Monday, June 17, 2013

Where I stand on the Mormon "women's rights" movement

As more women are seeking to exert greater prominence in the Mormon faith, I have been asked many times how I personally feel about my place as a woman in this church. Do I feel partially excluded because my gender prevents me from being an ordained priesthood holder? Should women have more of a prominent profile in the church? Can women obtain their highest potential through being a member of this church? And the ultimate question: should women be ordained to to the priesthood as men?

First, I am grateful that women are speaking up and being heard. I believe that part of being a worthy priesthood holder is carefully listening to and respecting a woman's opinion, especially when she is expressing how women could potentially feel more valued in the church. In return, I believe that after women have made their point, they need to respect the priesthood holder's decision on whether the proposed change should be implemented.

Women also need to be circumspect with these matters as well. While I believe that it is appropriate to consider and discuss how the church's institution could improve with regards to women's issues, we should not be tied to our opinions to the point that it affects our testimony of the gospel. We also need to ensure that we do not pass judgment on others who have differing opinions on these issues--or do not care to have an opinion at all.

After much thought on this subject, I will now share what I think should change and what should not. This list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Changes I am in favor of:

1. I would like to see more women speak at General Conference. I would personally enjoy hearing talks from the Apostles' wives as well as women from the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society Boards. I believe that men and women in the church would greatly benefit from the counsel of these wise and accomplished women. I would be willing to listen to a longer General Conference if this change was made. *

2. Ensure that women understand the real reasons behind education and modesty.  Too often, I believe that women are only taught the reasoning behind gospel precepts in terms of their relations to men. While a teenager, I was frequently taught the following precepts in church:

1. Women should obtain an education because they could provide for their family in case they were unmarried or if their husbands could suddenly no longer provide for them.
2. Women should be modest in order to attract a worthy priesthood holder.

This reasoning can be taught, but ultimately, women need to understand that dressing modestly and obtaining an education are showing appreciation for God's gifts to us. God has given us a soul that needs intellectual nourishment, and we show our gratitude for it through educating ourselves. The human body is another divine gift that we must cherish, and we demonstrate our respect for it through covering it appropriately. I believe that dressing modestly and obtaining an education are some of the most important things women can do to show a love toward God, as well as further develop a relationship with Him. 

3.  Male church leaders should feel comfortable offering constructive criticism for women's improvement. Too often, I believe that male leaders seek to praise women in their talks at the cost of telling how we can improve. Of course, we deserve some accolades for our spiritual efforts, but we don't have to be set on a pedestal for long. I also cringe when men imply that women are more inherently more "spiritual" than men; God created both genders to be capable of reaching their divine potential. Rather, I think that male leaders should take the example of President Monson's talk to the Relief Society who lovingly called us to become more charitable women. Mormon women need to learn to gracefully accept praise, as well as constructive criticism.

4.  The Young Women program should be continually evaluated for its ability to help women develop a relationship with God and prepare them to contribute to society. Youth leaders need to keep in mind that young Mormon women can now serve a mission at age 19. They also need to remember that all women's paths will widely vary with regards to when they will marry, how long they will work, and what trials they will inevitably face. For these reasons, young women need to be given activities and worthwhile challenges that can help them more fully develop their spiritual and intellectual selves. If the current Young Womanhood Recognition Award does not take the same stamina and effort that young men put forth to earn their Eagle, I think the award should be modified to meet that standard.

5. I wonder whether more callings that are traditionally male but not priesthood-based could be extended to women. While I am grateful that women can teach, I have contemplated on why the Sunday School President could not be a woman, rather than a man. This proposal is not as important to me as what I have already mentioned, but I think that change is possible here.

Changes I am not in favor of:

1. I don't believe that priesthood ordination for women is necessary. You can see my post "Mother Eve and Her Legacy of Wisdom" for my thoughts on women's and men's roles in the church.

2. I don't think that women should serve two-year missions. It is no secret that women are physically weaker than their male counterparts, and I believe that women are generally more emotionally sensitive than men. I think that a year-and-a-half missions is sufficient for a woman, considering the potentially physical and emotional exhaustion that she will experience. When I began my mission in Hong Kong, I lamented that I could not serve for two years. Eighteen months later, I was sad to leave, but grateful for the wisdom behind women serving six months shorter than men**

In closing: I would like to say that being a member of this church is the single greatest blessing I have in my life. Whatever changes for women do (or do not) take place, I still believe that being a member of this church is the best way for me to understand my female potential because I am learning what Jesus Christ expects me to become.

*Author's note: After some more thought, I am now less inclined to hear Apostles' wives speak, as they do not have stewardship over us as members of the Church. However, I still hold to my view that more women leaders should speak, even if that results in a longer General Conference.

** I realize that I projected my experience when expressing their opinion. From hearing missionary experiences from other women, I am less inclined toward this opinion.

52 comments:

  1. I love everything about this post. I've thought a lot about these issues, but you've explained justification for change more succinctly than I ever could.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melanie! Excited to see you soon!! :)

      Delete
  2. Sarah, I could basically just say ditto to every single one of your points here! I feel like I've been thinking a lot about this recently too, and I feel like I stand in a very similar place as you. I think there are huge changes that should be made in the YW program (and in discussions of modesty, chastity, and education)--at least in how I experienced it growing up. As it is, many of the things that are taught can/could be so harmful to young women (like the object lesson with the dead flower that is supposed to be someone who has broken the law of chastity--"see, nobody wants this dead flower! And nobody will want you if you break the law of chastity!") And Tommy and I have talked a lot about the Sunday School President calling thing.

    Anyway, I love how you've organized this and how you ended it. I wish you were in our ward here and we could talk about this--I feel like most of my friends here are on either end of the spectrum, and this reflects how I feel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alyse for your comments. !! :)

      Delete
    2. I too have run into polar opposites in opinion and all determined come hell or high water to stick to it no matter what. Sigh...I appreciate your article very much. Alyse's comments about how a lesson is taught I have also run into, this teaching of absolutes and in fact teaching to instill obedience through fear has affected how my oldest views the Church now, she is not active. She feels it's a set of rules and "my way or the highway". This is such a dangerous path to take with formative young minds, they can think for themselves and will reject it.

      I totally agree that if we are not required, as Young Women to expend the equivalent effort to achieve awards as Young Men do to achieve their Scouting Eagle then it would be worthwhile to aim in that direction. Girls do not need to be coddled. That being said I do not know the current Young Women's curriculum so I am not passing judgement on it, just saying "If". There are no doubt sound reasons why it currently is as it is.

      As for women and holding the Priesthood, why would I want it and need it? I have always responded, with a twinkle in my eye, that men need the Priesthood in order to keep up with us! ;) I certainly do not feel I am missing out on anything by being female. I think a lot of the current complaints could be answered by the men listening to the sisters more often in meetings and in general, as the General Authorities have frequently directed them to do. :)

      Delete
  3. I was so hoping you'd post your opinions regarding all these questions. You've articulated many of my own thoughts on the matter that I've been fumbling to explain myself.

    Great job! I really appreciate your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just read it again and love your post even more. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this! Some more thoughts to add - we definitely need to rethink how chastity is taught to both men and women, and the role of women in society as whole people and not someone's future assistant. It would also be nice to see women speak in the Priesthood session of Conference. Men speak in Relief Society, so why can't women speak in Priesthood? I like your points about Eve, but I don't think that motherhood is the female equivalent of Priesthood. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts tomorrow :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I never thought about women speaking in Priesthood! Thanks for that thought. Regarding the "motherhood versus priesthood" binary: I wonder how fatherhood is connected to the priesthood. Is priesthood part of fatherhood or is fatherhood part of priesthood responsibilities? Looking forward to tomorrow! :)

      Delete
  6. Really awesome Sarah. I completely agree with you on all of your points. I would like to see more women involvement in the church. It's interesting though, I think that it is more in our culture that women are oppressed just because of tradition and what women generations ago would do. Women always were at home, didn't travel, and didn't participate much in the community. Now that this has changed I think it's important for members to see the equality as an actual equality. I think the church is set up in a way that this could potentially happen, but it would be a huge change in the root of the members more then in the general authorities. All awesome points!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carly for your thoughts. I think you are right to point out that the women's role has indeed changed, and I am looking forward to see how women can be more involved in the church. Hope you are well in AZ! :)

      Delete
  7. Sarah dear, this is so eloquently put. Thanks for sharing:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lindsey! I hope you and your cute family are well! :)

      Delete
  8. Sarah, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your comment that "part of being a worthy priesthood holder is carefully listening to and respecting a woman's opinion, especially when she is expressing how women could potentially feel more valued in the church." I, too, find myself carefully and prayerfully considering these issues. I'm excited to read your post on Eve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Raymon; I am still trying to figure out Eve's role as well. I hope all is well with you.

      Delete
  9. Great post! I especially like your thoughts on women needing as much constructive criticism as men. I feel like we're slowly moving towards that as a church, and it's important for both genders. Not only does it put less pressure on the men, but it also empowers women to actually improve themselves where necessary, which cannot happen if they don't know what they need to improve.

    I also particularly agree that women should be taught the importance of education and modesty independent of their relationships with men. Even now I know too many single women who base their life goals solely on their future roles as wives and mothers. Getting married and raising a family are only part of God's Plan for both genders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Matt. This is a topic I also feel strongly about.

      Delete
  10. Hi Sarah! I agree with a lot of what you said; however, I have a couple of points that I disagree with.

    1. I would also love to see more women speak at General Conference. However, I don't think that it should be women (or men) who are not called as General Authorities or Auxiliary Leaders of the church. The instruction and counsel we receive in GC is based on the authority and calling of the person who speaks and is viewed as doctrine for the entire church. Hearing from the Apostle's wives and RS/YW/Primary board members would be a wonderful thing, but in my opinion GC is not the place for that.

    2. I completely agree with the comment on modesty. However, I think we should also be teaching the men the same thing!! As much as they should be taught to value and respect and appreciate modesty (and encourage modesty in girls), they should also be taught that it is up to them to control their thoughts and actions.

    3. I also agree with #3 and think that it should be vice-versa as well. I know many bishops who are willing to listen and seek out counsel from the RS or Primary president about things under their stewardship. I think everyone would benefit if more priesthood leaders were similarly willing to seek advice and counsel from women who directly work with the people/programs that would be affected by their decisions.

    4. Have you seen the new YM/YW curriculum? I think it addresses a lot of these issues.

    5. I read an article about traditionally male callings (such as ward mission president) being filled by females in some wards in Hong Kong, simply because there are not enough males or because there are such a plethora of females in those wards. Did you see that in Hong Kong?

    Anyway, just some thoughts. We need to catch up soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, I guess that was just one thing that I disagree with--the rest were just additions to the points you already made. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Breanne, for your thoughts on GC. I am trying to figure out how women can be more prolific in GC, but I can see your hesitation here. I realize the YW curriculum has been modified, but I personally think more can be done to challenge and edify women. I never saw that trend in HK, but I like it! A female ward mission leader sounds great to me!

      Delete
  11. i disagree with regards to women only serving 18 months. at the end of my 18 month mission (where i rode a bike most of the time), i wished that i could have done 6 more months. i felt gypped. maybe instead of imposing the mandatory 2 years, missionaries of both genders could choose the time that they can go, much like the senior couples do. or have the option to extend. many of the sisters i served with felt the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I'm a little uncomfortable about the generalization that women are more emotionally sensitive than men. I think that perception has an awful lot to do with popular media portrayals of both genders, especially when men are shamed for being emotional. Brene Brown does some fantastic sociological work on shame and risk taking, and she describes how men are socialized to avoid looking weak at all costs (that it is perceived by men as shameful to be emotional). I knew several sisters on my mission who really wanted two years, although I was happy to go home at the end of the eighteen.

      I've really enjoyed many of your points here, and I don't want you to think that this one point of disagreement outweighs the many more things I do agree with. Ultimately I think it would be great if we someday saw gender as one of many facets that makes up a person (like personality traits, class, race, culture, etc.), which might make it easier for us to talk about gender without assuming that all men are X, or all women are Y.

      Delete
    2. Thank you both for your comments; I appreciate hearing differing opinions. For me personally and for many of the returned sister missionaries I've talked to, the mission took a huge emotional and physical toll on them to the extent that they felt eighteen months was sufficient. But after reading your post, I guess that may not be characteristic of all sisters' experiences. Then again, now that women can be 19 and serve, perhaps they will have more energy and endurance than I did at 21. Perhaps that is the direction the church is going and if that happens, I'd be happy to go with that. Thanks again for both of your thoughts!

      Delete
    3. I was definitely spent by the time 18 months rolled around, but I wonder if the expectation of being finished after 18 months had something to do with that. If women expected that their missions would last 24 months, I'm sure most would have no problem serving for a full two years. I don't know that I have strong feelings about 18 months vs. 2 years, but I do like the option of having the choice.

      Delete
    4. Hey Sarah! I'm glad you are contributing to the online dialogue about women in the church. I just wanted to let you know that I served a mission and that I would have been happy to serve another 6 months, and that I was fully capable emotionally and physically of doing so. I'm not sure what the reasoning for different lengths is, but I know that it isn't due to women being emotionally sensitive. That is a great strength not a weakness. You just said you didn't know of a woman who would have liked to serve longer, and I served a month longer than usual and would have been happy to go longer if I could have.

      Delete
  12. Such an interesting topic. Thanks for your thoughts. It seems lots of different arrangements are possible. My parents remember women being called to Sunday School presidencies, and women standing in prayer circles to bless their children. Relatedly, this article from 1981 is quite interesting: https:www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/029-16-25.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rob! I am excited to read this. I didn't know about women standing in prayer circles for their children, but I like that idea. :)

      Delete
  13. Women are weaker and more emotional than men so they shouldn't be allowed to serve two year missions? I find that to be a little insulting, actually. There are PLENTY of women who would have loved to extend their missions to two years at the end of their missions. Also, what about the men who would have liked to end theirs at eighteen months? I think that both genders should get a choice as to how long their missions are. I also think that you are projecting your own experience onto other women.

    I also completely disagree about women not needing the priesthood. I really, truly believe that equality will only come AFTER women have received the priesthood. Men, throughout history, have not done a very good job considering women's needs--our priesthood leaders included. Women should be able to make decisions for themselves instead of just accepting whatever the men have to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Olivia, for your comments. For myself and many women I have talked to about the eighteen-month limit, it was sufficient time for them. I haven't met many women who actually wanted to serve for two years and appreciate hearing more of that opinion.

      I also appreciate your thoughts about the priesthood; I certainly don't know all the answers. I wish we were able to delve more into the concept of being a priestess that is mentioned in the temple. For me, I know that there is some notion of "priestesshood" and I do wish we knew more about that. I wonder whether it is due to a fallen world that this "priestesshood" does not come into fruition.

      I also think we have to keep in mind that priesthood, when exercised correctly, is according to God's will. So, when women accept priesthood decisions, it is technically God's decision, not man's. So I don't think that women should think that having the priesthood will give them the ability to make decisions. That's not the purpose of the priesthood: it acting according to God's will.

      Thanks again for your perspective.

      Delete
    3. I appreciate that you broadened your view on missions above via **. I would add that if your position is that women are physically and emotionally weaker than men, it begs the question why women are going through arguably the single most physically challenging experience (childbirth) and assigned allegedly the most emotionally difficult stewardship (nurturing children). We can't use that logic (women are weak) in one instance to keep women from doing things (longer missions, providing $, being leaders etc.), and then say their weakness is irrelevent for the other things which we do which we agree with (childbirth, motherhood, traditional gender roles).

      Delete
  14. Thought provoking and well said. I enjoyed it all. My only personal deviation would be to your comment about the YW program being unequal to the eagle scouting program. It's changed a lot since you and I were in YW and I actually find it very comparable now, it takes just as long as it does to earn an eagle. Also, I like how it focuses more on spiritual maturity and testimony building, where the eagle scout is good and service oriented, but not specifically testimony based.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS you are brave to tackle this subject so openly. Well done.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Liz! I am also glad that the YW program has been modified, and I am grateful for its testimony-building power for women. However, I have wondered whether Girls' Camp could be incorporated into the YW Award in a similar fashion to the Eagle. I also felt like many of the requirements are already things that girls should be doing--reading the Book of Mormon, fasting, journal-writing, etc. So, I still think that the award could be more challenging for women. But again, I am glad that it has been modified. :) We need to discuss East of Eden soon.

      Delete
  15. Women who work for the Church Office Building should be able to wear dress slacks not just a skirt or dress.
    Women should be able to be full time Seminary Teachers employed by CES. Men (and one day women)should not be fired from teaching Seminary if the divorce.
    Women should be able to get a Temple Divorce when they want one and not have to wait until they have found a new priesthood holder to marry. It is very harmful to think that a women is still sealed to her ex-husband along with his current new wife.
    and lets be real, An current apostle is sealed to his wife who passed and his second wife. The idea of sharing a husband in heaven (and never the other way around) is harmful, and needs to be addressed now.
    Any female who was married in the Temple and had their spouse die knows right away what a sacrifice it is for a man to remarry her for time and to have their children sealed to her first husband. Its time for respectful dialogue.
    Activity Day is not equal to Scouts, Young Men and Scouts is not equal to YW and there needs to be an equal funding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments. I was not aware of the Church Office Building rules; I think that makes sense. I am also in favor of women being CES Seminary teachers too. I have no idea about the whole temple idea, but I appreciate hearing your thoughts. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers.

      Delete
  16. I suggest you rethink your assumption of women being weaker than men in the sense you suggest. While it is true that men have more muscular strength, it is a well known fact that women have more endurance, both physically and emotionally. It is women who dominate the helping professions. Being emotionally sensitive does not mean emotional weakness. In fact, it is men who have more difficulty with enduring emotional intensity. As for physical endurance, it is highly doubtful that men would have the endurance to bear children. There is no evidence whatsoever that women would be any less competent, emotionally or physically, to serve a two year mission than men.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thoughts; I appreciate hearing differing opinions. Like I said before, I am speaking according my mission experience and many others I have spoken to, and I recognize that I projected this collective experience on everyone. I have yet to meet women who would have wanted to serve two-year-missions, but would be open to hear more about this. Thanks.

      Delete
  17. Ewwwww, physically weaker equal 18 months rather than two years? That is insulting. It's about mental stamina, not how many push-ups a person can do.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sarah, I have also given this subject a lot of thought recently. Some things I have identified that I would like to see change are purely cultural traditions that have nothing to do with an inherent requirement for priesthood. These are things like: 1. When visitors such as home teachers or missionaries etc... from the church come over to your home and ask the man of the house if it would be alright to pray, and if so who he would like to say the prayer. There is no reason that the wife/woman of the house could not also be asked or alternatively just ask the couple jointly. 2. The tradition of men and women speaking and praying in a particular order in church. I have noticed almost without fail that the wife/woman gives opening prayer and husband closing prayer and even more regularly I have noticed that the wife always speaks before the husband and the husband is always the closing speaker. I am aware that this is on the surface a very benign tradition, but i think it subtly gives the impression that we find what the man has to say as being more important or that he is the key note speaker and that he will offer the "spiritual meat." 3. I agree with your observation about certain callings automatically going to men without any intrinsic requirement for priesthood authority to fulfill that calling such as sunday school pres etc... 4. I agree that we must encourage women to get quality education and learn skills not "just in case the man loses his job or can't fully provide" etc..., but because education and knowledge is empowering and uplifting. 5. I think YW should focus much less on finding the perfect husband and being this spotless gift to their future husband, and more on developing their skills, talents, potential for education and self-development. I think if they become quality people with a host of qualities to bring to the table, that marriage and family life will take care of itself.

    I agree about the need for more female speakers in general conference, priesthood session etc... I would love to hear from Apostles wives etc..

    I think the Church would be well-served to ask itself the question, "is this practice based on a real requirement for priesthood, or is this just the product of generations of tradition that we have never tried to change?"

    Mostly, I think that we should really treat women as equals within the church and not just patronizingly talk about how great women are and how much better they are than the men and how that's the reason that men need the priesthood and women don't etc... etc.. i.e. show that we view them as being equals and not just pay lip service.

    There is much more, but these are some of the more prominent things that come to my mind right now.

    enjoyed your post!

    -Jordan

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow Jordan, thanks so much for your thoughtful post! I definitely agree with considering what is priesthood-oriented and what is simply based on tradition. A couple of weeks ago, I was actually the concluding speaker for my singles ward, and I have to say that it made me feel excited, as I seldom see female concluding speakers in Sacrament. I also really appreciate your thoughts regarding the man usually being in charge of saying the prayer when missionaries or visitors come over. I would definitely prefer them saying something like "Brother and Sister ________, may we offer a prayer?" Great thoughts! I hope you are doing well! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here's something else: why aren't men being called into Primary Presidencies? They barely have their foot in the door as Primary teachers (and usually only with their wives). The knife cuts the other direction too, and both genders need to stop focusing so much on who should be doing what, and just jump in and help wherever they see the need.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I always assumed that this decision was due to liability issues. But like you, I do like the idea of reconsidering traditional gender-based callings.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Changes in favor of woman leadership have already been happening in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for at least a decade. I was called as the Sunday School President in my ward roughly ten years ago, and I am a female. Also, there are women group leaders in different missions around the globe. There is more female leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than people realize.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I completely agree with your feelings on why women are instructed to obtain education. I believe women need to be educated first and foremost because kids need intelligent mothers. Yes, it's great that we will be a little more qualified to provide for our families if we ever have to, but truth be told you need consistent work experience to be in the best position for that. Kids need educated mothers and women need education to feel fulfilled themselves. So maybe we need it for ourselves first and foremost. Anyway, whatever the order, I think there is a lot more to women getting an education than it being an insurance policy if your husband dies.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for all your thoughts, Sarah! Your first point made me think more carefully about the role and stewardship of the wives of the apostles in the Church. I know that they often speak along with their husbands as they travel throughout the world together. But I haven't thought much about what their specific role is.

    There is something in me that thinks that when your husband is called to such a high and holy calling, that in many ways it is a calling you accept together. I would love to ask one of the apostles their thoughts on this. Clearly there are some hard lines delineating what an apostle can do vs. his wife, but I wonder to what extent the calling is a shared stewardship.

    On a related note, when my husband was called to be Elders Quorum President of our ward by our Stake President, not only was I included in the interview process for his call, but after my husband accepted the calling, the Stake President informed him that until he had called counselors, that I was in effect, his counselor-- and that we should council together about who his counselors should be. When we called to tell my dad (who is also a stake president) about my husband's calling, he also said that we needed counsel together about who his counselors should be. And my dad said this before knowing what our stake president had said. Anyway, I had no idea that this is how the church functioned, but it makes good sense to me. I know that bishops, etc. have to keep much of what they do confidential from everyone, including their wives--but in many ways I'm sure their wives also act as counselors to them in their callings.

    What are your thoughts on this-- especially in relation to wives of apostles speaking in General Conference?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks, Sarah. If you look at my "Author's Note" at the end of the post, you'll see that I have since rescinded this view. I want more women to speak in conference, but I don't believe that apostle's wives have stewardship over us, so I no longer believe that General Conference is an appropriate platform.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did see that note, and that is what actually sparked my thought. After having the experience I shared above, it makes me wonder if apostles wives actually have more stewardship than we traditionally recognize . . .

      Delete
  26. Also one thought about #5-- In other discussions I've read about women holding traditionally male callings and visa versa, there has seem to have been an acceptance that men and woman could serve together in a presidency. However, I find this problematic as a married woman. Although men and women can and should work together in the Church, the intimate nature of working together in a presidency-- with frequent meetings, phone calls, emails, handling private matters together, etc. would, in my opinion, not be appropriate for married men and women. I guess you could argue, that this type of interaction is common in the work place-- and even in the Church between the YM and YW presidents or the Bishop and RS President, for example. However, I think that perhaps this is one of the main reasons why co-ed presidencies have not been formed in the Church. Anyway, something to consider in this discussion.

    As a side note, I'm seeing way more men serving in Primary than ever did when I was a child. In fact, in our ward, more men serve in nursery than women. Also--although less common, I know men who have served as Primary choristers and ward choristers. And women serve in many of the newly created callings-- ward communications specialist, ward webmaster, church PR, etc., all of which I think is a good sign.

    ReplyDelete