Lately it has happened that, what I understand about the power of the priesthood, has been mocked using my name. “Apparently Bronwen has the priesthood. Har har.”
I would clarify, using Elder Oaks’ words:
“As Elder M. Russell Ballard has explained, “Those who have priesthood keys … literally make it possible for all who serve faithfully under their direction to exercise priesthood authority and have access to priesthood power.”5“
And: “With the exception of the sacred work that sisters do in the temple under the keys held by the temple president, which I will describe hereafter, only one who holds a priesthood office can officiate in a priesthood ordinance. And all authorized priesthood ordinances are recorded on the records of the Church.”
Here he clarifies, beautifully, everything I have been taught by the Holy Ghost about women’s roles using the power of the priesthood. Clearly officers who are authorized are the only ones to do ordinances – baby blessings, sacrament, baptism, confirmation/command to receive the Holy Ghost, temple ordinances, patriarchal blessings. (I can’t think of any more that are recorded on the records of the church. If you can think of any more ordinances let me know via comment below.)
I do not think I should (nor do I hope to have) office in the priesthood. But I do believe what is taught by Joseph Smith (and the apostle Paul) about signs of the believers and spiritual gifts, and that those things are made possible by the power of the priesthood in all of God’s children. Increased portions as we are ordained, by priesthood officers, to membership in the Church via the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. And increased again through receiving further ordination, by those with priesthood authority, through ordinances in the temple.
“Prest. Smith continued the subject by adverting to the commission given to the ancient apostles “Go ye into all the world” &c.— no matter who believeth; these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils &c. should follow all that believe whether male or female. He ask’d the Society if they could not see by this sweeping stroke, that wherein they are ordaind, it is the privilege of those set apart to administer in that authority which is confer’d on them— and if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let every thing roll on.” (Nauvoo R.S. Minutes, Joseph Smith Jr. Original Emphasis.)
Isn’t it amazing to think that when you participate in an ordinance you are ordained? We are ordained members of the church. Not officers. But we have been ordained to membership by officers holding keys to ordain us. Very cool. (I think if the organization known as “ordain women” were to see that ordaining clearly they would be more confident in what is already conferred upon them. But I am grateful for their movement in that it brought some things to the memory of the Lord’s people – even if they are going about it all wrong… from what I can see anyway.)
Again, I hold office (and worthy officers) in high respect, and I do not demand it, nor do I expect it or want it.
I’m sad for those who mock the doctrine, by mocking me and what I have learned. I love them and I hope they will do their work to study out the truth and how it applies to them personally – and how spiritual gifts/signs of the believers effects every individual’s personal salvation… and negatively so, if they DO NOTHING with them.