Commentary on Saturday’s General Women’s Meeting has flooded the bloggernacle. Like many others, our Editor-in-Chief, Neylan McBaine shared on her blog some of the things she enjoyed about the conference, such as: that the female presidencies sat on the same row as the attending apostles, that President Uchtdorf referred to the meeting as the first session of General Conference, and that every female speaker quoted at least one woman. These same points and others were are also discussed on various LDS websites.
But why? What’s the big deal? Do these seemingly small things really matter?
Yes, they do.
They fertilize the ground in which our spiritual progression and mortal experience is rooted. Each of these acts models and promotes the validity of women’s full participation in our worship.
A member of the First Presidency referring to the General Women’s Meeting as a the first session of General Conference communicates that instructions and insights given by every speaker at the meeting are of the same importance as those given in the sessions that occur during the two-day block. It also suggests that these messages, though initially presented to the female members of our faith, are for the benefit of all members of the Church irrespective of gender.
Another thought, if the General Women’s Meeting became the first session then General Conference would be a week long. Imagine how this would impact your experience with General Conference. Would you prepare differently? Or start traditions that happened during conference week? Perhaps a night of testimony sharing or spiritual discourse with friends and family. Maybe read conference talks by a certain Church leader instead of reading the standard works during your personal scripture study.
There are so many possibilities.
- What was your reaction to Pres. Uchtdorf calling this meeting the first session of General Conference?
- Why do think this matters or not?
- What would you do differently during the week between the women’s session and the Saturday morning session, if the women’s meeting was formally made the first session of conference?
- What where your impressions or take-aways from this meeting?