Priesthood Power Sign edited 1 So, brother, you noticed there weren’t many women speaking at Conference. Here’s what you can do...

So, brother, you noticed there weren’t many women speaking at Conference. Here’s what you can do…

This is the main part of my response to a post in a private Facebook group, which after a post that noted problems with women’s representation at General Conference became too direct for the admins, was deleted:

… Here’s what local leaders can do:

Actively advocate for women to their line leaders. This means contact your stake President and raise the concerns you hear. Do it in writing. Do it in your stake meetings. Tell the women working with you that you know there may be disparities you are missing, and ask them to tell you what they are. Then correct what you can, and report every other issue to your line leader. Do more than just feel bad about the situation. Help us.

And second, adjust your thought process so that factual statements about institutions are not seen as “passive criticism” of individuals. It is reasonable to point out that women are the minority voice in the women’s session of conference. It is important to observe that this change is new and began with this new first presidency. Take a moment to check yourself and figure out why noting these facts publicly or privately makes you think I or others are speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed. Is it because you, too, agree this is not how the women’s session should operate? Then do something about it.

I’m doing what I can, which is pointing this problem out to every male leader I can. You boys are commiserating, and I do see you doing what you can do fix things locally. Thank you. I really do see lots of improvement by local leadership. More men are becoming aware of the issues and are doing what they can within their stewardship. I am grateful.

However, there is more you can do, gentlemen: take this up the food chain. We can’t. You must do this for us. Most of you are handling the problem and thinking small — locally, within your stewardship or home — and you aren’t use your voices to bring up women’s concerns with leaders who can make the needed policy changes. You’re afraid of losing your position or temple recommend. I get it, believe me. But please remember that the women around you also have these concerns, but the situation has become so concerning that we are willing to risk opening our mouths. Please also consider that no one speaks out hoping nothing will happen. We speak because we actually do believe that there are good men leading this church who will hear us and make changes to make things more equitable for women — and we believe it because of our interactions with YOU local leaders. None of us have had interactions with the Q12 or FP on these issues. Our only experience is with you, and that experience gives us hope our voices will be heard by others who like you hold the priesthood.

But women have no channel to reach those leaders directly. Our voices must go through you.

Do remember there has never been a policy change in this church without priesthood leaders reporting the problems up the chain from the field. We need you to be the heroes here and speak up — UP to higher leaders than yourselves — for us.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.