This is a guest post by Kathryn Skaggs.
The Mormon Newsroom just posted a video discussion of the three top women leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who just happen to be talking about the very same controversial issues — that in times past would have almost seemed taboo for women of such stature to be doing — which have been floating around the likes of blogs (guilty), Facebook walls and media outlets over the last few months — nearly nonstop. I loved listening to these great women of faith, speaking with such candor and understanding, on topics that needed to be addressed — and by our female leaders. I support these sisters and the positions they take on these matters.
The general presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently participated in a conversation covering a number of topics relating to women in the Church. In the video, Sister Linda K. Burton, Sister Elaine S. Dalton and Sister Rosemary M. Wixom provide insights into their roles in Church leadership, describe the power of the priesthood in people’s lives and provide answers to questions of interest.
And if that wasn’t enough, as I was writing this post, the Mormon Newsroom posted this exciting news release, giving more responsibility to women!
Church Adjusts Mission Organization to Implement “Mission Leadership Council”
SALT LAKE CITY —
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making adjustments to the way its 405 missions are organized, to better utilize the skills and abilities of all missionaries in training and leadership. The change is due in part to the influx of thousands of young missionaries who are responding to the lowering of age requirements for mission service, announced by President Thomas S. Monson last October.
Each mission in the Church will organize a Mission Leadership Council that will include both elder (males) and sister (females) missionary leaders. The new mission leadership council will consist of the mission president and his wife, assistants to the president, zone leaders, and sister training leaders.
“We are very excited about the new Mission Leadership Council and this role for sister missionaries,” said Elder David F. Evans executive director of the Missionary Department. “It will be a blessing to both missions and missionaries throughout the world, and better employ the remarkable faith, talents and abilities of all missionaries.”
The role of sister training leader has been created as more female missionaries serve in missions around the world. Sister training leaders will be responsible for the training and welfare of female missionaries assigned to them, and will be members of, and participate in the new mission leadership council. Assistants to the president and zone leaders will also participate in the council, and those roles will remain unchanged. Missions will continue to be organized by zones and districts, with district leaders being responsible for baptismal interviews, but the Mission Leadership Council will replace the Zone Leader Council.
Sister training leaders will continue to proselyte and will also spend time each week training and evaluating the needs of female missionaries. They will report directly to the mission president on the needs of sister missionaries. Additionally, the wives of mission presidents are now being asked to play an enhanced role in training and caring for sister missionaries, subject to their individual and family circumstances.
Councils assist in Church governance at every level. In councils, assigned members meet to discuss individual, family and organizational needs and work together to determine how to respond to those needs effectively. Full expression from all participants is invited in council settings, unifying the efforts of both male and female council members.
The changes were announced to general Church leaders (General Authorities and Area Seventies) on Friday morning, and will be mailed to mission and other leaders shortly. The changes will be implemented in each mission as soon as is practical.
What I love about this organizational change, is that there is a natural need for it, as the Church is expanding its missionary efforts — and this is absolutely necessary in order for the work to proceed orderly. There is no force involved, as this is a natural progression of the Lord’s work moving forward. Very inspired.
Well, since my plane landed here in Salt Lake City, about four short hours ago, I have not been bored for one second. Things have been hopping since. Which can only mean one thing… this is going to be an exciting General Conference weekend! My goodness, just look how things have already taken off! I feel confident, always have, that the Lord is at the helm and that we are in for a spiritual feast. I have already been humbled by the messaging that has come through, as a result of these two posts which have come through the Mormon Newsroom.
I feel my heart being prepared, in a way now, that it wasn’t before — which tells me that these messages are both timely, and inspired. For this understanding, I am truly grateful.
Oh, but it is good to be here! #LDSConf