Reading D&C 107 as a Daughter of Eve
by V.H. Cassler
D&C 107 contains many interesting elements. We learn Noah was ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood when he was but age 10, for example. We learn quite a lot about various levels of hierarchy in the Church, differences between the lesser and greater priesthoods, and the mandates of various offices in the priesthood. We also learn about the privileges of those ordained to these priesthoods, such as communing with the Church of the Firstborn or even Heavenly Father and Jesus.
However, on the surface, 107 appears to be a profoundly “womanless” section of the D&C. Whereas many sections of the D&C seem equally applicable in their exhortations to both women and men, even if women are not explicitly mentioned, it is much harder to say that about section 107. There just seems no place for them at all.
Of course, women are used to being completely overlooked in scripture, and may find this unremarkable. After all, scripture is mostly heavenly men speaking to men on earth about men’s ecclesiastical responsibilities. Perhaps men need more explicit guidance in these things; after all, negotiating hierarchies, which are meant to defuse competition, is tricky business among men. Questions of authority, power, keys, and so forth might need to be settled among men in very clear fashion by God in order for the work of men in the kingdom of God on earth to proceed unhindered.
However, the older I’ve become, the more I see beneath the surface to things implied by womanless scripture that have relevance not only to women, but also to the subject of male-female relations in the family of Adam and Eve. I would like to offer two examples of reading women into D&C 107. After all, if we can read women into this most womanless of sections, that offers hope that we can cease seeing the scriptures as primarily messages from men to men. This would be spiritually helpful for both men and women, as many interpret this not only as suggesting a hierarchy between men and women, but also a separation between church and family. We know from the doctrine of the Church that there is no hierarchy between men and women. We also know that in the hereafter, the family is the form of divine governance, not the church. This suggests that we are likely to suffer from misconceptions if we take seemingly womanless sections such as 107 on a purely superficial level. Let’s look a little deeper, then. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 39 – Doctrine and Covenants 106–108