In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, men and women are full equal partners both in the home and in the church. Men are given Priesthood responsibilities to provide spiritual leadership, and women have the natural responsibilities of Motherhood to nurture, teach, and lead. As we work together in complementary roles we all benefit.
I have watched my sons grow as they have been given Priesthood responsibilities a little at a time. At 12 a worthy young man can be ordained a Deacon and pass the Sacrament, collect fast offerings, and help keep up the church building. At 14 a worthy young man may be ordained a Teacher. His duties include those of a deacon plus they serve as home teachers; visiting families in the ward (local church group) and helping them. They also prepare the bread and water for the sacrament. At 16 a worthy young man may be ordained a Priest. He then has the authority to do all that a Teacher does plus he may baptize, and administer the sacrament. At 19 our oldest son was ordained an Elder. He had had four years of seminary during high school and was an official ordained minister as he served a two year mission in Ohio.
He could do all a Priest can plus preach the gospel, administer to the sick, and preside over church meetings if a high priest wasn’t there. My husband is a High Priest. He has responsibility to officiate in the church plus all the responsibilities of an Elder. Right now he serves as a ward clerk in a BYU ward. He keeps records and trains the college age assistant clerks. (We love being around the students. They are so enthusiastic and fun!) If a man joins the Church when he is older, he still receives Priesthood responsibilities a little at a time, but it is usually at a faster pace.
So many churches today complain of not enough male participation and leadership. Often “going to church” is considered just a “woman’s thing”. I think sometimes women intimate men and they just step back. Also, I think the Lord understands that men need to be given specific responsibilities. They need to feel needed, and they need to have the structure of priesthood quorums to help them serve others. As our prophet has said, “The Priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.”
As a wife I’ve found it wonderful to have a husband who leads instead of having to be pushed. It has brought me peace when he has given me, or one of our children, a blessing of healing, guidance, or comfort.
As women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we belong to and lead the Relief Society, a service organization of several million women worldwide. Women also lead the Church’s Young Women organization and the Primary, an organization for teaching children. The leaders of these organizations meet regularly in executive councils at both a general church wide and at local levels to direct the work of the Church. Women teach classes, give talks and prayers in church, serve full time missions, lead cub scouts, humanitarian and educational programs, plan ward socials, and many, many other things. I’ve even been an editor of a 36 page newspaper for our stake (now we are doing it on-line; a stake is about half our town; about 2,500 people since Mapleton only has 5,000 people). All these opportunities to lead and serve have sometimes been a bit overwhelming. At those moments, I’ve found it comforting to know that the men have responsibilities to provide support and help.
Since we do not have a paid ministry, we are all pretty busy. With most everyone helping in some way, not only are talents developed, hearts enlarged, and a lot of service given, but we are able to care for the needs of the people in our ward of 120 to 150 families.
Notes about Priesthood from Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Caring for others is the very essence of priesthood responsibility. It is the power to bless, to heal, and to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel. Elder James E. Faust
Merrill J. Bateman, Liahona, Nov. 2003, 50–52; or Ensign, Nov. 2003, 50–52
It is expected that worthy holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood will use the power delegated to them to bless others, starting with their own families.
conference talk Ensign may 1998 President Boyd K. Packer
In the home it is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side.
For behold, this is my “work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
Preach my Gospel
Priesthood is the power and authority given to man to act in God’s name for the salvation of His children.
All priesthood comes from God.
When priesthood authority is used worthily, the power of God is manifest. Priesthood power can be used only in righteousness, love, and patience.
confer gift of Holy Ghost, ordain others to priesthood, anoint sick, give blessing of healing and comfort
Relief Society reaches out in service to families, individuals, and the community.
True to the Faith
Although the authority of the priesthood is bestowed only on worthy male members of the Church, the blessings of the priesthood are available to all–men, women, and children. We all benefit from the influence of righteous priesthood leadership, and we all have the privilege of receiving the saving ordinances of the priesthood.
The most important exercise of the priesthood takes place in the family. Each husband and father in the Church should strive to be worthy to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. With his wife as an equal partner, he presides in righteousness and love, serving as the family’s spiritual leader. He leads the family in regular prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. He works with his wife to teach the children and help them prepare to receive the ordinances of salvation. He gives priesthood blessings for direction, healing, and comfort.
Pat Holland we each have different responsibilities; men and women have different missions
Oakes- men are not the Priesthood
Priesthood Authority Pres. Hinkley
the power to bless; power to heal; power to govern earthly affairs of God; power to bind in heaven that which is bound on earth
The Priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.” Pres Thomas S. Monson
n weekly worship services and classes, women preach sermons, offer prayers in behalf of the congregation, and teach adults and children. They may also serve as missionaries and as presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations. Women participate in councils that oversee congregational activities throughout the world. They also perform a vital work in nurturing and teaching in the home. (LDS.org)
The priesthood—the authority of God to perform ordinances and act in His name—is conferred only on worthy male members of the Church. Men who hold the priesthood have no advantage over women in qualifying for salvation or eternal life through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (lds.org)
Every willing member of the Church has many opportunities to render service, share talents, and gain new skills. Every week, women preach, teach, and lead in the Church on local and worldwide levels.
In addition, women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints belong to and lead the Relief Society, an organization of several million women worldwide. Women also lead the Church’s Young Women organization and the Primary, an organization for teaching children. The leaders of these organizations meet regularly in executive councils to help make decisions that affect the worldwide Church. These organizations also exist on the local level, with women participating in council meetings to discuss and direct the work of the Church in local units.
A woman—the president of the Relief Society in each congregation—has a special role in working with the congregational leader, or bishop, to meet the needs of members who may struggle financially or who may face other special challenges in their lives.
The priesthood—the authority of God to perform ordinances and act in His name—is conferred only on worthy male members of the Church. Men who hold the priesthood have no advantage over women in qualifying for salvation or eternal life through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
President Hinkley - News Conference
What do you do for you women? We get out of their way and stand back in amazement at what they can do.