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Ordain Women sheds Mormon missionary-like moniker
Responding to criticism that its "Six Discussions" were akin to Mormon missionary work, Ordain Women has changed "discussions" to "conversations."
The feminist group, which is pushing for women to be ordained to the all-male LDS priesthood, launched its discussions in May.
The intent, organizers said, was to build grass-roots support within the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by creating small groups to discuss Mormon theology, scriptures, history and interpretations that provide context for potential ordination of women.
The "Six Discussions" were modeled after an earlier LDS missionary strategy for teaching potential converts, but the group "does not seek members or followers," Ordain Women stated Friday on its website.
"The decision to assemble faithful yet thought-provoking discussions was about conversation, not conversion," said the statement posted by group founder Kate Kelly, who was excommunicated in June for "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church" in her advocacy for female ordination.
To avoid confusion or allegations of trying to build a following, the group's organizers "have retitled them 'conversations,' and will soon "add a seventh compiled by and specifically geared toward men who also hope for the ordination of women."
They are trying, the statement said, "to be responsive to legitimate concerns."
Peggy Fletcher Stack