Saturday, April 6, 2013

Baby Steps and the LDS People

At least 20,000 LDS people and as many again as are listening to General Conference on TV, radio or the Internet were represented today at the close of the meeting by a woman. 
It's been a subtle thing.  Not many have noticed that prayer has been an all male thing in the conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sister Jean A. Stevens offered the closing prayer at the end of the Saturday morning service, the first time such has happened in the history of the Mormon church.  Spencer W. Kimball clarified the policy 35 years ago, when he stated that men and women were equally equipped to represent the congregation in prayer.
During a seminar of Regional Representatives on September 29, 1978, President Kimball said “The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have determined that there is no scriptural prohibition against sisters offering prayers in sacrament meetings. It was therefore decided that it is permissible for sisters to offer prayers in any meetings they attend, including sacrament meetings, Sunday School meetings, and stake conferences. Relief Society visiting teachers may offer prayers in homes that they enter in fulfilling visiting teaching assignments.”
Amen.  I agree.  I add my name to the petition just spoken.
For some this is just a nice thing.  For me this is an action that brings me hope.  It has come, as I understand it, as an instruction of the Lord after his prophet made inquiry as to the course of action -- possibly as members and non-members alike put forth their desire, or made public a question of policy much as when the priesthood was allowed to all worthy males.

So, what she said.  I am in agreement.  I sign the vocal petition every time I say the word, regardless of who said it first.

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