Zelophehad’s Daughters: The Remake

26:33 And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

27:1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 
27:2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 

27:3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. 
27:4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. 
27:5 And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
27:6 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27:7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak with darkened minds and hardened hearts: thou shalt surely say unto them, Know ye not that my people are led by a prophet who doth speaketh with the LORD as one man speaketh with another? And know ye not that the law as pertaining to the division of the land was given by the LORD, and is just and pleasing thereof, and that if the LORD had wanted a man’s daughters to have possession of the land along with his sons, it should have been that way from the beginning?
27:8 And say unto the daughters of Zelophehad, thou shalt not lobby for thine rights, for thou shalt be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report, knowing thine roles and responsibilities as women and mothers.
27:9 And if thou dost not like it, thou shalt leave, and go out from the people of Israel. Therefore, let thy cries come before the LORD no more.

That’s how the Scripture reads, right? Right, General Young Women President Elaine S. Dalton? Right, Mormons on Facebook who keep on telling your fellow Mormons that it would be better for them to leave the LDS church altogether than to petition their leaders to let women pray in General Conference, because the church is led by God and if he’d wanted women to pray in Conference, it would be done already?

Look, there just isn’t a polite way to say this: you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God.


Zelophehad’s Daughters: The Remake — 7 Comments

  1. Using the scriptures themselves to show your point this way was a great idea (and amusing to read!) If you don’t mind, I’d love to share the link to this page with All Enlisted and the FMH Society.

  2. Using the scriptures only to attempt to prove a point is a bad idea. Do you know how many messed up things are in the Bible? I mean, for example, what is Psalm 137:9 all about (“Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones Against the rock.” (ASV))

    That’s messed up!

    Mormons believe in modern revelation and interpretation of scripture.

  3. Jsec ~ Is that the example Jesus set in the Gospels? He seemed to quote Scripture a lot, and didn’t worry about it being “messed up.”

    Jesus: You are in error because you do not the Scriptures nor the power of God.
    Pharisees: Oh, come on, Jesus. Don’t you know that there’s messed-up stuff in there, like Ps. 137:9? Besides, we believe in modern-day revelation, so you’ll just have to do better than quoting Scripture at us!

    Bottom line, believing in modern-day revelation doesn’t excuse Mormons from having to reconcile current teachings and practices with what their own Scriptural canon says. If they want to tell women that they shouldn’t “lobby” for anything within the church, they need to explain why things have changed since the time of Zelophehad’s daughters. Is the current prophet more perfect and in tune with God’s will for women than Moses was?

  4. The question is this: is scripture the standard by which we shall determine whether something is right or wrong? If it is, then we should not cherry-pick only that scripture which supports a particular position, because all scripture defines that standard. Many parts of the Bible are messed up toward women, for example. Shall that be the standard by which women are treated? In my opinion, no, because scripture is fallible and open to interpretation/correction over time.

  5. Jsec ~ The Bible is definitely one of the standards by which believers in it should judge what’s right and wrong. That is the example which the figures within it set for us, and that is what the texts of some of the books say to do with it, e. g. 2 Tim. 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

    In my denomination, we have a saying: “No part of the Bible is the Word of God. It’s all the Word of God.” I make a sincere attempt to not cherry-pick Scriptures.

    I know of very few “messed up” (as you put it) passages towards women which do not have compelling explanations when one studies the culture and context in which they were written. In any case, the story of Zelophehad’s daughters is one of the biblical passages that is most favorable to women. It demonstrates male leaders conscientiously listening to the objections of women, taking them before God, and having God rule in favor of the women. There’s no part of it that doesn’t starkly contradict what President Dalton was trying to teach at BYU this month, and what the Mormons who keep chiming in in opposition to the “let women pray” group are arguing.

    because scripture is fallible and open to interpretation/correction over time

    How do you determine which parts of the Bible are fallible and which aren’t?

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