It’s not about the pants.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear about “Wear Pants to Church Day” in local and national news. This Sunday, many Mormon women will wear pants to church in support of gender equality and sympathetic men will also wear pants…as well as something purple, the color of the suffrage movement.
I admit that I have never worn pants to church on Sunday, although there is absolutely no policy against doing so. (There is a policy against sister missionaries wearing pants, and I have expressed my opinion about that policy here. There used to be a policy against women’s pants in the temple, but it was eliminated in the most recent edition of the Church Handbook of Instruction.)
So, since I have not ever worn pants to Sunday services before, it is quite possible that people will have questions for me when I do so this Sunday. In the good old fashioned spirit of being prepared, I have planned my talking points.
Question: Why are you wearing pants at church?
Answer: I am wearing pants for “Wear Pants to Church Day.” LDS women across the globe are wearing pants to church today to show support for women’s equality.
Question: Why do you think women should wear pants at church?
Answer: It’s not about the pants. I don’t care whether women wear pants or skirts. I am wearing pants today to raise awareness of the need for gender equality.
Question: But men and women are equal in the church!
Answer: I believe that men and women are equal in the sight of God. However, some church policies discriminate against women. I hope that raising awareness will lead to policy change.
Question: What church policies do you want to change?
Answer: Here are some examples. I think women should be allowed to offer prayers at General Conference. I think widowed women and men should have equal opportunity to be sealed to their second spouses in the temple. I don’t think the church should fire married seminary teachers when they become pregnant.
Question: Do you want the priesthood?
Answer: I would be thrilled if the priesthood were extended to all worthy members, without regard for gender. I hope that happens someday.
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