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Thread: Women giving blessings

  1. #1
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Default Women giving blessings

    Perhaps this has been discussed to death on CG or even here, but I haven't noticed it and I haven't looked much.

    For much of the first 100 years of LDS history, Mormon women could lay their hands on the sick, anoint them with oil, and offer a blessing for their recovery. They felt a special obligation to bless their own children and other mothers during pregnancy “confinement” and childbirth. That all ended in the mid-20th century, when the practice became the exclusive realm of the men-only Mormon priesthood.
    At an April 1844 Nauvoo General Conference, the authors note that Young declared, “I want a wife that can take care of my chi[ldre]n when I am away — who can pray — lay on hands anoint with oil & baffle the enemy.”

    Young was such an advocate of female healing, Stapley and Wright argue, that in 1869 he chastized women who were seeking blessings from men, saying: “Why do you not live so as to rebuke disease? It is your privilege to do so without sending for the elders. ... ”
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfa...hurch.html.csp

    When I was a missionary we went one Sunday to an RLDS meeting. There were women blessing and passing the sacrament, but also there was a blessing in the middle of the main meeting in which a mother (accompanied, as I recall by other women) blessed one of her children who was sick. As foreign and peculiar as it seemed to a born and raised Utah mormon, the idea seems perfectly normal to me now.
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    Dolphins Rape Hipsters oxcoug's Avatar
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    My dad always invited and sometimes insisted on my Mom participating in blessings (both of healing and 'father's' blessings). I don't think I realized that this is currently unorthodox until I was on my mission.
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    Outsider looking in Blueintheface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxcoug View Post
    My dad always invited and sometimes insisted on my Mom participating in blessings (both of healing and 'father's' blessings). I don't think I realized that this is currently unorthodox until I was on my mission.
    My father always stopped short of inviting her into the circle but would without fail start the blessing on her behalf.
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    Royal Rooter Green Monstah's Avatar
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    Joseph Fielding Smith, in his series "Answers to Gospel Questions" advocated the participation of women in blessings over children.

    I asked a religion prof. why it wasn't more common and he said, "I'd strongly urge you not to."

    If I asked my wife to join, she'd think I'd gone completely apostate.
    "That John Denver is full of [it] man"

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    Quote Originally Posted by oxcoug View Post
    My dad always invited and sometimes insisted on my Mom participating in blessings (both of healing and 'father's' blessings). I don't think I realized that this is currently unorthodox until I was on my mission.
    that's pretty cool.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Signature won a Pulitzer Paperback Writer's Avatar
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    I know of an instance where a SP had his wife give him a healing blessing with laying on of hands and consecrated oil when in the mountain wilderness. They were backpacking as a family and there were no other priesthood holders.

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    So that's what they're calling it these days.
    τὸν ἥλιον ἀνατέλλοντα πλείονες ἢ δυόμενον προσκυνοῦσιν

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSox View Post

    If I asked my wife to join, she'd think I'd gone completely apostate.
    That's what I thought. Until I asked her, and she willingly joined.

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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    http://mormonstories.org/podcast/Mor...AGiftGiven.mp3

    Some might argue that the women were taking it upon themselves to do these blessings. However, even if they did they had the full support of early church prophets. It seems it really started to die out in the early 1900s, which is when women starting asking if it was okay. I learned early on in life to never ask someone in authority in the church if something is okay because it usually is....unless you ask first.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

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    a day late/a dollar short Sullyute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSox View Post
    If I asked my wife to join, she'd think I'd gone completely apostate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    That's what I thought. Until I asked her, and she willingly joined.
    I actually tried this last fall when I gave my son a blessing. She absolutely refused. I tried to insist and she got very upset, so I dropped it quickly and apologized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueintheface View Post
    My father always stopped short of inviting her into the circle but would without fail start the blessing on her behalf.
    I have been reading In Sacred Lonliness for the last month. I have been sharing with my wife all of the times in which women gave blessings to each other and to men, including Heber C. Kimball. She has seemed to soften on the issue.

    I think the next time I give a blessing that I will follow your father's example and say something like "By the authority of the priesthood that I hold, and by the faith of your mother, we give you a blessing..." even if her hands are not on his head. Baby steps...

    Edit: The reason that I want my wife to participate is not to be heterodox, but because she has more faith than me, and I honestly believe that the blessing would have more effect with her direct participation.
    Last edited by Sullyute; 05-11-2011 at 07:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    I actually tried this last fall when I gave my son a blessing. She absolutely refused. I tried to insist and she got very upset, so I dropped it quickly and apologized.
    She must have forgotten that time she covenanted to follow and obey you.

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    There is no priesthood required to stand in the circle.

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    Liberal Feminazi Pheidippides's Avatar
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    I'll raise you one more. D. Michael Quinn asserts (with quotes from BY to back him up that I find persuasive to the extent I find anything from BY persuasive) that women are given the MP as part of the endowment already. He then remarks it is of little practical importance as they are not ordained to any office therein.

    I'll see if I can find chapter and verse from Origins of Power when I get home.
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    Liberal Feminazi Pheidippides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    http://mormonstories.org/podcast/Mor...AGiftGiven.mp3

    Some might argue that the women were taking it upon themselves to do these blessings. However, even if they did they had the full support of early church prophets. It seems it really started to die out in the early 1900s, which is when women starting asking if it was okay. I learned early on in life to never ask someone in authority in the church if something is okay because it usually is....unless you ask first.
    I actually read a piece on this a little while ago. On my Kindle I have a series of essays about historical bits of mormonism as it relates to polygamy, and one of the essays dealt with blessings by women. I'll see if I can reread and give the synopsis. I want to say this essay was by Quinn as well but it might not have been.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikuman View Post
    I'll raise you one more. D. Michael Quinn asserts (with quotes from BY to back him up that I find persuasive to the extent I find anything from BY persuasive) that women are given the MP as part of the endowment already. He then remarks it is of little practical importance as they are not ordained to any office therein.

    I'll see if I can find chapter and verse from Origins of Power when I get home.
    the language of the ceremony certainly seemed to imply that to me (as an admittedly new temple-goer). also, is the mp or ap invoked in initiatory ordinances performed by women?
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camleish View Post
    the language of the ceremony certainly seemed to imply that to me (as an admittedly new temple-goer). also, is the mp or ap invoked in initiatory ordinances performed by women?
    Huh. An obvious question but I haven't asked it yet.
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    Royal Rooter Green Monstah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikuman View Post
    Huh. An obvious question but I haven't asked it yet.
    I don't believe so, but I believe there is a laying on of hands.
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    Royal Rooter Green Monstah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    That's what I thought. Until I asked her, and she willingly joined.
    Talked with Mrs. RS last night about it and she said, "we're clearly not supposed to because no one does it anymore."
    "That John Denver is full of [it] man"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    http://mormonstories.org/podcast/Mor...AGiftGiven.mp3

    Some might argue that the women were taking it upon themselves to do these blessings. However, even if they did they had the full support of early church prophets. It seems it really started to die out in the early 1900s, which is when women starting asking if it was okay. I learned early on in life to never ask someone in authority in the church if something is okay because it usually is....unless you ask first.
    I read faster than I can listen. This is the article related to Molière's link.

    https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/115-6-30-43.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSox View Post
    Talked with Mrs. RS last night about it and she said, "we're clearly not supposed to because no one does it anymore."
    A good response to such a strong logical argument is:

    "The church produced the movie Legacy where Eliza laid her hands upon and healed an ox. The church is clearly encouraging women to be more involved in blessing the sick."

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    Senior Member Portland Ute's Avatar
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    This seems like it would be pertinent to this discussion.

    http://agitatingfaithfully.org/about-us

    Has this website been discussed on this site?

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    Too many BRM hardliners. There was a movement in the Church to define what was acceptable and what was not rather than allowing people to think for themselves and follow the Spirit. Being spoon fed is easy, but has it's drawbacks. Those in authority also may get a buzz from laying down the law, who doesn't like to be a source of enlightenment and wisdom for the masses?

    There is certainly plenty of historical precedent for women giving blessings, but I'll bet you that Elder Bednar would let his daughters get a 2nd ear piercing before it happened nowadays.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikuman View Post
    I'll raise you one more. D. Michael Quinn asserts (with quotes from BY to back him up that I find persuasive to the extent I find anything from BY persuasive) that women are given the MP as part of the endowment already. He then remarks it is of little practical importance as they are not ordained to any office therein.

    I'll see if I can find chapter and verse from Origins of Power when I get home.
    Well they are dressed in garment of the priesthood. My thoughts are that they have the priesthood they just arent designated to an office (elder, high priest etc...)
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

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    about 6 years ago I went with my wife to visit Utah and my uncle who has put together large amounts of family history gave us my father's side family history. As we were driving places my wife would read out load the history. There were many accounts of women giving blessings as late as the 40s.
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    about 6 years ago I went with my wife to visit Utah and my uncle who has put together large amounts of family history gave us my father's side family history. As we were driving places my wife would read out load the history. There were many accounts of women giving blessings as late as the 40s.
    May I ask the general location of your family? It seems to me that this would be more common in rural, southern Utah than along the Wasatch front.
    Dio perdona tante cose per un’opera di misericordia
    God forgives many things for an act of mercy
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pellegrino View Post
    May I ask the general location of your family? It seems to me that this would be more common in rural, southern Utah than along the Wasatch front.
    My great great grandfather homesteaded in the uintah basin. My grandfather moved from Vernal to Salt Lake a little after my father was born. My dad is 70.
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  27. #27
    Where's Wallace? Surfah's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have much faith in a blessing given to me by a woman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    My great great grandfather homesteaded in the uintah basin. My grandfather moved from Vernal to Salt Lake a little after my father was born. My dad is 70.
    my theory holds. I'll count eastern UT the same as southern UT.
    Dio perdona tante cose per un’opera di misericordia
    God forgives many things for an act of mercy
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    Royal Rooter Green Monstah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTCoug View Post
    Too many BRM hardliners. There was a movement in the Church to define what was acceptable and what was not rather than allowing people to think for themselves and follow the Spirit. Being spoon fed is easy, but has it's drawbacks. Those in authority also may get a buzz from laying down the law, who doesn't like to be a source of enlightenment and wisdom for the masses?

    There is certainly plenty of historical precedent for women giving blessings, but I'll bet you that Elder Bednar would let his daughters get a 2nd ear piercing before it happened nowadays.
    That would be miraculous. Particularly since Bednar doesn't have daughters (that we know about! SNAP!).
    "That John Denver is full of [it] man"

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    The Dude Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSox View Post
    That would be miraculous. Particularly since Bednar doesn't have daughters (that we know about! SNAP!).
    Son, whatever.
    So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.

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