Articles/Essays – Volume 36, No. 3

“Kingdom of Priests”: Priesthood Temple and Women in the Old Testament and in the Restoration

In this paper I will attempt to consider priesthood as portrayed in Old Testament texts. One of the common fallacies of historical interpretation is to base our understanding of an early phenomenon on later under standings and institutions, which generally reflect a changed, developed point of view and which may have gained wide currency for any number of reasons. The earliest documents, reflecting a somewhat unfamiliar state of things, are then treated with benign neglect, at best. In religion, an institution often achieves a successful doctrinal-historical synthesis (after years or decades or centuries of difficult work, development, and change), but then institutional historians project that synthesis back into early history. If one analyzes the early documents carefully, however, the pattern of development and change is clearly found. In my opinion, the institutional church could regard the process by which the church came to its synthesis as an inspiring story of man seeking guidance from God and getting it bit by bit, step by step, through a process of human striving (including possible mistakes) mixed with divine revelation. Looking at the earliest sources is first a matter of scholarly honesty (and of course, honesty is never antithetical to the gospel); second, it provides an au thentically faith-promoting view of men and women’s struggles as they receive guidance from God, step by step, line by line.

Mormonism started out as a “restorationist” church—intending to restore the realities of the Old and New Testaments to nineteenth-century America. It arrived at a powerful, successful synthesis throughout the nineteenth century, culminating in the doctrinal teachings of Joseph F. Smith and James E. Talmage; but then, Mormons—in matters of Biblical interpretation—began projecting their twentieth-century synthesis of the gospel into the Old and New Testaments. This has prevented them from experiencing the full complexity and beauty of the scriptures so important to early Mormons, and it has led them to a less than perfect understanding of the Biblical backgrounds of many key Mormon doctrines.

In the case of priesthood, for instance, early Mormons, leaning more toward Catholicism than the Protestants who surrounded them in frontier America, developed a strong emphasis on ecclesiastical priesthood. Indeed, the concept of priesthood found in the Old Testament contains aspects of the Mormon doctrine and practice of priesthood, but not the totality. In this paper, I will attempt to look at the Old Testament view of priesthood in its own terms.[1] Then I will discuss the implications of the Old Testament view of priesthood for Joseph Smith’s restoration of temple worship in Kirtland and Nauvoo, open to both males and females, with no limitation to the male. 

We will see that priesthood in the Old Testament was overwhelmingly connected with sanctuary and temple, cult and ritual. The Old Testament priest, an especially holy and pure person serving as a mediator between God and man, was virtually always connected with a temple and performed ordinances connected with it—sacrifice, purification, prayer. As priesthood was introduced for the purpose of the temple, according to Exodus, only priests entered the temple. As priests were exclusively male, no females entered the temple. This was the priesthood which Joseph Smith had as Biblical paradigm when he restored the Old Testament concept of temples. How he dealt with the issues of temple, priesthood, and women is one of the most significant, interesting, and least understood stories in Mormon history.

I. Priest and Temple Service

The question of priesthood in the Old Testament is extremely complex.[2] I accept that different editors and strands of tradition contributed to the Pentateuch and the books of the Old Testament, and that later editors used early texts and sources, and put their own stamp on them. However, I do not accept the details of any particular scholar’s interpretation as authoritative or final.[3] One of the basic textual strands scholars have posited in the Pentateuch is a “priestly” source, P, which emphasizes matters relating to the priests, temple, and ritual. Julius Well hausen, in his classic of source criticism, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel,[4] argued that the institution of priesthood was entirely post-Exilic; however, later scholars have taken issue with this position and have concluded that pre-Exilic traditions in P have historical valid ity.[5] Scholars have emphasized that the priesthood changed from pre monarchy, to monarchy, to post-exile. According to N. H. Snaith, “There are many passages in the Old Testament which show that the Aaronic priestly caste of later days was a development from a very different state of affairs. Once, all Levites were priests and not the sons of Aaron only. Earlier still, it was not even necessary to be a Levite in order to be a priest. Any man could be a priest, provided that he had been properly consecrated.”[6] For the purposes of this paper, it is enough to note that even in the early history of the priesthood, there was always a close connection between priest and sanctuary. See for example, a text often cited as evidence for early priesthood, Judges 17-18, the story of Micah’s Levite. Micah had a shrine and had his own son serve in it, but when a Levite moved into the area, “Micah inducted the Levite, and the young man became his priest and remained in Micah’s shrine” (Judg. 17:12). Here Levites, not just descendants of Aaron, serve as priests; and when a Levite is not available, non-Levites can serve. But the priest’s connection with sanctuary is basic. 

A place to start for gaining an understanding of priesthood in the Old Testament is the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. They give accounts of the “preliminary,” movable temple in the wilderness, the “Tent” (in the King James version, “Tabernacle”), the description of which is revealed by God in Exodus 25-27. Inside the Tabernacle the holy of holies, containing the ark of the covenant, is behind a curtain; on the other side of the curtain is a larger room with altar of incense, table of acacia wood, and lamp. Pillars delimited an outer court, and in this court was a bronze basin and an altar on which sacrifices could be performed. This pattern was later followed when a stationary temple was built in Jerusalem. 

Then in Exodus 28:1, the Lord instructs Moses, “You shall bring for ward your brother Aaron, with his sons, from among the Israelites, to serve Me as priests.” After the temple pattern is revealed, priests must be consecrated to serve in it. To begin the consecration, they must be washed at the door of the tabernacle (Exod. 40:12). A long description of the special vestments of the priests follows in Exodus 29, including a “fringed [checkered, NRSV] tunic of fine linen. . .the headdress [turban, NRSV] of fine linen. . .[and] the sash of embroidered work” (Exod. 28:39)[7] The priests are then anointed (Exod. 40:15; Lev. 8:10, 30). “This their anointing shall serve them for everlasting priesthood throughout the ages.”[8] Sacrifices are also part of the ordination of Aaron and his sons. Blood was taken from a sacrificed ram and put on the “ridges” of the priests’ right ears, on the thumbs of the right hand, and on the “big toes of their right feet”; the rest of the blood was dashed “against every side of the altar round about.” This rite strikingly illustrates how the priest was tied to the sanctuary (Exod. 29:19-21). 

In Exodus chapters 30 and 31, some of the rites and duties priests carried out in the temple are revealed. According to the Bible dictionary included in the LDS Bible, “The priest exercised his office mainly at the altar [within the innermost temple court] by offering the sacrifices and above all the incense [at the altar within the temple building].”[9] In blessing the priestly Levite tribe, Moses says, “They shall offer You incense to savor / And whole-offerings on your altar” (Deut. 33:10). Sacrifices were often rituals of atonement for the sins of the people. According to the book of Numbers, when non-priests (though Levites) offered incense in the temple, they were destroyed (Num. 16-17). Aaron and his sons are priests and can enter into the tabernacle proper; Levites can perform lesser duties connected with the temple, but “they must not have any contact with the furnishings of the Shrine or with the altar, lest both they and you [Aaron and his sons] die” (Num. 18:3). “You and your sons shall be careful to perform your priestly duties in everything pertaining to the altar and to what is behind the curtain. I make your priesthood a service of dedication; any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death” (Num. 18:6-7). In the later temple in Jerusalem, only the high priest went behind the curtain, the “veil,” to the Holy of Holies, and he did it only once a year (Lev. 16). Entrance into the temple is strictly only for those who hold priesthood. 

The Hebrew word for priest is kohen. The etymology of this word is not completely certain, but the most commonly attested Hebrew cognate is kun, which means “stand (before God),” “serve,” or “lay down, set forth (a sacrifice).” Ritual service to God in the sanctuary is emphasized.[10]

While priests in the Old Testament had functions beyond temple and ritual service (which we will touch on briefly below), temple and temple related ritual were central. Cody, author of the standard book on Old Testament priesthood, writes that “priestly duties and activities varied somewhat, but primary in the early period, and always basic, was the idea that a priest is a person attached to the service of God in a sanctuary, God’s house.”[11] Dommershausen, in his article on kohen in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, lists as the priests’ first function, “Guarding the sanctuary.” The earliest priests “were thus charged with guardianship of the sacred precincts and what went on there. Sacrifices are offered by the worshippers themselves, but the priests are permitted to take a portion of the offerings for their sustenance.”[12] “The priestly ministry is thus primarily an altar ministry,” he writes.[13] Ringgren, de scribing the priests before Solomon’s temple, writes, “In the pre-monarchic period, the priest appears as the attendant of a sanctuary and a giver of oracles.”[14]

The priest’s cultic duties—largely tied up with the sacred place and structure, the temple—included animal sacrifice, burnt offerings, cereal offerings, incense offerings, “wave” offerings, firstfruit offerings, atone ment sacrifice, “replacing the bread of the presence on the Sabbath (Lev. 24:8), dressing lamps in the holy place (Ex. 30:7), maintaining all the temple appurtenances, sounding the festal trumpets (Num. 10:8, 10), and ‘blessing in the name of Yahweh’ (Deut. 10:8; 21:5; 1 Chron. 23:13).”[15]

Priests alone entered the temple and its innermost court to perform ordinances. Non-priests, carefully ranked in sacrality, were allowed only into the outer courts of the temple. Josephus gives descriptions of the Jerusalem temple which show this system of increasing sacrality with only priests officiating in the sacred center.[16] The outermost court has been designated by moderns as the “Court of the Gentiles” because both Jews and Gentiles were allowed to enter into it. Within this was the court which Gentiles were forbidden to enter on pain of death. In Jewish War 5:193, Josephus refers to this as the “second court” and the “holy place.” There was one gateway to this court “through which those of us who were ritually clean used to pass with our wives” (Antiq. 15:419). In Jewish War 5:199-200, he describes a special court on the east called “the women’s court.” Then there was “the sacred (court) which women were forbidden to enter, and still farther within was a third court into which only priests were permitted to go. In this priests’ court was the temple, and before it was an altar, on which we used to sacrifice whole burnt-offerings to God. Into none of these courts did King Herod enter since he was not a priest and therefore prevented from so doing. But with the construction of the porticos and the outer courts he did busy himself. . . the temple itself was built by the priests in a year and six months” (Antiq. 15:419-21). Only priests entered the temple building; only priests entered the court surrounding the temple building.[17]

II. Other Functions of Priests

Cody explains that the Hebrew priest was “server or minister of God in the sanctuary,” just as there was a regal minister in a palace.[18] Growing out of this function were other duties of priests, including divination and teaching, both functions showing the priest’s role as intermediary between God and the people. In a discussion of the Old Testament priest, de Vaux mentions “the priest and sanctuary,” then moves on to “priests and divine oracles,” “the priest as teacher,” “the priest and sacrifice” (actually an aspect of temple work), and “the priest as mediator.”[19] Priestly consultation of oracles was only found in the early history of the priesthood; although this was a prophetic function, it was very limited even in early days of the priesthood, usually involving casting lots for answers with the Ephod or Urim and Thummim.[20] When “prophetism” became dominant in Israel, prophets (usually not priests) ascertained the will of Jehovah through very different means, through visions and moral in sight. Tensions sometimes arose between the prophets and priests, and prophets could accuse priests of not teaching the law, or teaching it in sincerely for gain (Jer. 2:8, cf. Mic. 3:11).[21] Other prophets were priests themselves (such as Ezekiel) or closely connected to priests.

Teaching by priests is attested in Deuteronomy: “They [the priestly tribe of Levi] shall teach Your laws to Jacob and Your instructions to Israel” (Deut. 33:10). In Deuteronomy 31:9, Moses instructs the priests to recite the Law every seven years at the Feast of Booths. Yet even the priest’s teaching relates to his temple, cultic functions: Ezekiel (Ezek. 44:23-24) writes that priests “shall declare to My people what is sacred and what is profane, and inform them what is clean and what is unclean. . .they shall preserve My teachings and My laws regarding all My fixed occasions.” Teaching the people concerning pure and impure will allow the people to bring the correct sacrifices to be offered when they need to be cleansed of sin or impurity. 

III. Who Could Become a Priest?

Only a select few were allowed to become priests in ancient Israel. Many of the reasons for disqualifying a person from priesthood in the Old Testament, based on laws of ritual purity, were contradicted by Jesus’s later teachings of compassion, “justice and mercy,” inclusiveness, and sincere religious feeling. 

First, as we have seen in Exodus, only Aaron and his descendants could hold priesthood. This reflects an understanding that Levites—descendants of the tribe of Levi—were confined to serving as lesser temple functionaries, and were ambiguously priests. The other eleven tribes could not hold priesthood of any sort. Since priests were by definition holier than other men, they were “holy” by heredity, rather than through ethical and spiritual qualities. Other passages in the Bible suggest that at one time, all Levites could be full priests. Still, even with Levites included, this is an exclusive, hereditary view of priesthood. 

In addition, within the tribe of Levi and family of Aaron, ritual purity or standards of physical perfection were necessary. Disabled per sons—the blind, lame, or a man “who has a limb too short or too long,” or who is “a hunchback, or a dwarf, or who has a growth in his eye, or who has a boil-scar, or scurvy, or crushed testes”—could not serve as priests: “[H]e shall not enter behind the curtain or come near the altar, for he has a defect. He shall not profane these places sacred to Me, for I the Lord have sanctified them” (Lev. 21:16-23, Deut. 23:2-3). If a priest were physically imperfect, he would “profane” the sanctuary. 

In the Old Testament, holiness was to a remarkable extent reckoned by laws of ritual purity. All Israelites were required to live by these laws and to seek atonement or purification through sacrifice if they participated in a ritual defilement, such as touching a dead person. Priests, who had to serve in the temple, were to live by even higher standards.[22] They were not allowed to marry a widow or a divorced woman (Lev. 21:7, 14)—perhaps a commentary on the perceived impurity of a woman who is not a virgin, or the assumption that a divorced woman had been put away because she had been sexually sinful; however, they might marry the widow of a fellow priest by Ezekiel’s time (Ezek. 44:22). If a daughter of a priest “defiles herself through harlotry,” she defiles her father (and by extension, the institution of priesthood), and she is to be “put to the fire” (Lev. 21:9).[23]

As we examine such views of ritual purity, we can see how revolutionary were Jesus’s teachings rejecting reliance on such conceptions and directing the religious person to moral, ethical principles and to greater inclusivity as having central religious importance.[24]

What is said about women and priesthood, if anything, in the Old Testament? It is striking how separated women are from priesthood in the standard Old Testament understanding of the role: “We. . .hear occasionally of female prophets” (2 Kings 22:14; Neh. 6:14) writes Dommershausen, “whereas there were never any female priests in Israel.”[25] Thus, women never entered the temple (recall Josephus’s description of the Court of Women outside the inner courts of the Jerusalem temple), which is another way of saying they were not priests. 

What were the reasons for such a ban of women from the temple and from priesthood? One might simply accept that Hebrew culture at the time was openly, unselfconsciously patriarchal. Important roles in the community were given to men without question or reflection. However, we have also seen how women—divorced daughters of priests—could be seen as impure because of their sexuality. A woman in childbirth was also regarded as impure for seven days if she bore a male, for two weeks if she bore a female! (Lev. 12:1-5) Some scholars have suggested that because of menstruation and childbirth, a woman would always be disqualified from acting as a priest. Milgrom writes, “The woman’s ineligibility for the priesthood is based on purely practical grounds: the impurity of her menses disqualifies her from serving for one week out of every four (and as much as three months during parturition).”[26] Vos mentions that women generally began having children soon after reaching puberty, and thus would have found it difficult “to find time for the full-time profession of the priesthood.”[27] This is a practical, rather than a theological, explanation. 

Some scholars have argued that certain evidence suggests that women once had some connection with cultic (i.e., priestly) functions.[28] For instance, women performed cultic singing and dancing (Exod. 15:20; 1 Sam. 18:6, 21:11). Nevertheless, the Old Testament overwhelmingly portrays woman as separated from serving in the temple and from priesthood.

IV. Priesthood in the New Testament

Priesthood in the New Testament is not the focus of this paper, but I will look at it briefly.[29] First of all, priesthood during the ministry of Jesus was essentially a continuation of Old Testament priesthood: It fo cused on serving in the temple, it was hereditary (the favored family of Zadokite priests traced their lineage back to Aaron; Levites were sub servient priests), and priests sometimes served as teachers in Israel. The Sadducees were a priestly party whose name derived from Zadok. There were tensions between Jesus and the priests of his day—for instance, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite are viewed in a negative way.[30] However, while Jesus might denounce individual priests or groups of priests as unworthy of their office (which reminds us of tensions between prophets and priests in the Old Testament), he did not reject the priestly system.[31] For instance, after he healed the leper in Mark 1:44, he instructed him to “go and show yourself to the priest” to offer Mosaic offerings for cleansing. John the Baptist was of priestly lineage and his parents were viewed sympathetically. 

When the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the institutions of priesthood—Sadduccees, priests, Levites—came to an end. Pharisees, teachers not priests, gradually became dominant religious leaders, and they gave rise to the system of rabbis.

What of priests and priesthood in the early New Testament church? The initial surprise for LDS readers, whose doctrine and practice includes such an overwhelming emphasis on priesthood, will be how in frequently priests and priesthood are mentioned in the context of the early Christian church. Mormons may read priesthood into early church offices: For instance, they may assume that the offices of apostle, bishop, and pastor included priesthood. However, the New Testament text does not use the word “priest” or “priesthood” in this context.[32] Some scholars believe that the early Christian church was in a “process of separation” from “all association with the priestly and sacrificial institutions of Judaism.”[33] They emphasized the prophetic over the priestly traditions in the Old Testament. 

Nevertheless, the early Christians came to re-interpret priesthood in the light of Jesus’s teachings and the destruction of the Temple. The one book in the New Testament that is largely concerned with priesthood, Hebrews, emphasizes Jesus’s priesthood.[34] In other passages of the New Testament, priesthood seems to be applied to the whole church, a radical contrast to the hereditary priesthood of the Old Testament. Peter, for in stance, writes, “Like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . . .You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Peter 2:5, 9).[35]

V. Restoration: 1836–1845, Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois

The Mormon religion is restorationist. Joseph Smith—and generations of Mormons after him—felt he was restoring and revalorizing institutions and experiences from Biblical times. Another term for this kind of religion was Biblical primitivism: restoration of the “primitive” church (i.e., in the Sixth Article of Faith, we read, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church”).[36] Mormonism was not alone in nineteenth century America in striving to restore Biblical realities. Many Protestant groups, such as the Campbellite movement and even Methodism, were likewise striving to regain the Biblical ecclesiastical forms and purity of spirit. However, Mormonism was distinguished by its thoroughgoing and literal restorationism and by the fact that it paid attention to both Testaments rather than focusing mainly on the New Testament as did many Protestant groups. 

Joseph Smith was especially influenced by the Old Testament, and many characteristic Mormon institutions have their primary pattern in the Old Testament: prophet, temple, priesthood, polygamy. In the case of Protestant restorationism, priesthood was not an emphasized institution, except in generalized, non-hierarchical form (Luther’s “priesthood of all believers”).[37] This was partially a reaction against Roman Catholicism where hierarchical and authoritarian priests were an important part of the ecclesiastical framework. As we have seen, the New Testament does not use priesthood terminology in referring to officers of the early Chris tian church. Only the book of Hebrews is largely concerned with priesthood, and then mainly with Jesus’s priesthood. So this Protestant lack of interest in institutionalized priesthood is an interpretation of the New Testament that is entirely possible. 

Joseph Smith, on the other hand, developed a theological under standing fairly close to that of the Roman Catholic Church, accepting authoritative priesthood as the structure of the church. This emphasis on priesthood is what one might expect from someone strongly influenced by the Old Testament. For a leader concerned with temple restoration, as was Smith, it would be logical that priesthood would have to be restored with temples. A temple would need people to enter it and carry out its rites and ordinances. As we have seen, in the Old Testament the priest is above everyone who performs ritual service at the temple. 

The Kirtland temple is something of a proto-temple in Mormonism: It was referred to as the House of the Lord, not a temple, at the time of its building and early use.[38] Nevertheless, in later Mormonism it was accepted as a temple, and certainly some of the rituals first performed in it, including a proto-endowment, later became part of Mormon temple ritual. 

For our purposes, the most important aspect here was allowing women to enter the Kirtland temple; we will discuss this more thoroughly in relation to the Nauvoo endowment and temple experience. Women entered the temple and participated in the charismatic meetings inside the building. For example, Presendia Huntington Buell (later Kim ball) wrote, ‘At another fast meeting I was in the temple with my sister Zina.” As the congregation prayed, kneeling, they heard “from one corner of the room above our heads, a choir of angels singing most beauti fully.” Buell wrote, “We were also in the Temple at the pentecost.”[39]

Another important event was the restoration of washing and anointing as a temple ordinance.[40] These ordinances first took place on January 21, 1836, when the First Presidency and a few other church leaders received their washing outside the temple, then moved into the temple, where they anointed their heads with oil.[41] Later, other male members of the church, including “priests, teachers, and deacons,” received this same washing and anointing. That this was regarded as a restoration of events from Exodus is shown by a statement by Oliver Cowdery: “[they] were annointed [sic] with the same kind of oil and in the manner that were Moses and Aaron.”[42]

The church subsequently moved to Missouri (where plans for temples in Independence and Far West did not reach fruition), then to Nauvoo, Illinois. In Nauvoo, Joseph Smith directed the building of a major temple and began to introduce further temple ordinances. While he did not live to see the temple completed, he presided over the first performance of a number of ordinances that have since become the basis for modern Mormon temple practice. 

Smith did not introduce these ordinances publicly, but—in keeping with the Mormon concept of an esoteric temple (and in keeping with the Old Testament idea of a temple where Gentiles were strictly excluded from entrance into even the inner courts of the temple, let alone the building)—he introduced them to a small, elite group of trusted followers, starting on May 4, 1842. This group was most commonly called the Holy Order or Anointed Quorum, but it had a number of other names, among them simply “Quorum” or “Priesthood.”[43] And Holy Order, in fact, was a term closely associated with priesthood. The Book of Mormon refers to “the high priesthood of the holy order of God” (Alma 4:20, cf. 2 Nephi 6:2), and in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Melchizedek priesthood is referred to as the “holy order of God” (D&C 77:11, 84:18).[44] Likewise, D&C 84:18 mentions Aaron, so the Holy Order was again seen as a restoration of Aaron’s priesthood—not, confusingly, the LDS Aaronic priesthood, but the “high priesthood” which Aaron received and which Mormons refer to as the Melchizedek priesthood. These naming references to Holy Order, “Priesthood,” Quorum, and Anointed Quorum show clearly and explicitly that this quorum was a priesthood organization. Since the ordinances introduced in this group were temple ordinances, it was entirely fitting, given Old Testament practice, that this had to be a priesthood group. In the Old Testament, as we have seen, to enter the temple and perform rituals in it or just outside it, one had to be a priest.[45]

Once again, as in the Kirtland House of the Lord, members of the Anointed Quorum received a washing and anointing just before receiving the ordinance called the endowment.[46] In addition, during the endowment they were given ritual temple clothing associated with priesthood.[47] A conservative historian has described the rites of the Holy Order (“Joseph Smith’s private prayer circle”): 

They were initiated into the [Anointed] Quorum through a “washing and anointing” that symbolized the spiritual cleanliness and progress they sought to attain. At the meetings [of the Holy Order], dressed in special priesthood robes, they went through the endowment ordinances that consisted of religious instruction, learning certain symbolic “signs and tokens,” and taking upon themselves sacred covenants pertaining to their personal lives and conduct. All this was held to be a most sacred part of the restoration of the “ancient order of all things.” They also participated in fervent prayer concerning the problems of the day.[48]

It was at this point that Joseph Smith was faced with one of the most momentous and least understood decisions of his prophetic mission. The Holy Order was a pre-temple group: They met in a space that was a sort of temporary temple, like the Tabernacle, and the ordinances they were given were meant to be performed in the temple. Thus, the group was explicitly a priesthood group, a quorum, with ordinances that were regarded as restorations of the priesthood ordination ceremonies of Aaron (as high priest) and his sons (as priests): washing, anointing, investing in priestly clothing. Thus, they became priests who were qualified to enter the sanctuary. 

Now, with full temple ordinances available and a major temple nearing completion, how would Joseph Smith view women in this context? As we have seen, introducing women into the temple by Old Testament definition would have made them priests, and so no women were al lowed to enter the temple anciently. Certainly, Joseph Smith had not included women in any of the offices of the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods, as they had been understood up to this point. One might have expected Smith to follow the Old Testament pattern and let only men enter the temple. 

What Smith in fact did, with little fanfare, is shown by an entry in his diary that recorded an Anointed Quorum meeting: ‘At 7 eve met at the Mansion’s upper room front with W L[aw] W M[arks]. Beurach Ale [Joseph Smith] was by common consent and unanimous voice chosen President of the quorum and anointed [second anointing] and ordfained] to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood (and companion [Emma Smith]) Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Geo Miller, N K. Whitney, Willard Richards, John Smith, John Taylor, Amasa Lyman, Lucien Wood worth, J M. Bernhisel, Wm Law, Wm Marks. President led in prayer that his days might be prolonged, have dominion over his enemies, all the households be blessed and all the church and world.”[49] Thus, Emma Smith was introduced into the Anointed Quorum; she was also anointed and ordained “to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood.”

More women were introduced into the Quorum in subsequent meetings. Heber C. Kimball, for instance, wrote on January 20, 1844, “[M]y wife Vilate and menny feemales was recieved in to the Holy Order, and was washed and inointed by Emma [Smith].”[50] Brigham Young wrote in his diary, on October 29, 1843, that Thirza Cahoon, Lois Cutler, and Phebe Woodworth were “taken into the order of the priesthood.”[51]

Joseph Smith, thus, introduced women into temple ritiual—a revolutionary action, given the Old Testament’s complete ban on women entering the temple. However, this action also has significant implications with regard to priesthood, for we have seen that entrance into the temple and service therein inescapably defines the central aspect of priesthood in the Old Testament. 

For those who may have difficulty accepting that entrance into the temple has such a meaning, we should look at important aspects of the temple ordinances Joseph Smith shared in the Anointed Quorum meetings. Washing and anointings were always the beginning of the series of temple rites he introduced. We have seen that washing and anointing in Exodus was a rite of ordination to priesthood, and we have seen that the early Latter-day Saints understood these as restorations of the washings and anointings given to Aaron and his sons. 

In addition, another crucial part of the rites revealed by Joseph Smith was clothing in special robes. I will not describe these in detail, but it has been accepted that these temple robes are based on the descriptions of priestly robes in the Old Testament (though not on the high priestly robes, which are more elaborate). Hugh Nibley, in his article “Leaders to Managers: the Fatal Shift,” wrote: “There is another type of robe and headdress described in Exodus and Leviticus and the 3rd Book of Josephus’ Antiquities, i.e. the white robe and linen cap of the Hebrew priesthood, which have close resemblance to some Egyptian vestments. They were given up entirely however, with the passing of the temple and were never even imitated after that by the Jews. Both their basic white and their peculiar design, especially as shown in the latest studies from Israel, are much like our own temple garments.”[52] In Exodus, donning those priestly clothes was a part of the rite of ordination to priesthood. “Next you [Moses] shall instruct all. . .[those skilled in making clothing], to make Aaron’s vestments, for consecrating him to serve Me as a priest . . . .They shall make those sacred vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons, for priestly service to Me” (Exod. 28:3-5). By the standards of the Old Testament, when women are clothed in such priestly clothing, they are being given a consecration to priesthood. 

Furthermore, early church leaders clearly and unselfconsciously connected women with priesthood in their statements. Joseph Smith told the Relief Society that he was “going to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as Enoch’s day.”[53] Perhaps he was looking forward to their en trance into the temple and participation in ordinances within it.[54] On February 1,1844, Kimball “Myself and wife Vilate was announted Preast and Preastest [Priestess] unto our God under the Hands of B. Young and by the voys [voice] of the Holy Order.”[55] Of course, in entering the Holy Order, women entered a group that was called “Priesthood” and “Quo rum” and even “the Quorum of Priesthood.”[56] It is hard to escape the logical inference that the group was a priesthood quorum. All of this makes perfect sense in the light of Joseph Smith restoring temple and priesthood, and introducing women into the temple, giving them the same consecration rites—washing, anointing, and clothing in ritual clothing, rites of ordination to priesthood in Exodus—as men.

This restoration of temple and related ordinances with women included is one of the most remarkable aspects of Smith’s work of restoration in the modern dispensation. One might have expected only men to enter the temples, to receive washing, anointing, and ritual clothing, and to perform rites in the house of the Lord. With little fanfare, Smith introduced women into the temple, to equally receive washing, anointing, and ritual clothing, perform rites in the house of the Lord. Yet that intro duction had enormous implications for how a Mormon might look at the connection of women and priesthood. 

In addition, the inclusion of women in temple service shows that Joseph Smith often did not restore Biblical institutions completely and precisely. Though he restored many aspects of temple and temple rites (such as washing, anointing, and clothing) modeled on Biblical patterns, introducing women into the temple is absolutely contrary to Biblical practice because women were never accepted as priests in Jewish tradition and culture. 

A significant divide between LDS conservatives and liberals exists on the issue of women and priesthood, with conservatives generally affirming that women and priesthood are concepts which are absolutely and strictly separated.[57] Liberals, on the other hand, tend to believe that women could have priesthood, have indeed had priesthood since 1843, or that priesthood could be defined in such a way as to include women.[58]

The liberal-leaning Community of Christ (RLDS) church has openly recognized the priesthood of women and now has women at every level of priesthood, including apostle. 

I believe the most important argument for the connection of women and priesthood is based on the absolute justice of God and on an ethical, non-legalistic view of priesthood (we remember that both in the Old and New Testaments, inspired writers hoped that God’s people, all of them, would be a kingdom of priests).[59] However, it is striking how much evidence there is from Mormon history to suggest that Joseph Smith and early church men and women accepted a connection of women and priesthood.[60] Bringing women into the temple—into a priesthood quo rum, into the performance of priestly ordinances—is one of the most re markable aspects of Joseph Smith’s restoration of the temple. 

[1] I will quote from Tanakh: A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1985). I also use Michael Coogan, ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

[2] For general introductions to priests and priesthood in the Old Testament, see George Buchanan Gray, Sacrifice in the Old Testament: Its Theory and Practice (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1971, orig. 1925), 179-270; Gerhard von Rad, Old Testament Theology, trans. D. M. G. Stalker, 2 vols. (New York: Harper & Row, 1962, orig. 1957), 1:241-49; Han Joachim Kraus, Worship in Israel (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1966, orig. 1962), 93-100; H. Ringgren, Israelite Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966, orig. 1963), 204-19, 324-30; Aelred Cody, A History of Old Testament Priesthood (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1969) and “Priests and High Priest,” in Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, eds., The Oxford Companion to the Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 608-11; Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, trans. John McHugh (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961, orig. 1958,1960), 345-405; Gary A. Anderson and Saul M. Olyan, eds., Priesthood and Cult in Ancient Israel (Sheffield, U.K.: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Press, 1991); Richard A. Henshaw, Female and Male, The Cultic Personnel: The Bible and the Rest of the Ancient Near East (Allison Park, Penn.: Pickwick Publications, 1994), 24-28; Moses Buttenwieser, “Priest,” in The Jewish Encyclopedia, 12 vols. (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1905- 1916), 10:192-97; Menahem Harem, “Priests and Priesthood,” in Cecil Roth, ed., Encyclopedia Judaica, 16 vols. (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1971), 13:1070-86; Merlin D. Rehm, “Levites and Priests,” in David Noel Freedman, et al., eds., The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols. (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 4:297-310. 

[3] Once again, I accept this kind of textual analysis within a context of faith in God’s inspiration behind the totality of scripture (and I accept that no scripture is infallible, but a combination of God’s inspiration and human weakness and cultural limitation). See James Barr, “Modern Biblical Criticism,” in Metzger and Coogan, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 318-24. I am interested in “canonical criticism,” which is concerned with the “the final text, not in earlier stages that have led up to it,” (324) but canonical criticism must still work with source, form, and redaction criticism.

[4] Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (Edinburgh: Black, 1885), 121-52. 

[5] See R. Abba, “Priests and Levites,” The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 4 vols. (New York: Abingdon Press, 1962) 3:876-89. 

[6] “The Priesthood and the Temple,” in Thomas Walter Manson, A Companion to the Bible (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947), 418-43, 418.

[7] See Menahem Haran, “Priestly Vestments,” in Roth, Encyclopedia Judaica, 13:1063- 69; Nahum M. Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus (New York: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), ad loc.

[8] Lev. 8:12, 30; Exod. 29:41, 30:30, 40:15. See E. Kutsch, Salbung als Rechtsakt (Berlin: Verlag Alfred Topelmann, 1963), 1-26; Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, Anchor Bible series (New York: Doubleday, 1991), 553-56. Milgrom feels that the royal anointing took place after the pattern of the anointing of the high priest, thus making the king a priest of sorts.

[9] “Priests,” in The Holy Bible (SLC: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979), 753.

[10] See W. Dommershausen, “kohen,” II, in Joannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Joseph Febry, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 12 vols, trans. David Green (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans: 1995, orig. 1982-84), 7:60-75, 66.

[11] Cody, “Priests and High Priest,” 608. 

[12]  Dommershausen, “kohen,” 66-67. See also, de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 348: “Every priest was chosen and installed to serve in a sanctuary.”

[13] Dommershausen, “kohen,” 69.

[14] Ringgren, Israelite Religion, 205. See Judg. 17,1 Sam. 1-4, 7:1; Josh. 3. 

[15] Dommershausen, “kohen,” 69-70.

[16] See Antiq. 15:419ff.; 8:95ff.; Jewish War, 5:184ff. Trans. Thackeray. Cf. C. T .R. Hayward, The Jewish Temple: A Non-Biblical Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1996), 142-43.

[17] In the ancient world, the ground surrounding a temple was part of the sacred space it was associated with. Nevertheless, we can see by Josephus’s description that there were degrees of sacrality: The innermost, highest sacrality was found within the building and was reserved for priests. Gentiles and women were allowed some limited contact with the temple’s sacrality, but only at the outer fringes.

[18] Cody, “Priests and High Priest,” 609.

[19] de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 348-58. Dommershausen lists the two other major functions of the Old Testament priest, beyond “guarding the sanctuary” and the closely related “cultic duties” (which are primarily performed at the temple), as “dispensing oracles” and “teaching.” 

[20] For a discussion of these methods of oracular consultation, see Ringgren, Israelite Religion, 205-6; Kraus, Worship in Israel, 97; de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 352; Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, 507. According to Milgrom, the Urim and Thummim were only consulted in the Holy of Holies near the Ark, so this form of revelation is connected with the temple. 

[21] See S. H. Hooke, Prophets and Priests (London: Oxford, 1938). Adam C. Welch, Prophet and Priest in Old Israel (London: SCM Press, 1936); H.L. Ellison, The Prophets of Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1969), 26-28, 112; Marvin A. Sweeney, Ezekiel: Zadokite Priest and Visionary Prophet of the Exile (Claremont, CA: Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, 2001).

[22] For the Levitical “Holiness Code” (accepted by scholars as a separate stratum in the Pentateuch, “H”), see David P. Wright, “The Spectrum of Priestly Impurity,” in Ander son and Olyan, Priesthood and Cult, 150-82.

[23] The NRSV grimly translates this as “she shall be burned to death.” For historical examples, see Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 17-22, Anchor Bible series (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 1811. For similar punishments, see Deuteronomy 22. If a lay woman was found not to be a virgin when she married, she was stoned at her father’s home, showing the father’s perceived culpability.

[24] Mark 7:1-23; Matt. 15:1-20. Joel Marcus, Mark 1-8, Anchor Bible series (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 454.

[25] Dommershausen, “kohen,” 74. See also see de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 384, “no woman ever held a place among the Isrealite clergy”; Clarence J. Vos, Women in Old Testament Worship (Delft: Judels & Brinkman, 1968), 192-93. For further on female prophets in the Old Testament, see Vos, 174-97, and Grace I. Emmerson, “Women in Ancient Israel,” in R. E. Clements, ed., The World of Ancient Israel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 371-94, 374-76. These are Deborah (Judg. 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh. 6:14), and Isaiah’s wife (Isa. 8:3); see also Ezekiel 13:17 and Joel 3:1. 

[26] Milgrom, Leviticus 17-22,1811. See Lev. 15:19-24: Menstruation caused a woman to be unclean for seven days. De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2:348; Vos, Women in Old Testament Wor ship, 193; Judith Romney Wegner, Chattel or Person? The Status of Women in the Mishnah (Ox ford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 162-65; Ruth B. Edwards, The Case for Women’s Min istry, in the Biblical Foundations in Theology Series (London: SPCK, 1989), 27; Donald G. Bloesch, Is the Bible Sexist? Beyond Feminism and Patriarchalism (Westchester, 111.: Crossway Books, 1982), 41.

[27] Vos, Women, 207.

[28] See Gray, Sacrifice, 184-93; 203-4; Henshaw, Female and Male, 27, who cites especially, Vos, Women in Old Testament Worship; Ismar J. Peritz, “Women in the Early Hebrew Cult,” Journal of Biblical Literature 17 (1898): 111-48; Mayer I. Gruber, “Women in the Cult ac cording to the Priestly Code,” in Jacob Neusner et al., eds., Judaic Perspectives in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 35-48; Johannes Pedersen, Israel, Its Life and Culture, 2 vols, trans. Mrs. Aslaug Muller (London: Oxford University Press, 1926-1940), III/IV:166ff. 

[29] See M. H. Shepherd, Jr., “Priests in the NT,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 3:889; Albert Vanhoye, Old Testament Priests and the New Priest: According to the New Testament, trans. J. B. Orchard (Petersham, Mass.: St. Bede’s Publications, 1986, orig. 1980).

[30] Luke 10:31-32; cf. Matt. 3:7.

[31] Shepherd, “Priests in the NT,” 890.

[32] Cf. Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:6; Exod. 19:6 (“a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”); Isa. 61:6. These last two scriptures show that even in the Old Testament there was a non-exclu sive view of priesthood, as extended to all members of God’s community. See also Ernest Best, “Spiritual Sacrifice: General Priesthood in the New Testament,” Interpretation 14 (1960): 273-99.

[33] Shepherd, “Priests in the NT,” 890. 

[34] See John M. Scholer, Proleptic Priests: Priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Sheffield, U.K.: JSOT Press, 1991). While Scholer sees Hebrews as referring to Jesus explicitly as a priest, he argues that the cultic language of Hebrews, applied to the book’s readers, also implies that members of the church have priestly aspects. 

[35] Cf. Rev. 1:6, 5:10, 20:6; Exod. 19:6 (“a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”); Isa. 61:6. These last two scriptures show that even in the Old Testament there was a non-exclusive view of priesthood, as extended to all members of God’s community. See also Ernest Best, “Spiritual Sacrifice: General Priesthood in the New Testament,” Interpretation 14 (1960): 273-99.

[36] See Jan Shipps, “The Reality of the Restoration in LDS Theology and the Restoration Ideal in the Mormon Tradition,” in The American Quest for the Primitive Church, ed. Richard T. Hughes (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 181-95; a version of this was reprinted in Shipps’s Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 229-43.

[37] See Kathryn H. Shirts, “Priesthood and Salvation: Is D&C 84 a Revelation for Women Too?” Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991): 20-27.

[38] Gregory A. Prince, Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 122, n. 24.

[39] Interview with Presendia Kimball, quoted in Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom (New York: Tullidge & Crandall, 1877), 207-8. The Kirtland temple was used for general church meetings and for schools, and was thus an “open” temple.

[40] See Donald W. Parry, “Washings and Anointings,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. (New York: Macmillan Co., 1992), 4:1551.

[41] See Dean Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith (SLC: Deseret Book, 1993), 2:155-59; Prince, Power from on High, 125-26,184.

[42] Oliver Cowdery, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio ‘Sketch Book,'” Leonard Arrington, ed., Brigham Young University Studies 12 (1972): 410-26, 419, entry for Jan. 21,1836; see also Prince, Power from on High, 184.

[43] For the Holy Order/Anointed Quorum, see Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergera, “A Season in Prayer”: Meetings of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845 (forthcoming), which attempts to supply all the primary sources; D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Salt Lake: Signature Books, 1994), 399-402, 491-519, 634-54; Andrew Ehat, “Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Succession Question,” master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982.

[44] See discussion in Quinn, Origins of Power, 114. 

[45] Heber C. Kimball seems to summarize the whole endowment as an ordination to priesthood. He wrote that in June [May] 1842, “I was aniciated into the ancient order was washed and annointed and Sealled and ordained a Preast. . .in company with nine others, Viz. Josph Smith, Hiram Smith [and others] . . .” On the Potter’s Wheel, 55-56.

[46] Prince, Power from on High, 186, citing History of the Church 5:2; Brigham Young Manuscript History, May 4,1842, LDS Church Archives; L. John Nuttall diary, Feb. 7,1877, LDS Church Archives, with excerpts available on New Mormon Studies CD-ROM (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998), see “Temples” section. This is quoted in David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994), 39. 

[47] See Evelyn T. Marshall, “Garments,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:534-45, who properly refers to LDS temple clothing as “priestly robes”; Ebenezer Robinson, “Endowment Robes in Nauvoo in 1833-44,” The Return 2 (Apr. 1890): 252-54, see also Quinn, Origins of Power, 350. Carlos E. Asay, “The Temple Garment: ‘An Outward Expression of an Inward Covenant,’” Ensign (Aug. 1997): 19-23; Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple (SLC: Deseret Book, 1980), 75-79.

[48] James B. Allen, Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 127, cf. Quinn, Origins of Power, 114; Alma P. Burton, “Endowment,” and Allen Claire Rozsa, “Temple Ordinances,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:454-56; 4:1444-45.

[49] Joseph Smith diary, Scott Faulring, ed., An American Prophet’s Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake: Signature, 1989), 416.1 reproduce some but not all of Faulring’s annotations.

[50] “Strange Events,” in Stanley B. Kimball, ed., On the Potter’s Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1987), 56, cf. Prince, Power from on High, 204. 

[51] Brigham Young, diary, LDS Church Archives, as quoted by D. Michael Quinn, “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843,” in Maxine Hanks, ed., Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism (Salt Lake: Signature Books, 1992), 365-410, esp. 368.

[52] Hugh Nibley, “Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift,” Dialogue 16 (Winter 1983): 12-21, 13. See also Hugh Nibley, “Sacred Vestments,” in Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos, ed. Don E. Norton (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book/FARMS, 1992): 91-138. For these temple robes and priesthood, see pp. 97,102. 

[53] Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, Minutes, LDS Church Archives, at March 30, 1842.1 consulted this in a microfilm copy at Lee Library, BYU; Andrew Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), 110. See discussions in Jill Mulvay Derr, Janath Russell Cannon, and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, Women of Covenant: the Story of Relief Society (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 42, 53; Quinn, “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood,” 365. 

[54] Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. James Mulholland et al., 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1902-1912; revised edition, 1956), 4:492-93. See also Derr, et al., Women of Covenant, 53, where Joseph Smith connected the “kingdom of priests” generalized concept of priesthood with the completion of the Nauvoo temple. 

[55] “Strange Events,” in Kimball, On the Potter’s Wheel, 56. This is probably a reference to the “fullness of priesthood” ordinance (see Prince, Power from on High, 187-92). 56. William Clayton diary, Feb. 3, 1844, LDS Church Archives, see George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1991), 125.

[56] This is probably a reference to the “fullness of priesthood” ordinance (see Prince, Power from on High, 187-92). 56. William Clayton diary, Feb. 3, 1844, LDS Church Archives, see George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1991), 125.

[57] See Rodney Turner, Woman and the Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Com pany, 1972). See a review of this by historian Claudia L. Bushman, “Women: One Man’s Opinion,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 7 (Winter 1972): 85-87. Bushman states that Turner writes “from a scarcity of information,” then “distorts the sources he has.”

[58] Important contributions are Anthony Hutchinson, “Women and Ordination: An Introduction to the Biblical Context,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14, no. 4 (Winter 1981): 58-74; Margaret Merrill Toscano, “The Missing Rib: The Forgotten Place of Queens and Priestesses in the Establishment of Zion,” Sunstone 10 (July 1985): 16-22; Linda King Newell, “The Historical Relationship of Mormon Women and Priesthood,” Dialogue 18, no. 3 (Fall 1985): 21-32; Melodie Moench Charles, “LDS Women and Priesthood,” Dialogue 18, no. 3 (Fall 1985): 15-20; Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Ander son, eds., Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987); Linda King Newell, “Gifts of the Spirit: Women’s Share,” in Beecher and Anderson, Sisters in Spirit, 111-50; Paul and Margaret Toscano, Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology (Salt Lake: Signature, 1990), 179-97; Margaret Toscano, “If Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843, Why Aren’t They Using It?” Dialogue 27, no. 2 (Summer 1994): 219-26; Quinn, “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood”; Bushman, “Women: One Man’s Opinion”; Hanks, Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism, which includes important essays by Meg Wheatley, Ian Barber, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Carol Lynn Pearson, Sonja Farnsworth, Edwin Brown Firmage, Marian Yeates, and Margaret Toscano; Shirts, “Priesthood and Salvation: Is D&C 84 A Revelation for Women Too?”; Prince, Power From On High, 201-10.

[59] Needless to say, Joseph Smith did not restore the hereditary aspects of Old Testa ment priesthood or the ban of lame or physically imperfect persons from priesthood or temple.

[60] I accept Gregory Prince’s cautions that many offices that Mormons connect with priesthood, such as apostle, stake president, or bishop, were not associated with women in early Mormonism. (Power From On High, 201-10.)