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Female Priesthood, Cutlerite Endowment, & House of Aaron (Part 6 of 8)

The LDS Church recently made changes to their temple endowment ceremony.  Rumor has it that the Cutlerite endowment has changed very little since the death of Joseph Smith.  We’ll continue our discussion about Cutlerite temple practices with Steve Shields. It appears they believe women hold priesthood in their temple ordinances!

Steve: So, that building is, in all intents and purposes, it’s a temple and it would resemble the Kirtland Temple model except Kirtland had no font. But, the upstairs room for the priesthood on the second floor, they weren’t necessarily doing rituals there, but they did some washings and anointings upstairs on the third floor in the attic level. And so, on the second floor of the Cutlerite buildings in Minnesota and Independence, that’s dedicated as a holy place. They call it the upper room work. They don’t use the term endowment. They do know what that means because we’ve talked about it with them. But, I do know. They’ve told me this, that women are ordained as high priestesses in the celestial church, not in the outer church, not in the public church. They have no priesthood in the public church.

GT: Oh, so women have a temple priesthood, but not an Ecclesiastical priesthood.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah, that’s right. That’s the extent of my knowledge about that. A few years ago when…

GT:  That’s interesting, Michael Quinn, in my current interview, just kind of said the LDS have the same thing. Jonathan Stapley said, “Well, we don’t want to call it priesthood.” But Quinn wasn’t nearly as careful on that.

Steve: Yeah. Well, I’m in the Quinn camp on that issue.

We’ll also discuss a break off from the RLDS Church called the House of Aaron.

Steve:  The House of Aaron is based at Eskdale, Utah. And they used to be called the Aaronic Order or the Order of Aaron. Morris Glendening was the founder, promoter of that. In the recent 10 or 12 years, they’ve been having lots of conversation with Fred Larsen and the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. John Conrad, who is the leader of the House of Aaron, his father was Bob Conrad, who was the chief high priest successor to Morris Glendening as chief high priest. John has gone out to Independence many times with folks their church. They’ve shifted a lot since Glendening’s times in the ’40’s. They always said they were not Mormons and yet all of their members had been Mormons.

Have you heard of the House of Aaron before?  Check out our conversation….

Steve Shields says Cutlerites have female priesthood, and we talk about House of Aaron in Eskdale, Utah
Steve Shields says Cutlerites have female priesthood, and we talk about House of Aaron in Eskdale, Utah

Don’t forget out other conversations with Steve!

238: Fundamentalists and Cutlerites (Shields)

227: Conspiracy Theories:  William Smith, Samuel Smith, James Strang(Shields)

226: Sidney’s Unsung Role in Restoration (Shields)

225: Steve’s Shields Own Divergent Path

224: Who Owns the Temple Lot? (Shields)

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Feminist Favorites (Part 5)

In our final conversation with Sara Hanks and Dr. Nancy Ross, I’ll ask them what their feminist favorite essays were.

Check out our conversation, as well as our previous conversations!  What are your favorite essays?

What were Nancy and Sara's favorite essays from the book?
What were Nancy and Sara’s favorite essays from the book?

210:  Must Women Be Ordained? (Ross-Hanks)

209: The F-word: Feminism (Ross-Hanks)

208: Nancy & Sara’s Spiritual Journey (Ross-Hanks)

207: Mormon Feminist Successes & Setbacks (Ross-Hanks)

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Must Women Be Ordained? (Part 4)

Early Mormon women blessed by laying on of hands.  If the practice returned, would that be good enough for the Ordain Women movement, or do they require ordination?  Must women be ordained?  Nancy Ross and Sara Hanks answer that question.

GT: Are you still a member of Ordain Women?

Nancy: I mean, I still have a profile of a website, and I’m still supportive of the organization.

GT: And you’re being ordained this Sunday [July 29] anyway.

Nancy:  That’s right.

Sara: Ordained woman.

Nancy: Yes, Ordain Women! We’re doing it.

GT: You’re going to be ordained. My question is actually two questions. Number one, what if in say October General Conference, President Nelson got up and said, “Okay, we’re going to go back to the idea that women can lay hands on the sick like they used to do even into the early 20th century. Would that be good enough for Ordain Women? Or, do you think that women still need to be ordained to priesthood office?

Nancy:  Do you want to comment?

Sara:  I would say nothing less than full inclusion and full opportunity for every member of the church would be quote unquote sufficient. Any step in the direction of progress on any subject, in any community is great. Any step. Great.

GT:  So you would welcome the laying on of hands.

Sara: Oh, I would welcome that completely. I would be so excited about that. I mean I would be overjoyed. But in terms of Ordain Women as an organization, I think they chose their name very specifically. It’s Ordain Women, not like give women–I mean, it would be a very long name, but it’s not like Give Women More Opportunities. It’s Ordain Women.

LDS women out there–would you like to be ordained, or are you happy with the status quo?  Check out our conversation, as well as our previous conversations!

Do LDS women want more opportunities, or must they be ordained? Nancy Ross & Sara Hanks answer that question.
Do LDS women want more opportunities, or must they be ordained? Nancy Ross & Sara Hanks answer that question.

 

209: The F-word: Feminism

208: Nancy & Sara’s Spiritual Journey (Ross-Hanks)

207: Mormon Feminist Successes & Setbacks (Ross-Hanks)