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With women’s voices excluded from Mormon leadership, discussions of family size stifled

RE (“MORMON feminists raise their voices,” Page A1, April 5):

One question commonly ignored by male leaders in our church is the question of women’s role in planning the size of their own families. Leaders encourage large families, yet women all over the church are making choices with their husbands to practice birth control to limit family size, postpone families, or have no children at all. Particularly when they chose the latter, they are unacknowledged, their views absent from conversations with leaders and church publications.

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I recently attended a baby shower with Mormon women who talked about a family ritual that always accompanies the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. After the Saturday night all-male priesthood session, their families in Utah would gather for dinner and a discussion of what the men had learned at the session. One woman asked if families ever gathered the same way to hear what women say at a different gathering, the all-women’s General Relief Society meeting. No one could remember that happening.

For the first time, one woman did pray at the General Conference sessions this year, after much pressure. Maybe one day they will actually speak and men and women and children will gather to take note of the wisdom of Mormon women.

Judy Dushku


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