How do Children view men and women in the Priesthood?

I recently had a conversation with a young boy – age 11.  After covering school and sports, the conversation turned to his upcoming ordination to the Priesthood.  He was excited to become a Deacon and move in to the Young Men’s program.

I inquired about the girls in his Primary class, who he seemed to like. I asked what would happen to them when they turn 12.  He told me they would move in to the Young Women’s program and when I asked if they would also be ordained to the Priesthood, he said, “no”.

I then asked, “if the young women asked the Bishop if they could be ordained, would he let them?”  My friend said “no”.

Going one step further, I asked, “if the young women memorized all the article of faith, lived worthily, volunteered for extra service projects, and did all their jobs at home without complaining – and then asked the Bishop, would he let them be ordained to the Priesthood.”

My young friend considered.  And then replied, “girls are really good at that stuff, but no matter what, they can’t have the Priesthood.”

In your experience, how do children view men and women in the Priesthood?



Suzette lives in the Washington DC area and works as a Professional Organizer. She enjoys blogging and serving on the Exponent II Board. Her Mormon roots run deep and she loves her big Mormon family which includes 20 nieces and nephews, 6 sisters, 5 brother in laws, 2 parents - and dozens of cousins. Her favorite things about church are the great Alexandria wards, temple worship, and all things Visiting Teaching.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Jessawhy says:

    My 11 yo picked “Men are in charge, women help.”

    • Caroline says:

      That’s depressing, Jess. But very very common, I imagine.

      Good for you for asking these questions, Suzette. These are great ways to open conversations about gender with kids and push them to think and reason.

  2. EmilyCC says:

    I have no idea what my kids would answer, so this sounds like a good FHE activity for tonight.

  3. Ziff says:

    I’m kind of surprised there aren’t more votes for “women are better, but men have the priesthood.” That’s in line with lots of Church rhetoric about women being incredible. But I guess that’s pretty much all directed at adult women and not necessarily at kids.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.