Fall Conference Action: TREK FOR EQUALITY

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Actions, Blog, News | 0 comments

The Ordain Women Fall Conference Action will be a Trek for Equality! WE NEED AND WANT you to join us in Salt Lake City.

Saturday, September 23rd, we will meet at3 pm at This is the Place Heritage Park for an opening prayer service. We will then begin a walk to the Salt Lake City Cemetery to pay respect at the graves of several women, important to our faith. We will continue to the Conference Center to attend, as a group and in person, the first session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the Church.

Sunday, September 24th at 9 am, Ordain Women will hold a morning devotional and blessing service, presided over by women.

The six-mile trek will take two hours and will honor the diverse journeys of faith made by many members of the LDS Church, recognizing the commitment and bravery required to actively seek and follow the promptings of the Spirit. The devotional and blessing service will be an opportunity for women to reclaim the power to preside over their own meetings and to administer blessings when called by the Spirit.

Start making your travel plans now and stay tuned for more details!

Two pictures side by side. On the left, a crowd of people are marching down the street together. On the right, a woman is giving another woman a priesthood blessing.

If You Had Known Me Four Years Ago

Posted by on Mar 25, 2017 in Actions, Blog | 0 comments

Debra Jenson serves as the chair of the Ordain Women communications committee.

If you had known me four years ago, you would have known a largely traditional Mormon woman. I was married in the temple, had three kids, and we had attended the same LDS ward every week for 15 years. My husband and I had served in every kind of church calling, from Young Women President to activities chair. It is not an exaggeration to say that the ward house was our second home.

As I think about the way I have changed in the last few years, I realize that, though I am no longer at home in that ward house, and though I have lost the family that I thought I had there, I know that this is the first time my ward family is really seeing me. They knew me; we served together, we socialized after meetings, and even some of us got together as friends. They were lovely but it took something drastic—my absence—for them to see me.

That should come as no surprise to me.

We don’t really see women at all in our church. We are a community run on the labor of women—in the nursery, in the Primary, in the compassionate service program, and more—and depending on the ability of women to blend into the background of our environment. We count on the organist and chorister[1] to be able to silently become part of the periphery of the chapel podium. We assume that women will prepare their babies and children for religious rites and ordinances only to be physically excluded from all of these precious moments. And we expect that women will plan activities and programs and conferences but will sit reverently while men preside and give the keynote address.

Recently, the Church issued a statement recognizing International Women’s Day, saying, “Limiting religious expression disempowers women from a broad range of faiths.” The statement continues: “A world where women are empowered to follow their conscience is a world of greater peace and possibility.” For too long, women in our faith have been expected to work quietly, directed and presided over by men; our experiences have been defined by the presence and approval of men; and women leaders are nearly indistinguishable in a sea of men. Our participation is mandatory, but our potential is limited.

In April, Ordain Women will have a social media action dedicated to highlighting the invisibility of women in our church. Inspired by the Elle #MoreWomen campaign we will be sharing photos from the LDS newsroom and stock photo collection. The photos will be paired with an altered version that removes the men.

Meme. The text reads "Religious persecution hurts everyone, but women and girls seem particularly affected." -Mormon Newsroom 3/8/17. There are two photos of the chairs behind the podium at the Conference Center in SLC, during General Conference. The first picture shows 12 people, 10 men, and 2 women. In the second picture, the men have been removed leaving the two women alone in the frame. The bottom of the meme has the Ordain Women logo and the hashtags #MoreWomen #Possibilities #OrdainWomen

#MoreWomen #Possibilities #OrdainWomen


One look at these photos and you will be struck by the overwhelming presence of men in our community. At baby blessings, at sacrament meeting, in leadership, women are outnumbered and, even more often, completely excluded. We hope you take the time to ponder these photos and ask yourself if they really look like a faith that empowers women and allows them to help bring about a world of greater peace and possibility. Then share the photos and ask your friends the same thing.

[1] I acknowledge men can serve in these callings, but they have been traditionally held by women in my experience and are the only callings that place a woman on the podium.