This Week in Mormons

Episode #106 – Look! Ammon!

Be Mine

Great show this week! Defending the priesthood; opposition to the Paris Temple; why I’m a Mormon Democrat; Holocaust victims baptized (d’oh); Otterson speaks on affinity fraud; MoTab performing in Arizona – and more!


  1. Mormon Midrashim
  2. Opposition to Paris Temple
  3. Why I’m a Mormon Democrat
  4. Holocaust victim baptized
  5. Otterson on affinity fraud
  6. MoTab heads to Jan Brewer country
  7. BYU student found dead in Australia
  8. Mormonism and the presidency – don’t worry
  9. Scriptures for kids!
Geoff Openshaw


Geoff Openshaw is an international development consultant as well as the Managing Editor and Executive Producer of the This Week in Mormons podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and Brigham Young University and loves all sorts of nerdy geopolitical stuff. He also writes and performs music and really, really loves Del Taco.

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  • Oh, brothers…

    1. Come on, Geoff – the equivalent of priesthood is bearing children?
    – The opposite of having the priesthood is not the ability to mother a child. The equivalent of motherhood is fatherhood. The opposite of having the priesthood is not having the priesthood. (Also, what a spiritual slight it would be to single or infertile women to tell them that THEIR version of the priesthood would be growing a child – something that is beyond their power to achieve.)

    2. This notion of – It's not even that big of deal, ladies – in fact, sometime I wish I didn't even HAVE this burden/added responsibility of the priesthood!
    – Do you encourage new converts to avoid ordination to the priesthood? Do you tell 11-year old boys that they should dread the impending duties of priesthood ordination? No – we are excited for both groups because of the spiritual progress and opportunities that accompany ordination. Upon having children, I would be excited for my own son to have these opportunities. I think we shouldn't minimize them. But there contradiction of building the priesthood up to potential holders, and downplaying it to women. Either it desirable, an honor, and an opportunity – – or it's not. So let's not minimize the blessings of holding the priesthood in order to appease women who, apparently…

    3. … Are "going to find something to be offended about" anyway…
    – So we've moved to belittling the priesthood to dismissing concerns of the women who might have an issue with this? Like Geoff mentioned, the only real reason we can see for this policy is that it has been revealed to the prophets that this is the way it is. It's uneven, yes, but we trust this system is divinely inspired. To suggest that those women who feel that uneven-ness are just "finding SOMETHING to be offended about" downplays the fact that we are dedicated, active contributing members of an organization and gospel that we have limited ability to contribute to – and that this limitation is not surmountable through personal worthiness or willingness to serve. And yet we still believe, we still participate (at a much higher rate than priesthood-eligible men, I might add) and we still serve diligently in the capacities we're assigned to. Please don't tell us that we're just looking for a reason to be offended. We're giving our lives to this gospel/church. That doesn't mean that we have to turn a blind eye to it's less understandable, and less even parts, or just get over the resulting feelings.

    4. I bet even the general officers don't care that they don't have the priesthood, or aren't called general authorities.

    – Seriously?!

    – Yeesh. You guys are killing me today.

    • Craig

      Oh, brothers…
      Oh dear. :(
      Let's suppose for a moment that women held the priesthood as well as men. Things would look like this:
      Women – hold the priesthood and bear children.
      Men – hold the priesthood and don't bear children.
      How would this possibly be equal? You want women to have everything that men have (fair call), but you don't want men to have everything that women have. Chauvinistic much?

      • Oh, brothers…

        Craig – I am delighted that you want men and women to be equal! Let's just make sure we're not getting to equality through Harrison Bergeron-esque methods.

        For the record, I love that men and women both have the opportunity to parent children equally. What a privilege! I also think that holding the priesthood is a privilege, and that bearing children is a privilege.

        But to suggest that physiological gestation and childbirth is somehow a priesthood equivalent is both bizarre and unfounded. Again, it is something over which women have no control (I don't choose to have a uterus, or that children can be conceived in it as a result of intercourse). Whereas the priesthood is a conscious, opt-in step that is representative of pure intent, spiritual preparedness, willingness to serve and a desire to show love to the Lord and serve one's fellow man.

        Your reasoning ignores adoptive mothers, infertile women, single-and-chaste women, reluctant teen mothers, post-menopausal women, women with impotent husbands, atheists, women who have had hysterectomies, abortion-as-birth-control users, – – and I'm sure a lot of other women for whom bearing children is either not possible, or not representative their of intent to progress spiritually and/or serve others/God.

        A lot of the rhetoric I mentioned above similar to the rhetoric used against suffragists. And I'm not even saying anyone should be agitating for a change in this matter. I'm just saying that this kind of reasoning is a patronizing and fallacious attempt somehow justify that men have the priesthood and women don't.

        In the end, it's like this because the Lord has revealed to His prophets that it ought to be like this. And we accept it on those grounds, not by retrofitting a physiological gender difference (one which for most of Christian history has been seen as a punishment for Eve eating the fruit at that!) as an explanation.

  • Robert Gibbons

    To set the record straight, I am "Lawyer Man," and my name is not Rick or Rich, you heathens. It's Robert. :)

  • suvi

    The weird thing is that I've actually gotten kind of hooked on How I Met Your Mother as well recently. I've kept it as my shameful, watch alone at home on netflix late at night secret, but I'll admit it to you guys. It's kind of good.

    Just wanted to clarify that even though Roe v. Wade (abortion) was an issue, I think that the church officially tacked right when it came out in strong opposition over the Equal Rights Amendment. That was a hugely divisive issue that many democrats supported (equality for women) but church members, especially women, were asked by the First Presidency to actively campaign against because of fear that it would erode traditional gender roles. Also, i think that President Benson (Republican and sectary of agriculture under Eisenhower) helped move church members right politically as well. It was under him that the really anti-communism, Birch society element became popular (along with the only protests FOR the Vietnam War). That super strong anti-communist and socialist sentiment still lingers, especially in Southern Utah (that's why Obama as a 'socialist' is such an insult and scary thing). I ran into a girl who was avidly reading a book by Skousen because she'd found a youtube video of President Benson recommending it over the pulpit (it's been removed from the official records). Needless to say, she was of the camp that you can't be a good mormon and democrat. That's all.

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