Priesthood to Be Like Women

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In Sacrament meeting today, one of the speakers brought up the idea that women are inherently spiritual and men have the priesthood so they can be as spiritual as women.

As a man, I find this idea personally offensive. The idea holds that without the priesthood I cannot be compassionate, empathetic or charitable. More specifically, it holds that I cannot be inherently like that.

This flies in the face of reality where I have seen many men who are more spiritual than many women. Naturally, the opposite is true, but it is independent of gender.

The ability to be compassionate, empathetic or charitable is given to all persons and those who do not have it can learn it.

Holding the priesthood does not make us any more compassionate, empathetic or charitable. It may provide us with more opportunities to use those qualities, but it doesn’t give us those qualities.

Where do ideas like this come from? Is it an effort to rationalise away the decision in the previous century to remove the women’s authority to exercise her priesthood? If so, is it justifiable at the expense of making men feel spiritually worthless?

Perhaps there’s another reason. The idea doesn’t make sense to me, but maybe someone out there can clarify things.

17 thoughts on “Priesthood to Be Like Women

  1. While I can’t answer your question, I think that speaking of “the decision in the previous century to remove the women’s authority to exercise her priesthood” is a characterization that goes way beyond the available evidence, unless you’re using a Protestant “priesthood of all believers” definition.

  2. No. I am using the defintion of women being able to exercise the priesthood previous to the turn of the 20th century.

    There was a post at FMH on this topic a few months ago.

  3. Nevertheless, I do not think you’re saying what you think you’re saying.

    If I never have the priesthood conferred upon me, can I have the authority to exercise it removed from me? No, because I can’t exercise it if I never had it.

    While there have been women who, in connection with the temple, have had priesthood authority conferred upon them (more particularly in the last century, excepting whatever authority women are given as ordinance workers in the temple today), I know of no women today who have had the priesthood conferred upon them, but have had the authority to exercise it removed.

  4. Kim, I don’t believe the Priesthood is a sort of consolation prize for not being as wonderful as women, I do believe that the Priesthood makes men better than they are without it. So although I do not hold that you can’t be compassionate, empathic or charitable without the Priesthood, I do believe you can be more of those things with the Priesthood than without.

  5. No. I’m sayihg that the Priesthood can make men better than they are. It can also make women better than they are, as they are full participants in its blessings.

  6. I agree with that, ltbugaf, however, I know of men who have never held the priesthood who are very good men, and who are compassionate and kind and Christlike, so, I don’t think these qualities are dependent on holding the Priesthood.

  7. I already said they aren’t. I also said that men who are already compassionate, kind and Christlike can become more compassionate, kind and Christlike through holding and properly using the Priesthood.

  8. Yes, I see that.

    However, there are some men who hold the Priesthood who aren’t kind, compassionate and Christlike.

    But yes, the Priesthood can help them become more so. That’s if they use it properly.

  9. Doctrine & Covenants 121:36-38 teaches me that the man who is acting that way is not really using the Priesthood at all. The Priesthood power is withdrawn, and he’s on his own.

  10. “I’m sayihg that the Priesthood can make men better than they are. It can also make women better than they are, as they are full participants in its blessings.”

    So you’re saying that the priesthood allows men and women to become better equally as they participate fully in the blessings of the priesthood?

  11. Thanks for the clarification. I had interpreted your first comment to mean that priesthood betters men only.

    I fully agree that the priesthood betters everyone equally. As I stated earlier, there is no inherent difference between men and women when it comes to compassion, empathy or charity, and the existence of the priesthood does not change that.

  12. I don’t know (and I dare say you don’t know) whether there is an inherent difference between men and women in these areas. It may very well be true that men, as a group, have less of these Christlike qualities than women have. But the differences between individuals overshadow the differences between groups to the extent that it doesn’t really matter.

    Another example: About 20 or so years ago, a scholar by the name of Shockley came out with a controversial book (called “The Bell Curve,” I think?) using statistical analysis to conclude that blacks were, as a group, less able than whites in certain areas. As you can imagine, the book provoked plenty of anger. What I find surprising is that Shockley failed to move on to the next question, which is, “So what?” Even assuming (for the sake of argument) that he was right, it doesn’t really matter. Each individual person, black or white or otherwise, deserves equal opportunities to excel or fail in the areas they choose. It doesn’t make any difference if one group is, as a group, better at something.

    So I suppose our stereotypes of men being, on the whole, less compassionate, less empathic, and less charitable than women, may have some foundation in fact. I can’t say for sure. But it doesn’t matter. Both men and women need to develop those qualities, and the Priesthood is able to bless both men and women in their effort to do so.

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