Personal Response by Karen R. Merkley
Mormon women are key players and equal partners in the work of the Lord, in families, in communities and in the world. In the words of Brigham Young, early President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
One thing is very true and we believe it, and that is that a woman is the glory of the man. …
When I reflect upon the duties and responsibilities devolving upon our mothers and sisters, and the influence they wield, I look upon them as the mainspring and soul of our being here. Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 199).
A misunderstanding of women’s roles in the Mormon Church is engendered by those who don’t know themselves and by those who wish to claim that the patriarchal order de facto creates suppression. This is false. While a coercive order (patriarchal or matriarchal) represses, such an order is outside every tenet of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Patriarchy is not synonymous with presumption and unrighteous power; it is an organized divine pattern for the release of power equally for men and women.