Sunday, June 02, 2013

A Couple of Quotes

It is not uncommon these days to run into discussions, in my small minority religion, about inequality of responsibility and callings for women.  And a very pertinent subset of that discussion revolves around the question of whether or not that perceived inequality, or "lower in the hierarchy" status is an eternal expectation.  Is the inequality that is part of the order now one that is an eternal principle or one that is temporary?

I have commented earlier about the past inequalities in priesthood responsibility among God's children and how God has inspired his leaders to change that at various times over the centuries, and so I have long held that the current allocation of callings and responsibilities is not an indication of eternal status.  And there are certainly parts of temple ordinances that also indicate that we should be prepared for change in that regard.

Steve, over at CommonConsent, shared a couple of quotes that were new to me on the subject that, if you are aware of the above mentioned discussions and, particularly  if you are a temple attending member of the church, shed further light on the discussion.  So I'm saving them here.  At least until my house is back together and my boxes of notebooks unpacked.

1.  Joseph F. Smith - "Some of you will understand when I tell you that some of these good women who have passed beyond have actually been anointed queens and priestesses unto God and unto their husbands, to continue their work and to be the mothers of spirits in the world to come. The world does not understand this--they cannot receive it--they do not know what it means, and it is sometimes hard for those who ought to be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the gospel--even for some of us, to comprehend, but it is true."  (Gospel Doctrine, p. 461)

I should remind the reader to never assume that the earthly hierarchy that our telestial world ascribes to the relationship between kings and queens or priests and priestesses is the same as that in the celestial world where all are "joint-heirs with Christ".  It is almost always wrong to assume that earthly manifestations of an institution or organization or life are clear reproductions of the way heavenly ones are.

2. Melvin J. Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve) - "Whatever disappointments may come, still be true to Him and I promise you, in the name of the Lord, that if not in time, in eternity, you shall have like honors and glory and privilege.  If you are faithful over a few things here, you shall be ruler over many things there, and become kings and priests unto God.  And you sisters who have dwelt in reflected glory will shine in your own light, queens and priestesses unto the Lord forever and ever."  (Conference Report, October, 1934, p. 121)

These two quotes are certainly not the be all and end all of the discussion.  But I think they are good additions to the position that what is now is not what will be.

Later...Brady added this comment and quote:  Hugh W. Nibley, "The purpose of such ordinances is to bridge the space between the world in which we now live, the telestial world, and that to which we aspire, the celestial world.  Therefore, the events of the temple were thought to take place in the terrestrial sphere."    You are saying, what has this got to do with priesthood?  In the temple women participate and even officiate in sacred priesthood ordinances IE Name issue and initiatory.  One of the, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful and sacred blessings in this world.  Then maybe in spheres above this one...

1 comment:

Margrethe said...

I have found a few more quotes recently that, I think, might suggest a different order in different spheres- these are specifically about pre-mortal life.

"Eve- a daughter of God, one of the spirit offspring of the Almightly Elohim- was among the noble and great in preexistence. She ranked in spiritual stature, in faith, and devotion, in conformity to eternal law with Michael." "Christ and Mary, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah and a host of mighty men and equally glorious women composed that group of 'the noble and great ones', to whom the Lord Jesus said: 'We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials,and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell."-Elder Bruce R McConkie, "Eve and the Fall"

Combine that with the following:

"Priesthood is power like none other on earth or in heaven. It is the very power of God himself, the power by which the worlds were made...We received the priesthood first in the premortal existence and then again as mortals. Adam held the keys and used the priesthood when he participated in the creation of the earth. " -Bruce R McCokie, The Doctrine of the Priesthood

"It(the Priesthood) is the consummate power on this earth. It is the power by which the earth was created—and all other things in the vast universe that are a part of our life." -Boyd K Packer, Priesthood Power in the Home

Certainly someone could argue that sure, maybe women participated just as they participate today- supportively. But that is not how I interpret it. But then I also think that if women participate only supportively, they are not living up to their privileges or potential.

I also think it is interesting to note that when I was set apart to be a temple worker, I wasn't given any specific 'keys' or authority, but the language of the temple ordinances I performed would imply that I had such. What is the pre-requisite to being able to work in the temple as a female? Only that you be worthy and ENDOWED, right? Then of course called and set apart as you would in any calling. hmmmm... That says something about the endowment, I think.