Guest Post: A Peaceful Transition of Power- An Update
Well, you will all be amazed that I can report that the whole peaceful transition of power went exactly as anticipated. Three well-liked men are now the stake presidency. Let me share a brief recap of the weekend with you. The visiting authorities shared their process with the entire congregation at the Sunday morning meeting.
The two General Authorities, and one of their spouses, got to town on Friday night. The GAs got to work, interviewing the entire stake presidency, the High Council members, all the bishops, and those recommended by the stake president. This carried over till Saturday around noon. They interviewed 34 men. After they received the inspiration concerning who the president was to be, they (presumably, I wasn’t there) extended the call to the president and he got busy figuring out who should be his counselors. Saturday afternoon was a stake priesthood leadership meeting. It was a wide ranging question and answer session. I was quite interested in this- have any of you been in a mixed-gender Q & A with General Authorities? Without previously submitted questions? I haven’t. Which led me to wonder- have you ever been in a Relief Society Q & A? I haven’t. Which led me to realize that I have never been in a church meeting larger than the meeting formerly known as “Enrichment,” also formerly known as “Homemaking” that was actually all women. And that I have never, ever been in a question and answer setting when women were “the answerers.” Not only are women seldom, if ever, invited to question, they are never invited to answer.
Then we all were invited to the Saturday evening adults meeting, where we had a rather free-wheeling group discussion with a traveling microphone, seeking ideas for keeping our focus on Christ. Sisters’ ideas were solicited, with a reminder that Sisters should participate in “all our councils.” But not the councils where leadership is chosen, apparently. The evening was interesting and inclusive, and included a 5 minute talk by the GA spouse.
The general meeting on Sunday morning was well attended, the new stake presidency was announced with lots of mentions of the 34 potential candidates (and that they could have interviewed so many more righteous…men). They made an explicit point about how many different perspectives they sought. Then the outgoing and incoming were all invited to speak, including the wives of the old and new stake presidents, and the GA spouse. So there was about 15 minutes of women’s voices during the 6 hours of meetings and 6-8 hours of interviews.
The new stake president looked suitably surprised and burdened, and he delivered a very passionate message about the crucial importance of husbands and fathers. Not a mention of the husbandless and fatherless. Oh, except to state that the pitiful young women raised without fathers will run off with the first sorry male that pays her any attention.
I like all the men in the new presidency. Good guys. I am forced to conclude, once again, that our Institutional Church, while giving lip service to wanting sisters’ voices, does not want us in the room where it really happens. They do love to see our sustaining “votes.” Dang, that peaceful transition of power was so flippin’ peaceful.
We aren’t even on their radar.
Ellen is a seeking, searching, bit of blue in an ocean of red.