A lot of people — mostly non-Mormons — seem to think that the recent General Conference prayer given by a woman proves it’s only a matter of time before the Church starts ordaining women to the Priesthood. The most frequent comparison is to when the Church began giving the Priesthood to men who were not white; the claim is that just as that was inevitable, so is it inevitable that women will receive the Priesthood.
People that claim this are ignoring a rather fundamental doctrine of the Church. I’m going to quote from The Family: A Proclamation to the World:
ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
Thus far in all available scriptural records of which I am aware, God has not given the priesthood to a single woman.
Since we know gender is an essential characteristic of an individual’s eternal identity and purpose, while a person’s skin color is not, we must conclude that if God has only ever given the Priesthood to men, then the Priesthood has something to do with the male gender’s eternal identity and purpose. I do not believe God does anything arbitrarily or without purpose.
If you think my reasoning is wrong, please explain why, and please provide scriptural support for your position 🙂