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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1989

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1989.” You can view other years here.

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1989:  13 May:  Packer:  Why women can’t hold the priesthood.


The priesthood existed before the foundation of the world and from the beginning has been conferred only upon men, declared Elder Boyd K. Packer.  But, he said, the limitation of priesthood responsibilities to men is a tribute to the incomparable place of woman in the plan of salvation.

At the fireside commemorating the priesthood restoration [7 May, 1989], Elder Packer said the scriptures always describe the priesthood as coming through the lineage of the fathers.

‘The priesthood . . . is not ours to remodel or change or modify or abridge.  It is ours to honor and to magnify,’ he said.

‘While fathers and sons bear the burden of the priesthood, it was declared in the very beginning that it was not good for man to be alone,’ Elder Packer continued.  ‘A companion or “helpmeet” was given him.  The word “meet” means equal.  Together they constituted a fountain of life.  While neither can generate life without the other, the mystery of life unfolds when these two become one.’

‘The whole physical universe is organized in order that man and woman might fulfill the measure of their creation,’ Elder Packer noted.  ‘It is a perfect system where delicate balances and counter-balances govern the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual in mankind.’

The Lord’s purpose is to bring about man’s salvation and happiness.  The destroyer’s purpose, however, is to disturb and disrupt this system.  He seeks to pollute that sacred fountain of life and to generate, if he can, unnatural affections.

‘The process by which life is conceived belongs only to those who have been legally and lawfully married,’ he said.  ‘It was meant from the beginning to be veiled in total privacy.’

Elder Packer said this process was never to be degraded in idle conversation, exposed to public view, detailed in novels, illustrated in books, or acted out on the stage or in films.  It is never to involve children or be perverted, sold or bought for money.

‘Never can two of the same gender fulfill the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth,’ he emphasized.  ‘No two men or any number added to them, no matter how much priesthood they may think they possess, can do it.  Only a woman can bestow upon man that supernal title of “father.”

‘She in turn becomes a mother.  Can anyone dispute that her part is different from and more demanding than his?  The mother must endure limitations while nature performs the miracle of creation.’

The well-being of the mother, child, family and Church depends upon protecting this process, he explained.  The obligations of motherhood are never-ending.  To add such duties as those which attend ordination to the priesthood would constitute an intrusion into, an interruption to, perhaps the avoidance of, that crucial contribution which only a mother can provide.

‘Men and women have complementary, not competing responsibilities,’ he said.

A woman is not just equal, he added, but superior to man because she can do what he can never do.  Blessings bestowed impartially upon man and woman include baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, a testimony of Jesus, personal revelation, the ministry of angels, and the responsibilities to teach, testify, exhort, edify and comfort.  ‘And, the highest ordinance in the house of the Lord they receive together and equally or not at all,’ he emphasized.

Quoting D&C 121:16, 19-21, Elder Packer warned of the sorrow that could come upon those who follow the trends of the world and try to show that the scriptures provide for an exchange in identities and responsibilities of men and women.

He counseled the brethren to put the physical, emotional, intellectual and cultural well-being and spiritual development of the mother first among their priesthood responsibilities.

Elder Packer expressed his love for his wife, the mother of their 10 children.  Without her, he said, he could not have the highest, most enduring blessings of the priesthood.  (D&C 131:1-4.)”

(Church News 59(19):4, 13 May, 1989)

13 May:  Ministering of angels promised to Aaronic Priesthood.

“Ministering of angels promised

Elder Robert B. Harbertson of the Second Quorum of the Seventy said he once heard a young man comment, “What’s so great about holding the Aaronic Priesthood?”  

In his priesthood commemoration fireside address, Elder Harbertson, second counselor on the Young Men general presidency, answered the boy’s question and shared his feelings about the Aaronic Priesthood.

First, he related how members of the Aaronic Priesthood have been promised the ministering of angels if they are worthy and faithful.

“What a marvelous blessing to be protected, taught, and guided by heavenly messengers, seen or unseen,” Elder Harbertson said.

In addition, he said, priesthood keys and powers help young men to live better lives.

“This power strengthens a young man and helps him to keep his mind and body clean and to have the courage to say no.  It helps the priests to be more aware of the way they should treat the young ladies.”

Youths must not think they “can participate in unrighteous activities–even just once–and not be hurt.”

He related an old Indian legend about a young brave who paid the price for going against his better judgment.  The youth had gone away in solitude to prepare for manhood.  On the third day he put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb a mountain.  When he reached the top, he saw a snake at his feet.  The snake said he was about to die from cold and hunger and asked if the boy would put him under his shirt and take him down to the valley.

“`Oh, no,’ said the youth,” Elder Harbertson related.  “`I know your kind.  You are a rattlesnake.  If I pick you up, you will bite me and I will die.'”

The snake said he would treat the boy differently and not harm him.  The boy hesitated but soon gave in to the persuasive snake with its beautiful markings.  He tucked it under his shirt, carried it down to the valley and laid it gently on the grass. Suddenly, the snake coiled, rattled, and struck, biting the boy on the leg.

“`But you promised,’ cried the youth.”

“`You knew what I was when you picked me up,’ said the snake as it slithered away.

“As a worthy bearer of the Aaronic Priesthood, you will always be warned when danger is near,” Elder Harbertson counseled.” (Deseret Publications, Church News, p. 4, 13 May 1989)

15 Nov.:  Discontinuing all contributions except tithing and fast offering.

“November 15, 1989

To: General Authorities and the following priesthood leaders in the United States and Canada: Regional Representatives; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops; and Branch Presidents

Dear Brethren:

For many years we and our predecessors have looked to the day when tithes and offerings would cover essentially all expenses incident to Church membership.  We have been concerned over the financial burdens resting upon some Church members who have, notwithstanding these pressures, been faithful in paying their tithes and fast offerings and also have made substantial contributions to ward budgets.  Additionally, for decades this faithfulness of members in the United States and Canada has made possible the growth of the Church in other parts of the world where many members are less fortunate economically.

We have now reached the point where initially in the United States and Canada, general Church funds can be made available to cover all ward, branch, and stake expenses.

Effective January 1, 1990 all of the operating costs of wards and stakes will be financed form the general funds of the Church, thus relieving the members of budget assessments.  The governing principle is that members who pay their tithes and offerings may expect that from these contributions the other expenses incident to membership will be met.

With this policy change, budget funds should no longer be raised, nor should there be other assessments or fund raising projects.  Rather, funds will be made available through two procedures: first, the direct reimbursement of costs related to the construction and operation of buildings and certain standard programs; and second, the providing of an allowance based on the number of members regularly attending Sacrament meeting.

Fast offerings will continue as in the past to assist those in need.  We ask all Latter-day Saints to observe the designated fast and to contribute to the Church a generous fast offering, for the blessing of both the needy and those who give.

Wards and quorums are likewise encouraged to contribute to the general missionary fund to assist in spreading the gospel in the nations of the earth, and also to contribute for the assistance of missionaries from their respective wards and stakes as there may be need.

Registration funds for the Scout program will be provided to the various wards as a part of the budget allowance, but the Scout sustaining membership assessment will continue to be raised in a separate solicitation.  It is expected that all other activities will be adequately funded under this new program so that it will not be necessary to ask the members of the Church for more.

[page 2]Details of operation of the program will be sent to you shortly so that all may be apprised prior to the time of tithing settlement.  We remind bishops and branch presidents that tithing settlement will afford an opportunity to emphasize the responsibilities and blessings attendant upon the payment of tithing and fast offerings.

We recognize that many Church units have funds on deposit or in savings accounts.  We urge all stake presidents and bishops to contribute these to the general funds of the Church, since such local funds will no longer be needed to finance ward and stake costs.

We suggest that this letter be read to the membership in a Sacrament meeting in the near future.

We are grateful for this day and for the blessings which make it possible.  We invoke upon the faithful of the Church the blessings of the Lord for their devotion to His holy work.


/s/ Ezra Taft Benson

    Gordon W. Hinckley

    Thomas S. Monson

The First Presidency”  (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Office of the First Presidency, 15 Nov 1989)

5 Dec.:  Local budget allowance program.

“To: General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and Stake Presidents in the United States and Canada

Dear Brethren:

Local Unit Budget Allowance Program

On 15 November 1989 the First Presidency announced a new method of providing financial support for wards and stakes in the United States and Canada.  This plan provides a budget allowance for stakes and wards from general Church funds and eliminates the need for local units to receive or to seek budget contributions form their members.

The announcement letter indicated additional instructions concerning the plan would be forthcoming.  Attached are the materials priesthood leaders will need in order to implement the budget allowance program.  Stake presidents should review the information and then, as soon as possible, meet with their bishops and branch presidents to discuss the procedures and develop plans for implementation.  Stake presidents will need to provide copies of the information for their bishops and branch presidents.

Any questions concerning the program should first be directed to the stake president.  In the event a question remains, stake presidents may make inquiry at Church headquarters by calling the following phone numbers: Local direct 240-3496; Toll free 1-800-453-3860, ext. 3496.

Church members should be reminded of the blessings associated with the payment of an honest tithe.  They should also be encourage to care for the poor by being generous in their fast offering contributions and should feel their responsibility to financially support missionary activities.

Tithing funds, by their very nature, are sacred.  Priesthood and auxiliary leaders must be wise stewards over the budget allowance given them to ensure sacred funds are used to bless people and further gospel purposes.

Those accustomed to spending more than the budget allowance will provide are urged to limit expenses.  Units who may not need the entire budget allowance, are asked to return the surplus.

[page 2] Many Church have money on deposit or in savings accounts.  All stake presidents and bishops are urged to contribute these funds either to the General Missionary Fund or the General Church Fund since such local resources will no longer be needed to finance ward and stake programs.

As this new program is implemented, all priesthood leaders are asked to be sensitive to the broad interests of the entire Church rather than the provincial concerns of a local unit.

May our Father in Heaven’s blessings be with you as you implement this important new program and apply the principles associated with it.

Sincerely your brethren,


/s/ Robert D. Hales

    Henry B. Eyring

    Glenn L. Pace”

(The Presiding Bishopric to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, Stake Presidents in the United States and Canada, 5 Dec 89, pp. 1-2)