Back to This is Serious
Why Women Are Not Called to Christ's Priesthood
My Testimony of Section 156
Before I begin we must make one thing clear. If two people go to God with a broken heart and a contrite spirit to ask God a very important question concerning His doctrine, it is not possible for the Holy Ghost to tell one person that something is right and the other person that that same thing is wrong. The Holy Ghost does not lie to one and tell the truth to another. With that understood you may accept my testimony or reject it.
Doctrine and Covenants: Section 156:9c.Therefore, do not
wonder that some women of the church are being called to priesthood
responsibilities. This is in harmony with my will and where these calls are made
known to my servants, they may be processed according to administrative
procedures and provisions of the law.
Section 156 of the Doctrine and Covenants was the first concrete
sign to me that something had gone wrong in the Reorganized Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1984 my parents went to World Conference of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When they came home they dropped by my house to spend the night and visit. I remember being in the kitchen with my mother and sitting on a stool. She told me that at the conference there was a revelation to ordain women and it had passed. I had heard the expression "you could have knocked me over with a feather!" That is exactly how I felt. My mother admitted to me that she and my father had voted for it, "because they didn't want to tell the world that Wallace B. Smith was not a prophet". But they were troubled.
I live in Washington State. Washington is a long way from the Centerplace, Independence, Missouri, where our church headquarters is located. Many of us were not really familiar with what was going on there. There were a few times in our Sunday school class when we touched upon the subject of women being ordained into the priesthood. I regarded it as a big joke by a bunch of dissatisfied women. Volatile subjects were steered away from at church because of the admonition that contending over doctrine was not of God. So, the subject was touched upon and abandoned. When many people went to world conference, they were caught unaware. They had not had the true opportunity to study the scriptures and study in their minds if such a thing as God calling women to the priesthood was possible.
Now began a long year of soul searching. The revelation said that ordinations of women would be done with "all deliberateness". It was understood that ordinations would begin in about a year, 1985. My first question was, "Why now?" I was already aware that in our age of 20th and 21st century we somehow think that we are at the pinnacle of human development. We think that we are the most civilized, tolerant, intelligent and worthy people that the earth has ever seen. And so now we must finally be at a state where we can accept the concept of women serving with the men. This is what the women's movement was all about, letting women do whatever men can do.
I searched my memory and the scriptures and scripture concordances to find somewhere in the scriptures where women were in the priesthood or a hint that they should be. Nothing! There was not even any guidance as to why they should not be ordained. There was nothing in the scriptures to give me a definitive answer.
In my garden, which I loved, but which at times felt like a horrible chore, I pulled weeds and struggled over the question, is this what God wants? I thought of the dishes, cooking, child rearing, and endless chores. I remembered the Sundays of feeling like a one-woman show, doing the morning worship, singing a solo, teaching junior church, all in the same day. I asked God, "And you want me to be a priesthood member too?" I knew that to be a true priesthood member was a huge responsibility. I didn't feel that I could do it. And I didn't feel that it was fair that only women with grown children and less responsibility should be the only ones to be able to do it.
When it finally came time to vote for the first woman priesthood member this was the chain of events; my congregation already knew how I was likely to vote! Yes, even before I knew myself. When I was downstairs with the junior church they announced upstairs that we would be voting on our first woman priest on a certain date. A woman in my congregation, part gloating, part in fairness, gave me the news. I don't believe that anyone planned to let me know. Now it was nitty-gritty time. What would I do? Would I vote for her, would I vote against her, would I take the coward's way and abstain? My patriarchal blessing had told me that it would be my responsibility to point the way to eternal truths. That meant, I had to get it right.
One or two Sundays from the business meeting I had my hands up to the elbows in suds, doing dishes after potluck. I had the feeling that I was to stop, right now, and go talk to the lady who was going to be ordained. I dried my hands and went to her and told her I needed to talk with her, so we went into a vacant classroom. I told her that I didn't know what I was going to do, but that if I voted against her, it was not because I didn't like her, it was because I didn't know if it was right to ordain women. She felt that she was doing the right thing. I was glad I talked with her.
Less that a week before the business meeting, I still didn't know what I was going to do. As I lay in bed next to my husband I was still puzzling it out. I prayed, "What am I supposed to do? Is the women in the priesthood right or wrong?" The answer came from the Holy Ghost, "It is not right." And I said, "Heavenly Father, I am going to be out on a limb on this. You need to tell me why." And the answer was, "I have already given you all the reasons."
The Sunday of the business meeting my parents were visiting me. I sang a solo during the service and the Holy Ghost was with me as I sang. I had asked my parents to wait in the car during the business meeting, which would be immediately after the main service. I didn't want people accusing them of influencing me. When it came time to vote, most of the people voted to ordain the first woman in our district. A few people did not vote. I was the only person who voted against. The hostile attitude from the congregation was immediate and I knew that things would never be the same again. Of all the things which the Holy Ghost had taught me during the year, the hatred from a group of people I considered family was probably the strongest testimony I will ever have that the women are not called by God.
The relationship I had with my congregation from August of 1985 to April of 1988 was an uncomfortable one. When I left I knew that I was not a part of these people.
Since that time I have finally learned why women are not in the priesthood. It is in the Inspired Version of the Bible, in Genesis. (All references from the Bible will be from the Inspired Version, unless otherwise noted.)
"I have already given you all the reasons."
Born of the Flesh
First of all, do you know that it is a special privilege to be born into this world? Did you know that we are among the two-thirds of heaven who did not turn away from God? Did you know that that is the reason that we are born here? Not everyone is here for long. Some of us die in the womb from illness, accident, war, and even abortions. Some of us die soon after birth and some live long lives. We are the ones who are in Jesus' power. In other words, Jesus has the power to save us. Almost everyone within this two-thirds of the hosts of heaven will be saved, except for those who deny Jesus after having known His power.
Doctrine and Covenants
[Sec 76:4g] And this is the gospel, the glad tidings which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us, that he came into the world, even Jesus to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
[Sec 76:4h] that through him all might be saved, whom the Father had put into his power, and made by him; who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition, who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him;
[Sec 76:4i] wherefore he saves all except them; they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the Devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment, and the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;
One third of the hosts of heaven rebelled and will not be born into this world. They are already lost.
Genesis Chapter 3
4 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him; and also that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan.
5 Yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive, and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.
6 And now, the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, which I, the Lord God, had made.
7 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, for he had drawn away many after him; and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God; wherefore, he sought to destroy the world.
Revelation Chapter 12
4 And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman which was delivered, ready to devour her child after it was born.
5 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
6 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;
7 And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ.
8 Neither was there place found in heaven for the great dragon, who was cast out; that old serpent called the devil, and also called Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him.
Doctrine and Covenants
[Sec 28:10a] And it came to pass, that Adam being tempted of the Devil, for, behold, the Devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying,
[Sec 28:10b] Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
[Sec 28:10c] and they were thrust down, and thus became the Devil and his angels; and, behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell;
[Sec 28:10d] and it must needs be that the Devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves, for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.
Who do we have to thank for bringing us here to this world? We
thank Jesus, whose power we are in, we thank our fathers. But most of all we
thank our mothers. It is because of our mothers that we are born in the flesh.
Matthew Chapter 18
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily, I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
3 Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
4 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
5But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
11 For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost, and to call sinners to repentance; but these little ones have no need of repentance, and I will save them.
12 How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if it so be that he find it, verily, I say unto you, he rejoiceth more over that which was lost, than over the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so, it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
In our modern day world, in a day of frenzied business and the bottom line, children are the ones who are at the bottom of the totem pole. Of the professions of the western world those of childcare are among the lowest. Many people have found that they can make more money at the fast food franchise than they can taking care of children. For just one article, out of many, many reports given almost daily read this as an example:
Current Issues in Childcare Compensation by Liz Garone
Prestige in the work place is affected by your gender, and probably the lowest prestige job for a woman is in childcare and being a homemaker/housewife. Yet in the scripture above Jesus has told us that little children are among the greatest in the kingdom and that if we want to be great also, we must be like them. And Jesus said that we had better not offend one of these little ones. And he said that the angels who look after little children have the right to behold God's face. That means they are on a personal relationship that most of us are not.
So why is it that women are so looked down upon in this world? It is the responsibility of women to take care of these little ones. Many are forfeiting that responsibility in order to go and seek the riches and esteem of the world. And the sad truth is that the choice is even being taken away from many women, they are having to abandon their children to the care of others by a world that demands too much from us.
Unfortunately, many men did not take their priesthood seriously. It became a "class thing", meaning that it had become a "hierarchy" just like in the military, meaning that the higher the office, the better and smarter the man. Did you ever notice that many men were called to priesthood offices commensurate with their salary? The priesthood became a status and prestige issue for many men. The women saw this and wanted in on the action. Some women looked at being called to the priesthood as a reward for their accomplishments and a way to receive prestige and power. Women saw priesthood as prestige, power, accomplishment, and self esteem. Women didn't think that "women's work" gave them those things. And so they told God that they wanted priesthood.
Telling women that they are not good enough unless they are priesthood in just one more of Satan's little whispers. And we will always hear the argument that older women are done with child rearing. Really? Who should be helping and teaching their daughters? Who should be getting to know their grandchildren? What has happened to Grandma's ample bosom, which holds grandchildren in a loving embrace? Has the bosom been clad in a business suit instead, mingling with the world's movers and shakers?
In the Book of Mormon it is made very, very clear how God views little children.
Moroni Chapter 8
4 And now my son I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.
5 For if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.
6 And now my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.
7 For immediately after I had learned these things of you, I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter.
8 And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying, Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God.
9 Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.
10 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.
11 Behold I say unto you, that this thing shall ye teach, repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children: and their little children need no repentance, neither baptism.
12 Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
13 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism.
14 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.
15 Behold I say unto you, that he he that supposeth that little children need baptism, is in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.
16 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
17 Wo be unto him that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish, except they repent.
18 Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear; and I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore all children are alike unto me; wherefore I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike, and partakers of salvation.
19 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.
20 Little children can not repent; wherefore it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.
21 And he that saith that little children need baptism, denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.
22 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment.
23 I speak it boldly, God hath commanded me.
24 Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment seat of Christ.
25 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law.
26 For the power of redemption cometh on all they that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, can not repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing.
27 But is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.
28 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation, and under the curse of a broken law.
29 And the first--fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith, unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; and the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart, cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.
This is how God views little children. Isn't it time for us to view them the same way, and to view those who care for them with respect? It is the main responsibility of women to care for children. The angels who care for children always may see the face of God. I think that women should feel honored that God has entrusted them with a job so close to the God's own heart.
Born Again, Born of Water and the Spirit
I have pointed out that we have been privileged to be born into this world. We are among the two-thirds of the hosts of heaven who did not rebel against God and lose their place in heaven. We have been put into the power of Jesus Christ. All of us will be saved, except for those who deny Christ after having known Him and having partaken of His power.
John Chapter 3
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles which thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one who is born of the Spirit.
We are born into this world and become a living soul. This is something you receive from your mother.
When we are baptized we are born the second time. This time we are born spiritually. We had to be born into the flesh to be a part of this world. Now we must be born spiritually in order to enter the Kingdom of God. That is where the saying comes from "born again". This is what we receive from a male priesthood.
Read this scripture from Genesis Chapter 6
Genesis Chapter 6
59 And I have given unto you another law and commandment; wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God.
60 For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name; and the name of his Only Begotten is the son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.
61 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying, that by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death; and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul; 62 Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten;} that ye may be sanctified from all sin; and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come; even immortal glory.
63 For, by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.
Do you see the absolute similarity of being born in the flesh
and being born in the spirit? Our physical birth is accompanied by water and
blood in the womb. These nourish us until we are born. Then the breath of life
is given to us. Just as God breathed into Adam, breathing His spirit into Adam
to bring him to life, so does God breath His very breath into us to give us
When we are baptized, we go into the water. This symbolizes not only being cleaned, but it also symbolizes birth. It is Jesus' blood which washes us clean, the blood that He shed on the cross. It is the Holy Ghost conferred upon us by the elders which breathes the spirit and intelligence of God into our minds. This is our spiritual birth, being born again.
It is the women's role to preside over the first birth into the flesh. It is the male priesthood's role to preside over the spiritual birth, born again. This is the same kind of pattern as Christ as the bridegroom and the church as the bride.
Some women decided that they could not be happy unless they too could preside over the spiritual sacraments. In doing so, they have shown selfishness and have spiritually emasculated the men who were priesthood. I do not say this lightly. Our families need women who are women and men who are men. Our church family is no different. Eve was told that Adam would be the head of the family. God has set a pattern and it is not our place to destroy it.
Questions to be Considered, Let Us Reason Together
Question: Where does it say that women cannot be called to the
Answer: There are no scriptures which say that women cannot be called to the priesthood. Until Section 156 there is not one single scripture that says they are to be called to priesthood.
The scriptures tell us a very great deal about priesthood. All the references are to male persons. The answer as to which gender may be priesthood is more of a matter of the pattern which the scriptures set. Here are two scripture passages which are very clear. The first one has to do with who has the right to be the bishop of the church. The second is concerning evangelical ministers. Whether this is strong enough evidence to form a pattern is in the eye and mind of the reader. There are instructions in the scriptures about women not ruling in the church.
Doctrine and Covenants 68:2g but by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing, if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above-named presidency."
Doctrine and Covenants 104:18 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner": (Doctrine and Covenants)
Question: There are prophetesses mentioned in the scriptures. Aren't they priesthood members?
Answer: Prophesy is a gift of the Holy Ghost. It is not a priesthood office. Anyone in the church may have the gift of prophesy.
1 Corinthians 12
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues;
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
I ran a scripture search to find all references to prophetesses.
I found reference to twelve individual prophetesses or groups of prophetesses.
It is a possibility to put other words into the search, such as 'prophesy' and
get more results. Two of these references only say that someone prophesies. They
were not called prophetesses in the scripture.
Right away we find that three references refer to lying, or false,
prophetesses. Let's begin with the two references to false prophetesses.
Nehemiah 6:14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
2. Lying prophetesses at the time of Ezekiel. A group which doesn't count as true prophetesses.
Ezekiel 13:17 Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them.
2. In Revelation, Jezebel was an evil woman, who called herself a prophetess. So Jezebel does not count as a prophetess.
Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
That leaves nine genuine prophetesses.
1. Miriam, the sister of Moses.
Exodus 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
2. Deborah was a judge in the time when Israel was ruled by "elected" officials. This was before they decided to have a king. She no doubt had the gift of prophesy.
Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.Read Judges Chapter 5 ""that I arose a mother in Israel"
3. Huldah. King Josiah of Judah sent his representatives to "go and inquire of the Lord" concerning a book of the law which was found in the house of the Lord. They went to Huldah, who must have been recognized as having the gift of prophesy.
II Kings 22:14-20 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
II Chronicles 34:22-28 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they spake to her to that effect.
4. The wife of Isaiah. Isaiah refers to his wife as a prophetess. I believe that Isaiah's wife probably had the gift of prophesy in her own right.
Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son.....
2 Nephi 9:41 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived and bare a son.....
Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of great age, and had lived with a husband only seven years, whom she married in her youth,
6. 7. 8. 9. Phillip had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
Acts 21: 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
Question: Wasn't Emma Smith ordained into the priesthood?
Answer: No. Emma was not ordained to priesthood. The calling of her office was to be a comfort to her husband, Joseph Smith, Jr., first prophet-president of the church. Emma did not have an easy job witnessing the violence and hatred against her husband. That hatred and violence finally resulted in his murder. After his death she upheld the truths which Joseph had taught. Even to this day Joseph is maligned as a man of Satan by those who would pervert the gospel which God restored to the earth. Her son, Joseph Smith III, matured and took the reins of the church in his father's stead.
Doctrine and Covenants Section 24
Revelation addressed to Emma Smith, wife of the prophet. It was given through Joseph Smith at Harmony, Pennsylvania, in July 1830. The selection of hymns that Emma was directed to make was completed and published in 1835. This hymnbook was used at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.
[Sec 24:1a] Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto
thee, Emma Smith, my daughter, for verily I say unto thee, All those who receive
my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.
[Sec 24:1b] A revelation I give unto thee concerning my will, and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.
[Sec 24:1c] Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.
[Sec 24:1d] Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee, and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come.
[Sec 24:2a] And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., thy husband, in his afflictions, with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness.
[Sec 24:2b] And thou shalt go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe, while there is no one to be a scribe for him, that I may send my servant Oliver Cowdery whithersoever I will.
[Sec 24:2c] And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound Scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit; for he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.
[Sec 24:2d] And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee in the church; for unto them is his calling, that all things might be revealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith.[Sec 24:3a] And verily I say unto thee, that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.[Sec 24:3b] And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church; for my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.[Sec 24:3c] And it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.[Sec 24:4a] Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride. Let thy soul delight in thy husband, and the glory which shall come upon him.[Sec 24:4b] Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am thou canst not come.[Sec 24:4c] And verily, verily I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.
Question: Didn't Joseph tell the women of the Ladies' Relief Society that they would be ordained to priesthood?
Answer: I am not aware of any reference that the women of the Ladies' Relief Society would be ordained to priesthood. If there is a reference it should be presented. In the church history we find reference to the organizing and purpose of the Ladies' Relief Society.
The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Volume 2 pages 571-572
March 24, the "Ladies' Relief Society" was organized.
The editor of the Times and Seasons, Joseph Smith, in the issue for April 1, speaks of the society and explains the purpose of its creation. 55 LADIES RELIEF SOCIETY.-A society has lately been formed by the ladies of Nauvoo for the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow, and the orphan; and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes. The society is known by the name of the "Ladies' Relief Society of the City of Nauvoo;" and was organized on Thursday, the 24th of March, A. D. 1842.
The society is duly organized with a presidentess or chairwoman, and two counselors, chosen by herself, a treasurer and secretary. Mrs. Emma Smith takes the presidential chair, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Mrs. Sarah M. Cleveland are her counselors, Miss Elvira Cole is treasuress, and our well-known and talented poetess, Miss Eliza R. Snow, secretary.There was a very numerous attendance at the organization of the society, and also at their subsequent meetings, of some of our most intelligent, humane, philanthropic, and respectable ladies; and we are well assured from a knowledge of those pure principles of benevolence that flow spontaneously from their humane and philanthropic bosoms, that with the resources they will have at command they will fly to the relief of the stranger, they will pour in oil and wine to the wounded heart of the distressed, they will dry up the tear of the orphan, and make the widow's heart to rejoice.
Our ladies have always been signalized for their acts of benevolence and kindness; but the cruel usage that they have received from the barbarians of Missouri has hitherto prevented their extending the hand of charity in a conspicuous manner, yet in the midst of their persecutions when the bread has been torn from their helpless offspring by their cruel oppressors, they have always been ready to open their doors to the weary traveler, to divide their scanty pittance with the hungry, and from their robbed and impoverished wardrobes to divide with the more needy and destitute, and now that they are living on a more genial soil, and among a less barbarous people, and possess facilities that they have not heretofore enjoyed, we feel convinced that with their concentrated efforts the condition of the suffering poor, of the stranger, and the fatherless, will be ameliorated.
We had the privilege of being present at their organization, and were much
pleased with their modus operandi and the good order that prevailed. They
are strictly parliamentary in their proceedings, and we believe that they
will make pretty good Democrats.-ED.-Times and, Seasons vol. 3, p. 743.
Question: What does it mean to lead or rule in the church?
The following concept was presented in a discussion by a present day priesthood member. I
believe that they are very valid. The scriptures admonish that women are not to
rule or lead in the church. The scriptures also teach that it is the duty of
priesthood to rule or lead in the church.
Consider these scriptures:
D&C 17:8a-f; 9; 10a-d: The duty of the [priesthood]:...An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to....take the lead of all meetings. The elders are to conduct the meetings...The priest's duty is to...take the lead of meetings...
1Cor. 14:33-38 (Inspired Version):
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints...it is not permitted unto them [women] to rule...it is a shame for women to rule in the church....The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
1Cor. 14:33-38 (King James Version) reads the same except:
...it is not permitted unto them to speak...it is a shame for women to speak in the church...
There is a great difference between the words rule and speak. The women of the church do not wear muzzles on their faces. They have influence. But influence is not the same as ruling.
The priesthood member who gave these insights asked the
question, "Has not one of the greatest confusions resulted from Section
156, which 20 years later still reigns in all churches of the saints? Who
cannot be the author of this?" Yes indeed, Section 156 was the beginning of the
great rupture within the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Here are some scriptural definitions of "lead".
Numbers 27:17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.
Judges 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter a song; arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
2 Nephi 8:50 And my people, children are their
oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee
to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
Mormon 4:36 Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches, and teachers, in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches;
DC 17:8f and to take the lead of all meetings.
DC 17:10d and he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present, but when there is an elder present he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties.
DC 17:11c and he is to take the lead of meetings in the
absence of the elder or priest,
DC 105:12a For unto you (the Twelve), and those (the First Presidency), who are appointed with you, to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fullness of times,
DC 107:13e If ye labor with all your might, I will
consecrate that spot, that it shall be made holy; and if my people will hearken
unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead
my people, behold, verily I say unto you, They shall not be moved out of their
Here are some scriptural definitions of the word "conduct".
DC 17:9 The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.
DC 42:23h And thus shall ye conduct in all things.
DC 46:1b but notwithstanding those things which are
written, it always has been given to the elders of my church, from the
beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and
guided by the Holy Spirit;
Genesis 3:22 Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens;
Exodus 18:25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel,
and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds,
rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Isaiah 3:4 And I will give children unto them to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
Isaiah 3:12 And as for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
I Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to rule; but to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
I Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn anything, let
them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to rule in the
2 Nephi 8:50 And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths
Mosiah 5:85 Yea, and how blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children of men: for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she [wisdom] should rule over them. (Note: in this verse wisdom is personified and given a gender, so are boats given gender. This is not an argument for women ruling in the church.)
Question: This is my own question, one in which I invite everyone to observe and ask for themselves; where do the women priesthood stand on the issue of the validity of the scriptures, moral questions and the divinity of Jesus Christ?
Answer: This is a question you will have to answer for yourself. The loyalty of the women priesthood members must go to the power which bestowed their offices to them. Their offices were bestowed upon them by Jesus Christ, or by the world. The leaders of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were ashamed of their heritage, and changed the name of the church to "Community of Christ". The leaders of the Community of Christ have been playing a deceitful game. They seek to convince their own members that they are "Proclaiming Jesus Christ" and honoring the scriptures and the moral code that has served God's people well. They have become ecumenical and now even denying that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, thus courting the interfaith movement. They claim to honor the three standards scriptures of the Restoration movement, while simultaneously trashing them and putting them on the shelf, unused. They claim to be promoting righteousness while promoting homosexuals to priesthood and recognizing marriage unions of the same gender. They seek to make everyone happy, conservatives, in order to receive their money, and ultra-liberals, in order to promote their agenda. To understand these issues, I offer the following articles.
Is the Community of Christ Removing Christ?
Homosexuality in the Community
Ask the women priesthood members where they stand on the current issues regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ and the moral issue of condoning homosexuality within the the church structure. Ask how they feel about the validity of the scriptures. The most likely answers one will receive is that they do indeed endorse the present day agenda of the leaders, condoning homosexuality, etc., or they will prevaricate in an attempt to dodge the issues. To stand up for Jesus Christ and the scriptures is to risk losing their coveted positions within the priesthood.
Lois M. Anderson
Copyright © 2004 Lois M. Anderson: All Rights
Last revised: September 15, 2004