The addition of women to three high-level councils in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) may have “far-reaching consequences in a denomination led exclusively by men,” writes Peggy Fletcher Stack in the Salt Lake Tribune (Aug. 27). Three women were added to the church’s Priesthood and Family Executive Council, the Missionary Executive Council, and the Temple and Family History Council. Mormon feminists hailed the appointments as important as these have traditionally been male-only councils that are “immensely important for deciding how budgets are delegated, how programs and products are prioritized, and how church business moves forward,” according to Neylan McBaine, author of “Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact.”
Angela Clayton, a Mormon feminist blogger, adds that the development “signals to local leadership councils the need to include women in decision-making bodies.” But some observers charge that appointments represent the voice of American white suburban middle-class women, and don’t reflect the multicultural Mormon membership. Another concern is that the women appointed to these committees tend not to be the voices of feminist change on such issues as admitting women to the priesthood.