Monday, May 05, 2008

Woman not allowed to pray

J. Stapley and Kevin Barney have provided the text of several statements  on the topic of women previously not being allowed to pray in sacrament meeting.  Discussion on the topic can be read at bycommonconsent.

1967 Priesthood Bulletin and 1968 General Handbook of Instruction (no. 20, pg. 44):

Prayers in Church Meetings

Prayers in all Church meetings should be brief, simple, and given as led by the spirit by the one who is voice. Their content should pertain to the particular matter at hand.

Brethren holding the Melchizedek or Aaronic Priesthood should offer the prayers in sacrament meetings, including fast and testimony meetings. Those praying should use the pronoun forms of Thy, Thee, Thine, Thou in addressing the Lord.

1975 Ensign:

Prayers in Sacrament and Priesthood Meetings. Attention is called to the following instruction which appeared in the July-August 1967 Priesthood Bulletin.

The First Presidency recommends that only those who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood or Aaronic Priesthood be invited to offer the opening and closing prayers in sacrament meetings, including fast meetings. This also applies to priesthood meetings.

Marvin K. Gardner, "News of the Church," Ensign, Nov. 1978, 100

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have determined that there is no scriptural prohibition against sisters offering prayers in sacrament meetings. It was therefore decided that it is permissible for sisters to offer prayers in any meetings they attend, including sacrament meetings, Sunday School meetings, and stake conferences. Relief Society visiting teachers may offer prayers in homes that they enter in fulfilling visiting teaching assignments.

Church Handbook of Instructions, 1998 (compare General Handbook of Instruction above)

Prayers in Church Meetings

Men and women may offer prayers in Church meetings. Prayers should be brief and simple and should be spoken as directed by the Spirit. Members should use the pronouns Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou when addressing Heavenly Father. All members should say an audible amen at the end of the prayer.

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