Women don’t necessarily need the LDS priesthood to be equals in Mormonism. But they are certainly not equal at present, and major changes are needed to bring gender equality to the church.
To suggest that women are somehow “different but equal” in the LDS church at present… is like pretending that women in the united states were “different but equal” even though they were barred from every LEAD position in politics. Like saying they were equal because they could sit on City Councils and many auxiliary government positions, but were barred from being president, barred from being in the president’s cabinet, bared from congress, the house and supreme court as well as from being governor or even mayor. To pretend that THIS is equality… is a sham. And to do it in God’s name and say it is the will of God that women be barred from top leadership and virtually all the most important decision-making callings is blasphemy.
The LDS church should follow the temple’s lead of making the women priestesses with their own priestess organization. They should be allowed to ordain their youth into that female priestess organization. And their leadership structure should be equal to men’s. I’m sure if the church would simply open their hearts to the justice of equality, the Spirit would lead us to a structure that would satisfy everyone, in the same way the spirit slowly led the church to give those of African decent the priesthood.
Perhaps there is a time in the progression of civilization that it is best that the physically mighty and strong who are best at physical protection rule. But that time has past in the civilized world and the church needs to heed the Spirit which has pervaded the nations in showing that today is a time for complete gender equality.
Here is a list written by a friend of reform suggestions which could help to bring gender equality in the church—-and more importantly a stop to the sexual misconduct which occurs in the church every year as a direct result of the strong patriarchy which exists.
-Each stake could have an ombudsman to impartially assess issues between members and leaders.
-A community resource advocate could be called in each ward to gather the community resources necessary for victims who experience abuse in any situation to immediately reach out to.
-The church could do a much better job in partnering with other churches to pool resources and training for all leaders and members.
-Display flyers and brochures in every meetinghouse for local Domestic Violence and hotlines and agencies.
-Incorporate a member hotline to report severely unethical, abusive, or rogue bishops without punitive measures.
-Policy to address legal reporting duties of bishops who learn of abuse.
-Stop the practice one-on-one worthiness interviews and asking sexually explicit questions of youth and and children. (and adults)
-Incorporate lessons in EACH axillary on abuse, consent, healthy coping skills, self-efficacy, healthy sexual development, power and control imbalances, boundaries, etc etc.
-Finally, the patriarchal structure must be dismantled. Equal representation of men and women is essential. Equal decision making abilities as well as equal autonomy.