Sunday, October 13, 2013

The quotes I used to teach my RS lesson today

I taught RS today and I talked about women and the priesthood.  I had to laugh because Kami urged caution in my teaching on this topic while Marilyn urged that I forge ahead as it is a timely and necessary topic.  It didn't matter either way.  I got so caught up talking about Eve and how women are viewed by our Father in Heaven that I didn't even get to the crux of matter.  Well, we got to it but not as into it as I had intended.

I started by saying that President Hinckley saying that we don't know why women don't hold the priesthood is still the best answer we have.  Then I talked about Eve and how important it is to understand how different the LDS view of women is compared to other Christian denominations.  Then we talked about how men and women have a symbiotic relationship and how fatherhood is more important than priesthood responsibilities and how fatherhood/motherhood are the most important roles we have.

Then I talked briefly about how we have access to the priesthood through the covenants we made in the temple (nobody protested, Kami) and how we need to live up to the privileges we've been given and utilize the power of the priesthood we have been given in abundance.

Here's the quotes.


HOW DOES GOD VIEW WOMEN?  HOW DO WE KNOW?

Eve--a daughter of God, one of the spirit offspring of the Almighty Elohim-- was among the noble and great in the preexistence. She ranked in spiritual stature, in faith and devotion, in conformity to eternal law with Michael.
--Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall.
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks

The incorrect idea in Christian history that wives should be dependent began with the false premise that the fall of Adam and Eve was a tragic mistake and that Eve was the primary culprit. Thus women's traditional submission to men was considered a fair punishment for Eve's sin. Thankfully, the Restoration clarifies Eve's -- and Adam's -- choice as essential to the eternal progression of God's children. We honor rather than condemn what they did, and we see Adam and Eve as equal partners.
--Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners.”

Christ and Mary, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, and a host of mighty men and equally glorious women comprised that group of “the noble and great ones,” to whom the Lord Jesus said: “We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abraham 3:22-24). This we know: Christ, under the Father, is the Creator; Michael his companion and associate, presided over much of the creative work; and with them as Abraham saw, were many of the noble and great ones. Can we do other than conclude that Mary and Eve and Sarah and myriads of our faithful sisters were numbered among them? Certainly these sisters labored as diligently then, and fought as valiantly in the war in heaven, as did the brethren, even as they in like manner stand firm today, in mortality, in the cause of truth and righteousness.
--“Eve and the Fall,” in Spencer W. Kimball and others, Woman (1979), 59.  Also in “The Man Adam,” by Robert L. Millet


(Long quote by Ida Smith, August 1980 Ensign)  One newly restored truth that the Prophet taught—hard for the world to swallow in his day, and still misinterpreted by many in our own time—was the Lord’s view of women. The Prophet taught that men and women are of equal value and of equal importance in the sight of God. He preached that in order for a man to achieve his highest potential (the celestial kingdom and godhood) he must have a woman—equally exalted—by his side and sealed to him forever! (See D&C 131:1–4.) A just God would not require the yoking of two unequal beings for eternity. Building upon the foundation laid by Joseph Smith, subsequent prophets taught that God was not single, but married; that there is a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother; and that we were made in their image: male and female children. (See James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 4:203, 205.)
As temples were built and temple ordinances restored, our understanding of the male/female relationship has increased: Both men and women are conditionally sealed to become kings and queens, priests and priestesses. Both share the blessings of the priesthood. Both share the gifts of the spirit (i.e., to heal, to be healed, to speak in tongues, to prophesy, etc.).
As Paul stated, “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11). This is true even though marriage may or may not happen during our stay in the second estate. President Kimball stated in his talk to women in September 1979:
It is important for a woman to learn in this life her eternal role so that when she is sealed she will be prepared and ready—with all her heart—to function in and glorify that role. That means being ready and prepared to function as a full partner in a celestial team—without having to look up because of any feeling of inferiority, or look down because of any feeling of superiority, but look across into the eyes of an equally prepared, equally magnificent eternal mate.
Such an exalted role for women was mind-boggling for nineteenth-century America. Here, as elsewhere, society was male dominated, and men were generally regarded as being superior. Men were not only to be protectors of women, but were responsible for their salvation as well.
When the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society after the pattern of the priesthood in 1842, he told the women that they were responsible for their own sins. For some this was a radical thought in those days. He taught them they were responsible for their own salvation, that they had access to every needed blessing the priesthood gives, that they also had direct access to the Holy Ghost and to spiritual gifts and they also had direct access to the Savior—to model him, become like him, be heirs in his kingdom. (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1938, pp. 223–229.)
The Prophet removed some of the excuses afforded woman in her passive, dependent role, and made her responsible for herself! Many of the early Mormon sisters caught his vision for women, got in the game, and ran with the ball. Women in Utah and Wyoming had the vote fifty years before women in the country received it generally. And as we read and ponder the writings of many nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint women, we know that they knew who they were.
Some women complain that they have no strong role models in the scriptures. That is not true. We have many models there. And our main one is the Savior, himself. Nowhere is it written that he is a model for men only; and nowhere is it written that men and women should each be allowed only half of his traits! The world has divided up personality traits that should be characteristic of both men and women, and has labeled some of them “masculine” and some of them “feminine.” Latter-day prophets do teach that men and women have biological, emotional, and other differences, but we should be careful about assigning mutually exclusive traits to one sex or the other. Nowhere, for example, does the Lord say that tenderness, kindness, charity, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, and compassion are strictly female traits and should be utilized by women only. And nowhere does he say that courage, strength, determination, and leadership should be the exclusive prerogative of men. Any notion that God desired that women be passive should have been dispelled when the Prophet told women that they were responsible for their own salvation.
--Sister Ida Smith, August 1980 Ensign The Lord as a Role Model for Men and Women



WHY WOMEN DON’T HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD: Symbiotic relationship

She labored beside her companion. Adam held the priesthood. Eve served in matriarchal partnership with the patriarchal priesthood. So today, each wife may join with her husband as a partner unified in purpose. Scriptures state clearly, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11). “They twain shall be one flesh” (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:8; D&C 49:16). Marvelously, it takes a man and a woman to make a man or a woman. Without union of the sexes, neither can we exist, nor can we become perfect. Ordinary and imperfect people can build each other through their wholeness together. The complete contribution of one partner to the other is essential to exaltation. This is so “that the earth might answer the end of its creation” (D&C 49:16). So labor and love in partnership. Honor your companion. Any sense of competition for place or position is not appropriate for either partner, especially when enlightened by scriptural understanding.
--Elder Russell M. Nelson, Lessons From Eve, October 1987 

When we kneel to pray, we kneel together. When we kneel at the altar of the holy temple, we kneel together. When we approach the final gate where Jesus Himself is the gatekeeper, we will, if faithful, pass through that gate together.
--Elder Neal A. Maxwell

My young sisters, some will try to persuade you that because you are not ordained to the priesthood you have been shortchanged. They are simply wrong, and they do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. The blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and woman. We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation, and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge “armed” with power. The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness. Most significantly, the fullness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can only be received by a man and woman together. Said President Harold B. Lee: “Pure womanhood plus priesthood means exaltation. But womanhood without priesthood, or priesthood without pure womanhood doesn’t spell exaltation.” Sisters, we as women are not diminished by priesthood power, we are magnified by it. I know this is true, for I have experienced it again and again.
--Sister Sheri Dew, "It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone," (October 6, 2001)

Finally, remember: When we return to our real home, it will be with the “mutual approbation” of those who reign in the “royal courts on high.” There we will find beauty such as mortal “eye hath not seen”; we will hear sounds of surpassing music which mortal “ear hath not heard.” Could such a regal homecoming be possible without the anticipatory arrangements of a Heavenly Mother?
--Elder Neal A. Maxwell

An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state.
--Elder Bruce R. McConkie


GREAT LIES OF SATAN

Men and women are in competition with each other.

Motherhood is of lesser importance because no money is involved. 

Eve sinned.

Homemaking is not just baking bread or cleaning a house. Homemaking is to make the environment necessary to nurture our children toward eternal life, which is our responsibility as parents. And that homemaking is as much for fathers as it is for mothers.
--Elder Dallin H. Oaks

There is no task, however menial, connected with the care of babies, the nurturing of children, or with the maintenance of the home that is not the husband’s equal obligation. The tasks, which come with parenthood, which many consider to be below other tasks, are simply above them.
--President Boyd K. Packer

Opportunities for development of spiritual and intellectual potential are equal. Masculinity has no monopoly on the mind, and femininity has no exclusive dominion over the heart. The highest titles of human achievement—teacher, educated professional, loyal employee, faithful friend, student of the scriptures, child of God, disciple of Christ, trusted companion, loving parent—are earned under a uniform requirement of worthiness.  --Elder Russell M. Nelson


WHAT WE DO HAVE

“The priesthood is God’s power... it is His power to create, to bless, to lead, to serve as He does. The priesthood duty of every righteous man is to qualify to hold the priesthood so he can bless his family, while the priesthood duty of sisters is to create life, nurture God’s children, and prepare them to make covenants with the Lord.... Don’t confuse the power of the priesthood with the keys and offices of the priesthood. The power is limitless and is shared with those who make and keep covenants. Too much is said and misunderstood about what brothers have and sisters don’t. This is Satan’s way of confusing men and women so that neither understands what they really have.
--Sister Julie B. Beck, LDS Women's Conference 2011

Recently I reviewed this Primary song. You’re familiar with it. It says, “Mine is a home where ev’ry hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow’r, With father and mother leading the way.” Mine is a home where every hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power. That is your responsibility, sisters, to help your home be a home that is blessed every hour by priesthood power. It isn’t just when Dad is there. It’s not just when Mom is there. It’s not just when a priesthood ordinance or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as ordinances, as covenants, are made and kept.
--Sister Julie B. Beck, LDS Women's Conference 2011


ARE WE LIVING UP TO OUR PRIVILEGES?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that for too long in the Church, the men have been the theologians while the women have been the Christians. To be equal partners, each should be both a theologian and a Christian.
--Elder Bruce Hafen and Sister Marie Hafen

Regarding women and the organization of the Relief Society: “There is an immense amount of talent, and I may say of real sound statesmanship within a community of ladies; and if they would only train their minds, and exercise the rights and privileges that are legitimately theirs, and would contemplate subjects that they now pass over and never think about, they would find they have an immense amount of influence in guiding, directing, and controlling human affairs.”
--President Brigham Young

D&C 38: 32 Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my claw; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;

 38:38 See that all things are preserved; and when men are endowed with power from on high and sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church.

(Endowment) In a general sense, a gift of power from God. Worthy members of the Church can receive a gift of power through ordinances in the temple that gives them the instruction and covenants of the Holy Priesthood that they need in order to attain exaltation. The endowment includes instruction about the plan of salvation.


A temple is a place in which those whom He has chosen are endowed with power from on high—a power which enables us to use our gifts and capabilities with greater intelligence and increased effectiveness in order to bring to pass our Heavenly Father’s purposes in our own lives and the lives of those we love. (David B Haight, April 1992)

(Another long Ida Smith quote)   President Kimball, in essence, has been urging women to get in condition, get involved in the life around them, and in more positive ways become a greater influence for good on what is happening in the world. He has urged women to become educated, to become gospel scholars, to develop every talent with which the Lord has blessed them, and then to use those talents for the benefit of mankind. We need to learn and then teach each other the exalted role of women as revealed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be sure our spouses understand it. And if we have children, we need to be sure that our sons and our daughters understand it.
The Prophet Joseph said in 1842 that the key was now turned in behalf of women, and that knowledge and intelligence would flow down henceforth (see Teachings, p. 229). President Kimball put it this way to women in September 1979:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
He also counseled:
“You must be wise in the choices that you make, but we do not desire the women of the Church to be uninformed or ineffective. You will be better mothers and wives, both in this life and in eternity, if you sharpen the skills you have been given and use the talents with which God has blessed you” (Ensign, Nov. 1979, pp. 104, 103).
We have been taught that where much is given, much is expected. If we as Latter-day Saints really understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and all it offers women, we know that no blessing can be withheld from us if we are prepared and worthy to receive it. The Lord expects us to be exemplars and teachers. I pray that we may catch the understanding and vision of who we really are—and so be.  Ida Smith

1 comment:

Jelaire said...

Great collection of statements! A few corrections:

1. In your first long quote from Ida Smith, you are missing a little bit. You have "President Kimball stated in his talk to women in September 1979: It is important for a woman..." But in the actual article, President Kimball's statement starts out with, "Sometimes to be tested and proved..." The words you have in your post actually come after President Kimball's statement, and he never said them at all. It looks like you accidentally either forgot to insert the two paragraphs of President Kimball's quote, or forgot to take out the introductory sentence before the quotes you meant to leave out. :)

2. When you quote D&C 38: 32, it says, "Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my claw;"
I think a footnote found its way into that verse when you pasted it (claw=law). :)

Anyway, great collection -- I've added many of these to my own personal file.