A first: Photos of Mormon women leaders in Conference Center

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Published: March 20, 2014 08:19AM
Updated: March 19, 2014 03:52PM
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Wednesday March 19, 2014. For the first time, the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City includes portraits of the nine women who oversee three auxiliaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These photos can be found on the building's third floor. Two auxiliaries are headed up by men. Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune

In a hallway on the third floor of the giant LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City, you can see photos of top Mormon leaders — the governing First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Down the way, there are busts of all the previous church presidents.

Now, for the first time, photos of the church’s top women leaders have taken their place along the wall, between the male auxiliary leaders.

The display, which went up earlier this year, includes each threesome that has been called to head up the Relief Society for adult Mormon women, the Young Women’s organization for girls between ages 12 and 17, and the Primary organization for boys and girls between 18 months and 11 years old.

The Relief Society presidency consists of President Linda K. Burton, and her counselors, Carole M. Stephens and Linda S. Reeves. The Young Women’s group is led by President Bonnie L. Oscarson, and her counselors, Carol F. McConkie and Neill F. Marriott. President Rosemary M. Wixom oversees the Primary with help from Jean A. Stevens and Cheryl A. Esplin.

Men oversee the Young Men’s organization and the Sunday school.

“Conversations about giving more visibility to women have been going on for some years,” LDS spokeswomen Jessica Moody said in a statement. “The decision to have the sister leaders of the church be more visible in the Conference Center is just one outcome of those conversations.”

Peggy Fletcher Stack