Steve Evans, the godfather of the Bloggernacle and co-founder of By Common Consent, has a brief essay on women and Mormonism at the On Faith blog at The Washington Post.
I really liked this blurb from Evans:
Now imagine that you are a member of the LDS church and you hear rumors that women may be offering the prayers in the most important spiritual gathering of your church. It seems both unremarkable and extraordinary; both progressive and conservative; everything and nothing at all. Calling it “a good start” is misleading, because the real start happened in March 1842, and the fact women are praying in General Conference may lead to no institutional change whatsoever. I asked my wife if she ever noticed that women never gave the prayers in General Conference. Her response: “No. Who listens to the prayers?”
But still — this really matters. In a church run by patriarchy, women can feel that their opinions are irrelevant. If this is happening because church leaders are responding to recent letters and voices, that is a very good thing indeed. It reinforces my belief in my religion. As a female friend put it:
“We never doubted that God hears our prayers; no conference pulpit is necessary for that. But it also matters whether our voices are heard on earth.”
Go read the whole essay. I am glad that voices like those of Steve Evans are reaching beyond the confines of the Mormon blogosphere and into venues like The Washington Post. It warms my heart to be able to say…he banned me once or twice.