LDS and women's role
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Elaine S. Dalton, general president of the LDS Young Women's organization, recently spoke at an all-student "devotional" at Brigham Young University and said to women: "You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights."

This comment follows recent protests about women's issues in Mormonism, including "Wear Pants to Church Day."

Until the mid-20th century, Mormonism was progressive toward women. In 1870, Utah became the second U.S. jurisdiction to recognize a woman's right to vote. Mormon women were more likely to have a college degree than non-Mormon women.

The Relief Society was autonomous, governed exclusively by women. Mormonism celebrated our Heavenly Mother.

Then, in the past 60 years, in Mormonism's trek toward assimilation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hitched its wagon to America's conservative cultural movement, which muted many beautiful and distinctive doctrines, including gender roles.

Now some Mormon sisters respectfully ask fellow Mormons to purge some of this non-doctrinal cultural baggage — things as benign as lifting the informal ban on women praying in General Conference and recognizing the divine role of women in our heavenly parents' plan.

We support these efforts.

Karen and Thomas Grover

Las Vegas