The office of the First Presidency June 28th, 2016 (about time)
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Ordain Women organization,
We are moved by your continued demonstration of faith and thoughtful search for understanding. Your recent call for a fast shows a willingness to apply principles and proven practices in your search for understanding and social change.
Although your initial appearance was met defensively and caused no small amount of civil disagreement among us, the Lord in his patience has enlightened our understanding and swelled our hearts with compassion for you. We love you and value your participation with us in his Church.
The issues you raise have already begun to affect needed change in the Church. Discussion among members is increasing understanding of the nature and appropriate application of the Priesthood. We do not anticipate radical change to the patterns established by the restoration. We are mindful of human nature’s resistance to change and we wish to be sensitive to members who may be upset by radical shifts in policy, therefore changes will likely be gradual as directed by revelation.
We recognize that there are aspects of Church practice based solely on cultural traditions without doctrinal basis. Some of these practices have grown from outdated gender roles and some have already changed. We maintain that gender is an essential element of God’s plan and that the differences between genders are necessary to achieve his purposes, however, we believe that our efforts to establish greater equity will enhance his purposes. We also recognize potential problems caused by a so-called “Generation Gap” and that, while we generally understand conditions in the modern world, it is largely through the lens of experience lived in a different time. For this reason, we have assembled advisory committees comprised of diverse members from a variety of cultures, age groups and outlooks. We would like to invite a few of you to participate on such a committee which will meet with the council of the first presidency and quorum of twelve apostles yearly and as needed.
We commend you for your faith and thank you for your earnest engagement.
The Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles.