New leadership roles for women alters LDS mission culture, hints at deep, long-term ramifications

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  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    Nov. 18, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    Thanks to Kate Kelly!

  • Urstadt Casper, ID
    April 7, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    @abtrumpet: Yes, this church does more to empower women than any other church to date and to my knowledge (which is vast even though not complete). The church is most definitely the true church of God! The doctrines are perfect! I couldn't agree with you more. I fully support everything you said.

    @suzyk#1: I think you are right to point out that abtrumpet's comments are of a sound, guiding mind.

    I do feel the church needs to continue growing with the times via continual revelation, as it is a living church, and appropriately responding to concerns of the members. While I do fear that some things will go unanswered by the General Authorities, I have growing and sustained faith and hope that the issues of dire necessity for salvation/exaltation will most definitely continue to be answered and guided through emphatic, urgent revelation from the Savior. And, I can most definitely live with that compromise because this life is but a small moment compared to eternity.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    April 6, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    To: abtrumpet...I like your expressed just what I've believed all of my life. If more people would completely read your comment they would hopefully be humbled and have a desire to search the truth. So many have been misled but hopefully as they read your comments it will cause them to stop and think about what you said. Well done!!

  • abtrumpet Provo, UT
    April 5, 2014 8:04 p.m.

    There is not "growing unrest" in the Church. There have always been splinter groups. There always will be. Those who criticize the Church do not understand that it is led by God. The doctrines of the Church are perfect. There is nowhere in the world where men and women are more equal and more useful than in this Church. Anyone is welcome to their cynical views, but I know that this is the truth and that it is led by God. And yes, humility is the objective. For everyone. Humility brings peace and happiness and leads to the paths of righteousness.

  • Urstadt Casper, ID
    April 5, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Folks, think about this for a few minutes. Put aside all the obvious church politics and growing movements emerging within the church (schisms, anyone?) and look at the true disguised ideology in these efforts: humility to the sisters! "What does humility mean?" What it means is that sisters have the humility to maintain the status quo in the church! What it means is that sisters have the humility to continue serving in callings the same way they have been for 5 decades! What it means is that sisters have the humility to to accept not getting the priesthood! And, it's absolutely brilliant that this ploy is being conducted with leadership positions occupied by women! hahahahahaha!!!!

    This is not a PR stunt, this is a silencing tactic for the growing sub-movements. This is precisely an effort to keep all LDS women where they have been: humble.

  • HTSJCCAFALG Richfield, UT
    April 5, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    Interesting comments throughout this thread. The church, the same as in business or anywhere else in the world, doesn't need to change 'who' does 'what.' We only need to change our hearts. I'll always stick with the Family Proclamation which says "ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."

    We ALL need to accept our roles. Quit letting the world define who, what, where, or how you should act at work, at home or at church. If you draw close to God and your Savior, they will let you feel confident and secure in whatever role you are called to do whether or not you are on the front page of the newspaper or delivering it and whether or not you are standing at the pulpit or working your butt off to keep little children quite. Don't take my word for it. Check our Paul's words in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. We've lost that simple perspective.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 5, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    I was quizzing the Elders in our ward about Sister missionaries in general in their mission. The Sisters still report to the Elders for ecclesiastical things. I would like to see that done away with. I would like to see the Mission President's wife completely responsible for the Sister missionaries working in tandem with the Mission President.

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    April 5, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    One thing that needs changing in the Church related to this is--local YW leaders need to stop babysitting the girls so much, even the Laurels.

    The whole "I can do hard things" mantra is not really for the girls themselves, who know this instinctively but don't always know where to start only because the adults have babied them their whole lives. It's for the leaders who need to be told "take the training wheels off the girls already" and let them actually do things !

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 5, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    Opportunities for women in the Church have always existed and have been filled, depending on the leadership of the ward, branch, mission, stake and district, and in employment. The Church has been a strong believer in the family and as such has tried to emphasize the need to keep the family together, with the mother as the leader in so many ways, while the man is earning money and providing employment. With flex-time and hours, etc, and technology women and men of the Church and world can do a variety of tasks and still guard or protect the family. The blessings of the talented people and inventions have made it better for all to be multi-tasking. Mobility has made this world closer to everyone that is able to reach out and help others.

    As President Kimball said, the only thing that is constant is change. One step at a time happens more than a giant leap, even though some can accomplish that.

    Prophets and Apostles are God''s leaders on earth. They are chosen and sustained for their obedience to the laws.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 5, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    It is not just protection for Sisters on bikes. Helmets are vital but so are reflective vests at night, especially when on very dark highways in all countries with all kinds of traffic on all kinds of roads. Even in Salt Lake people get hit by vehicles and missionaries are a vital part of the work for the living and need to be alive, also.

    Mothers and Fathers should make sure their missionaries use reflective vests at night and in some cases, even in the day when traveling on busy streets. The better to see you is valid for missionaries.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    April 5, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    I know that many young women in the Church have as one of their marriage objectives is to marry a returned missionary.

    The age change for sister missionaries raises the possibility for young men to marry a sister RM.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    April 5, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    The church doesn't have to make significant policy changes for our sisters to be meaningfully engaged in this work. The priesthood leaders just need to expand their own opportunities to listen to their sissters, and to do so more attentively. As a Bishop, I surprised some sisters by inviting them to participate more than was customary. I valued their thoughts and their service. It really made a difference for the ward.

  • AJK Highland, UT
    April 5, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Articles like these always make me feel like the church is doing too much to defend itself by messaging how woman-leadership-friendly they are becoming. It comes across as weak. I served a mission 20 years ago and the sisters had these same opportunities to lead missionaries and lead trainings. It's nothing new, so why spin it as if it is, unless the church thinks it needs to buy some goodwill among the liberal Mormon public. I'm sure in conference today we'll see a woman pray to open a meeting for "the first time ever!" Silly, silly...

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 5, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    This has the look and feel of throwing out a few scraps in hopes of quieting a small but growing unrest.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    April 5, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    It's not a stretch to see that this change in sister missionaries' assignments will foster a new manner of ward and branch leadership in the decades that follow. No, the priesthood won't be given to women, but women will be more active and vocal in ward councils and the LDS Church will be better for it. The traditions--not the doctrine--will change and the sought after "equality" of voice and input will be received. Priesthood leaders will be more accustomed to participating equally--and humbly--with the women in their wards seeing as how they had that experience in the mission field. Marriages will improve as couples will more equally lead their families. Personally I feel that this is a very inspired method to affect change in LDS culture and tradition, by starting with the young missionaries, although it will take more than a few years for the saints to fully accept these new roles.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    April 5, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    This is exciting news for a former sister missionary. The sisters in our mission worked so hard, working circles around most of the elders, and I got called in by the district leader and he very seriously asked me to consider taking a two hour lunch each day! Gone are those days.
    Many years ago a rather progressive Mission President asked my niece and her companion to be his Assistants, as they were the best missionaries in that mission. It will be interesting to see if that might be a possibility for more sisters in the future.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    I think the Church has done a wonderful thing in setting up a framework that gives sisters greater opportunity to serve missions and in having them act in leadership capacities. It is a positive investment in their development as human beings. Heavenly Father doesn't view us first and foremost as part of families or as male or female. He view us each, individually, as his child. We will be dealt with individually, just as the Savior dealt with people, "one by one." 3rd Nep. 17:21. The love that He has for us individually, and His desire that we each grow, learn and become more like Him and our Heavenly Mother in our own individual way, is paramount. It transcends other categories.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    April 5, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    Wow! Great article and great news about the increased role of women in the mission field! I worked as an engineer for 40 years and found that women were great engineers and great managers. I forgot they were "women", and my association with men and women colleagues and managers was based upon their role as engineers. I'm glad to see that church leaders are following that path.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    Please caution these young women against riding bicycles while wearing long skirts and dresses. This is a serious accident waiting to happen. Even the bike (pictured) equipped with fenders and a chain guard, poses a risk. Long flowing clothing is easily drawn into the spokes and wrapped around the hubs of these bikes possibly causing a fall and injury - and when it happens in traffic, it could be deadly.

    Sorry to be such a busy-body. I hope these young women have rewarding (and safe) experiences while on their missions.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 5, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    State government leaders should do the same. There are department, division and executive along with many legislators that don't believe women should be in leadership positions. Some of the splinter groups of a party have manipulated the men in the legislature to do their bidding. Many do not consider women to be equals when they are half of the state, at least, and are very educated in our state and have very high abilities and capabilities. An oxen team cannot pull a load when unequal. They work together to do all they can, together, not divided. Sister missionaries have always been a very vital part of the mission. They can reach out in a way that Elders cannot. Humility is one of those areas . Elders and Ward and Branch leaders can learn a lot from these young women Siisters on a mission to help Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ as they have the Holy Ghost in their lives, also.

    What blessings for missions throughout the world forever. It is not just a blessing for the younger Sister missionaries but those in their later years serving. The effect in ward and branch, district and stake will be forever.

  • Cruelest Month Sandy, UT
    April 5, 2014 12:57 a.m.

    I am thrilled the Church is more fully utilizing the strength of women in missionary work. I'd love to see more callings where wives are called to serve with their husbands and provide support and a communication channel for women.

  • utahgram ROOSEVELT, UT
    April 5, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    Young women of this excellence will need challenging church positions when they return home as well. We continue to struggle to find enough priesthood men to staff wards and stakes, and need fewer sisters in the traditional church calling line-up. The next big challenge is to use that talent of young women to enrich the Church, and not let all of that experience and education go to waste, or worse, lose the young women totally as they search for a place that they are needed. Priesthood leaders, it is time to step up your game!