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My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 04 Jun 2017, 21:35
by Curt Sunshine
I shared this in another thread, but I want to do a separate post about it (with some minor additions), just to try to make sure everyone see it.
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I taught the lesson in HPG last Sunday, using the assigned talk: Elder Oaks' "The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood" from April 2014 - the one where he said that women exercise what I call direct and indirect priesthood power and authority, especially those who have been endowed. The Temple President is part of the group, and I was glad he was there.

We read portions of the talk and discussed the meanings of power, authority, and keys - and then we talked about how endowed women possess direct Priesthood power and authority as a result of the endowment. The obvious example was mentioned (women performing ordinances in the temple), but I pointed out that the women who do so are called and set apart as temple workers, with "temple keys" having been activated to allow them to perform ordinances as part of that calling, just like the male temple workers. Those cases seem more like indirect power and authority. I pointed to two other aspects of our temple theology and practices that, to me, are examples of more direct power and authority:

1) Women leave the temple clothed in the garment of the Holy Priesthood - and the initiatory actually is considered to be part of the endowment ceremony (which many members don't realize). It is hard to argue women don't have Priesthood authority and power when they wear the exact same tokens of that Priesthood as the men do.

2) I mentioned the part in the endowment where it says the participants are prepared to officiate in the ordinances of both Priesthood classifications. I said that no man or woman was authorized to perform any particular ordinance simply because they were endowed in the temple, but the wording makes it clear that all men AND women are prepared by the endowment to do so. (I didn't go into the implications of that any further, but I made it crystal clear that the preparation is in place for women to officiate in Priesthood ordinances.)

Near the end, I used the example of OD2 and said I wouldn't object or be surprised at all by an announcement of another revelation that ended the current ban on women being ordained to Priesthood offices and performing ordinances - not that I expected it, but that it wouldn't surprise me, given the way Elder Oaks addressed the reason why it hasn't happened yet. (The brethren not seeing a precedent and not having received a specific revelation to make the change leaves it wide open to that revelation to occur and the change to be made.)

I ended by saying that my greatest current hope was that no man in the Church would tell any endowed or set-apart woman in the Church that she didn't have Priesthood authority and access to Priesthood power, either directly as a result of her endowment or through her calling - that, right now, what we can do as a result of how the keys have been "turned" differs somewhat, particularly in the performance of ordinances outside the temple and receiving administrative keys, but that, in perhaps all other cases, the Priesthood power and authority is the same.

Obviously, I had to word things very carefully, precisely, and accurately, but it went well - and the Temple President (a wonderful man) was able to give some excellent supporting commentary at a couple of key points.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 11:51
by SilentDawning
Some very powerful stuff here. I think it's a VERY good example of what I was talking about in my Cool and Contrarian thread I posted yesterday.

If you can word it right, if you can adopt the perspective of a TBM, and describe it as consistent with existing scripture, but from a different perspective, it can be very motivating and powerful to people.

Yesterday I got a lot of head nodding when I suggested that the conscription model of the church doesn't a) always get us the results we are seeking b) doesn't always contribute to the happiness of our existence, when it could and c) represents a lower road to progress in the church.

Whoever revealed to the less orthodox in our corner of the bloggernacle that we "have the right to worship God according to the dicates of our own conscience" deserves kudos. And whoeer helped us see that also involves personal interpretation of scripture, etcetera, also deserves kudos. A case of how unorthodox perspectives can actually give rich and deeper meaning to scriptures and principles we've been hearing over and over, the same, boxed-in way, for years.

So thankful for unorthodox thinkers who also know and understand traditional principles...and can open our minds.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 14:49
by Reuben
Curt Sunshine wrote:
04 Jun 2017, 21:35
Near the end, I used the example of OD2 and said I wouldn't object or be surprised at all by an announcement of another revelation that ended the current ban on women being ordained to Priesthood offices and performing ordinances - not that I expected it, but that it wouldn't surprise me, given the way Elder Oaks addressed the reason why it hasn't happened yet.
Good gravy, did you actually call it a "ban"?

Whether you did or not, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 15:15
by DarkJedi
Great lesson, Curt.

As advisor to Primary (on my second presidency) I tell the presidencies they have all the same authority to act under priesthood keys I do - that authority comes from the SP. I make it clear I am not their "supervisor" and at best I am a liaison and advocate and that they should feel free to express their own ideas and plans in council.

To Reuben's question, I have also referenced the talk by Oaks in my own talks and I have heard other men do it. I did once make a comment in a priesthood meeting (during the height of OW's actions) in response to a "women will never get the priesthood" comment that "I heard that said of Blacks before too." I have not referred to it as a ban, but looking at it from the Blacks and the priesthood ban, I can't say it won't happen.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 07 Jun 2017, 15:08
by mom3
Keep it up Ray - Would have loved to have been there. We need 1,000 conversations like this before we can turn the ship. Well done friend.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 16:41
by Willhewonder
You should read what Sister Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says about women giving blessings in the early church. A House Ful of Females is a pretty good read. Before I left for college at BYU, my mother had a "vision/dream" and gathered me and my siblings around ,told us about it, layed her hands on our heads and gave us blessings. I was pretty impressed with my blessing. After I was gone a little while, I called home and my sister answered. I asked what she thought about our blessings. She lowered her voice and hemmed and hawed a bit and then told me my mother had had a nervous breakdown, and was doing better now. So much for my blessing? Someday I'll know the whole truth about the incident.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 17:28
by Curt Sunshine
There is nothing in our history or theology that says women can't hold someone and pray over them - that they can't bless them. Right now, they simply can't cite Priesthood authority when they do it.

Re: My HPG Lesson on Priesthood Power and Authority Last Week

Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 17:45
by DarkJedi
Curt Sunshine wrote:
11 Jun 2017, 17:28
There is nothing in our history or theology that says women can't hold someone and pray over them - that they can't bless them. Right now, they simply can't cite Priesthood authority when they do it.
There is very little difference in prayer and a blessing.