"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death." - Harold Wilson
Question #91430 posted on 06/11/2018 11:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In a primary lesson last Sunday, we were talking about baptism, and the fact that we always get baptized in white clothes came up. Obviously, in the earliest days of the Church this was not the case-Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery didn't go find all white clothes to change into before they baptized each other, nor was that part of John the Baptist's instructions, so when did wearing white clothes become part of the ordinance? And is it something that is just a tradition, or would the ordinance be considered invalid if someone was not wearing all white?

-Don't remember covering this in the MTC...

A:

Dear MTC,

You are correct to assume that wearing white clothes hasn't always been part of baptisms in the church. Pinning down when the transition to white clothing began was quite difficult however. I spent several hours searching through google, the church website, and a linguistic database of every general conference talk. Individual terms such as baptism, white, or clothing gave far too many results, and including all three terms didn't yield any search results very far back. The earliest mention of white baptismal clothing I could find in a church publication was 1959, so it likely happened sometime before then.

However, I personally know someone who was baptized in clothing that wasn't completely white during the 1980's. This person was baptized in a white pajama dress with pink polka dots because there wasn't any baptismal clothing her size in her branch or anywhere nearby. I think this illustrates that white clothing is important, but can be substituted if not available. My guess is that white clothing became standard for baptismal services as the church began to make and distribute clothing white baptismal clothing. This photo of Boyd K. Packer performing a baptism in Japan was from 1945 so it was likely standard before then as well. My best guess is that white clothing became standard sometime before the 1940s.

baptism.jpg(source)

Is white clothing required for a baptism to be valid? Here's what the Handbook of Instructions says about baptismal attire: "A person who performs a baptism and a person who is baptized wear white clothing that does not appear transparent when it is wet. An endowed person wears the temple garment under this clothing while performing a baptism." 

This statement is clear on what the standard is. I think that while white clothing isn't specifically mentioned in the scriptures as part of baptism, the symbolism of white clothing representing purity adds to the reverence of the ordinance. In most cases obtaining white baptismal clothing is possible so this typically is not an issue. While the statement doesn't specifically say whether or not wearing clothing that wasn't white would invalidate the ordinance, my best guess is that if clothing other than white had to be used, then it would be fine. If there's not a baptismal font available any body of water will do for a baptism. If there isn't any bread available something else could be used for the sacrament. I imagine the same principal still applies for baptisms today. The ordinance itself is what is most important, but we use certain symbols to remind us of Christ.

Sorry I wasn't able to get any hard line answers for you. White clothing in baptisms has definitely been a thing since the 1940s though. If any readers know any earlier official sources feel free to drop a correction. Hope this helps!

Peace,

Tipperary

posted on 06/13/2018 7:05 p.m.
GH has access to almost all the Handbooks! A view through the years:

1983:"The person who performs the baptism should wear white clothing that does not appear transparent when it is wet. An endowed person should wear temple garments under his outer clothing while performing baptisms."p32

1976:"The person who performs the baptism and the individual being baptized should be appropriately dressed. Preferably they should wear white clothing. Special care should be taken to see that the rules of modesty are not violated. The outer clothing should be such that it does not appear transparent or cling to the body when it becomes wet."p46

1968:"The person officiating must stand in the water with the candidate being baptized. He as well as the individual being baptized should be appropriately dressed. Preferably they should wear white clothing. Special care should be taken to see that the rules of modesty are not violated."p84

1963:"[The officiator] as well as the individual being baptized should be appropriately dressed. They may wear white clothing. Special care should be taken to see that the rules of modesty are not violated. Waders, hip boots, and bathing caps should not be worn by any of those concerned."p65

1944:"Those who officiate in this sacred ordinance should be dressed in white clothing."p67

1940:(I forgot to write down the exact quote & pg when I was in the Spec. Coll. Room) only says the person officiating the ordinance should wear white.

I couldn't find any earlier than that. The policy changes over the years, with the 1st mention of both individuals wearing white in '76, but not in '83. Note the wording as well. Some time after that, the policy switched to what it is today. White was likely worn pre-1940 too, bc of symbolism and tradition, as Tipperary said. Other Christians have used white clothing in their baptisms since around the 4th century.*

*https://byustudies
Question #91327 posted on 06/11/2018 11:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can you share some pictures of your cats (and other, lesser pets too, I guess)?

-insert creative name here

A:

Dear i,

Cat pictures are the best kind of pictures.

His name is Jet. Here he is at our old apartment staring down a scrub jay.

IMG_0865[1].JPG

And composing an abstract minimalist piece on the keyboard.

IMG_0918[1].JPG

And hiding very effectively.

IMG_0941[1].JPG

And being an adorable fuzzbucket.

IMG_0965[1].JPG

Then we moved to a new apartment, so he had to explore it.

curtain cat.jpg

This is the first thing I see every time I come home.

window cat.jpg

Don't let his adorableness fool you, though. He is vicious.

what the cat massacred 2.jpg

Don't get between him and his food.

hungry cat.jpg

He really loves his food.

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Even though sometimes he's totally oblivious to it.

food cat.jpeg

He is a huge cat.

huge cat.jpg

A huge, demanding cat.

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Any warm seat left vacant for more than ten seconds is his seat.

couch cat.jpg

Sometimes, though, he's friendly.

cat friend.jpg

And every once in a while, he still gets to stare at birds.

bird seeking missile.jpg

-yayfulness

A:

Dear insert ~

I had cats. Due to lots of shedding, my neighbors not liking them wandering, and good friends that are very allergic, we gave them away. But as that happened after the last reunion, I will post this picture of Yellow trying to get a picture of my kids saying goodbye. As you'd expect with cats and kids, none cooperated.

IMG_6050.jpg

~ Dragon Lady

A:

How are you insert creative name here!!

What you say! It can have a picture of CATS?

But, it is correct. You do not need to hiding. It can only to ask. It can be every picture. With CATS!!

First, it is a profile. CATS will Tinder, as it must. You can move every ZIG and swipe right. Do not a resistance. It is charm.

cats tinder.jpg

What can you think? Is it resistable? It cannot, for great justice. This is most basic fact.

Remember, you are on the way to destruction, LADIES. If it will cats, then why will it not CATS? Make your time. Make your day.

You can set up every bomb. Do not hesitate.

But, what you say? You are not looking for CATS, but cats?

This is foolish, but if it must, it can. Please viewing a cats!

ayb cat.png

If it is not enough, then you have no chance to survive. It can every most with a CATS or a cats. Do not wait, only CATS.

Ha Ha Ha Ha...

-CATS

A:

Dear you, 

I've always joked that 1st grade is like cat herding...so here's this year's cat clan, HIPAA approved:

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 7.13.00 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 7.24.27 PM.png

Wow, what a good looking group.

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear hey that was really clever,

Cat!

IMG_0579.jpg

He just likes to lick things, don't ask me why; senility, perhaps. Or, as Mr. Mico would say (indignantly), "because he's A CAT!"

-Mico

A:

Dear Granny,

A5A199A7-D4BB-4E04-83A9-CACA3339054B.jpeg

Can’t believe my cat is already 10, but he is! 

-Az

Question #91322 posted on 06/11/2018 11:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board and alumni,

Do you think women should have the priesthood? Why or why not?

-a writer who does

A:

Dear writer,

Yes. And of those two reasons I would definitely answer, "Why not?"

- Rating Pending (who just today was asked about the appropriateness of performing a certain diagnostic test request, something we normally don't perform from this particular sample type, and at some point the conversation about "Should we do this?" got simplified down to, "Can any of us confidently list enough reasons why we would say no to this, given that it could help this patient?" And we couldn't. So that was informative.) 

A:

Dear you,

Yes, but I won't openly support it unless I know I'm talking to other supporters. I've had a few experiences where I've shared my true opinions with members who didn't feel the same, who then automatically brand me as a crazy liberal feminist and refuse to listen to any more of my ideas. It's really sad we've gotten to this point, because, as Hugh B. Brown said, 

I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent–if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression… This free exchange of ideas is not to be deplored as long as men and women remain humble and teachable. Neither fear of consequence or any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. … We must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.

Why should women get the priesthood? Because the equivalent to men having the priesthood is women having the priesthood, just as the equivalent to women having the possibility of being mothers is men having the possibility of being fathers. (To spell that out a bit more clearly: motherhood does NOT equal priesthood.) Women will never fully be represented in the Church until they have the priesthood. Chieko N. Okazaki, former counselor of the Relief Society presidency, talked of her experiences in the highest ranking presidency for the women. When her presidency went to the First Presidency to get permission to make new manuals for Relief Society, they were told manuals were already being made for them. “So I asked, 'Who is writing this manual?' It turned out to be five men, and the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and Relief Society would have the same lessons. I asked, 'Why aren’t the women included in this?'" Another time, “We asked one time if we could be on the building committee and the temple committee, because sometimes we think, 'Why did they build it this way?'—because it doesn’t work very well for the women’s needs. And we wanted to be on the temple committee, because there are many things that affect women in the temple. But we were never allowed to be a part of those committees.” And when it came to the Family Proclamation, the Relief Society Presidency wasn't even informed about it until it was about to be presented. When the interviewer asked, "You didn’t even know it was in the works?" Okazaki responded,

No. They just asked us which meeting to present it in, and we said, “Whatever President Hinckley decides is fine with us.” He decided to do it at the Relief Society meeting. The apostle who was our liaison said, “Isn’t it wonderful that he made the choice to present it at the Relief Society meeting?” Well, that was fine, but as I read it I thought that we could have made a few changes in it. Sometimes I think they get so busy that they forget that we are there.

"...they forget that we are there." Okazaki is not the only woman to feel that way. 

God works with people at their own rate. He will not give answers unless we ask questions—we have the entire book of Doctrine and Covenants to prove that. I think it's well past time our leaders asked why women are not fully represented in the Church.

-anonymous 

A:

Dear secret writer,

Yes, because I think churches exist to serve people and therefore need to keep up with certain changes in society such as the ever increasing equality of men and women in these types of roles.

-Mico

A:

Dear you,

I have not yet heard a convincing doctrinal explanation for why women don’t have the priesthood, so I see no reason to privilege "women can never hold the priesthood" over "women are capable of holding the priesthood and either tradition or the Mysterious Timeline of God™ is the holdup."

I think that in general, women’s perspectives and needs are not heard adequately in the church.

So, yes.

-Zedability 

A:

Dear some sort of free-thinking anarchist,

Yes, because there are a bunch of doctrinal reasons why they should possess it (women perform priesthood ordinances in the temple, etc).

Yes, because women deserve full representation and participation in the faith community.

Yes, because withholding the gospel blessings associated with the priesthood on the basis of sex disproportionately affects single mothers, children, and widows.

Yes, because it would be a huge blessing in the lives of millions of women.

Yes, because this article broke my heart.

-Cognoscente

A:

Dear a ~

I think that if God wants women to have the priesthood, He'll give it to us. I am not opposed to the idea of it happening. My testimony won't be shattered, or even rocked.

I don't think the priesthood power raises women above men, nor that it raises men up to the level of women. I think it's just a thing that is different. Just like men have gobs of testosterone and women don't. It makes them different, and makes them naturally able to do different things better than women. That doesn't make them better. It makes them different.

When I married Yellow, we were similar in many ways, but we were (and still are) different in many ways. When the scriptures say we become one flesh, I don't interpret that to mean that we're now the same, or should view things the same way, or that I should succumb to my husband's will. I interpret that as the idea that there are now two people with different abilities and talents that are bound together and work together to make things happen. Together we can do far more than either of us can do individually. Our combined "one flesh" is far more capable of keeping our household running or raising children. I could do many of the things he does. He could do many of the things I do. But instead of both of us trying to do the same things, we divide and conquer and get far MORE done. One of those things is using the priesthood power. Maybe I am capable of holding the priesthood. Maybe someday I will. I don't know. But the fact is, God's power is in my household. And my husband being that conduit means that that is one thing I can take off of my emotional to do list. Just like I can take off dishes and bedtime most of the time, because he does it. 

"But Dragon Lady, sometimes he's not there! Don't you resent it then?" Not a bit. Because I feel fully capable of praying with my children and asking the Lord for his power and blessings for whatever is needed. And if I feel like I need more of God's power, I have neighbors who would be here in a second. Just like if I needed to move a heavy piano and Yellow wasn't here, I would call my neighbors and ask for help. 

I think women have far more access to God's power than we give ourselves credit for. We get caught up in names and titles, and we lose sight of what the priesthood really is. I think we need to do a better job teaching our kids that men are not the priesthood. Stop saying things like, "We'll ask the priesthood to set up the chairs for this activity." THEY ARE NOT THE PRIESTHOOD. They are simply conduits for priesthood power. Holding priesthood keys is not the only conduit. When I was the young women president, through the priesthood, I had access to God's power where I needed it for the young women organization. When I was given the gift of the Holy Ghost, that opened up my own personal channel to God's power.

Until I fully understand God's power through the priesthood as it stands now—and I feel like I'm a far way from understanding that—I'm not going to start begging for it for myself.

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear you,

I think that the Church should be run exactly as God wants it to be, because He knows a lot more about what's best for humanity than I do. That does not at this point in time include any revelation to prophets regarding giving the Priesthood to women. I'm aware that some revelation doesn't come until it is sought. I think that the desire some people have for women to have the priesthood has certainly made it to the ears of Church leadership, and I decline to assume that either a) the leadership doesn't love these people or care about the things that matter to them or, b) the leadership doesn't know how to receive revelation on this issue. Rather, I'd prefer to assume that the prophet and apostles continue to pray for revelation about the appropriate ways to guide the Church, and as far as they've told us, God hasn't revealed a desire to change this. So, I'm going to stand with the doctrine of the Church as it's been revealed to us and say that no, I don't believe women should have the priesthood.

For more extensive thoughts, see here.

~Anne, Certainly

A:

Dear Writer,

Yes, I think they should, and because I believe in continuing revelation, I have hope and faith that someday they will. I don’t believe men and women are really that different, and I don’t think we understand well what it means for gender to be eternal, so I’d prefer to see them get something like the priesthood in its current form. On my more faithful days I'm open to the idea that the differences are larger than I think and so women will have a distinct form of priesthood. Either way, I’ve never heard an argument for the current setup that’s persuaded me it could really be the end plan of a just and loving God.

- Petra

A:

Dear everyone,

I don't know. I appreciate the sentiment on both sides of this debate, and I think many women do feel inferior without the priesthood. However, I'm not sure that ordaining women to the priesthood will fix whatever inequality people are experiencing. I don't think it is as cut and dry as it appears to be.

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear writer,

No. I agree with Anne (above & linked), and with Ardis Parshall (female writer of easily the best single-author Mormon history blog), who has a good post on this here.

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear writer,

This is a hard issue because it was when I became unsatisfied with assuming that the leaders were aware of issues and actively asking the Lord about them. I do not believe they are asking, "Can women have the priesthood?" and I've never heard a general authority ever even express empathy let alone understanding about this huge power imbalance in the Church. I've never heard them say, "We hear you. We've asked. Not at this time." 

I read about the personal struggle that Spencer W. Kimball had just to begin to ask The Lord about black people receiving the priesthood - he didn't want to, couldn't imagining doing it. The current leaders knew and were called by that same group of men who are only a few decades younger. Do I think they are praying about this in a way that would invite a revelation, one reversing all of the things they've said about women never being ordained to the priesthood? No. 

After this last conference, with so many sweeping policy changes happening by revelation, it only highlights how easily things could change. And they changed because people saw a way they could be better and prayed about it and got direction and approval. I don't think even step one is happening - seeing that things could be better for women in the church. Let alone taking it to the Lord in a meaningful way. It kills me that the "divinely established pattern" of only ordaining men is indistinguishable from "things the way we've always done them," which is always the reason for NOT doing something right up until the moment we started doing that thing. 

- An angry anonymous writer

A:

Dear friend,

I tussled with this question for a few years because I see the logic of responses like Anne's: if we believe in a church led by prophets who really are guided by God, who are we to pick and choose which policies we agree with? Surely we can't sustain the Quorum of the Twelve with our right arm while seeking to undermine or contradict them with our left?

But most of my own spiritual development recently has hinged on a conviction I've come to hold about the nature of revelation and spiritual autonomy. While I believe (most of the time - the trajectory of my faith might be best described as "sinusoidal") that Church leaders are inspired by God, I also believe that they get things wrong. I think they got polygamy wrong (which, I feel, guppy demonstrates convincingly in Board Question #91105). I think they got the ban on blacks holding the priesthood wrong. I think they've got the anti-homosexuality crusade wrong. The scriptures teach us that apostles and prophets get things wrong all the time, that personal failings, lack of faith, or the sheer weight of blinding cultural traditions often lead them to do things that aren't in line with the will of God. Take Jonah, for instance, whose self-righteousness got in the way of him going humbly to preach to the people of Ninevah; or Peter, whose not-unjustified fear of the frenzied political climate drove him to deny Christ three times; or, perhaps most applicably, Paul, who was pretty convinced that women were second-class citizens in the Church (see 1 Corinthians 11:5-9 and 14:34-35) and who affirmed the institution of slavery (see Philemon).

So what seems to me a given—that leaders are fallible, that they make mistakes, that the things they say or the policies they implement are not always inspired by God—can only mean one thing: we must supplement top-down revelation with personal revelation. That's why we have personal revelation. It's crucial to both our own eternal development and the trajectory of the restored Church that we exercise spiritual autonomy in seeking answers for ourselves. We must ask for personal spiritual advice on which parts of our leaders' teachings are true.

And we must do so not just in the false, constrained way we often do by preemptively assuming what the right answer is. My experience has been that the Church often encourages us to ask for spiritual confirmation of prophetic counsel but also insists that if we don't receive it, we're the ones in the wrong. That's like holding an election but only putting one candidate on the ballot; it's fundamentally coercive, and at its heart, it's little more than a sham. We are not truly seeking revelation if we don't at least entertain the possibility of error, if we aren't at least prepared for God to whisper, as He may occasionally do, "No, actually, they've got that wrong, and you have to help me change their minds." Is it so inconceivable that there might be a third line of communication, that a God who is patient with the failings of those he calls and who abhors coercion might start the rumblings of change in the hearts of the humble, in the hope that their leaders will listen? 

I suspect that the Church as an organization is at least as much human as it is divine. The New Testament is extraordinarily instructive in this regard: Jesus bursts onto the scene and spends three short years teaching a radical, sublime new religious philosophy and then, poof, He's gone. The apostles are left with their minds gloriously opened and their hearts forever changed, but with no idea what to do next. They're tasked with turning a ragtag bunch of followers into an organized religion with a unified structure and set of canonized doctrines, because although the Savior introduced all of the core tenets of the faith while He was with them, He's left them to sort out a lot of the details on their own. So what happens? The new church claws its way forward through clashes and missteps and disagreements and feedback. For example: a lot of ink has been spilled over how to reconcile James 2 ("faith without works is dead") with Ephesians 2 ("for by faith ye are saved...not by works"). I'm no theologian, and I certainly don't want to dismiss a complex and meaningful doctrinal discussion with too easy a wave of the hand, but the most obvious explanation to me is that James simply disagreed with Paul about how to interpret Jesus' teachings on salvation, and both wrote essays about it that have been enshrined in scripture. In another example, this one from Galatians, Paul recounts a literal, heated confrontation between himself and Peter over the issue of circumcision after Christ. The New Testament after the Gospel of John is basically a record of Peter and Paul and others bumbling around trying to develop a cohesive idea of what "Christianity" meant—sometimes based on clear, direct revelation, but mostly, it seems, just going with their guts.

Is the Church today really so different? Like the organization the ancient apostles were trying to build, the modern restored Church is directed by God but mediated by humans who are, well, all too human. 

All of this is to say that I think the Church should be much more tolerant of dissenting viewpoints from its rank-and-file members. Other organizations improve and grow by the clash of ideas; forms of human reasoning like critique, philosophy, and dialectics can help us tackle difficult problems and keep improving the solutions. One of the severest deficiencies in Mormon education, in my opinion, is the lack of a thorough schooling in Christian philosophical history, in great thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Erasmus, More, and Kierkegaard. If we were to study them thoroughly, we might have a better understanding of just how huge a debt our theology owes to theirs—which might in turn give us a sense of the extent to which our Church was shaped by centuries of reasoned, human debate even before it tumbled into being in the spring of 1830. The Church resists any method of change that relies on dissent in an egalitarian forum because, as an organization that claims to be led by God, it (rightly) doesn't want to be subject to the caprice of contemporary politics or led astray by false prophets. But in trying to insulate itself from criticism, it has forgotten just how human many of its key elements are, and so has insulated itself from significant forms of human improvement.

There's an interesting strain of Mormon thought that doesn't get enough emphasis in standard Church lessons about choice and accountability. It has to do with consent, with the notion that part of being free agents entails being able to bestow or withhold permission for certain things to happen. Its most emblematic form is baked into the structure of the Church, and it happens every time someone gets a new calling: we raise our right hands to give them our sustaining vote. The word "vote" here is no accident, as it marks a formal expression of our will in the matter of ecclesiastical governance, and it's a crucial part of exercising our agency. And as we know from studying the plan of salvation, learning to righteously exercise our agency is fundamental to becoming what God intends us to become. This blurb from the website By Common Consent expresses it beautifully:

Since its inception, Mormonism has embraced the principle of having each member of the church exercise free will. Members are invited to individually study things out in their minds and verify whether the teachings of the church are the will of God. When the leadership of the church present decisions, the appropriate body of members is asked to sustain or oppose the action, discerning God’s will through personal revelation. Thus the revelation given to Joseph Smith in July 1830: “…all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith” (D&C 26:2). Our site celebrates this holy interplay of personal agency and revealed will.

But in the contemporary Church, the act of sustaining has become merely a form, an empty signifier. Raising your hand when the second counselor, just to preserve the ritual, not in a million years expecting anyone to respond, asks "Any opposed?"—that is, actually, sincerely dissenting—doesn't really seem like an option. And in such a world, we're back to the ballot that lists only one candidate and the phony election that represents a triumph of coercion over consent. When honest disagreement becomes impossible, that's the end of spiritual autonomy, the sacred independence that is the whole point of this life and the next. Our development as spiritual beings depends on aligning our will not with the Church but with God, and how will we ever reach the sort of maturity of judgment required to be gods ourselves if we can't exercise enough spiritual autonomy to distinguish between the two?

That was an overlong preface for my answer to your real question, which is yes, I think God intends women to have the priesthood. Why? Because I've prayed, with as open a heart as I can muster, to ask whether it is His will that the priesthood be restricted to men. And the answer I've felt is, "No, actually, they've got that wrong, and you have to help me change their minds."

Yours, &c.

Heidi Book

P.S. Above, Professor Kirke linked to a blog post that I completely disagree with (It's short; go read it so that you know what I'm reacting to). I want to respond to a couple of points. First, desiring something is not the same thing as coveting it. We all have righteous desires that we hope God will fulfill in this lifetime, but we wouldn't call it "coveting" to hope that God will bless us with the strength to tackle single motherhood or the intellectual skill to pursue a graduate degree or the opportunity to move to a place where a temple is within an hour's drive. Why is it righteous for a young man to sincerely desire to be ordained to the Aaronic priesthood but unrighteous for a young woman to desire it? Second, if the possession of the priesthood has nothing to do with the distinction between male and female but rather with whom God calls and whom he doesn't, do we think it's likely that he's "called" literally every righteous man over the age of twelve and literally no women? I suspect that more often than not, calling is linked with desire—that is, God calls those who desire to serve him and qualifies them by giving them the tools they need to do so. I have a lot more to say about this but there goes the end of Alumni Week, and with it all my writing privileges.

A:

Dear you,

In my opinion, no, we shouldn't push for change in policy/doctrine to give women priesthood offices, but yes, women should definitely have priesthood blessings, priesthood authority, and priesthood power.

I trust that things are set up as God wants them to be. And anyway, heaven will be organized with families and parents, not with churches and officers. What does matter eternally is priesthood blessings, authority, and power. Women should and do have access to the priesthood in that way. Any time a woman acts in any of her callings in the Church, she is using the power and authority of God to do it, thus acting with priesthood authority and power. I thought Elder Oaks gave a fantastic talk on this subject in April 2014. However, that was in the priesthood session so a lot of women never saw it, unfortunately.

-Kirito

A:

Writer,

I think we already do have it. 

Don't get me wrong. I've heard some incredibly annoying responses to why women don't have the priesthood from both men and women:

Them:

"Women are so spiritual they don't need the Priesthood."

"What would the men do?"

"I don't even want the Priesthood. It's so much responsibility!"

Me, a grown adult:

Mocking-Spongebob.jpg

Bad bad bad. That's a doofy husband trope, and a "I didn't want to give this talk so I swerved the bishop" joke disguised as an argument to an actually important and sacred question. No gender is more spiritual. We are all equally responsible to serve God's children. I also just really hate when LDS men put women on a false pedestal. 

The idea that women already have the priesthood might fall under the "annoying response" category for some of you. But I have many very real experiences in which I have exercised priesthood authority and other women have accessed it to bless me. I keep them very private because, as other writers have explored, church culture doesn't foster these conversations very well and I'd like to keep them sacred. I also would hate to understate how completely I felt I was I acting by the Spirit and how carefully I spoke, ensuring I was worthy to say what I did. I have no ordination (except in my callings as a member, missionary, or temple worker) but I have an intense relationship with my Savior. In that relationship I have the same power that any man has. I exercise it when prompted by the Holy Ghost. If you want to know more about it please email me. I can be more specific about these experiences in a more private setting when I know it will bless someone's understanding. I fully equate my own power as a disciple of Jesus Christ to the power of an ordained priesthood holder.  

Does it bother me that only men can hold certain positions in the Church? Yes. That is the administrative arm of the Priesthood and I recognize entirely that I don't have an equal part in it. How the Lord chooses to organize His church temporally is up to Him. If the leaders He selects are flawed in their resolve not to ordain women, I still believe He has selected them to lead the Church. I refuse to let the temporal organization of the Church interfere with my actual relationship with Jesus Christ. I would love to be a ward mission leader someday but my disappointment is well overshadowed by how much I enjoy being close to my Savior--a condition which the Church, in its current organizational structure, has helped and continues to help me achieve. 

I'm still working on it. But I believe a key to my understanding the patriarchal structure of the Church is somewhere in understanding fatherhood and motherhood. These concepts are equally flexible and discrete in my understanding. Meaning those terms don't always have to refer to an actual mother or father. But having a mother and father unit is important. I have had a mother all my life. I haven't always had a father. I have experienced motherhood and fatherhood in many different ways. No matter how much fatherhood I have experienced, being without a single father unit has felt like an absence. There is something in the spirituality of a family, and by extension the Church, that begs for a patriarchal unit.

I'm grateful that the lines are flexible. Men who are not my father have been like a father. My mother has filled patriarchal roles all my life. Sometimes I feel like parts of me are a brother to my brothers, and other parts are a sister. I carry that flexibility into my activity in the church and my understanding of the Priesthood. 

I'm also grateful that such roles are simultaneously defined. Brotherhood means something so different than sisterhood. When we think of such terms separately, they evoke very different emotions. Fatherhood... motherhood... sisterhood... brotherhood. The organization of the church (i.e Priest's quorum, Relief Society, Bishopric) are designed to help us understand those concepts individually. I think those words are each eternal concepts which we need to understand. They are defined and taught separately so we can apply them flexibly but still recognize them for what they are. Maybe the organization of the family and the church is just light being directed through a prism. I imagine someday being able to see individual colors without separating the light. 

What do I think should be done? I think we should be able to talk about it. I think we need to foster a culture in which women understand their rights and access to the Priesthood. I think we need to talk about Heavenly Mother. I mean, these are things we can do whether we are ordained priesthood holders or not. I hate that we have to be smart about it. I hate that there are people losing callings over it. But I believe the Spirit is as real as any position of authority. I am prepared to say anything in any setting when the Holy Ghost prompts me to do it. I believe God will protect me if I do that, whether my leaders do or not.

While we're at it--I also believe we should talk more openly about the temple. I believe the leaders of the church should be more vocal about the environment. I believe we should apologize for systemic racism both past and present. These beliefs are constantly flowing into my personal conversations and the lessons I teach. I never shy away from them but I avoid forcing them on others. I think that is the extent of my calling in those beliefs. If God tells me to turn up the heat I'll sure do it.

Babalugats

Question #91312 posted on 06/11/2018 11:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Regarding recently posted Board Question #91253, your t-shirts are a little out of date... I would totally buy one, but they have the wrong URL on them. I think they could use an update, maybe an entirely new design.

This seems much less like a question, but have you considered having a design competition? (or having an Alumni do it?) The Board is a BYU treasure that (in my opinion) should be more well known, and t-shirts could be a good way of spreading word.

Thoughts?

-Guesthouse

A:

Dear Doctor,

I'm sure we could. T-shirts have just never been high on our priority list. If someone comes up with something really cool, I think we'd try to find a way to make it work. 

-Tally M.

A:

Dear Guesthouse,

I caught Dragon Baby's best friend using my old Board t-shirt as a nightgown the other night (they live with us right now), so I think that says our antique style is top notch.

~ Dragon Lady

Question #91311 posted on 06/11/2018 11:29 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Hello again current and former writers! It's question 89494 again. If you participated last year, would you change what you wanted to say to your past self back then? How would you respond to yourself from a year ago? What would you say to yourself a year in the future and what questions would you ask?

New participants get the original prompt.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Hello self,

To answer my past self, no and no.

I can't think of anything to ask my future self at this time.

-M.O.D.A.Q.

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q.,

To my past self: Mom and Dad really do love you, but they don't always know what's best for you. For example, you can go visit your long-distance boyfriend and keep the law of chastity. People who say you can't control yourselves are setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can and will control yourselves because you're human, not an animal. While mom and dad may say visiting him is a bad idea, it's actually a really good idea, and they will come to love him as well.

Also, start looking into getting a PhD! You know you're interested in it, you're just afraid it'll ruin (Mormon) society's expectations of you. But that's not what you want, you've never wanted it, so stop trying to pretend you do. minnow will be way more supportive of it than you ever expected, and his opinion (and most importantly, God's and your own) matter so much more than anyone else's. Follow your dreams, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and everything will work out.

To my future self: did you get into the PhD program you wanted to get into? What internship did you take at the Washington Seminar, and would you have changed it? How are you and minnow and those wedding plans?

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q.,

I didn't participate in this question last year, so I get the original prompt.

 

Dear past me,

Oh my darling. You have been through it for the past year. Honestly, we aren't feeling too much better now, but we are on our way. I know we've tried to be on our way for years and years, that we've done what we thought we were supposed to do with the therapists and the psychiatrists. I know you've been banging your head against this wall for most of your life. Now, though, I think there is actual progress. Just hang on. You will hang on. You will wonder why you are hanging on. You're going to walk right up to the cliff over and over and ask yourself what the point is. But you are going to hang on, because this is what we do, so far. In a few days, you are going to visit Stuntman in Oregon, and she and her boyfriend are going to try to talk you into moving in with them. Just say yes. You're going to have to jump through a lot of hoops. You will have five insurance plans in one year. You are going to get a diagnosis that scares you. You are going to have to let go of a lot of people, some of them very important to you, and that is going to be excruciating at times. From my standpoint, though, there is a light at the end of this tunnel, even if it's just a pinprick and I can't squint hard enough to see it all the time. Even if that light is a lifetime of managing your mental health. I have hope that we can manage it. I promise. This feels different. Don't expect smooth sailing, though. This year will be a hard one. There will be a lot of huge ups and downs and sometimes you won't feel like you can catch your breath. I can, however, promise you hope at the end of it. I don't know where we are going from here, but at least things make more sense.

In the words of Buddy Wakefield, "go find your spine and ride it out of here."

Yours,

2018 TBS

 

Dear future me,

Okay, but is that hope more than a pinprick now?

Desperately,

2018 TBS

 

- The Black Sheep

A:

Dear MODAQ,

Last year, I asked future self about hurricanes and any bad events at the refinery where I work. Then my house & cars flooded in Harvey and the refinery had some pretty significant issues. I probably could have saved the refinery a few million bucks, and maybe as much as a hundred million, if I had had that conversation. I would warn past self that a specific cabinet contractor is secretly a child-molesting crack addict so I should really take the time to get multiple bids on that part of my rebuild. I would advise past self to get a rental house early on, and stay in it until the rebuild of my flooded house was further along. (Although we moved back in months ago, I am just now polishing off the rebuild, and we should have been in a rental for longer.) But, past self, don't worry: thanks to a generous insurance adjuster, supportive family & friends, and smart contracting decisions (cabinets excepted), you actually come out way financially ahead on the whole hurricane adventure, so I'm not sure I would even want you to move before the storm hits.

No change on what I would have said to my past self.

I'd still ask future self about the same things (avoidable disasters, profit opportunities). I would add a question about what books I should just skip reading. I would also ask a few questions about the future development of my oldest kid--how early will I be able to successfully start him on phonics, any good new disciplinary tricks, etc.? Any classes I should avoid in my MBA program? And have you figured out any good tricks for getting physical exercise in a disciplined way (aside from don't have a flooded house, newborn, job, and degree all at the same time--thanks for that)?  

I don't have much to say to future self. Maybe "shame on you" if I still haven't got the exercise scheduling thing figured out.

~Professor Kirke

A:

Dear Doctor,

To past me: Yes, I'm sort of taking better care of myself. It really helps that I'm not working any more. And guess what? You'll get to quit at the end of June! However, this dream you have of "discovering yourself" and "taking time to recover" won't really be much of a thing, since you'll find out you're pregnant at the end of July. Don't freak out—the pregnancy and birth will more or less be okay; you'll just spend a ton of time sleeping, and that's perfectly alright. 

To future me: How's Lil' M. doing? Are you getting enough sleep (probably not but we can hope, right?) Have you had time to work on those projects you've been wanting to do? Did you decide to actually pursue genetic counseling?

-Tally M.

A:

Dear MODAQ,

I would tell my past self to take the severance package that will be offered.  Things work out.  On a side note, I should probably also tell my past self that my job is going to be relocated to West Virginia so it isn't as big of a surprise when I find out.

I would ask my future self how Game of Thrones ends and if George R. R. Martin ever finishes The Winds of Winter. Can I also ask my future self what the winning lottery numbers were on a certain date?

I sure hope this helps. Please don't hate me.

- Brutus

A:

Dear Mo,

In answer to my past self: I don't know. Probably. 

In counsel to my past self: I really wish you would have calmed down sooner. I think you made it weird for others and yourself for way longer than you thought. And now lots of people and places have weird memories/feelings attached to them, and that's kind of rough. But, all things considered, I think you had a pretty good year. You did your best with what you had. 

Oh, but maybe don't try to date that one guy. It doesn't work out and you just end up feeling meh for like a month. 

Questions for my future self: Have you figured out grad school yet? Have you figured out our gap year yet? Can you finally sing along to the bridge in "Despacito" and the second verse of that one Kendrick song? 

Take care,

-Auto Surf 

A:

Dear MODAQ ~

I still 100% agree with what I told my now 2-year ago self.

As for what I asked my future-now-present self: 

Future self: What advice would you give me? How do you feel about the number of children that you have? (How many children do you have?) Do you regret any of the decisions I'm making right now? Any advice on how to build confidence in our kids? Does Yellow 2.0 ever grow out of his terrible twos? Please tell me that he skips the threenager stage. Please? Any amazing parenting tips you've learned that you'd like to pass my way?

Present self's answer: Be brave, friend. You are about to enter upon an amazing stage of your life. Start figuring out who you are. Write it down. Separate who you are from how people see you. Sometimes the two are the same. They often aren't. You're such a people pleaser that you think you are what they see, when really, you're not. Also, you're fluid. Things you absolutely loved a few years ago, you'll stop loving. It's a very hard realization. Go ahead and mourn those things. Then move on and find new things to love. 3 kids. That's it for you. Again, allow yourself to mourn the passing of a stage. But the sooner you give away the baby stuff, the happier you will be. Stop caring so much about what you think society might think. Stop thinking about what Past Dragon Lady thought. Build confidence? Hah! I wish I knew. Still working on that. But yes, Yellow 2.0 is a delight again. Everyone says so. Parenting tips: start regular Saturday Chores and Dinner Jobs sooner. Give them the same job. Don't change them each time. Wait until they master it. It's SO MUCH EASIER. Also, be strong and don't solve Dragon Baby's monetary problems. When you let her cry and sympathize with her, it'll turn out much better in the end. Promise.

2019 self: Is New [Dragon Lady] still a thing? I'm super excited about you. I have blossomed the last couple of months, and I cannot even fathom what another year will do to me. I'm super excited. You're super close to all kids in school every day. Did you get a job? Is your life still simple? Were you able to transform your ward's Family History program at all? Did you take any more girls' trips? What amazing things did you learn from those ladies if you did?

~ Dragon Lady

A:

Dear MODAQ,

Can this power be learned? Teach me this magic. If not, here's what I'd like to say to past me and to future me.

To Past Tipperary: I can't believe you're still on your mission. Woah. Anyways, I will explain. No. There is no time, I will sum up. First, take the first few weeks of fall semester a lot more seriously. Trust me bro; you don't got it. Second, don't worry too much about dating. Still go on dates and have fun, but focus more on making friends. Third, I know you want to get involved, but instead of trying out like 6-7 extracurricular activities and burning yourself out, I'll just tell you the 2 you'll actually want to stick with so you don't have to waste your time on everything else.

Questions For Future Tipperary: Of all the gazillion different extracurricular activities I want to do this year, which should I actually do? Also, how about my school schedule? Did I pick right? Is this the year I finally stop over scheduling myself, or should I just buy caffeine in bulk? Also, would it unethical to use this power to gamble? Would you mind helping me out with my March Madness bracket for next year?

I can't wait to find out the answers. Thanks for the great prompt!

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Mo,

What I said last year:

Hey, how's it going? Just wanting to confirm something really fast: am I still alive, or did the first year of ACME straight-up kill me?

Uh-huh...wait, what? How is that even an answer? How do you not know?... oh... yeah, um, I'm not sure either in that case.

Okay, moving on, then. Anything going on relationship-wise? 

*Sigh* And just when I thought I couldn't be any more committed to my textbooks.

Well, good talk Future Me. Hope everything goes well for you.

Response:

Man, that's all sadly accurate. Especially the part about me being so committed to my textbooks. There is not a single book I know better than my Vol I book. I know the content of each chapter, the specific page numbers of certain information--you get the idea.

I can confirm that I am indeed alive, though life is very different than it was pre-ACME. 

Questions for Future Me:

How did taking the math GRE go? Did I get into the masters program? Also, what job do I have this summer? Is it as good as the one I have right now? How did that one thing turn out?

~Anathema

A:

Dear Sir:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. -Rainer Maria Rilke

---Portia

A:

Dear past self,

You won't find what you're looking for, no matter how many cool places you look. Also, please don't get into a staring contest with a Turkish policeman. You will lose.

Future self,

Have you figured out what we're searching for, yet? Also, did I get malaria or some other terrible tropical disease?

--Ardiila Feroz, exhausted and a bit confused from Sao Tome and Principe

A:

Dear past yayfulness,

The list of stuff you were worrying about and the list of stuff you should have been worrying about have basically nothing in common.

You'll get the internship, so don't stress. Seriously. The stress will cause you all sorts of problems. You don't need them. Especially because while you're waiting for word on the internship, your wife is going to get hit by a drunk driver on the way to work and she'll be physically fine in the long term but she is going to need your attention and if you're stressed about the internship you won't be able to give it effectively. Also it is going to take an absurd amount of time for the paperwork to go through, so get a temporary job somewhere. By the time you know that you really need it, it will be too late to get it.

On a related note, not that you were planning on it, but don't put any money into the car. It's not going to exist anymore in a couple months.

As for the thesis project... you're going to do the third-quarter studio option, not the thesis project option. So you've got some time still. And things will fall into place on their own when the time comes.

What else should you know about? Honestly, in the big picture, your life is going to be pretty boring in the next year. It might be a good idea to take the grant writing class instead of the water law class, but both of them have their downsides. Also, Healthy Cities is good, but it might not be worth the stress during your last quarter.

When you finally get around to seeing him, the doctor will tell you that the lump on your knuckle is a harmless cyst and you don't need to do anything about it for now. You can keep calling it your finger cancer, though.

When you finally get around to seeing him, the dentist will tell you that you didn't lose a filling, you just chipped it, and you don't need to do anything about it for now. But quit putting off the dental appointment, because you're going to start getting gum issues from plaque buildup if you wait much longer.

It'll save you a hundred dollars if you just buy the plane ticket as soon as you know you need it and don't wait a month until things that you know for a fact are going to fall into place actually fall into place.

Oh, and the state planning conference? If you wait to buy the registration until you've figured out all the details, you won't need to worry about the details because the conference will be sold out. So please don't wait.

Notice a trend here? You already self-diagnosed with inattentive-type ADHD a few months ago. But you haven't done anything about it, have you? Of course not, because procrastination is one of the hallmark symptoms. I wish I could tell you about a formal diagnosis, but you're going to put that off for at least another year. So maybe don't do that. Better to get it treated now and not suffer through another year of school on your own.

There's really not much else to tell you that I can remember right now. Check your DMs, though; I've got a few mundane details about the car-buying and apartment-renting process that will save you some time later on.

-current yayfulness

 

Dear future yayfulness,

That was a mess, wasn't it? I bet this will be a mess next year too, but I'm asking anyway.

Will I apply for any jobs with places other than the county? Any tips on those applications? And any suggestions on how to advance my career at my current job?

Will I have to move? Within the city, or to someplace totally new? If so, any hints will be greatly appreciated.

Oh, here's one - will I still be irrationally afraid of and disgusted by babies? They're so ugly and useless and get fluids everywhere, but apparently people love them anyway and I want to do that but I have no idea how.

Mostly, though, I'm just looking forward to hearing about all the things that I had no idea I was supposed to ask about.

Best of luck! I'm sure I'll need it.

-current yayfulness

A:

Dear Van Goff 2017,

Things happen, but not as you expect them to.

Dear Van Goff 2019,

Same, probably.

PS: Stop spending our money on chocolate! I work hard to earn that money, dang it.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear M.O.D.A.Q.,

To my past self:

Dude, calm it down a little bit. Moving across the country is exciting, but it's going to be ridiculously hard. You're going to miss your old place a ton more than you think you will and life when you get there is going to be a ton harder than you think it will be. It's still the right decision and 1-year-in-the-future you is still happy that it happened, but gear up because the going gets tough.

To my future self:

Have you figured out if you can still be a teacher yet? Do I need to jump ship and find another, higher paying job? Or will this work out for us? If you have the time (machine), I'd love to know the answer.

Best,

The Man with a Mustache

Question #91301 posted on 06/11/2018 11:27 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Ok, so I saw this on Facebook and I think we could twist it to make a fun board game (ha!).

1) Pick an answer that you've personally written.

2) Change the question so that your answer is completely out of context.

3) Post the new question with the old answer as your response to this question. (Probably best to include a link to the original question too.)

-A reunion writer

A:

Dear Humble Master,

I know that it says that Harry "blew up" Aunt Marge, and that the charm Harry inadvertently used was an Inflating Charm, but what actually made Aunt Marge get so much bigger?

-realmyst

Dear realmyst

Rampant air in her.

-Humble Master

Original question

A:

Dear A reunion writer,

Here is my submission.

 

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is your ideal man like? Are there any reasonable corporeal changes I could make to win your heart?

- Fatty McButterpants

 

Dear Fatty McButterpants,

Well, for a starting weight, anything below a BMI of 16 is considered to be very dangerous and anything above 18.5 is merely underweight, so that puts us in the range of 121-140 lbs.

According to some ultra-reliable sources, each leg accounts for 9-10% of the total body weight. If our poor starved man were deprived of his legs, that takes his weight to 96.8-114.8 lbs.

According to the same sources, each arm equals about 6.5% of the total body weight. After lopping off the arms, our range is 81.1-96.6 lbs.

Next we're going to remove some organs, namely one lung (1.17 lb.), one kidney (.28 lb.), one lobe of the liver (1.21 lb.), the gallbladder (.08 lb.), the testes (.06 lb. x 2), and a foot of bowel (4.5 lb.). ... You can safely have any one of these removed, and assuming you can have all of them removed, that takes our mutilated friend down to 73.74-89.24 lbs.

Now we're going to rearrange his face. If we take his hair, external ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and teeth (he can still stay alive on a liquid diet without a machine), he loses about another pound. Skin weighs about 2.5 lbs. per square foot, and we have about 22 square feet of it. I'm assuming that after our facial reconstructions, we might be able to save ourselves about half a square foot, which is another 1.25 lbs. His weight range is now 71.49-86.99 lbs.

And that's about all she wrote. I suppose we could do complicated surgery to remove some muscles, brain tissue, and bones like the coccyx, but at this point, that just seems cruel. With that, I'm going to lock in my final answer at around 79 pounds.

Poor guy.

- The Black Sheep


- The Black Sheep, who is gay (sorry not sorry, fellas) and referencing Board Question #56726

A:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is your ideal man like? Are there any reasonable corporeal changes I could make to win your heart?

- Fatty McButterpants

 

Dear Fatty McButterpants

I agree with Black Sheep almost completely, but I think I should add that if a guy has asked you on a first date, you should let him pay (and feel no remorse). After that, go for it.

Yours,

The Man with a Mustache, who is not gay, (sorry not sorry, fellas) and referencing Board Question #49806

A:

Dear A,

Dear Dragon Lady ~

 Why don't we hear from you anymore?

- Clair16

 

Dear Clair16 ~

I talk too much.

Ironically yours,
~ Dragon Lady

Board Question: #77192

A:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I'm learning to read braille and it's getting easier, but I'm having the hardest time saying the words I read out loud. Do you have any advice?

-Abraille Lavigne 

 

Dear Abraille,

Why don't you just say it when you feel it?

Yours,

The Man with a Mustache (referencing Board Question #50040 and proud of his word play)

A:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's your image of an ideal man?

-Looking for a role model

 

Dear looking,

JacquesBaby.jpg

-El-ahrairah (referencing Board Question #89483)