LDS Women Hold and Exercise Priesthood Authority

LDS woman being set apart for a calling in the Church.

LDS woman being set apart for a calling in the Church.

“We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be?” —Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” April 2014 General Conference. Emphasis added.

I’m a Sunday School teacher in my ward, and today I taught about women and the priesthood. I thought I’d share a few thoughts from that lesson, especially in light of current events.

“Simple” Questions

I started my lesson by asking a few “simple” questions about the priesthood:

  • Do women have responsibilities in their callings in the Church?
  • Do women have authority in their callings in the Church?
  • Do women have priesthood authority in their callings?
  • Do women exercise priesthood authority?
  • Do women hold priesthood authority?

The questions start out relatively easy, and most in the class knew the answers, and were ready and willing to respond. But I knew as I progressed through the questions that there was some confusion. Perhaps many of us are likewise stumped when it comes to these questions, or we may think we know the answers when we don’t. Read More »

Sistine Chapel in Official Virtual Reality Simulation

The Vatican's 360 degree photographic virtual reality simulation of the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican’s 360 degree photographic virtual reality simulation of the Sistine Chapel.

Several years ago I build a computer generated three-dimensional model and virtual reality walk-through of the Sistine Chapel for a class at BYU. I wrote about this on TempleStudy here.

It appears that the Vatican has commissioned an official virtual reality simulation of the Sistine Chapel that I just stumbled upon, which you can see at this link (  This is a bit different than a true 3D walk-through, however. It is a stationary 360 degree photograph that you can pan/rotate and zoom with your mouse.  Still incredible though, far more accurate than my reconstruction, complete with choir music.

The Sistine Chapel remains one of the most spectacular artistic masterpieces in the world.

One interesting detail of the chapel is the screen or partition in the middle of the room, also known as a transenna. Wikipedia describes how this screen creates separate and distinct areas:

A screen or transenna in marble by Mino da Fiesole, Andrea Bregno, and Giovanni Dalmata divides the chapel into two parts. Originally these made equal space for the members of the Papal Chapel within the sanctuary near the altar and the pilgrims and townsfolk without. However, with growth in the number of those attending the Pope, the screen was moved giving a reduced area for the faithful laity. The transenna is surmounted by a row of ornate candlesticks, once gilt, and has a wooden door, where once there was an ornate door of gilded wrought iron.

“Because of Him”: Share the Easter Message This Week

The Church is launching a worldwide initiative today, Palm Sunday, that will run through this week, ending Easter Sunday, “focusing on the hope, healing, and salvation made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” The initiative is titled “Because of Him.”

A new website has been created exclusively for this at, which redirects to A video has also been produced, which is embedded here below:

Read More »

Unfreezing Our Hearts: Choosing to See the Beauty in Disney’s Frozen

Anna and Elsa embrace at the end of Frozen.

Anna and Elsa embrace at the end of Frozen.

This is a guest post by Raven Haymond, my dear wife.

This life, we are taught, is all about choices. Ultimately, this existence can be framed by the choices made in three gardens. It almost reads like a fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a garden, blooming with all the beauty this world could hold. In this garden lived a prince and a princess who spent their days in the light of the sun, in the shade of the tree, and in the company of Gods. One day, a jealous serpent whispered into the princess’s ear, hissing truths encased in mischief. After listening to the serpent’s words, and after considering the beauty of her present life, the princess made the choice to disobey one of the rules of life in this garden and eat the fruit that would cause her and her children to know the bad with the good, the sorrow with the joy, the toil with the happiness. When her prince found out what she had done, he, too, ate that heavy fruit, for he knew that a life without her was not really a life at all. When their choice was found out, the prince and the princess were cast out of their beautiful garden, into a world of isolation and strife. However, this choice to leave perfect beauty allowed them to know the miracles of family, faith, and repentance. Read More »

Videos of Science & Mormonism Symposium Now Available for Free Viewing

The Interpreter Foundation sponsored a conference on November 9, 2013, entitled “Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man” in Provo, Utah.  It was filmed.  Videos of each of the presentations are now available for free viewing on The Interpreter Foundation’s YouTube channel, or at  They are also embedded below. Read More »

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