It appears the LDS Church does not view the Ordain Women initiative as heresy or apostasy at this time, and it is unlikely that the people who submitted a supportive profile will face any disciplinary councils. LDS spokeswoman Jessica Moody issued the following statement:
"The worth of a human soul is not defined by a set of duties or responsibilities. In God's plan for his children, both women and men have the same access to the guidance of his spirit, to personal revelation, faith and repentance, to grace and the atonement of his son, Jesus Christ, and are received equally as they approach him in prayer. But a male-only priesthood was established by Jesus Christ himself, and is not a decision to be made by those on Earth."
This is a smart and sensible reaction, because the Ordain Women movement is proceeding cautiously. They are not advocating that priesthood be extended to women independent of revelation. Kate Kelly, one of Ordain Women's founders who is a lifelong Mormon who served a full-time mission and who is also an international human rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., said "We sustain the prophet and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and ask them to prayerfully consider this change. We believe that what we are doing demonstrates our faith in the gospel." The key is that she sustains the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, which deflects concerns about apostasy.
To support her contention, Kelly points to a 2011 self-reported survey of about 3,000 Mormons who no longer believe in the church that found 63 percent of all women and 70 percent of single women cited gender issues as being the primary reason for their loss of faith. However, the key is that her referenced survey was limited to those Mormons who no longer believe in the Church; in contrast, in a survey of U.S. religion by Robert Putnam and David Campbell, who published "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" in 2010, they reported that 90 percent of ALL LDS women opposed female ordination in the Church, while only 52 percent of LDS men were against it. So it appears that Kate Kelly is more concerned about doubters and skeptics than about mainstream Mormons. The Mormon Women Project, which showcases diverse, talented and strong LDS women, is not enthused about the Ordain Women initiative because they are uncomfortable with movements that take on the church as a whole, and fear that overreaching will kill any influence LDS women already have on Church direction.
So long as Ordain Women sustains the "Brethren", and does not solicit or support diatribes against the LDS Church, I see no reason to question their worthiness, although they will have to remain vigilant against feminist manipulation. A repeat of the 1993 purge of the "September Six" would not be in our best interests.
Some pertinent comments to the Mercury-News story (after the jump):
Shawn Cannon August 12th 11 hours ago:
I'm one of the 90% of Mormon women this doesn't resonate with. This feels like we're being pushed into "men wannabes" rather than empowered women. The movement is also capitalizing on the outside world's perception of holding priesthood, as if it gave someone prominence over another. In the Mormon church, the more priesthood the more service hours on the behalf of others is required. It's not glamorous and does not interfere with the feeling of equality or being on par with others.
Ray Hunt August 12th 10 hours ago:
The Mormon church leaders would be hypocrites of the highest order if they captulated to pressure and granted women full ordination to the priesthood. They would show they just alter long established church teachings that women are not to hold the priesthood just to appease the women church members who want the priesthood. If the church leaders do not grant these Mormon women their wish, then they should be immediately excommunicating all church members who are publicly challenging the long established church doctrine that women are not allowed to hold the priesthood office. They are hypocrites if they do not expel such members who protest for change. They would be showing they just care about loosing numbers from the flock who would be excommunicated in large numbers and loose their tithing donations.
Julie Shumway Herrell · Chandler, Arizona August 12th 2 hours ago:
Do they not understand the authority Joseph Smith had in his time? If he had wanted to the women to be priesthood holders, they would be. There would have been nobody and nothing to stop him. They try to interpret one phrase, taken out of context, 170 years after the fact, and completely change its meaning. I think knowingly.
It's sad that they would use dishonest tactics to spin the prophet. Tawdry political tactics are not welcome.