Ten Questions LDS Women Think About

By: hawkgrrrl
January 31, 2012

Recently, Julie Beck asked Mormon Mommy Blogs to bring her whatever questions they had.  A blog post went out to ask the questions women in the church had, whether about polygamy or women and the priesthood or any other topic.  Below are the questions I came up with based on my experience in the bloggernacle. 

As Henry Kissinger said, “Every solution is a ticket to a new problem.”  I don’t think it’s very important for leaders to answer these questions, just to ask them for themselves and to understand the impacts of their actions and inactions to members and to potential converts.  Changes often bring unintended negative consequences as well as the intended positive ones, and I’m very sympathetic to that problem.  This is one reason that the existing negative consequences should also be fully considered and understood by leaders. 

Because those negative consequences are hard for leaders to face (I am speaking as a leader in business), there is often a tendency to 1) shoot or dismiss the messenger, 2) be defensive (often defending the indefensible), and 3) be evasive, answering the question you wish they had asked (accentuate the positive!) rather than dealing with the negative aspects of existing policies or practices that you may have caused or allowed to happen.

  1. How do we get an entirely male leadership to understand the perspective of all women in the church when the diverse perspectives of women are not represented in all leadership councils, both at HQ and local level?  Leaders of the church primarily hear from the women in their lives – their wives and daughters - who are very likely to agree with them.  This is not a very diverse representation of women in the church.  Female leaders in the church are insiders who are insufficiently critical.  Most leaders quit experiencing the church the same way as the lay members decades ago.  Leaders by and large are living the so-called ideal.  Their lives are blessed for their faithfulness as proven by their elevated status in the church.  But that can also lead to overconfidence and dismissal at best or blaming at worst of those for whom things didn’t work out so well:  the single, the divorced, homosexuals, those not living the so-called ideal (such as working mothers). 
  2. Why is it necessary for the Primary President to be female (but teachers can be either sex) but the Sunday School president cannot be female (but the teachers can be either sex)?  This seems to me like a holdover from a previous organizational setup.  The Sunday School secretary can be a woman.  These are inherently gender-neutral callings, and the cost of change would be quite low.  There is also some Dick Cheneyesque one-percent doctrine thinking about men in primary, but there are alternate ways to manage those risks.  Mormon men, especially my generation and younger, are generally very good with children and almost always equal partners with their wives, even when their wives stay at home.  We are not raising a generation of Mormon men who refuse to change diapers and demand hot dinner on the table when they walk in the door.  Division of labor may not be equal if the man is working outside the home and the woman is not, but Mormon men are not “babysitters” to their own children – they are parents!
  3. Why does CES discriminate against mothers, implying that a woman who works while her children are under age 18 is unworthy, although she is able to hold a temple recommend? Why are our seminary students presented almost a solely male perspective in seminary as a result?  The other groups who are also prohibited from teaching for CES are single men and the divorced.  Essentially, CES uses ministerial exception to exclude all who don’t fit their ideal from teaching posts.  Administrative roles do not have these exclusions (which would be illegal discrimination).  Doubtless, the policy exists to give kids an example of some sort of ideal (too bad for all the seminary kids who come from homes that differ), but the practical realities create some weird and hurtful problems.  For example, if you file for a divorce, you are also taking away your soon-to-be ex’s livelihood.  If a divorce is ugly, that is quite a card to have in your hand!  Another odd byproduct is the culture that is created by these employment practices.  Due to coercing the so-called ideal, there is a very self-satisfied perspective among those who qualify.  The other factor is that these jobs pay peanuts and require less qualification than other teaching positions, so the field is already very narrow.  These restrictive hiring practices only further narrow them.  There is a big difference between someone who would use CES as a second family income and those who would use it to support a family.  The environment created is very male-dominated, and with a specific subset of men.  As mentioned elsewhere, this means our children are taught a very stilted perspective that is fomented in a very specific mostly male environment.  They do not receive a very diverse view from CES.
  4. Why are women with children under age 18 prevented from working in the temple, but their husbands, also parents of young children, do not have the same restrictions? Shouldn’t they be at home helping their wives?  Personally, I don’t see how this one can be anything but plain and simple sexism, and quite easily remedied.  If they really want to play this card, why not prevent women from attending the temple at all during child-rearing years?  Are women literally supposed to be chained to the house 24×7?  Perhaps the double standard exists because more male temple workers are needed, but placing this burden on young mothers is just wrong-headed thinking.
  5. Why, after being raised in the church her whole life, did my 9 year old daughter never hear once at church that she has a Heavenly Mother? Her answer when I mentioned it was “Well, I never heard of her!” (I accept my own responsibility for that also).  I have to think this is because of the fear that outsiders will think we are weird polytheists if we embrace Heavenly Mother.  As evidenced in South Carolina, they don’t like us anyway; maybe we should quit caring what they think.  Personally, I don’t think our male leadership has any idea how easy it is for a woman to feel that we are just not the target audience at church.  Many women are extraordinarily proud we have a Heavenly Mother.  It’s one doctrine that keeps many in the church even when they experience a crisis of faith.
  6. Why can’t we entrust women with the care of our YW without priesthood oversight? (YW are often uncomfortable with male leaders showing up at events like girls’ camp, and may also have issues with being asked chastity related questions behind closed doors by a male leader.)  The first one is a bit new, so I’m sure it was put into place because something happened.  There always seems to be an incident, and then we go all one-percent to remedy it.  As to worthiness interviews, there are girls who are silent victims of rape or incest for whom this situation is inherently perilous to their well being.  There are some well-meaning yet nosey bishops who think it’s totally in their purview to go on fishing expeditions with the questions.  Male leaders coming to girls camp was something that was always very strange to us as Young Women.  It was like someone’s dad hanging around too much at a sleepover – creepy!  When every woman is constantly put beneath male  oversight, women can feel like guests or visitors to the men’s church, not full participants, or worse, like children who need to be protected and corraled, not like adults.  Good bishops know how to treat female leaders as leaders in their own right.  But with 32,000 bishops, they can’t all be winners.
  7. Why can’t women open or close General Conference with prayer? Why do some wards still restrict women from opening a sacrament meeting with prayer or from speaking last in Sacrament Meeting?  I suspect these are just ticky tack traditions that would be very easy to remedy, and it would send a clear message that God doesn’t listen more to male prayers than to female ones just because men have the priesthood.  That is the unwitting message to women, whether we notice it or not.
  8. What can be done to counter the belief among young people that boys are more important than girls in the church because their priesthood milestones are celebrated and their scouting programs and achievements are funded by the church?  BSA is beginning to open up to allow co-ed scouting events with girls joining alongside the boys.  But that is unlikely to be the solution for the church due to the overnight campouts; additionally, scouting is very expensive due to the uniforms, awards, and camps.  Recreating a girl version might be more than we can handle (since we can’t even keep our manuals up to date).  Forcing girls to do crafts alienates the many, many girls who are not interested in that.  Ideally the girls should be responsible for the planning, which will result in activities that appeal to that specific group of girls.
  9. How do we teach chastity without loading the girls down with excessive modesty rules and a belief that they are responsible for the actions of the boys? How do we create individual commitment and accountibility for selves (rather than others) and healthy sexual attitudes and body image among our women?  My personal view is that we should talk about chastity and choice, but drop all the modesty talk and specific guidelines for dress.  They are a superfluous distraction with no solid foundation, and it teaches boys that they can judge, disrespect and control girls’ behavior.  The guidelines are also extremely hurtful toward girls who gain weight, making them the targets of criticism when their clothing becomes tight.
  10. Can we get more diverse female design input for the garment? I appreciate the improvements of Carinessa in theory (if I lived in a cold climate I would wear them), but there are many issues not addressed: the need for wicking fabric for hot and humid climates, drop the cap sleeves, flat seams / silkscreened marks (for those with sensitive skin), and different body types and needs. For those who are committed to wearing the garment, we will pay more for what works in our climate and with our skin.  Female garments bunch up and show wrinkles below your clothing, even when your clothing is not tight depending upon the fabric.  It would be great to have a real designer working on alternatives, not just minor tweaks from seamstresses who are already accustomed to wearing the versions we already have.

Other commenters mentioned some great ones I forgot to include:

  • The YW manuals are extremely out of date.  This is a very big problem for those teaching the youth.  I’m not sure why we aren’t getting updated manuals.  Perhaps this area is just resource poor.
  • Advice to the young women to  marry young, that education is “nice to have,” that the husband as sole provider – only preaching the so-called ideal can have disastrous side effects.  These messages can ruin lives.  How many girls marry young and make a very poor choice (or worse, wind up in a domestic abuse situation) and then have no recourse to support themselves or their new brood of children because they chose not to get their education?  When we don’t encourage girls to be self-reliant, we create a culture of women with limited options if things go south.

What questions would you ask?  Do you disagree with any of the answers I’ve suggested above?  Discuss.

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85 Responses to Ten Questions LDS Women Think About

  1. Jake on January 31, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    A question my brother and sister always ask is: why does it feel like almost every lesson in YW is related to getting married, having kids, and preparing for marriage? Why don’t they learn actual gospel principles?

    I did not realise that the church funds the scouting program in America. For some reason I find that rather uncomfortable, especially as here in the UK we have no church based scouting. Nor, do I imagine do most countries outside of the USA, a cultural favoritism methinks. It frustrates me that if you are in Utah and the US you seem to get preferential treatment from the church, such as subsidized university fees at BYU, scouting, an expensive shopping mall, funding for protests, and an abundance of temples.

    I don’t get if you have scouts there then why not have girl guides as well? Or here in the UK we have mixed sex scouts, why not have that?

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  2. Kevin Barney on January 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I liked your list and your reflections on these issues.

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  3. Stephen M (Ethesis) on January 31, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    #6 — I know locally it has nothing to do with oversight and everything to do with many people feeling safer. You are right, it is old fashioned to think some people will be safer with a man around.

    On the other, I’ve always asked the question as “why can’t we listen to the prophets who have said that women should be educated and that most women will end up having to support themselves and their families at some point and need to be prepared and capable to do that. I know it seems like we are asking women to be ready to do, and to do, too much, but surely that isn’t too much more to ask”

    All in all, nicely done. I’ve always felt a little guilty when I haven’t taken vacation to do a rotation at girl’s camp, knowing that some people just feel that the men are being skeevy makes me feel sorry for the guys who did.

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  4. Jeff Spector on January 31, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    I liked the questions as well, some are so generational, that, at some point reality may dictate a different approach. let’s hope.

    And let’s pray all the manuals get updated in the next few years. But the YW first!!!!

    Anyway, was was the result of that meeting? Did anyone report on it? I saw the original invitation but not the outcome.

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  5. Course Correction on January 31, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Wow! I hope Julie Beck reads this!

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  6. Jessica on January 31, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Jake- I am so glad they don’t have scouting program in the UK. We are moving there this summer, and I must say the lack of BSA is one thing I am looking forward to. No more someone telling me to donate to friends of scouting in church and then coming to my door twice to ask for donation. And me having to ask “can I donate to the YW program?” But I know what you mean that it seems like the USA gets favored especially utah. My family who lives in France feels the same way. That they get the leftovers.

    And at least the RS presidency is asking for questions. I think that they would have a hard time answering the hard questions, but maybe they will start to think about them.

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  7. parable on January 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    D&C 101:43-62

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  8. Keri Brooks on January 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Great post, hawkgrrrl.

    parable #7 – What point were you trying to make with the verses you linked to?

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  9. EmiG on January 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Great, great list of questions. Loved it when I saw it on the MMB post, still love it now.

    Just one picky detail: the new handbook specifically states that a woman cannot be the Sunday School secretary anymore. On the other hand, the new handbook specifically states that both men and women can either open or close sacrament meeting with prayer.

    Before kids even get to youth age the issue comes up. I find it particularly irksome comparing the Cub Scout program for boys 8-11 to the Activity Day program for girls 8-11. Weekly meetings, uniforms, badges/awards, clear progression of achievements, monthly recognition meeting with families, long-standing traditions (pinewood derby, etc) vs. every-other-week activities, no recognition, no monthly meeting with families, no “advancement.” It bothers me to no end and I’m the mother of three boys, no girls.

    I’ve actually heard from a couple of different sources (nothing primary, so take them with a grain of salt, but a secondhand report from a meeting with a 70 and a firsthand report from someone in a stake that is piloting the new program) that new youth manuals are currently being worked on/tested in the field. It’s long, long overdue.

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  10. Risa on January 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    The discrepancy between the scouting program for the boys and the Activity Days for the girls is something that enrages me. I have a 10 year old girl and an 8 year old boy and it sickens me that my son gets so much while my daughter gets so little. I wrote a rather ranty post about it on my own blog, but am giving it a little bit more air before I publish it. I have a strict policy to never hit the publish button in anger.

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  11. Rosalynde Welch on January 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    I’ve recently had a change of perspective on priesthood oversight. Rather than thinking of the man as the unneeded supervisor, our stake Primary presidency treats him as one of us. The result is in effect a mixed-gender presidency, a holy grail for many Mormon feminists. Take the initiative in making those mixed-gender relationships work productively and collegially — whatever you do, under NO circumstances have an affair with the high councilor! — and you’ll have a strong case that mixed-gender presidencies in Sunday School or Primary could work well too.

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  12. Rosalynde Welch on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Risa, a thought on your comment. I think disparity in resources is largely a red herring: having attended both cub scout and activity days events, there’s no real difference on a weekly basis in the resources expended on the genders; the extra money goes entirely to BSA for insignia.

    But I share your frustration with all-crafts, all-the-time activity day programs. I’ve had good luck volunteering to lead some of the activities with my daughter: I believe it’s a requirement each year for the Faith in God Award for each girl to organize an activity with her mother. We’ve done first aid and science oriented activities which have been well received by the girls, and I made sure to (kindly) point out to the leaders that the girls enjoyed these kinds of activities.

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  13. EmiG on January 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    It probably varies widely depending on the local unit, but even if the weekly activities aren’t very different, the fact that the boys get twice as many activities (every week instead of every other week) would imply a disparity in the budget. Plus Cubs do “big” events like the Blue & Gold Banquet, the Pinewood Derby, camping, etc., that cost more money, too.

    Honestly, the part that bothers me most is that the families are invited to a monthly meeting that is specifically to celebrate and award the Cubs’ advancements and achievements during the month and the girls get nothing even vaguely similar to that.

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  14. Miri on January 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Brilliant as usual, Hawk. I don’t keep up with Mormon Mommy Blogs so I don’t know how the comment load compared to their usual, but the last I checked there were over 500 responses to that post; a lot of women are really hopeful that this conversation will actually mean something for them. Me included.

    “Mormon men, especially my generation and younger, are generally very good with children and almost always equal partners with their wives, even when their wives stay at home. We are not raising a generation of Mormon men who refuse to change diapers and demand hot dinner on the table when they walk in the door. Division of labor may not be equal if the man is working outside the home and the woman is not, but Mormon men are not “babysitters” to their own children – they are parents!”

    It makes me happy to say that I think you’re right about this. Progress.

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  15. Mormon Heretic on January 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    My 7 year old girl just started Girl Scouts about 2 weeks ago. I can’t believe how excited she is, and she has been enthusiastically selling Girl Scout cookies to help fund her group. Because she has had to attend her older brother’s Pack Meetings, she has embraced Girl Scouts with amazing enthusiasm.

    On my mission (a few decades ago), someone told me that the Church won’t allow Girl Scouts to hold meetings in church buildings because of the Girl Scout’s support of the ERA amendment in the 1970′s. I don’t know if that’s true or just a rumor. Does anyone know?

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  16. Karen on January 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    As of last year, those who are divorced CAN teach seminary….my son’s teacher was a divorced woman. Unless things have changed, or it is different in my area, this is not a valid point.

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  17. KLC on January 31, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    EmiG, does the new handbook say why the SS needs a secretary in the first place?

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  18. Will on January 31, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I strongly support the church’s stand on making the mother the center of the home. Society would be so much better off, in all respects and especially economically, if mothers would stay at home with their kids where they can to the most good. With this priority in mind, the secondary roles of church leadership and providing for a family can be done by the father.

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  19. EmiG on January 31, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    KLC, the link to the page in the handbook on the Sunday School secretary is here:
    http://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/sunday-school?lang=eng#122

    “If needed, the bishopric may call a brother to serve as ward Sunday School secretary. The secretary may be given the following responsibilities:

    “He consults with the presidency to prepare agendas for presidency meetings. He attends presidency meetings, takes notes, and keeps track of assignments.

    “He compiles attendance information and reviews it with the Sunday School president to help determine ways to encourage members to participate in Sunday School. Teachers should receive copies of this information.”

    Personally, I’ve rarely seen a SS presidency that included a secretary.

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  20. Fairchild on January 31, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    #16 Is your son’s seminary teacher employed by the church to teach seminary?

    My mother is divorced and teaches early morning seminary in Texas where it is not a job but an “assignment.”

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  21. Jessica on January 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    My understanding is that divorced women MAY teach seminary with CES. But men may not.

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  22. GBSmith on January 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    “parable on January 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM
    D&C 101:43–62″

    D&C 121:1-3

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  23. Howard on January 31, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Will please explain how society would be so much better off economically if mothers stayed at home with their kids.

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  24. Will on January 31, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Howard,

    We are looking at society during the flood, not before. Had all women, and I just don’t mean Mormon women, followed God’s counsel and made the home a priority; then the family would be the priority not the quest for material things.

    Greed, lust, gluttony, envy and pride are the reasons for the economic troubles we are currently experiencing. The reason most families made the decision (again before the flood) to send both parents to work was to get more – more house, more toys, more vacations, more, more, more and more. The get more material goods culture has inflated values; and, worse has trapped families in heavy debt service – huge mortgages and luxury payments that are consuming family budgets and making it impossible to live on one income. This lust for material goods has also resulted in massive public and private debt.

    In short, had society heeded the counsel of Prophets of the past that preached living within our means and living on one income, we would not be in the current economic mess. Economic growth would have been slow and steady and would have avoided any bubbles.

    The paid off home near the railroad tracks is more of a treasure than the house on the hill with a mortgage; the paid off clunker is a much better ride than a new car with a payment; a clean house is much better than any home with furniture that is not paid for.

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  25. Steven on January 31, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    1. “Female leaders in the church are insiders who are insufficiently critical.” That’s a slap in the face to all female leaders in the church, including my wife. Not very appreciated. Plus, at least at the ward and stake level, we have sisters serving from all walks of life. As a male, I hear from all sorts of sisters who aren’t living the “ideal” because they vocalize their concerns and complaints to me as well as their friends in church. Those kinds of concerns definitely roll uphill. The women in our lives – our spouses, sisters, sisters in law, etc – already form a fairly diverse group of sisters.
    2. We could have a male Primary President and then he could have two female counselors? The same with Sunday school? Do you really want to mix genders and have private presidency meetings? I guess you could keep same sex presidency requirements. Is there a sister who really wants to be a Sunday School President?
    3. Don’t know about full time CES teachers. Virtually all seminary teachers “in the mission field” are all female, some being homemakers and others having jobs.
    4. And how many husbands of young children actually are temple workers? I can only think of a few in a temple district of about 12 stakes, and they volunteered for it. None of the younger Elders with young children I know are not lining up to work in the temple because they are parents to their children and aren’t at a stage in their life to contribute much time beyond church calling and employment and family time. Maybe leaders think there’s enough burden on young mothers and don’t want to add to that burden.
    5. Legitimate point. On the other hand, there’s a lot of stuff that we don’t typically talk about in church for a variety of reasons. Question: Do you think it is a plain and precious truth deliberately deleted from the scriptures? Do you think members in the City of Enoch and those Nephites immediately after Christ’s appearance talked about a Heavenly Mother?
    6. Are YW really that uncomfortable at Girls Camp? I have three daughters and they’ve never complained of having PH at camp. Nor has my wife, who’s spent the last 25 years or so as a camp cook. Sure, there’s been the occasional lazy PH leader who sat around and did nothing. But with those rare exceptions, the presence of a PH available for some manual labor was appreciated. And how much “oversight” is there really over the YW?
    7. Because of the Unwritten Order of Things. Because PH leaders get conflicting advice from other leaders over these issues. Which is why I say, if you want it done, put it in the Handbook. Otherwise, I have to assume it’s not critical to our eternal salvation.
    8. YW Recognition is done in sacrament mtg., as is Duty to God for the AP. Scouting is expensive, but at least in my ward, the YW get the almost the same exact number for their budget as do the young men, and the same for primary between cub scouts and activity days. If there is a difference it’s because of numbers of ym versus yw. In fact, the Stake subsidizes the cost of Girls Camp so girls pay substantially less to attend Girls Camp than boys do to attend scout camp. Should I complain and say we’re giving the boys the impression that girls are more favored than girls? Girls can fund raise for girls camp the same way boys can fund raise for scout camp. Don’t know how you think PH advancements are “celebrated.” Not in my ward, and not with my two sons. Sure, they had to stand and be sustained to their PH offices but I wouldn’t call that a ‘celebration.’ Perhaps Utah really is a different place!
    9. I don’t get this one as the father of 3 girls ranging in age from married with two children to college to middle school, and 2 boys, one who’s married and the other a senior in high school. I’ve never heard my girls or wife complain about how the church teaches chastity or modesty. Have you ever sat in on an AP lesson? Have you ever heard how we, as fathers and leaders, consistently tell the young men THEY are responsibile for their own actions? If you haven’t then you I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. And modesty? Sorry, but I live in the real world of hormones and puberty. I’m not aware of ‘excessive’ modesty rules. Strength of Youth seems straightforward, and if ym and yw are eventually heading to the temple and will wear garments, they might as well get a start on wearing clothing that follows the wearing of the garment.
    10. Can’t touch female garment issues. Wife’s been wearing them for almost 30 years and doesn’t complain, and has multiple styles and materials. Why do women need a dozen designs when men only need two? That’s a question for the ages.

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  26. Cowboy on January 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Will:

    I think your observation would be a better critique of the effects of stagnate wages, luxury spending, and consumer credit, rather than a direct cause and effect of working mothers. I don’t dispute to much your observation that middle-class Americans have/had developed a habit of overconsumption, just that the situation was exacerbated or caused by working moms.

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  27. Jessica on January 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I do not think that there is more value in my children spending time with me as with their father. Besides nursing and pregnancy I do not think that women innately better at child care than men. Its just that we don’t expect men to do it and don’t encourage it or value it. I think we give a lot of lip service to valuing motherhood but I am not sure in the end.

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  28. whizzbang on January 31, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I don’t know for sure but i don’t think our ward YW has men staying overnight. They may help drive and whatever but I think generally even at the stake YW camp thing they aren’t so much around except for the sacrament meeting-this is all second info! Mind you I have heard more mysogyny in the past 6-7 years then I have ever had in our stake

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  29. Will on January 31, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Cowboy:

    It was funded and fueled by two incomes; and, at the outset (before the flood) it was chiefly an attitude to get ahead, not to survive. It created a culture. When I grew up it was the norm for moms; to be at home (at least in Utah). It is what was expected.

    The economy and society were much better off when I was young. Now, crime is higher, the economy is a mess and public and private debt are out of control. In my view, the correlation coefficient between women entering the workforce and the systemic problems we are now seeing is almost 1.

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  30. pondering on January 31, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Here in TX a mother of young (under 18) children, and people divorced for less than 5 years, may be volunteers in the temple, but not ordinance workers. As such, they can do ushering, serve in the baptistry and children’s waiting room, assist with brides and grooms dressing, etc, but they cannot administer ordinances. This seems to be a clear discrimination for no good reason solely based on being female with kids still in the house, or being divorced within 5 years. They do not ask the mom what she’s doing with the kids while she is working her shift, so I find it difficult to believe that being home with them is of tantamount concern. Also, one woman I knew very quietly got a divorce from a very abusive man, and didn’t want to talk about it. She did not know about the “divorce” rule, and after being an ordinance worker for more than a year after her divorce, when it was “found out” she was kicked out. There is absolutely NO recourse, and the rules are RIGID.

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  31. salt h2o on January 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Will- corrilation does not = causation

    Example:
    Society was better off when you were young- we also didn’t have the internet. Society is worse off now- so it’s the internet’s fault.

    If your assumptions between mothers in the workforce and crime were true than studies would show that children with stay at home mothers are better people and members of society. Which has not been proven.

    The more viable and reasonable ‘assumption’ that it is the vast rise in unwed mothers and the decline of marriage that has help contribute to the place we are now.

    Don’t tell me that mothers that love their children and choose to maginfy their God given talents are raising criminals becasue they don’t stay home all day, do laundry and clean.

    (my apologies for the threadjack)

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  32. EmiG on January 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    About 5 years ago, when I was YW president in my ward, I organized a camping trip for the YW and was told that it was church policy that at least two Melchizedek priesthood holders be present at any overnight activity.

    The current handbook says “A sufficient number of adult priesthood leaders must be present at all times during overnight activities to provide support and protection.”

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  33. KLC on January 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    EmiG, I should have put a smiley on that question to you to mark the sarcasm. Given that SS president is possibly the most useless calling in the church I can’t imagine the order of magnitude greater futility in having a SS secretary.

    Presidency meetings? For what? Notes of those meetings? For what? What kind of assignments would the SS presidency make? Do other wards still keep SS attendance information? Mine doesn’t.

    Personally, not only have I never seen a SS presidency that included a secretary, for most of the 15+ years I’ve lived in my current ward there has rarely been a SS president.

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  34. hawkgrrrl on January 31, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Steven 25 – my reference to female leaders is about top levels of leadership, not local. The local experience is vastly different, which was my point. Local leaders DO in fact generally work this out well.

    Why are we so afraid of mixed gender presidencies? Is it really going to descend into an orgy? We all work with mixed genders every single day in our careers and can keep our hands to ourselves.

    As to YW being uncomfortable with male leaders at girls camp, I and my fellow YW certainly did. Did we complain to our dads? No! To our female leaders, whose hands were tied.

    Modesty has in fact gotten over the top for the YW. A recent discussion showed that the majority of girls camps had outlawed shorts (pants only – some outlawed capris) and required shirts and shorts OVER a one piece swimsuit). That’s taking something that already is very restricted and going even further. The trend is getting worse and worse. How can we make YW a welcoming place to bring non members under these conditions. We are being ridiculous.

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  35. EmiG on January 31, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Gotcha, KLC. I’m not very adept at picking up on sarcasm in cyberspace. :)

    Most wards I’ve been in have had at least a SS president and sometimes a counselor or two, but it always seems like a bit of a waste of people willing to hold callings since their most vital responsibility is ringing the bell for the five minute warning and perhaps finding a sub for a class if the teacher didn’t do that themselves. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone (secretary or otherwise) take attendance in SS.

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  36. anon for this one....sorry ya'all on January 31, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    About that last one…

    Though I know there are cases where young adult women choose a less than desirable husband, I find it odd that there’s less emphasis on his poor choices and the focus being on her choice to marry him in the first place. Not all young women marry raging drug addicts or alcoholics, the obvious issues, but a lot are left reeling when they discover affairs, p0rn addictions, and abuse of all types….all hidden under a web of lies carefully woven to hide what’s necessary to get the girl.

    Oh…and number 9 is spot on. A former bishop in our area once told a YW leader to remove her “immodest” toe ring.

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  37. Mormon Heretic on January 31, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I’m with you Hawk. I think there is an irrational fear of orgies in mixed presidencies.

    KLC, in my stake, the wards are so huge that we have all sorts of useless callings, including Sunday School secretary (staffed by a woman), and she does keep track of attendance.

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  38. Jake on January 31, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Mormon Heretic, I am glad that women are trusted to do important things like count people in your ward. It at least assumes that the leadership there think they are capable of tasks like that.

    I have also found many friends who were uncomfortable with the male priesthood at camp, although this may have been due to the poor choice of men. With the most creepy men putting themselves forward for it. One who took copious amounts of photos of the YW. (no one saw the photos after they were taken) and another who offered to lick a YW clean after she spilt orange soda all over herself.

    But it is a good job they were there. As if one of the girls had been injured they could have blessed them and healed them straight away. Well… that is assuming they were worthy priesthood holders…

    I think they don’t have many female leaders in highly visual leadership roles, because they don’t want them to become fantasised about by the porn watching general membership. Its the heavenly mother argument, they are kept out of the lime light in order to preserve them from being degraded by the perverse thoughts of the men in the church who as we are told so often in GC can’t control their thoughts (hence crazy modesty guidelines and constant porn talks).

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  39. hawkgrrrl on January 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Karen 16 – the comment is in reference to paid positions which CES hires. Assigned positions are like a calling. No pay, and the restrictions are not there. This is one key reason I think members have reason to question the validity of how CES is applying ministerial exception. They are discriminating, and they are doing it in a way entirely inconsistent with how the non-pay positions are selected. They could argue that the non-pay positions are not full time, which is true, but they have also not allowed women with children at home to work as seminary teachers part time, so that argument is fallacious. The underlying message is mixed: either women who work while they have young children at home are not considered appropriate “ministers” or they are only appropriate “ministers” if they do it without pay.

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  40. Howard on January 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks for explaining Will I was surprised to find myself agreeing with some of your sentiment but I found your position and logic hard to follow. Also looking at society during the flood? During? Wasn’t society drowning during the flood or do you mean looking at those on the ark?

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  41. Badger on January 31, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Jake mentioned that it feel[s] like almost every lesson in YW is related to getting married. At the same time, it is easy to find conference talks, etc., about the importance of getting married, which are based on a presupposition that men initiate marriage proposals while women passively await them. “Old maid” status is described as a misfortune, and assurances are given that opportunities will be provided to the worthy in the next life. On the other hand single men of the same age are suspected of being irresponsible, hedonistic, and selfish. Why is the sex that (in this view) has no direct control of its fate the one getting so many more of the prepare-for-marriage lessons? I can’t say I care for the implications.

    [CES] jobs pay peanuts: I’m not well informed, but I had the impression that pay for full-time seminary teachers is comparable to that of public school teachers (in Utah, anyway). Is that incorrect? I’m not sure if Hawkgrrrl would also describe schoolteacher pay as peanuts, or if she was referring to a pay gap I’m unaware of.

    Of course there’s more to it than salary. In purely economic terms I’ve heard CES has good benefits, but again, I don’t really know. Offsetting that there is a high degree of career lock-in. For example, a 50-year-old career CES employee who wants to move to a state may have a hard time finding openings in CES or persuading secular employers that skills are transferable.

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  42. Rachel on January 31, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    I tried to find on the Mormon Channel if Sis. Beck had begun to answer these questions. If so, I can’t find it. Any ideas?

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  43. Cowboy on January 31, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Will the strongest correlation studies that I have seen revolve around the availability of consumer credit. I think you misunderstand the “good old days” if you think that there was ever a time when the principle goals of most people in the world wasn’t to get ahead. This is particularly true of U.S. History. The U.S. also had an economic golden age where incomes were artificially higher because of the post war reconstruction, and lack of serious global competition.

    In sum, your regression analysis is a few variables short.

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  44. Douglas on January 31, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    #18 – Will, I gave you the lone thumbs-up thus far (just to offset the liberals and other nattering nabobs of negativism, thank you the late Spiro Agnew…), HOWEVER, laying on the guilt trip about mothers not being in the home accomplishes nothing. Women with children commonly work for the reason that in most cases it take the incomes of both to make it. It EZ to pontificate. And don’t lay it on their husbands (or in some cases, ex-husbands). I know brethren in my stake that work two jobs, leaving before the roosters get up and getting back in time to eat cold leftovers and hopefully get six hours of sleep before doing it again. Some consider themselves fortunate that their wives can be full-time homemakers and gladly work their tails off for it. For others, their wives still have to work outside the home and also bring a paycheck. It rankles me to see those who are more fortunate (or frankly, maybe smarter or made wiser choices earlier in life, but whatever…) look down on couples like that, but especially angers me to see the sisters judged adversely for it.

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  45. Douglas on January 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Hawk, it saddens me that often women feel marginalized or relegated to second-class status in the organization that was established by the LORD to bring about their immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39), AND have good reason to feel that way.

    (1) Unless women had the Priesthood, how would you suggest that women’s needs and concerns be aired under the current structure? Certainly wise men would listen to the women in their lives, and there should be a way for the auxiliaries where women are the leadership to have meaningful input.
    (2) Other than “thus saith the Lord” through his servants, I can’t see a reason why the gender roles for leadership positions. Perhaps were I in charge, absent specific revelation, I’d consider being flexible in such things. However, there’s ALWAYS resistance to change even for the better…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYs86mqnux0&feature=related

    3 & 4) Again, some tight-ass deciding Church employment policy would rather err on what HE feels is “caution” and not necessarily consider individual needs. Just like in the olden days of computing nobody ever got fired for buying IBM….

    5) I have no issue with the HM teaching, but it’s another thing that has been tacitly rendered ‘taboo’ for fear of spooking investigators. The notion of “Gawd” hitting the rack with his “Heavenly Honey” (sorry for the flippant tone, it’s necessary to make the point) freaks the ignorant out.

    6) There’s probably been bad experience with not having a couple of capable men as ‘guards’ on hand. Still, I’ve seen quite a few sisters that I’d rather have at my back in a street fight. Maybe I’d let the YW presidency on a Laurels camping trip pack heat…hmm, wonder why SL hasn’t called me for a ‘five-year’ mission, to boldly go where no Doug has gone before?

    7&8) We can. I think it most cases it’s collective ignorance or neglect, not a deliberate attempt to marginalize.

    9&10) ‘Modesty’ is more than singling out, say, a plump, bosomy 17 y.o. to wear a blouse that looks like a potato sack. It’s about encouraging not only an attitude amongst BOTH boys and girls to dress and comport themselves like young men and young women that would be pleasing to our LORD, but also encouraging both young (and not-so-young) to “accentuate the positive”. And in the case of the garment for women, if the Church has to go to a professional firm accustomed to designing a similar line of women’s clothing, then that’s what they should do. Modesty doesn’t necessitate ‘dowdy’!

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  46. hawkgrrrl on January 31, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Badger – my understanding is that CES pay is lower than teacher salaries as the requirements are also lower; however, you are correct in guessing that I consider both “peanuts.” Which is another reason that it further winnows the applicant field. Note that the vast majority of teachers are women – it’s certainly not a 50/50 split. So, women naturally gravitate to these fields and are willing to work for the traditionally lower pay (and admittedly good benefits) to do this type of work, but CES eliminates 80% of them in one ministerial exception.

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  47. Jane on February 1, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    I love your questions. I would love even more to raise my daughters in a world that sees action on these things.

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  48. Worth Checking Out « Course Correction on February 1, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    [...] Wheat and Tares http://www.wheatandtares.org/2012/01/31/questions-to-consider/ Hawkgirl lists and reflects upon Church policies (not doctrine) that Mormon women [...]

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  49. SilverRain on February 1, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    I loved having PH at camp. They took our pranks with a MUCH better sense of humor than the women.

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  50. Steven on February 1, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    Hawkgirl 34 – SilverRain at 49 makes my point about PH at Girls Camp. I keep a pretty good ear to the ground for “likes” and “dislikes” and am just saying that I’ve never had young women, their leaders or the women in my life complain about having PH at Girls Camp. We’ve had sisters help out with Scout Camp and no young men complained their mothers were hanging around. As to the modesty issue, I agree that things can get out of hand. My guess is that unreasonable restrictions are the result of a bad incident in the past or one person’s skewed sense of fashion. Those trends tend to come and go. I don’t expect my unendowed daughters to dress like sister missionaries, but then again, I’ve never had problems with daughters who wanted to skirt (pun intended) the rules.

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  51. Karen on February 1, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    When I was a young women I loved the men who went to camp with us. They were great. As a leader I have appreciated them also. (like when they do all the cooking at ward camp!) I have noticed that if the bishopric goes it is a good way for the girls to get to know the bishop and his counselors in a casual setting. I have only seen positive and have not heard any complaints from girls or leaders.

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  52. NewlyHousewife on February 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Interesting read. I really hope something comes out of it–and that if it happens, they’re real answers instead of around the bush responses.

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  53. Will on February 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Jake

    “For some reason I find that rather uncomfortable, especially as here in the UK we have no church based scouting”

    I can’t speak for other countries, but I can tell you want my father in law told who was a Mission President in England and who worked and served with President Monson. I also got the same vibe from the former president of the MTC in England, who is one of my good friends.

    They both indicated the liberal policies of the scouting program, including the ones you cited, are the main purpose for the LDS church not affiliating with the scouting program in England. I don’t know if you know, but the LDS church threatened to pull out of the scouting program in the US when a San Francisco judge threatened to rule against the boy scouts for not allowing homosexuals to serve as scout masters.

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  54. Will on February 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Douglas,

    I still don’t understand why I get so many thumbs down when I defend stay at home moms. I think they are the most critical factor in creating a healthly society.

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  55. Bob on February 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    @54: Will,
    In the inner citys of LA, most homes have stay at home Moms, yet bt not a ‘healthly society’. Germany in in 1930s and 1940s, had most moms staying home. But not a ‘healthly society. One size does not fit all.

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  56. Kristine Johnson on February 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Will,

    Of course I only work to “get ahead”. It couldn’t possible have anything to do with 2 missionaries to support and college tuition for their brother. But what do I know? There is always a credit card to put it all on…….

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  57. Howard on February 1, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Will,
    I have an 8 year old daughter she is happy, healthy and very well adjusted. She attended Montessori preschool as an infant by 2 1/2 her social network was larger than mine and her social skills exceeded mine when I was 5 and had a stay at home mom. Now she attends a Lutheran school. She has a loving attentive working mom who she adores. Her life could not be improved a bit by having mom stay home. Catch up it’s not the 1950s any more.

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  58. RuthAnn Fisher on February 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Regarding temple workers. I think this is a pragmatic point. I had to stay at home with my teenage son while my husband worked at the temple every Saturday night. Until he was about 17, we had some great mother-son date nights. It was a really good bonding time, at least for me. Then his social life on Saturday nights went to things done with friends and a little bit of dating, so I sat home while the men were out. From another perspective, I have now been a temple worker, along with my husband, for more than 8 years. Generally there are plenty of women working in the temple. The men need more encouragement to be there, with or without wives.

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  59. camay on February 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    My 20 year old daughter currently serves as the Sunday School secretary in our family ward. She attends presidency meetings, substitutes when a teacher doesn’t show up, handles the attendance rolls and rounds up teenagers to go to class.

    My question would for Julie Beck would be what does eternity look like for a Mormon woman. Will I be absent from my children’s lives?

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  60. EmiG on February 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Not to pile on, Will, but what you describe as “defend[ing] stay at home moms” comes across as a diatribe against anyone who does not make that choice, blaming them for all of society’s ills. The issues are far more complex than that, economically, socially, culturally, etc. It is upsetting and offensive to those who are not stay-at-home parents, either because they truly feel prompted by the Spirit to make use of their God-given talents in the workplace or who simply must work in order to get by.

    Also, I’ve never heard that “mother [is] the center of the home.” I thought that, ideally, Christ was supposed to occupy that spot.

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  61. NewlyHousewife on February 1, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Or making those who are don’t find joy in staying at home seem deficient.

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  62. hawkgrrrl on February 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Or dismissive of dads who stay at home.

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  63. Douglas on February 2, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    #54 (Will) – nothing wrong with the principle of mothers staying at home to focus on the rearing of young children. My non-observant LDS bro-in-law and non-member sis have a daughter now 13. Ten years ago, when sis was graduating from nursing school, was asked if she was looking for work. Bro-in-law interjects, “She has a full-time job…A THREE YEAR OLD”. Of course, our Dad helped them out periodically since it’s tough to make it on one paycheck, but Dad considered it a worthy investment. More involved, of course. Now, sis does work full time. My Dad DID watch over his granddaughter a lot, as well as the other other (who is now 18) in good ‘ol Fresburg.
    Will, just calls it as ya sees it, and don’t worry about the “thumbs down”. There’s legitimate differences of opinion amongst members sincerely trying to live the Gospel. And then there’s the apostates, nay-sayers, “nattering nabobs of negativism”, gays. etc. that will have a pink fit over ANY assertion of Gospel principles. If THEY give you the “thumbs down” when you sincerely act thus, consider it an affirmation.

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  64. Will on February 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Bob,

    @55

    Both of the examples you cited were created by the left – the social welfare state in the Socialist Republic of California that pays single mothers to be poor. As for Hitler’s Germany, the National Socialist Party (NAZI) promoted social programs as a cure society’s ills.

    The important point is that neither the American Democrats with their “it takes a village” mentality; or, Hitler Socialist party looked to the nuclear family as a solution. In contrast, the Lord and his church have always pointed to the family as the solution. They have pointed to the mother providing the nurturing and the father providing the living.

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  65. Jeff Spector on February 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I always love seeing men discuss what women should do.

    Maybe, you might spend more time counseling the men. They generally need more help.

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  66. Will on February 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    “Maybe, you might spend more time counseling the men. They generally need more help.”

    Exactly, from thier mothers.

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  67. LovelyLauren on February 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Will, my problem with your entire premise is that it completely undermine’s each woman’s autonomy. Has it occurred to you that not every woman WANTS to stay at home with her children? What is wrong with wanting something else? It has been stated that there is no empirical information suggesting it’s somehow better for the children. You can complain about how it’s hurting the economy, but the alternative is that women are forced into one role that they might not particularly want and that is robbing them of autonomy.

    Great post, Hawk. I completely agree with almost all of these and yes, I always thought it was weird that a priesthood leader/holder seemed to be lurking awkwardly at girls camp. As someone who loved real camping, I was always bitter that my little brother when on real camp outs every quarter and I got one lame one for the entire year. The disparity in how we treat our boys and girls is glaring and incredibly troubling for me.

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  68. Will on February 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Howard,
    “Catch up it’s not the 1950s any more.”
    You mean when the economy was thriving. This is exactly my point. America was on a steep incline in terms of economic growth in the 1950’s; and, started to decline when we moved away from the nuclear family.
    LL,

    I know, there are a lot of things we don’t want to do and we are free to make that choice, but we are not free of the consequences. The consequences of making the home a secondary priority is the steady decay and decline of our society.

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  69. Erin on February 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    To get back to the post’s question, I want to know why are men allowed to attend Relief Society, but women are not allowed to attend Priesthood meeting? I have known of men attending RS and it seemed they were mostly ogling the women (in a singles ward). Ick.

    Why is the General Priesthood meeting men-only, yet the UT papers cover it, and it is in print in the Ensign?

    I know this sounds whiney, but the message these things send is that women are only on the fringe of the greater part of the church. This kind of little-but-important crap marginalizes women.

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  70. Will on February 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    “I know this sounds whiney”

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  71. Erin on February 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Will, did you read the rest of that sentence? Can you see its point? Will you address the issues I brought up?

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  72. hawkgrrrl on February 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Erin – it doesn’t sound whiney to me at all. It’s identifying an underlying feeling that women in the church often have. My way of putting it is that we aren’t the target audience. I feel that way whenever we harp on about the priesthood in RS, and yes, I do feel that way when the men have some big secret man-meeting that is church-wide, but the women’s meeting is run by men. That’s a clear message to women, whether we’ve been conditioned to notice it or not. We are in the men’s church.

    Frankly, Will’s one-note responses on the topic of motherhood are the same. Will, we know what you think on this topic. You’ve said it about a thousand times. Many of us disagree that you know what’s best for us (as women) or our individual family circumstances. You continue to threadjack this to your hobby horse topic. Respectfully, buzz off.

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  73. Will on February 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Hawk,

    That wasn’t very nice.

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  74. Cowboy on February 2, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    “You mean when the economy was thriving. This is exactly my point. America was on a steep incline in terms of economic growth in the 1950’s; and, started to decline when we moved away from the nuclear family.”

    It was either the nuclear family, or the nuclear bomb that affected the change you are noting. Will, you are aware of what was happening globally during the 1950′s, aren’t you?

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  75. LovelyLauren on February 2, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Honestly, I sometimes wonder if our leaders see this sort of thing as a slippery slope. I know there are more politics at top leadership that we are privy to, but is there any SIGNIFICANT reason not to allow women in the Sunday School presidency? It’s a lot less work that Primary, YW, or RS. Do they think that small changes in gender equality are the road to perdition?

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  76. Douglas on February 2, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    #65 – Thanks, Jeff. Doesn’t the notion of MEN deciding amongst THEMSELVES what women should do seem to be an exercise in futility? This is planet EARTH, not fictional Stark Trek planet Fereginar. Of course, even Grand Nagus Zek woke up to the (un)exploited potential of “females” (Ferengi females, that is, ugh…) earning profit. I can only speak from the perspective of having daughters as well as sons. Sure, I want them to bear grandchildren (as well as my sons sire some as well) and rear them in the Gospel. But adopting the attitude of ‘keep them barefoot, pregnant, and ignorant’ will patently NOT serve their interests, nor that of their future husbands and children. The reality is that not everyone gets the fairy tale. Also, my daughters have no less need to develop their talents and if that leads them to doing something gainful, so be it.
    (#72, Hawk) have you ever considered that the grass may just be greener on the distaff side of the fence? To jocularly make the point, I leave it to the talents of Jason Alexander in his role as “Duckman” (best damned ‘toon of the nineties, when ‘toons were edgy and rocked!!!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8xp8BQxftE

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  77. Kimberly O on February 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I always loved having priesthood leaders at girl’s camp. I felt so much safer knowing there were men around in case bears/mountain lions came into camp (which happened on more than one occassion).

    My husband and I teach CTR 4 at church and recently told them about how we have a Heavenly Mother. They were so surprised! I told them that they won’t hear about her much, and that people don’t talk about her much, because she is just so special. A lot of people make jokes or say mean things about our Heavenly Father, but we don’t that to happen to our Heavenly Mother.

    As for garments, we REALLY need better designs!!! If anything, just better comfort! The seams alone can be so irritating, especially when you have legs that rub together. Lol.

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  78. Erin on February 3, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    “As for garments, we REALLY need better designs!!! If anything, just better comfort! The seams alone can be so irritating, especially when you have legs that rub together. Lol.”

    I find that the seam that is supposed to run along the bottom of the breasts actually runs closer to the middle (I’m tall), which makes my shirt look really odd. Also, I wear the mesh style, which was fine when it was a cotton mesh, but the polyester actually melts a little when laundered, so rather than a mesh, I get a woven sheet of polyester, way to small for even my chicken legs. I can literally see my chicken thighs bulging at the hem. If anyone who designs garments reads this post, please keep that image in mind.

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  79. Ziff on February 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    There is so much to love in this post, Hawkgrrrl. Excellent analysis! If I might pick a favorite, I thought this was a particularly good summary point:

    “I don’t think our male leadership has any idea how easy it is for a woman to feel that we are just not the target audience at church.”

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  80. [...] interesting how little counts as a major breakthrough (and not just in the church). Note that if you need to hold others back to lead then you’re not really a leader. What if women were allowed in LDS authority positions? Women [...]

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  81. Douglas on February 6, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Since the SS in any branch/ward is under the Branch Presidency/Bishopric, there is, IMO, sufficient Priesthood oversight. It’s my understanding that in the days of “yore” (prior to the 1978 directive that all worthy males were eligible for the Priesthood), that in a situation where there was a brother of the African persuasion, that he’d be called to the SS Presidency. I see no reason that the sisters couldn’t likewise do same. I’ve served in this capacity as well, and IMO, other than being the substitute of last resort and the coordinator of teacher development, it was practically a make-work job anyway. In most cases, sisters were every bit as effective in teaching at any level as was any brother. And, to put two more cents worth in, methinks that somehow there should be the influence of sisters in the Young Men’s program, especially those that have already raised their lads to serve honourable missions, marry in the temple, and magnify their Priesthood callings. If not a role in the Presidency, then brainstorm it and figure out how!

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  82. NotUtah on February 8, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    As a US Southern temple worker, I am positive that our last coordinator was a divorced woman, who has continued to be an ordinance worker. Our current coordinators are married to each other, but both previously divorced. I could not count the number of divorced ordinance workers on my shift, very common. There are also women with young children who work at the temple during school hours. I have no idea where all these rules spoken of have come from.

    I like the idea of silkscreening on the garments, ingenious.

    I gave the first prayer (Opening) in Sacrament Mtg. in my ward by a woman in…1981. Again, we’re NotUtah.

    My husband has worked like a dog at YW camp when he has been assigned – building rope bridges, cleaning, setting up. I don’t think there was any overseeing of anything our capable and assertive stake YW leaders did.

    I am uncomfortable with the CES full time employment in totality. There are very capable senior couples, missionaries and individuals available for callings who can do all the local CES guy does for free. It’s weird, that’s all I can say. And it must be a drain monetarily on the church.

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  83. ji on February 8, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Kimberly O (no. 77) — I’m glad my child wasn’t in your class — I understand what you taught as a thread in the tapestry of Mormon thought, but certainly not as doctrine. What do LDS women think about? All sorts of things, I’m sure.

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  84. Kimberly O on February 8, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Actually, ji (no. 83), How is that not doctrine? The lesson manual specifically states to tell the children that we do have a Heavenly Mother. What was wrong about what I said? That she is special and that people don’t talk about her much? Those are certainly true, so I don’t see what is wrong there. She is special, just as Heavenly Father and each one of us is special. It is also definitely true that no one really talks about Her since most children, and adults, don’t even know She exists.

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  85. [...] a bicycle in those.So, what’s happened in the 14 months since I wrote that blog post titled Ten Questions LDS Women Think About?  Quite a bit!Temple menstruation is deemed OK. Thanks to a policy clarification campaign, the [...]

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