Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

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squarepeg
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by squarepeg » 22 Aug 2017, 12:16

You guys are the best...as always. I love the responses. Thanks so much.

Ok, so the most reasonable explanation for a male-exclusive Priesthood is the evolution/culture-based one Ray, hawkgrrrl, and dande48 point out. :lol: Yes. For sure. It explains why Priesthood has been traditionally a male thing. But I guess I need to figure out what good, if any, comes from maintaining that tradition.
Roy wrote:
21 Aug 2017, 15:51
A fairly compelling argument is that this is how Jesus organized things. He called 12 all male disciples.

He also preached exclusively to the Jews as the time was not yet right for the gospel to go to the gentiles. Later after the death of Jesus, Peter received a revelation that the gospel was to go to the gentiles.
That's true. Jesus didn't give the Priesthood to women (that we know of). I sure wish we knew why, as well as why He didn't preach to the Gentiles. Would the men have a hard time being Apostles, for some reason, if there were also women Apostles? Was Jesus' society just too patriarchal for that kind of church structure to work well? I think OUR society may have had a hard time pulling that off in centuries past, but certainly, now, I think we could pull it off (women bishops, etc.) and be okay. I could be wrong.
nibbler wrote:
21 Aug 2017, 16:49
Some time ago I had a BP that was also an institute teacher. He was of the opinion that the PH was reserved for males because it helped them transition into adulthood.
Thanks. This is the kind of explanation I was hoping to find. I'd not thought of this one. The only problem I see with it is that we're allowing our young men to do things that our young women cannot do, even after those young women reach the biological milestones that correspond to the Priesthood ranking system. (For example, girls still do not pass the Sacrament when they begin wearing a bra.) And once men and women are all well into adulthood, and are obviously adults by all outward appearances, we still do not give women the Priesthood, or take it away from the men (it having filled its purpose at that point).
Roy wrote:
21 Aug 2017, 17:33
Nibbler, I do agree that having a role and responsibility in the community tend to make the YM better grounded than they usually are. I believe that this and missionary service helps to transition them into adulthood. I also believe that priesthood responsibilities might make men into better husbands and fathers than they otherwise would be.
I agree that all these are definite benefits of giving the Priesthood to young men. I wonder if, by giving the Priesthood to females, we would make these benefits less prevalent for males. Would Priesthood be less likely to help men stay grounded, transition to adulthood, and become better husbands and fathers if women were given the Priesthood, too? I don't know the answer to this.
SilentDawning wrote:
21 Aug 2017, 15:23
If you want to hear a lot of reasons, look on an orthodox Mormon discussion forum and you'll get all kinds of rationalizations and reasons.
Ok, maybe I should try and find those. I just assume they only have the standard ones ("men are weaker," "it's the Lord's will," and "something about Order"). ;)

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Beefster
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by Beefster » 22 Aug 2017, 17:06

The short answer is that there really isn't one. The closest I can get is that men and women are different, therefore priesthood for men and babies for women, but I don't find that particularly satisfying. As mentioned, GBH said it would take a revelation to change things, much like that other can of worms with blacks and the priesthood.

Now, I was talking to my friend the other day about that issue. He did a really in-depth dive study on it for one of his religion classes, and it turns out it's not that simple. It would be incomplete to say that a revelation led to the practice, but it would also be incomplete to say that it was due to racist leadership. He had a very compelling argument explaining how it was both to some extent. Without going too much into detail (because I will butcher it), he essentially said that racism of society at large combined with Brigham Young's own racism led to a pragmatic revelation from God to bar blacks from the priesthood and it took until 1978 to reverse that because of the racism within the Q12. I suppose it shows that God works through imperfect people, and much like with the law of Moses, He will adapt to their traditions and weaknesses. Heavenly Father is a personal God, and he is often quite pragmatic and not quite as absolute as the orthodox crowd tends to make him out to be. I suspect God will, to some extent, hold certain past leaders responsible for the ban, but I'm not the judge here. I just don't think He exactly condones that kind of ideology, even though he sort of works around it.

I don't know how much I agree with his analysis, but it's more satisfying than most answers I've had, so it's at least worth something.

I think it's something similar to that when it comes to women and the priesthood. Revelation works from existing "ammunition" within one's culture, laws, tradition, etc... In the grand view of history, women have been considered more like property than people for the vast majority of it, with egalitarianism being relatively new at just under a hundred years old. I do not agree with that worldview, however, it informed the start of every dispensation of the gospel. Perhaps it never occurred to Joseph Smith to ordain women, as informed by the fact that they could not vote in the US at that time. [speculation]Jesus probably thought about it, but he only barely survived a three year ministry as it was. By modern standards, the ancient world was sexist and misogynistic and if he had called some women to be his apostles, the sexist Jews would have crucified him a lot sooner. So Jesus did the pragmatic thing and rocked the boat only enough to make his point and teach what he needed to teach.[/speculation] Jesus was a champion of women in a world that treated women only slightly better than dirt (perhaps an exaggeration, but let's be real: that's what it looks like through a modern lens). In every instance I can think of where Jesus interacted with women, he treated them with the utmost dignity and respect. This is significant.

It would not surprise me if women are given the priesthood at some point. It would also not surprise me if it never happened. We do not know why God does the things he does when he does them. We do not know how much of it is in response to shifting attitudes and which policies come from God and which ones come from our human leaders. It may be an eternal principle that women do not have the priesthood. It may not. It's impossible for me to say.

If I had to guess when women will get the priesthood (assuming they do), I would say it will be about 5-10 years after men's liberation (if and when that happens). Even though women can choose to 'reject' their traditional role, men don't quite have that same luxury. There is still a lot of pressure on men to be providers. Men who pursue less lucrative careers (or more nurturing ones) are looked down upon, much like career women were in the past. Stay-at-home dads are often perceived as losers or similar, even in cases where it works better for the family. I don't think that masculinity is defined by one's ability to provide, much like how femininity isn't defined by the ability to have babies. I would like to see more men teaching elementary school, for instance; it would do well for boys to have more male role models at that time in their lives.

I guess I got a little rambly and off on a tangent.

tl;dr: There isn't one. We don't know why. It may be the product of tradition. It may not be permanent.
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Aug 2017, 18:50

If there was a revelation that began the ban, we would know about it. We don't, so there wasn't. It really is as the essay describes - an assumption by a racist leader put in place to avoid having to seal inter-racial couples where one spouse was black. It simply was unthinkable to BY and the general membership at that time, so nobody thought to seek revelation.

There are some better apologetic answers than others regarding the sex-based restriction, but I don't think they are any more valid than the justifications for the race-based ban. Elder Holland said the justifications were "spectacularly wrong" and that the LEAST we can do is not perpetuate them. I think it also is the least we can do for the sex-based ban - not perpetuate speculative justifications that, in the end, will turn out to be just as wrong.

I actually like that the leadership now isn't making justifications. They simply are saying it will take a revelation, since they don't see it in our scriptural canon. That is a good first step, since it finally opens the door for it to change at some point.
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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.

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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by gospeltangents » 22 Aug 2017, 22:52

I agree with everything Ray said.
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Roy
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by Roy » 23 Aug 2017, 14:50

Curt Sunshine wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 18:50
I actually like that the leadership now isn't making justifications. They simply are saying it will take a revelation, since they don't see it in our scriptural canon. That is a good first step, since it finally opens the door for it to change at some point.
That is my feeling as well. If GBH knew that it would never change he had an opportunity to say so. Instead, he said that it would take a revelation. I assume that GBH had witnessed enough changes over the years to know better than to say "never."

Ultimately, the church has to stay relevant to people's lives. We may criticize changes in other churches as evidence of apostasy but we hail them in our own as signs of continuing revelation. ;)
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by DancingCarrot » 23 Aug 2017, 17:39

I also agree with what Ray said.
Roy wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 14:50
We may criticize changes in other churches as evidence of apostasy but we hail them in our own as signs of continuing revelation. ;)
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by dande48 » 23 Aug 2017, 21:06

DancingCarrot wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 17:39
I also agree with what Ray said.
Roy wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 14:50
We may criticize changes in other churches as evidence of apostasy but we hail them in our own as signs of continuing revelation. ;)
Double-edged swords cut both ways. :lol:
When you belong to the One True Church, everything else is a sign of apostasy.
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squarepeg
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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by squarepeg » 23 Aug 2017, 21:38

Beefster wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 17:06
I suppose it shows that God works through imperfect people, and much like with the law of Moses, He will adapt to their traditions and weaknesses. Heavenly Father is a personal God, and he is often quite pragmatic and not quite as absolute as the orthodox crowd tends to make him out to be.

In the grand view of history, women have been considered more like property than people for the vast majority of it, with egalitarianism being relatively new at just under a hundred years old.
Thanks for these thoughts. I feel like you've hit on something. Seems we could use this same explanation to justify the vengeful, violent, jealous Old Testament god. If He reveals, or tries to get His people to live, the "ACTUAL 100% COMPLETE Fullness of the Gospel," you know, the "Gospel the Way People Live it on Kolob" or something, the whole thing would implode, because culture/small minds can't handle it. They need it line upon line, precept upon precept. Kinda like the United Order seemed like what God would actually want from a Zion people, but the 19th century Saints just couldn't pull it off, because...some stuff's just too hard. Like, if you give the kindergarteners college-level reading material and expect them to write an essay, you're gonna have zero books read, zero essays written, and zero kids wanting to come back to class the next day because they can't handle it, can't pull it off, and it doesn't make any sense. Maybe that was us (the collective "us"...not every single one of us, individually) with blacks and the Priesthood. Maybe that was the Israelites with "turn the other cheek". Maybe that's us, now, with women and the Priesthood. But if you give the kindergarteners some salt-filled lunch trays and have them trace alphabet letter shapes, they may not be living up to their fullest eternal potential in that moment, but they're doing something that can eventually BUILD to their fullest potential, and that will prevent them all throwing in the towel and running screaming from the classroom.

Maybe if we give women the Priesthood right now, we get this massive outcry from the older generations that causes such confusion and pandemonium and mass exodus that the church becomes unable to perform the most basic fundamentals, like reminding everybody to love one another, and before we know it the church no longer exists as an organization and can't bless lives at all. The bad would outweigh the good if we bring in the "good" too early. In other words, a good change (for example, giving the Priesthood to all worthy members) can be quite bad if the negative ramifications of implementing the change would outweigh the positive ones.
Beefster wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 17:06
Jesus was a champion of women in a world that treated women only slightly better than dirt (perhaps an exaggeration, but let's be real: that's what it looks like through a modern lens). In every instance I can think of where Jesus interacted with women, he treated them with the utmost dignity and respect.
Good point. I don't know enough about first century Jewish culture to know how exceptional His treatment of women actually was. I'll take your word that it was not the norm. ;)
Curt Sunshine wrote:
22 Aug 2017, 18:50
I actually like that the leadership now isn't making justifications. They simply are saying it will take a revelation, since they don't see it in our scriptural canon. That is a good first step, since it finally opens the door for it to change at some point.
Yes! That's really encouraging!

My 13-year-old daughter's SS teacher evidently (according to her) told the class that in the next life women would be given the Priesthood. I wanted to track him down and hug him for saying that, (or just for giving my daughter the impression that that would happen) even though I don't know that there's much, if any, doctrinal basis for it!

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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Aug 2017, 14:04

Elder Oaks already said in 2014 that endowed women have the Priesthood in this life. They simply aren't ordained to offices currently in the hierarchical Priesthood organization. (The keys haven't been used to allow that.)

Unfortunately, he said it to the men in their session of General Conference. It was a fascinating talk.

I would love to see it re-read or updated in a general session of conference.
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

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Re: Logical argument for male-exclusive Priesthood authority

Post by hawkgrrrl » 24 Aug 2017, 22:02

By modern standards, the ancient world was sexist and misogynistic and if he had called some women to be his apostles, the sexist Jews would have crucified him a lot sooner.
Nevertheless, the NT does refer to a female apostle (post-JC) named Junia in Romans 16:7.

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