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Sometimes people ask questions regarding the woman's role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once such question is if Mormon women "hold the priesthood" through their husbands. Find out in this FAQ on Mormon women and the priesthood.

After reading this article share your positive experiences of how the priesthood has blessed your life.
August 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm
(1) Rex says:

It’s true that women do not hold the Priesthood, but my wife likes it when the Priesthood holds her.

August 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(2) Dave says:

My question is there were women mentioned in the old and new testaments that were called prophetess. Did these women hold the priesthood? I am talking about Miriam, Deborah, Hildah, Tabitha, Eudoia, etc.

August 10, 2010 at 12:21 am
(3) Robert says:

As a counselor in the bishopric of the Fort Ord Ward in 1971, I was invited to give a blessing to a sick child. I annointed and Bishop Roger Merrill, later General President of the Sunday School sealed the ordinance with a beautiful blessing. I was pleasantly surprised when he invited the single mother of the child to join with us in sealing the blessing. As he did so, he taught an interesting gospel principle. He explained that in the early days of the church, faithful women were actually called and set apart by the First Presidency to go about giving blessings with consecrated oil. He continued to teach us that in the days of the Lorenzo Snow administration, President Snow called these set apart healing sisters in for a little meeting. He thanked them for their valiant service and explained that it was now time for the brethren to take responsibility for giving healing blessings with consecrated oil, and he released them all on the spot. As a missionary branch president in Petropolis, Brazil in 1968 a young couple came to my office and asked us to cast out an evil spirit. The woman was listless and, according to conventional wisdom and oractice she had willingly invited an evil spirit into her body as part of a spiritualist service. Fortunately my new companion had some experience in these matters and suggested that in another area of the mission the practice was to invite a group of faithful women to sit around the edge of the Branch President’s office behind closed doors and show their faith in the priesthood by praying quietly while the blessing was given as requested in faith by the husband. Without sharing too many details, the combined faith of all concerned brought a wonderful result and the little family joined the church and been active and involved in ward and stake leadership for more than 40 years.

August 10, 2010 at 3:13 am
(4) Scott says:

While this was done, the D & C is pretty specific. It’s kind of like the ordaining of Blacks to the Priesthood. It was just done since there was little communication for great periods of time between the Prophets and the people in diverse places. Pres. Snow also also reminded the people about tithing, something they forgot about. Like, today.

I don’t think that anything bad happened other than good people trying to help others. Will women share in the Priesthood in the eternal world or Celestial Kingdom with their husbands? I believe so in a Patriarcal Order of the Priesthood. But, until then, like Pres. Snow said, it’s for the Bretheren to step up and be counted.

August 10, 2010 at 9:55 am
(5) retha says:

i do understand that women can also join priesthood but can they hold priesthood.

August 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(6) Ronnie Bray says:

The notion that sisters hold the priesthood ‘through’ their husbands is a romantic fictio0n with no foundation in fact.

The priesthood is given to men and one of the primary responsibilities of priesthood holders is the charge to bless everyone.

This, naturally, begins with their spouses, their children, and extended family but it is intended to be used to fulfil the Lord’s promise to Abraham that “In this seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed.”

However, the priesthood is uniquely given to men to carry out the work of the Lord to the extent that through righteous motherhood women bless their own families and all others they find that stand in need of succor.

Thus, there is a not-so-crude division of responsibility between women and men, each having a specific primary interest within the immediate and extended family, but then extending to whoever is in need wherever they may be and in whatever condition they are found.

What should be avoided is making comparisons between the importance of the basic callings of men and women.

Heavenly Father does not intend and will not tolerate any spirit of competition between the two complementary positions, and we do well to remember that the highest blessings available to our Father’s children are placed on the heads of an man and a woman together, as a single entity: the sealed couple.

Mary Fielding Smith anointed and blessed her sick ox when crossing the plains.

Joseph Smith had said that there was no more harm in a woman anointing and praying for the sick than there was in her mopping a fevered brow with a damp cloth.

However, anything resembling a priesthood administration to the sick is discouraged.

There have been occasions when non-member husbands have been invited to stand in the anointing circle as the sealing and blessing are pronounced, but that too is discouraged.

Yet, in cases where the presiding authority feels impressed by the Holy Ghost to do something somewhat different, then no blessing is withheld from the sick person and if there is a fault it lies solely at the feet [or on the head] of the person acting in an extraordinary way.

Doctrines & Covenants, section 46:1-2 –

Hearken, O ye people of my church; for verily I say unto you that these things were spoken unto you for your profit and learning.

But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.

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