April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is an advocate, mother, professional, lover of the arts, hater (but doer) of housework and seeker of truth. Podcast: Religious Feminism Podcast Twitter: @aprilyoungb

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32 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    This looks so right and so natural to me. Men and women blessing together — beautiful.

  2. Jess says:

    This is so appropriate for Mother’s Day. I don’t have kids, but I hope and pray that by the time I do, this will be a reality.

  3. Libby says:

    April, I love this. As Caroline said, it just looks right. We bless babies in celebration of their joining our community, and the whole community should be part of the celebration.

  4. Deborah says:

    I love the symbol of an inclusive community surrounding the baby in love. No doctrine would have to change for this to happen — a man could still voice the blessing — just a policy bent toward a little more inclusion and love.

  5. Clean Cut says:

    A wonderful vision of what could (and what I feel ought to) be.

  6. Kate Kelly says:

    April, this is lovely. It really helps open up the imagination to really see such a peaceful, loving image as this.

    Many thanks!

  7. Paula says:

    Absolutely beautiful– and one day it will seem totally usual.

  8. EmilyCC says:

    This photo makes me a little teary. It’s just so beautiful.

  9. Crystal says:

    Love this, very, very touching. Hopefully, we will see this in our lifetime.

  10. randall says:

    please make more of these fabulous pictures: how about a husband and wife “bishopric” counseling a young man or woman in the bishop’s office; how about men and women sitting together presiding on the stand at sacrament or general conference; how about a husband and wife “apostleship” speaking simultaneously from the general conference pulpit…

  11. Ziff says:

    Nice! Thanks for posting this!

  12. Suzette Smith says:


  13. lee says:

    “What would apostasy look like?”

    • Brad says:

      “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”-Joseph Smith

      …except when they are.

  14. Peter says:

    Men and women are already equal in the Church.

    ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

    By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

    • vicvic says:

      ….except “preside” and “equal” are contradictory terms. All are equal in the Gospel, but in today’s institution of the Church, we are far from equality. When is the last time the RS president addressed the brethren in the biannual Priesthood meeting? Why are women excluded from callings like the Sunday School presidency, ward clerks, etc.? Or why would YM have more funding and resources than YW?

      I think especially telling is this excerpt from an interview with Sister Chieko Okazaki in 2005:

      ” When “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written, the Relief Society presidency was asked to come to a meeting. We did, and they read this proclamation. It was all finished. The only question was whether they should present it at the priesthood meeting or at the Relief Society meeting.
      It didn’t matter to me where it was presented. What I wanted to know was, “How come we weren’t consulted?”

      Greg Prince: You didn’t even know it was in the works?

      Chieko Okazaki: No. They just asked us which meeting to present it in, and we said, “Whatever President Hinckley decides is fine with us.” He decided to do it at the Relief Society meeting. The apostle
      who was our liaison said, “Isn’t it wonderful that he made the choice to present it at the Relief Society meeting?” Well, that was fine, but as I read it I thought that we could have made a few changes in it”.

      TL;DR: No. Women are not yet equal in the Church.

  15. Joshua Lowe says:

    This may become a reality one day, when males as well will be able to bear children and be the same in all aspects. Until then, men and woman are equal but we will never be the same.

    • silverhawkwarrior says:

      Yes, there are some basic biological differences between men and women. But uteruses do not produce a hormone that explodes if it makes contact with the priesthood.

      Both men and women can be parents. If a man is a parent, it does not disqualify him from holding the priesthood. Why should the simple potential to be a parent disqualify women?

      • Kim says:

        Because women recieve all the blessings of the priesthood without holding. Same reason why a women bears children, but a man recieves all the joys of being a parent without bearing children.

      • Kim says:

        Because women receive all the blessings of the priesthood without holding it. Same reason why a women bears children, but a man receives all the joys of being a parent without bearing children.

      • Holly says:

        Because women receive all the blessings of the priesthood without holding it. Same reason why a women bears children, but a man receives all the joys of being a parent without bearing children.

        this is nonsense. What does your example say about women who adopt? About women who are forced to give their babies up for adoption? About women who can’t breastfeed? Or about men who conceive children but never know them or abandon them? Or people of either sex who are just crappy parents?

        You don’t receive all the blessings of being a parent simply by becoming a parent. You receive the blessings of being a parent by parenting.

        In the same way, you don’t receive all the blessings of the priesthood simply by getting the priesthood or even being around the priesthood. You receive all the blessings of the priesthood by exercising the priesthood, and women are currently officially denied the right to do this.

      • Spunky says:

        I am with Holly. The obtuse habit of comparing child-bearing and priesthood is antiquated, ignorant and cruel. Time to let this one die a quick death.

      • concrened mormon says:

        I posted on this before, but it was ‘banned’ by small thinking, one sided blog admins. Post me if you’re really open-minded.

        Why do women insist on holding the priesthood? If you want it so bad I (with many of my brethren) will relinquish mine… and you ‘holy’ sisters can do it all. By yourselves!!!

        Different roles, are different by design. If women want to ‘share; the priesthood, I say let them have it all… I’ll go get a sex change so I can be ‘equal’ too… but even then I won’t ever bear children, or succle my offspring… so men can never be equal.

        The man is not without the woman, and the woman is not without the man for a very good reason! It is not good for man (or woman) to be alone!

    • Kim says:

      I couldn’t agree more!

  16. Amelia says:

    The trolls, the trolls. Do they every come up with something original?

    April, I love this image. I’m so glad you posted it. I think a huge barrier to progress when it comes to gender equity is the absence of visible examples of women doing things previously proscribed for them (and men, too; hard for a little boy to envision being a stay-home-dad if he never sees that, just as it’s hard for a little girl to envision blessing her own baby if she never sees that). Things like this make envisioning change a little easier, a little less threatening.

  17. Jace says:

    I agree with Joshua and I don’t think I’m a troll simply because I have a different opinion.

    Besides, that picture isn’t truly “equal”. There are more women than men.

    • Holly says:

      I agree with Joshua and I don’t think I’m a troll simply because I have a different opinion.

      That’s the problem: you don’t have a different opinion. You have the same old opinion as to why women can’t get the priesthood, over and over and over and over, expressed basically the same way.

      Besides, that picture isn’t truly “equal”. There are more women than men.

      There you go: equality will never mean that we look at men and women as people first and gendered people second. We’ll never get to a place where one blessing might involve two women and six men because the parents have more male siblings who can easily drive and take part in the blessing, while another time there might be three guys and give women because both grandmothers want to participate and both grandfathers are dead. Always and forever, not just at the beginning when we’re trying to change thinking patterns, but FOREVER, equality will be an inconvenient accounting, making sure that every opportunity, every action, is divided 50/50. After every male prophet, we’ll have to a female, and the quorum of the twelve will always have to have six men and six women.

      Otherwise, what we want isn’t really equality–it’s domination!

      (fyi, Jace: that’s another troll objection.)

    • Alisa says:

      You forgot to count the Holy Ghost.

  1. May 20, 2013

    […] to toddlers, the dignity of the missionary program, separation of church and state, and an image so controversial that they had to add a little disclaimer explaining it was […]

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