Male Mormons exclude women


This video is called USA: Mormon women march for gender equality in church.

From Reuters news agency:

Mormons exclude women seeking ordination from male-only meeting

• Campaigners seek admission of women to lay priesthood
Ordain Women brave bad weather to press case

Salt Lake City

Sunday 6 April 2014 15.05 BST

Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt [to] promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference.

This follows the group’s attempt last autumn to gain admittance to the meeting. The actions have led to tensions between church officials and the women, who say they are steadfast in their faith but want to play a more significant role in the life of a religion that claims over 15 million adherents worldwide.

One by one, the women and some male supporters were politely turned away by a church spokeswoman. High school student Emma Tueller, 16, fought back tears after the rejection, which came with a hug from the church representative, who encouraged her to watch the proceedings of the meeting online.

Tueller, a resident of Provo, Utah, joined Ordain Women in the previous action last autumn. “This time it was more painful,” she said. “I love this church and I think my personal gifts and my personal talents could be much better utilised if I had the priesthood.”

In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.

Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said.

Men ordained to the priesthood in the Mormon church can perform religious rituals, including baptisms, confirmations or blessings and can be called to lead congregations. Boys enter into the priesthood as deacons at age 12 and grow in authority and responsibility as they get older or are called to service by more senior church leaders.

Initially, about 200 people appeared to be taking part in the action, but a spokeswoman for the group put the number of participants at 510.

Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.

Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.

“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.

Outside the gates to Temple Square, church member Nate Brown said he does not object to the idea of women in the priesthood, but does not like the tactics of Ordain Women. “I perceive [their asking] not as a civil action, but more of a challenge of church leaders,” said Brown, 59, who came from Salem, Oregon, for the conference.

Brown is not alone. A 2011 Pew Research study found Mormons overwhelmingly disapprove of women joining the lay priesthood.

But Brown said he would welcome the ordination of women if a church president, whom Mormons consider a prophet who communicates with God, changed church policies. “I believe in following the prophet,” Brown said.

Since Ordain Women first pushed their cause last fall, church leaders have taken some actions to show their regard for women. For the first time, a woman was asked to pray at the conference and the men’s priesthood meeting was broadcast live on cable television and the internet.

That is a far cry from the 1990s when the faith’s leaders excommunicated some women who advocated for gender equity, said Nadine Hansen, a lifetime church member and an attorney who published her first article about women’s ordination nearly 30 years ago. “I appreciate the changes they are making,” said Hansen. “They are listening.”

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13 thoughts on “Male Mormons exclude women

  1. That my beautiful friend is the Mormon way.. In fact it is part of the reason I have issue with that religion although that issue seems to be prevalent in many religions. They were quite devout racists as well until the mid 70′s that is when I chose to look at that church with a different perspective. Nice post! :)

      • Yes they have many issues “The Church Of Jesus Christ The Latter Day Saints” seem to have forgotten the golden rule! In truth the last time I attended one of their meetings to see my nephew off on his ” Mormon Mission” I didn’t hear anything about Jesus, the only thing that was dominant and shared in the whole service was the loyalty and belief of Joseph Smith being the only true prophet of God and that his religion was true. I don’t want to be negative so I will share a positive thought. In the late 70′s a young African American man wanted to attain membership in the priesthood. He was denied and the Southern Baptists were organizing a boycott of Utah and the Mormon State when the buses and tens of thousands of protesters were getting ready to come and surround the Temple in downtown Salt Lake the prophet at the time had a vision and the sons of Cain written about in the Bible, those of color in the Mormon books were “forgiven” and the young man was allowed to be the first of color to hold the “Sacred Priesthood” of the Mormon Church.

        Perhaps I am wrong however for a religion that claims to be the religion and church of Christ and the fact they claim to be Saints they sure seem to judge their fellow man. Even Christ said not to judge even yourself as it is not your place to do so. Love as you would be loved faults and all, we all have them yet we are all worthy and deserving of love.

        Maybe the women, the LBGTQ community and the rest of the world that are human beings and believe in the golden rule and equal rights for all should boycott Utah and the Mormon Church and the reigning Prophet will have a “Vision or Prophecy” That God has forgiven us for being who we are and then the Church will change it’s position… I wouldn’t however count on it yet it would certainly be interesting to see what happened. I have no right nor desire to judge however I do ask what are they thinking and what on Gods Green Earth makes them think they are Saints?

  2. HOLD ON A MINUTE! I am a Mormon male, and the last I heard is that I cannot go to the Relief Society Meeting (all WOMEN). so fair is fair. If the women want to know what is going on in the Priest Hood meeting, then ask their husbands. I do not believe it is a secret held from the women. The women would be surprised and happy I might add, on what the Priest Hood talks about and work on. The women would be PROUD of their husbands!

    • Technically, the 2014 priesthood meeting was not secret, being broadcast on the Internet. However, the meeting is only part of the wider issue that women are barred from the priesthood.

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