The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the following message today from the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The message was posted on LDS.org, the Church’s website for its members.
Click here to download the letter (PDF).
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
OFFICE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
47 EAST SOUTH TEMPLE STREET, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84150-1200
June 28, 2014
In God’s plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women. Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. All service in the Church has equal merit in the eyes of God. We express profound gratitude for the millions of Latter-day Saint women and men who willingly and effectively serve God and His children. Because of their faith and service, they have discovered that the Church is a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.
We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding. We feel special concern, however, for members who distance themselves from Church doctrine or practice and, by advocacy, encourage others to follow them.
Simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.
THE COUNCIL OF
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND
QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Thomas CardonJuly 8, 2014
I have seen comments from those who support ordaining women to the priesthood. They say they just want the prophet to ask God about the issue. They point to the change in church policy when those of African decent were allowed to hold the priesthood. It is true that policies of the church do change from time to time according to the needs of the church, but doctrine never changes. The pain of not accepting the Lord's counsel is strongly evident in the example of Martin Harris when he repeatedly pressured Joseph Smith to ask the Lord to allow him to show the translation of the Book of Mormon to his wife. Both Joseph Smith and Martin Harris suffered greatly because they did not accept the counsel. The roles and responsibilities of men and women with respect to the priesthood are doctrine and not policy. This doctrine is eternal and cannot be changed for God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is essential to our identity and to the Lord's plan of happiness.
Justin R. EcclesJuly 2, 2014
It is nice to reaffirm that Christ's Church is a kingdom directed from the top, not a democracy, directed from the bottom up.Christ's church is perfect; thus changes in perfect doctrine are not of the Savior. What is perfection? Can't add to or take away from..i.e. 2+2=4