By Antoine Taveneaux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Antoine Taveneaux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In the historic announcement of Mormon women in leadership positions that were formerly only open to males, there are both celebration and accusations of “double-speak.”

The latest announcement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would seem to be cause for celebration, one need not dig too deeply to realize that an “it’s about time” banner might be most appropriate for the party.

Three female church leaders, Bonnie Oscarson, Linda Burton, and Rosemary Wixom will all assume positions of high rank within the leadership of the church, the Mormon Newsroom reports.

I still vividly remember President Thomas S. Monson announcing the lowered missionary age for young women. Today I…

Posted by Bonnie L. Oscarson on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

But Jana Riess, writing for Religion News Service, points out some “double-speak” by the Mormon Church in their press releases and statements.

Riess notes that several LDS officials, men and women alike, were quick to say that the opinion of women was always sought and heeded by Mormon Church leaders.

A quote from Riess highlights the double-speak best:  “We can’t insist that women have always been empowered while also declaring that their new roles are wholly groundbreaking.”

Despite the alleged double-speak, the ascent of these three women to positions of power in their church is noteworthy:/p>

  • Sister Bonnie Oscarson, the General Young Women’s President, will now sit on the Missionary Executive Council.
  • Sister Linda Burton, Relief Society general president, will serve on the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.
  • Sister Rosemary Wixom, General Primary President, will be on the Temple and Family History Executive Council.
  • All in all, the appointments represent progress in what is considered a very traditional church.

    Margaret Nadauld, who served as the Young Women's general president from 1997-2002, said this was an “exciting day” because women represent half of the church population, and have an important viewpoint and visions to share. "It is going to be a thrilling thing to have their voices heard."

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