I’ve added this to my list of resources for Pondering Mormon Women and Priesthood. Sheri Dew obviously has a strong testimony of the value of women in Heavenly Father’s plan, and she shared some of that with a reporter in an interview in Europe. Even speaking practically, without much doctrinal background, she captured some of what the women of the Church do and have done since our early Church history.
She also talks with a doctrinal focus for the women who attended her presentation at this particular Time Out for Women gathering. Her words are reflective of things that Elder Ballard recently said in his BYU Devotional address during Education Week. There are patterns in these teachings that go back decades as well. Note, for example, the quote from Bruce R. McConkie in Sister Dew’s talk. Note the quotes by President Joseph F. Smith, John A. Widtsoe, and James E. Talmage in Elder Ballard’s talk. Similar teachings exist in various other resources listed in the previous post on pondering priesthood.
Following are some of the quotes to which I refer:
Here’s the Bruce R. McConkie quote (Sister Dew quoted part of this, and you can read the whole talk by Elder McConkie here. This address was given at a dedicatory service for the Nauvoo Monument to Women.)
Where spiritual things are concerned, as pertaining to all of the gifts of the Spirit, with reference to the receipt of revelation, the gaining of testimonies, and the seeing of visions, in all matters that pertain to godliness and holiness and which are brought to pass as a result of personal righteousness—in all these things men and women stand in a position of absolute equality before the Lord. He is no respecter of persons nor of sexes, and he blesses those men and those women who seek him and serve him and keep his commandments.
Sister Beck’s talk “An Outpouring of Blessings” captures in even more detail how sons and daughters of God are equally blessed by the priesthood. Her general summaries are very similar to what Sister Dew talks about as well, though.
The blessings of the priesthood, which “are available to men and women alike,”3 are woven in and through and around their lives. Each of them is blessed by sacred ordinances, and each of them can enjoy the blessings of spiritual gifts by virtue of the priesthood….
I am grateful that through the infinite fairness and love of God, all men and women were given equal partnership, gifts, blessings, and potential through priesthood ordinances and spiritual gifts. Because of the priesthood, which is woven in and around and through our lives, every power, every covenant we need to do our life’s work and walk back to our heavenly home has been poured out upon our heads.
As Sister Patricia Holland said in her article about LDS womanhood, truth is found in patterns. There are powerful patterns in teachings about the priesthood. To stop only at analyzing administrative duties stops one short of seeking and understanding more about doctrinal truths related to the partnership of men and women in God’s eternal plan for His children.
Everything you have posted and what I’ve seen in the temple have led me to this conclusion: Endowed women have priesthood power, but no priesthood authority. Perhaps this is why our black sisters were also banned from the temple until 1978?