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Sister LDS missionaries will have key role in new Mission Leadership Council

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  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 5, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    A welcome change, and one long overdue.

  • jenners South Jordan/USA, UT
    April 5, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    Sisters have been holding leadership callings in the Temple Square Mission for years (granted it is an all sisters mission). It's a wonderful way to include all missionaries in the mission goals and evaluation processes. How exciting!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 5, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    Awesome!

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 6, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    A small step forward, but it would be so easy to do more. Being district leader, zone leader, or assistant to the president is not a priesthood office. So sisters could fulfill those roles just as well. That would bring equality in the framework. With so many sisters entering into the field, a mission president could have an elder and a sister as assistant. And a sister zone leader giving direction to a group of elders and sisters would give a significant message to the boys.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    April 6, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    I don't think having a sister and an elder as assistants is such a good idea. That could lead to problems.

  • thunder struck Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    They're not AP's. They prostelyte as normal missionaries but are assigned to watch out for the sisters. Think of it as co-Relief Society presidents.

  • thunder struck Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    @Wilf55 - not exactly accurate. Interviewing for and approving for baptism is a priesthood key, delegated by mission president but only to Elders. Sisters do not have that. So being in those leadership positions is a priesthood thing, which sisters cannot do. But this is good for the sisters and will help keep them happy and taken care of, because we all know how the Elders would rather not, and shouldn't attend to them emotionally or physically.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 6, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    Thunder struck, I agree that presently "interviewing for and approving for baptism is a priesthood key", but many problems could be avoided if that aspect was entrusted to the priesthood leaders of the local ward of branch. We would have much fewer retention problems afterwards.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 6, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Wilf,

    I don't think the retention problems are due to district leaders conducting the baptismal interview. If members want to interact with new members, including a friendly interview with the new local leader, there is nothing stopping them.

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    April 6, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    From my own perspective as a returned sister missionary maybe this will stop some of the drama with sisters because they are not going to have that cute elder's shoulder to cry on.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 6, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    This is a very exciting development. I wonder though if they might appoint assistants to the mission presidents wife as well. The idea of having an elder and sister assitant to the mission president might in theory be workable, but the creation of what would be viewed at as a male and female in the same situation of the mission president and his wife would just create all sorts of problems.

    I wonder how many training sisters the missions will have and about how many sisters will be under each training sister. However my guess is it will varry a lot from mission to mission depending on number of sisters and geographical size of the mission among other factors.

  • SkipAbbott PASO ROBLES, CA
    April 6, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Sister Trainers and increased sister focus by Mission President's wives will magnify sister missionary effectiveness and help Elders appreciate the power and influence of women as they serve together on Mission Councils. Will accelerate Elders and Sisters acquiring the principles taught in "Strengthening the Family and the Church through the Priesthood" training currently undertaken in our families and at Church.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 6, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Claudio, one of the continuing complaints from local priesthood leaders in many countries concerns the insufficient preparation and not-readiness of potential converts. In their eagerness to baptize, some missionaries will baptize investigators still smoking their "last cigarette" on their way to the font. They will baptize people who speak another language and hardly understood the lessons. District leaders are extremely lenient to approve of baptisms because of the numbers pressure and their own success. Half of the converts they "clear" for baptism are gone within a year (some within a week) because these people were not ready for commitments they did not understand well. So yes, retention problems are, for a large part, due to district leaders conducting the baptismal interview.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 6, 2013 7:00 p.m.

    Wilf,

    I know all about that concern. I spoke out against it consistently during my own mission. The problem is more in the way the mission counts success. Young teenagers don't want to feel like failures, especially after getting the easy A in high school. They feel anything less than that is unacceptable. The mission presidents and Church leaders should find ways to change this. It's a complicated problem that involved the whole system. It isn't easily reduced to blaming it on a district leader.

    BTW, I don't see how having a sister missionary doing this instead would alleviate the problem. In my experience, they were just as willing to skirt the line (no pun intended) in order to get investigators baptized, if not more so than the elders.

  • Lucas APO, AE
    April 7, 2013 2:53 a.m.

    This is amazing. I got chicken bumps on my arms. This is a huge change on the leadership dynamics in the missions, any current or former leader in a Mission knows. I'm really happy about the new role of the President's wife.

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    April 7, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    On my mission the sister missionary I taught plus her companion at the time TAUGHT the elders at specific meetings. THey were very loving, effective missionaries. Nothing to get a little fire under the rear ends of elders that putting a few sister missionaries around them.

    To those who feel this is "tokenism", men can't go through the temple without holding the priesthood, but women can. Men are being oppressed! EVERY male should be able to go through the temple, this isn't fair. (No, I don't really feel that way).

    I am a woman, and like what opportunities I have and don't sit and worry about what I'm not given, and the men are. That is the same as coveting and envy if you ask me. Regardless, whatever opportunities are given I applaud. Women are much more efficient than men in so many aspects, this will do nothing but good.

  • HSF SAN DIEGO, CA
    April 7, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    Those suggesting that sister missionaries should be Zone Leaders or Assistants to the President aren't clearly understanding the priesthood responsibilities involved in these two positions. Those leaders are involved in interviewing, baptizing, giving priesthood blessings, etc. These newly-created leadership positions are a perfect way to have the sisters train and care for each other taking away that specific responsibility from the Elders.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    April 8, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    I'm glad to see this happening. My brother-in-law is presiding over a mission now and my little sister will be excited about these developments...they are welcoming many new sister missionaries. As for the timing...just right...as for thre appropriateness...just right! I sustain our leaders and trust in the Lord's judgment...almost as much as I trust in the judgment of desnews commenters...;).

  • GemmaB Mercer Island, WA
    April 8, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Now if only they could come up with a title for the mission president's wife other than...mission president's wife.

    I do, however, applaud these changes giving sister missionaries a more active role in the leadership of the mission.

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    April 8, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    @GemmaB:

    First Lady of the blankety blank mission? Hahaha

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    April 9, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    I agree with Claudio! It is about time that sisters are included and given leadership responsibilities over each other in the mission. I'm not a feminist applauding "equal opportunity." Don't get me wrong. It's just that there are things that are difficult for a young woman to discuss with a young man. And, there are things a young man would just not understand about a young woman. (see it often in marriages). Sisters have a lot to contribute to each other and this is a great move forward to ensuring the needs of the sisters are being met. It's wonderful!

  • ldsdaniel San Diego, CA
    April 9, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    I'm not about to say that sisters should hold the priesthood and do everything that the men are doing, etc, simply because I'm not the prophet.

    However, why is it so hard for the church to give sisters leadership roles over men? Are we afraid that they will climb over our heads someday?

    And what kind of name is sisters training leaders? Whaa? Try harder. I can assure you that district leaders and zone leaders are not priesthood-required positions.

  • bjdoc Boise, Idaho
    April 9, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    the mission Presidents wife, has always been called the mission mother. Having lived in Lithuania, in the mission field, I cheer to hear of seeing sister leadership in the missionfield. I also see the need for Branch or Ward interviews to welcome new members, and secure greater comminication in the vital role of member fellowshipping.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    April 9, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    One of the facts about sister missionaries is that they can be older sisters, including some who are widows or divorced, which is not the case for male missionaries. There will be a number of these mature sisters who can provide their wisdom and insight to the younger sister missionaries. And building a network of sister missionaries with their own communication line to the wife of the mission president can help sisters get special help and encouragement that a district leader, zone leader or even the mission president could not give as well.

    The fact is that the younger generation of sister missionaries is going to increase the number of adult women in the church with a sense of accomplishment, heightened faith, and tested ability, who will be an asset in any congregation they belong to. We will have better female teachers and leaders and member missionaries. And they will accomplish even more in education, careers and community service.

  • Wacoan Waco, TX
    April 10, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Kathy,
    You burst a favorite bubble. I thought that I was cute yet no sister missionary cried on my shoulder.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 23, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    I have see some suggest calling the mission president's wife the "mission matriarch", in fact I have done that. She is also at times called the "mission mom". I have also known people who refered to the time when they presided over the mission as being "mission presidents" in the plural, suggesting both the husband and wife is president.

    Personally though I think the best term is "mission presidentess", and think I will start using the term.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 23, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    I had a mission companion who had smoked his last cigarette far less than the reccomended wait time before being baptized, but he was a faithful and diligent member. On the other hand I have known people who had exceeded all the reccomended wiat times and still feel away.

    There may be some cases where missionaries are too lenient in interviews, but there are also cases where adding stumbling blocks to conversion kills a growing faithfulness to the gospel needlessly.

    There are many reasons that people leave the church. To lay the blame on the missionaries makes no sense at all. Finding people to introduce to the Church is members responsibility, fellowshipping is members responsibility. Entering the church is a priesthood function, and the keys are held by the mission president and he can only delegate these keys to his direct subordinates. That does not include bishops. Some missionaries may make mistakes in interviews, but it is far too easy to blame others instead of accepting that we ourselves need to do more to reach out and lift others.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 23, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    Actually from what I have seen recently I get the impression that at least in my ward the bishop regularly does welcome interviews with new converts. This is slightly more likely with men than women, but I get the impression the bishop regularly does it with both.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    July 31, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    The Mission President is ordained to receive the Priesthood keys of the Mission. The Bishop does hold the keys for the ward of the new convert too. If assigned, mission leaders do not have to hold the keys for Baptism interviews.

    The President's Assistants, the Mission Elders, and the Sister Missionaries are all "Set-Apart" by the laying on of hands under the direction of the Melchizedek Priesthood. They all work and magnify the Priesthood.

    That leaves the Mission President's Wife. I hope she is not "Set-Apart" as the Mission President's Wife. They are both Presidents.