I started this post on April 9th, but never had the heart to finish it. Maybe now I do.

Faithfulness Sneer

Last fall I wrote a post titled A Christlike Response to Radical Mormon Feminism. I'm not part of the Ordain Women group — because I have some differing opinions on outcome/approach — but I see them as my sisters in the gospel, worthy of love, respect, and consideration. And, as you probably know, I'm outspoken on gender issues in the church because I think we have far, far to go in that respect.

As the Mormon church's gender relations have become more heated, the rhetoric often spins out of control. What surprised me, however, is that the vitriol within the church comes so overwhelmingly from those who claim to be the “faithful” who are “standing for truth and righteousness.”

I've read and read and read articles, posts, pages and sourced quotes directly from actual members of the Ordain Women movement and have seen almost nothing that wasn't qualified, measured, and respectful. A few exceptions, of course, but not many have crossed my screen.

It may be that my anecdotal experience is extremely unusual. I'm willing to consider that idea and to see real, counter-examples. But I tend to believe that those who are part of Ordain Women have made a thoughtful decision to respond exclusively with Christlike regard for the other parties. Sometimes the difference is so stark that I'm reminded of the civil rights activists who”protested” that status quo by sitting at the “whites only” lunch counter. They sat quietly and politely while they were cursed at, spit upon, had food poured on them, and worse. 

That is not to say that the majority of mainstream (for want of a better word) members are responding in this repugnant manner, but a conversation on the topic of LDS gender issues can only rarely occur without a vocal minority of patronizing, sarcastic, hateful, and/or misogynistic statements being made. And few of the other “faithful” ever step up to defend.

To be clear, I've never expected proponents of the status quo to change sides in the matter, but I was sure they would openly refute hateful commentary. But they rarely do. That is astonishing to me.

A couple of weeks ago this came up in conversation and the person I was speaking to was cynical. She openly disbelieved that any good Mormons would respond with anything but kindness and love in their defense of the church. As she said, “It would be counterproductive!” And I agree. Just today another reader noted, “I haven’t personally been exposed to the nastiness that others have reported.”

I wish it were a figment of my imagination, but I can't get away from it. Below are a few choice quotes I collected in just a short time on April 9th and again today. Sadly, it was easy pickings. I didn't even have to look for it, I happened upon it almost everywhere I went.

These are real people who posted in public forums. As I write this, their names are still in the text. I've decided to remove them, contrary to my usual modus operandi. Yes, I do think we should all be accountable for our actions, but the point of this post is not to pick on particular individuals, but to point out a problem. The problem is not that people have opinions, make judgments, or discuss hard issues. Rather, it is that they are setting themselves upon a pedestal they label “righteous” while behaving in a way that doesn't match their rhetoric.

I hope you get it.

…OW movement appears to be a media-hungry enterprise that cares more about acceptance from the world than working together with the everyday Mormon woman and is solely seeking for everyone, including the prophet, to confirm that its opinions are right.

At what point is it OK to start viewing these people as little more than children in the back of the van asking “Are we there yet?” ad nauseum?

So long as they keep acting like petulant children, I would hardly classify them as mature.

You don't see men crying “foul” at every turn. It is embarrassing to me that the women of this church do! I might consider it anti-Christ, even.

How much more immature can you get? And not only immature, but ineffective. And I think the way that these women interpret men's responsibilities into “power” that they “don't have” is whiny and even prideful.

I don't think that our causing a scene or whining is the way to go about getting something to change.

If they are that unhappy, maybe they should start their own church and run things how they see fit.

How about being feminine instead of being feminist?

What do I think feminists do, you ask? Oh, they just whine.

I [sic] you are a “believing member” of the church I think it is evidently clear which side of the fence ordain women is on. If it wasn't evident before elder oaks' [sic] conference address it should be with the excommunication of their leader.

…this must be an insecurity thing…

Maybe it would be better if I said something more to a feminist’s liking, like “All men are pigs”

…show them how smart we aren’t, but how good we are at whining! 

…Ms. Kelly is infected with a vicious and deceiving spirit. It is necessary for her to be turned over to “the buffeting of satan” to protect her ward, stake, even the Church from that lying spirit in her. This is also the best way for The Father to save His daughter.

The self-absorbed quality of Mormon feminists is both amusing and a little sad. Women were send [sic] on proselyting missions before the dawn of the 20th century and have doing [sic] a fine job of it every [sic] since. As for women praying in General Conference—better them than me, but I suspect the vast majority of changes we've seen in the church, many well in advance of society's evolution on gender issues, is the simple fact that so many of us are married to extraordinary women. [uh…]

So my sadness comes from the reality that Ordain Women activists just have no respect for men at all. Their willingness and intent to disrupt General Priesthood is just mean-spirited bullying and the rhetorical nonsense they are using to justify their activities; transparent dishonesty.

These women are becoming a “shame” to themselves and the LDS Church.

These women are clueless on LDS Doctrine and it will be interesting to see how far they push before facing some type of church discipline.

This woman is a fame monger. There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but when one intentionally organizes to draw people away from the gospel teachings, then it is wrong.

This woman is unrepentant, arrogant, and full or herself. Go away! Believe as you wish and let those of us who truly understand the principles of the gospel continue to live what we believe!!

…it requires a certain arrogance to reject the wishes of 90% of the women who do not want the priesthood and put their own interests before them. Cheap publicity stunts are not the way to convince The Lord, but they are certainly a way to garner press. One sees their goal isn't great understanding merely greater press.

Kate Kelly acted irresponsibly and like a secularist. I don't think the Church would be better with her in it; at least not like she ended up. We need fewer Feminists in the Church and more Women of Faith.

Rules are rules. She is a very smart lady and she knew this would happen. I believe she wants to become a Martyr for her own personal crusade.

…when a small group decide that what 90% of the women want is irrelevant, they are indeed elitist. When they claim to speak for and represent women who reject the very premise of their existence, they are more than elitist, they are arrogant. It appears to me that such an attitude does not lead to democracy or equality merely a grab for power or the presumption of power. They do not understand what the priesthood is, nor does it appear they even understand what women want. Their desire is only based on what they want, and that is itself selfish.

So they reject the stance of women and the priesthood. They reject that stance of prophet and apostles, and indeed doctrine. It would seem they are on the side that rejects God and celebrates personal wants and desires. This is only magnified by the somewhat cheap carny act of using the color purple in an attempt to artificially enhance their numbers for publicity. Charlatan is a word that comes to mind, but it is usually associated with males.

Next time I get out the chainsaw, paint buckets, rakes, hammers, ladders, lawn mowers, garden tillers and so forth, I want a list of these gals so they can help me out with a couple of widow's I know homes and yards to give service to. Are they willing to travel on their own dime to help out and come to Cache Valley?

Either the LDS church has leadership that is inspired or it isn t. If these misguided twits think they will be anymore successful than the delightful Sonya Johnson,they really need to get a grip on reality as well as theology.

Women who fight for priesthood equality truly do not understand the gospel.

Mormon feminism is essentially a well to do East Bench (or geo-economic equivalent), smarter then thou, click [sic]; that has to be “seen” having power rather then find power within, and let nature run its course.

Well I have and I remain unconvinced of their sincerity.

…the tactics are decidedly self centered and a rejection of the very people they claim to represent (most women don't want the change and by most I mean almost all). That by its definition is little more than seeking power for one's own purposes. Much like Simon in Acts of the New Testament, the organization presumes to “purchase” the priesthood through publicity. At its heart it shows they do not understand the priesthood, or why it exists.

…what you have just basically said is that nothing matters except what you want. That is the height of selfishness as well as elitism. The priesthood belongs to no one, it is not a possession and it cannot be purchased or demanded. It can only be given and then, only given by God. And THAT is illustrative of why you don't understand the priesthood

I have taken the fine ribbons off and simply exposed the rather self centered position some people claim to have. And yes it is extremely selfish. If Pew asks LDS whether or not they should have the priesthood and 90% of the LDS women said NO. You in effect have the entire question of democracy removed from who your organization claims to be, claims to represent, and claims to purport. That alone undermines your claim.

I see your post projecting a great deal on the injustices in the past and the victimization of women in the past. There is nothing in it that show the fault on God and not one of those things makes you more equal or less in front of God's eyes. What you are chasing after, some sort of redress for past wrongs from an entity that did not promulgate those wrongs, is the hubris of your own desires and has little to do with coming closer to God, in effect you only end up separating yourself from him. I believe it to be the least desirable outcome.

The more important aspect however, is that God, and the priesthood are not elected bodies or elected powers that are chosen by a council be it Nicene or a group of women in the Latter-days. If you feel that is the case, then please feel free start another organization, elect yourself a god, elect what you call the priesthood to all those in attendance and then enjoy your new organization. However, if you truly believe in God's organization, in His authority, and that He speaks through a prophet, then your argument is not with the prophet, it isn't with the organization, it isn't even with me. Its [sic] with God, and frankly, I don't see you holding a winning hand.

I am not of any real opinion on the priesthood and women. I am however more than leery of groups that attempt to usurp or buy the priesthood through publicity as your organization does. I am also leery of groups that claim they represent women when those self same women have rejected the basis of your organization. I don't judge your motives I point out the facts and how your tactics reflect who you really are. That is not of my doing it is your own.

In terms of doctrine: I follow the prophet and apostles and believe in modern revelation, I am not sure what doctrine you believe in or follow…that is for you to sort out. Let us hope you decide to align yourself with The Lord and let the progressives, whatever that is, progress in their own journey towards whatever system or goal they want in their own organization. They cannot buy the priesthood to do it, and their publicity tactics bear out how far misaligned they are with The Lord.

It is rather dishonest to seek to force the church to do something through cheap publicity and then blithely say no one is forcing anyone to do anything. It speaks to a moral challenge that you will personally have to wrestle with. This reflects on the inability to understand the priesthood.

The basic premise is false. In the first part it is implied The Lord has stated that women should have the priesthood, He hasn't, He certainly hasn't stated that. The organization has chosen to seek various means to change the mind [sic] of the church leaders mind you […uh] (not The Lord). This implies that they do not see The Lord as the source of the priesthood which speaks to their lack of understanding as to what the priesthood is. Agency comes into play when The Lord provides us with the means and choice, not when a group, be it Ordain Women or Nicene who decide who gets what.

Then there is the method of attempting to embarrass the church in order to gain the priesthood. This speaks volumes of their complete lack of concern and a certain “ends justifies the means” mentality. So like Simon in Acts, they seek to “purchase” the priesthood through the means of publicity. They are just like Simon in their lack of understanding.

KateKelly is a heretic, such are burned at the stake…no pun intended!

Your somewhat snide remark aside, I hope you understand this and make the connections as to why it is wrong. I doesn't bother me if women have the priesthood or not, it does bother me when people presume for their own reasons to force their views upon everyone else and to create doctrine while attempting to cover their insincerity with concepts they apparently care very little about.

In regards to the rest of your missive — I don't always succeed in showing priesthood virtues. But that doesn't mean I don't know what they are, and an organization, unlike an individual “plans things”. They did not nor chose to seek out priesthood virtues, they planned the publicity stunt. These speaks to their motivation and to the side they are really on

Apparently the organization feels Relief Society is a non entity and the women belonging to it, running it, and indeed in charge of it, are of no consequence. This alone speaks volumes to their agenda and what they want to do.

I think their hypocrisy lies in stating they are democratically representing the women in the church, and their guile is the use of publicity to buy the priesthood. Not once but several times. They are, I believe, blinded by their own definition of virtue and their own hubris in the matter.

…you are so caught up in being angry I suggest you walk away from the computer take a few deep breaths and allow…and I to discuss the issues.

Finally I suggest you read more carefully as I distinguished between an individual and an organization. Now calm down

I suppose women can strip nude before the church headquarters to show they are just like men, but hey, as long as they are making their voices clear right?

True…I presumed your lack of clear understanding was due to your anger, there are a myriad of reasons you may not understand, forgive me for thinking it was only anger, it could be much much deeper.

And you presume that no one has spoken to the prophet and apostles regarding this. How uncaring you must think those holding the priesthood are.

If you are so unhappy with the way the Church is organized, why do you stay? We are happy with it and don't want it to change. I am not saying that to be mean or impolite. But there are other organizaiton or churches you can join and be happy such as The Community of Christ, the Re-organized LDS Church,etc. Why don't you just leave?

Women play a certain role in the home and in the church. We hav the beautiful opportunity to give birth and go through pregnancy and having a special bond with our children, men hav the wonderful opportunity to support their families with the priesthood, your mocking the power of God by distrusting his plan and how it needs to work.

There are things that we can not understand in this life, if you truly beleived in the Book of Mormon and this faith than you would have the faith and repect that God knows what is best and what we need, if you do not beleive that men are the only ones who can obtain God's power than this is not the church for you.

We support the priesthood by respecting its power and boundaries and you are all tempting a power far greater than any of you can handle. There are plenty of tough women in this world and far too little feminine women.

I feel that your pleads for the priesthood are selfish and greedy and it grieves me deeply that you have aloud [sic] Satan to corrupt your thoughts so far as to think that this is something you need. I realise this is a challenge that you have been given in order to overcome, but it makes me very sad that ladies that I could be looking up to for support, are succumbing to the adversary. I ask that you please reconsider your thoughts, and ask yourselves if you actually feel comfortable with degrading the other symbols of Christ.

…I am being a wonderful disciple of christ, and I am upholding the covenants I made at baptism just fine, I am not judging you directly I am making inferences on what I hav [sic] seen on your page, so yes I have an opinion on the things I have seen portrayed by you. You wouldnt justify yourself so harshly if you didnt feel guilty for something…

…you are majorly twisting and manipulating the words of Christ. Continue murmuring if you would like, but do not question me of my faith, which I guarantee is not the same as yours.

I believe Kate Kelly is in a conundrum. She obviously doesn't believe that the prophet receives revelation, but that is the cornerstone of our religion.

Kelly's charges are false, inflammatory, and ridiculous; constitute apostasy; and contributed to Kelly's excommunication. Her only interest in ordination appears to be the press she has garnered for herself.

I predict the following:

  1. She will claim martydom
  2. Her “anguish” and anger will become more shrill
  3. She will seek to be a leading voice, and realize that she won't be
  4. Other feminists will see her as a tool, but certainly not an ally since their view of the church is one of “evil patriarchy”
  5. She will then either repent, or join/galvanize with them.

I think she may realize that the vast majority of women do not care a whit about holding the priesthood. Though I do believe more respect and understanding could be accorded to sisters, especially in other nations. The shame of it is that Kate Kelly could have been a good force for such elevation of saints everywhere, instead she chose to cut herself off.

Why are Mormon women so obsessed with becoming ordained and getting the priesthood. DO you not understand that the Lord loves and cherishes his daughters ??We have all the blessings without the responsibility. [cough]

It would also be one thing if I was filled with the spirit when reading your posts, but instead I am filled with discomfort. It hurts me to see how strongly you are set in your ways when you are only a few degrees off from the straight and narrow.

It would be one thing if the Brethren were saying things that were patently and genuinely objectionable: eating puppies, promoting Justin Beiber music, calling for the OW agitatiors to be put into stocks or wear “scarlet T” (for twit).

Oh No!!!Purple ties and shirts in the Choir…now all the OW's are giving each other high fives…

The goal, as states [sic] in the article, shouldn't be to get the “attention” of the general authorities. These women have no clue what the purpose of the priesthood is. I feel sorry for them.

I really hope that some of them are sincere and the doctrine taught by Elder Oaks will help them see things differently…Loved the chastisement at the end of his talk on rights verses obligations.

I'm curious how long it will take Katie Kelly and Peggy Fletcher Stack to begin arguing “it's not binding because the statement was in Oak's voice only instead of the entire First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.”

Of course, there was never any possibility that the agitators, expatriates, and apostates would take “no” for an answer, but we can hope and pray for our brothers and sisters whom they deceived.

As a member who takes covenants seriously, I mourn for people who placed their covenants secondary to their personal doctrinal perceptions and their own pride which led to hubris.

Our faith is built on what God wants…not what people want…I could not leave my faith on what people do…if I was to do that then it would be on what OW is trying to do with this church….which is to throw away that the church had to be restored because of a great apostasy…and that it is run by the Lord through prophets…and prophets are told by God what he wants the people to do …the people don't tell God what they want….

…OW DEMANDED it or else through public blackmail. I believe Ordain Women would gladly hurt the church in order to get what they want. I don't think that builds the case to convince The Lord that women, certainly not those women understand or deserve the priesthood. That is not what the priesthood is about. Power moves do not create an atmosphere conducive to priesthood revelation, or control. The prophets have spoken it and if you are still questioning their words after heartfelt study and prayer, then these women to need [sic] move on and either accept or leave.

Let’s face it no amount of platitudes or discussion will placate Ordain Women. This will only be settled when the LDS church has women apostles.

Ordain women has 2360 likes on Facebook. Mormon women stand has 9902. Four times as many faithful rather than the rancorous, obnoxious OW movement. OW claim to be faithful Sisters, they claim they are the church. Simple reason dictates an group less than 5% of the faithful Mormon group is NOT representative, not my sisters. They proselytize members, trying to get them to be just as miserable as themselves. If that’s not a cancer… cancer doesn’t exist.

This also shows just where Kate Kelly's heart is, not with the core concepts of salvation and sharing the gospel, but in political unrest and contention.

Ms Kelly lives in a free country. She is free to start her own church or join one that does have women in the Priesthood. End of story. But it makes her feel better to try and make an organization bow to secular wishes, right Boy Scouts?

More added, just for fun:

They want the answers that they want to hear or nothing.just like a rebellious teenager! So tired of it!

okay…. can we please STOP hearing about this stupid woman now ????

You obviously have your own ignorant opinion on the matter, and that is okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's just that yours is wrong, and stupid

Addendum: Can we please stop using the silly “90% of Mormon women don't want the priesthood” argument? First, it's irrelevant. Second, it's not a real statistic.