Posts Tagged ‘Mormon priesthood’

The Role of Women in Mormonism

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The role of Mormon women has been the subject of a great deal of debate, discussion, and interpretation, both within and without the Church. (Mormon is a nickname sometimes applied to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) This discussion often leaves out the larger picture and the context. To understand the role of Mormon women today, we have to look at their overall roles in the scriptures, in the modern past, and in today’s church, home, and society. We also have to evaluate what official Mormon teachings look like and how they influence actual behavior.

The Mormon view of womanhood has been a traditional one, but it is one that allows for diversity of practice. It outlines the ideal but does not penalize or judge women who are not living in ideal situations. For instance, while teaching that where possible, women have primary responsibility for child care (but are to be assisted by their spouse), the Church also teaches that others must not judge a woman who is employed. The Lord and the leaders of the Church know there are extenuating circumstances that might necessitate mothers working outside the home (and many Mormon moms do). That is between the family and God.

The Origin of Mormon Beliefs about Gender

People wonder what we do for women. I will tell you what we do. We get our their way and look with wonder at what they are accomplishing. - Gordon B. HinckleyMormons believe that all people were created as spirits by God prior to their birth. As spirits, we had gender, personality, intelligence, and agency. Our spirits resembled our mortal appearance but lacked the substance of a physical body. We lived in this form for a time before we were born into mortality. During the period of pre-mortal life, we began to develop our character. We had many opportunities to learn and to make choices. We were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it was left to us to decide whether or not we wanted to live what was taught. Decisions always have consequences, however, and the decisions we made prior to our birth were no exception. (more…)

A Mormon Apostle Speaks at Harvard

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Speaks at Harvard Law SchoolThe Mormon Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland spoke on March 20, 2012 to students of the Harvard University Law School as part of the school’s annual “Mormonism 101″ series. Elder Holland (Mormon leaders are traditionally addressed by the title, “Elder”) explained about the history and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often called “Mormons.” He then engaged in a question-and-answer session with members of the audience. Elder Holland’s remarks helped shed some light on the Church, which has received a lot of media attention lately due to the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney.

Elder Holland began his remarks by congratulating the students on their openness to discussions of religious belief. “In the western world religion has historically been the basis of civil society as we have known it, and if I am not mistaken, men and women of the law are committed to the best—that is, the most just—civil society possible,” Elder Holland pointed out. “So thank you for taking religion seriously. You will not only be better attorneys but you will be closer to the truth in your own personal lives.” (more…)