What if…?

What if…? April 7, 2008

What if someone ordained their wife to the priesthood? Let’s say that this husband wanted to have his wife assist in priesthood blessings in the home, or be able to perform blessings in his absence. She would not be ordained to any particular office, but given the priesthood power for specific ordinances. Let us also say that this woman received it, but never in fact used it. Let us also say that this husband is a bishop, and interviewed the candidate and determined her worthiness. If he did so without claiming that such a practice is or should be church doctrine, how would we understand this practice? A few things to consider:

1. Would the woman actually have the priesthood? Is it possible for women to receive the priesthood if it is given to them, or would such a practice be null and void on the basis of some ontological inability for women to actually receive the priesthood. Would it be like giving a horse the priesthood, which presumably no one believes is possible?

2. If the woman did not actually receive the priesthood, and never attempted to use it, would any sin have been committed?

3. If someone were to be disciplined for this practice, what would be the charge? What exactly have they done wrong?

4. If someone were to be disciplined, who would it be? The wife for having received it, but not exercised it? The husband for giving it?

5. Even though she has not received an office in the priesthood, would she still have to be sustained by the membership of the church?

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