Monday, October 26, 2015
Mormons Release New Essays: Heavenly Mother, Women and Priesthood
Last week, essays leaked from the LDS Church outlining information regarding the historical practices and references to female priesthood and a godly mother, respectively. Many members are calling these new additions to the recent pile of essays released by the church "very exciting". Seeing the church officially include reference to women and the priesthood in doctrine, and an explicit tribute to a mother in heaven, appears to satisfy many--pleased that the church is appearing to be transparent with its past.
Other experts believe the new information is just as confusing as the church's current stance on the issue. The essay claims that women exercise priesthood authority without being ordained to it, referencing their use of it in temples and elsewhere. But the men of the church are still the leaders, the blessers, the ordainers, and the presiders. Many believe that it's not just access to the priesthood that is important, but gender equality in the church. Ordain Women is one such organization. It's not just about "ordaining women", but acknowledging that there is inequality in the church that needs balance to further empower the equal capacities of women.
One may also ask, why take so long to release this information? People were asking these questions decades ago, long after women's rights and civil rights. Is it a move to appease the media? To calm the discussions with its dedicated members? Much of this information has always been available, but has been hidden away and slashed from church discussions. Being transparent now only brings up the suspicions as to why the information was not shared with its members and the world before.