Group pushing to ordain LDS women

Group pushing to ordain LDS women

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A new group called "Ordain Women" is questioning why females in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't hold the priesthood.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A new group called "Ordain Women" is questioning why females in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't hold the priesthood.

It launched a new website about two weeks ago. Several dozen women are coming together to post their profiles and stories about whey they would like women to have the same leadership opportunities as men.

Lori Winder is just one woman who supports this group. She raised her children in the Latter-day Saint Church and has taught gospel doctrine classes and worked as a visiting teacher.

She now occasionally attends church, but says many in her group attend Church every week. "We have men and women. We have women who are grandmothers and women who are young mothers," Winder said.

She says other women and men connecting with her group's message and recalls some of the many reactions to her group's new website. "I thought I was the only one out there who believed this. I've been troubled by this from so many years in the Church. I love the Church and I want to remain, but I'm so troubled by gender issues," said Winder.

Winder says her concerns focus primarily on the Church's most senior leaders.

"The minute you move above the local level where you don't have those personal relationships women lose a lot of power and authority to influence decisions in the Church," Winder said.

LDS Church spokeswoman Jessica Moody released this official statement:

"There is nothing in the scriptures which suggests that to be a man rather than a woman is preferred in the sight of God, or that He places a higher value on sons than on daughters. The worth of a human soul is not defined by a set of duties or responsibilities. In God's plan for His children, both women and men have the same access to the guidance of His spirit, to personal revelation, faith and repentance, to grace and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, and are received equally as they approach Him in prayer. The practice of ordaining men to the priesthood was established by Jesus Christ himself, and is not a decision to be made by those on earth."

ABC 4 talked with active Latter-day Saints about this new group. ABC 4's Noah Bond shared the group's statement with active Latter-day Saints to get reaction.

Ordain Women's website reads:

"According to the Church's Gospel Principles manual, Men use priesthood authority to preside in the Church. . . 'Women who hold positions in the Church . . . Work under the direction of the priesthood.' As such, Mormon women have many delegated responsibilities but lack the authority to define and oversee those responsibilities."

Active Latter-day Saint Glenn Cox responded, "I disagree with them having previously served as a bishop many years ago in my ward that those sisters called to responsible positions had every right to make decisions pertaining to the organization and never came to time as a bishop to say is this OK."

Active Latter-day Saint Bonnie McDermott said, "There's a place for both men and women in the Church and men hold the priesthood. Women do other things that are just as important."

It's organizing "The Ordain Women Launch" April 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Union Theater at 200 South Central Campus Drive in Salt Lake City. The location is inside the University of Utah Student Union Building.

Click on the attached link to learn more about this group.

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