Or you can read ahead and switch back to those earlier posts later. You do you!
A Unified Theory of the Priesthood
Those who are not familiar with Church history may believe things have always resembled the way they are today.
In reality, nothing has to be the way it is today.
So how did we get to this point? Things are the way they are because people in the past used their agency to make decisions . . . and here we are.
We find ourselves inheriting the consequences of decisions made by previous generations of members and Church leaders.
And it's not a pretty sight.
If we wanted to go down the rabbit hole studying Church history, it would show us a very messy and complicated story of ordinary people like us who chose Big Brother over an Elder Brother.
I suspect generations yet unborn will look down the tunnel of history at us in 2021 and wonder why we didn't rise up and do something when we had the chance.
Take the priesthood, for example.
If anything should be constant, true and unchanging, it should be the priesthood, right?
Well, then why has priesthood appeared like a werewolf who seems during the daytime to be a sweet, harmless old baker in the village, but at night when the full moon rises the werewolf emerges to kill and eat others?
And then, when the villagers wake up in the morning and see all the chewed corpses on the ground, wondering who is responsible, everyone (including the baker) shake their heads. "Beats me."
Well did the Alma say:
The good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.
The history of the priesthood and the way its been reorganized again and again and again in the Church of Christ / Church of Latter-day Saints / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a great story. It shows the priesthood-as-form changing and morphing.
We can see white bone and torn cloth.
There's a few ways we can approach the problem (by which I mean, the proof of severed limbs and dried blood from the werewolf stalking us):
1. Keep calm and just follow along with whatever our current leaders are doing. Keep our head down and shoes shined.
2. Hold on to the belief that the way the priesthood is currently organized is the best organization we've come up with so far, but it may continue to be improved in the future (but only at the direction of the Prophet and Apostles.)
3. Look at our history and the fluidity in which we've shuffled and altered and revoked and released and reorganized and recalled and rewrote the way priesthood quorums and offices and keys work, and realize that everything is on the table.
Well, if we're comfortable turning a blind eye to wolves, I can just imagine what Christ must be thinking.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
As Sisters in Zion
1. FACT or FICTION? Our doctrinal basis for denying women priesthood authority stems from the idea that the Fall of Adam was Eve's fault, and the Lord telling her, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16).
2. FACT or FICTION? If the denial of priesthood authority to women was a consequence of the Fall, then Eve held priesthood authority prior to the Fall.
3. FACT or FICTION? If the curse of Eden will be removed during the Millennium as the earth returns to a paradisiacal state, and man and woman will be restored to their Edenic condition, then women will once again hold priesthood authority during the Millennium.
4. FACT or FICTION? The Celestial Kingdom includes women who hold priesthood authority as Queens and Priestesses.
A President Who Wasn't?
1. FACT or FICTION? The President of the Church holds priesthood authority.
2. FACT or FICTION? God committed to the President of the Church, through Joseph Smith, all priesthood keys that can be committed unto man.
3. FACT or FICTION? God, through Joseph Smith, committed certain keys and authority to women which are separate from and co-equal to those He committed to man.
4. FACT or FICTION? In order to serve as President of the Church or in the 1st Presidency, a man must hold the office of high priest pursuant to D&C 107:22:
Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.
(D&C 107:22) 5. FACT or FICTION? Brigham Young was never ordained a high priest. (Whoops.)
6. FACT or FICTION? Joseph Smith never called members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles into the 1st Presidency.
7. FACT or FICTION? Brigham Young erred in denying priesthood authority to Blacks.
8. FACT or FICTION? Brigham Young erred in denying women the authority and keys God had given them through Joseph Smith.
What's Brigham Young's Issue With Women?
It took a lot of work and courage for President Kimball to persuade his fellow apostles not to be racists and to treat Blacks equally. I love him for it.
Now come with me to Nauvoo on March 9, 1845.
Joseph Smith is dead. In the chaos and confusion that followed the martyrdom, things are already beginning to change.
Brigham Young addresses the Quorum of High Priests (remember, Brigham was NOT a high priest.)
Brigham Young, Discourse, Mar. 9, 1845, Nauvoo High Priests Quorum Record, 1841–1845:
Relief society — going to meet again— I say I will curse every man that lets his wife or daughters meet again— until I tell them--
What are relief societies for? To relieve us of our best men— They relieved us of Joseph and Hyrum— that is what they will lead to--
I don't want the advice or counsel of any woman— they would lead us down to hell--
There is no woman on the face of the earth that can save herself— but if she ever comes into the Celestial Kingdom, she must be led in by some man— God knew what Eve was. He was acquainted with woman thousands and millions of years before--
He made a few remarks in relation to the revival of the Female Relief Society, and disapprobated it.
Yikes. ("Lead us down to hell?" Really. It reminds me something J. Golden Kimball said, "If I had a home in St. George and one in hell, I would sell the home in St. George.")
"A Damned Lie?"
Brigham Young was 43 years old when Joseph died. He soon thereafter told the Quorum of the 70:
When I want Sisters or the Wives of the members of this church to get up Relief Society I will summon them to my aid but until that time let them stay at home & if you see Females huddling together veto the concern and if they say Joseph started it tell them it is a damned lie for I know he never encouraged it but I know where the Chit was laid but I am determined to stay these proceedings for by it our best men have been taken from us.