This weekend was the semi-annual conference for my religion, and for the first time in the history of the church, a woman prayed over the entire congregation. Not only did a woman pray, but two women prayed. One as an opening prayer, and one as a closing.
On a local level women have been praying for always, but never on such a visible level and over the entire church body. And even locally, as in several of my own wards I’ve attended, there can be weird traditions of women never being allowed to say the opening prayer, or the closing prayer. Because in some cases those are viewed as requiring the priesthood. It’s ridiculous when you actually stop to examine it, but as with everything touched by human nature, it’s always easier to go with the status quo.
This might seem like no big deal to you. But it is huge. Without someone that looks like you doing something, no matter if it’s a matter of gender or race or disability or orientation, most people subtly get the message that whatever that is is not for you. There will always be some people who are trailblazers or surrounded by strong enough support to buck that message, but those people are the exception.
And when that ‘something’ that is not for us is approaching God on behalf of all His children? That is so far from OK that I’ve dedicated my life to changing it. And this weekend, we got somewhere.