Comparing the Present to the Past

30 Jun

There has been a lot being said about the Ordain Women movement and the actions regarding Kate Kelly. I am not going to make a comment on that directly. Rather, I would like to comment on something that I have seen and read in many blogs that are made in her favor and support. That is the comparison of this current movement to the ending of Plural Marriage and the lifting of the Priesthood ban on the black race. Before I continue let me point out that I am not discussing the details of either doctrine. This blog is not for the purpose of dissecting either. Rather I am comparing them to the current movement.

There is only one thing that I want to point out, as I don’t want to take too much time with this. Both plural marriage and the ban on the priesthood were changeable from the beginning. let us examine this.

Plural marriage has never been a fixed practice. God states in Jacob 2: 30

For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

God here reserves the right to give or retract the practice. When he commands we have plural marriage, and when he withdraws that command we don’t. This was established under Joseph Smith, which is why the practice was on a low scale in Nauvoo. So, when Wilford Woodruff gave the manifesto, what ever the reason was, it was not in opposition to the doctrine of the church. It was something that God had already made clear was a possibility.

Regarding the ban on the Priesthood, in the very declaration we read that President Kimbal and his counselors were

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood

Clearly God has always intended to lift this ban, and thus the event was not a change in the doctrine of the church. Even Brigham Young said the “time will come when they will have the privilege of all we have the privilege of and more” (Brigham Young Papers, Church Archives, Feb. 5, 1852; as quoted in Encyclopedia of Mormonism).

Now we have the Ordain Women movement. There is no place in the scriptures or in the words of past leaders that can be said to indicate that women would ever be ordained in mortality. There isn’t even a hint of it. It is well known that that those who receive exaltation, whether man or woman, will have the priesthood, for we are promised to be priests and priestesses to God. But that has never extended to this life.

While the Ordain Women movement can rightly compare themselves to those who fought against the church, they cannot rightly compare what they are asking for to what has happened in the past. They are demanding something that the prophecies and revelations do not support, and never have supported.



2 Responses to “Comparing the Present to the Past”

  1. robinobishop June 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    I think is a consequence of all this type of reasoning about Ordain Women being wrong thinking, as you so aptly illustrated, marks the insignificance of the organization itself. Kelly, being an attorney, brought a strong misplaced legal bias into the organization. All the dialogue is now behind us.

  2. robinobishop August 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    “The Church is like a great caravan—organized, prepared, following an appointed course, with its captains of tens and captains of hundreds all in place.

    What does it matter if a few barking dogs snap at the heels of the weary travellers? Or that predators claim those few who fall by the way? The caravan moves on.

    Is there a ravine to cross, a miry mud hole to pull through, a steep grade to climb? So be it. The oxen are strong and the teamsters wise. The caravan moves on.

    Are there storms that rage along the way, floods that wash away the bridges, deserts to cross, and rivers to ford? Such is life in this fallen sphere. The caravan moves on.

    Ahead is the celestial city, the eternal Zion of our God, where all who maintain their position in the caravan shall find food and drink and rest. Thank God that the caravan moves on! [Bruce R. McConkie, “The Caravan Moves On,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, p. 85]

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