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Kirby: Women would gain rights with me as Relief Society president

Published October 30, 2013 7:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Last week I wrote about resigning my LDS Church calling of eight years. I expected immediate contact from the bishop with another job offer, but it's been seven days and I'm still out of work.

It's not as if I'm hard to find. The bishop lives next door. He could call me to a new job over the fence. In fact, the last job he gave me was more of a yelling than a calling. Above the roar of a lawnmower, I was hollered at to work in the Primary.

Since leaving on a mission, the longest I've ever gone without some kind of church calling is a month. It would have been a pleasant reprieve except that I was in Georgia and almost dead.

Maybe the reason I haven't heard from church leaders is because I offered to accept a calling as my ward's Relief Society president. And I'm a guy.

The Relief Society is the LDS Church's organization for women. As Mormon organizations go, it tends to be busier, more effective and vastly more spiritual than any of the all-male priesthood quorums.

I've endured thousands of priesthood lessons, most of them every bit as enjoyable as having a hole scratched in my skull with a penny. Why wouldn't I rather be in Relief Society? If nothing else, it smells better.

While I haven't heard back from my church leaders about being Relief Society president, I have heard from readers. A lot.

The feedback was polarized between Mormon women who saw my offer to serve in the Relief Society as irreverent or even blasphemous and Mormon women who said they would start attending church again if I were their president.

Sister A: "Your usual stupid comments. Who are you to say how the church operates?

Sister B: "Please move to my ward."

Regardless of what you think, my proposal is certainly au courant. Some Mormon women are clamoring to be ordained. Seems fair that it should work the other way.

On the off chance the stake president might still ask to see me, I should probably have a Relief Society presidential campaign platform and some idea of a Cabinet (counselors, secretary).

For starters, I would insist on equal representation on the podium every Sunday. I wouldn't necessarily want to sit with the bishopric, but it's only right that everyone be reminded which ward organization does most (if not all) of the work.

Next, there would be a diaper-changing room in the ward house staffed entirely by the priesthood. Those who actually want to be in church (women) would be able to drop off a malodorous child and have him cleaned and wrapped while they're busy elsewhere.

Homemaking meeting would make a comeback, only this time it would be for men. The Relief Society would teach priesthood holders lessons such as "How to Load a Dishwasher," "Having a Meaningful Conversation" and "Making Dinner Your Own Damn Self."

As for who I would request as counselors, I would ask the bishop for Sister — well, I'm not going to mention any names here. I'll only say that they're all capable, tough and I'm a little afraid of them.

Finally, if I'm called as the Relief Society president, sisters in the Rosecrest First Ward would be given permission to wear pants to church. Fair is fair. Their new president won't be wearing a dress.

rkirby@sltrib.com