With all of the changes in the Church over the weekend, I am struck by how Church leaders have quietly increased the role of women in the Church.
The merging of Elder’s Quorum and the High Priests means there will be one fewer man at ward council. Women’s input will become more prominent.
The ending of Priesthood Executive Committee (usually just men) means ward council becomes even more important.
The Church has quietly signaled that more input from women is expected at the ward level.
The institution of ministering visits (rather than home and visiting teaching) also includes more involvement in ministering from young women. These young women will be trained at an earlier age how to minister in the Lord’s way. In our ward, and I would imagine most wards, visiting teaching numbers are much better than home teaching numbers, and a lot of the reason has to do with the dedication of women to ministering to the needy in the Church. Will the institution of ministering visits increase the outreach of active ward members to the less active? I would guess yes.
The Church continues to build new temples, even as membership growth stalls in the United States. Temples are the places where women are guaranteed to use the power of the priesthood to bring blessings to their ancestors, and women are more likely to go to the temple than men.
Like most active members, I welcome and embrace any changes announced by the prophets. We are living in amazing times, and it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.