Two Poll Questions about Ordaining Women

American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites UsPeople frequently point out that Mormon women don’t want the priesthood, as evidenced by studies like this one or this one.  I have a theory about that. For Mormons, “wanting” a calling you haven’t been offered is a no-no, and “wanting” the priesthood, if female, is particularly taboo.  See this post or this one or this one or this one or this one.

I think this says more about our preference for top-down designation of priesthood duties than it does about how we would react as a people if the priesthood actually were expanded to all worthy members.  I wager that most women who do not “want” the priesthood would nevertheless react positively if the First Presidency offered it to women.

April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at


  1. 1. If it came from the prophet I would adjust with a good attitude. It might be a little hard to adjust, but I would. Can’t really answer pleased or upset.
    2. Not particularly, unless God decides that it is the best thing for his work then I’ll be for it. I trust in God. I want to follow his will.

  2. I really wish someone would repeat the American Grace or Pew Research Center polls one year after the Ordain Women launch. I want to take the temperature of general (non-blog active) Mormondom after the ordination conversation has been underway for a while.

  3. This is going to happen, and we (LDS members) will move forward, working for the immortality and eternal life of God’s children

  4. I think the questions aren’t accurate. I don’t believe women will ever get the priesthood. BUT, I believe in the not-so-distant future that a priestesshood will be available to worthy women. *That* is what is promised in the temple. And by golly I’d be a loud advocate for priestesshood if someone was pushing/agitating for that.

    • Dimples, that’s an interesting point. I’m curious what you envision priestesshood looking like? How would it differ from priesthood? Would it carry equal authority? Responsibilities? Would the line of authority be administered through the current priesthood or would it be completely separate ?

    • I believe that women have their own authority that does not come from men. It comes from our Mother God/Heavenly Mother. So, actually, women’s voices and revelations need to be heard for us to discover what this authority looks like.

  5. I can’t answer either of those questions as worded. My response would be something like “neither” to both of them.

    I can say that I tend to see costs and benefits to any change. Even with the change in missionary age, I see some downsides. Clearly, a lot more missionaries are going to have their wisdom teeth out while on a mission, without mom to fuss and take care of them.

    I also see plusses and negatives to the possibility of female ordination.

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