Quantcast
Faith

Will a woman pray at LDS general conference?

Comments

Return To Article
  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 26, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    Scientist-

    It's fine if a woman prays in General Conference. I personally have no problem with that. However, as a Mormon woman, I can't think how I have been in mourning because historically this has not happened. I am not sure how I have experienced such pain and suffering that I would need others to help me carry it.

    When I have had heavy burdens to carry I have found so many, men and women, who have helped me carry them, who have truly mourned with me.

    Often we find what we look for.

  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    March 26, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    This is something to be genuinely happy about! I am so surprised that some commentators are insistent that we not feel happy--or even feel anything--about this wonderful turn of events! And then there are comments that have to "prove" the Brethren weren't listening to anyone when they made the change--as if that was somehow awful or humiliating if they did!

    Can't we just be happy about something that is obviously so right? Greater light and knowledge and all that?

  • Wizard of Oz Shawnee Mission, KS
    March 22, 2013 11:59 p.m.

    I can only guess, but I suspect that the fact that women haven't given prayers in GC has more to do with the fact that there are more GAs than speaking opportunities. It used to be that all GAs spoke every conference. Now many of the Seventy may only speak once while the are GAs. So, they are given a chance to pray instead.

    I agree that rarely does anyone remember a prayer. Talks are what we remember. This really does seem like such a non-issue.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    March 22, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    If my opinion (just that) those who are concerned about such trivial issues have a problem with their testimony. We have had women SPEAK in GC which is much more important that who opens or closes a meeting.

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    March 22, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    So...if someone leaned over to you during conference after the invocation and whispered, "did you know that was the first woman to EVER pray in general conference," your honest response would be, "so?" or "shush!"

    I just don't get it. It's a GOOD THING that women are praying in GC, isn't it? Does anyone want to take a step back to when they didn't now? Why not be stoked about this? Seeing this comment board is like seeing the whole tabernacle choir plugging their ears and singing LALALALA... I have no idea why anyone would want to smother this thing and ignore it. Aren't we supposed to seek after these types of things?

  • David in CA Livermore, CA
    March 22, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    A Prayer is a Prayer. It isn't that important Who says it, as much as the attitude and frame of mind of the person who offers it. Gender is not an issue for prayer or who offers it. All are Childern of God, both male and female.

    Individual prayers are far more important than an invocation or benediction of a large
    public gathering.

    Prayers are Not allowed in most public schools. We should be Grateful that someone is still allowed to pray in public gatherings such as a public conference.

    This question of gender just seems to be an effort to distract from the praying and its value.

    The Roman Catholic Church is also currently getting this same type controversy about "gender" of the participants. I'm sure the Apostle Paul would be in the same controversy also, if he lived in this same world of today, of "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel".

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 22, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    As I understand it, not only is a significant majority of the Church membership female, but an even larger majority of the active membership are female...

    Yet when a respectful, historically grounded, and doctrinally based petition is enjoined by some "faithful" members of the Church, citing the many historical precedents for such an approach, not only do the (mostly male) readers of the Deseret News trivialize the obvious pain and suffering this issue has caused, but they deny the historicity and legitimacy of the petition in the first place, demonizing those who put it forward as unworthy and unfaithful!

    I stand all amazed at how the behavior of the believers continues to confirm the negative characteristics we have come to expect from them.

    I thought you all took a covenant to "mourn with those who mourn"? But when many women in the Church are "mourning", you essentially kick them while they are down?

    Amazing...

  • tlaulu Taylorsville, Utah
    March 22, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    My wife and I have general conference every night. She takes her turn to pray every other night. Amen.

  • Jesus Loves U kaysville, UT
    March 22, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Exactly George of the Jungle,
    It's their church, not mine or billions of other Christians. We know we have the church of Jesus Christ through His Word, the Bible...We are born of God. There are many small churches as the LDS church, it's not the church of the Christian faith, we know we are the believers and it matters not what church we belong to, we are all of the same body, His body, the bride. Praise God.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 21, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    There is no evidence that the Church has in any way responsded to a petition. To begin with, there is no evidence that there is a policy involved. The fact of the matter is the text of the prayers is not published, and it seems a really minor issue. I really have the feeling some people are trying to make a fight where there is none.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    @will7370

    "I became gender-blind towards people decades ago, just like I became color-blind."

    You say that as if being gender-blind or color-blind are actually positive traits but they're not because in this case it means you are making no attempt at all to understand how women in a church with an all-male priesthood might feel about something like this.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 21, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Personally, I don't see this as earth shattering news. I never got the impression that women couldn't pray at general conference, I just figured they had so many members of the seventy who will never get a chance to speak in conference during their three or five year tenure that at least they could offer a prayer.

    I just cringe at possible headlines which might read - LDS Church finally recognizes women and let's them participate in world wide church conference.

    My only concern is that who ever offers a prayer doesn't turn it into a ten minute talk.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    I think it is good that a woman will pray in General Conference, but really it is not too much of an issue for me.

    However, I do take issue that the public pressure campaign had anything to do with this. Apparently, the decision on who prays in General Conference comes months in advance - probably in January. That was about the time the campaign to pressure the Church to allow women to pray in General Conference BEGAN.

    To me, it might just be more of a coincidence that the Brethren are allowing women to pray in General Conference when the public campaign come about, rather than it as a result of the public campaign. To me the evidence is not strong enough to "claim victory" as some of those are claiming who wrote letters to the Church on the issue. If the public campaign was started several months before January then the evidence would be stronger that it influenced this decision.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 21, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    This one generates a big yawn and a big so what. I don't listen or watch General Conference for the prayers. Music yes, talks yes, prayers no.

    So as far as I'm concerned they could have my two year old grandson pray (Mother or Father helping of course) and I couldn't care less. What a total non-issue. But then if the Trib says it, it must be true.

  • Justin Orem, Ut
    March 21, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    “'In her journals [Elaine A. Cannon] talks about being the first general Young Women president to speak in general conference, and what a blessing that was,' Woodger said."

    It bears noting here that Ruth May Fox, the YL MIA President, spoke at the October 1929, April 1930, and October 1930 general conferences.

    “'She remembers how one of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles quoted from her talk in the next general conference. She said it helped her to realize how the Lord was very aware of what people are going to say in general conference, and she felt like she was working hand-in-hand with the priesthood in that way.'”

    Which member of the Quorum of the Twelve quoted her and in which general conference?

  • WI_Member Appleton, WI
    March 21, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    A recent BYU study published in American Political Science Revie reports the following...

    “Women have something unique and important to add to the group, and that’s being lost, at least under some circumstances,” said Chris Karpowitz, Ph.D., the lead study author and a political scientist at BYU.

    “When women participated more, they brought unique and helpful perspectives to the issue under discussion,” Karpowitz said. “We’re not just losing the voice of someone who would say the same things as everybody else in the conversation.”

  • WI_Member Appleton, WI
    March 21, 2013 4:46 a.m.

    So let's pretend I am in Primary Presidency and during Sharing Time, and I ask for volunteers for prayers or answering questions, etc. I only call on girls, even though I know the boys are just as capable and willing as the girls. But because I know the boys would answer the questions or participate in the same way as the girls, it doesn't really matter that I don't call on the boys. The boys should just be happy that they have the opportunity to hear the lesson.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    March 21, 2013 12:47 a.m.

    @truthseeker: apparently your stake president thought he had the authority to rewrite the Handbook then... see 18.5

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    March 21, 2013 12:43 a.m.

    Sheesh, now I've just GOT to ask: Sisters, does a male ever open or close the Relief Society Session? Is it always women that say the prayers? Did you ever notice? I can't sleep tonight until I hear the answer!

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    March 21, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    She'll pray at the Priesthood session, and she'll be wearing a suit. Really? Is this a story or the National Enquirer?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 20, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    As recently as 2005, a stake we lived in on the east coast would not allow women to say the opening prayer in sacrament meetings stating that technically sacrament meetings are priesthood meetings.

  • will7370 LOGAN, UT
    March 20, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    O puhlease....I became gender-blind towards people decades ago, just like I became color-blind. This is so a non-issue. Some of us have really, truly moved beyond this. I would no more think about this than I would wonder how many red-heads have prayed in General Conference over the years. Sad to see how some are still living back in the 60's.

  • Y-Ask-Y? Provo, UT
    March 20, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    Not only do I think it is very important that a woman pray in the next General Conference, but that woman should WEAR PANTS!

  • tashine2 LITTLEROCK, CA
    March 20, 2013 6:18 p.m.

    Too many people don't know the difference between church POLICY and church DOCTRINE. Policy changes occur to meet the needs of the time, doctrine never changes. Who prays in church or at General Conference is policy, not doctrine. Petitioning the church to change policies is appropriate, since our leaders may want to know how policies are affecting the members. The media also do not understand that the church's policies change from time to time, but the core doctrines do not. If they are truey interested, they should view General Conference to hear church doctrine (delivered by both men and women) instead of focusing on policies that may or may not be in force at any given time. I also agree that if you're spending time worrying about this, you should not only pay strict attention at GC, but should also find better things to do.

  • Nachtmerrie_in_Brugge Mesa, AZ
    March 20, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    Please don't let this PC garbage creep into the Church. Not here.

    Haven't members of the auxiliary presidencies already offered prayers in General Conference (and I do mean General Conference, not the General Young Women/Relief Society Meetings)? If they haven't I haven't noticed, but I would swear they have. When I agree with the content of a prayer offered on my behalf, I will always say "amen," whether that prayer was vocalized by a male or a female. It makes no difference to me.

  • Clarkoski Draper, UT
    March 20, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    I don't believe the majority of LDS church leadership is racist, homophobic or misogynistic. They may be slow to react to what many in the church feel are important issues, but these responsibilities of theirs are much greater than your typical LDS member. Determining and building on the spiritual and secular needs of the kingdom will always be more important than the desires of a few who feel they are being discriminated against. So if a petition has resulted in a recognition of a problem that needed to be corrected, then good for those who felt this change was necessary. I tend to believe that the group petitioning for change will feel satisfied only for a short time. That new demands and petitions will be made until the very male dominated priesthood is demanded by those who do not have it.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    March 20, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    Much ado about nothing . . .

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    March 20, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Who cares? What I want to know is when will there be a woman Pope?.....oh, that's right, they already had one. Whoops!

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    March 20, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Re: IdahoGirl

    "...really if it is such a BIG issue, those people who have the "issue" need to do a little soul searching & ask themselves if this is really worth making it an issue?"

    That same argument was made regarding blacks not receiving the priesthood, and consequently, temple blessings. Just because YOU don't think it is a big issue, doesn't mean it isn't to someone else. Just because YOU don't have pain at this issue, doesn't mean that others don't, nor does it mean that their pain is less than pain you may over something else.

    As to this not being a problem in your ward; great. It was a common practice in my stake, up until a new stake president was called 3 years ago. Again, just because YOU don't see the problem does not mean it doesn't exist.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    March 20, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    The thing I notice is Mormons use the spirit as an excuse to be lazy in thought. For instance I recently attended a funeral. The grieving widow forgot to include the deceased's first family in the speakers. She afterward said, that she just went by what the spirit told her to do.

    Here to there seems to be a current that we just have to wait for TSM to tell us what to do. However, JS in the D&C taught us to study things out in our own my mind, then seek God's counsel. For those who patiently wait for God to make changes, great. I am sure you will be blessed. But I appreciate those who seek to help change happen - the brethern need their help.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Women pray all the time at my house. Long overdue for General Conference.

  • AreaReader Suburbs, AZ
    March 20, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    IdahoGirl, the Church handbook in the mid 1960s-mid 1970s evidently stated that only men could pray in sacrament meeting. If you saw anything differently done during that decade, it would have been contrary to church policy.

    "So explain to me why this creates pain?"

    If you don't know why issues of inequality and lack of opportunity and legal protection can cause pain, you may not be familiar with the history of the Women's Rights Movement, which was led in the Intermountain West by Relief Society President Emmeline B. Wells and others. You may also not be familiar with the Civil Rights Movement. You may not be familiar with the story of the 1978 Revelation on the Priesthood. There's a recent Vol. 2 biography of President Kimball by his son. Fascinating story.

    "I think of a lot of other things that are worth debating rather than women praying in meetings"

    And you are the one who gets to decide? Who gave you that right?

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    March 20, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    It's important to not let political correctness or public peer pressure deter any of us from doing what we know to be right, according to the gospel as revealed to us through our Prophets.

    While having a woman perform the opening or closing prayer at a general conference may be big news or a major milestone to some, the most important point is to have someone worthy, regardless of gender, offer a prayer as prompted by the Holy Spirit.

    And women are just as capable as men of doing so.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    March 20, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA: What you and others need to understand no one can make changers to a church except God. He makes the rules not us, if we make changers with out his approval then we run the risk of God's wrath.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    March 20, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    I thought I remembered Lucile C. Reading praying at the start of a Saturday session of General Conference back in the 1970's, but guess from all this whoopla-la, I was mistaken.

    I'm with TimpSkier here:

    "We have to be thoughtful about our actions as a church because sometimes traditions (perhaps false traditions) send wrong messages."

    We can see the trickle-down as Hdizzle pointed out when mission leaders determined sister missionaries shouldn't be asked to pray because of the "example" (a false example, as it turns out if we see a woman pray next month) of only men praying in GC.

    Other false examples are church members believing they are better than other people, or that anyone with a tattoo or not in a white shirt or long skirt is to be shunned. We are all on the earth together to learn to love and respect everyone. Let's hope we can start one of these days.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 20, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    Your mom prays in General Conference.

    ...

    So I wonder...

    Which prayer will be longer, a man's or a woman's? The shorter, less sermon-like prayer gets my vote, regardless of gender. :)

  • Lindy-Lou San Antonio, TX
    March 20, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    When I was growing up, it was church policy that women could not pray in SM. Surprised? True! Provo BYU Campus Education Week is attended by WAY more women than men yet when the instructor looks around for people to close the classes, he (even SHE!) ALWAYS ask men. I wrote a polite note one time early one week at the last CEW I attended asking the instructor why he always chose men. I placed it on his lectern. Guess what? The next day and from then on he asked WOMEN. Funny, huh?

  • bribri86 Phoenix, AZ
    March 20, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    D&C 22:4

  • IdahoGirl Pocatello, ID
    March 20, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    @AreaReader - So explain to me why this creates pain? I guess I feel you see things differently than I do, and that is okay! But I won't let you accuse me of being "blind to people's real pain" when really if it is such a BIG issue, those people who have the "issue" need to do a little soul searching & ask themselves if this is really worth making it an issue? I think of a lot of other things that are worth debating rather than women praying in meetings....really AreaReader, you don't know me at all so don't accuse me of being blind to people's pain - if prayer is "real pain" then priorities need to be accessed & they need to analyze where they are in the gospel! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints is not perfect, because people are not perfect - however, the gospel is. If we follow our Prophet & serve the best we can, then we are doing what we are suppose to be doing.

  • IdahoGirl Pocatello, ID
    March 20, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    @AreaReader - I am not blind to this! I have been a member my whole life - 54 years - and honestly, never recall there being a time that women didn't give prayers in Sacrament meeting! I remember as a very young girl, 7 or 8, when my mother gave the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting! Could it be the foreign countries that have this issue? And I guess I don't understand why it creates pain? I know lots of women who are grateful that they are NOT asked to pray. But then you have those who use it to "preach" pray & that isn't good either.

  • AT2008 Austin, TX
    March 20, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    It's amazing the things some people will get all worked up over. Just sit back and enjoy the meeting. There's no need to make a fuss over who is speaking/praying or not. If it bothers you, it very well may be a personal problem, not a program problem.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    March 20, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    @atl134: What makes you think I'm male. Pretty judgemental of you wouldn't you say?

  • AreaReader Suburbs, AZ
    March 20, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    "Why is this even an issue? ...Women pray in their own wards..."

    No, IdahoGirl, even within the past few years there have been wards where women are restricted from praying. Sometimes they are not allowed to say the opening prayer, sometimes it's the closing prayer. (Usually depending on how the ward or stake leadership remembers the Church Handbook from around 1970.)

    It is a real issue.

    It creates real pain.

    It is not good, IdahoGirl, to be blind to people's real pain.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    @DanishAmerican
    "To whomever it makes a difference to them whether or not women pray in Conference--Get a life. It just doesn't matter."

    Typical male entitlement, this is exactly what the problem in the church is that's being addressed.

  • M. Butler Brooklyn, NY
    March 20, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    I wonder if any of the "it's no big deal--there are more important things to worry about" commenters appreciate the irony of their taking the time to comment about something that they think is so unimportant.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 20, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    I thought there was a war on women among conservatives? Maybe the war is over or perhaps a cease fire?

  • IdahoGirl Pocatello, ID
    March 20, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    Why is this even an issue? It seems to me that there is always someone stirring the pot when it does not make a difference one way or another. Women pray in their own wards, what is the big deal? Honestly, get a life!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    @timpskier-
    "imagine that half of the church membership was of Asian ancestry and over a period of 150+ years we never asked an Asian person to pray at general conference. What there be a message there? What would you think if you were of Asian ancestry."

    Hmm. Well, over half the church membership consists of regular 'ol members. I can't recall the last time I ever heard one a them ever offer a prayer in GC. "This session's invocation will be offered by the Course 16 Sunday School teacher from the SLC 1st Ward". Yeah, I get the message. Being a regular ward member without a high-falutin' calling doesn't count.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    March 20, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    Hopefully it will be a woman CEO of an LDS Church owned company, Sherri Dew. That'd dispatch a lot of strawmen in one shot. I think she has more respect for the sanctity of worship services than to wear pants, but that would add a nice touch too.

    I could care less either way; whatever they choose to do is fine by me.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 20, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    @dustman

    "The big deal is that women were not allowed to pray in sacrament and fast and testimony meetings in the church between 1968 and 1978."

    Among others. Where you alive during these times?

    "But its disturbing that so many members of the church are willing to ignore the news of the change in practice. The church and the church body ignore things that make them uncomfortable. Its our M.O. to ignore things. "

    Truth.

    "I'm glad women are allowed to pray in General Conference. Its the idea that they have to be "allowed" to pray in conference that bothers me."

    Yep, agree with you 100%.

    "Anyway, the church is true."

    Are you saying that with conviction?

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    March 20, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Does it matter?

  • djk blue springs, MO
    March 20, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    why does this matter so much to some ? i leave decisions to our dear prophet and his counselors also the quorum of the 12....lets let them ask our Heavenly Father and let them decide.
    conference is a wonderful time, lets not damper the weekend with speculations and worldly pushing

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    March 20, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Re: Danish American,

    How Christian of you, commanding others to get a life for having opinions.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    March 20, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    I'am amazed at the number of people who would rather follow the arm of man/woman, than the arm of the lord thru his prophet. When the time is right, the lord will let us know.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Women have been speaking in general conference for years. Doubtless, had they been praying in conference but not speaking, there would be a hullabaloo about not speaking. Because there are now so many members of the Seventy among the general authorities, the likelihood of a member of the Seventy speaking in general conference is less than that of any woman who happens to be serving in the presidency of the Primary, Young Women, or Relief Society organizations. Still, small minds desperate for attention continue straining at gnats, rather than focusing on the Savior of the world and His Atonement--at Easter time. The world is too much with us. . ..
    How I love our Savior's insight: "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    March 20, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    The big deal is that women were not allowed to pray in sacrament and fast and testimony meetings in the church between 1968 and 1978. The church handbooks at that time specified that a Melchizedek priesthood holder had to pray at those meetings. Somebody high up wanted it in the handbook. It must have been a big deal to someone in the church if they had to change the handbook. Considering its only a handbook.

    I know the focus should be on Jesus and his atonement at conferences. But its disturbing that so many members of the church are willing to ignore the news of the change in practice. The church and the church body ignore things that make them uncomfortable. Its our M.O. to ignore things. That's what we do. We pretend its not a big deal so the news dies.

    I'm glad women are allowed to pray in General Conference. Its the idea that they have to be "allowed" to pray in conference that bothers me. Anyway, the church is true.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    March 20, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    3GrandKeys, where did you hear about a petition or someone being vilified for putting forth said petition? Where did you hear about a "non-policy" being changed?
    I, like most of the posters here had never realized that a woman had never offered the prayer in a GENERAL session of general conference, but I do take issue with the assertion that a woman has never offered a prayer in general conference because I consider the Young Women's general meeting and the Relief Society general meetings to be part of general conference.
    Hdizzle, Really!? If they truly wanted to "follow the example", they would need to requisition a General Authority for every district meeting.
    I served a mission many years ago and prayed in district and zone and meetings and also in Sunday worship services. I organized a special training conference for 30 women and probably prayed in a half mission conference also, but don't really remember since it was a non-issue just like this.
    It is vastly more significant that women are offering sermons than that they might or might not offer a prayer.
    Washcomom: You've got it right, sister! We all say amen, WE ALL PRAY!

  • lledwards38 Canandaigua, NY
    March 20, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    I have noticed that women don't pray in General Conference, and it hasn't affected my testimony one whit. I have not counted how many Asians, Tongans, or Africans have prayed. I have listened to the words of the prayers and been uplifted.

    I have more concern for the many Ward Welfare and Correlation meetings I have attended in which my voice wasn't heard. My comments in the meetings were often mocked and treated with condescension. That is a much bigger problem in my experience.

  • AreaReader Suburbs, AZ
    March 20, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    So many people commenting that this is a meaningless change.

    If it was a meaningless change, there wouldn't be so many people trying to defend the status quo.

    A foundational belief of the Church is continuing revelation. The restoration of the gospel is ongoing. (AoF 9.) Anyone who spends much time defending the status quo is going to find him- or herself on the wrong side of Church history.

    In other words, change is happening. The Church handbook says "Men and women may offer both opening and closing prayers in Church meetings." The 2013 scriptures have more gender-inclusive language. Women are serving missions in growing numbers. Women have a more important place in the ward council than in previous generations.

    It may be helpful to know that the Relief Society used to have biannual multiple-day conferences. That ended about 1970, but except for the single, annual, 1-1/2 hour-long Relief Society meeting, women had little meaningful participation at the Church level except the recent practice of about two women speaking during the 10-hour general conference proceedings each April and October.

    The Book of Mormon says all are alike to God. Let's practice what we preach.

  • Michael De Groote
    March 20, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    3GrandKeys says, "The big deal is that it took a petition of thousands before the church made a decision to change this odd policy that officially never existed."

    The article says: “Decisions on speakers and prayers at general conference were made late last year,” said Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    And also this: "That has stimulated some social media discussion since mid-January of this year — after assignments for the April conference had been made by the church."

  • Wally Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Since the time when the Quorums of Seventy have been increased so markedly to further the worldwide work, it became traditional for members of the Seventy to offer the GC prayers.
    So it has nothing to do with the male/female issue. The far more important thing is that we have the opportunity regularly to hear from our Sister leaders in Conference.
    Remember back to the times of the three day General Conference format when we heard from ALL of the General Authorities?
    As usual, the SLTrib is making something out of nothing and the DesNews probably should not have even mentioned it.

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    March 20, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    God put our eyes in the front of our head for a reason- to not look back. Look forward with faith and allow The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to follow the spirit of the program for the General Conference.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    To whomever it makes a difference to them whether or not women pray in Conference--Get a life. It just doesn't matter.

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    March 20, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    The big deal is that it took a petition of thousands before the church made a decision to change this odd policy that officially never existed. The big deal is that they listened to the voices of the members who thought women praying in GC would be a good thing. The big deal is that in LDS culture it's perceived as taboo to petition the church to change anything, even something as simple as easily changed as this, and the organizers of the petition were vilified for making any noise. The big deal is that now maybe that perception will change a little and people will realize that the voice of any of God's children can be the vehicle by which church leaders gain inspiration. Ask and ye shall receive.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    It's their church. I don't think any one out side of it has any thing to say how they do things. It's none of any ones business but theirs.

  • Hdizzle SL, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    I hadn't ever noticed women not praying in GC either. However, I do see why there may be a need to address it. I know of a woman who was told she couldn't pray at a district meeting on her mission because they had decided to follow the example set at GC of only the Priesthood praying. I do not think that this was done intentionally by General Authorities, but whether they were meaning to or not, they were setting an example that others (silly as it may be) were taking to heart. Just my two cents. Love the gospel and am excited to feel the Spirit at GC, regardless of who prays!

  • hoost Walnut Creek, CA
    March 20, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I have no problem with women praying in general conference or any where. What does bother me is all the indifferent and often judgmental responses to those who are genuinely pained by the easily correctable minutia. Have these indifferent and judgmental people forgotten the core of the gospel, charity? Why are so many adverse to resolving easily corrected issues that will result in a greater sense of self-worth and well-being for others while doing absolutely no harm to anyone?

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    March 20, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    I have watch alot of general conferences and never realized that a women has not opened or close any of those sessions in prayer. Though I would not have a concern in the world if women did pray at general conference, but I don't it is that big of a deal. General Conference is a time to learn and focus on the Savior and what we need to do to become better followers of Christ. Wheather a man or a women gives the prayer at conference it does not matter as long as their pray is from the heart, sincere and helps bring the Spirit into the meeting. That is all that matters.

  • 2 LDS Huntington Beach, CA
    March 20, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    I don't see the big deal about if women pray or not. I think everybody is making a big deal about the whole thing. I think it is great if they do. It shouldn't even be a topic for a newspaper.

  • timpskier Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 20, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    The reason it is important is because organizations (like the church) sometimes inadvertantly send messages about what they believe through their actions. For example, imagine that half of the church membership was of Asian ancestry and over a period of 150+ years we never asked an Asian person to pray at general conference. What there be a message there? What would you think if you were of Asian ancestry. I bet you would not think it is because the leaders of the church thought that Asians were too good to pray. We have to be thoughtful about our actions as a church because sometimes traditions (perhaps false traditions) send wrong messages. Women not praying at General Conference is probably a good example of this.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    March 20, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    We all say "Amen" at the end of the prayer, so we all have prayed. As many of the comments have stated that it doesn't matter if a woman (Sister) is the voice of the prayer at G. I think this article would have been better if it focused on the gathering of great talks given by women at the various General Meetings.

  • MIMom Mt Pleasant, MI
    March 20, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Why not! Looks to me like SLTrib isn't the only one with this being big news. Really shouldn't need to be news. But hey if it makes people happy and increases readership...

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    March 20, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    A different version of the question could be, is it necessary that a priesthood holder always offer the invocation and benediction?

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    March 20, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Get a grip people! I agree there is so much going on in the world and this is what we are obsessing about? I watch conference all the time and it never occured to me that a woman had not said a public prayer. Certainly, they are speaking and are seen all the time. Gee, how about if we form a group to push for plants for women. Oh, yes, that's already been done. Glad I'm so busy with important things!

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    March 20, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    This is a non story. Come on.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    March 20, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    I have no problem with women praying in general conference or any where. Or wearing pants to church. What does bother me is all this attention to minutia, that distracts us from the core of the gospel, the atonement of the Savior. Are we so concerned about the mechanics of our worship that we forget why we worship?

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    March 20, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    You've got to pray just to make it today,

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    March 20, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    So…what exactly? This doesn't really mean anything. Anybody can offer a prayer. Hardly groundbreaking…

  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    March 20, 2013 6:29 a.m.

    So, I don't get the big deal, really. Women give sermons in GC. Plenty of people have never prayed in conference...women or men. Looks like they just get around to having various groups pray every so often. For a while General Authorities. For another while 70. For another little while returned Mission Presidents. Now, maybe some women.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    No problem with a woman praying if that is what is decided.

    Leave it up to the sltrib to make this their number one story.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    March 20, 2013 5:36 a.m.

    With all the things that are going on in the world today, good and bad, what is so important about women praying in General Conference? I can pray personally, with my husband, with my family, in Sunday School, Relief Society, Sacrament Meeting, Stake Conference and several other meeting if asked. That is more than enough. If people have enough time on their hand to worry about this, they need to volunteer in a Nursing Home, deliver Meals on Wheels or any other of the many programs to really help society.

  • AZ_True_Blue Gilbert, AZ
    March 20, 2013 1:26 a.m.

    I think this is great regardless of your political or religious views. I love pointing out the women speakers in Confernce to both my sons and daughters.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 20, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    You can read all kinds of things into that question.