This weekend, as hundreds of women were denied entrance to the all male priesthood session of the Mormon general conference; a group of friends and I were discussing whether women should be ordained to this all-male club. Photos of Ordain Women
All the women agreed that they wished they could have blessed their babies. It was also unanymous that the vast majority of roles given to men with the priesthood are administrative. So we took a look at these roles to determine what part of the male anatomy was necessary to fulfill them.
*Passing the sacrament: even 12 year old boys are able fulfill this role with little effort, so it was decided that all women could easily break the bread, fill water cups and pass the sacrament. Since we offer prayers in our homes on a regular basis, then offering the sacrament prayers is not too overwhelming for us. No extra male gender roles necessary here.
*Budgeting/Money management: We do this on a regular basis in our homes and in our jobs. Accounting, money management, maintaining the finances do not require male gender-specific skills.
*Scouts: Women do a fair amount of this anyway. The women run the cub scouts in most wards. No special DNA required here.
*Bishops: These men preside over meetings, make decisions about callings, hold private meetings with individuals, couples and families. These men are not trained as family counselors. They hold private interviews with children as young as 12 and ask them about their sexuality, among other things. They ask women about their garments, or underwear.
Are there tasks that are not administrative? Yes, I will put them into two categories, non-saving ordinances and saving ordinances:
*Blessing babies: About a month after a baby is blessed, the father and other males take the newborn child in front of the church congregation, hold the baby and pronounce a blessing on the child. A child does not need this blessing to be saved in the LDS church. Women are not allowed to perform this. Women aren't even allowed to hold their newborns while they are being blessed.
*Blessings: A blessing to heal the sick or a blessing of comfort are given to people. Again, there is no saving ordinance attached to this and in fact, these blessings were regularly performed by women in the early history of the church and has since been denied women to participate in.
*Prayer: Until recently, women were denied the opportunity to pray in General Conference and even 10 years ago, many wards denied women the opportunity to pray in sacrament, or would only allow women to pray to open a meeting and not to close the meeting.
*Baptisms: Considered a saving ordinance.
*Confirmation: This is where men officially give the holy ghost as a guide to members of the mormon church and they are confirmed a member of the mormon church. This is considered a saving ordinance.
*Temple ordinances: In the temple, there are washings and anointings and although these are considered a saving ordinance, women are allowed to perform them.
There you have it, the list of all things priesthood. There are only two things on this list that women are not currently or in the past not been allowed to do, either within the church or in the world; that is baptize and confirm. Do these two things require male appendages or male gender to fulfill? I've racked my brain and cannot think of anything that requires maleness to do these things.
As we discussed this list, it became even more apparent how silly it is to deny women equal access.
Motherhood and fatherhood are similar. There is no sexual body parts or gender that is necessary for any of the requirements in the priesthood.