LUCERNA: Assembly Website

Michael David
Sat Oct 28 01:06:24 HST 2000

Dear John,

My hope is to avoid imposing differences on men and women
from without. I'm quite sure that there are real differences
that arise from within, and that any external use, done by a
man or by a woman, will turn into a different thing for each

I think external differences and functions, which are
specific to individuals, also serve internal things that are
more universal. There are things within all of us that are
represented in the Word by women and men, and the existence
of actual women and men serves to evoke those internal
things, and makes them available to everyone on an internal
level. I think of the teachings about how everyone in the
world can have spiritual light because a few people have the

I think it's similar with the priesthood, with external
worship, with group projects and discussions, and other
things that exist externally in the church. That is, people
who serve in the priesthood in an external way are serving
to evoke an internal priesthood that exists with everyone.
This internal priesthood is the Lord's work of saving each
person. Put another way, the "celestial kingdom" is the
priesthood of heaven, and that exists in an internal way
with everyone. So, yes, the Lord's love in everyone is the
real priesthood.

Still, I don't think we will stop having an external
distinction between priesthood and laity anytime soon. It is
a result of the way people are inspired by the Lord to
participate in the church, and the external difference
serves and evokes internal things in all of us.

But I think the long-term trend will be to take the
externals more lightly, and to see through them more


On Fri, 27 Oct 2000 wrote:
> I enjoyed your brief essay on roles of men and women in
> the church, posted at the assembly website.  I have been
> thinking about some of those passages myself, wondering
> how to apply them.
> We can take the passages on a spiritual level, the
> implication is that "male"  and "female" represent our
> thoughts and affections.  Consequently, the statements
> about male and female roles can be taken to apply to the
> inner relationship between thoughts and affections.  We
> don't need to necessarily represent those inner
> relationships by clearly defined ourward roles for men
> and women.
> My question is this:  If we take the statements about
> men and women that way, should we not also take the
> statements about priests that way?  Is there a need for
> an ordained priesthood?  That is, the church should be
> governed by love for the Lord and the neighbor, not by
> outward representations of love for the Lord and the
> neigbhbor.
> This line of thinking leads to something like "the
> priesthood of all believers" espoused by the Reformers.  
> Except that it would be "the priesthood of all lovers"
> instead.
> Love,
> John

Michael V. David - MVD53 - -
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Quicquid latine dicitur, altum videtur.

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