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How LDS faith could raise women's profile

Published August 20, 2012 9:38 am

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Here are some suggestions from Mormon feminists for elevating LDS women's involvement in their church:

Give Young Women's leaders some pastoral authority; include them in bishop's interviews, as may be appropriate when a young woman is meeting with an older man and discussing personal questions.

Invite women to serve as witnesses for baptisms and sealings (especially of their own children).

Invite mothers to hold their babies during blessings in which children are named.

Have bishops give girls a special blessing when they turn 12, 14 and 16. Their brothers get these from priesthood leaders, often their fathers, when they advance in the priesthood.

Allow women to preside over and conduct the General Relief Society and Young Women's meetings and hold them on conference weekend.

Name a woman to head of the Humanitarian and Welfare departments.

Include photos of Relief Society, Young Women's and Primary general presidencies in the church-published hierarchical photos of LDS leaders.

Call women as Sunday School presidents, ward mission leaders and ward and stake clerks. Let them check recommends at temples and appoint them as presidents of Brigham Young University, BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii.

Lower the age for female missionaries to 19, same as young Mormon men, while letting them serve two years and as zone and district leaders.

Remove the rule that every event needs a priesthood chaperone. This not only would send a powerful message but also would make such gatherings more practical to plan.

The Salt Lake Tribune