Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seeing, Hearing and Including Women at Church

Leaders of the LDS Church have repeatedly taught that women and men are equal, but not identical. For example, Elder Oaks recently said, “In the eyes of God, … women and men are equal, with different responsibilities.” Similarly, Elder Ballard recently said that “men and women have different but equally valued roles.”

Many LDS Church members accept the premise that God’s definition of “equality” means something other than “sameness.” However, does that mean that everything in the LDS Church today is exactly the way it should be with respect to the treatment of women? In other words, even if “equality” means something different to God than it means in modern secular culture, are current Church practices fully consistent with God’s definition of “equality”?

I can’t say that I have a firm conviction that they are. This is one of the reasons why I think Neylan McBaine’s recent book, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact, is so important.