OW tries new tactics

Having shot themselves in the foot during General Conference, Kate Kelley and her Ordain Women crew have decided to offer up their other appendages in a never ending effort to keep themselves relevant.  However, their new focus portends to be even more dangerous to the foundation of the Church.

The OW are now moving their focus onto May 15th and the annual celebration of the Aaronic Priesthood restoration. In conjunction with this effort, they offer us 6 upcoming discussions/lessons on female ordination.

Boy, aren’t we the lucky ones?

In a world with so many real problems going on, where there is an acute need for service, caring, and uplifting, where there is hunger and suffering, do we really have to continue listening to wealthy and pampered liberal lawyers and their friends opine about not being able to purchase the priesthood?

I’m all for freedom of speech, but I’m also for maintaining the dignity of the Church. Turning sacred events and concepts into media circuses has been very effective by liberals in other churches to liberalize their doctrine.  Recently, Geoff B asked why the Episcopalian Church is near collapse.  The answer lies in the political machinations of a few very liberal people, such as Bishop John Spong, who moved the focus off of faith in Christ and keeping commandments, to a new liberal theology.

This liberal theology made huge inroads into the Catholic Church, until Pope/Saint John Paul II stood up against the local priests, who were replacing God with communism.  This liberal theology has divided the Episcopalians and caused a loss of over 1 million members. The Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) have seen a flood of people leave their ranks over similar issues.

What Kate Kelley and others like her demand is not a revelation from God approving their personal inspiration, but rather they seek to replace God and prophets with an Episcopalian version of the Restoration.

Even more dangerous than their marches on Temple Square, their new effort includes inviting people to be indoctrinated in 6 easy “discussions”.  Yes, 6 lessons. (Isn’t it a coincidence that the missionaries also teach 6 discussions?).

While the discussions are not yet available, it will be interesting to see how much the discussions tend towards doctrine, versus the “philosophies of (wo)men.”

Other religions are collapsing because of such attempts at steadying the ark.  Yet, OW does not yet see the danger they put forth to the Church.  If every person who disagreed with something in the Church teachings were to create a political movement within the Church itself, we would eventually see the Restoration fall apart.  Righteousness would be replaced with good intentions.  Temples would no longer be sacred and holy sanctuaries, but would be beautiful, but empty cathedrals (as the Episcopalians now have). The work to prepare the world for the 2nd Coming would grind to a halt, as members cease to lose themselves in the work of the Lord, and begin to publicly focus on their own selfish wants instead.

Instead of a Church of selfless servants, Peters and Marys; we would have a  Simon Magus social club.

I am thankful for the Priesthood.  I am very thankful for the Sisters and Brothers in the Church, who quietly serve others within the power and authority of that priesthood.  I am saddened by those who would trade their birthright for a mess of pottage.

41 thoughts on “OW tries new tactics

  1. “In a world with so many real problems going on, where there is an acute need for service, caring, and uplifting, where there is hunger and suffering, do we really have to continue listening to wealthy and pampered liberal lawyers and their friends opine about not being able to purchase the priesthood?”

    This. This. This. You have summed it up with pith and aplomb.

  2. If and when the Lord happens to declare that it is time for any such revision in the Church heirarchy, I will be pleased and happy to do my part to make it work.

  3. Jim, if He does not will you similarly help to make the current arrangement work?

  4. Le sigh.

    Come on gals, we are better than this! There is so much work to do. And what a way to ruin such an important and sacred date in our history. Thankfully, as Elder Ballard said in his devotional on Sunday night the Bretheren know what is going on, they are experienced in life and are very much in touch. I’m glad they are in charge!

  5. Observer … in my observation, at least in my own ward, the men do try and make the current set up work. They are not perfect, but they are humble and good men who try, who rely on the Lord and who more often than not, defer to the sisters for guidance and support. We all have to work together to make the Church go forward. I am tired of OW’s “us against them” narrative. If anything they do not champion equality, but rather promote the humiliation and marginalization of men. We need men just as much as we need women.

  6. Joyce, the thrust of my question is (similarly with respect to SSM – and certainly without intention on my part to threadjack) whether Jim or other supporters of female ordination (or SSM, or name your issue) who anticipate a relevation to sate their liberal inclinations will be as quick to sustain a directive from the Lord to maintain the status quo. That is, I think most people (liberal and conservative, it should be said) love revelations, or anticipated revelations, when they fit within their existing worldview.

  7. They have already said they will keep on pressing. At least OW did in October. Which to means that they are only out for power and humiliation of men and of the Church. In the end these women will have to decide to stay and support or to leave and continue to protest, because we cannot have the contention they create and still be about the Lord’s work.

  8. And I’m sorry, I misread Jim’s original comment — you were right to phrase your comment the way you did. My apologies if I came off rude.

  9. I found last weeks Subday School lesson on Balaam sort of interesting, especially Bruce R. McKonkie’s commentary about Balaam:

    “I wonder how often some of us get our direction from the Church and then, Balaam-like, plead for some worldly rewards. … (Lesson 16: “I Cannot Go Beyond the Word of the Lord”)”

    I wondered about the OW movement and their real reasons – the words, “I” “me” “we” litter their words, and yet how scarce are the words “Thee”, “thine”.

    “they” want the Priesthood”. In other words, “they” want the glory. It’s a shame, even after Elder Oaks powerful talk in General Conference, they still don’t seem to get it. It’s the Lord’s church. It operates on a His timeline and schedule – not ours.

  10. If one views the 1978 Priesthood announcement as occurring only because the world wouldn’t countenance it any other way for much longer, it becomes obvious why OW is doing what it’s doing, even if misguided. I don’t attend other churches, but at a recent funeral service held in an Episcopal Church, women were right up there in front of everyone, assisting the priest(?) in performing his duties to lead the congregation through the service. In our Church? Women can’t even carry a Sacrament tray up and down the aisles on Sunday. Sure, it’s a duty assigned to the Aaronic Priesthood-holding deacons, but does it really require that one be ordained to the Priesthood to even do that? Seems kind of strange if you stop to consider it. And I’m not a supporter of OW by a long shot. Just remarking on the differences between what we do and authorize and how things are done in other churches.

  11. Do the Missionaries still teach 6 discussions? I thought Preach My Gospel did away with the 6 discussion format for a more open ended and free series of lessons (thank goodness. I hated not being allowed to bring up the Apostasy until the 4th discussion. Our mission president was very insistent on the “no matter how much you want to, do not deviated from the lesson plan! Ever!”)

  12. Mark N, as I have pointed out in other posts, there are already efforts afoot within the Church for women to advise the Brethren on changes that could take place to make women feel more included. I discuss that in this post here:

    http://www.millennialstar.org/fair-conference-number-three-neylan-mcbaine-gendered-participation-within-church-organizational-structure/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheMillennialStar+%28Millennial+Star%29

    The primary point is that there are approved and appropriate ways to bring up changes within the Church. And then there are inappropriate ways, including the efforts of the OW group. The Church has made it clear that the OW tactics are not welcome and are against Church policy.

  13. Mark N, it’s a bit ironic that you bring up the Episcopal Church, seeing as it’s in the midst of a implosion. In 10 years, there may not even *be* an Episcopal Church. Many attribute that to their complete and total abandonment of traditional doctrine and their total embrace of post-gender queer ethics.

    Let me ask a general question: Do we as Mormons adhere to traditional values simply because they are hoary with age? Or could it be that there is something called “wisdom” to be found in the “old ways”?

    I’m not suggesting that change is bad. Accommodations can and ought to be made where they don’t conflict with clear doctrine. But to embrace full-scale radical change to long-standing institutions is a prescription for losing everything that we hold dear (see the aforementioned implosion of the EC). Moderation and common sense ought to prevail, not embracing every hare-brained scheme advocated by the Women Studies faculty at Berkeley.

    Just sayin’.

  14. Not an OW fan by a long shot as I think their tactics are pretty much apostate in deed if not name.

    I think it would be nice for the YW to pass the sacrament, but I still think you end up with YW wondering why they aren’t ordained to some office and the men are. Even Elder Oaks great talk leaves this question. He quoted prior authorities who inferred that a large role of women and the priesthood is to be mothers (if memory serves), but didn’t really focus on this. It seemed the primary intent was to say women already have priesthood authority and power when they are called and righteous. It seems to be a distinction without a difference in that case, which was really blurring the lines.

    By declaring that all Godly power is by definition priesthood power, you get back to his priesthood of all believers talk from a couple years ago where you basically say that any righteous person has power and some degree of authority (to do Christlike service in His name) in the priesthood. To say otherwise, would be to suggest that Christ does not recognize service performed in his name, according to this reasoning, so therefore they must have the priesthood in some capacity.

    It feels like it muddies the waters a bit and creates some distinctions without differences and acknowledges differences while blurring distinctions.

    I’m not sure how comfortable I am with describing all of God’s power as priesthood power. Priesthood power, to me, would seem to be a certain subset of God’s power delegated to those who are specifically called and ordained to the priesthood.

    The same troubles seem to occur with the gift of the Holy Ghost, but we’ve already had the light of Christ fleshed out a bit for awhile.

    I wonder if by desiring to be very inclusive in our language we are watering down distinguishing characteristics. All that said, I have no doubt that many women are endowed with priesthood power.

  15. Quoting myself…”Priesthood power, to me, would seem to be a certain subset of God’s power delegated to those who are specifically called and ordained to the priesthood. ”

    Just to expand on this, so when we read that the worlds are created by Priesthood power, we can get a glimpse of eternity, where worlds are created by power delegated from God to his authorized servants who act in his name and do what he would do. The temple narrative clearly supports this.

    I don’t see Priesthood as being a mystical Star Wars like force that is wielded by the righteous, but rather Priesthood being the way we describe the specific authority and power that God gives to those ordained authorized to do work in his name. Certainly, many righteous people do great things and God recognizes it and blesses their efforts. Why this should be called priesthood is beyond me, when the priesthood is only had through priesthood ordination.

  16. Ivan — there are 4 subchapters in Preach My Gospel (I think it’s ch 3) which are the basis of the current set of discussions. Those can be further broken down as needed, as they are kind of long and cover a lot. All the material covered in the old 6-discussion series is in there, just in a different order and phrased differently. But clearly OW based their “discussions” on the old system of missionary lessons.


  17. In a world with so many real problems going on, where there is an acute need for service, caring, and uplifting, where there is hunger and suffering, do we really have to continue listening to wealthy and pampered liberal lawyers and their friends opine about not being able to purchase the priesthood?”

    Indeed, I would add to that list of things which distract from “real problems going on” the obsession with white shirts, double earrings, bare shoulders, wearing pants to Church etc..” It seems too many of us get distracted by silly things which come at the cost of channeling the impressive-even awesome-firepower of the Mormon community into the more important areas where so much help is needed.

    When I first read President Hinckley’s almost off hand comment about earrings and the way which Mormons made that almost a fetish, I wondered the same thing as the OP. Are we, as a community, finally done with adulterty, addiction, apostasy, etc that we can focus on silly things like how many earrings a girl/woman wears? Surely President Hinckley and now President Monson have vastly more important things on their plate, no?

    If approached I will politely decline any invitation to listen to the 6 discussions from OW or its reps/missionaries. But, even the most hostile critic of OW has to be impressed with the change they’ve managed to bring about. Or, perhaps they are riding the coattails of other less public Sisters who are pushing through different channels for changes where change can be made with our current understanding of the priesthood. Who knows, but the recent changes have come at almost warp speed when one considers how the Church has historically responded to cultural pressure.

  18. “…even the most hostile critic of OW has to be impressed with the change they’ve managed to bring about”. We can go back 15 years and listen to Elder Ballard talking repeatedly about how much more we need to involve the women in the Church. I don’t think the OW has been the catalyst for any change, but have instead sidelined themselves from the discussions that will actually affect change.

  19. “Or, perhaps they are riding the coattails of other less public Sisters who are pushing through different channels for changes.”

    RB, it is these efforts that are bringing change, not OW. OW is, if anything, slowing the pace of change for women because the Church must show it cannot and will not be intimidated by such tactics. Read my link on Neylan McBaine. She has been talking to Church leaders for years now on this issue, and there are many, many other sisters doing the same thing.

  20. I don’t know enough about the personalities that float around church headquarters, but I would hope the church functions similar to a ward or branch, and that the conversations involving women’s issues that are taking place involve the FP, Q12, and the Presidencies of the RS, YW and Primary. To me, the sisters that should represent the sisters ‘in general’ are the General RS Presidency. If I were a GA, I might listen to concerns voiced elsewhere, but I would want first and foremost to hear what my RS President had to say. I know some sisters would argue that those sisters don’t represent a broad enough range of opinions, but there has to be order in the way things are done. The FP and Q12 can’t listen to every female who’s got an ax to grind, the same way they can’t listen to every male who’s got an ax to grind. And though they may want to stay out of the fray, I kind of wish the general RS Presidency would address and take on supporters of OW head to head. I’m sure they’re trying to be nice and polite and sensitive, but I wish they would stand up and be vocal about their support of the FP/Q12, articulate the doctrine, etc. No matter how a man explains it, it will always be considered ‘mansplaining’ by MoFems.

  21. I thought this business of the OW discussions was old hat.

    I would love to get a copy of their six discussions. I’m sure it would be fun to analyze.

  22. The “real” problems you mention, “helping the poor, etc.,” are responsibilities of the priesthood, which men in the church often do a pathetic job of fulfilling. If women took over the priesthood, (which they would, give them an inch…) the church would run much smoother and more effectively in its mission to help the needy, just as relief society is always more effectively run than high priests in individual wards. If this were all about helping the poor, God would have kicked the men out and put the women in charge long ago. Kate Kelly is too focused on what is pragmatic and useful, and not focused enough on the sacrificial and monastic element of righteous female submission to the inferior male imperfection. Men need the responsibility of presiding over family and church, otherwise they would never do it except to exercise unrighteousness dominion.

  23. Nate, you obviously have not read the mission of the Relief Society, which has a major focus on charity and service. In the past, their granaries and efforts sent railroad cars full of grain, blankets, clothing, etc., to war torn Europe. They still do wonderful things, more often on the local level. http://www.mormonwiki.com/Relief_Society#Relief_Society_Motto_and_Declaration

    IDIAT, The General Women leaders have discussed these issues in regards to OW, just without mentioning the organization by name. For example, look at the talks from March’s General Women’s meeting, where they were very clear in their statements.

    Also, I think Elder Oaks gave the definitive General Conference talk on Priesthood in April. I hope it is studied and discussed by all members for years to come.

    Meg, I also would like to do an analysis of their 6 discussions when they come out. The topics: See the Symptoms, Know the History, Study the Scriptures, Revel in Revelation, Visualize our Potential, and Be the Change; seem to be a mixing of doctrine and the philosophies of man.

    I would anticipate the following things taught (but pleasantly surprised, if wrong):
    1. See the Symptoms – there are problems in the Church that cannot be fixed if we first do not recognize there is a crisis
    2. Know the History – their version of the early RS, wherein the sisters held priesthood through the Quorum of the Anointed, and therefore should have all priesthood now
    3. Study the Scriptures – seek out the scriptures that you can use to support their interpretation of the scriptures. Eisegesis over Exegesis, or a hyper version of liken the scriptures unto us.
    4. Revel in Revelation – personal revelation, that is. Regardless of whether it is contrary to what Elder Oaks or the General Women leaders taught in the past General Conference.
    5. Visualize our Potential – sisters can be exact replicates of priesthood holders
    6. Be the Change – focus your efforts on getting gain (of the priesthood ordination and position), and not on the eternal change that turns mortals into exalted sons and daughters of God.

  24. Meg is right. I mentioned this in a guest post about a month ago. When they do release their discussions, it should be an interesting and potentially infuriating read.

  25. 1. See the Symptoms – I agree there are various weird things out there. Not persuaded ordination to priesthood will alleviate these problems.

    2. Know the History – The history is amazing, but again I contest that they aren’t seeing “priesthood.’ We don’t see ever see women baptizing, for example. They are seeing faith and prophesy, which is fully available to women today without need for priesthood ordination.

    3. Study the Scriptures – Sure. God loves women as well as men. No one ever questioned that.

    4. Revel in Revelation – Yes. But God is a God of order, and makes it clear time and again that we are allowed, even encouraged, to be prophets for our own stewardship. However that “prophesy” remains subordinate to the “prophesy” of those with stewardship over us (e.g., the Prophet aka President of the Church).

    5. Visualize our Potential – Yes. Visualize our potential to be powerful individuals working in tandem with the great population of believers, not shrilly protesting.

    6. Be the Change – Ironic, from folks who have marginalized themselves by their bad behavior. I absolutely don’t want the women I love trained on how to not win friends and lose all influence. The OW strategy will not work in Church circles, and will serve only to drive a wedge between those who align themselves with OW and the Church they all claim to love.

  26. I am against racism. I spent 16 years serving in the inner cities of Montgomery Alabama, started up the group (now branch) in Tuskegee, and have served several years in a Spanish branch in Indianapolis. That said, there is true racism, and then there are those that use the terminology against anyone who they deem to be a political enemy.

    I’m against Hitler and Nazis. Their reign of terror still impacts the world to this day, as we ponder the hundreds of millions that died or suffered under their hands and influence. That said, we diminish the concept of evil when we call every Republican a Nazi.

    There are definitely things the Church can do to increase the power and authority of women. I would like to see responsibilities for Young Women during Sacrament (leading music, greeters, etc). I would like to see more sisters engaged heavily in the decisions of the wards and stakes. Someday, I hope to see a Sister Sunday School President. That said, creating the OW crisis in order to divide and conquer diminishes the very priesthood and power they seek to obtain.

    Such has long been a ploy in political realms. If there isn’t a real crisis, then generate one. Call your enemy a Hitler, a Stalin, a Nazi, a racist, a homophobe, a quorum of old fashioned and dotty octogenarians, and you get the sympathy vote.

    None of it really accomplishes anything of true value. Fights against real tyrants, against real Nazis, against real enemies, these make a difference.

  27. I’ll look forward to further analysis on the six points. Already looks pretty engaging to me.

    Rame, I didn’t mean to diminish what the Relief Society does, I just wanted to point out that they would run the priesthood better if they were in charge. Don’t you agree? Female ordination would make the priesthood more effective at it’s mission, because women are better at all that kind of priesthood stuff than men. They are more spiritual, they are more obedient, they are less rebellious, they are more organized, they are naturally family oriented. They are even arguably better leaders in the workforce.

    Female ordination cannot be argued to be a sideline topic which distracts us from a more important mission. Rather, female ordination would absolutely enhance that mission. It is actually a call to pragmatism and realism. Any counter argument must necessarily focus on the mystery of God’s ways with regards to playing out gender roles, and keeping men relevant in church, and keeping women focused on childrearing. These unpleasant arguments are the only practical ones you can use, and probably are best to avoid altogether since they are so unconvincing to the other side.

    In my opinion it’s best to focus upon the authoritarian nature of the church, and it’s role in inviting us to be humble and submissive followers, as the church is a stand-in symbol for God in the world. We don’t have to understand or even agree with it. We just have to submit to it. Fine to ask for female ordination. Then we submit to whatever the church says, Amen.

  28. Nate,

    Are you trolling here? Almost every word in your comment is flat out false and wrong.

    One does not need any priesthood to care for the poor. Where did you get such a stupid and wrong idea? My daughters and/or wife do not need yours or any other priesthood holder’s permission to help the poor.

    Your view of the priesthood and its purposes are perverse, to say the least.

  29. Nate says: “They are more spiritual, they are more obedient, they are less rebellious, they are more organized, they are naturally family oriented.”

    Are we talking about the same OW crowd? Not quite sure I would classify them as “more spiritual … more obedient [and] … less rebellious.” I will concede that they do seem to be organized like Teamsters. As to whether they are naturally family oriented, they seem be be oriented towards a different formulation of the family than what has been preached from LDS pulpits.

  30. rb, give Nate a break. He is just a free spirit, but well-intentioned. I disagree with many, many things he writes, but his intentions are good.

    To state it another way, he is probably correct that women, in general, do a better job of organizing than men, in general. Women, in general, are more compassionate than men, in general. This does not necessarily mean they would run the priesthood better, but when read charitably you can understand the point he is trying to make.

    Peace and love, people, peace and love.

  31. Michael, I just do not have time to listen to that podcast. Do you think you could summarize it and turn it into a guest post?

  32. I just tried listening to the podcast. Couldn’t get through more than a few minutes. Just more of the same woe-is-us-martyrdom-schmaltzy-stuff. Don’t waste your time. I’m *certain* you have better things to do today.

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