Friday, August 16, 2013

"Let your women keep silence in the churches"

In 1 Corinthians 14:34 Paul writes "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law."

Now, of course this verse is problematic not just for feminists, but for pretty much anyone in the Western world.  There are very few Christian religions that subscribe to this admonition from Paul (if any still do at all).  Further research indicates that the Joseph Smith Translation of this verse indicates that instead of women not being permitted to speak, they are actually not permitted to rule.

This sentiment jives much better with non-feminists of course than the original, but is it any more true?  The verse is a puzzle to me because it even contradicts Joseph's own style of Prophetic leadership.  In this link to the Joseph Smith Papers' archive of the Nauvoo Relief Society Minutes we see that Joseph has said that the Relief Society would "move according to the Priesthood" and that he would make "of this [Relief] Society a kingdom of Priests as in Enoch's day."

Add to that 2 Nephi 26:33 "all are alike unto God" and Acts 10:34 "God is no respecter of persons" one can't help but receive mixed messages.  The only way to solve this dilemma is an appeal to God ourselves, and as a Church body earnestly seeking the will of God.  Won't you join me in that sincere prayer?


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