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Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 11:35
by LookingHard
I would say that you can really soften it a bit by not saying, "we see" with, "I can't help but see". You are not telling anybody how it is. You are stating how YOU feel.

Some may look at you as a bit odd if you just say how you look at things, but they will probably leave it as that. If you tell people "this is the way it is", they are more likely to fight or do something to change your mind.

You might find some like minded folks by doing this.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 12:27
by DarkJedi
Stayforthedip wrote:
12 Jun 2017, 11:18
I appreciate all your suggestions and feedback. I am going to separate my talk into 2 parts: 1) the priesthood and 2) fathers. I start by explaining that they are separate topics because men doesn't = priesthood (and I have quotes for Oaks to back that up).

But I kind of want to push the envelope and try and make people consider another side to things. Tell me your thoughts on this:

"The temple is full of symbolism and gives an overview of how the earth was created, the role of Adam and Eve and how we can again return to Heavenly Father. The temple is a window to the celestial and perfected. Looking in that window, we see women participating in the priesthood, including the power, and authority to officiate in ordinances. Thus, we can only assume that in our perfected states, men and women alike will hold, officiate, and fully use the priesthood. "

What do you think? Too liberal? Too feminist? My ward is a mix of pretty black and white members, some more open minded and lots that don't show their cards. So it could be received pretty well by some and also upset others. I don't want to be viewed as radical, but I also want to open eyes a little. (Plus, as I have said, I am pretty agnostic, so to me anything is possible!)
I wouldn't be afraid to say that, but I'm me. If you share LH's concern, you can use "I think...." or "I believe...." I do that all the time.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 15:00
by Ray DeGraw
I could say that and people would understand it, but I have no idea if you can. I just don't know your ward and how you are viewed in it.

Overall, I agree that framing it in terms of, "I believe this shows that . . ." is an excellent approach, especially if you have quoted Elder Oaks and given a pretty traditional, orthodox talk up to that point. You could use the "prepared to officiate" part of the temple to back it up - saying that this preparation might not happen until the next life, but that you believe in the concept that the temple teaches. It certainly would be hard to argue against that framing - at least, logically.

I also think it is something that needs to be said as much as possible.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 17:05
by Roy
This is just me....

I like stories. I believe that if I were assigned this talk I would tell about my non member grandfather. I might tell about how he helped build airstrips in the Pacific during WW2 and that he did not see his first born son (my father) until after the boy's first birthday. I would tell about how he raised his kids in the church out of respect for his wife. He supported his son's financially to serve proselytizing missions and dutifully sat outside of his children's temple weddings. I would share a story or two about my personal memories with him. Then I might ask how my grandfather honored and magnified the priesthood. How did he humbly exemplify the ideals of the priesthood without any special mandate or authority? He was the type of man that saw what needed done and would move forward to do without an assignment in compassion and respect. Priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of God. My grandfather lived his life in such a way as to become the hands and feet of God in serving others.

The disciples of Jesus in the Meridian of time saw people like this. John said, "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."

Anyway .... so the idea is that I am speaking in a very personal way about fathers and goodness and looking out for one another. I provoke a minor thought about the priesthood but not controversially. Because it is father's day it can be forgiven that my talk is not about priesthood in the traditional LDS way.

Unfortunately because of the father's day connection I think that people might actually be LESS forgiving if you tried to bring up the woman angle. I know that I certainly do not have the type of street cred with my ward to pull it off.

Remember that this is just me and how I might think to approach it.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 14 Jun 2017, 11:22
by SilentDawning
Stayforthedip wrote:
09 Jun 2017, 09:43
How do I give this talk when 1) I don't really have faith in the priesthood 2) I am pretty agnostic about the existence of a Heavenly Father 3) I am a feminist that want more air time given to women and Heavenly Mother (should she exist either). Oh, and 4) I have a terrible relationship with my own father who is a very high ranking church official?

I want to quote women at least 50% of the time, so I plan to do lots of reading up on Okazaki.

Any suggestions on how to word things so I am true to my (un)belief but still speak the language of the audience?

Thanks!
You don't have to have faith to honor and magnify the priesthood. You can still give advice to people based on their own perspective. Kind of the way a consultant gives advice to a client who has a different perspective than they do. I could give a member of the Catholic church advice after I understand their religious culture, values, structure, and constraints. Disassociate your advice from your belief system as a "consultant" would.

To magnify I assume means to do existing duties better. Make the talk about the ways men magnify the priesthood in the relationships with others -- including women. So make it kind of reminder to the men about how to treat other people and conduct themselves when they hold the priesthood, given the Oath and Covenant of and D&C 89 or 98 whatever it is. You don't have to believe in it, or God, but the men have certain expectations to live up to because they agreed to it.

Talk about Ray's talk about the women and the priesthood in the temple -- someone else said that but I thought that was cool as soon as I read your post.

You could go a bit unusual and comment about what women have in common with men who hold the priesthood, even though women don't hold that priesthood. Although women don't hold the priesthood, they do function in leadership callings, so the section 89/98 I think it is in D&C applies to women as well. Female leaders face many of the same imperatives and challenges a men who hold the priesthood -- what advice do you have to women who share many o the same challenges, and carry a similar badge of commitment to righteousness that priesthood holders do? Focus on the ways women have a lot of the same obligations and challenges that men do, as men execute their priesthood duties. And give advice...

Just a few ideas.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 14 Jun 2017, 13:35
by hawkgrrrl
I've been in the same kind of situation many times. Here's what I would do:
1 - I like to talk about how people of other faiths view these things to provide a universalizing perspective. We have many things in common, and some differences we can learn from. For example, I'd probably highlight a few things: that priests used to be the only literate ones--they literally interpreted the word of God for everyone else, that some religions have a priesthood of all believers whereas others have a paid clergy with special training, some believe in "vocation" or "calling" preceding entering the PH. Compared to many other Christian sects, Mormons are much more egalitarian when it comes to PH, minus the obvious omission of not ordaining women.
2 - I would use some of the Oaks talk stuff to keep the pearl-clutchers from having a heart attack.

There are lots of facts about priesthood in various faiths here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 05:26
by Stayforthedip
I wanted to write a follow-up about how things went. I am tempted to post my whole talk, but there is way too much personal/identifying stuff in there. So here are the highlights.

I was the concluding speaker, which was awesome. The downside was the man before me spoke about 10 min over his time so I was left with only about 10 min. I had planned for 15. I had to cut out the most (or at least most potentially) controversial part--which was what I posted before about the temple.

- I emphasized that men do not equal the priesthood. And I had Oaks to back me up.
- I told stories about people who are not Mormon or are not practicing but how they still honor the priesthood/power of God by mourning with those who mourn, etc. (I like to push back on the idea that Mormons have a monopoly on goodness whenever I can)
- I told some hard personal stories that humanized me and I think earned me some sympathy points to cover the stuff people may not have liked as much
- I equated the Atonement with working to become healthier, happier, better people. I wanted to make the idea of it accessible to non-believers. So I was speaking in Mormon-ese, but was putting in my terms.
- I told scriptures stories that involved women.
- I quoted women about 50% of the time.
- I said 'hell' once and that felt pretty good over the pulpit :twisted:

After the meeting I had a ton of people thank me for my talk. Some more 'conservative' people even said they really liked it. The person that asked me to give the talk said I killed it and he wants women to always be the concluding speaker now. So it was well received and I am quite happy about.

I was telling my husband I was bummed that I left out the part about the temple, but he pointed out that it was probably better. I pushed some people already on some things, and this way I build up more credibility. I didn't cross any boundaries so I will still be asked to speak again and I will have even more authority next time.

Anyhow, it was a great experience. It showed me that I can stay, I can make a difference, and I can still feel like I am true to myself.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 05:55
by DarkJedi
Thanks for the "return and report." I'm really glad it went well for you. I have had very similar experiences when "pushing the envelope." It sometimes still surprises me. It's mostly not what you say but how you say it.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 06:40
by Minyan Man
Thanks for your report. I wish I could of been there. The best part for me is:
Stayforthedip wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 05:26
After the meeting I had a ton of people thank me for my talk. Some more 'conservative' people even said they really liked it. The person that asked me to give the talk said I killed it and he wants women to always be the concluding speaker now. So it was well received and I am quite happy about.
(and)
... it was a great experience. It showed me that I can stay, I can make a difference, and I can still feel like I am true to myself.
That last line is especially good.

Re: help me write a talk!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 08:53
by Ray DeGraw
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: