#hearLDSwomen: I Was Discriminated Against as a Sister Missionary

When I went in for my missionary interview with my stake president, the first thing he said to me was, “Sisters are 10% of the missionary force, but they cause 90% of the problems.” Way to discourage me! I felt so humiliated. But I went anyway. End of story is that the sisters district was the highest-baptizing district in the mission.
– Laurie Lisonbee


I watched as Elders on my mission repeatedly disrespected, disregarded, and ignored sisters. When we went to a Zone Conference, they always greeted us with “Hi Sisters!” while each and every Elder was always greeted by name (I was wearing a NAME TAG for heaven’s sake. They didn’t even have to waste precious space in their brains to remember it).
– Chloe M.


After the missionary age change was made, I overheard a man at church say, “FINALLY, we’re upgrading the quality of women at church! Just imagine how much better the church will be with more women having served missions!”
– Rebecca


My zone leader announced a zone lunch after our zone meeting. When my companion and I showed up, they blocked the door to the Pizza Hut and wouldn’t let us in. We were sisters and it wasn’t appropriate for us to join in a zone activity with all the elders. The exact words were “what are you doing here? No one invited you. This is for the real missionaries only.”
– Amy H.


Pro Tip: Don’t perpetuate stereotypes about male vs. female missionaries or discriminate based on gender.

Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)

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4 Responses

  1. Em says:

    Yep. At our Zone Lunches (or District Lunches) we’d get invited, but then the elders would refuse to sit at the table with us. It was like we were lepers. My friends were mostly the Spanish-speaking elders — because, like us, they served only with each other (thus a fairly small pool — it was a mostly English speaking mission) they too often got snubbed by the English-speaking majority. I had a lot of great individual experiences with the Elders in my mission, but collectively it wasn’t a great feeling. It was probably my first step down the road to feminism — when I realized that i had been treated as a second-class citizen in my singles ward not because I wasn’t an RM like the guys, but because I was female, and no mission would make me enough.

  2. Dani Addante says:

    We had a zone leader call us and ask us to make a hundred cookies for a zone meeting. One of the sisters got angry when she heard about this. My comp and I were very busy so we never had time to make the cookies. We even forgot about it. One of the sisters was unwell, and she and her comp would stay at home a lot, so they went ahead and made the cookies.

  3. Sps says:

    I had an elder throw a pair of pants at me and tell me to do what sisters are good for and fix them. He had split the pocket and side seam. I stiched them up and then added a nice pink bow on the zipper. He had the nerve to get mad at me.

    Another time the elders decided they needed our vehicle and their own when they were getting reassigned to another area. We inquired why they needed 2 vehicles to sit at a building when we needed it for an appointment. They got the zone leaders to call but we stood our ground. When the mission president asked, I explained the situation and he agreed with me- apparently the elders didn’t think our work was important.

  4. SoraH says:

    I served before sisters were allowed leadership positions or to speak in zone conference, so I could write a book about the things I experienced in the mission field. Funny, but things don’t seem to have changed much since then. Sure, sisters have *some* leadership abilities today, but they aren’t allowed to instruct or lead elders yet while younger boys are placed in charge of them, which is a travesty because sisters outbaptize elders 5 to 1. Also, now that eleven year-old boys will be getting the priesthood, I am extremely unhappy at the idea that my young preteen sons who still believe in the tooth fairy will have more authority in the home than I will. I may have served a mission back in the dark ages, but church structure today is feeling even more dark age today than it did back then–just in different ways. They are only moving around the ways in which they elevate men and boys over women. Changing it up, but keeping women outside and on the fringes just the same.

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