About two months ago I wrote post about a letter I’d written to Boyd K. Packer. Many people wanted an update on what happened, so here it is.
I sent similar letters to Bro. Packer, Bro. Uchtdorf, Sis. Thompson (who has since been released) my stake Relief Society president, stake president, ward Relief Society president and bishop. It’s been two months and I’ve had one response. I got a letter from the secretary of the First Presidency responding for Bro. Uchtdorf. Here’s what it said.
Thank you for your letter of February 25, 2012, addressed to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He has read your letter and asked that I respond in his behalf.
In as much as it was President Boyd K. Packer who wrote his talk in the recent worldwide leadership training broadcast I am unable to comment on your specific with his address.
However, I have taken the liberty of enclosing an address by President Gordon B. Hinckley entitled “Daughters of God,” which discusses the role of women in the divine plan of our Heavenly Father. It is hoped this talk will be of assitance to you.
I have been asked to extend to you Presient Uchtdorf’s kindest regards.
Brooke P. Hales
Secretary to the First Presidency
The choice of talk that either the secretary or Bro. Uchtdorf chose to attach was actually unhelpful for many reasons. It is the talk in which prayer to Heavenly Mother is banned. He also states that the word “men” in the scriptures applies to everyone just as “men” in the Declaration of Independence meant everyone. Except the Declaration of Independence acctully meant white men… so that example killed the whole arguement for me. There are other reasons I found it unhelpful, but that’s for another time.
So while I found the talk inapplicable to my concerns, I was glad to hear that at least one of the seven leaders I wrote to cared enough to respond. He felt that my concerns mattered enough to respond to them. No one else did. Now, I understand the lack of response from Bro. Packer and Sis. Thompson. They get tons of mail and can’t respond to all of it. But the lack of any kind of response from any of my local leadership suggests to me that my experience and thoughts don’t matter to them. I was not expecting any changes to be made based on what I said, but acknowledgment on some level would have been nice. Even just a “I got your letter, thanks for sharing your experience,” would have been better then the nothing I got. A simple sentence like that says to me, “I hear what you say and will listen.” Whereas no response says to me “What you said doesn’t matter.”
Recently I’ve been wondering if who I am and what I believe is welcome in the church. This utter lack of acknowledgment makes me think that maybe I and my experience are indeed unwelcome.