Mormon Women Stand as Witnesses of God’s Power

Women in the LDS Church

I stand with other Mormon women today to uphold the doctrine of the priesthood, the Lord’s prophet and the divine role of women.

I do not support priesthood ordination for woman. I stand with Church leaders who through an LDS spokeswoman, thoughtfully answered leaders of the Ordain Women movement on Monday. You can read the full letter here.

Jessica Moody, in the official letter on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote,

“Women in the Church by a very large majority do not support your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme.”

In fact, the Deseret News reported, 

The Pew Research Center surveyed American LDS women in 2011 and found that 90 percent opposed the ordination of women to the priesthood, a higher percentage than men in the church who felt the same way.

Why does this large majority of women not support priesthood ordination?

Are we repressed? Are we subservient? Are we brainwashed?

None of the above.

Reasons are varied, but as one young female BYU student wrote recently, priesthood ordination for women is not necessary. Priesthood ordination is not necessary for a woman to receive the full blessings of the priesthood, to progress beyond anything we can imagine to achieve her full potential, to have access to revelation for herself and her family and her responsibilities, to lead in significant administrative and ministering roles in the church, or to be a powerful instrument of God to bless others.

I cheered at the recent opportunity for smart, capable, successful women of the Church to be seen as we really are when The New York Times wrote about the growing role for Mormon women and then invited Mormon women to respond. Many of us did.  Here is what I said in the prompt to “Tell us a story about being a woman in the Mormon Church today:”

Teresa Hirst

I define my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by my relationship with God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. In church service I have had opportunities to lead, influence and minister. I have served in several leadership positions in which men served under my leadership. In one circumstance this became awkward. I currently lead in stake public affairs with a well-seasoned man as an assistant director. He has severed in a number of leadership positions in the church, and yet, he respectfully defers to me when we make decisions. I am expected to determine priorities, develop a plan, and implement a plan with input and help of the council. Leadership has not been denied to me in this role nor when I served as a president of an auxiliary organization. Leadership for both women and men is about righteous (not self-serving) ministering and administering for the good of others. I have had frustrating experiences with men in the church who have not acted in the best manner; I can probably say that for myself, as well. Several have put up roadblocks to that the work I was seeking to accomplish, yet, I have seen women do this even more than men. Recently, the leader of our stake gave a talk about some opportunities he had to meet with leaders of the community and of other faiths and the impact of those meetings. As I listened, I could see how the influence of the work I do weaves into areas I did not plan. That’s what I look for as I assess my own role in God’s work, whether that be in my responsibilities at church in a leadership role, the ministering to another person, or in my family.

Despite this opportunity to speak for ourselves, no matter what we in this large majority say, a small majority of LDS women who feel otherwise rally the media and secular voices outside the church to get the last word as they define perceptions of who Mormon women are, who we should be and what our role should be in our Church.

That does not have to be.

As believers stand as witnesses of God we spread the knowledge that He knows who we are and who we can become and the powerful roles of women.

As a Mormon woman and mother, I can’t wait to stand with my daughters and all the women, young women and girls of the church in the Women’s Meeting that takes place on Saturday, March 29. About this historic meeting, Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President, said 

“there is power in gathering. … We elevate each other in a way when we are together that is absolutely remarkable.”

That power isn’t just a feeling. It is the strength, knowledge and intelligence promised to women when “the key was turned” by a prophet of God 172 years ago yesterday with the organization of the Relief Society.

Standing as a woman of faith does not divide women.

Standing as a witness has become increasingly necessary to honor and respect the lives of generations of faithful women and to protect and strengthen the potential of generations of women to come.

How will you stand?




  1. Julie
    Apr 9, 2014

    I stand with you and Mormon Women Stand! Thank you for having courage 🙂

  2. Gina
    May 2, 2014

    I stand with you and as a Mormon woman who stands for the doctrine and with the Prophet and Apostles! Thank you for being the voice of the majority and for standing with the Savior.

    I will stand for these things by joining with other LDS women on Mormon Women Stand and being more courageous in sharing the doctrine (and clarifying when needed). I don’t want to be afraid to do this any more. I had been growing nervous to share posts on natural marriage, traditional families and morals and standards because some of my friends are LDS but pro-gay marriage (how they could be after Elder Anderson’s talk last month and Elder Oaks and Elder Nelson’s talks in Oct. General Conference baffles me). But I can no longer sit on the side lines. I’d rather be on the right side (the Lord’s side) on every single issue than worry anymore about what even my liberal LDS will do if I share our supposedly common beliefs!

    I now feel more empowered and more confident when I am with other sisters who stand as strongly as myself.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *