The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles released a statement today that appears to be in response to the church discipline of Kate Kelly and John Dehlin. In it, they state the following:
In God’s plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women.
In the October 1977 general conference, Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave a talk that was later titled “The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood”. Here are the 10 blessings he discussed:
- We are members of the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth, and we have received the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
- We have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we are entitled to receive the gifts of the Spirit—those wondrous spiritual endowments which set us apart from the world and raise us above carnal things.
- We can be sanctified by the Spirit, have dross and evil burned out of us as though by fire, become clean and spotless, and be fit to dwell with gods and angels.
- We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation to the children of men.
- We have power to become the sons of God, to be adopted into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ, to have him as our Father, to be one with him as he is one with his Father.
- We can enter into the patriarchal order, the order of eternal marriage, the order which enables the family unit to continue everlastingly in celestial glory.
- We have power to govern all things, both temporal and spiritual kingdoms of the world, and the elements and storms and powers of the earth.
- We have power, through the priesthood, to gain eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.
- We have power to make our calling and election sure, so that while we yet dwell in mortality, having overcome the world and been true and faithful in all things, we shall be sealed up unto eternal life and have the unconditional promise of eternal life in the presence of Him whose we are.
- We have the power—and it is our privilege—so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals in a world of sin and sorrow.
While several of these blessings seem clearly available to all, a handful don’t.
Consider #4, for example. We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation to the children of men. Can women stand in the place of Jesus in administering salvation?
Or #7: We have power to govern all things, both temporal and spiritual kingdoms of the world, and the elements and storms and powers of the earth. Given that women are endowed to become queens and priestess, I think it is obvious they will be able to govern in the spiritual kingdom, but what about the temporal kingdom? Can women govern in the church?
What do you think? Are all blessings of the priesthood equally available to all members of the church?