I hope this will be the last post on M* regarding the Ordain Women movement. The OW movement has been relatively quiet since the last General Conference, which is probably a good thing. Hopefully the people involved with the movement will come to the realization that there are Church-approved channels for bringing up requests for change within the Church.
In the meantime, a private letter from Church Public Affairs Managing Director Michael Otterson surfaced on another blog. It was posted here in a comment, and I wrote to Church public affairs to confirm its authenticity, which was confirmed.
I also asked for the Church’s official position on the OW movement and received a response, which I will detail in this post.
But first, I think it is important to make it clear the Church Public Affairs is definitely speaking for the Brethren on these issues. I asked public affairs this question and received the answer: “yes.” In addition, the private letter from Bro. Otterson says the following:
Please also understand that no Church spokesperson – whether Cody Craynor, Jessica Moody or myself – issues statements on behalf of the Church that are not either initiated or approved by members of the Twelve and, at times, by the First Presidency.
I really need to drive home this point because it appears some people, even faithful latter-day Saints, are not understanding this: public affairs is not some rogue group. All of their statements are approved by the leadership of the Church. In effect, their statements are statements from the modern-day prophets who lead the Church.
So, what is the Church’s official position on the OW movement?
Alex Beam: Noted Author
My husband and I have attended events in the home of Greg Prince for the past several years. It’s been interesting, and I feel an affection for Greg.
This Sunday Greg will be hosting a Study Group at his home featuring Alex Beam, author of American Crucifixion, a book recounting many events associated with the life, death, and legacy of Joseph Smith. In preparation for Sunday, we have purchased the book.
Coincidentally, someone forwarded a link to an except from Alex Beam’s book posted on Salon. I suppose they thought that I would rise up from my leisurely repose and contradict Mr. Beam.
As I read the excerpt, which jams polygamy-related stories in a manner admitting only one interpretation, I found nothing that isn’t common knowledge. There is nothing in that excerpt that asserts anything new. Continue reading
Recently, Bart Ehrman (New Testament scholar, former fundamentalist and current agnostic) answered an interesting question on his private blog: why would an agnostic be so interested in Christianity and Jesus? He responded that whether or not Jesus was truly God and resurrected, etc., the role that Christianity has played in history is amazing. Continue reading
The funeral was very cathartic – it actually helped me gain a testimony of the necessity of rituals around the important times in life (birth, marriage, death, etc.). However, I have had a hard time getting the distance required to say what I really wanted to say about my dad. I keep crying every time I try to write this eulogy, as it means I really have to admit he really is gone. I know that he isn’t really gone, and I can’t imagine what it would be like for me if I didn’t have a solid testimony of the Gospel, but it still hurts.
This is not the tribute my father truly deserves, but it’s the best I can do for now. I feel I’ve delayed too long, so I will post the best I can, rather than wait too long for more distance. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Jamie Huston.
My notes on president Monson’s addresses at the April General Conference, 2014. Obviously subjective, and subject to ongoing revision and improvement, but this helps me to pragmatically know how to “follow the prophet.”
Priesthood Session: “Be Strong and of a Good Courage”
1. “…put ourselves in places and participate in activities where our thoughts are influenced for good and where the Spirit of the Lord will be comfortable.”
2. (Quoting) “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!”
3. “…do… the right thing even though we may be afraid, defend… our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintain… those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status.”
4. (Quoting) “Just be the same person you are in the dark that you are in the light.”
Sunday Morning: “Love—the Essence of the Gospel”
1. “…love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey.”
2. “…love God, the Father of us all.”
3. “…keep this truth [We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and, as such, are brothers and sisters] in mind, loving all of God’s children will become easier.”
4. “…recognize someone’s need and then…respond.”
5. (Quoting Pres. Kimball) “…remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve.”
6. “…we must treat each other with kindness and respect.”
7. “…strive always to be considerate and to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings and circumstances of those around us. Let us not demean or belittle. Rather, let us be compassionate and encouraging. We must be careful that we do not destroy another person’s confidence through careless words or actions.”
Sunday Afternoon: “Until We Meet Again”
1. “…take the time to read the conference messages when they become available on LDS.org within the next few days and when they are printed in coming issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines, for they are deserving of our careful review and study.”
2. “…join with me in expressing our sincere gratitude to those brethren and sisters who were released during this conference.”
3. “…welcome them and want them to know that we look forward to serving with them in the cause of the Master.” [re: “brethren who have been called to new positions of responsibility”]