Last week the Church announced that the General Women’s Meeting will now be called an official “session” of Conference. We had earlier discussed the significance this change would have if it took place.
But there is significance also embedded in the timing of the change. Surely the leaders of the Church were aware of the hearty online discussions surrounding the October Conference controversy, and the voices calling for the “meeting” to become a “session.” Had they any interest in projecting the message that they do not make decisions based on common demand — that they do not listen to church members’ opinions as they consider possible changes — they could have waited a long time before announcing that the Women’s Meeting would indeed be called the Women’s Session. Instead, it seems they don’t mind sending the message that they are listening.
As Neylan McBaine wrote, “It would have been easy for decision-makers to dig in their heels, to insist they not bow to external pressure. Instead, I feel the move only confirms the feeling that our leadership is aware of conversations, they are aware of the small, fixable and grating things that can make a woman unintentionally feel slighted, and they are willing to fix those things.”
We recognize that in our personal lives, revelation comes by many means. Sometimes it comes direct from God to our hearts. Sometimes we have messengers, or hard experience, to teach us. Why do we expect the process of revelation to be different for those who lead the Church? It does not diminish their divine callings that they listen to those in their stewardship. This is, and has always been, a church of councils.
- How can you be open about your concerns, hopes, and ideas, while also honoring the divinely-appointed authority of church leaders?
- How do you make decisions and receive revelation in your calling?
- What is your response to the new inclusion of the women’s meeting as part of General Conference?