About the cause

Please write letters to our church leaders to show your support for this action. We are accepting emails through Friday, March 1st. letwomenpray@gmail.com

For details on who to write: facebook.com/LetWomenPray/info

As far back as there is documentation, a woman has not said a prayer at the General Conference of the church. In 1978 church president Spencer W. Kimball said it is "permissible for sisters to offer prayers in any meetings they attend." We would like to see this happen in our General Conference as a sign that "God is no respecter of persons" and that "all are alike unto God," "male and female." We ask all who would also like to see a woman pray in the meeting all members attend, the General Conference of the church, to write our leaders and express this desire.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A (short) timeline on women and General Conference

1967- July- The “Priesthood Bulletin”, a church-wide newsletter for priesthood leadership, prohibits women from praying in sacrament meeting. (“Mormon Hierarchy-Extensions of Power”, By D. Michael Quinn)

1968- General Handbook of Instructions, pp 44- "Prayers in Church Meetings Prayers in all Church meetings should be brief, simple, and given as led by the spirit by the one who is voice. Their content should pertain to the particular matter at hand. Brethren holding the Melchizedek or Aaronic Priesthood should offer the prayers in sacrament meetings, including fast and testimony meetings. Those praying should use the pronoun forms of Thy, Thee, Thine, Thou in addressing the Lord."

1975- June- Ensign, "News of the Church”- "Prayers in Sacrament and Priesthood Meetings: Attention is called to the following instruction which appeared in the July-August 1967 Priesthood Bulletin. The First Presidency recommends that only those who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood or Aaronic Priesthood be invited to offer the opening and closing prayers in sacrament meetings, including fast meetings. This also applies to priesthood meetings."

1978- November- Ensign, "News of the Church"- At a Regional Representatives seminar on September 29 President Kimball said- “The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have determined that there is no scriptural prohibition against sisters offering prayers in sacrament meetings. It was therefore decided that it is permissible for sisters to offer prayers in any meetings they attend, including sacrament meetings, Sunday School meetings, and stake conferences. Relief Society visiting teachers may offer prayers in homes that they enter in fulfilling visiting teaching assignments.”

1980- The general presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary are invited to sit on the stand during general conference. (“Lengthen Your Stride”, Edward L. Kimball, pp. 167)

2010- The new Church Handbook of Instructions repudiates the unofficial practice of having only men give closing prayers in Sacrament meeting- "Men and women may offer both opening and closing prayers in Church meetings." -

2010- November, Ensign, "Because of Your Faith", Elder Jeffrey R. Holland- “Not one of us could serve without your prayers and without your support.”-

2011- May, Ensign, "LDS Women Are Incredible!", Elder Quentin L. Cook- “From our earliest history both men and women pray, perform the music, give the sermons, and sing in the choir, even in sacrament meeting, our most sacred meeting."

2013- Letters are sent to General Authorities, asking that women be invited to pray in General Conference.


  1. Quentin Cook has a rather... generous definition of "our earliest history" doesn't he?

    Women have only been praying in public meetings of any kind since the 80s, and in the earliest days of the church, women couldn't even hold the sacrament tray to pass to other members during sacrament services. It's funny how colorfully people rewrite their own history.

  2. Conversely, in the early church, women regularly met together for their own prayer meetings, and laid healing hands upon one another, prayed over the sick and afflicted, etc... so there's a middle period of church history where the people of the church allowed their attitudes to follow the world's attitudes on women. We have a way to go before we all figure out what living like disciples fully entails, but forward progress is forward progress (or perhaps a return to the practices of the early Restored church in some areas?).

  3. In many ways the church was radically feminist for its time. The idea of women being included in temple ceremonies was quite radical at the time and the church was pro-women's suffrage well before it was a popular idea. Brigham Young sent one of his wives back east to become a doctor at a time when that was practically unheard of. The church has always encouraged women to get an education and has elevated and honored the role of mothers in a society where being a mother has very little honor. We are moving along on these issues like praying in conference but in many ways the church is doing just great i.m.h.o.

  4. Actually Trent, women prayed at the beginning of the church. Like when the church was first formed. And there was never ever any kind of official policy that women couldn't hold the sacrament tray. This all came from well-meaning but misguided attempts to be even more righteous. Reminds me a bit of taking only a certain number of steps on the Sabbath...

    This is why we have a living prophet and why we need general conference/continued revelation. If it were up to us, we'd screw it up rather quickly.

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