10 changes I hope to see next year at church
1. I hope they print scriptures that are gender-inclusive. I like what Nephi says about likening the scriptures to us, and this would be a great way to help achieve this. It can be distracting to read scriptures that seem to ignore you.
2. I hope they allow members the option of praying to “Heavenly Parents” or “Heavenly Mother.” Since Heavenly Mother is a Goddess, she deserves worship as well.
3. I hope they emphasize equal partners instead of gender roles. I hope it becomes common for women to call on someone to pray. I recently attended a ward activity where the woman in charge called on people to pray. I hope this becomes more common. Women need to be recognized as spiritual leaders.
4. I hope we get more female speakers in sacrament meeting. It’s not very empowering for women when most of the sacrament meeting is taken up by men. And on top of that, male leaders are usually the ones who speak at the beginning and end of the meeting, since they always conduct.
5. I hope a woman conducts sacrament meeting. I think this would be so empowering to see! I remember the time when a woman conducted devotional at BYU-I for the first time, and it felt so wonderful!
6. I hope they allow women to be in the Sunday School presidency. Since Sunday School is a class for both women and men, it doesn’t make sense that only men are in the presidency. Both genders should be represented. In addition, there’s no reason why a woman can’t be ward mission leader, since both women and men serve missions.
7. I hope they allow women to give blessings. Women used to give blessings in the early days of the church, and it was a most unfair thing when a man decided to take that away from them. All because he interpreted the Bible so literally.
8. I hope they stop always listing the husband’s name first on every church-related thing. This year they took out “head of household” from the directory, which is a very welcome change. But a trend remains that the husband’s name is always listed first in the directory and on FamilySearch. It would be better to list it in alphabetical order instead. Always listing the husband’s name first can give the wrong message that the husband is more valued or has more authority than the wife.
9. I hope they remove the word “preside” from the temple and from the Family Proclamation. It doesn’t make sense for that word to be there, since the Family Proclamation declares that two people should be “equal partners.”
10. While many female-friendly changes have occurred this year, there’s still more that can be done to improve women’s temple experience. I hope they allow women at the recommend desk. I also hope to hear a woman pray during the prayer circle in the endowment. There’s no reason why women can’t welcome visitors or pray in the temple.