What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
nibbler
Posts: 4151
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by nibbler » 17 Oct 2019, 03:53

Heber13 wrote:
16 Oct 2019, 16:27
It comes back to the questions that started the thread, which seem to be that it begins to fall apart why the priesthood is so necessary after all, when there are so many exceptions provided to allow the honest in heart to receive their just opportunities for God's love.
The challenge is that currently the priesthood is set up to answer the question, "Why even bother with the CoJCoLDS at all?" If the priesthood takes on a role of diminished importance (and I'm definitely not saying it would if women could hold the priesthood, this is just a response to the question the thread title asks) then church leaders would need a better reason than, "You gotta because we're the only ones that have authority to do stuff." to sell the church to both members and non-members alike.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6747
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Oct 2019, 05:47

Minyan Man wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 19:35
There are other questions that I have. For example: Why does anyone need to be "set apart" while accepting a
calling in the church? I don't want to hijack the topic. If I am tell me & I'll go away. But, it seems to be similar.
Just curious.
Back in Joseph's time he seemed to use the terms "setting apart" and "ordination" interchangeably. From that point of view a setting apart is a sort of ordination. From the working under someone else's keys perspective, the setting apart/ordination would seem to the the formal authorization to use the keys. His use of the terms as interchangeable also lead to the idea that women were ordained to the priesthood in some form - which I do think was possible from Joseph's perspective.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16636
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Oct 2019, 12:55

I might be wrong, but I believe the top leadership truly does beleive that endowed women are given the Priesthood in the temple - that the right to officiate in the ordinances of the temple is the fullest expression of the pure Priesthood. Elder Oaks said so in November 2014, and Pres. Nelson has begun to say so, as well.

Frankly, I think they are "turning the good ship Zion" as quickly as they can to avoid losing younger, less orthodox members but as slowly as necessary to avoid capsizing and losing older, orthodox members. I don't know how far they will turn in my lifetime, but I am hopeful.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5418
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by SamBee » 19 Oct 2019, 13:00

Minyan Man wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 19:35
There are other questions that I have. For example: Why does anyone need to be "set apart" while accepting a
calling in the church? I don't want to hijack the topic. If I am tell me & I'll go away. But, it seems to be similar.
Just curious.
It is a formal stamp of approval, and it also allows some space to withdraw the calling if anything arises.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
Posts: 927
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by AmyJ » 28 Oct 2019, 06:01

Our R.S. lesson (not taught by me) was on President Nelson's talk "Spiritual Treasures" - which evolved into a focus on "Women and the Priesthood".

When the question was asked, "How do we sustain the priesthood", I was able to reflexively comment that sustaining the priesthood was a family and partnership endeavor where the partners compliment each other in determining how to spend their resources supporting each other. I reminded the sisters that it goes both ways - citing how when Sister Okazaki was called, a conversation was had with her husband about being mindful on how to sustain her.

When Ordain Woman was bashed (not specifically but that general mindset), later I was able to point out that there is a separation between the administrative aspect of running the church that the priesthood brethren generally hold, and the office of the priesthood itself. I pointed out that there have been changes recently (citing ward councils and the similarities between ministering for both genders) that show that the organization is changing to allow a closer partnership between men and women working together. I also included that some of these changes were in part responses to outside influences, such as feedback from women and the outside world.

I added it here because I am glad that my branch R.S. is having these conversations. I felt that I was able to respectfully offer another point of view that contributed to the conversation. Also, my R.S. president (who is hard for me to read and is more traditional then I am), made it a point to compliment me for my comments later that afternoon (so yes, I am proud that I did something good yesterday).

NOTE: I did think of these topic questions during the lesson, but neither question was answered to my satisfaction during the lesson.

QUESTION NOTE: President Nelson taught that endowed sisters have priesthood authority based on the completion of their ordinances - does that mean baptized unendowed sisters have a lesser level of priesthood authority because they have completed the ordinances of Baptism and Receiving the Holy Ghost? If so, why isn't it mentioned at the same time talking about endowed sisters having priesthood authority?

Roy
Posts: 5809
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Roy » 28 Oct 2019, 10:21

AmyJ wrote:
28 Oct 2019, 06:01
QUESTION NOTE: President Nelson taught that endowed sisters have priesthood authority based on the completion of their ordinances - does that mean baptized unendowed sisters have a lesser level of priesthood authority because they have completed the ordinances of Baptism and Receiving the Holy Ghost? If so, why isn't it mentioned at the same time talking about endowed sisters having priesthood authority?
Fascinating question. I must confess that I find President Nelson's position to be confusing. He said that endowed single sisters have priesthood power in their homes. Perhaps he is referring to the garment of the priesthood and the protection it gives. I do not know. He seems to indicate that these single sisters should explore this power by simplifying their life, refocusing their attentions, and cutting out distractions (I was wondering at this time if he was making a veiled reference to social media - I believe that he sees this as a continuing problem for women). He said something to the effect that they would use this power to receive revelation for their home and be a gaurdian of moral values. Also that a widow would preside in her home.

The strange thing is that all these things listed do not appear to require any priesthood power, endowment, or similar ordinance. People receive revelation/answers to prayer, guard moral virtues, and preside in their homes without any priesthood. During the pioneer era and into the 1900's LDS women performed a washing, sealing, and anointing before childbirth. There were multiple lingering questions about by what authority they did so. Was it just a prayer of faith? A "sisterly act?" Was it a power derived from participation in the temple endowment? Was it a form of priesthood that these women shared or borrowed from their husbands? Ultimately, those repeated questions caused those ordinances performed on behalf of pregnant sisters to cease (despite repeated warning from R.S. leadership to stop asking from whence it came). For an amazing reference to the history of washing, anointing, and sealing before childbirth among Mormon women please see the attachment. Linda King Newell’s “A Gift Given, A Gift Taken”

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/029-16-25.pdf

You may have a point - however theoretical. The recent change regarding witnesses removed the requirement that the witnesses be priesthood holders and replaced it with a requirement that the witnesses be individuals that have received the ordinance in question for themselves. If witnessing is a priesthood function then perhaps it could be said that anyone once having received an ordinance now has the priesthood authority to act as an official witness for others receiving that same ordinance.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7145
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Heber13 » 28 Oct 2019, 16:03

Roy wrote:
28 Oct 2019, 10:21
People receive revelation/answers to prayer, guard moral virtues, and preside in their homes without any priesthood.
I think this is still the major point that I have not resolved...because there can be debates on if women can or should do things in their home with authority but those don't answer the question: "Why does it matter?"

If you can be close to God without the Priesthood...then...it seems like it is all about faith something is binding in the next life...but not much noticeable difference in this life.

And if God works things out in the next life...then...I still wonder what is the priesthood matters and why it is needed.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
Posts: 5809
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Roy » 29 Oct 2019, 10:50

Heber13 wrote:
28 Oct 2019, 16:03
I think this is still the major point that I have not resolved...because there can be debates on if women can or should do things in their home with authority but those don't answer the question: "Why does it matter?"
I think an apt analogy is the gay marriage controversy. You can live with and love and commit your life to and build a family with whomever (legal adult) you choose. Why does a piece of paper declaring the couple to be married matter. I am willing to bet that it might not matter to God. To him it is the heart that matters. I theorize that marriage is a societal contruct and that it matters because we say it does (not just as individuals but also as a society that has the power to shower approval, validation, and acceptance or disaproval and rejection upon the couple).

On the other side of the thought - what matters in life and what does not is fairly fluid depending on perspective. I find that religion is helpful in deciding or reinforcing a life full of meaning.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7145
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Heber13 » 29 Oct 2019, 20:46

If it would matter to God, it would seem you would be more blessed in some way.

Something like:
More peace and happiness?
More prosperity?
More protection?
More rain to stop the drought?
More visions and Revelations to lead the family?

... something? Anything?

Or is it all just:
More obedient to the rules.
More approval by the men leaders.
More entry into heaven in the next life.

If I was a single mom...I don't think I'd want the priesthood. I'd be..."It's fine...keep it...I'm ok as I am."

That's easy for me to say since I have it and don't care about it...I might feel different if I was told I couldn't have it and had to deal with that.

But I go with Roy's approach...
To him it is the heart that matters.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
Posts: 5809
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What IS the Priesthood and why is it needed?

Post by Roy » 04 Nov 2019, 14:16

If you are endowed but not currently married to a man who bears the priesthood and someone says to you, "I'm sorry that you do not have the priesthood in your home," please understand that that statement is incorrect. You may not have a priesthood bearer in your home but you have received and made sacred covenants with God in his temple. From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you.
Yesterday a middle aged woman bore her testimony in my ward SM. She talked about how much she appreciated the ward support and "family" especially as a single sister without priesthood in her home. This grabbed my attention because President Nelson had just talked about how this idea is technically incorrect.

I feel that in the church we have a concept of valuing priesthood in the home. Specifically, someone that you can turn to in the middle of the night to provide a sick child with a priesthood blessing of healing or comfort. I have heard this in several different contexts and especially toward young women on the importance of marrying within the church. How then should we describe this condition that female members of the church sometimes find themselves in of not having a bearer of the priesthood living in their home? Moving forward is it more appropriate to say, "I'm so sorry that you do not have a priesthood bearer in your home?"

Is this just a follow-up to the correction of not calling the groups of male members of the church "the priesthood" - as in "We'd like to thank the priesthood for the reverent way in wich they passed the sacrament. Should it now be "We'd like to thank the bearers of the priesthood for the reverant way in which they passed the sacrament?"
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply