From the editors: We understand that there are many different opinions on whether women have enough visibility and authority in the LDS church. Please feel free to discuss your own views in the comment section below.
This post is in response to an article published in the Salt Lake Tribune on August 16 2012. That article divided Mormon women into three basic groups: women who honor the traditional gender roles of the Church (men hold the priesthood, women have the sacred right to motherhood); women who desire equality through female priesthood ordination; and a middle group who are pushing for changes in doctrine or administration in the name of equality.
I hold the traditional view, and to be honest, don’t really understand why others are so concerned. Equal is defined as “evenly proportioned or balanced.” Relative to gender equality, then, women and men provide an even proportion and balance in the world through their different roles. In the Church, Priesthood x Fatherhood = Motherhood x Relief Society, just as 4 x 6 = 8 x 3. There are different factors on either side of the equation, but they are equal. No other combination of these four factors will be equal.
Changes in Church doctrine or administration relative to gender equality (or anything else) will not come through activism. They come through revelation from God to His Prophet. One of the Twelve Apostles, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, said it best: “… in the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the doctrine of Christ or correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of divine revelation to those the Lord endows with apostolic authority.”
It is imperative that we sustain our living Prophets and Apostles. They have been called of God, and He will never lead His Church astray. If we move away from their teachings, we move away from God. The Prophets and Apostles have taught, and continue to teach, that a woman’s role of mother is her most important responsibility. Similarly, we are taught that those ordained to the priesthood have specific responsibilities; many of these priesthood responsibilities pertain to fatherhood. President Henry B. Eyring taught us this again (here) in our last General Conference.
Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society general president, testified that as we study the history of the women in the Church, “we can find patterns and examples of sisters and brothers working in partnership in families and the Church, and we can learn principles about who we are, what we believe, and what we should protect.” I am confident that God wants us to work in partnership to protect the family, and it is through our divinely appointed gender roles that we will best be able to do so.
Do you agree or disagree with the author? Please let us know.