LDS Women: Participating in Priesthood etc.

LDS Women: Participating in Priesthood etc.

Includes Excepts from Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!” and Relief Society Manual “Daughters in my Kingdom” -compiled by Nate Richardson

-“A recent United States study asserts that women of allfaiths “believe more fervently in God” and attend morereligious services than men do. “By virtually everymeasure they are more religious.”

-“Women are daughtersof our Heavenly Father, who loves them. Wives areequal to their husbands. Marriage requires a fullpartnership where wives and husbands work side byside to meet the needs of the family.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”; see See Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 1.3.1; see also Moses 5:1, 4, 12, 27.)

-“If one had to characterize their [LDS Women] mostsignificant attribute, it would be their unwavering faithin the restored gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“theaccount of Elizabeth Jackson, whose husband Aarondied after the last crossing of the Platte River with theMartin handcart company. She wrote:

“I will not attempt to describe my feelings at findingmyself thus left a widow with three children, under suchexcruciating circumstances. … I believe … that mysufferings for the Gospel’s sake will be sanctified untome for my good. …

“I [appealed] to the Lord, … He who had promised to bea husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless. Iappealed to him and he came to my aid.”4

Elizabeth said she was writing the history on behalf ofthose who passed through like scenes with the hopethat posterity would be willing to suffer and sacrifice allthings for the kingdom of God. I believe the women of the Church today meet thatchallenge and are every bit as strong and faithful.

” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”; See “Leaves from the Life of Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford,” Utah State Historical Society, Manuscript A 719; in “Remembering the Rescue,”Ensign, Aug. 1997, 47.)

-“Whether in the Church or inthe home, it is a beautiful thing to see the priesthoodand the Relief Society work in perfect harmony. Such arelationship is like a well-tuned orchestra, and theresulting symphony inspires all of us.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“Following the dance, a purse was found with no outsideidentification. I share with you part of what SisterMonica Sedgwick, the Young Women president in theLaguna Niguel stake, recorded: “We didn’t want to pry;this was someone’s personal stuff! So we gingerlyopened it and grabbed the first thing that was on top—hopefully, it would identify her. It did, but in anotherway—it was a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Wow!This told us something about her. Then we reached infor the next item, a little notebook. Surely this wouldgive us answers, but not the kind we were expecting.The first page was a list of favorite scriptures. Therewere five more pages of carefully written scriptures andpersonal notes.”

The sisters immediately wanted to meet this stalwartyoung woman. They returned to that purse to identifyits owner. They pulled out some breath mints, soap,lotion, and a brush. I loved their comments: “Oh, goodthings come out of her mouth; she has clean and softhands; and she takes care of herself.”

They eagerly awaited the next treasure. Out came aclever little homemade coin purse made from acardboard juice carton, and there was some money in azippered pocket. They exclaimed, “Ahh, she’s creativeand prepared!” They felt like little children on Christmasmorning. What they pulled out next surprised themeven more: a recipe for Black Forest chocolate cake anda note to make the cake for a friend’s birthday. Theyalmost screamed, “She’s a HOMEMAKER! Thoughtfuland service minded.” Then, yes, finally someidentification. The youth leaders said they felt greatlyblessed “to observe the quiet example of a young ladyliving the gospel.”6

This account illustrates the commitment of our youngwomen to Church standards.

” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”; compare In an article titled “Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?” (Wall Street Journal, Mar. 19–20, 2011, C3), a thoughtful Jewish mother advocates for dress standards and modesty and acknowledges the example of Mormon women.)

-“Sisters have key roles in the Church, in family life, and as individuals that are essential in Heavenly Father’s plan. Many of these responsibilities do not provide economic compensation but do provide satisfaction and are eternally significant.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“the most important organizationon earth is the family, where “fathers and mothers are… equal partners.”8 Neither one is financiallycompensated, but the blessings are beyond description.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“from our earliesthistory both men and women pray, perform the music,give the sermons, and sing in the choir, even insacrament meeting, our most sacred meeting. The recent highly acclaimed book American Gracereported on women in many faiths. It noted that Latter-day Saint women are unique in being overwhelminglysatisfied with their role in Church leadership.(See Putnam and Campbell, American Grace, 244–45.) Furthermore, Latter-day Saints as a whole, men andwomen, have the strongest attachment to their faith ofany of the religions studied. ( . See Putnam and Campbell, American Grace, 504.


Our women are not incredible because they havemanaged to avoid the difficulties of life—quite theopposite. They are incredible because of the way theyface the trials of life. Despite the challenges and testslife has to offer—from marriage or lack of marriage,children’s choices, poor health, lack of opportunities,and many other problems—they remain remarkablystrong and immovable and true to the faith. Our sistersthroughout the Church consistently “succor the weak,lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen thefeeble knees.”(Doctrine and Covenants 81:5; see also Mosiah 4:26.)

One Relief Society president who acknowledged thisextraordinary service said, “Even when the sisters serve,they are thinking, ‘If only I could have done more!’”Though they are not perfect and all face individualstruggles, their faith in a loving Father in Heaven andthe assurance of the atoning sacrifice of the Saviorpermeates their lives.

” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“Members need to recognize thatthe bishop has been instructed to delegate. Membersneed to sustain and support him as he follows thiscounsel. This will allow the bishop to spend more timewith the youth, young single adults, and his own family.He will delegate other important responsibilities topriesthood leaders, presidents of auxiliaries, andindividual men and women. In the Church the role ofwomen in the home is highly respected. (See Emily Matchar, “Why I Can’t Stop Reading Mormon Housewife Blogs,” This self-described feminist and atheist acknowledges this respect and says she is addicted to reading Mormon housewife blogs.)” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“His stake Relief Society president,Sister Leinata Va’enuku, asked if it would be appropriatefor her to say something. As she spoke, the Spiritconfirmed to the president that what she wassuggesting was true.” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“We recognize that there are enormous forces arrayedagainst women and families. Recent studies find thereis deterioration in devotion to marriage, with a decreasein the number of adults being married. (See D’Vera Cohn and Richard Fry, “Women, Men, and the New Economics of Marriage,” Pew Research Center, Social and Demographic Trends, The number of children being born has also decreased significantly in many countries. This has been called the demographic winter.) For some,marriage and family are becoming “a menu choicerather than the central organizing principle of oursociety.”(“A Troubling Marriage Trend,” Deseret News, Nov.) Women are confronted with many optionsand need to prayerfully consider the choices they makeand how those choices affect the family…I read in anAuckland newspaper of women, not of our faith,struggling with these issues. One mother said sherealized that in her case, her choice about whether towork or stay home was about a new carpet and asecond car that she didn’t really need. Another woman,however, felt “the biggest enemy of a happy family lifewas not paid work—it was television.” She said thatfamilies are TV rich and family-time poor. (See Simon Collins, “Put Family before Moneymaking Is Message from Festival,” New Zealand Herald, Feb. 1, 2010, A2.)” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“two principles that we should always keep in mind.First, no woman should ever feel the need to apologizeor feel that her contribution is less significant becauseshe is devoting her primary efforts to raising andnurturing children. Nothing could be more significant inour Father in Heaven’s plan. Second, we should all becareful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters areless valiant if the decision is made to work outside thehome. We rarely understand or fully appreciatepeople’s circumstances. Husbands and wives shouldprayerfully counsel together, understanding they areaccountable to God for their decisions.

You devoted sisters who are single parents forwhatever reason, our hearts reach out to you withappreciation. Prophets have made it clear “that manyhands stand ready to help you. The Lord is notunmindful of you. Neither is His Church.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Women of the Church,”Ensign, Nov. 1996, 69; see also Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Sisters in the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 48–49.) I would hopethat Latter-day Saints would be at the forefront increating an environment in the workplace that is morereceptive and accommodating to both women and menin their responsibilities as parents.

” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“ text of the hymn “As Sisters in Zion.” Shecorrectly asserts that the “errand of angels is given towomen.”22 This has been described as “nothing less thanto do the direct and immediate bidding of our Father inHeaven, and ‘this is a gift that … sisters … claim.’” (Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-Day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages, rev. ed. (2009), 338–39.)” (Elder Cook, Apr. Conf. Report “LDS Women are Incredible!”

-“All Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters are equally blessed as they draw upon the power of the priesthood.” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“In a general conference address, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “While we sometimes refer to priesthood holders as ‘the priesthood,’ we must never forget that the priesthood is not owned by or embodied in those who hold it. It is held in a sacred trust to be used for the benefit of men, women, and children alike.”2 Elder Oaks then quoted Elder John A. Widtsoe, who also served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve: “Men have no greater claim than women upon the blessings that issue from the Priesthood and accompany its possession.”3

-“When we receive the blessings of the priesthood, we are drawing on the power and grace of God…It is significant to me that the women were organized under the authority of the priesthood. We sustain the priesthood and are sustained by its power. The sisters of the Church … treasure our opportunity to be full partakers of the spiritual blessings of the priesthood. Each of us can be directed and blessed in our eternal progression by receiving these blessings. The ordinances, covenants, sealings, and the gift of the Holy Ghost are essential for exaltation. There are a host of individual priesthood blessings as well. Priesthood blessings give us direction; they lift our sights; they encourage and inspire us; they prompt our commitment. We can all be partakers of these spiritual blessings.

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“Sisters, some will try to persuade you that because you are not ordained to the priesthood, you have been shortchanged. They are simply wrong, and they do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. The blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and woman. We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge ‘armed’ with power. The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness. Most significantly, the fulness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can be received only by a man and woman together. (Sheri Dew)” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-““When you attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the House of the Lord, certain blessings will come to you. … You will receive the key of the knowledge of God. (SeeD&C 84:19.) You will learn how you can be like Him. Even the power of godliness will be manifest to you. (See D&C 84:20.)”

Ezra Taft Benson

Ensign, Aug. 1985, 10

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“ she told of the blessings she received through the priesthood ordinances of baptism and confirmation:

“If there are any principles which have given me strength, and by which I have learned to live more truly a life of usefulness, it seems to me I could wish to impart this joy and strength to others; to tell them what the Gospel has been and is to me, ever since I embraced it and learned to live by its laws. A fresh revelation of the Spirit day by day, an unveiling of mysteries which before were dark, deep, unexplained and incomprehensible; a most implicit faith in a divine power, in infinite truth emanating from God the Father.

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“Joseph Smith emphasized that “these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils etc. should follow all that believe.”8

Because Latter-day Saint women have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, they can seek and be blessed by spiritual gifts such as “the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.”9 Throughout the history of the Church, Latter-day Saint women have received gifts of the Spirit and used them to bless their families and others.

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-““I [was] there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help.

“Oh my Heavenly Father, I cried, what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh Heavenly Father direct me what to do!

“And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me.”

Amanda was directed to make a lye, or washing solution, from the ashes of their fire to clean the wound. Then she was directed to make a poultice out of cloth and slippery elm to fill the wound. The next day she found some balsam and poured it into the wound to soothe Alma’s pain.

“‘Alma, my child,’ I said, ‘you believe that the Lord made your hip?’

“‘Yes, mother.’

“‘Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?’

“‘Do you think that the Lord can, mother?’ inquired the child, in his simplicity.

“‘Yes, my son,’ I replied, ‘he has shown it all to me in a vision.’

“Then I laid him comfortably on his face, and said: ‘Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.’

“So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, … a marvel to physicians.

“On the day that he walked again I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water, when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy.”10

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-““The only place on earth where we can receive the fulness of the blessings of the priesthood is in the holy temple. That is the only place where, through holy ordinances, we can receive that which will qualify us for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.”

Harold B. Lee

Stand Ye in Holy Places(1974), 117

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“Joseph Smith promised Mercy Fielding Thompson, that the endowment would bring them “out of darkness into marvelous light.”12” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“As the temple neared completion, 36 women were called to serve as temple ordinance workers. Elizabeth Ann Whitney, one of those first ordinance workers, recalled: “I gave myself, my time and attention to that mission. I worked in the Temple every day without cessation until it was closed.”17” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“In the Church today, faithful women and men all over the world continue to serve in the temple and find strength in the blessings that can be received only through temple ordinances. As President Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth President of the Church, stated, “It is within the privilege of the sisters of this Church to receive exaltation in the kingdom of God and receive authority and power as queens and priestesses.”19” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-““Priesthood authority has been restored,” said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “so that families can be sealed eternally.”20 Elder Richard G. Scott, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, taught: “The family and the home are the foundation of the righteous life. The priesthood is the power and the priesthood line is the means provided by the Lord to support the family.”21 Relief Society assists in this work by helping women and their families live the gospel in such a way that they can receive promised blessings of the priesthood.” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “The ultimate and highest expression of womanhood and manhood is in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. Only this relationship culminates in exaltation. As the Apostle Paul taught, ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.’”22 Ancient scripture confirms this in the accounts of covenant marriages between Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Rachel. The sealing ordinance binds husband and wife to each other, to their children, and to their Father in Heaven. “Thus,” continued Elder Oaks, “the common objective … in our priesthood quorums and … in our Relief Societies is to bring men and women together in the sacred marriage and family relationships that lead toward eternal life, ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God.’”23” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“When a husband and wife are blessed with the opportunity to be parents, they share a solemn responsibility to help their children understand and receive priesthood ordinances and covenants.24 Our first parents, Adam and Eve, set an example of an interdependent and unified relationship when they taught their children. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

“It was not Adam alone, who was involved in these things. …

“Eve was an active participant. She heard all that Adam said. She spoke of ‘our transgression,’ of ‘the joy of our redemption,’ of the ‘seed’ they should have together, and of the ‘eternal life’ which could not come to either of them alone, but which is always reserved for a man and a woman together.

“She and Adam both prayed; they both blessed the name of the Lord; they both taught their children; they both received revelation; and the Lord commanded both of them to worship and serve him in the name of Jesus Christ forever.”25

” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood:

-“ “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”26” (Daughters In My Kingdom: Ch 8: Blessings of the Priesthood for All: An Inseparable Connection with the Priesthood: