The scriptures as part of the “Priesthood Line”


While listening to Elder Oaks’ talk about personal and priesthood lines of revelation, I thought of what sources counted as “priesthood” lines. He mentioned missionaries, both men and women, receiving understanding of the gospel by the priesthood line, and then a testimony by the personal line. In that case, I would assume the scriptures would be considered part of the “priesthood” line. Those whose writings are recorded were those with the priesthood, who were receiving revelation for the church at the time or even for future members of the church. That which is recorded is revelation through priesthood leaders for the church body as a whole. The scriptures are not a journal of personal revelations.

This made me think of all time times I or others have wondered why there isn’t more about or from women in the Book of Mormon. As a history, I would like to have more information about the women, wives, mothers, daughters, etc. But if I take it not simply as a history, but as a record of priesthood revelation (or, a history given by a priesthood leader for the benefit of the church, ie, history filtered through the priesthood perspective), then I don’t mind the fact that women aren’t given a great focus. The purpose of the book was not to provide a balanced, accurate account of Nephite life. In fact, during Nephi’s brief narrative at the beginning he does talk about his mom which is more than we usually get! 🙂

In sum: if the book were a history, or even a journal, we could perhaps criticize the lack of females in the book. But because we receive it as scripture, we assume it is a record of revelation for the entire church, which means it came through the priesthood line. The writers in the Book of Mormon (and other scripture) are not male because of a male-centered society, but because they were among the current priesthood leaders of the time.

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