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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Excommunications (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Excommunications
stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
With that said, no one actually knows the reasons why Kate Kelly was ultimately excommunicated. That's not a matter of public record.
Actually it is public. The letter explaining the excommunication was published (immediately). Are you following the news on this?
I am and I read the letter, I didn't get the impression that it gave a concrete reason in the letter. I'll read it again more closely and perhaps update my statement.
OK I read the letter again. There are two parts that seem to deal with reasons. In paragraph 5

quote:
In order to be reconsidered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the Priesthood. You must be truthful in your communications with others regarding matters that involve your priesthood leaders, including the administration of Church discipline, and you must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church.
And then again in paragraph 11 (I counted each bullet as a paragraph)

quote:
The difficulty, Sister Kelly, is not that you say you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood. The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others. You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in full fellowship in the Church. This is the basic point that President Wheatley has sought repeatedly to explain to you, but to no avail. You have also heard from President Lee and me on this. Your disregard of our advice and counsel left us no alternative but to convene last evening's council.
The last sentence is where the buzz word "counsel" shows up. The timeline of bullet points also has some stuff in there, but at this point instead of copying the whole letter I'll just refer you to it here.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
And this matters to insiders, so it's clear--especially if one of the administrative powers is that of making insiders into outsiders...

I never said it didn't matter to insiders. I said it was all that matters to outsiders. The implication being that insiders also care about more than just that.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I included the quote by Dallin H. Oaks on the last page, and BB posted it above. It's worth reading. Women carry out their responsibilities in the church with the same priesthood authority that men do. They are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

Ok. I read the related material. I'm especially curious about your statement that women are as much a part of the priesthood as men.

I cannot, not in any sense, conceive of how the truth of that statement can be justified along with the knowledge that women are not allowed the priesthood and cannot have any positions of authority within the church. That is not 'as much a part of the priesthood as men," that's a subservient and inferior auxiliary to the priesthood.

Well, I'm glad you read the talk. I thought it did a pretty good job of explaining the purpose of the priesthood and why the church is organized the way it is--to give every member access to the various benefits of the priesthood. Men aren't in charge of it any more than women are. Think of the men who hold the priesthood like waiters at the table where all the members of the church are sitting. They've got pitchers of water and are ready to fill the glass of whoever needs water. They carry the water so that anyone who needs it can have it. That's all.

ETA: Or heck, a real life example. Priesthood holders distribute the sacrament to all church members each week during Sacrament Meeting. They literally carry the water to each member so that all can take the sacrament. That illustrates the priesthood perfectly, IMO.

Women don't hold the priesthood. But they benefit from it as much as the men do. They also act with its authority as much as men do. They are as vital to its effectiveness as men are. They have equal voices in the ward council, which is where the rubber meets the road.

It seems like all that matters from the outside is that there are men in the church's key leadership positions, and men also hold the priesthood. So that must mean the priesthood is essentially the ticket to administrative power in the church and that's all it's really worth. This keeps getting thrown back and so it's about the only thing we're discussing.

Should women have equal influence and consideration when it comes to the administrative side of the church? Very much yes. I don't think they do yet, in some areas not even close. I do see that beginning to happen at the ward level, which is very good. Institutionally, there's still quite a bit of rigidity that needs to ease, but at the ward level things can be much more fluid. I'm not just saying things need to change. I'm actively working to help these changes happen in my own realm of responsibility.

[ June 26, 2014, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: advice for robots ]

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
I never said it didn't matter to insiders. I said it was all that matters to outsiders. The implication being that insiders also care about more than just that.
And I didn't suggest you said it didn't matter to insiders.

I will note, however, that the power to make administrative decisions for the community is not the only thing that matters to outsiders.

After all, Kelly is now an "outsider," specifically because of her conviction that females should be permitted to participate further in the actual administration of the rites of the priesthood.

Maybe it's ironic that she's probably an outsider largely because women don't possess the power to administrate the "right" to be an insider, but in any case, she's definitely an outsider who does care about the administration of the rites as much as the administration of what is right for the community...

[Wink]

[ June 27, 2014, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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advice for robots
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Crap! The "trojan horse" exception!

*Explodes in a puff of logic*

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
And I didn't suggest you said it didn't matter to insiders.

Sorry, since your post directly followed my post it seemed to be in response to it.
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Nelson Elis
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It was.
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stilesbn
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OK, then sorry for reading an implication where an implication wasn't intended.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Women don't hold the priesthood. But they benefit from it as much as the men do. They also act with its authority as much as men do. They are as vital to its effectiveness as men are. They have equal voices in the ward council, which is where the rubber meets the road.
They have equal voices in the ward council? Does the ward council have a vote where both women and men vote in it and this vote has binding authority, or is another group (the one with actual authority) listening to the ward council and deciding what advice to take in making actual leadership decisions?

And if women 'act with its authority as much as men do' how come they cannot have a position of leadership within the church? This would be one of the many things required in order for that statement to be true.

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Samprimary
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addt:

quote:
It seems like all that matters from the outside is that there are men in the church's key leadership positions, and men also hold the priesthood. So that must mean the priesthood is essentially the ticket to administrative power in the church and that's all it's really worth. This keeps getting thrown back and so it's about the only thing we're discussing.
That goes back to a variant of a question I already asked. In this case, I will ask it this way: What positions of leadership in the church are you not allowed to hold unless you hold the priesthood? What is the highest position of leadership in the church you can hold without the priesthood?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:

Men aren't in charge of it any more than women are. Think of the men who hold the priesthood like waiters at the table where all the members of the church are sitting. They've got pitchers of water and are ready to fill the glass of whoever needs water. They carry the water so that anyone who needs it can have it. That's all.

ETA: Or heck, a real life example. Priesthood holders distribute the sacrament to all church members each week during Sacrament Meeting. They literally carry the water to each member so that all can take the sacrament. That illustrates the priesthood perfectly, IMO.

I am not sure that you hear how this may be coming across. It isn't a convincing example if you are trying to mitigate the idea that men are in charge. In fact, it illustrates even further that men are in control. Waiters are in control of the water pitchers. Sure, if they make bad decisions, they may have to face consequences - from other waiters - but if the person sitting at the table wants water, she has no control except to go to another restaurant. There is no "that's all" about it.
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advice for robots
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The ward council is the heads of each organization in the ward (Primary, Elders Quorum, Relief Society, etc.) and the bishopric, or the bishop and his two counselors. This council meets together multiple times a month to basically hash out everything the ward is doing or needs to do on behalf of the ward members. There aren't any formal votes involved in this council, but it's where every organization can take their needs and issues and make decisions together. The bishop is the head of this council and it's up to him to make the final call when needed, but he does well to listen carefully to the entire council in all cases.

The keys of the priesthood, or the authority to act in certain capacities, is delegated to members of the ward council by the bishop by virtue of their responsibilities or through specific assignments. As they carry out their responsibilities and assignments they are acting with the authority of the priesthood. As they delegate some of those responsibilities to their own counselors and others in their organizations, those people are also acting with the authority of the priesthood.

Women have positions of leadership in the church. What made you think they didn't?

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scifibum
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afr, you're using definitions of words like "authority" that are really very nonstandard. :/
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What positions of leadership in the church are you not allowed to hold unless you hold the priesthood?

There are a lot, most notably Bishop, Stake President, Quorum of the Seventy, Apostle, Prophet. There are a lot of callings only women can hold. Mostly over women's organizations in the church, or primary (children). Line for line there isn't an exact equivalence at each level (though a lot do match up) and men come out on top.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What is the highest position of leadership in the church you can hold without the priesthood?

General Relief Society President I would guess.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
addt:

quote:
It seems like all that matters from the outside is that there are men in the church's key leadership positions, and men also hold the priesthood. So that must mean the priesthood is essentially the ticket to administrative power in the church and that's all it's really worth. This keeps getting thrown back and so it's about the only thing we're discussing.
That goes back to a variant of a question I already asked. In this case, I will ask it this way: What positions of leadership in the church are you not allowed to hold unless you hold the priesthood? What is the highest position of leadership in the church you can hold without the priesthood?
That's a good question. You mean, man or woman, what's that position? I honestly don't know for sure. If you're active and in good standing in the church as a man, you almost certainly hold the priesthood. There are priesthood-specific positions, and various others where you must hold a certain office of the priesthood. But there are many others where what priesthood you hold isn't important.

What's the highest position that a woman, who doesn't hold the priesthood, can hold in the church? Already answered above: General Relief Society President, if you consider there to be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd between Relief Society, Young Women's, and Primary organizations.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
afr, you're using definitions of words like "authority" that are really very nonstandard. :/

I'm trying to use it like Elder Oaks used it in his talk. What's your take on it?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
The ward council is the heads of each organization in the ward (Primary, Elders Quorum, Relief Society, etc.) and the bishopric, or the bishop and his two counselors. This council meets together multiple times a month to basically hash out everything the ward is doing or needs to do on behalf of the ward members. There aren't any formal votes involved in this council, but it's where every organization can take their needs and issues and make decisions together. The bishop is the head of this council and it's up to him to make the final call when needed, but he does well to listen carefully to the entire council in all cases.

Ok.

So as part of your argument to assert women 'act with equal authority' as men, and that 'men aren't in charge of it any more than women are' in the Mormon church, you are listing as an example a function that women can attend, where a man holds the ultimate authority and can make the final decision on everything and this position the man holds is a position you literally can't have if you are a woman.

This question, and its variants, are probably getting tiresome, but how on earth do you think this represents what you think it does? It merely demonstrates sexism and male superiority, structurally, in the functions of the church. When you said that men and women "have equal voices" in the ward council, what you were saying is plainly and unambiguously false. Do you recognize this?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
What is the highest position of leadership in the church you can hold without the priesthood?

General Relief Society President I would guess.
Is the General Relief Society strictly part of the church or is it an auxiliary of the church? Does the president of the General Relief Society preside primarily or exclusively over women?
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scifibum
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quote:
Women don't hold the priesthood. But they benefit from it as much as the men do. They also act with its authority as much as men do.
Perhaps you mean "as often as men", meaning that whenever they carry out their assigned roles in the church they are acting with its authority.

But by normal definitions of authority, people who get to make the decisions have more authority than people who don't get to make the decisions. Those who preside have more authority than those who don't preside. Those who bless/ordain/set apart have more authority than those who aren't able to do those things. Those who are able to issue a proclamation on the family without consulting anyone of the opposite gender have more authority than those who were not consulted and would not be able to do the same thing.

When you say that women act with the authority of the priesthood as much as men do, it would imply that none of the things in my previous paragraph are how the church works.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:

Men aren't in charge of it any more than women are. Think of the men who hold the priesthood like waiters at the table where all the members of the church are sitting. They've got pitchers of water and are ready to fill the glass of whoever needs water. They carry the water so that anyone who needs it can have it. That's all.

ETA: Or heck, a real life example. Priesthood holders distribute the sacrament to all church members each week during Sacrament Meeting. They literally carry the water to each member so that all can take the sacrament. That illustrates the priesthood perfectly, IMO.

I am not sure that you hear how this may be coming across. It isn't a convincing example if you are trying to mitigate the idea that men are in charge. In fact, it illustrates even further that men are in control. Waiters are in control of the water pitchers. Sure, if they make bad decisions, they may have to face consequences - from other waiters - but if the person sitting at the table wants water, she has no control except to go to another restaurant. There is no "that's all" about it.
Well then, it wasn't a good metaphor. All I'm saying is that the blessings of the priesthood are meant to be available to all, and that holders of the priesthood are supposed to make it available to all. Not exercise their own power in deciding for themselves who has access to it and who doesn't. I don't know if this is an equivalent example, but when you walk into a confessional, isn't it the priest's duty to hear your confession--not dismiss you out of hand if he doesn't feel like hearing it?

Whew, starting to get too many balls in the air here. Going to have to start backing out.

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advice for robots
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The authority is either there or it isn't. You may have authority to act in more areas, but that doesn't mean you have a greater or lesser helping of authority in any one area. You either have it or you don't.

The ward relief society president has the authority to preside over and act in many different ways on behalf of the members of her organization. She receives that authority by delegation from the bishop, who has the authority to preside over all organizations in the ward. The sunday school president has authority to preside over his/her organization in the same manner, and so on. That authority is priesthood authority, because, as Elder Oaks said, there is no other authority.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Is the General Relief Society strictly part of the church or is it an auxiliary of the church? Does the president of the General Relief Society preside primarily or exclusively over women?

I'm not sure I understand the first question. We call it an auxiliary, meaning that it is not a priesthood organization and that it has responsibility for a certain area. Other auxiliaries are Sunday school, the primary program (for kids from eighteen months to 11), the young women (girls from 12 to 18), and young men (boys from 12 to 18). Auxiliaries are strictly part of the Church and aren't some sort of separate but affiliated organization.

The Relief Society presides primarily and exclusively over women, though it answers to the bishopric at the ward level, and the general Relief Society board and presidency answer to the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency at the Church level.

Here are a couple of helpful links from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:
auxiliary organizations
Relief Society

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
The authority is either there or it isn't. You may have authority to act in more areas, but that doesn't mean you have a greater or lesser helping of authority in any one area.
Umm, yeah it does.

You can claim that all authority is priesthood authority, and that women therefore have priesthood authority in some areas, but in other areas, the amount of authority they have is none--which is less than the greater amount of authority that men have in such areas.

You can't claim it's a straight binary distinction of authority vs no authority--that all authority is something singular which you either have or you don't--in the same breath as you claim that the authority is broken up into different areas. Or rather, perhaps you have the authority to author whatever you choose to say, but that doesn't mean that you can make such a claim with a great amount of the authority of logic.

[ June 26, 2014, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
... however, I'd say it's a pretty benign concept for most church members.

quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
It is what it is. I suspect it became that way because using the word "order" is harsh and Mormons don't want to be hard. So DKW says it is weird, the best I can do is shrug and say "yep".

I would have thought the latter as well. It's a pretty obvious euphemism and it would be benign for most church members, because presumably most church members don't have a problem following council.

It reminds me of mainlanders who have a whole vocabulary of euphemisms. The police don't question you, they invite you for tea. Officials aren't sacked, they go on vacation therapy.

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Samprimary
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Ok. I am taking notes and diving through any and all associated educational material. Literal notes! What is wrong with me. Anyway. Here's to hoping I'm still getting this straight.

quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
The authority is either there or it isn't. You may have authority to act in more areas, but that doesn't mean you have a greater or lesser helping of authority in any one area. You either have it or you don't.

Ok. Is this like saying that the authority is a binary? So, if I am a Mormon mailroom boy and my mailroom authority is "1," and the literal president of the church comes by and says he wants to use the mailroom, I can refuse him and say he does not outrank me in this affair, since the maximum level of authority he can have is also 1?

Related to the question tangentially, is there any authority the president does not have? Anything in which he can be overridden? How often has this ever happened? What could it happen for? What priesthood authorities that the president has is he forced to share with countless other people with a 1 authority in those areas?

quote:
That authority is priesthood authority, because, as Elder Oaks said, there is no other authority.
So, relevant adjusted expectation of what you are describing: there is no other authority, and women cannot have that authority. They can exercise what functions of that authority they are permitted to by the men who hold that authority, and there are plenty of functions (including the highest and most presiding functions) of that authority they will never be allowed to have because they are not men.

For those who intend to make an argument pertaining to any or all of these things:

1. this is not fundamentally sexist
2. this is not fundamentally male supremacist
3. this is 'equal' distribution of authority between men and women
4. women act with 'equal authority' as men in the church
5. men are not categorically in charge of the women in the church

how. How do you do it? What is the honest rationale?

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
is there any authority the president does not have?
He doesn't have the authority to birth children.

The key to deciphering the doublespeak here is the idea that exclusively males (including God the Father, and Jesus) hold the keys to salvation. Heavenly Mother doesn't have a role in administering salvation--it's only males who claim to hold the keys to God's kingdom. Why would women follow in Heavenly Father's footsteps, when they should clearly be following Heavenly Mother's quieter, more mysterious footsteps? The idea of the divinely appointed responsibility of females in this mortal existence is pretty easily summed up: be good wives and mothers. The sense in which they have "power of God" responsibility, is principally that of making and raising children.

Heavenly Mother doesn't actually even have a speaking role in the cosmic drama of our mortal probation, but worthy mortal priesthood holders take care of the needs of their wives, so they put the worthiest of their mortal wives in charge of a Society for coordinating Baking and Needlework for Needy Neighbors, and let women speak at meetings.

(They get to make babies, and they get to "visit teach" one another! Shouldn't that be enough for them?)

The Judges who hold the power to judge whether others are worthy of God's salvific rites, as well as the power to effectuate those salvific rituals, are exclusively men.

[ June 26, 2014, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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Vadon
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For the record, the reason I left the LDS church was due to its standing on women--among other issues. I understand that the church's position is that the gender roles are divine roles. To disagree with the roles is, from what I heard, tantamount to disagreeing with doctrine. If I disagreed with doctrine, then I needed to decide whether it meant I was a true believer or not.

I came to the conclusion that it meant I wasn't a true believer. Since then, I've fallen pretty far from the religion wagon into the boonies of atheism, but it isn't out of hate for the church.

Here's something that confuses me though, to this day. Why is agitating a bad thing?

As someone who was dissatisfied with doctrine, it felt like I had two choices: Recognize I don't believe in doctrine and leave or question my faith until I receive answers that would lead me to affirm doctrine as it stands. But if I feel like I received answers that go contrary to established doctrine, why can't I agitate on them?

Why is it so bad for Kate Kelly to publicly question the church's positioning and agitate it for change? I grant that you can't force divine revelation, but if her movement demonstrates that there is dissatisfaction or even just a gross misunderstanding, it should be taken as evidence that even without divine revelation, there is a demand for explanation.

She got her explanation and wasn't satisfied by it. But that, in my mind, doesn't mean she should stop agitating. Even through these past four pages, I have seen different interpretations of doctrine from active members. Are there internal politics? What is the highest position of authority within the Church a woman can reach? What are the ordinances a woman can perform?

I appreciated that (On Page 3) BlackBlade readily admits that you're all just trying to figure it out. [Smile]

I disagree with the decision to excommunicate Kate, but I no longer have a horse in that race. But if I did still have a horse in the race, I'd take her complaints as evidence of another thing that needs to be figured out and that as the movement possibly gained traction as a sign that figuring it out should be given higher priority.

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
Why is agitating a bad thing?
Because, in spite of rhetoric about asking hard questions and seeking truth, if hard questions are allowed to be openly disseminated among insiders, the truth will out, and the spell will break.

This type of social hypnosis requires very carefully scripted messaging within the in-group. People don't get and keep testimonies of the veracity of a social script if an open search for truth is permitted. Testimonies are social phenomena, which depend upon the consistency of the in-group message: "We all know this is true, we all know this is true, we all know this is true."

If someone's message of question and doubt breaks the rhythm of the memetic chant, the whole belief structure of the community can easily collapse. (It is as fragile as it is incredible, after all--it's only tenable when supported by the single-mindedness of the entire group.)

You have to quickly identify and remove individuals from the social message affirmation in-group as soon as any seeds of their doubts start to disseminate through the in-group, or the efficacy of the social message can be severely compromised.

You have to excommunicate them--to remove them from the insider community, and re-brand them as apostate--both to eliminate their voice from the social message affirmation in-group, and to reinforce the value of sticking to the script for remaining members of the in-group, who witness the personal devastation which is a natural consequence of being banished from the fellowship of one's community.

There is a reason that "denying the spirit" is a sin worse than murder...

[ June 26, 2014, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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BlackBlade
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Sam:
quote:
Ok. Is this like saying that the authority is a binary? So, if I am a Mormon mailroom boy and my mailroom authority is "1," and the literal president of the church comes by and says he wants to use the mailroom, I can refuse him and say he does not outrank me in this affair, since the maximum level of authority he can have is also 1?

Related to the question tangentially, is there any authority the president does not have? Anything in which he can be overridden? How often has this ever happened? What could it happen for? What priesthood authorities that the president has is he forced to share with countless other people with a 1 authority in those areas?

I am not AFR but in answer to your first question, I would say no. The President of the Church possess all the keys of the administration of the church, however they are not all active. For example at present nobody has the keys to resurrection. God would have to give him that key were he to be tasked with doing it. In the mailroom example I don't think the mailroom guy could say no to the prophet because every single key rolls up to the prophet who can give an take away all of them.

Having said that, I can't imagine the prophet could march into a temple and say he was going to help with washing and anointing sisters conducting ordinances there. Regardless of him having the keys to do so. I have to think about that one actually.

The prophet cannot be overridden exactly. The prophet and his two counselors form a presidency. The quorum of the 12 apostles *combined* have authority equal to those three men. The combined quorum of the seventy also has authority equal to the 12 apostles equal to the first presidency. No other body exists beneath that with that authority. There has not been a time where the prophet was countermanded by that relationship to my knowledge.

As to your second question. It has been posited by scholars that women possess the keys to bring spirits into mortality. They are the gate keepers of those coming in from heaven. That is their sacred responsibility and ordinance. Men possess the keys pertaining to ordinances dealing with preparing of a person to leave it. Baptism, laying on of hands, administering the church. They are the gate keepers of those leaving to return to heaven.

I'm not sure I fully buy into that, but the duality appeals to me.

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BlackBlade
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Kate: Yes, groups like OW even if individuals misstep (not that I am saying that definitely happened here) are part of us figuring it out.

[ June 27, 2014, 03:01 AM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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kmbboots
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[Smile] Me too.
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Samprimary
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That seems to present a notably vertical heirarchy of power, rather than the 'binary' keys of power idea AFR appeared to have been asserting. The binary if it existed doesn't even seem to matter when it is men and men alone who hold authority on who gets to have the keys, and who has the keys revoked, as we can probably observe from all-male councils literally excommunicating a woman who has called for equality that would allow her and other women of the church to serve on those councils.

There is no intent on my end to belabor points and it may seem like I am reasking the same questions or variations on the same questions over and over again but each variation of the same question produces a variation of a "separate but equal" idea for women which becomes slightly differently but still obviously at odds with the reality of women being not at all equal in the church, and I am re-asking these questions again because I genuinely want to know what the church teaches its members to excuse, explain, or doublethink away the sexism.

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
I genuinely want to know what the church teaches its members to excuse, explain, or doublethink away the sexism.
That females have a more sacred duty than men can hold: to be mothers. This is said to be a more sacred calling than that to which even the prophet can aspire.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
That seems to present a notably vertical heirarchy of power, rather than the 'binary' keys of power idea AFR appeared to have been asserting. The binary if it existed doesn't even seem to matter when it is men and men alone who hold authority on who gets to have the keys, and who has the keys revoked, as we can probably observe from all-male councils literally excommunicating a woman who has called for equality that would allow her and other women of the church to serve on those councils.

There is no intent on my end to belabor points and it may seem like I am reasking the same questions or variations on the same questions over and over again but each variation of the same question produces a variation of a "separate but equal" idea for women which becomes slightly differently but still obviously at odds with the reality of women being not at all equal in the church, and I am re-asking these questions again because I genuinely want to know what the church teaches its members to excuse, explain, or doublethink away the sexism.

Well that touches on two problems I think,

1: I agree there is sexism in the church. Like, I think it's hard to not see it. Some people here might believe there is no substantial sexism in the LDS church, but that's not my position.

2: Let's say the humans as an organization need two things done. Like, literally nothing else need be considered. And those two things are,

A: People need to born so as to get bodies.

B: People need to learn about, and receive saving ordinances so as to prep them for death.

These two things are unavoidable.

Up until now, women are covering part A, and men are covering part B. At present men cannot do A at all save contributing input (DNA). Women do not do B save contributing input (opinion). And administering one or two of the ordinances.

Let's say the men simply say, "Women can also do everything we do." Assuming men will never have any ability to do Part A, aren't we then making women more necessary than men? Men still play an indispensable role, but in terms of the totality of what needs to be done being done. Men do less than women.

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Nelson Elis
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An equitable division of labor: Women are responsible for making babies, and men are responsible for making judgments and decisions.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
An equitable division of labor: Women are responsible for making babies, and men are responsible for making judgments and decisions.

You rewording it that way doesn't actually progress the conversation. Let's assume I actually want some of the same things you do.

I'm all for women being able to make more judgements and decisions. I don't think they do get to make enough of them. But I also don't find it intrinsically sexist if the sexes have separate roles to play and cannot fully replicate each other's responsibilities.

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Dogbreath
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So, I'm not sure how analogous it is to the Mormon use of the term, but in the military we also have a unique definition of the word "counsel" and it is distinct from orders, though this probably sounds strange.

An order is fairly straightforward - it can either be a standing (i.e, written) order that more or less defines policy. (See this for example) Or it can be an on the spot, "do this now" order. Contrary to common belief, only officers are authorized to give orders. NCOs can give directives, and can enforce orders, but they cannot give orders. So, for example, you cannot be legally charged for disobeying a directive from your NCO. (like you could from an officer) However, if in the process of disobeying that directive you violated or failed to follow an order (from an officer), then they can fry you.

I realize that sounds rather strange and convoluted, but it actually is fairly important for maintaining an effective chain of command, and keeping checks and balances, as well as enforcing uniformity.

That being said, counselings. I actually counseled 4 new Marines in my section today. I gave them what is called an initial counseling.

In the military, a counseling is a structured event. I basically sat down with them one on one, advised them of the orders that pertain to their day to day conduct in the section, and then explained to them the expectations I have for them while they work for me. We then discussed what they wanted to achieve in the next month, and together we came up with some future goals to be reviewed at the next counseling. This was all written down, signed, and filed.

Next month, if they succeed in meeting or surpassing the goals set for them, then their counseling will note this, and it will help justify higher proficiency and conduct marks. If they fail to meet those goals, it will also be noted, and result in lower proficiency and conduct marks. If their behavior is drastically out of line with what I set out or they start violating more minor orders, I will probably write them a negative counseling, where I put their inappropriate behavior into writing, then sit down with them 1 on 1 and work out a strategy for correcting this behavior.

This has two purposes - A, it lets the Marine know he isn't meeting standards and gives him a clear, concise means of changing that and B, helps establish a trend. If I write 2 or 3 negative counselings on a Marine, I can take that to our commanding officer and he can decide to take disciplinary action, demote the Marine, dock his pay, or even discharge him. (though the latter would require a board's approval) If I write 2 or 3 positive or meritorious counselings (i.e, a Marine does such an exceptional job I decide to put it into writing and commend him personally), I can take that to our commanding officer and request he be officially rewarded, or meritoriously promoted, or given a higher billet.

So counseling, while not orders, can be viewed perhaps as "professional advice, but enforced." Because it relates less to "do this, don't do this" and more to "this is the way I recommend you go about doing this" and "these are some things to strive to achieve while doing your duties." Unlike orders, you can't clearly say "yes, you followed the order" or "no, you did not follow the order", instead you have to establish a pattern of "how effectively did you follow the counsel you were given?" and "is this counsel applicable and beneficial to you, or do we need to establish a different way to go about performing your duties?"

I would say the main difference is, unlike advice counseling (in this definition) is not something that is optional, and entirely up to you to follow or ignore. If you choose to ignore counseling in the military, you will likely find yourself receiving lower proficiency marks, and possibly even facing disciplinary action. It's different from an order, though, in that you are not legally obligated to obey counselings, and if the counsel was bad and you can find a more effective way to complete your tasks, you will probably be commended rather than chastised for doing so. (it depends on how you go about doing it, and the leader in question. If I counsel my Marines to approach a problem in a certain way, but they innovate and choose to solve it in a more effective way, I'll reward them for their ingenuity)

All this goes to say, I can sympathize with the Mormons for having a somewhat unusual definition of the word. I've had to explain it to non-military people many times, and it's really difficult to do unless you've actually experienced it.

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
An equitable division of labor: Women are responsible for making babies, and men are responsible for making judgments and decisions.

You rewording it that way doesn't actually progress the conversation.
Sure it does.

It takes the abstractions of the separate scopes of authority possessed by the respective genders, and reifies the ideas in a way which allows us to comprehend the balance of the respective responsibility sets in more concrete terms.
quote:
But I also don't find it intrinsically sexist if the sexes have separate roles to play and cannot fully replicate each other's responsibilities.
Well, as far as I've seen, you haven't actually provided any reason for believing that females can't replicate priesthood functions (like judging the worthiness of an individual to participate in God's salvific sacraments).

You simply appear to insinuate that it wouldn't be right for females to assume the authority to make binding judgments, and perform binding rituals--with the sole reasoning appearing to be that it would detract from the balance of powers possessed by the sexes if women were given the authority of judgment and binding efficacy, in addition to the authority of gestation and parturition.

At any rate, if you'd like to argue that women cannot fully replicate priesthood functions such as judgment, I'd be willing to hear you out...

[ June 27, 2014, 05:27 AM: Message edited by: Nelson Elis ]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
At any rate, if you'd like to argue that women cannot fully replicate priesthood functions such as judgment, I'd be willing to hear you out...

You are going wrong here. I have absolutely no doubt that women possess all the capabilities necessary to be leaders. It's not a question of whether women are capable of being leaders. We have examples of female prophets leading God's people in the scriptures. The reason I am not a leader in my church isn't that I don't think I'm capable. Though that might figure into it, it's that I have not been asked to do so.

I have no expectation that I'll ever be asked to serve as a leader in the church in any capacity. I'm an instructor at church.

God up until now has not instructed our church to ordain women to priesthood offices. I can only speculate as to why. You're free to chew up my musings, I'm not married to them.

[ June 27, 2014, 08:11 AM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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kmbboots
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Nelson, it sounds like this is a very personal issue for you. I am sorry.
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Nelson Elis
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BB:
quote:
You are going wrong here.
Aye, perpetually wayward, I. At least, so I hear...
quote:
I have absolutely no doubt that women possess all the capabilities necessary to be leaders.
Women do inhabit leadership roles in the church.

The role they haven't been given is that of making binding judgments, and performing binding rituals, with God's authority.

In any case, my response was to this:
quote:
I also don't find it intrinsically sexist if the sexes have separate roles to play and cannot fully replicate each other's responsibilities.
I understand that you would personally like to see women possess the authority to make more judgments and decisions. And I believe I understand the responsibilities of the separate roles to which the sexes are relegated within the church. And I understand your perception of how it's not intrinsically sexist for men not to be given responsibility for birthing children, since it's a responsibility which men are intrinsically incapable of performing.

What I don't understand is how and why you perceive women as (potentially) not being able to fully replicate the responsibilities (like making judgments with God's authority) which men within the church monopolize.

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kmbboots
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Nelson, just a heads up as you may not have much experience with BB. Sometimes his posts give the impression that he is defending things that he really isn't. He just does his darnedest to see things from other points of view. He may or may not think that women are (potentially) not able to fully replicate responsibilities that men currently have but I can't tell that from what he wrote.
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Nelson Elis
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Kate:
quote:
Nelson, it sounds like this is a very personal issue for you.
Does it? I don't actually feel very personally invested the ordination of women within the CJCLDS.

I'm invested in my natal culture, and I take personally the impact of the manipulative abuses of power perpetrated by the hierarchy of authority that dominates my culture, I suppose.

But I don't even have personal experience with the excommunicative process--though I'll admit to strongly abhorring the arrogance and destructiveness I perceive within the practice from a distance...

Perhaps it's simply my preternaturally ornery disposition that presents a profile permeated with a preponderance of personal pique. [Wink]

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Nelson Elis
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quote:
He may or may not think that women are (potentially) not able to fully replicate responsibilities that men currently have but I can't tell that from what he wrote.
Oh, I noticed the "if" in his statement. It's why my responses were couched in the terms of a conditional mood, themselves:
quote:
if you'd like to argue that women cannot fully replicate priesthood functions such as judgment
quote:
I don't understand is how and why you perceive women as (potentially) not being able to fully replicate the responsibilities

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advice for robots
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Women can and would do an excellent job in the leadership positions men now occupy. I personally think theyíd do it much, much better. I would gladly serve with and under the direction of women priesthood leaders. I have already served under the direction of women leaders in the church and would welcome the many more opportunities Iíd have to do so.

If, say, at the next general conference President Monson announced that women can now hold the priesthood (or however such an earth-shattering announcement like that would be handled), the church would eventually go on much the same as it has before. At first there would be an enormous, probably chaotic rush to get women ordained, because among many other things theyíd now need to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood to enter the temple, same as men, as well as to serve missions. There would be the longer wave of women being called to positions only held by men before, such as bishop and stake president. There would be the really long wave of threads on Hatrack criticizing male to female ratios in leadership positions, because that is an eternal principle. [Wink] And after a while, things would settle down and the church would go on as it has, because the organization of the church works regardless of whoís filling the leadership positions and who holds the priesthood, and the priesthood hasnít changed.*

* Thatís completely off the top of my head and based on 5 minutes of pure speculation. In no way am I suggesting that thatís going to happen soon or at all. Iím not about to doggedly defend its finer points and Iíll even abandon it if needed, without taking offense.

I also think there is plenty of sexism in the church and that weíre a long way from truly being equal in terms of menís and womenís influence and considerations. However, I donít think weíre already fubared because of it, nor do I think this is a hopeless cause. My perspective on the purpose and organization of the priesthood has me differing with many views here on how the church should change. Iím not ignoring what a few posters here are saying is right in front of my nose; at the same time, I feel like Iíve explained my own bit thoroughly enough.

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Nelson Elis
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Well said, afr.

[Smile]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
Kate:
quote:
Nelson, it sounds like this is a very personal issue for you.
Does it? I don't actually feel very personally invested the ordination of women within the CJCLDS.

I'm invested in my natal culture, and I take personally the impact of the manipulative abuses of power perpetrated by the hierarchy of authority that dominates my culture, I suppose.


That strikes me as personal enough. I am glad that it isn't painfully personal.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Nelson Elis:
Well said, afr.

[Smile]

Why thank you. [Smile]
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Samprimary
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quote:
I also think there is plenty of sexism in the church and that weíre a long way from truly being equal in terms of menís and womenís influence and considerations. However, I donít think weíre already fubared because of it, nor do I think this is a hopeless cause.
I would think that the LDS actually represents one of the remarkably less intransigent cases, because of how differently it approaches change, doubt in and reflection on its own policy, and the potential for revelatory adjustment of its stated instruction from God.

To wit, the LDS has established mechanisms for change that most if not all other major conservative faiths in the world simply lack; for most other churches it's "this is how it is, and shall always be, because these are eternal truths of God" while the LDS seems more like "this is our present understanding and instruction, but as the nature of things on earth changes, so too does God's instruction and revelation to us"

So with other churches you have them more or less valiantly asserting eternal truths of God that, doctrinally, can not and will not change ... (then they consequently have to handwave and BS away some convoluted explanation about why it did, you know, end up, you know, totally changing) - Whereas the LDS appears to have in-built mechanisms for much less awkward transitions.

Ultimately I highly doubt that the LDS church will not eventually grant women the priesthood. My guess is that a barometer of that potential change lies in how future church leaders address the church's frankly bizarre and patriarchal rules on the requirements for modesty it enforces on women. If the church's teachings and culture on female modesty start changing dramatically in the next decade or so, I would probably assume the ordaining of women to be not that far away.

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kmbboots
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Samprimary, I don't think that you are taking into account that many denomination have already taken the decision to ordain women. Clearly they have some mechanism for change. And all of them have ways to change even if their own hierarchy denies it.
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