In 1 Timothy 2:11-12 it states Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection and But I suffer not a woman to preach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. In our local Mormon ward there are two young women who take strong issue against the idea that women are to let men be in the majority. I believe they are harkening to the modern ideas of some women that women are equal in every way and in some instances, perhaps are superior. Can you shed some light and understanding for them so as to help them understand what this really means? Thanks, Sam
I’m sorry that I can’t be of much help to the sisters in your ward in this matter, but perhaps I can be of a little assistance to you. In the Church in Paul’s day, and especially in the Jewish religion, women took no active part. In our day, although the women do not hold the priesthood, their role in the Lord’s Kingdom is in no way less significant, important, or meaningful. Concerning women keeping silent in church, if you had listened to the last General Conference you would have heard moving addresses from the pulpit in the tabernacle by Sister Sharon G. Larsen, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, and by Sister Patricia P. Pinegar, recently released General President of the Primary. In Sacrament meetings and in Stake Conferences, sisters are often invited to be the speakers. In the home, although the home may be presided over by a worthy priesthood bearer, it is against the nature of the priesthood for him to be autocratic or dictatorial in any way. Instead, his role as priesthood bearer is to provide for the well-being, safety, comfort, and happiness of his family. He is enjoined by D&C 121 to use the principles of persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, and kindness in his priesthood administration. We also understand from that section that
the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man (D&C 121:36-37.)
When you are sealed in the temple to your companion for time and eternity, you will learn that the woman and the man are equal to one another in every aspect of their relationship.
Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:11.)