In a church some people regard as “a church run by old men,” people may wonder about the place of women in the LDS church. Do they have a voice in the affairs of the church? What roles do they play in building the kingdom of God? Are their roles as equally significant as the roles of men?
Since the beginning of time, God has created men and women as equal beings and it remains so in terms of leading His church here on Earth. Men and women have different responsibilities, but equally important roles in the church. Their roles are equal but not the same.
LDS women serve in different positions of leadership in organizations such as Relief Society, Young Women, Primary and other local and worldwide organizations in the church. These organizations include and serve millions of women around the world. Some LDS women preside over these organizations and manage their affairs and administration. They take part in their organizational decisions and stand at the forefront of implementing the goals and plans set for these groups.
Women serve as teachers in classes and meetings, full-time missionaries or member missionaries spreading the gospel to others, organizers and ministers of philanthropic initiatives. They also deliver sermons in local and worldwide meetings amd lead congregational prayers and hymns.
While LDS women do not hold the priesthood, they can access the power and blessings of it through ordinances performed under priesthood authority. After all, men are given the sacred duty to use the priesthood to bless all of God’s children. Nothing is withheld from the women of the church.
Some may wonder why the highest leadership of the church, the First Presidency, is solely composed of men. The reason is simple: because it is a doctrine that only God can change. It has been written in the Doctrine and Covenants that the higher priesthood, the Melchizedek Priesthood, which priesthood the First Presidency has, “hold[s] the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church.” This explains why those at the highest level of authority must hold the priesthood.
However, this fact does not, in any way, demean the roles of women in the LDS church. Women stand at the core leadership of the church as they serve in auxiliary organizations. Simply put, without LDS women, the church could not stand. The roles that they play are equally significant as the roles of men in building the kingdom of God here on Earth. They stand beside the men of the church in leading and driving the cause of Zion.