In October of 2013, a Pew survey made the claim that “big majority of Mormons (including women) oppose women in priesthood.” In March or 2014, I wrote Do Mormon Women Oppose Priesthood Ordination? Clarity About the Pew Survey to refute the erroneous conclusion.
In the aftermath there were numerous groups—claiming faithful adherence to doctrine—that used the survey fallaciously to “prove” that women opposed ordination in some sweeping way. It was purported to show that the status quo is not only inspired, but preferable, to members at large and women in particular.
Another large poll released yesterday shows—surprise! surprise!—an almost diametrically opposed result. And that I was right.
The Pew poll failed to understand and accommodate the high priority faithful, active members put on deference to authority. In the context of the way the questions were asked, the “faithful” response was obvious. But once the questions changed to incorporate that cultural imperative, the answers turns on their head.
It is interesting (and eye-rolling) how this poll was reported in local newspapers:
- Salt Lake Tribune: Mormons are all for female ordination, survey shows, but there’s a catch
- Deseret News: Disputed poll shows LDS support for continuing revelation
Kathryn Skaggs (as noted in the Deseret News article) wants to have her cake and eat it, too. She wants to use imperfect questions that support her position and disregard imperfect ones that don’t.
Sorry, it it what it is. Mormons prioritize deference to authority, so they neither decline nor support female ordination over that authority. They will, however, go along with either one if the leadership so dictates.
So, no, Mormons (and Mormon women in particular) may hope for the priesthood or hope to keep things the same, but they will generally submit to the current leadership position, whatever it is.
In closing, may I remind you all of a few thing:
- Women do not have “access” to all the blessings of the priesthood.
- The church spokeswoman admitted that there is no doctrine that specifically excludes women from ordination.
- Recent statements have made a rather irreconcilable muddle of priesthood authority, keys, ordination, access, blessings, etc.
- In a 1997 interview with David Ransom, President Hinckley noted the policy could change with revelation, but didn’t think women generally cared about it. In other words, he used his interpretation of women’s feelings as support of the status quo.
Here’s a vote for better understanding!