I have seen some buzz lately surrounding the idea of women being able to hold the priesthood. My initial reaction is that they should be able to hold the priesthood, and be able to hold any calling men do in the church. However, after I think about it for a while I come to realize that it actually may not be such a good idea.
The reasons I can think that it might not be such a good idea to give women the priesthood is because it would likely result in some pretty major changes in the church. For one thing, if girls got the priesthood at 12 years old, as the boys do, then boys and girls would be passing the sacrament together. This would encourage more interaction between boys and girls and would only result in more teen pregnancy. I also think it would lead to girls feeling equal to boys and, since girls are superior to boys intellectually and emotionally, boys would quickly feel inferior to their superior priesthood holding counterparts. This feeling of inferiority would only serve to denigrate those boys that may already have low self-esteem to begin with.
Also, since holding the priesthood requires wearing dress slacks, white shirts and ties, and girls would look kind of silly in white shirts and ties (not to mention they are not allowed to wear pants), this would just not work.
If women held the priesthood then that would mean they could give priesthood blessings. I don't know how women would be able to come up with the same kinds of things that men are able to receive from the spirit when it comes to giving blessings. Again, all of their blessings pronounced would probably be far superior to what men have been able to muster up so this would only lead to further feelings of inferiority by men.
I'm trying to imagine if women were also able to hold the high and responsible callings in the church like bishop and stake president. I can't even begin to imagine what that might be like. Women conducting meetings?! I'm not sure they would be able to handle such a great responsibility. They would probably want to make drastic changes to the way the meetings are held and the current meetings would just end up wholly unrecognizable in comparison. This would obviously result in more women giving talks and prayers and such and, well, this would just make more men feel left out.
There might also be very big changes to current programs such as home and visiting teaching. The good news is, men would be able to phone their families and have it count as a home teaching visit, the bad news is meals and/or treats would likely be mandatory as part of the message to the families when they were visited. There might also be more prayers uttered to Heavenly Mother and her sacred name and position would just become common and ordinary and not special and completely sacred as it is now.
Then there are the changes that would likely occur if women were to eventually be called to the high and holy callings in the church as apostles or prophets. This would just simply not do. How could women be expected, or even able, to devote the time needed to such callings? With all their housework, cooking, cleaning and taking care of children and grandchildren, they simply would not have time to engage fully in such callings. This would ultimately lead to a downfall in the quality of the revelations received and the whole church would likely suffer as a result. The members might actually decide to leave the church in greater numbers than they already are and the church may not actually survive such a change.
Of course, all of the reasons listed above do not take into account the effect such a change would have on the membership of the church almost immediately should such a change be instituted. When the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ) made the change to allow women to hold to the priesthood they lost nearly 60-70% of their membership almost overnight. The modern LDS church would likely not be able to survive such a loss to their membership numbers.
For all of the reasons listed I don't think allowing women to hold the priesthood would really be such a good idea. Of course, I am writing all of this tongue in cheek. Women should hold the priesthood simply because it is right for such a thing to happen. Yes changes would occur, but all of them would only be good.
What do you think? Should women be able to hold priesthood callings and, if they were, what sorts of changes do you think would be the result?