& the Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long and somewhat complicated history regarding its women. The early church leaders allowed women to use their priesthood to give blessings by the laying on of hands. This right of priesthood was revoked almost entirely in the early 1900s. In the 1970s the Church actively fought against the Equal Rights Amendment being ratified, but continued to tell the women that they were special and needed. The church today is very slow moving in treating their women as equals. 

In the early church, the women used their priesthood powers freely. They administered oil by the laying on of hands to those sick or in need. What did these women do? Why was the ability to exercise their priesthood limited only to the temple?

In 1842, the women approached the prophet Joseph Smith to seek his approval of starting a lady's sewing group to aide in the completion of the Nauvoo Temple. Joseph responded that the Lord wanted the women to begin the Relief Society instead. What was the Relief Society? Why did the society end? What is the society's relationship with the priesthood?

During the 1970s the Church became heavily involved in the Equal Rights Amendment. The church today is still against the ratifying of the ERA. Why? What is the Church's viewpoint on women?

Increasingly, Mormon women have wanted to know more and more about Heavenly Mother. Did the early saints talk about her? What do we know of the Mother Goddess?

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