In Joseph Smith on Mormon Women and the Priesthood, Fiona Givens argues that, contra some assertions, that Joseph Smith did not necessarily envision granting women the priesthood. Instead, the Relief Society was intended to be an autonomous organization within the Church, parallel to the Priesthood and collaborators in the administration of the Church. As the Relief Society was meant to be an effectual (if not actual) priesthood, Givens implies that restoring the Relief Society to its autonomous position would resolve the problems that lead some women to call for ordination in the Priesthood.
1. In another conversation, Don Bradley disputes the polygamy theory, noting the reasons the Relief Society stopped meeting in 1844 are not clear. It is not my intent to delve into a historical analysis about why the original Relief Society disbanded beyond noting it is unlikely it would have happened without the Priesthood exerting pressure on it.