Priesthood

(also see “One true church”, “Obedience”, “Prophets”, “Scripture study”, “Temple work”, and “Women’s issues”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
The Priesthood encapsulates everything that is important about Mormonism. The priesthood is the power and authority of God given for the salvation and blessing of all—men, women, and children. Mormonism is the one church on earth that has this power authority. Because of this priesthood, members need to obey the prophet and priesthood leaders, and they need to receive the saving ordinances provided by priesthood holders if they want salvation. For the believer, the pro of Priesthood in Mormonism is that it literally provides a mechanism for salvation. This, in a nutshell, is the essence of the church.
 
Many believers feel that holding the priesthood adds a mantle of responsibility to their shoulders that gives them motivation to become a better, more caring, and more selfless person.
Some nonbelievers can appreciate the believing perspective of how the priesthood encourages them to be better people, that holding the priesthood adds a mantle of responsibility to their shoulders that gives them motivation to become a better, more caring, and more selfless person.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Some believing members have great sadness that women do not have the priesthood and cannot fully utilize their talents to minister (see “Women’s issues”).
 
Some believing members also struggle with what to do when they disagree with a local or general priesthood authority. Ultimately, however, many or most believers tend to have faith that they will be blessed for obedience to their priesthood leaders, even if they don’t fully understand the rationale for specific guidance and counsel (see “Obedience”)
Many nonbelieving members refuse to be part of a church where women do not have the priesthood and cannot fully utilize their talents to minister (see “Women’s issues”).
 
Many nonbelievers find they have no place in the church because obedience to priesthood leaders frequently seems to be emphasized above all else. Even though many people do not believe in the validity of Mormonism’s claim to priesthood authority, they are still attracted to the community of Mormonism and the positive values that can be found within. However, these nonbelievers are frequently pushed out of the church. Even though some leaders have indicated that there is room in the church for everyone, the practicality of Mormonism seems to be that there really is no room for you if you disagree with the Brethren. People that openly disagree with priesthood authority are excommunicated, shamed into silence, or treated like black sheep. Even still, many nonbelievers really do wish that Elder Uchtdorf’s statement was true: “Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church”
 
The nonbeliever might also find the idea of Priesthood and Priesthood blessings to be condescending and offensive.  Why is the prayer of a naïve, 18 year old Elder any more special than the faithful cry of men and women around the world who have dedicated their life to God? Why does God require that repetitive and rote temple rituals be required for salvation for somebody who has already completed a life of virtue and honesty?

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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