combined – the bishopric, the stake presidency, all of the General Authorities, mission presidents, etc.

 

·         Women are missionaries

Many religious sects have male and female missionaries. Again, are we boasting that we allow women to preach the gospel, that we entrust women to teach our doctrines? Does it not follow that we also do not entrust them to administer ordinances or lead groups of mixed genders?

 

·         No organizations have as many women in as many teaching and leadership positions

I cannot think of any other organization that has as many women in teaching in leadership positions either. However, that is partly due to the sheer size and unification of the LDS church. Various Christian sects have women teaching and leading in their individually-run congregations. The Community of Christ, the Unitarian church, the United Church of Christ, and a variety of Protestant churches have more female leaders with far more influence over their congregations, including in key business positions. We may be more progressive than other churches that have a comparable size and unification to the LDS church, but less so than churches that are non-denominational.

Female leaders within the LDS church also have restrictions upon them, such as only leading other female groups or groups of children. Women are allowed to be Sunday School teachers, but not the Sunday School President, a role of leadership over all of the teachers. Women cannot be ward clerks or financial secretaries. We have lots of women in small leadership positions over children and women, but women do not hold the more authoritative and wide-ranging leadership positions like bishop, stake president, General Authority, etc.

 

·         LDS women have more faith and devotion than other women

Honestly, I’m not comfortable with saying that LDS women are somehow better than our non-LDS sisters. We are all humans who make mistakes. We seek out spirituality and morality in different ways; just because we believe our way is the best or right way does not make us morally or spiritually superior. It also does not prove that women are equal to men in the LDS church structure or culture.

 

·         The Church values, love, teaches, trains, and counts on women

The church also values, loves, teaches, trains, and counts on men, teenagers, and children. Again, this is not a unique position in our church. Many religious sects count on women even more so than in the LDS Church. In some churches, duties that we reserve only for men can be practiced by both women and men.

 

·         Women and men are equal before the Lord –  with Holy Ghost, receiving revelation, endowments, spiritual gifts, blessing of the Atonement

This is absolutely true. The scriptures say that God is “no respecter of persons.” But we as Mormons believe that our leaders, even if they are divinely appointed and receive divine guidance, are not perfect. As President Uchtdorf said in the last General Conference, our leaders have made mistakes. They are not infallible. Which means the will of God is not perfectly implemented in our current church structure and culture. Just because we are equal before the Lord does not mean we are equal in the church.

Both men and women in the LDS church “get” revelation (though men can receive revelation for women when they are in leadership positions over women – women can really only “get” revelation over a male when it is her own child. Because men and women are equal within a marriage, a woman cannot “get” revelation for husband just as her husband cannot for her).

Both men and women “get” the gift of the Holy Ghost, can receive endowments, have the same spiritual gifts, and can receive the blessings of the Atonement.

And men “get” the priesthood.

 

What Early Church History Women “Get”

·         Emma Smith received revelation affecting scriptures

·         Women were always allowed in the temple, even during times when women couldn’t vote

“This didn’t just start lately. In 1830 Emma Smith received a revelation where she was commanded to expound scripture. In 1842 Joseph organized the Relief Society. This was a time when women couldn’t vote, own property, money earned belonged to husbands. Prophet Joseph organized women. He kept going to RS to teach the women and to prepare them to the temple. From the minute endowments were given, women were included in receiving their blessings in the house of the Lord.”

It is actually incorrect that women were “included” “from the minute endowments were given.” The very first endowment was administered on May 4 or 5 1842 in Joseph Smith’s store in Nauvoo. Nine men received their endowments, but not a single woman. It wasn’t until the Celestial marriage ceremonies began a year later that women began to receive their blessings in the house of the Lord. Even then, women only received endowments with their husbands, while a few men were endowed without spouses present.

We often forget (or never hear) as members that the ban on black men getting the priesthood up to 1978 was also combined with a ban against black women and men entering the temple up until the same point. This is an issue of racial inequality and not gender inequality, but it is still something that affected many Latter-day women and should not be forgotten. Dew’s claims are not inaccurate because Joseph Smith did not start the ban on People of Color receiving the priesthood. or entering the temple, but it was enacted by Brigham Young soon after in 1852. For over a hundred years in our church history, a group of women were not allowed in the temple. 

“This was not forward thinking: this was prophetic,” Dew says. We seem to think that the early church was somehow revolutionary in their treatment of women. In fact, the Seneca Fall Convention on women’s rights, seen as the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, was held in 1848. Industrialization gave way to women fighting the idea that their only sphere of influence was a domestic one; many women’s organizations were founded before and after the beginning of the Relief Society. Around the same time and place as the founding of the LDS church, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Free-Will baptists were beginning to allow women to pray in public as well as hold some leadership positions. Women’s limited place in early church history was not prophetic so much as a sign of changing times.

 

Women “Get” Motherhood, Men “Get” Priesthood

·         Women bear and rear children

“Think how every soul must come through the selflessness of women. Women are at the center of the Plan of Salvation – that is a privilege and an honor.”

Yes, women can obviously gestate and men cannot. However, both men and women rear children. Both men and women are parents with equal responsibilities.

The ability to be pregnant is not something LDS women “get” – it is something every woman with the biological ability to conceive and carry a child gets. It is unclear what Dew means by “women are at the center of the Plan of Salvation.”

This line implies that while men “get” the priesthood, women “get” motherhood. That is doctrinally incorrect: the only equivalent to motherhood is fatherhood. The priesthood is non sequitur to this companionship – it refers to administrative and decision-making roles within the governance of the church, and has nothing to do with reproductive and child-rearing capabilities. As Sonja Farnsworth said in a presentation of her paper “Mormonism’s Odd Couple: The Motherhood-Priesthood Concept” at Sunstone, the motherhood-priesthood union “lacks the symmetry of partnerships like motherhood and fatherhood.”  

We also need to be clear here on exactly what it means when men “get” when men are ordained to the priesthood. Within the LDS church, priesthood holders are the only ones who are allowed to perform sacred ordinances that are necessary for salvation. Having the priesthood is also a prerequisite to holding many leadership callings, lots of which include the decision-making body and the managers of finances. Having the priesthood enables you to be an a position of authority over groups of both men and women, a privilege denied to women.

 

Conclusion

Dew has vaguely outlined many blessings and opportunities women “get” in the LDS church. Many of her suggestions have been misleading, mainly because they do not include the full pictures. It’s easy to believe from this video clip that LDS women “get” a lot compared to women in other religious sects. But this simply is not true. There are churches that are less progressive when it comes to female equality, but there are many churches that are far more progressive. So while some women belong to churches where they “get” less than LDS women, many belong to churches where they “get” more.

The picture is also incomplete because of the lack of men mentioned anywhere in this video. Dew never tells us what LDS men “get” other than the priesthood. She also fails to mentions that being ordained to the priesthood opens up many opportunities that LDS women are simply barred from. Every one of the items that Dew says LDS women “get” is also something that multiple LDS men have “gotten.” The one exception is that men cannot bear a child – a condition that obviously isn’t limited to LDS men. LDS men “get” so much in the church that the list of their privileges needs its own blog post.

 If women and men were really equal within the LDS church, Sheri Dew wouldn’t have been asked that question in an interview because it would be apparent for everyone to see, regardless of their relationship to the church. If women and men were really equal within the LDS church, Sheri Dew wouldn’t need to prove it.

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89 Responses to “a response to sheri dew’s “what do LDS women get?””

  1. d

    You are absolutely right. Something that has been bothering me lately is that women leaders seem to be sent out to be the defenders of inequality in the church. Sheri Dew is one example of this; another is Ruth Todd. While on the surface it seems very progressive that the church has a spokeswoman, I wonder what goes on in her head when, for example, she has to tell women they are not allowed in to the priesthood session at general conference. These women are bright people. How do they endure the cognitive dissonance?

    Reply
    • Brad

      That’s an interesting thought. I wonder what Sister Todd did after she turned the women away from PH session. It’s fun to imagine her turning and walking into the conference center with some of the other men, and then having one of them turn to her and say, “And just where do you think you’re going?”

      Reply
      • sjb

        Everyone KNOWS the PRIESTHOOD session was on the Internet AND TV!
        This immature “Power game”
        Is ridicoulous & demonstrates You’re spiritual growth has stopped!

    • Ally Grigg

      There’s an idea in any situation with institutional power and an oppressed group that those from the oppressed group who help to maintain the status quo are rewarded for it. Both Sheri Dew and Ruth Todd are very powerful women when you think about it. It’s hard not to be impressed by them. And by helping keep women in their place, the church system rewards them with more power than their sisters could ever hope for.

      Reply
      • Devin

        You have no clue what oppression is if you’re honestly making the claim that the mormon church is oppressive. Lack of gender representation in the upper echelons of the church does not mean that women are “oppressed”. Are you slaves? Are you forced to do things against your will? Are you punished when you do something wrong or refuse to do something asked of you? Are you barred from your temples or from recieving ordinances?

        The issue with your church is a skewed gender representation in leadership positions.
        You demean all those suffering under true oppression by ignorantly using that word for your relatively petty plight.

      • sjb

        FYI-they’re NOT more powerful Than me or an unknown sister in Kansas, NYC, Australia, Africa, CA……It’s obvious You really know nothing!

      • Katherine

        I’m not kept in any place. I’m not oppressed by the Church or anyone else. Stop painting a picture that doesn’t exist, please. 🙂

    • Jeri Jordan

      Everyone can listen to the priesthood session of conference on the Internet and by T.V. What the heck is your problem? I could also venture to say most of the ones wanting to attend the actual conference doesn’t even attend the actual conferences on Sat. and Sun. Just something to cause an up stir. It truly is the last days.

      Reply
  2. Lawyer Lady

    What a great post! So, basically Dew’s response in this interview was one long string of straw-man arguments.

    Reply
    • Ally Grigg

      Yes and no, I guess. Some of her statements are outright false, but most were simply misleading. All of the activities she mentioned can be very empowering for women, and we shouldn’t bash on that. It’s just that they sound more like consolation prizes rather than “privileges” compared to what men “get.”

      Reply
      • Ziff

        For some reason, this line just made me laugh:

        “Some of her statements are outright false, but most were simply misleading.”

        It’s sad that misleading was the best she could get to.

  3. Janeva

    To expand your missionary response section a bit…

    Yes, we allow women to preach the Gospel in a formal capacity as missionaries. BUT (and this is a BIG but) virtually EVERYTHING you do as a sister missionary is under male leadership. Every training session (or a very, very high percentage of them) is taught by a man. Men – or, let’s be real, young men – rule your life and influence every single aspect of your sister missionary service. They teach you what being a missionary is. They teach you what you should teach. They run every meeting. They host every checkup session. In a very real way, you are un-empowered as a sister missionary. Every serious statistic is collected, disseminated and processed by a man. Important decisions ALWAYS have to have a male stamp of approval.

    As a sister missionary, you don’t have the support male missionaries have. The missionary system is built for young men. An Elder will get to an area/zone and instantly be surrounded by at least 8 other young men – young men who have also recently graduated from high school and have made similar life decisions to you. You are encouraged to go on exchanges and get to know each other. Sister missionary experiences vary EXTENSIVELY between missions. In my mission, there was 1 (that’s right – ONE) zone that had more than 1 sister companionship. I went on one exchange during my mission. At the time, there were no female leaders in the entire mission. You were a senior companion or a trainer and that was it.

    In addition to the systematical issues of missionary service for women, I have never, EVER felt so ostracized for being a woman as I did when I was on my mission. The differences between men and women had never been so played up. I was either pedestal-ed or completely ignored. When I had a question or a serious issue to discuss with a leader, my first route for advice (post companion and God) was my district leader, who was in every case 3-4 years younger than me and who (more likely than not) had no idea how to relate to a woman at all. And, in their defense, Elders were not given training on how to deal with sisters beyond training in the MTC on how to properly shake hands with them.

    All in all, the missionary system is an EXCELLENT micro-chasm of the Church and its patriarchy.

    Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now. 🙂

    Reply
    • erincita33

      This makes me so sad. I was the only sister in my district at the MTC. We were there for 3 months. I LOVED my Elders. They loved me. One in particular was kind of mean to me. We had a really special experience later in our mission (and we weren’t even in the same mission just happened to be at a general conference together in portugal) and we had both grown so much. We were just young. All the missionaries were learning and growing in every possible way. The important thing wasn’t what we GOT it was what we GAVE.

      Be the change you want in the world. Give the love you want to receive. Offer the respect to others that you desire. It doesn’t matter what stage of growth or understanding THEY are at. It only matters that you do your best with where YOU are at. And be gentle with them because they can only give what they currently know how to give.

      Being frustrated that Zion is still being built is missing the whole point. It is a work. It is HIS work. We are ALL learning. We ALL make mistakes. If there is something we have been given to see before others we don’t teach that by force or demands. We teach it by example and with humility and love and patience. We give people freedom to grow at their own pace. We try to learn from THEM in the gifts THEY have been given, which may be different than our own.

      Condemning the Church (our brothers and sisters) for not being perfect is not the Savior’s way. Admitting our own imperfections first and mercifully allowing others to have theirs will do far more good than pointing out the errors of others. Pointing and blaming is not the way of the Spirit. Shaming others for their faults does not build them up.

      Reply
      • sunnysolana

        Beautiful post. Those who are reading with an open heart and mind will clearly see the difference in approach and attitude here in this post from the original and many of the others. I also served a mission and never felt “less than” the elders or felt they were better than I. Thank you , erincita, for refocusing on what matters most.

    • Anonymous

      You are so FULL of it. You overemphasize what it means for an Elder to “conduct a meeting”. “Men – or, let’s be real, young men – rule your life and influence every single aspect of your sister missionary service. They teach you what being a missionary is. They teach you what you should teach. They run every meeting. They host every checkup session. In a very real way, you are un-empowered as a sister missionary. Every serious statistic is collected, disseminated and processed by a man. Important decisions ALWAYS have to have a male stamp of approval.”

      I personally “conducted” meetings where sister missionaries taught me and the other missionaries in our zone what it means to be a missionary, what we should teach. “running” a meeting is hardly the position of power and authority you make it out to be. What the heck is a “checkup session”. The mission presidents wife was in charge of checking on the sister missionaries living conditions and upkeep. Every missionary reports their own statistics.

      Your fixation on the government of the church only shows how limited your understanding of the Priesthood is in the eternal scheme of things. Whether you like it or not God has put us here to organize the priesthood in a patriarchal order, each man holding the keys of the resurrection and eternal life for his family. If you really would open your mind to the temple ordinances and how they are administered, you would understand this. It is his sacred stewardship to do so. And no man can accomplish this by “oppressing” his wife and children. The church only exists temporarily as a mortal organization to disseminate this priesthood and patriarchal order to the families of the earth. The eternal realm is governed by the priesthood, man and woman, husband and wife, having equal yet different rolls. Your politically correct opinion doesn’t count for anything there.

      Reply
    • vaase Lealaitafea

      Misconstrued
      Erroneous
      Misconception
      Misunderstood
      No clue
      Lack of knowledge
      Lack of understanding
      Ignorant
      Closed mindedness
      The glory of God is intelligence
      Have and open mind, and maybe you’d learn 🏫 a thing or two😎

      Reply
  4. D

    That must have been extremely frustrating for you. The life of an lds woman intensified.

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    Thank you for this. I would like to add that this video is basically a retelling of her somewhat snarky response to a reporter. A man on the outside looking in. It comes off as condescending and I think that is on purpose. It is not meant for faithful LDs women inside the church who feel unequal. I think that is an important distinction, but unfortunately I think most people use it as an example of why feminists should just be happy with what they have.

    Also along with the motherhood/priesthood thing, I would like to see a clarification that not all women get motherhood. All men now have the opportunity to hold the priesthood, depending on their worthiness, but motherhood is not dependent on worthiness. A “worthy” woman may not be able to be a mother because of infertility or because she has not married. So this “Women GET motherhood” thing is quite hurtful to some.

    Reply
    • Dani

      In light of the discussion below , I’m curious what readers thought of Dallin Oaks most recent conference talk during the Priesthood session entitled “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood”

      Reply
  6. Sarah Braudaway-Clark

    I think it’s also important to note that Joseph Smith did not organize the Relief Society. The women themselves did it. He came in later, liked it, and decided to make it an official part of the church.

    Reply
    • vaase Lealaitafea

      Not true!
      The Prophet looked @ the proposal first time that was presented relief society president, gave her advise the following day, the prophet approved of it and present it to the church members, for a sustaining vote of approval

      Reply
  7. colleendown

    Thank you for your well thought out remarks as this video clip has been floating around my FB page for several days. It is important that “thinking” women continue to speak out against this feel good propaganda. As another commenter said, “this is also a re-telling of her side of the story of an interview,” I somehow think the actual interview did not go anywhere a long these lines–it seems to be a highly embellished story–most likely one of those moments where she thought to herself, if I could answer the question again, this is what I would say. Sheri Dew is hardly representative of the rank and file of the church, like Ruth Todd, they are simply put out there as PR representatives—to become Pinterest PosterGirls!

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Then go join another bloody church! Quit complaining about this one!!!

    Reply
    • MLS

      The people who would kick women out of a church for wanting equality are not followers if the Lord of the New Testament.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        STOP using the term “equality” to represent what you want. It is “homogeneity” that you seek. Let’s just get rid of all gender rolls and forms of them, even thought that is a sacred and important part of our earthly test.

  9. D

    I didn’t notice anyone saying on here that they don’t like men. Did you? I think most people commenting here are looking for more inclusivity, rather than a different type of exclusivity. I also think you are getting your wish as more and more people leave and it is scaring church leaders to death.

    Reply
    • MLS

      D is correct. And, at this rate in a couple of generations the LDS church will be composed primarily of white men: The demographic catered to by the organization.

      Reply
  10. Believer

    Is it just me or does this entire post (and argument) proceed from bitterness? Please don’t get me wrong, I can see where many arguments are coming from, but this issue seems to be coming from anger rather than a desire to do good. I am honestly more than open to women receiving the priesthood if the Lord says so, but I have never heard an argument backing women’s ordination to the priesthood that is based on wanting to serve, give blessings, etc. Maybe I’m reading the wrong things, but it just, at this moment, seems a little off.

    Reply
    • Ally Grigg

      This post isn’t about female ordination. So yeah, you’re way off.

      Reply
  11. B

    So, you want to be a member of God’s church but you want Him to change it so you like it better.. Seriously? I think He is more than capable of having thing run the way He wants them to be. Maybe one man doesn’t say or do something.g just the way you think he should. Bummer. State your point of view and deal with the issue and move on. If you want the priesthood join a different church that will let you have it. This church is Gods. He makes the rules. You live with them and abide by them, maybe work on your faith and ego issues, or go play somewhere else and “man up” at the judgement seat. Try not to be a pawn of Satan’s by working against the Lord’s anointed

    Reply
    • Ziff

      This makes zero sense unless you think that Church leaders are infallibly conveying God’s will. If you think they are, I think you’re kind of missing the obvious fact that they do make mistakes, and you’re also kind of turning them into idols. Please don’t be Satan’s pawn by chasing people out of the Church for disagreeing with your bizarre ideas of infallibility.

      Reply
      • ME!

        Ziff, and everyone – I’d like to explain something: YES, the leaders of the Church acted in an infallible way when the Priesthood keys were given to men, specifically because they followed the instructions from the Lord Himself. Unless you think that each and every 6 months the Church leaders have to “re-decide” who gets to hold those keys, and every 6 months they choose to block women from such an act an they do it following their own wishes and desires without even praying, in which case you might have a point. However, that is not the case. The Lord Himself instructed Church leaders from the beginning, and again in 1978 when the Priesthood was made available to all worthy males, who could hold the keys and who could not. End of story. And don’t give me the garbage about how Emma Smith and other women were ordained to the Priesthood. Been there, done that, and it’s inapplicable to how the Lord is running His church today and to the entire context of the discussion. It would take days to go through all that history in correct context. No time for that, and it doesn’t apply here, since all that happened pre-1978 anyway. The Lord’s last word is to give the Priesthood keys to the men. That is the right way, the only way, and we either go with it, or work against it which means we’d then be working against God.

        Everyone, and I mean everyone, who is on the “equality” bandwagon, is being misled by Satan, and my invitation is to repent and humbly seek the Lord’s guidance to come back to the Iron Rod.

        In the last days the very elect will be deceived – and many of those seeking this “equality” could easily fall under that description of “elect” if they were meek enough to follow the Lord through His prophet, yet they are wasting their efforts on focusing so much on this one aspect, that they are being sucked into it like quicksand. The more you “kick” the faster it sucks you in. Beware. It is Satan’s quick sand.

        The Lord has spoken. And seeking Priesthood Key-holding for women is against the Lord’s way at this time. If one were to humbly and honestly follow the Lord, they would choose to let this “equality” bandwagon pass them by, recognizing that it is not right in the eyes of the Lord. He will make it known, AS HE STATED, through His prophet when such a change is to take place.

        End of story.

        You all really need to stop “Martin Harris-ing” the Lord. You know how that ended.

  12. Multiplying Talents: Mormon Women in Global Church Leadership

    […] [2] If anything, when I hear popular Mormon assumptions about gender and spirituality, I hear assertions such as “women are more in tune with the Spirit” or “there are more righteous women than men in the Church.” The recent popularity of a video clip in which Sheri Dew (here) extols the activity and influence of Mormon women in response to a journalist’s question about whether she felt “oppressed” demonstrates church members’ eagerness to assert that women are not second-class citizens within Mormon doctrine, practice, and organization, but equals. See a rebuttal to this video clip here. […]

    Reply
  13. colleendown

    After reading a few more of the comments here and elsewhere, I just must say, I am an “old feminist,” I love history, I love watching change and evolution. It is always for the better. The church will be no exception–things will change. You “young feminists” keep writing and speaking and moving forward. Words like “Satan’s pawn” are used by women who fear. Keep being the light you are and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Those “iron jawed angels” of yesteryear faced much of the same stone throwing, but they prevailed. God is always a reflection of where we are in our own personal lives–you obviously believe in a much bigger, more inclusive God–and your God will open doors and hearts!

    Reply
    • kjpbessey

      Why would you want to feel that you need to prevail? To prevail means: “To prove more powerful than opposing forces”. Who are the forces you opposing and why? Who are the angels of yesteryear who fought and won and against whom? More importantly, why would you want to be in a church that you have to oppose? I personally would not want to be in a church where I needed to fight against or oppose it’s major doctrine and leaders. Yes I do think the church has changed or “progressed” in many ways, but mostly logistically. And there is a difference between real spiritual progression and the world’s view of progression. There is also a difference between policies that are more cultural/society based and real truths that need to change and doctrines that are unchangeable. They are unchangeable because they are part of the plan and who we are in that plan. Voicing opinions about some of the logistical things is fine and good but much different than opposing major doctrine. Again, I do question why someone would want to oppose a Church they proclaim to want to be a part of, what’s the point? If you truly believe that this is the Church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth today that is led and directed by a living prophet who receives his direction from God, then you would believe that God will be the one to make the changes through that prophet, not through women feminist bloggers or anyone else. Fighting and opposing doctrine is not doesn’t make sense, it is unproductive and honestly shows a lack of real understanding and a lack of faith in the Gospel and how the Lord works.

      Reply
  14. k

    Say what you will, scream, rant, rave, the biggest thing out of line is your attitude. The focus you obviously have on what you think you don’t have. If you read the scriptures, or LISTEN in the temple endowment you’ll find that ordination for women won’t happen. Not that we are inferior or less than our male counterparts. It has never been so even from the start of the world, and God doesn’t change. Find your peace with that or become excommunicated with the rest of the people that kicked against the pricks until they lost their faith.

    Reply
    • Lydia

      Hey K, we’re obviously listening to different temple sessions. Because the one that I hear every time I go to definitely mentions priestesses.

      Reply
    • Ziff

      Really? You can tell women *won’t* be ordained? How do you know? Church leaders haven’t said this. In fact, I think we have a scripture that says there’s more to be revealed.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        And this organization got the revelation or is going to be the catalyst for it? Wow, pretty bold stance. Sorry the priesthood is a PATRIARCHAL ORDER. We are meant to be organized eternally in a PATRIARCHAL order, the church and it’s organization is not going to exist in eternity, but our families will. The church only exists to organize the eternal PATRIARCHAL order of the priesthood that is the government of heaven. do we perfectly live it here. Obviously not, but you aren’t going to convince me that what you are doing is going to bring about the ordination of women and somehow that is what God would have us do.

  15. R

    “the only equivalent to motherhood is fatherhood. The priesthood is non sequitur to this companionship – it refers to administrative and decision-making roles within the governance of the church….”

    This statement saddens me very much. I think that Heavenly Father would also express His sadness about you stating that His power, the priesthood power, is only for administrative and church governmental purposes. It is SO much more than that. It is so great that we can only comprehend and see a miniscule portion of it while in this earthly life, and the men who hold it only hold a small portion of it and have a tiny portion of keys allotted to which they may administer. When we see Him and all His power standing alongside His companion who is also robed with power just as great, I think we will realize how little we understand and see while in mortality.

    Reply
    • Ziff

      I don’t find much comfort in the idea that we should just put up with all the sexism because it will be solved in the eternities. Why do you think it’s bad to try to make things better in the here and now?

      Reply
  16. JKH

    I think the most important message of this post, and many like it, is that the church is not infallible and we are deceiving ourselves to say that it is. If no one had ever questioned a practice, blacks never would had received the priesthood (and their being excluded from priesthood service was NOT guidance received through revelation- it was protocol enacted by Brigham Young, as I think this post mentioned).
    So why may there not be other church practices about which we ought to consider their value and integrity? Perhaps we should think of the new developments in gender equality in the church that are being made slowly and with so much backlash as small steps towards preparing for the second coming of Christ, not as hastening us to our destruction.
    I also second the comments about service as a sister missionary- never in my life have I both felt so valuable to the Lord while at the same time feeling so utterly patronized by the established hierarchy of the church. I can not accept that the current way of doing things was micro-managed by the Savior- it was a product of the culture of the times and we should be prepared to welcome improvements based on faithful supplication for guidance from the Lord.

    Reply
  17. Heidi

    I read in the book “A Rough Stone Rolling” (A book at Deseret Book and supposedly approved by the church that Joseph was the one who ordained Elijah, not the other guy they talk about in here…just to clarify…

    Reply
  18. Jennifer LM

    Please remember that when you are a member of the Lord’s church you are asked to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort. We’re asked to try to be like Christ. Just because you think someone is wrong, doesn’t mean the Savior would like you to label someone as being “Satan’s pawn” (In fact, I’m trying to think of a scripture passage where Jesus called someone that name. Nothing’s coming to mind.) He didn’t tell you to use your membership in His church to tell people to leave and find another church. Quite the contrary- He asked you to find the lost sheep. If you think the author is lost, then try to just listen for understanding – no judgment. You just might learn something.

    Reply
  19. kjpbessey

    The sad thing is that you don’t “get” it. The church is not progressive because that is not its goal. Some things do change with time/experience/people but women “getting” the Priesthood will not. Why would you want to be a part of a church whose standards are based on what the world’s standards of “progression” are? Progression doesn’t always mean what you think. Why does everyone have to “get” or have everything the same in order to be so fair or progress? Why have we raised this generation of Gimmie’s – it’s this attitude that will cause you to never be happy, never feel satisfied until life is completely “fair” for everyone in every way. But it won’t be 100% the same for everyone. Life is not fair, nor does everyone need the same things to be equal or fair. If men and women were truly equal in every way then we wouldn’t even have any gender differences. The fact is men have penis’s and women have vaginas. Are we going to complain about that next? We are different. Who cares if you don’t want to wear a dress to church? NO ONE. Be confident enough in who you are to accept that doesn’t mean you are less. Different isn’t less. If we didn’t have these differences we wouldn’t need each other. It’s good to need each other, actually it’s essential to need each other. It doesn’t hold you back to need others in certain ways or them to need you. It shows a lack of confidence as well as a lack of understanding of the gospel to think you have to have everything the same in order to have the same blessings etc.. Where does it end?

    Reply
    • Ally

      OMG. I have a vagina!? Thank goodness this random Internet stranger reminded me that it’s what’s in my pants that is holding me back from having the same opportunities as men.

      The goal of the members of the Church is to be more like God, and God is no respecter of persons. No, everyone does not need the same things to be equal, but they do need the same opportunities. Otherwise, you get “separate but equal,” and we’ve seen how well that works out. (Hint: it doesn’t.)

      “Where does it end?” That’s a logical fallacy.

      If you don’t care what we wear to church, then why are you coming here and commenting about it?

      Reply
    • Lola

      I agree with your response. Also, since when is life about “getting” power anyway? Let us live the teachings of the gospel to the best of our ability with humility and gratitude and leave the hunger for power behind.

      I think people get caught up in the equality of men and women in leadership positions, and they miss the real meaning of leadership. From my understanding, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, leadership is simply a position of service, not of power.

      Reply
    • ME!

      EXCELLENT comment, kjpbessey! However, sadly, those on the “equality” bandwagon will twist your words, as they always do. Satan is a master at that. He is leading them by the nose of their pride.

      Reply
  20. erin

    I am seeing a lot of- but there is a man above them. As if this reduces the blessing or opportunity of their calling from the Lord. Every single member of the Church is under a man- even the Prophet. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Does this demean women? Does the name of the Church imply that women are less valuable because it contains the name of a man?

    Jesus Christ is a man. He is our Savior. Are you upset that He is a man? Why wasn’t our Savior a woman? Why didn’t we have 2 Saviors- one male and one female? Does this imply God is unjust and treats us unequally?

    The order of the Church is to practice for eternal families. The Lord has designed the order of the priesthood with a purpose. Maybe it’s because our power as women is so great we need to be kept humble. Maybe it’s because our callings imitate more closly our Heavenly Mother and Priesthood callings imitatge more closely our Heavenly Father. There are many reasons why is could be this way. We do not know all things. But part of faith is being humble and not demanding things we feel we aren’t “getting” from the Lord. When the Lord doesn’t grant us something do we get mad at Him and tell Him it isn’t fair? Why not?

    A humble servant is grateful.

    Reply
    • Ally

      We don’t know why Christ was a man, nor do Mormon feminists wish to change what has already happened. However, the fact that we are under a male prophet could change, if female ordination were to come to pass.

      “Maybe it’s because our power as women is so great we need to be kept humble.” That is the worst and saddest thing I have ever heard. I sincerely hope you don’t believe that. I would feel so sincerely bad for you if you did. That’s just awful.

      I don’t believe in a Heavenly Father that would intentionally keep us from fulfilling our full potential in this mortal life, one that would keep us down low. Humility does not mean that you have to be oppressed or kept in a low station.

      “When the Lord doesn’t grant us something do we get mad at Him and tell Him it isn’t fair”? Yeah! You’ve never done that? I don’t think anyone who has gone through a great trial at some point hasn’t asked God “why?”. That’s human nature!

      Of course there are many reasons why inequality exists within the current church structure. I for one would love to have the prophet pray and ask why. I’m looking for answers, as we were instructed to be the words “search, ponder, and pray.” You do not have to, but nor should you disparage us for only doing what the gospel encourages us to do.

      Reply
      • erincita33

        You think it’s sad that I think it’s possible that women are capable of such greatness that Satan might tempt them to be prideful? That maybe our power is greater and that’s why we have to learn to wield it in unforceful ways? First of all- it IS a possibility. Anything is possible. Secondly, I think it speaks much more to what actual power is and our capability of greatness- true greatness- than the worldly way of classifying it by some hierarchical strutcture. I think when we try to apply to world’s concept of power to the Lord’s work we will never be satisfied because it doesn’t add up. Christ was so humble. He was born in the most lowly circumstances. He died in lowly circumstances. The Jews didn’t see his true Greatness because they looked at Him as the world sees power.

        What if the truly great ones are helpers instead of leaders?

        Elder Holland said so I believe. And to me- it makes sense.

        Trying to position ourselves for worldly glory or “authority” is something we do when we don’t understand the greatness of the opportunities we already have. True power comes from charity- not from being in positions of “leadership.” When you have the power of God working within you nothing can stop you. There is no force that can hold you back. Any one of us is capable of reaching that. It’s not a visible thing. It’s more powerful than anything visible.

    • -

      Thank you for that response I was thinking of responding similiarly but you did it better than I could have.

      Reply
  21. T

    If you have your own freedom…. and you are free to join any church you wish…..why don’t you go find one that fits what you want? Or better yet, start your own? Ranting and raving about how unfair this church’s doctrine is is stupid. We’re talking about a church, not something like basic human rights or governing laws. I’m pretty sure no one is forcing you to stay in this church, especially if you feel SO mistreated and unequal. And I’m also pretty sure that if you really feel like the current church leaders and the doctrine this church teaches are not correct, that means that you don’t have a testimony of the truthfulness of this church either. And last time I checked there are not church leaders forcing you to continue to be a member of this church if you don’t really believe. Believing and being a faithful member means having FAITH that things will work out, and TRUST in the church leaders, and a TESTIMONY of the truthfulness of the Proclamation on the Family, which clearly states that men and women have SEPARATE but EQUAL roles.

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    All of this is just sad. I sustain the Prophet and the Quorum of the 12. I understand and am happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The want to have, what everyone else has, can be interpreted as jealously. Men who don’t use the priesthood righteously have hurt others. I think that could be a reason why so many women feel the way they do. Also, I have read that some think a woman’s/mother’s prayer is not as important as a preisthood blessing and that Hurst because that is a lie! To discount a prayer by anyone is wrong!!! I know my Heavenly Father listens and answers my prayers! I am a daughter of God and He loves me and everyone! Read the Book of Mormon and pray righteously an you will find peace, truth, and joy. The closer you are to God, the more joy you will find! All I have read is anger, hurt feelings, jealousy, and a need for power. Who does this sound like???

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      It sounds like people who want to know the truth and be happy. Find the happiness in your day to day.

      Reply
    • erin

      Anonymous- I can totally relate to you. When I hear people talking down the power of prayer and faith as being 2nd rate gifts it makes me sad. I feel like- they must not understand the power they have to move mountains. God will not honor my prayers less or hold back His goodness and grace from me because I do not hold the priesthood. I have felt the healing power physically come into my body from a sister placing her hand on me in love without saying a word. I think if we could experience these miracles we would realize that we are not lacking for anything. We have all we need. The happiness and joy of the gospel is there for us to find. Wanting something external – which we all do- comes when we do not understand the power we already have available to us.

      The conference talk- Do we know what we have?- resonates with me. Do we know what we ALREADY have? We love to say we want more. Do we know what is already within us? What we have already been given?

      When I feel so full of gratitude I must burst I just wonder why God had blessed me with so much. Why me? Why, in spite of all my imperfections and weaknesses had He given me the gift of a testimony? Why do I get to know? Why do I get to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost? Why does He answer my prayers with such faithfulness? I do not deserve the many gifts of mercy I have been given. I am so grateful. I just pray that I can appreciate them and not forget them.

      When I pray to God and He speaks back to me it is the ultimate joy. I am not lacking for anything this world can offer. There is no recognition or social responsibility or outward honor that can bring what a deep and connected prayer can bring. My Heavenly Father grants me all that I need. He stays not His hand. The only thing that limits my power is my own lack of faith.

      We talk a lot about we have and what we don’t have. If we humbly petition Him for more in secret prayer, it must be in the spirit of thy will be done and with total gratitude for what has already been given us. If it is done publicly and in the spirit of believing it is owed to us- that is not the Lord’s way. That is the world’s way. In that spirit we think that the fulness of gratitude must be witheld until we get what we want. And sadly- when that is the case- we will never get what we want.

      It is only when we are so full of gratitude for what we already have that we weep with joy and want nothing- that He gives us more. That is His way. He can’t give us more if we don’t see what is already there. When we see what is already there we have nothing to sing but praises of joy.

      Reply
  23. Jenna

    I feel sorry for you and anyone else who thinks this way. You obviously don’t understand or realize your potential. You are capable of doing and being such great things. Instead you are playing in the mud with dirty thoughts. Good luck. Hope you find happiness.

    Reply
  24. Kay

    When God made the”Plan” it was perfect. Imperfect sons and daughters have altered the plan in their lives because of the influences that happen in morality. I have always felt that the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is so that we can all become Christ-like in our characters and thus follow our Savior into eternal life.
    Men and Women enter this mortal existence in the same way. Through a mortal birth. We each have a mother and a father. Because it is the woman’s body that is the vehicle that carries the baby she is the first nurturer. She is the first to love and care for the baby even before birth takes place. There is something amazing that happens when we serve others selflessly, love begins. Love is the foundation of the Christ-like characteristics we are trying to develop. Motherhood is an experience that leads to that faster than any other experience known in the world. The love of a mother for her child cannot be matched. Motherhood is the best opportunity to learn to be like the Savior Jesus Christ. (What mother’s do daily, the Savior did daily). So what about the men? How do they come unto the Savior and develop his characteristics? Initially the man’s role on earth was to be the provider for the family. He was to go out into the “dog eat dog” world where the survival of the fittest rules. That is not a very compassionate place to work. It is not an easy place to develop a Christ-like character in. I wonder if that is the reason God asked the men to have stewardship over service through priesthood. (Just a note here: We all know that men are not the priesthood. They are given the specific responsibility to administer the priesthood as a service to all of God’s children.) Through priesthood service the brethren have an opportunity to develop their Christ-like attributes just as a woman have the opportunity through motherhood. Motherhood is part of the priesthood plan. Fatherhood is part of the priesthood plan. Priesthood is the power that God uses to create and save all his children.

    The world’s ways are not God’s ways. Men and women in the world have tried to alter God’s perfect plan to save each of his sons and daughters through helping them to have a way to serve through stewardship and service. Men cannot bear the children, their mortal bodies are physically incapable to that divine service to mankind. Women could have been given the priesthood stewardship also, but God cared about helping his sons to have a way through stewardship to develop characteristics of love, patience, kindness, listening, teaching, healing, feeding, nurturing, protecting, guiding, clothing, etc. Priesthood responsibilities, if carried out correctly will help a man to gain these characteristics. A woman’s stewardship to become a mother gives her the same opportunity to develop these characteristics. Selfishness has no place in either of these God given responsibilities. They were given by God as the best way to bring each son and daughter back to his glory and presence. Chaos and confusion are not part of God’s plan. The influences in the world have created the divisiveness that exists. The best way to remedy the problems in this world, is to get back to God’s way of doing things. God is never surprised and he does honor agency. We get to choose our course of action.

    Reply
    • Dollie

      I’m sorry to tell you this, but women are now indeed allowed to go into said “dog eat dog” world and take care of their families too!! Also, saying that a woman’s love for her child is greater than a man’s is incredibly insulting and wrong. Yes, wrong. I have known many men who have loved their children a lot more than their mothers, and by the way, by men I mean “human beings with penises”. Here’s why I desire the priesthood: I want to be able to serve and lead in the way my male comrades do. Right now, the Church says that I cannot have “all the blessings of the priesthood” if I am not tied to a worthy male holder of it. So for example, if I was a single mother with a sick child, I could not give him/her a priesthood blessing to heal them. However, if I was a single father, I could still do so, even if my wife wasn’t there! I mean sure, I could call up a male holder to bless my child, kinda like how a woman could ask a man to vote for the candidate she wanted in office back when women couldn’t vote. Ya know, she had no voice but hey who cares because her husband did and husband and wife are practically one person and plus she get to GIVE BIRTH so she should have just shut up because that totally evens things out. Also, I’m tired of hearing how I get things men don’t too: (“You’re a better nurturer!” No, I am not. “Your gender role is to be the giver and caretaker!” I am not very good at sharing and I don’t like taking care of anyone. “God made you the center of his plan” Way to make men seem as if they are less. Isn’t this conversation about how that’s not okay? “You get to push a human out of your body!” Really? Well, that doesn’t sound very nice to me. If I could give it to my husband, I would. I spent years acting like a proper, nice, smiley, positive, submissive, quiet girl because that’s what they taught me my “gender role” was. It was the most miserable years of my life. I am not those things and I won’t pretend any longer. I am smart, competitive, stubborn, open minded, strong, bossy, opinionated, and ambitious. This is me and I thank God every day for allowing me to finally accept and love myself.

      Reply
      • erincita33

        I am a single LDS girl and I work in the dog eat dog world and I am blessed for the job and opportunities I have. My biggest dream is to raise children and if I get that opportunity I will give them all the time that it is possible because they will be the most important work of my life.

        Any woman can choose to work in the world. No one is stopping her. But our greatest joys will be found in doing God’s work- which can also be in the world if that is His plan for us individually. If we put our children first- in whatever way it is possible for us to do in our individual circumstances- we will find a greater joy than we could have known otherwise. Children need to be taught, loved and nurtured. All the time. When we farm that job out to other people we lose and they lose. Unless we don’t have a choice and then we just have to trust the Lord to make up the difference.

        I may not have children in this life. I don’t know the Lord’s plan. But if I don’t I still will recognize that I will never be able to reach my full eternal potential until I get that chance. That is how the plan was designed. It’s just how things are.

        RE the blessings of the priesthood. I don’t feel entitled to ANY blessing. I am unworthy of ALL blessings- it’s only through his mercy and love that they come. And I feel so grateful for what He blesses me with. Even if I see other people with blessings I don’t have. I trust Him and I am so happy for those who receive those blessings that I someday hope to have.

        As far as the priesthood- how can I covet that when I don’t even use all the opportunities I have NOW to serve? I have a long way to go in just fulfilling my current obligations and callings. I’m just going to focus on that. I feel no need to ask for more. That’s just my personal view. You have a different one.

        The Lord gives us so much every day. Do we even know the blessings we already have? When we realize it we almost can’t even believe it. Our cup runneth over. There is no room to desire more.

    • Dollie

      Erincita,

      I’m glad that your greatest dream is to raise children, unfortunately, that is not every woman’s greatest dream. Personally, I’d love to have a family, but do I think it’s the only great thing I’ll do? Not really. I will start my own business, I will continue my father and mother’s business, I will teach courses in schools and impact the lives of many people. I love being a mother, but it is not the ceiling of greatness that we are taught in the church, because the best thing I can do is be as close to God as possible, and I don’t have to have children for that. “Any woman can choose to work in the world” yes, but the women working in the world are STILL getting paid less than the men, aren’t as well-represented, and are subject to harassment a lot more often than the men, and so there is still room for improvement. The Lord’s work can be done in many ways, not simply by bearing and raising children. Lastly, I have the desire to have more ways to serve, because I know it would help me grow and that I’d be good at it. Just as your personal view is that you don’t need to want it, mine is that I want to have more opportunities to be of use in the Kingdom and I refuse to be ashamed of it. Also, for the record, I do agree that the blessings we have from the Lord are magnificent, but to your question of is there room to desire more? Of course, by simply not having the same amount of potential to serve as our brothers, we are given the room to desire.

      Reply
      • teri9 (@teri9)

        @Dollie: “I love being a mother, but it is not the ceiling of greatness that we are taught in the church” – from this it is clear you do not have a grasp on what is eternally true, and that is that there is no greater calling or job that you will ever do in all eternity than being a mother. Nothing you do no this earth will every come close to the importance and far-reaching impact that motherhood has.

        “because the best thing I can do is be as close to God as possible, and I don’t have to have children for that.” – oh you are so wrong, and you have no clue that you are wrong. You CANNOT become as close to God as possible, not become like Him UNTIL you have raised your children. That is one reason of the many why we will be able to raise any child of ours who dies prematurely (as in before being able to finish out their life on earth as a full adult). Being a parent is part of our process or learning to be like God, and becoming closer to Him than anything else will ever, ever bring us.

        You great “concern” about these feminist “ideals” (ie: getting paid equal ro more than men, etc., etc.) are founded on pride and stirred up by Satan. I invite all who succumb to those, to please turn from that way of thinking, by humbling yourself and seeking out the teachings of the prophets, particularly our current prophets, and doing exactly as the Lord instructs through them.

        “I have the desire to have more ways to serve, because I know it would help me grow and that I’d be good at it” – that is pride, following what you want, rather than aligning your will to the Lord’s. We would all be good at whatever we chose to purse. That is not the test. The test of this life is to see if we will do all things which the Lord God has commanded us. Most of us are able and marry and have children, and that is the main purpose of our existence, alongside learning to follow the Lord through obedience to Him. There are some who, through no fault of their own, will not have the opportunity in this life to marry and rear children, and in such cases they do the best they can and continue with productive lives knowing the day will come, through their faithfulness in following the Lord an obeying Him, that they *will* have the opportunity for marriage and children. This life is not the ‘end all’. It is only the training and a probationary period. Feminists do not see nor look at life through the prism of eternity, they see the here and now, and then think of how that applies to eternity. That is one reason why their paradigm is skewed. You are listening to the world and the world is only mimicking what Satan whispers to them.

        “Just as your personal view is that you don’t need to want it, mine is that I want to have more opportunities to be of use in the Kingdom and I refuse to be ashamed of it” – shame on you for trying to make her feel “less than”. What she is seeking is of higher eternal value than what you are seeking. By saying you “want to have more” insinuates that “just” being a mother is not enough. That is backwards, and contrary to the Lord’s command to us women. Our place is in the home, and to rear children, whenever possible. THAT will bring us to our fullness, NOT working and “having more” in this world. What “good” can we do in this world that will trump what we can do with our own children? Absolutely nothing! If you were to reach every single person and child in this world, and teach them, heal them, and feed them, and give them skills to work, yet if you chose to not have children/curtail the number of your children for worldly reasons/or hurry up and raise what children you have so that you can get to the more important job of “having more” in this world, you will be falling short of the greatest potential you have. Nothing, I repeat Nothing, will ever be as important and of such magnitude as that which we will do as mothers. Let’s see if you and all you feminists can understand this one point: NOTHING will ever be greater in this world, then bearing and raising children. NOTHING. Satan loves it when people believe him as you are. He can keep you from focusing on what is most important. You are helping his cause when you follow the feminist movement. Therefore you SHOULD be ashamed of your own free will. But you “refuse”. So be it. But beware.

        “to your question of is there room to desire more? Of course, by simply not having the same amount of potential to serve as our brothers, we are given the room to desire.” – did you really just type that? Really? Do you not see the contradiction? You really ARE blinded by Satan’s logic, aren’t you? Anyone who does not see that our potential for growth and learning is and always has been equal for Father’s sons AND daughters, is blind. The blessings and potential inherent in being a wife and mother leave no room for further blessings – precisely because it is THE most glorious and heavy-reponsibility calling there is in the world at this time, and it has ever been so. I will reiterate – there is absolutely nothing in this world that rises higher, that fulfills more, that teaches and grows us more, that prepares us better to be like and with God, than the role of wife and mother. Your feminist desire to “lower the bar” to be “all that the world” would have you be, simply because the world, in its full ignorance, says that “having more” and “becoming more” of what the world dictates is the “ceiling of greatness” – fall SO MUCH SHORTER on the scale of what is truly great, and what is truly the ceiling, that is almost sacrilegious. You and all other feminists have more brains than to fall for that. However, your pride keeps you from seeing that. You have turned inward and begun listening to that pride that says “me, me, me… I am woman, I am great, I deserve more, I deserve better, yes the world is all about men, the world is wrong, poor me, I’m discriminated against, I will never be great unless the world says I’m great, I am woman, and I will fight for my rights, yeah that feels good, I’m gonna follow my carnal pride because it gives me power and I feel powerful and good and I am happy – therefore I must be following the Spirit and this must be right because it feels so good.”

        For you and all other feminists – I pray for you. Not in a proud way, because in all honesty, I of myself feel you will get what you deserve. However, I also feel that once the veil is taken from us in the next life, we will see each other and fully remember each other and the great love that we had for each other in the preexistence, and will fully hurt for each other for the trials we all had to endure and overcome, but more especially for any of the hurt or pain we have caused each other. Therefore I honestly, humbly, and meekly pray for you and all other feminists, knowing that in the end all I really hope for is that you will all wake up from the false ideology that Satan has you following. I firmly believe it is Satan that is behind this, and I feel badly that so many of our brothers and sisters are buying into it. But, I have so many things in my own life that I need to overcome and repent of as well, that we’re all in the same boat most likely.

        So, I point out the fallacies in your argument, because I just feel like it, and I invite you to repent and do life the Lord’s way, stop listening to the LDS Feminist movement, for it is wrong, and then I invite all of us to be humble, meek, submissive, and as perfectly obedient to God and what He instructs through His prophet, as we can. You see, a long time ago I learned that the Lord will never, not once, not even for 1 minutes, will allow His prophets to lead us astray. He will end their lives before the prophet/head of the Church is allowed to even THINK about leading the Church astray. I have gained my own testimony of this through the Spirit, so I fully trust the prophet. President Monson and the 12 might be “just men” and have their own opinions, but when they come together and make world-wide announcements, then I know they’ve already seen down the road (where we cannot see), and they have deeper understanding than we do, and they have prayerfully made a decision already. It is now up to each of us whether or not we will follow. If they are still living after making that decision, then that’s because it is the right decision. Because if it was wrong or deceitful, the Lord would have taken his life. So please, turn yourself around, follow the prophet, and see reason.

  25. tjohn

    Your statements are toxic and although your point is to stand up for feminism your points actually reflect a genuine dislike of yourself. If you truly understood the role of women in the priesthood, your toxicity would melt. Your opinions are pointed at men in general. Unfortunately you are pointing your attacks at the priesthood which symbolize your disdain for men. It leaves one to wonder…what kind of trauma or abuse did you incur at the hands of a man as a youth? Please focus your energy on healing whatever you have been through. Your opinions are toxic and discouraging to me as a woman. Although you say that you are standing up for women, you are fighting the divine power of women. I pray for your ability to work through you issues in a way that truly brings you peace. Best wishes.

    Reply
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  27. Ivy

    HI. I truly am saddened with what you had to say about the church, I actually cried because you do not seem to understand what the Lord has planned. Isn’t it enough with what the Church has given us? But you continue to want more. Do you really think questioning what the Lord has set out is the right thing to do? The Lord has his reasons, if he really thought women should have the priesthood then we would know by now! He is a POWERFUL being and the Lord does things HIS way. When you say things like this, you are going against his better judgement. Saying this, its as if you do not think the church is true. Have you never felt the POWER of the holy spirit testify of Christ’s wonderful gospel? Yes, you may say that its because the priesthood leaders are suppressing women that’s why you’re doing this. But don’t you think the Lord would have found a way by now? and no, having this feminists movements is not HIS way! the Lord would not turn his BACK on his own church!

    The LORD does things HIS way and he does NOT need to tell us why. Just wait patiently and he will tell us in his own due time. Don’t go against his words, and church. I too, have had my doubts but I realized that there is a reason for everything as long as I do what I KNOW the Lord wants of me then I will be fine.

    Reply
  28. Mary Lou Shelton

    Anyone can pick apart anyone’s words and re-route thinking to support one’s own purposes, propensities, passions, etc. However no one in any culture, era, social transition, or worldly upsets can ever change the truth. It is irrevocable. So while we passionately expound on equality and rights, remember the source of that freedom to do so, Jesus is the Christ. When we point a finger at our offenders, thank Him, that he does not point back.

    Reply
  29. Stacie

    My life has been blessed in so many ways. I have felt my saviors love. I know he died for me so I can work hard in returning back to him. I’ve gone the rounds with women in the movement and it doesn’t matter what I said they didn’t want to hear and I don’t care to hear what they have to say. All I can do is teach my daughter to study the scriptures, find her own testimony and let it be strong and pray to Heavenly Father always for the answers. I love this gospel. I know I’m equal to my husband and every man out there. I’m not here to tell people that their way of thinking is because they’ve been hurt badly by men. Which to that person shame on you for saying such hurtful things to someone you don’t know. I know what its like to be abused and that was just hurtful. Obviously you’ve never been treated that way because one who has been abused would have a little more compassion for someone who has and not make that comment. My Testimony is mine and mine alone my husband didn’t give it to me, nor my father, brother, uncle, grandpa, bishop not even our loving prophets. When anyone speaks I pray for myself to know if its true and all I can say is that this movement saddens me due to the way they are going about it. Revelation is a personal thing. I can have it for me and my family and not for the rest of the church.

    Reply
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  31. Ginny

    I’m wondering why you would want to stay a part of an organization that you feel is so inhibiting for you?? It seems you might be happier elsewhere or even begin your own organization of women or religion that brings you a greater sense of fulfillment. It appears you are inhibiting yourself.

    Reply
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  35. stephanie454

    You know I understand your frustrations, really do, but I find this whole feminist movement grasping at something to be angry at. I have struggled with it from both sides and have refused to take a side. I’m a strong, independent LDS woman, I don’t consider myself a typical LDS “Mom” type nor do I consider myself a feminist, I see myself as smack in the middle. However, I think at the end of the day it comes down to “Do you have faith in the church and in God or don’t you?” Because really if you have faith in the prophet and that the prophet is indeed inspired of God, when they say it’s not time right now for women to be ordained but you are not happy with that, than you are basically saying this was a decision made by the men and not God and therefore you lack the faith, so what are you doing here in the church anyway if you don’t have faith in them?

    Reply
    • Laura Gubbins

      Exactly my point. If you do not have a testimony then leave!!!!

      Reply
  36. Terry

    I believe, at the root of this controversy, is a failure to understand fundamental doctrines related to men and women. In the attached article, Valerie Hudson Cassler, a self-described feminist, addresses this subject as follows:

    http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1718/valerie-hudson-cassler

    Whether this changes anyone’s point of view, I don’t know, but at least thought I would put it out there for discussion.

    Reply
  37. Anonymous

    A comment here was that Sheri Dew was condescending to the reporter. Sheri Dew is a strong woman with strong opinions. She can be understood as being condescending no matter what the topic. If she was speaking on the best way to lay bricks, she could easily be perceived as condescending. Isn’t that how just about anyone who is a leader comes across?

    Secondly, I am trying to understand the direction of this blog post. It seems to come down to if the president of the Church is a woman, or at least 50% of the time, and all offices on down the chain are the same, and also, that women no longer have to bear children as the is the case with men, then men and women are equal and everything will be okay? I am a man, and it will be perfectly fine with me if women have all the leadership positions in the Church. And if they want to stop giving birth, that is so much the better.

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    Basically you seem to have a problem that men are in authority over women in the LDS church. What about the fact that the Godhead is composed of three men who have authority over the entire human race? Do you have a problem praying to a “male” God? Do you have a problem with the fact that Jesus Christ is a man? That a man atoned for your sins? Or that Jesus Christ designated Peter — a man — to lead His church. Just wondering.

    Reply
  39. Laura Gubbins

    I don’t really understand why you stay in the church. I am not trying to be disrespectful or rude…but it seems to me that you really just want to make the church be the way you want it to be. It doesn’t work like that. It bothers me ALOT that the Kate Kelly’s of the church feel entitled to speak for every woman in the church. I know you think you are doing a good thing – but I don’t want the Priesthood and I don’t want them to combine it with Relief Society. Most women in the church disagree with you – and it’s not because we are all brainwashed. I am a progressive voting convert raised by a 1960’s feminist. She loved that I joined this church. I think it’s kind of unfair of you to not take into consideration everyone else who belongs to the church – the majority of members don’t agree with you. If you want to hold the Priesthood, and you want to change everything, and you want to be catty and mock Sister Dew for her choice of words “What do we get ” – just because you don’t agree with her – then perhaps you should start your own church instead of trying to strong arm this one to fit how you think it should be. Seriously – if you don’t have a testimony and you disagree with basically the entire way the LDS church is set up – maybe the problem isn’t with the Mormon religion – maybe the problem is that you are in the wrong faith for your mindset. I wish you peace and love on your journey – but I really wish you would understand that you are the minority and that the church does not evolve or change or whatever based on the opinions and desires of a minority of it’s members – and that maybe you would get more respect if you weren’t so haughty and condescending to the members who disagree with you.

    Reply
  40. Amnihu

    If anyone else tells the writer of this article to go start his/her own church, I will freak. You don’t just start your own church without direct revelation from God, or else you already know that it’s false doctrine. He/she can’t just decide to start his/her own church. Also, if anyone else tells him/her to leave the church, I will freak again. Has anyone ever heard the parable of the ninety and nine sheep? Finally, if anyone else calls feminism a weapon of Satan, I will FREAK. Satan is hatred and bigotry. He cannot and will not support a just cause such as equality. And if he is, is really the villain of this story? And, no, equality is not a “band-wagon.” See Galatians 3:28.

    To answer a question from earlier, does it bother me that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all male? Yes, it does. Perhaps that shows that Christianity is sexist by its very nature.

    Reply
  41. Amnihu

    By the way, I forgot to say this earlier. To the writer of this blog, your arguments are very creative and thought-out. I totally agree with you on every point. You are my new favorite feminist.

    Reply
  42. Thelma

    I am 58 yrs. old my family joined the church when I was 5, as a young women in the early 70’s I gave prayers in sacrament meetings and as a young adult taught the adult gospel doctrine class, don’t know where you got your information but just because it is on the internet does not mean it is fact. just using what is out there to push your thoughts and agendas on others is not truth or honest, please people get your information from those who know not those who think they know.

    Reply
  43. Jen K

    My first reaction to Sheri Dew’s “What Do Women Get?” speech (a couple years ago) was “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I watched it again and feel the same now. She’s avoiding the elephant in the room. Men are, ultimately, in charge of everything in this church. I still hold out hope that the scripture ‘God is no respecter of persons… male, female, black, white…’ will someday be fulfilled in its entirety, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards at present.

    Reply

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