Latest from Mormon Land: Why women should be bishops; more dream conference headlines

Remembering the “other 9/11,” President Russell Nelson turns 98 and Dallin Oaks speaks at BYU.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs a hymn during General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Sunday, April 3, 2022.

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Why women should lead the congregation


It’s widely considered the toughest volunteer gig in the church.

Well, Exponent II blogger Abby Hansen has an idea for, if not lessening the load, at least widening the pool: Let women serve.

Hear her out:

• She doesn’t want young mothers — or fathers, for that matter — called as bishops.

“However, if the church is small in an area and the parent of a young family does have to be called into a leadership position,” Hansen writes, “which makes more sense in a traditional family with a stay-at-home mom and an employed dad? I think it’s the mom.”

The dad can come home from work and get time with the kids, she reasons, while the mom gets a break from little ones and deals with grown-up bishop work.

• As for older women, “they have a lot of life experience, wisdom, patience and compassion that younger people don’t always have yet,” Hansen states. “More than anything, these women have time. Unlike young parents or older working men, they have the flexibility in their schedule to meet people when they are available or immediately in need.”

• And why not single women and men as bishops?

“The current unintended messaging to young people is that a woman who doesn’t achieve marriage and motherhood is not fulfilling the measure of her creation — and she’s sent away to the singles ward until she can find herself a spouse and then return to the family ward, finally able to serve,” the blogger says. “What better way to change this false idea than to let young people see single women serving as bishops in their wards as they grow up?”

It appears all this would take female ordination, of course, and that seems a bridge too far at this point.

More dream conference headlines

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) From left, Jeffrey R. Holland, M. Russell Ballard and Henry B. Eyring wave to attendees after a session of General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Here is our second set of reader-submitted “dream headlines” for next month’s General Conference. Review them, and we’ll give you a chance to vote in a few days on the best out of this bunch. We’ll take the winners from each round (we’ve had more than 1,100 votes for the first batch) and match them up so you can make your choice for the ultimate champ.

• Hello, Brother Brigham — beards are back.

• Markets are down. Tithing increased to 12%.

• Church to use ‘nest egg’ funds to buy the Hagia Sophia.

• President Nelson announces partnership with Disney to create cinematic depiction of church history.

• How to strengthen your hundred-billion-plus-year marriage.

• We’re giving Jeffrey Holland a Revolutionary War musket and sending him to Ukraine.

• Gays and lesbians in committed relationships sealed in temple.

• Rainbow revelation! Nelson, Oaks reverse course, declare LGBTQ fully accepted by God.

• ‘Law of chastity’ prohibits sexual relations outside legal and lawful marriage regardless of gender.

• D&C 132 gone. All sessions dedicated to telling the stories of Joseph Smith’s 35 wives.

• Church quietly removes ‘family proclamation’ from website.

• Temples will no longer perform civil marriages; sealings only.

• Oaks returns to Utah Supreme Court, says ‘we have some laws to change.’

• Q12 announces apprenticeship program to get younger views involved.

• Church apologizes for temple/priesthood ban, Specifically repudiates ‘false teachings on race.’

• Church to mandate background checks for all adults working with children and youth worldwide.

• Beloved hymn ‘Do What Is Right’ changed to ‘Do What Is Reasonable and Necessary Under Church Doctrine.’

• Church announces four-year missions starting at 16.

• Men not required to serve missions, but have opportunity.

• Girls allowed to pass sacrament.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A young priesthood holder offers the sacrament to a family during a church service during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Carrollton Ward, Washington, D.C., Aug. 16, 2020.

• Garments are out; tattoos are in.

• Church to donate 10% of tithes to humanitarian causes.

• Word of Wisdom is optional.

• First Presidency speaks — the rest of the speakers’ messages will be sent via email.

• Utah to leave the union, reestablish Deseret province.

• New mission branch HQ to be located in Russia’s Red Square.

• No new temples announced until we catch up on our long list.

• Dieter wins presidential election in a landslide.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf meets with Ukrainian refugees during a devotional Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Warsaw, Poland.

• Church hiring millions of janitors around the world.

• All tithe-paying members will start getting dividends.

• You can be a Democrat and still be a faithful Latter-day Saint.

• Tabernacle Choir surprises conferencegoers by NOT singing ‘How Firm a Foundation’ for the first time in decades.

• Musical number performed by Brandon Flowers.

• Prophet reveals Mother in Heaven’s name is Eloher.

• Church concedes Heavenly Mother ‘calls the shots.’

• Women are 50% of General Conference speakers.

• Nelson: Stop quoting me.

• Mormon conference happens, but more important things also happened, so we’re not covering it.

• Conferences now to last a full week. Plan accordingly.

• Conference is canceled until 2030.

The ‘other’ 9/11

As the nation paused to observe the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terror assault, thoughts turned to another Sept. 11 attack — one that happened 165 years ago.

On Sept. 11, 1857, Mormon militiamen, under a flag of truce, slaughtered 120 men, women and children in a wagon train traveling from Arkansas to California.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre, about 30 miles north of St. George, stands as the bloodiest stain on Mormon history.

“What was done here long ago by members of our church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct,” apostle Henry B. Eyring stated during a 2007 visit to the southwestern Utah site. “We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.”

The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Brigham’s most famous daughter

(Signature Books) Susa Young Gates

• Writer Susa Young Gates pushed for women’s right to vote but was less keen on women running for office. She defended the practice of polygamy but never entered a plural marriage herself. She had notable clashes with her famous father, Brigham Young, but spent much of her life trying to please him. A new biography explores her life. Listen here.

From The Tribune

• Tribune senior religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack explores the Holy Land, a place divided by religion, and discovers how it is, and isn’t, like Utah. She also takes us to BYU’s Jerusalem Center, a facility where missionary work is strictly forbidden but still gains converts as Latter-day Saints deepen their own faith.

• BYU won’t cave in to ways of the world, President Dallin H. Oaks said Tuesday in a speech at the Provo school, and students must “dare to be different” in their pursuit of spiritual and secular learning.

• President Russell M. Nelson spent his 98th birthday — unsurprisingly — working at the Church Administration Building.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is celebrating his 98th birthday in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. On April 14, 2022, he became the oldest president in church history.

• The church donated $32 million to the United Nations’ World Food Program, representing the faith’s largest-ever one-time contribution to a humanitarian organization.

• The church, with its deep historical ties to Britain, expressed sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, while lauding her life and the leadership she displayed during her unprecedented 70-year reign.

• BYU wrapped up its investigation of allegations of racism at a volleyball match, saying it could not corroborate assertions that a Duke player was called a racist slur. Duke is standing by the allegations.

• Making a list that schools hope to avoid, BYU was one of nearly 200 colleges labeled as unsafe and discriminatory for LGBTQ students.

• The church also found itself at the center of two sexual abuse stories: In one, a former bishop and onetime Utah mayor was arrested after police say he sexually abused at least three children. In another, testimony states a Utah lawmaker and prominent attorney for the church advised a bishop not to report a confession of child sex abuse to authorities in an Arizona case highlighted in a recent Associated Press investigation.

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