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30 review for The Priesthood Power of Women: In the Temple, Church, and Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This book attempts (and fails) to defend the status quo around the muddled, man-made terms and definitions of priesthood (the breakdown of two forms of "priesthood" Gardner attempts are not scriptural) and their implications for the eternal roles of women and their access to God's power. I fundamentally disagree with the premise that the hierarchical structure of the ecclesiastical priesthood, as she calls it (i.e. men being called to offices of the priesthood [fellowship] that are organized hie This book attempts (and fails) to defend the status quo around the muddled, man-made terms and definitions of priesthood (the breakdown of two forms of "priesthood" Gardner attempts are not scriptural) and their implications for the eternal roles of women and their access to God's power. I fundamentally disagree with the premise that the hierarchical structure of the ecclesiastical priesthood, as she calls it (i.e. men being called to offices of the priesthood [fellowship] that are organized hierarchically), is God-given and that women can actually hold a sovereign space within it. Gardner fails to acknowledge the underlying definition of "patriarchal" systems and their inherent flaw, namely that at their core, they are systems in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. If we, members of the LDS church, were not organized under a hierarchical structure (and yes, it is possible to organize our church differently to the eternal benefit of all) we would not need continuous gendered conversations clarifying access to God's power and the authority of men and women. Her purpose seems to be to repackage and normalize patriarchy (men holding power that women are excluded from, largely decision-making power and leadership positions within the Church) within the priesthood structures of the church as they are, simply by claiming that women have always had priesthood authority by virtue of their covenants made in the temple and that we are just not living up to our privileges. Yet, where and how is that authority manifest in the church structure if women, for example, cannot even receive revelation about who to call within their own axillary presidencies without it potentially being overruled by a man above her in station (per the Handbook's guidelines)? And then in the same breath Gardner says that women have claim to priesthood power through their husbands. From page 97: "Elder Charles W. Penrose taught: ‘When a woman is sealed to a man holding the Priesthood, she becomes one with him...The glory and power and dominion that he will exercise when he has the fullness of the Priesthood and becomes ‘a king and a priest unto God,’ she will share with him.’” A woman sharing her husband's power is not the same as her having her own. And didn't we do away with this kind of language in the temple? Women can and should access God's power directly. Forever and always. Imagine if the genders in that quote were reversed. Gardner fails to give any real specifics as to what authority and power women have access to through covenants in the temple. She simply states that the blessing we have as baptized members of the church will be amplified: increased revelations, power in prayer, power to resist temptation. But those blessings are available to anyone who diligently seeks God and keeps covenants. It is impossible to speak to women's unique power for good and for eternal progression from the lens of patriarchy. Men cannot tell women who they are. Women who prescribe to the roles, regulations, worldviews and language of patriarchy cannot tell women who they are. Women cannot speak as women in a patriarchal system. There are so many contractions and anachronisms. Gardner claims that "from Adam and Eve throughout the old testament the structure of priesthood government was patriarchal/familial. During the time of Christ and the beginning of the restoration, however, the ecclesiastical or hierarchical structure that we are more familiar with today was introduced." That is entirely false. Moses introduced a "hierarchical" priesthood order to the Israelites when they refused to follow him to the mountain to receive the higher law and told Moses to speak to God for them. The "hierarchal" priesthood of Moses' time was a curse to the Israelites. It is also extremely disingenuous to imply that what little church structure existed in the time of Christ looks anything like what we experience and have created today. She later claims that the "hierarchical/ecclesiastical" and "patriarchal/familial" priesthoods must coexist. So what about the whole span of history, from Adam to Abraham, when she claims only the "patriarchal/familial" priesthood existed? The apologetics are painfully amiss. It is incredibly disappointing to hear Gardner join men's voices in saying that women just need to study or speak up more or that bishops just need to be more prayerful about how to better utilize women. It’s incredibly disingenuous because the system is literally set up in a way that marginalizes women. I hope for a time when women can turn to their own intuition and wisdom and direct revelation from God to claim their sovereignty and voice and language within the gospel of Christ. Separate from the cultural and societal influences of patriarchal systems that have caused the abuse and disenfranchisement of so many of God's children. We need a vision of Zion that includes women as sovereign agents, not as appendages of men.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    If you can get a copy, this is definitely worth the time. It sold out of its second printing in minutes and the third printing should hit shelves around mid-January. I borrowed a friend's copy and I want to buy one and read it again, so I can highlight and mark up my own copy. The author helps clarify doctrine that I think many mainstream members of the The Church feel they understand but maybe can't quite put into words. She doesn't reveal anything new, per se, but explains things in a way that If you can get a copy, this is definitely worth the time. It sold out of its second printing in minutes and the third printing should hit shelves around mid-January. I borrowed a friend's copy and I want to buy one and read it again, so I can highlight and mark up my own copy. The author helps clarify doctrine that I think many mainstream members of the The Church feel they understand but maybe can't quite put into words. She doesn't reveal anything new, per se, but explains things in a way that rings true. She explains how we often use the term "Priesthood" in a general sense, but there are specific ways of administration that apply in different situations. It is amazing how the correct wording opens up a little more perspective on a view that has always existed. I have always loved the unique, distinctive roles men and women have and I wholeheartedly believe they are divinely designed to go hand in hand. Great inspiring, uplifting read for men and women, alike. I reserve the right to post an update after my second reading and group discussion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Reynolds

    I’m so glad Barbara Morgan Gardner decided to write this book. I’ve never understood certain aspects of the priesthood, especially the difference between familial (or patriarchal) priesthood versus the more visible hierarchical priesthood we see at church. She has helped me better understand my role in the priesthood, how to gain access to priesthood power, and the role the temple plays in all of this. I would give this book 10 stars if I could. It should be required reading for men and women ali I’m so glad Barbara Morgan Gardner decided to write this book. I’ve never understood certain aspects of the priesthood, especially the difference between familial (or patriarchal) priesthood versus the more visible hierarchical priesthood we see at church. She has helped me better understand my role in the priesthood, how to gain access to priesthood power, and the role the temple plays in all of this. I would give this book 10 stars if I could. It should be required reading for men and women alike.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Rolfe

    This is a must-read for all women (and men) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sis Gardner masterfully explains, with sources from apostles and prophets, the priesthood power women have based on the covenants they have made that endow them with the power of God. For the first time, I feel that I truly understand what the patriarchal priesthood is and my role in it. It gives hope and understanding to all covenant women in all walks of life. Although the focus is on the priesthood This is a must-read for all women (and men) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sis Gardner masterfully explains, with sources from apostles and prophets, the priesthood power women have based on the covenants they have made that endow them with the power of God. For the first time, I feel that I truly understand what the patriarchal priesthood is and my role in it. It gives hope and understanding to all covenant women in all walks of life. Although the focus is on the priesthood power of women, Sis Gardner also emphasizes the importance of priesthood keys and sustaining the men who hold them. So many insights! This book truly strengthens the depth of my testimony of the priesthood.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Fantastic! I plead with every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to read this book. It has been absolutely mind opening and has set my life on a new path of greater understanding of my privileges and blessings as a daughter of God and one who has made sacred covenants with him. The author does a great job weaving her knowledge and research with scripture and the words of modern prophets to help us greater understand the Priesthood and what it means to us as women. And not Fantastic! I plead with every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to read this book. It has been absolutely mind opening and has set my life on a new path of greater understanding of my privileges and blessings as a daughter of God and one who has made sacred covenants with him. The author does a great job weaving her knowledge and research with scripture and the words of modern prophets to help us greater understand the Priesthood and what it means to us as women. And not only what it means to us, but the holy power that it gives us - regardless of our station, martial status, vocation, and parental status. I learned so much and already feel like I need to read it again and again. Highly recommend!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie Jones

    Truly phenomenal. This books is wonderfully researched and beautifully explained. I thought every part of every chapter was worthwhile. It taught me many things I didn't fully understand and helped me to feel even more secure in my role as a woman. I have not struggled with the question of women and the priesthood but this still book helped me answer questions I didn't even realize I had. It left me feeling entirely empowered, uplifted, and inspired to do more with my divine rights as a woman, w Truly phenomenal. This books is wonderfully researched and beautifully explained. I thought every part of every chapter was worthwhile. It taught me many things I didn't fully understand and helped me to feel even more secure in my role as a woman. I have not struggled with the question of women and the priesthood but this still book helped me answer questions I didn't even realize I had. It left me feeling entirely empowered, uplifted, and inspired to do more with my divine rights as a woman, wife, and mother, which are all roles that mean a great deal to me. Highly recommend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Pope

    This is an essential read. For what seems like the first time, there is a book on women and the priesthood presented from a doctrinal lense and not an emotional one. This book does an exceptional job laying out what was, to me, a very broad yet adequate coverage of priesthood order, keys, holders, authority, power, and usage and it's implications and rights for both genders. She provides real-world examples of myths and norms that doctrinally do no hold up with regard to women and priesthood aut This is an essential read. For what seems like the first time, there is a book on women and the priesthood presented from a doctrinal lense and not an emotional one. This book does an exceptional job laying out what was, to me, a very broad yet adequate coverage of priesthood order, keys, holders, authority, power, and usage and it's implications and rights for both genders. She provides real-world examples of myths and norms that doctrinally do no hold up with regard to women and priesthood authority. Many will still not find this book adequate. But for me, this was a beautiful and refreshing dive into a topic that Prophets have only really hinted at in recent and former years. This, while not official, is the best, clearest, and most adequate coverage of the topic to date and heavily relies on the words of the scriptures and prophets to garner and support its conclusions. And it's written by a female LDS scholar to boot. I highly recommend this for every member of the church. It is, again, essential reading. I'll be rereading this myself, with my wife, and my future children for years to come.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam Ricks

    I thought this was really well done. It helped shed some light on some questions I have had for a while. But it also asked and answered many questions that I had never even thought about. I really liked the perspective that she shared and think it is definitely a worthwhile read for men and women in the church.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I marked it a three because the content is beautiful. I love being a women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love strong, faithful, God loving women and know they are needed in this world and especially in our homes. I feel often times these books are a gathering of all the best ideas, quotes and thoughts that other people have given. I have heard many of the analogies, quotes and stories mentioned in this book. All though they are moving I think it would be rather easy to quo I marked it a three because the content is beautiful. I love being a women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love strong, faithful, God loving women and know they are needed in this world and especially in our homes. I feel often times these books are a gathering of all the best ideas, quotes and thoughts that other people have given. I have heard many of the analogies, quotes and stories mentioned in this book. All though they are moving I think it would be rather easy to quote and write statements and words from our Prophets and Apostles and make an amazing book. So of course it will be a great book because it has those truths and the Spirit. I guess what I’m saying is I would rather read and study different points of view that back up those talks given by our leadership. Fresh new ideas to ponder and study. Different perspectives that align with gospel truths.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carolynn Spencer

    I feel this book should be a “must-read” for both women and men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I also recommend it for people of other faiths who feel the women in this Church are overlooked or passed over for leadership and ministering opportunities. This is most definitely not the case. I feel it’s especially important to teach the youth these important principles about both the power and authority of the priesthood, at home and at church. Note: this book took me a whil I feel this book should be a “must-read” for both women and men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I also recommend it for people of other faiths who feel the women in this Church are overlooked or passed over for leadership and ministering opportunities. This is most definitely not the case. I feel it’s especially important to teach the youth these important principles about both the power and authority of the priesthood, at home and at church. Note: this book took me a while to get through, only because I am discussing it chapter by chapter in a monthly book club with other women. This approach has been very enlightening and I recommend it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I love this book. The author has a very clear understanding of doctrines surrounding Priesthood. This book has left me wanting to study this subject in depth. I’m reading it again with my husband. We both have found interesting insight to be pondered.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I loved this book for clearly laying out principles of the gospel in an orderly way. It wasn't anything new, but it was clear. And the best part about it was all the quotes in it. It made me want to go and read all the source material she quoted. I can't wait to talk about this at book club next month. I loved this book for clearly laying out principles of the gospel in an orderly way. It wasn't anything new, but it was clear. And the best part about it was all the quotes in it. It made me want to go and read all the source material she quoted. I can't wait to talk about this at book club next month.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey Thackston

    I read this book as someone who has a conviction and testimony of women’s ordination. I made it about half way through because it was nails of a chalk board irritation. Dignity only comes with full equality. There was not a whole lot in the first half of the book that was new or had a lot of original thought. . Lots of rules about semantics. Ladies call on your kids to pray whether your husband is there or not, bless your kids if you feel like it. If anything this book highlighted just how margi I read this book as someone who has a conviction and testimony of women’s ordination. I made it about half way through because it was nails of a chalk board irritation. Dignity only comes with full equality. There was not a whole lot in the first half of the book that was new or had a lot of original thought. . Lots of rules about semantics. Ladies call on your kids to pray whether your husband is there or not, bless your kids if you feel like it. If anything this book highlighted just how marginalized women are in the church and just how much these conversations about authority and hierarchy are not in line with the Savior.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I have never felt inferior in any way in the Church, but this book clarifies my role in the priesthood and leaves me thereby feeling incredibly empowered. I listened to this as an audiobook through Deseret Bookshelf Plus, and I've noticed there are a few other books available there on this topic. I plan to work my way through those in the future to see what else I can learn about women and the priesthood, since this is a fascinating but often misunderstood part of the gospel. I have never felt inferior in any way in the Church, but this book clarifies my role in the priesthood and leaves me thereby feeling incredibly empowered. I listened to this as an audiobook through Deseret Bookshelf Plus, and I've noticed there are a few other books available there on this topic. I plan to work my way through those in the future to see what else I can learn about women and the priesthood, since this is a fascinating but often misunderstood part of the gospel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josh Savage

    Don’t normally write reviews, but this book says many things so well I felt like I always knew them. So many things I thought that didn’t make sense growing up as a young man, now I know why they didn’t make sense and the more correct way of thinking of things. I hope my wife reads this book, really the first chapter alone is worth picking the book up for.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This was an amazing read. I recommend it to every woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and those not of that faith as well. It will help women understand what the Priesthood is and how it applies in their lives.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Matheson

    I just really loved this book. I learned a lot of great things (and for other things it was a great reminder). Definitely one to add to the home library! Some quotes that I came across from this book that I want to keep for personal reasons: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -Mother Teresa "Motherhood is an eternal part of Priesthood." -John A. Widtsoe "When the Savior knows that you truly want to reach up to Him, when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to dr I just really loved this book. I learned a lot of great things (and for other things it was a great reminder). Definitely one to add to the home library! Some quotes that I came across from this book that I want to keep for personal reasons: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -Mother Teresa "Motherhood is an eternal part of Priesthood." -John A. Widtsoe "When the Savior knows that you truly want to reach up to Him, when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life, you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do." - Russell M. Nelson "Jesus' brief stumbling while carrying the cross is a reminder as to how close to the very edge of our strength God stretches us at times." -Neal A. Maxwell "Mothering, by contrast, is often quiet, individual, gentle, frequently anonymous, selfless, and with no accolades. It is in the later years, and especially in the eternities, when we will come to understand the full worth of mothers. The leaders of the Church, and especially the Lord, already know." -Barbara Gardner "Sister Julie B. Beck declared, 'The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.' Regarding this quote, President M. Russell Ballard simply said, 'I agree with her.' " "Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others." -Thomas S. Monson "To help another human being reach one's celestial potential is part of the divine mission of women. As mother, teacher, or nurturing saint, she molds living clay to the shape of her hopes. In partnership with God, her divine mission is to help spirits live and souls be lifted. This is the measure of her creation. It is ennobling, edifying, and exalting." -Russell M. Nelson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    This woman gets it! The book was so well written! Direct and to the point. No "doctrine according to me". It was fully based in scripture and restored truth. She powerfully communicates true principles and explains practical application whatever your role. Currently I'm the president over one of the women's organization in my church and I work really hard to research and study this topic. I've had tons of conversations trying to work through the doctrine and cultural elements of these questions. This woman gets it! The book was so well written! Direct and to the point. No "doctrine according to me". It was fully based in scripture and restored truth. She powerfully communicates true principles and explains practical application whatever your role. Currently I'm the president over one of the women's organization in my church and I work really hard to research and study this topic. I've had tons of conversations trying to work through the doctrine and cultural elements of these questions. Even with my past attempts at learning about this and my attempts to be intentional as a leader and claim my priesthood power in my callings, I still hold myself back! Just recently had an experience where I didn't step up and get something done that I knew needed to happen just because it was something that is typically handled by a person in a different role. The invitations we've heard from our Prophet and other leaders is not a causal request. We need to study and understand these doctrines. We need to instruct and correct the cultural misperceptions that exist. And we need to work to claim the power that is ours as covenant keeping daughters of God. K. I'll get off my soap box. Everyone should read it! Thanks @barbara! You're a baller and I want to be your friend. 🙏

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This book has been the highlight of my studies as I have read and pondered many books, articles and scriptures about the priesthood, the Restoration and my role as a woman in the Church. I seriously think EVERYONE should read this! It clarified a lot of technical things about the priesthood for me, while also inspiring me and filling me with hope and courage about the future. It had a great balance of quotes from modern prophets, scriptures, personal experiences and practical concepts and doctri This book has been the highlight of my studies as I have read and pondered many books, articles and scriptures about the priesthood, the Restoration and my role as a woman in the Church. I seriously think EVERYONE should read this! It clarified a lot of technical things about the priesthood for me, while also inspiring me and filling me with hope and courage about the future. It had a great balance of quotes from modern prophets, scriptures, personal experiences and practical concepts and doctrine. Sometimes church books bug me because they feel like a 9th grader's research essay about something they don't actually know squat about (aka a compilation of really long quotes and random stories about a certain topic, strung together with very weak connections). But this was refreshing and lovely in every way!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This was the book on the priesthood I had been looking for. I thought it explained the priesthood well. I'm not sure what experts would think, but for someone who had only a base knowledge and wanted to expand that knowledge, I thought this was great. I appreciated the structure of the chapters and was interested in each topic. The formatting of the ebook did leave a little to be desired. I didn't always understand the relevance of some of the personal stories, but thought the rest was well rese This was the book on the priesthood I had been looking for. I thought it explained the priesthood well. I'm not sure what experts would think, but for someone who had only a base knowledge and wanted to expand that knowledge, I thought this was great. I appreciated the structure of the chapters and was interested in each topic. The formatting of the ebook did leave a little to be desired. I didn't always understand the relevance of some of the personal stories, but thought the rest was well researched and contained a lot of good information from a lot of official sources. This is one I would like to read again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diana Smith

    I really appreciated the thorough exploration of this topic and the seriousness with which the author approaches this. Priesthood and women is a fraught topic for a lot of LDS women and I did glean a bunch of insights from this book. I didn't always agree with the author but I appreciated her perspective and faithfulness. I really appreciated the thorough exploration of this topic and the seriousness with which the author approaches this. Priesthood and women is a fraught topic for a lot of LDS women and I did glean a bunch of insights from this book. I didn't always agree with the author but I appreciated her perspective and faithfulness.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    This was a good read and I would recommend it to friends, but I think I was expecting more meat. I really liked how she differentiated the two types of priesthood and would have loved to learn more about how the familial priesthood is used by women in the temple and in the home. I do think this one would be a good book to reread after going to the temple.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    This took me a few months to read, only because I wanted to take it slow. There's lots of info to digest, so I had to take it in small chunks. But, what an enlightening book!! It gave me insights on the facets of priesthood, how it should be viewed and how women can apply it in their lives. It also talked about how this fits with temple ordinances -- stuff I wish I had known before going to the temple for the first time. Highly recommended! This took me a few months to read, only because I wanted to take it slow. There's lots of info to digest, so I had to take it in small chunks. But, what an enlightening book!! It gave me insights on the facets of priesthood, how it should be viewed and how women can apply it in their lives. It also talked about how this fits with temple ordinances -- stuff I wish I had known before going to the temple for the first time. Highly recommended!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    I keep on trying to learn more about this important topic!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashlee

    Needs several readings to have it sink in

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    It was simply a great book. I’m confident the writer did her research, plus the personal experiences showed she has a lot to share on the subject. I definitely learned a lot and came out of it with a better perspective on the priesthood in my life. Glad I read it slowly and more as a study guide to gain all I could because it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for some time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This book was AMAZING! I loved it so much that I decided to have it as my book choice for our book group when I hosted last month. This whole book is based on the premise put forth by President Boyd K. Packer that, "True doctrine, understood changes attitudes and behavior." President Nelson most recently has plead for us, as women, to read and understand the priesthood and the privileges available to us. I had always thought that I didn't NEED to learn more about the Priesthood, I was OK with it This book was AMAZING! I loved it so much that I decided to have it as my book choice for our book group when I hosted last month. This whole book is based on the premise put forth by President Boyd K. Packer that, "True doctrine, understood changes attitudes and behavior." President Nelson most recently has plead for us, as women, to read and understand the priesthood and the privileges available to us. I had always thought that I didn't NEED to learn more about the Priesthood, I was OK with it. I wasn't sorry that the men had the Priesthood and women didn't. Well, after reading this book, knowing more about the Priesthood and Priesthood Power became VERY important to me, especially as a woman. From this book I can see that I have not been living up to my privileges. And because of this book I am searching more to find out what those privileges are. I loved this quote in the book from President Heber C. Kimball, he expressed that "the greatest torment the Prophet Joseph had and the greatest mental suffering was because this people would not live up to their privileges...He said sometimes that he felt..as though he were pent up in an acorn shell, and all because the people...WOULD NOT PREPARE THEMSELVES TO RECEIVE THE RICH TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE THAT HE HAD TO IMPART. He could have revealed a great many things to us if we had been ready; but he said there were many things that we could not receive because we lacked that diligence..necessary to entitle us to those choice things of the kingdom." Barbara explains in her first chapter a concept that Elder Dale G Renlund and Sister Renlund had written on their book about the Priesthood that I read recently. When I read about this concept in their book it never phased me, I glossed right over it. Barbara however made me see the significance for me as a woman. A quote from Renland's book: Many members of the Church who accept, love and appreciate the priesthood may find themselves 'fuzzy' on the doctrine and principles. Perhaps that is because the term PRIESTHOOD is used in at least two ways. First, PRIESTHOOD is the term used to describe the TOTAL POWER AND AUTHORITY OF GOD. Second, PRIESTHOOD is also the term used to DESCRIBE THE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT GOD GIVES TO ORDAINED PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS ON EARTH TO ACT IN ALL THINGS NECESSARY FOR THE SALVATION OF GOD'S CHILDREN." Continuing, they explain, "Thus, THE SAME WORD PRIESTHOOD, REFERS BOTH TO GOD'S TOTAL POWER AND AUTHORITY AND TO THAT PORTION OF HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT HE DELEGATES TO MAN ON EARTH." Then this is what really caught my attention: It is the second definition of priesthood that is most commonly taught, BUT IN THE PROCESS, THE LARGER, MORE EXPANSIVE TERM FOR PRIESTHOOD IS OFTEN FORGOTTEN OR MISUNDERSTOOD. The Renlands compare the way we use the term PRIESTHOOD with the way we use the term EARTH. Earth can either Be the ENTIRE GLOBE upon which all of us live, or it can be the DIRT that we can pick up with our hands or plant flower in. If we think of the priesthood solely in terms of the power and authority of God delegated to man--or the dirt in the Renlands' analogy--we will find that we have been very narrow in our definition, leaving out much of God's power and authority. Barbara continues throughout her book to take things that I have been taught and read my whole life, and then shows me how to see them in a new light, from a different perspective. Now I understand why President Nelson wanted the women to read and study D&C 25, 84 and 107. Those sections aren't just for the men of the church. Here is another concept that Barbara laid out so clearly that I absolutely love: "Over the history of the earth, the Lord has used two primary structures, frameworks, or governments in which the priesthood is administered, hierarchical/ecclesiastical and patriarchal/familial. During the time of Adam and Eve and throughout the Old Testament, the structure of priesthood government was patriarchal/familial. During the time of Christ, the ecclesiastical or hierarchical structure was introduced. The HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE GOVERNS THE PRIESTHOOD USED PRIMARILY IN CHURCH AND IS THUS MORE PUBLIC. THE PATRIARCHAL/FAMILIAL STRUCTURE IS USED PRIMARILY IN THE MORE PRIVATE AND SACRED SETTINGS OF THE TEMPLE AND HOME." p. 6 It is also important to remember...that in the eternities, it will be the fulness of the priesthood--the patriarchal or familial system of the priesthood--that will continue, with all the keys, ordinances, and privileges necessary for eternal life encapsulated into this one priesthood system. President Ballard taught: "Although the Church plays a pivotal role in proclaiming, announcing, and administering the necessary ordinances of salvation and exaltation, al of that, as important as it is, IS REALLY JUST THE SCAFFOLDING being used in an infinite and eternal construction project TO BUILD, SUPPORT, AND STRENGTHEN THE FAMILY. And just as a SCAFFOLDING IS EVENTUALLY TAKEN DOWN and put away TO REVEAL THE FINAL COMPLETED BUILDING, so too will the mortal, administrative functions of the Church eventually fade as the eternal family comes fully into view."p. 23 --How different would things be if we as members of the Church focused more on the family and the order entered into by Eve and Adam, Sarah and Abraham, Rebekah and Isaac, even Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father? p. 23 --Barbara has a chapter on keys. She says that there are a variety of uses of the term KEY in scriptures. She organizes the "priesthood keys" into three sections. 1.KEYS BESTOWED UPON THE APOSTLES (otherwise known as keys of succession or apostolic keys--restored to the earth by Peter, James and John in 1829. In 1836 Moses, Elias, and Elijah restored additional keys.) The Prophet, First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve, and any man ordained to the office of Apostle hold these keys. These key holder preside over EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. ALL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO OBEY THE TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES receive blessings from these keys. 2. PRIESTHOOD KEYS OF PRESIDENCY "The President of the Church delegates priesthood keys to other priesthood leaders so they can preside in their areas of responsibility. Priesthood keys are bestowed on presidents of temples, missions, stakes, and districts; bishops, branch presidents; and quorum presidents." THESE KEYS WERE RECEIVED WITH THE RESTORATION OF THE AARONIC AND MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOODS. Those that receive the blessings of these keys are: ALL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE KEY HOLDER'S RESPONSIBILITY. 3. GENERAL PRIESTHOOD HOLDER KEYS "The general use of the term 'priesthood keys' or 'keys of the priesthood' can be understood as RIGHTS belonging to and available to priesthood leaders," but the BLESSINGS and PRIVILEGES flowing from the also belong to ALL members of the Church WHO ARE WORTHY OF THEM. These keys were received with the Restoration of Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods. Those that hold these keys are those ordained to AN OFFICE in the priesthood. SINCE THESE KEYS ARE NOT 'PRESIDING KEYS', THEY ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH STEWARDSHIP. RATHER, ALL WHO PARTAKE OF ORDINANCES ASSOCIATED WITH THESE KEYS ARE BLESSED BY THEM. WHO RECEIVES THE BLESSINGS OF THESE KEYS? ALL who MAKE AND KEEP COVENANTS associated with the ordinances. --Gardner has a chapter on the temple and the Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood. She clarifies the keys that govern the temple. "The keys that govern the temple are those keys revealed through Elijah the prophet to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. These are the apostolic keys related to the temple. Often misunderstood, the priesthood keys held by the temple president are for the purposes of MAKING SURE THE ORDINANCES ARE DONE CORRECTLY--THEY ARE NOT SEALING KEYS. The third keys primarily referred to in the temple are the keys of the MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM, even the KEY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD" D&C 84:19. These keys could otherwise be known as RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES, not to be confused with priesthood keys of presidency. p. 78 --D&C 84:19-22 makes it clear that through the Melchizedek Priesthood, ALL worthy temple-covenant-making and covenant-keeping members, male and female, ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE 'THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM, EVEN THE KEY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD" through the temple endowment. In fact, using this scripture passage as reference, President Nelson shared his concern that "TOO MANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS DO NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF PRIESTHOOD POWER AND AUTHORITY," and that they "DO NOT GRASP THE PRIVILEGES THAT COULD BE THEIRS." --D&C 107 18-19 took on more significance because of this book and a presentation by Anthony Sweat in the last LDSLiving Inklings live study groups, found on Youtube. When Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society he said, I want to teach you how to live after the pattern of the Son of God. Where do we learn patterns or order? In the temple. Verses 18 and 19 show us more privileges for both men and women associated with these keys talked about previously: "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of ALL the spiritual blessings of the church--to have the privilege of RECEIVING THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (understand His plan-come to earth, receive a body, Adam and Eve), TO HAVE THE HEAVENS OPENED UNTO THEM (personal revelation), TO COMMUNE WITH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN (commune with holy people of the past-angles), AND ENJOY THE COMMUNION AND PRESENCE OF GOD THE FATHER, AND JESUS THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT (part the veil). Traditionally sections 84 and 107 of the D&C are known as priesthood sections, and no distinction is made between the hierarchical and patriarchal orders of the priesthood. Therefore, often the blessings and priesthood privileges mentioned in these sections are used in the context of the hierarchical priesthood structure and applied to men only. A more thorough reading of these sections, in the broader context of Church history, helps us to understand that these promises apply to the patriarchal order of the priesthood used in the temple. THEREFORE THEY APPLY TO ALL WHO MAKE COVENANTS IN THE LORD'S HOLY HOUSE. p. 80 --"Sister Linda K. Burton, former RS General President, in 2014, challenged all women at the BYU Women's Conference to memorize the oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84:33-40). Often, the oath and covenant of the priesthood is taught as if it were referring to the priesthood operating int he hierarchical structure of the Church. A closer look at the history of section 84 and its link to the temple will help us understand that it is likely the patriarchal priesthood that this oath and covenant is referring to. Therefore the promises associated with the oaths and covenants entered into are for both women and men." Barbara talks in her book about memorizing the Oath and Covenant of the priesthood and then did initiatory ordinances with these words of the oath and covenant running through her mind and the connection finally clicked for her. I too decided to take these words and worked on memorizing the oath and covenant while waiting to do initiatories. I can't wait to do it again! --I also loved that Barbara made clear what it means to PRESIDE in your home. President Ballard "spoke clearly on what presiding means for the father. He instructed that the father's role is to perform priesthood ordinances, give priesthood blessings, and pray for and with family members. 'They set an example of respect and love for their eternal companion and mother of their children. In all things they follow the example of the Savior and strive to be worthy of His name and His blessing. they serve the family and the Church in the spirit of love and enthusiasm.' This definition of presiding is critically different from the world's definition of presiding. --"In the home, parents are coequals. If a father or husband is not in the home, by simple default, the mother, wife, or single sister presides. As a single sister, said Gardner, I so appreciated and respected my home teachers, who would ask at the beginning and end of their visits whom I would like to have pray." --Said President Nelson, "The women of this dispensation are distinct from the women of any other because this dispensation is distinct from any other. This distinction brings both privileges and responsibilities." --"What a blessing to have women leaders and mentors from all walks of life! too often, gender can be used as an excuse, whether intentional or not, for limiting our ability to fill the measure of our creation. Rather than putting limits on ourselves and others, WE NEED TO EXPAND OUR POSSIBILITIES." p. 134

  28. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    Holy cow. This book was incredible. The author goes through and dissects what we know about the priesthood today. She explains the hierarchal AND patriarchal order of the priesthood in a way that clears up so much confusion and misunderstanding. I appreciated her great detail in explaining different keys, who holds them, and the blessings that come through and by them. I loved the doctrine and quotes that were used from scripture, as well as prophets and apostles to reinforce the truth that wome Holy cow. This book was incredible. The author goes through and dissects what we know about the priesthood today. She explains the hierarchal AND patriarchal order of the priesthood in a way that clears up so much confusion and misunderstanding. I appreciated her great detail in explaining different keys, who holds them, and the blessings that come through and by them. I loved the doctrine and quotes that were used from scripture, as well as prophets and apostles to reinforce the truth that women are very much involved in the priesthood, and have a huge role to play in the church, the family, and the world. I loved the emphasis on the importance of the family, and the equal partnership of husband and wife. Overall, this was just a simply wonderful book, full of truth and inspiration. Thank you Barbara Morgan Gardner!❤️

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

    A well written, well researched book about the Priesthood, both hierarchal and patriarchal structure. Much of the material won't be new to many readers, but the thoughtful presentation and documented quotes provide thoughtful pondering. I am glad that I read a printed copy rather than an e-book due to the amount of underlining and notes I made. I will return to this book again, and highly recommend it. A well written, well researched book about the Priesthood, both hierarchal and patriarchal structure. Much of the material won't be new to many readers, but the thoughtful presentation and documented quotes provide thoughtful pondering. I am glad that I read a printed copy rather than an e-book due to the amount of underlining and notes I made. I will return to this book again, and highly recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I highly recommend this book- especially if you want to learn more about Priesthood Power and how it applies to women! I learned so much and understand so much better how the Priesthood applies to me. I need to start reading it again so I can cement this learning in my mind.

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