clip art 4As a woman, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what in the scriptures applies to me and what doesn’t. Sometimes when I mention this to people, they think I am being purposefully obtuse.

Today’s guest post is from EBK.

To illustrate the issue, I have made a list of scriptures below that can present a problem if I misinterpret the term “man” or “men.”

“No man has a legal right to this office [bishop], to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron.” D&C 107:16.

Does the term man in this verse apply to just men or to both men and women? Can a woman who is a literal descendant of Aaron claim the legal right to be a Bishop? Do certain Jewish women have more right to be Bishops then Mormon men?

“If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.” Joseph Smith – King Follett Discourse  

clip art 3Do women need to comprehend the character of God to comprehend themselves? Do they need to comprehend the character of Heavenly Mother to comprehend themselves? Can they comprehend themselves without comprehending any divine beings?

“And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my work, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and they keys of this priesthood;” D&C 132:19.

If I interpret man in this verse to mean both men and women, I have to conclude that Joseph Smith considered lesbian marriage as part of the new and everlasting covenant.

Furthermore, three verses before the first use of the phrase, “if a man marry a wife” D&C 132:12 says: “no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.”

Does this only apply to men? Can women come unto the Father through some other means than the word of the Lord? Do women have a different path to exaltation entirely? Or do women not really have any path to anywhere?

“…but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.” D&C 88:118 

clip art 2I’m sure in the Church we believe that all men should have equal privilege. The question is if we believe all women should have equal privilege? Do we believe that women should have a say in every decision that “all may be edified of all?”

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1: 26 

In a later verse, male and female are cited separately. Does this verse, where power and dominion are assigned, apply to men only or to both men and women? Do women fall into the category of “man” or the category of every creeping thing?

“[God] has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority…” OD 2 

clip art 5Clearly we interpret this scripture to only mean men. What if we got the revelation right and the interpretation wrong? Maybe the men in this verse meant both men and women.

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” 2 Nephi 2:25 

Perhaps this only applies to men. Maybe men exist to have joy, but women exist for a different purpose. To give men joy? That would sure explain polygamy.

What do you think? Can you add any scriptures to the list? How do some of our major doctrines change if we change how we interpret words like “man,” “brethren,” and “sons.”