Four years ago, Mormon Women for Ethical Government did not exist — women formed it to address concerns after President Donald Trump took office. Now the group’s leader is among leaders of faith-based groups invited to participate in President-elect Joe Biden’s Inaugural Prayer Service on Thursday.
Emma Petty Addams, executive director of the group, said she will participate in the offering of a liturgical prayer at the event in the National Cathedral in Washington.
She is among 31 leaders of faith-based groups invited to join Biden by participating in prayers, readings, blessings and hymns.
Others on the list include the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of the Washington National Cathedral; and Archbishop Elpidophoros, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“One of the missions of [Mormon Women for Ethical Government] is to empower everyday women of our faith to proactively use our voices in the public sphere as we improve our communities,” Addams said. “We are grateful for this opportunity to join in prayer across a diversity of faiths to remember those who are suffering and to bless our nation at this time.”
Of note, Mormon Women for Ethical Government called for the second impeachment of Trump after the U.S. Capitol was stormed Jan. 6. And it bought billboards in Utah to thank Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. John Curtis for their criticism of that violence, and for placing blame on Trump.
The group says it is dedicated to inspiring Latter-day Saint women to be ambassadors of peace who transcend partisanship and advocate for ethical government. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but does support its leaders and doctrines.
“As disciples of Christ, we are peacemakers at our core, and the work of peacemaking begins with coming together in humility and prayer,” said Emily Taylor, the group’s director of peacemaking.
Amy Gold Douglas, the group’s director of faith initiatives, noted that M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said in 2019 that America has always been preserved by prayer, and the group sees the prayer event as an opportunity to continue that.
“We are honored to answer his call to pray for our nation and her leaders,” she said, “and to join our voices with individuals of faith who believe, as we do, in the restorative power of prayer.”
The prayer service is scheduled for 8 a.m. MST on Thursday. It will be livestreamed at https://bideninaugural.org/watch and https://cathedral.org.
“The National Prayer Service is an important tradition for our nation and for President Biden, who has always been a man guided deeply by his faith,” said Tony Allen, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “The program announced today will honor the role of faith in our country, and provide a moment to reflect on the unprecedented challenges we face.”
The customary interfaith service, which dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington, will be entirely virtual this year because of the pandemic. It will include musical performances by Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle and the Clark Sisters.