The LDS Church finds itself again in the media spotlight, following news reports that disciplinary hearings would be held for two outspoken Mormon activists—one of whom, Kate Kelly, has been excommunicated for her role in the Ordain Women movement. The media attention has triggered new conversations about gender roles, priesthood, and church leadership. Some are concerned that the church is doing too little to expand opportunities for women. Those in favor of more rapid and more extensive change find hope in the Mormon concept of "continuing revelation." Others are dismayed by the rise of public advocacy, on the grounds that it undermines the church's leadership and contradicts core teachings about the roles of modern-day prophets and apostles.
Where does the conversation go from here? How can women's voices find greater inclusion in church councils and curriculum? Which doctrines about gender are eternal and indisputable, and which are the products of history and culture?
Patrick Mason, Professor, Claremont Graduate University
Perhaps we gain some wisdom by placing the recent debates over feminism, gender roles and equality, and women's ordination in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a broader historical context.
Natasha Helfer Parker, Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and Blogger, "The Mormon Therapist"
Why do women seem to be more resistant to change than men when it comes to the specific topic of priesthood ordination?
Rachael Givens Johnson, PhD Student and Blogger, "Peculiar People"
Here are a few reasons that persuade me that LDS leaders, local or general, were not intending to repress or punish questions.
Fiona Givens, Author and Speaker
History suggests that Mormon women were originally established in an organization that Joseph Smith envisioned as parallel to and collaborative with the male priesthood.
Aimee Hickman, Author and Co-Editor, Exponent II
In a religion that inextricably links priesthood with the simple fact of being a worthy male aged twelve or older, what options are available to women who develop a testimony of their own priesthood power and desire to officiate as equals with men in Church ecclesiastical structures?
Margaret Blair Young, Blogger, "The Welcome Table"
In Mormonism, there are two competing narratives I see repeated over and over on Facebook, and neither is fully true.
Alan Hurst, Legal Scholar and Blogger, "Peculiar People"
Dissident groups are dangerous regardless of the merits of their cause, precisely because they are dissident groups.
Valerie M. Hudson, Professor, Texas A&M University
Since the male-female relationship is at the heart of divinity and simultaneously at the heart of every mortal family, weeding out false perspectives will be a transformation that will refine us to the very core.
Gina Colvin, University Lecturer and Blogger, "KiwiMormon"
Would the ordination of women necessarily address those ideologies that have normalized a broader and more extensive suite of inequalities?
Andrea Radke-Moss, Professor, Brigham Young University - Idaho
Given the dizzying array of mixed messages, diverse doctrinal interpretations, and evolving cultural mutations, perhaps even the most traditional Mormon might admit to feeling some confusion over women's roles.
Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye
Taking stock of Mormon communities outside the U.S. yields a more complete picture of the range and the dynamism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' engagement with women's issues.
Ralph Hancock, Professor and Author
The challenge is to enrich LDS language about and for women without equating it to secular ideas.
A woman of faith reflects on the practice and purpose of church discipline.
We recently received this communication from a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous. It’s been a difficult week, but now I’m just sort of irritated all around. I’m irritated with the Church for treating Kate Kelly as an existential threat rather than a nuisance. Kicking her out polarizes the situation, makes everyone wary and fearful [Read More...]