Thank you for your feedback. I have finalized the report and sent it to my stake president. I am pleased to report that he has agreed to send it on to General Authorities. The original text of the post is below for historical purposes, but the final version, incorporating feedback I received from Exponent readers and others, is available at http://bit.ly/LDSpolicy.
The scriptures teach that “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” (D&C 4:3) but church policy bans women from many service opportunities simply because they are women. Although there is no scriptural mandate barring women from the priesthood, the present-day female priesthood ban precludes women from serving the Church in all capacities that are limited to priesthood holders by scripture. Church policy also bars women and girls from numerous service opportunities that are not limited to priesthood holders by scripture, such as preparing and passing the sacrament; collecting, counting, distributing and auditing church funds; officially witnessing baptisms and weddings; overseeing and operating technology and leading Sunday Schools and mixed gender groups of missionaries. Gendered restrictions on male Primary workers, such as requiring co-teachers for men but not women, also limit opportunities for women, because they make it difficult to call men to the Primary so that women can rotate through other callings.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said that “holding the priesthood gives us abundant opportunities to feel the joy that Ammon expressed: “Have we not great reason to rejoice? … We have been instruments in [the Lord’s] hands of doing this great and marvelous work.” For women, opportunities are less abundant than for men, which limits female access to the blessings of giving church service, such as spiritual experiences and personal growth. 
Even without ordination, a woman may receive “priesthood authority in performing her…assigned duties” but church policy places extreme limits on the duties priesthood leaders may assign to women. Expanding women’s opportunities to make decisions, preside over mixed gender groups, offer blessings, officiate in ordinances publicly—not just inside the temple, conduct ecclesiastical interviews and carry out projects and activities without male supervision would empower women to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” (D&C 58:27)
 Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng
 Thomas S. Monson, Be Your Best Self, 2009 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/be-your-best-self?lang=eng
David L. Beck, The Magnificent Aaronic Priesthood, 2010 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/the-magnificent-aaronic-priesthood?lang=eng
Thomas S. Monson, Dare to Stand Alone, 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/dare-to-stand-alone?lang=eng
Thomas S. Monson, See Others as They May Become, 2012 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/see-others-as-they-may-become?lang=eng
 Dallin H. Oaks, The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood, 2014 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/the-keys-and-authority-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng
This post is a section of my draft policy analysis, a Values-based Approach to Woman-friendly Policy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have completed as much policy research as I can alone and now I am asking for feedback from the Mormon community before I finalize and submit the report. All draft sections will become available at the following links when they are posted:
|The Golden Rule|
|Protecting the Vulnerable|
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