#hearLDSwomen: Only Men’s Voices Are Valued in My Ward’s Sacrament Meeting
I was scheduled to speak first in Sacrament Meeting but realized right before the meeting started that I had left my talk on the kitchen table. I asked my husband to run get it and then told the bishop that I needed to be the second speaker in case my husband didn’t return in time. The bishop said that wasn’t okay because a priesthood holder had to have the final say in the meeting. He told me I could speak second, but he would need to add a few words at the end of my talk to ensure a priesthood leader had the final say. After the meeting, I walked outside and sobbed and sobbed at the idea that my spiritual words weren’t good enough.
– Meredith Reynolds
My ward still has a male closing speaker for Sacrament Meeting every week. When I have mentioned it to the bishopric, I am told that they know it isn’t policy, but I’m the only one it bothers, so they don’t feel the need to change.
– Lori LeVar Pierce
Last Sunday I realized that during the entire Sacrament Meeting, not one woman spoke. Between the opening and closing prayers, the sacrament prayers, the conducting bishopric member, the bishop, the youth speaker and two other speakers, we listened to nine males speak. The fact that it can be so easy (and unremarkable) to completely omit women’s voices during the most important meeting of our worship service is, I feel, an example of the structural inequality we need to overcome.
Pro tip: It is not church policy to have a priesthood holder speak last. Show that your ward values women’s voices by scheduling women as the final speaker at least half the time, by having at least one woman speak each Sunday whenever possible, and by having some Sacrament Meetings with only female speakers.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)