The Difficulty of Dialogue Without Disclosure

Many moons ago, there was a certain person that started a certain movement that included something about using civil rights tactics to make changes within the LDS church. At that time I questioned this person, on behalf of a woman thinking of joining this movement, about her [the founder’s] beliefs… and started a firestorm. But I promised to revisit the issue later. I never did.

I started to, but then gave up on it for lack of time. Time passed, the movement largely died out and lost media attention. People got sick of talking about it, and that was that. But I still had this long post that took an interview (that I had in fact, at least in part, caused to take place via my questions) on FMHW and asked questions and drew conclusions based on her own words.

And just being me, I couldn’t resist throwing in a bit of irony:

On the day that Mormons believe John the Baptist restored the priesthood to the earth, [this movement] launched their 6 discussions to promote their cause. Ironically, the question [the founder] would not answer was if she believed that John the Baptist, as a resurrected angel, restored the priesthood to the earth because it was no longer found on the earth.

Truth be told, this person actually impresses me throughout the interview in many ways. She shows a stronger understanding about many issues than I would have thought. I mean that in the best possible way. I’m not saying I thought she was stupid and in fact she’s smart. I’m saying that she displays a level of self-awareness, at times, rare in human beings. This is precisely why I valued the interview so much as a jumping off point for further dialogue and discussion.

For example, consider the interviewer’s “question” here, which was actually my question to her, but disguised so that she won’t have to answer the question.

Interviewer: Well, a lot of the questions – a lot of them – ask about your worthiness and your righteousness and if you have a temple recommend; questions which I think is nobody’s business, but I guess some people find it relevant. I think you’ve answered that. That you are faithful, believing, active.


Okay, we all know this is yet another “Bloggernacle Tactic.” Essentially this tactic is to treat all questions about beliefs or commitment to fundamental and defining doctrines — even wholly relevant ones to the subject at hand as is the case here — as offensive questions about personal worthiness or righteousness instead.

In this way, the question is never actually asked and need never be answered. The interviewer even prompts the interviewee with the “right answer.”

But this isn’t even the most concerning part. The interviewer prompts the interviewee with certain specific keywords (faithful and believing) that are known to be understood drastically differently between liberal Mormons and “TBMs” communities.

In short, it was a microcosm of the very problem that can only be solved by sincerely asking about someone else’s beliefs and to expect a sincere answer that isn’t misleading.

But wait! Here is, in part, how the movement leader responded:

…in some ways I think it’s a legitimate question because that what I’ve said when I’ve presented myself as an active, faithful, believing Mormon.

Surprised? I was. (Though she never does go on to answer my actual question, unfortunately.)

There were quite a number gems in this interview that drive to the heart of the “TBM” vs “Liberal” question that the Bloggernacle is forever trying to resolve. And between the three women involved (two interviewers from FMHW and the movement founder) they give a pretty good idea of what they value in the LDS Church and what their vision for the Church’s future is.

One of the main things I had in my original post was what I see as the crux of the disagreement between the two sides and why a civil rights-style movement can only end in disaster. (This was long before it did end in disaster.)

I am wondering if it is possible for me to somehow still benefit from some of the thoughts raised in her interview. There are so many gems that she, the interviewers, and me (in response) raised throughout my post. Alas, I fear people are just so sick of this topic that there may no longer be a point. Perhaps I can find a way to adapt some of the material to other posts that aren’t focused on the original movement and the original question.

36 thoughts on “The Difficulty of Dialogue Without Disclosure

  1. I think it might be interesting to craft this as a general comment on tactics that can be used, explained in light of actual tactics used by a particular person at a point in time when the outcome of the disagreement between the individual and the Church was not yet known.

  2. The interesting thing about this whole movement is that it actually set back any sort of discussion about women’s role in the church. They pushed too hard for “the moon” and now if you are a normal person wanting to talk about women’s roles in the organization of the church, you are seen as “one of them” and dismissed as apostate. They definitely did a disservice to the “TBM” women still slugging away in the trenches. I had great conversations with men in many levels of priesthood authority before that movement and now its become a taboo subject to approach.

  3. I agree with Meg that this is valuable to consider as a general discussion on tactics, with applications far beyond this one issue.

    And I am not the least bit impressed with the proposed solution of “…. only be solved by sincerely asking about someone else’s beliefs and to expect a sincere answer….”

    Seriously? What does that get you? We all look at things through different lenses. I don’t see how that line of rhetoric is useful to this or any other topic.

    When my professional work involved conducting surveys about sexual behaviors, we found that many married men view themselves as being faithful to their wife if they used a prostitute, because there is no emotional attachment. It is a strictly financial and physical transaction. Some of us would define “faithful” differently, but they were sincere in their views. It was their set of glasses.

    I’ve been slammed so many times for being an apostate liberal. Judged very unkindly for not fitting into someone else’s view of what it means to be a Good Mormon. My husband was a bishop and I a RS president, for many years. But that wasn’t good enough to prove our worthiness in their eyes.

    So I would not dare to ask those kinds of questions of anyone else. I don’t see how it moves a discussion forward.

  4. Bruce N, I am really enjoying you return to M* activity (you know that your calling is “Official Blogger Who Reads Books Nobody Else Will Read,” right?).

  5. I’m not sure what disclosure means here, or that we can’t have dialogue without it when it comes to women’s service and opportunities in the church. This is not the same as a politician failing to disclose that s/he has a financial stake in a proposed project.

    Moreover, it is possible to have a testimony (more than just a belief or a hope, but an actual and powerful witness from God that imparts knowledge) of Christ and Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling without having personal knowledge from God about the details of how Joseph accomplished the incredible work he did.

    The conversation about women in the church is an important one for members and converts alike. It’s good for us not to get distracted by publicity stunts but to focus on how we can support the ongoing work of the restoration, including women’s contributions to building the kingdom.

  6. Naismith,

    I hate the fact that you were treated in such a way. It makes me feel ill.

    However, I can’t agree with your assessment. I stand by the notion that for me to ever understand where you are coming from, you have to actually tell me where you are coming from.

  7. “My husband was a bishop and I a RS president, for many years. But that wasn’t good enough to prove our worthiness in their eyes. ”

    Why, no. No, this should not be good enough to prove anyone’s worthiness in anyone’s eyes.

    I invite readers to pause and reflect on why I might believe this. There are reasons other than because I am an evil Sith Lord.

  8. ” I stand by the notion that for me to ever understand where you are coming from, you have to actually tell me where you are coming from.”

    First of all, if I tried to tell you it might lead to frustration because the words mean different things to each of us. That is my main point.

    Second of all, what would it accomplish? I honestly don’t understand what use might be made of such a disclosure. How is your behavior toward me going to change based on what I tell you? Are you just going to turn it into a stick to beat me with? Or……???

  9. “Why, no. No, this should not be good enough to prove anyone’s worthiness in anyone’s eyes.”

    Okay, perhaps “worthiness” was a poor choice of words. (See what I mean about words being misleading?) But that information does absolutely convey where “we are coming from.” As people who believe and are willing to sacrifice and serve and contribute to the kingdom, if that is more accurate.

  10. Naismith, go look up “The Myth of the Framework.” If we were to have that conversation, even though we have such different starting assumptions, it would not be “pointless” or “non-productive.’ It probably wouldn’t be at all pleasant either. But we’d both come out of it changed to some degree.

    The rest of what you say could be summarized as “I’m not interested in dialogue” which is fine. But this post was about those interested. So it doesn’t apply to you. Bear in mind that “dialogue” is a huge buzz word for the person this post is about. What I am really saying indirectly is that she is not interested in dialogue either and is just falsely claiming to be so.

  11. “…… I stand by the notion that for me to ever understand where you are coming from, you have to actually tell me where you are coming from.”

    I agree, I’m not a mind reader, so I need people to tell me what it is that they believe or think in order for me to make an assessment.

  12. Hi Kareen, are you asking a serious question (you actually don’t know), or just trying to be insulting? If the later, no worries, have a nice day. Just wanted to make sure you had a sincere question answered if it were sincere.

  13. By the way, nothing wrong with not knowing. The term actually has multiple possible meanings.

  14. I am indeed interested in dialogue. And there has been a great deal of meaningful dialogue around this issue.

    What I specifically don’t see is how your demands for disclosure would enhance the dialogue.

    Are you saying that a statement would be viewed differently if accompanied by one type of disclosure vs. another? Because to me, I prefer to look at the statement itself.

    Which still provides much dialogue.

  15. I believe knowing something of the belief/fidelity of another to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is absolutely vital to sifting out the usefulness of whatever they might be saying that to “improve” the Church. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible to do in the online arena. My saying anything here will just be lost among thousands of online posts and comments, but I am going to be teaching the 14-15 year class this Sunday and here I have the chance to influence these very precious souls. The theme has to do with “building the kingdom” and I am able to pass on to them a few of the most important scriptures, I believe, they will need in the years ahead as they grow up in Church to help face life’s challenges. The one I will quote here, because it has something to do with the intent of the article, is this:
    (Alma 12:9–11)
    9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
    10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
    11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries…

  16. No, I’m saying some issues require an understanding of how you came up with your belief in the first place, which sometimes requires explaining other of your beliefs. If those “other beliefs” are potentially dangerous to your position (say, because you are pushing female ordination, but don’t actually believe the LDS Church restored a lost priesthood to the earth) then you will not desire to let anyone know that you don’t actually believe the LDS Church did not restore a lost priesthood. If you were to disclose that, you know that many Mormons would now dismiss your arguments.

    So you tell yourself “the reason I am not wanting to disclose the truth about my beliefs about LDS priesthood is because then the dialogue comes to an end and I’ll be dismissed for non-rational reasons.”

    So instead, you simply state “Well, I’m a believer (and by that I mean I’m an active member of the church and I do actually believe in God)” and then added “when you ask me that question, it’s logically irrelevant. You’re just trying to make me an other.”

    However, as it turns out, the fact that you don’t believe the LDS church restored a lost priesthood actually has direct rational / logical bearing on the dialogue. Within an LDS context believing the LDS Church restored a lost priesthood is part of why many people have no issue at all with a lack of female ordination. Further, not believing the LDS Church restored a lost priesthood actually does play a huge role in this person’s desire to use civil rights tactics to force the LDS church (which they don’t believe is actually led by God via revelation from God) to change their practices.”

    In short, being unwilling to really get into your beliefs all the way does in fact make having dialogue with “you” (i.e. this hypothetical person) very very difficult. The correct response to you is not to then engage you on what you want to talk about — all logically irrelevant to me now — but to continue to argue with you that you should tell me what you believe so that the conversation can get started.

  17. I could summarize this:

    If someone actually wants to allow female ordination because they don’t believe the LDS Church is what it claims to be, that is not rationally nor logically the same as wanting to allow female ordination because they do believe the LDS Church is what it claims to be. By a person not telling me which they are, I have no idea whatsoever which logical /rational issues to even raise with you. And I would suspect that is by design. Realizing it’s a scam, I’ll either walk away or continue to argue with you that you need to start out even just explaining yourself in the first place.

  18. A simple statement that they believe in the Church seems to be the last thing many wooly wolves can make. They act insulted at the mere inquiry of whether or not they believe and begin to obfuscate, saying that is not the point. I believe the Church and its leaders are led by God. I also believe the Church will founder if individual members depend only on borrowed light. As we listen to and share what we feel are valuable, even inspired insights, it will benefit both us and the Church in general, but beware of the wooly wolves who we can sometimes only identify because the Spirit warns us.

  19. Pingback: Angina Monologue 2 | Junior Ganymede

  20. “If someone actually wants to allow female ordination because they don’t believe the LDS Church is what it claims to be, that is not rationally nor logically the same as wanting to allow female ordination because they do believe the LDS Church is what it claims to be.”

    I guess I am not understanding what the difference is. If they support female ordination, they support female ordination. And if they accurately point out problems with the way women are treated in the church, then those problems are no less true, irregardless of the source. Those problems should not be dismissed because of the nature of the person pointing it out. Those problems should be addressed.

    “By a person not telling me which they are, I have no idea whatsoever which logical /rational issues to even raise with you.”

    So this is about your convenience, and allowing you to come up with a zinger reply? The thing is, some very faithful women have made many of the same points that were made by women who were excommunicated. Why not just address the points themselves?

    I could be horribly naive, but it has been pretty clear to me when OW stepped over lines. Sending a letter to church public affairs and then disregarding the response; misrepresenting the church’s treatment of women as being unequal.

    But just as at other key times going back to the Garden of Eden, truth gets mingled with some untruths. The true part should not be ignored because of the messenger’s disclosure or lack thereof.

    I’ll stop now. I don’t share your need for disclosure, but don’t accuse me of not wanting dialogue.

  21. Hi Naismith,

    Back in the day when I was proposing all kinds of fun things like granting women power to do all manner of fun things, I was asked this question.

    As someone who has performed ethnographic research, I understood the value of explicitly enunciating where I was coming from. And I did so.

    Because of this, I have been able to earn some level of trust on these issues. I can talk about anything and be respected here. Well, maybe not discussions of climate change and carbon footprint, but anything related to the Church.

    It makes a big difference whether people think this is a club or an organization ultimately led by God, where we are stewards.

  22. Naismith,
    I’ve elsewhere pushed back against Bruce on this same issue. At this point, I’m not exactly sure where I land.

    I think if a feminist is able to insist that a speaker disclose their gender for the sake of identifying and isolating privilege, this seems very similar to Bruce wanting to identify and isolate subversion.

    I also think it’s fair to ascertain whether, whatever she says about her own cause, her efforts actually amount to a subversive transformation of authority rather than an extension of it to women.

    Whether these points necessarily entail the questions that Bruce has for her or nor is something I’m just not too sure about.

  23. I think moderators ought to tease out where their participants are coming from at the beginning of a session, at least on audio podcasts. Earlier this year I listened to a podcast moderated either by Dan Wotherspoon or John Dehlin (I do not recall which) that had 3 guests from the OW Movement. Peggy Fletcher Stack (from the Salt Lake Tribune) had stated in print that all these marching women were faithful, active members of the Church. Towards the end of the second hour the moderator asked all three if they were active Mormons. Only one spoke up and said she was no longer a member and did not believe any of the truth claims of the Church. The obvious next question could have been, “well, okay, ummm, is there a reason you are involved in all this?” This was never asked. Another woman, referred to elsewhere as “legal counsel” to Kate Kelly, stayed mum at this point but she came to the program with a “history” attached. During the Proposition 8 campaign in California she was the one who forced the Mormons to “stand up and be counted” (her words) by publishing a list of contributors to the campaign, resulting the open and severe persecution, by many, of Mormon business owners (one who got their photo, while being yelled at in their restaurant, published in the LA Times). A gay newspaper editor then who interviewed the woman stated that “she no longer attended church.” My sense from listening to her on the OW panel was that she had not returned, or at least she was not in a Relief Society of Primary Presidency currently, anyway. So, was listening to these 2+ hours of podcast worth my time? No, and I have since found better ways to spend it. If I had known at the beginning that 66.6% of the panelists could care less if there even was a legitimate priesthood within the Church (and, if the other one had spoken up, it might have been 100%…or for sure at least 75% of all those chatting, if you include Brother Wotherspoon or Dehlin) I could have spent my listening time more wisely, say listening to weather and traffic reports…

  24. Stephen, that is pretty much what I would have guessed. And you’re making an assumption that the moderate a) doesn’t know that they aren’t believers, b) cares. Likely neither of these is true.

    The interesting question, one I’ve spent some time thinking about, is *why* do they care about how a church that they don’t believe in handles things? I think that question is fascinating and the likely explanation a little bit unexpected.

  25. Bruce, that is exactly my question as well. Why fight if you don’t believe it anymore? Why expend all the energy to cover up where you stand if you don’t have an ulterior motive? What do you believe is the “unexpected” explanation?

  26. “As someone who has performed ethnographic research, I understood the value of explicitly enunciating where I was coming from. And I did so.”

    That’s great if you choose to do so. But is there a difference between an individual choosing to disclose as part of their discourse, vs. demanding that others do the same?

    “Because of this, I have been able to earn some level of trust on these issues.”

    But that is not guaranteed. It may be just as likely that others will inform you that your description of “where you come from” doesn’t count or doesn’t matter. A few years back I wrote a newspaper column speaking from my viewpoint as a mother, but a letter to the editor declared that I was NOT a mother, merely a woman who had given birth five times. So identification became more of an issue than what was in the article itself.

    And that is a shame, if the stuff being said is important, irregardless of the source.

    “It makes a big difference whether people think this is a club or an organization ultimately led by God, where we are stewards.”

    Are you talking about the church? Because on first reading, I thought you were referring to M*.

  27. Hi Naismith,

    In a discussion regarding those seeking female ordination (circa March 2014), this business of acceptable means for agitating for change was discussed at length. Those willing to agitate outside the bounds of Church channels appear not to respect to the guidance of D&C 28:6:

    And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church

    In this sense, they appear to reject the idea that the Church is guided by God, but is more of a club.

    I find that when I provide background on where I’m coming from, it allows reasonable people to better understand my points. It contributes to an environment of mutual respect. And in those cases where an individual doesn’t reciprocate, all others are free to observe that the other individual is a jerk without my having to say anything. Which is in itself rather sweet.

    Transparency is the currency of trust on the internet, speaking of individuals whose trust is worth having.

  28. “So this is about your convenience, and allowing you to come up with a zinger reply?”

    Naismith, missed this.

    Your comments makes perfect sense so long as I assume that all dialogue is really always just zingers. 🙂

    You seem to be starting with an assumption that points of concerns are somehow value neutral, which seems all wrong to me. Though perhaps I’m not understanding you.

    I think about my attempt to talk to my believing friend about the issue of female ordination vs. my (far more limited) discussion with the leader of the Kate Kelly movement. It just isn’t the same at all.

    For example, when dealing with a believer, its acceptable and necessary to discuss how male ordination affects people. Its well known, for example, that Christianity has really struggled with male participation. Not so for Islam, btw.

    We talk about “our sisters are leaving” but not as much as our brethren, unfortunately.

    One belief — a hypothesis if you will — is that the LDS Church gets higher male participation because they require men to perform certain functions. (This is a more intellectual way of stating the very common argument of “women don’t need the priesthood to be equal to the men.)

    Further, this hypothesis is that a good church is one with a stronger balance of males to females. (This seems obvious. If a church, say, only had women participating or only men participating, it would be a very good place to, say, meet someone of your faith to marry.) So a higher participation of males therefore means higher female participation because the women in such a church are able to meet men that believe like them, and vice versa.

    I don’t know if that hypothesis is true or not. No one yet knows if its true or not. But God knows. For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s true. This would mean that male only ordination is a necessary part of spreading the gospel effectively because the church would be less effective without it. (There are numerous other similar arguments that make good sense in a believing context.)

    Now for a believer, this matters. It’s the primary purpose for the church to exist. But for a non-believing liberal, this argument is literally meaningless. A non-believing liberal could care less about “the gospel” going forth to all nations” because that don’t believe in that mission of the Church — it’s sole (or at least primary) reason for existence in a believers mind — and likely feel churches are really just clubs and all are equal before God or possibly those that teach the most “social equality” are the ones with the most divine truth. (Assuming the non-believing liberal even believes in God. Many do not.)

    So let me be blunt here. For the sake of argument, let’s play the odds that the reason the leader of the Kate Kelly movement intentionally avoided answering the question about whether or not the LDS Church really did have angels restore priesthood do the earth is because she is a non-believing liberal and that she knows if people find that out she’ll hinder her own movement. This is certainly the easiest and most likely explanation and we are right to have such suspicions. I note, however, that being a non-believing liberal is value neutral. From a believing context, certainly we want people to believe. But if Kate Kelly does not believe in the truth claims of the church she is no less desired in the Church. And it does not make one at all a bad person or even an apostate.

    However, avoiding the question because its inconvenient is NOT value neutral and there is a fair question of intellectual honesty there. Especially given the full context of “dialogue about women’s issues”. Why?

    Naismith, it seems obvious to me that the correct logical / rational question to address KKs concerns with the church is to first ask, “wait, if you don’t believe the LDS Church is any more true than any other church, and if there are plenty of churches out there that DO offer female ordination, why aren’t you leaving the LDS Church — since it doesn’t work for you — and going to a church that does?”

    I suspect THIS is the very question she does not want to be asked, but it isn’t because this isn’t a valid question. It isn’t because its not logically relevant to the very women’s issues she is raising. Indeed, it’s directly relevant to the issues she is raising. It isn’t because you can somehow address her concerns without addressing this question. You can’t. In point of fact, this is the ONLY question that can be rationally asked of her to get the dialogue started. Her desire to not answer it (as per our assumptions for the sake of argument) ARE the concern that must be addressed and vocalized first before any issues can be addressed at all that she is raising. Why exactly isn’t she taking the attitude that matches her beliefs? Why is she insisting on staying in a church whose teachings she rejects and then actively using public humiliation tactics to change that church when she can so easily “live and let live”? Her concerns as a non-believer (as we’re assuming for the moment) are so easily so imminently solvable if she just goes and joins a church that will ordain her as she wants. And if she believes that church as valid priesthood authority as the LDS Church does, this entirely solves the problem, doesn’t it?

    Given the inconvenience of that question and the near impossibility of her being able to answer it many people’s satisfaction, yes, I understand why she’d not want to address that question.

    But if KK doesn’t believe, is it *really* true Naismith that her points are still logically valid? It seems to me they are not. Why would any discussion about women’s issues in the Church be a valid rational discussion without first asking “well, is there a better personal solution for you that doesn’t involve forcing all that disagree with you into a zero sum game like this?”

    That’s because these questions are meaningless without first having a value context (as Jeff G keeps arguing) that will be based on either belief or non-belief. There is no other way to address these issues.

    With my believing friend, any attempt to address her concerns has to start from an assumption of belief and must first address the possibility that this is God’s will and that there might be good reasons for it. (Though it will always be speculation and we have to also be open to the possibility that it is not God’s will as part of the discussion as well.)

    If KK is a non-believer this is a non-argument and the proper line of discussion (without any sort of zingers at all) is to literally ask her “I don’t understand where you are even coming from? Why does this matter to you when you could so easily solve the problem for yourself and allow those that disagree with you — the vast majority of the church by far — worship as they please? Why not make everyone happy? Why instead force this zero sum game?”

    Now maybe that question has a good answer. But how can we even remotely claim that the Kate Kelly movement “started a dialogue about women’s issues” in any meaningful sense at all when (under our current assumption) the most obvious of all solutions she is intentionally keeping from being discussed?

    Likewise, let’s now assume for the sake of discussion that the leader of the Kate Kelly movement IS a believer. And yet, have you heard her in any meaningful way address the above question of “what if this is God’s will?”

    But that is the right question in that case. “Kate, what if this IS God’s will? Are you prepared to accept it? What if God knows your proposed changes to the Church would hinder the Church’s purpose?”

    Have you ever heard her address that in a straightforward manner other than to say “that is not God’s will?” I’ve listen to her quite a bit now and she consistently avoids addressing this from within a believing context. Instead she points to her participation in the church as a sort of ownership or voting right and that since this displeases her personally, she should get a say.

    Again, I compare this to my believing friend that wants to see female ordination, and its night and day. She does not take the point of view that she deserves ownership in the church. She does take seriously question of the Church’s effectiveness, the possibility of God’s will being different from hers, etc. Because for a believer, THOSE are the right questions for the dialogue to continue.

    To be perfectly frank, Naismith, I actually favor female ordination, though I also accept that I don’t know enough to *really* know how things would best play out. I ultimately choose the path of trusting God on this. (i.e. because I believe God does in fact lead the church via prophets.) So I in no way reject female ordination much less women’s issues. But I can also see that there is something wrong with what KK is doing. It makes no rational sense either from a believing or a non-believing perspective. This is why jennvan40 is so confuse by her actions. Either way, the real dialogue can’t begin until she allows one of those sets of questions to be treated as valid questions.

  29. Here is something completely from left field to throw into the discussion mix. After retiring from 30 years of obstetrics I have come to form my own theology of the experience, but I want to state a few personal beliefs up front. First, women are the stronger sex. Second, Church is only a temporary appendage to home and family. Third, despite the fact that there is much room for improvement, the Church organization as it currently exists has some importance, for without it men would be near superfluous.

    Now, on for the theology as I currently visualize it. There may even be some truth to it. It came as my response to a phrase stated by someone else on another website in regards to the wonder of someday, perhaps, being able to participate in the creation of “other worlds” so to speak (the actual statement was “Organizing matter is unfathomable! How awesome!”).

    Here goes I:

    “Women are so privileged in this regard in that they are the
    vessels of a child’s conception and growth, and the placement within of a
    spirit, divinely created, to become a living soul. There is “no matter” more
    miraculously organized than each and every child who has been placed
    upon this earth. There is no more spectacular act in the universe, except as
    God may yet reveal. That placement of the spirit within every
    mortal/developing being, including that ofJehovah himself, is the first
    question I want to as at the time when all will be revealed, to say”Lord, how
    is it done?” As wonderful as are Priesthood ordinances, to give a physical
    embodiment to a spiritual blessing, we upon whom the Priesthood has
    been conferred are but privileged to do that symbolically, which women are
    blessed to do literally. True, conception and pregnancy are surely taken for
    granted by most, just as is the Priesthood (at least by many}. The great
    privilege of our second estate would seem to be that of sharing all within the
    Priesthood marriage covenant: conception, pregnancy, and birth, and the
    ordinances of spiritual rebirth made possible by the husband such that all
    those born in mortality may also become the sons and daughters of Christ. It is no wonder to me that our sisters are blessed to enter the Temple
    without the need for the overlay of Priesthood conferral. They warrant the
    Temple blessings just by being women. Nonetheless, some day I want to
    learn the “why” of it all. Were our sisters also once ordained, in that pre-earthly
    sphere, to bear our children, as we men seemed to have been to our
    Priesthood callings? I may just want to ask that one in private.”

  30. “[D]espite the fact that there is much room for improvement, the Church organization as it currently exists has some importance, for without it men would be near superfluous.”

    I wholeheartedly agree and endorse your insight, sir.

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